Poker has been one of the world’s most popular card games for many generations. The exciting arrival of online games has quickly boosted that popularity even more.
Today’s combination of real-life and online games means that poker has never been played more than it is now.
There’s so much choice for a poker player today. Real-life poker games in casinos or homes offer a live, social experience while online poker provides convenience, accessibility, and the opportunity to play against a huge range of opponents from around the world.
Whether you like a major session of Texas Holdem or a quiet solo game of video poker, the synergy between real-life and online poker seems to be fuelling the demand for both styles of the game.
Online poker has made it easier for players to practice, learn, and participate in live tournaments. At the same time major poker events and tournaments often feature online satellite qualifiers, allowing players to earn their way into prestigious live events remotely.
The top professional players at these real and online tournaments have become stars in their own right. They include internationally recognised players like the German pro Fedor Holz, British star Stephen Chidwick and Swede Niklas Astedt.
Big North American tournament pros include Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen and Erik Seidel from the US, and Canadian Daniel Negreanu.
Most top players are equally at home playing live environments or online tournaments. Here are some of the major current poker events globally – both online and in real life:
The biggest real-world poker tournaments
World Series of Poker
The WSOP is the most famous poker tournament series anywhere on the planet. It takes place annually in Las Vegas and features a wide range of events.
These include The Main Event, the sector which eventually crowns the world champion. The Main Event winner typically receives a multimillion-dollar prize – and the overall series offers millions in guaranteed prize money.
European Poker Tour
The EPT is a series of poker tournaments held across various European cities. It is known for its high buy-ins and the way it attracts top players from around the world.
The EPT Grand Final and EPT Barcelona are among the most notable events in the series. Prizes are typically huge.
World Poker Tour
The WPT is a series of international poker tournaments that also includes televised events. It has stops in various locations worldwide and is known for its surprisingly accessible buy-ins.
Prize pools for WPT events can range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
Held in Melbourne, Australia, the Aussie Millions is one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most prestigious poker tournaments. It attracts top international players and features events with very significant prize money.
The Big One for One Drop
This is a special high-stakes charity tournament held occasionally as part of the WSOP. It has one of the highest buy-ins in poker history.
A portion of the tournaqment entry fees goes to the One Drop Foundation, which focuses on providing access to clean water in the Third World.
The biggest online poker tournaments
World Championship of Online Poker
The WCOOP is one of the largest online poker tournament series currently available. It typically features a wide range of events with varying buy-ins and attracts top players from around the world.
Spring Championship of Online Poker
SCOOP is another prestigious online tournament series that follows a similar format to WCOOP. The series involves a diverse schedule of online events and typically offers substantial prizes.
888poker XL Series
888poker regularly hosts the XL Series, a tournament series with a variety of events and buy-ins. It has gained rapid popularity for its accessible buy-ins and competitive structures.
partypoker MILLIONS Online: This high-stakes online tournament features a massive prize pool. The guaranteed prizes help attract some of the top online and live players.
This is another major online tournament series hosted by partypoker. It offers a variety of events with different buy-ins and is also known for its large prize pools.
Poker tournament prizes
Prizes at today’s top events like the World Championship of Online Poker and Spring Championship of Online Poker typically reach millions of dollars in combined prize money. The individual main events can feature multi-million dollar guarantees.
The partypoker MILLIONS Online is another tournament known for its massive prize pool, often reaching tens of millions of dollars.
Prize amounts for major real life tournaments vary. The prestige of the tournament, the number of participants, and the buy-in amount all contribute to the overall prize pool.
The title of World Championship is most commonly attached to The Main Event in Las Vegas. While the online tournament world continues to grow and its prizes are soaring, the prestige of the WSOP is still considered supreme in the poker world.