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Starting Jul. 24, the World College Poker Championship (WCP) creates an opportunity for US college students to compete in online poker against opponents from around the globe.
The Championship is free to enter and offers valuable prizes. The WCP benefits from an impressive sponsor list, with lots of prizes on offer. In fact, there’s a guaranteed prize for everyone who enters: PLOQuickPro.com is handing out $100 Hotel Savings Gift Cards to every participant.
This is the first WCP to have US players competing alongside international players in the same event. This is possible because most or all of the event will take place on PokerStars.net, the play money PokerStars platform.
The WCP is casting its net across all higher education institutions. To register you must attend an eligible university, college or vocational school, and have up-to-date student ID.
The minimum age for players is 18, and maximum is 29. Recent graduates can also apply if they’ve finished their program within the last three months.
For legal and regulatory reasons, players in some jurisdictions are excluded. US players from Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey will have to sit it out, despite having access to real money tournaments on PokerStars. Likewise, players in Italy, Portugal and Spain are not able to participate.
Register here if you’re eligible and interested.
The WCP consists of four rounds of No Limit Hold’em tournaments, beginning July 24. Players are initially divided up by region for round one. There are six regions, spanning the globe, and the top 50 players from each region will advance to round two.
In that round, on July 31, the 300 surviving players play a new tournament until 45 remain. Those players carry their chipstack from this round through to round three.
Play resumes on Aug. 7 and continues until there are only six players left to form the final table. The date for that hasn’t been finalized yet. Circumstances allowing, it may take place in person, with the WCP covering flight and hotel costs.
The winner will be crowned 2021 World College Poker Main Event Champion.
The Main Event Champion gets a generous prize package. This consists of:
Second through tenth place receive a similar set of prizes, minus the EPT package. Some of the other more valuable prizes also get removed or replaced as you move down the list. For instance, second and third place receive a lesson with Jonathan Little instead of a match against Patrik Antonius, while third through tenth merely receive a PokerCoaching subscription.
Those finishing 11th through 45th get more modest selection of swag, gift cards and subscriptions.
You can find the full prize list here.
The event couldn’t take place without the support of the sponsors, so they deserve a shout out for helping to promote online poker. Sponsors are:
As an extra encouragement for female players, there are additional prizes for the last three women standing. Those winners also receive the standard prizes for their overall finishing position, of course.
The top prize is a one hour poker lesson with Jennifer Shahade, PokerStars ambassador and chess grandmaster.
This is courtesy of sponsor PokerPowher.Com, which adds to this a #HEX Supply Drifter duffel, playing cards, and a Luna ultra-portable wireless speaker.
The top three also receive:
From small beginnings, WCP has reached the big time. PokerStars’ sponsorship and hosting instantly grants the event credibility. With that backing, WCP could well become a regular annual event.
PokerStars gets something out of it as well, of course. As US online poker slowly comes to more states, PokerStars has been playing the long game. The effect of adding such generous prizes to a free-to-play online poker tournament should be to create a lot of goodwill. Add in promoting online poker to a broader audience, and PokerStars can expect to see marketing benefits stretching into the medium term.
College students and recent graduates are a key demographic for online poker operators, making this a great deal for everyone involved. The players benefit, WCP benefits, and so does PokerStars.