PokerStars World Cup of Poker (WCP)
The PokerStars World Cup of Poker is a tournament that pits 4-player teams from different world nations against each other. Team Costa Rica took down the first official WCP in 2004, and followed up with a second victory a year later in 2005. Poland, USA, Germany, and Chinese Teipei are the other countries that have scored WCP wins.
The tournament is held in three separate stages:
Stage I – This stage determines the four players that will make up each of the national teams. The first position automatically goes to the country’s number one finisher on the yearly Tournament Leader Board. For the other three spots, PokerStars holds qualifying tournaments with buy-ins of $1, 1 Frequent Player Point, and $0 (freeroll). The four team members are assigned positions lifted from soccer terminology: Striker, Midfielder, Defender, and Goalie.
Stage II – In this stage, the 56 teams from around the world are split into 7 divisions. PokerStars then hosts a series of tournaments for each division that pit a team’s players against other players in the same position. Teams receive points based on the finishes of each of their players, and in the end only 7 teams are allowed to continue to the next stage.
Stage III – This stage is the Live Grand Final, held in the Bahamas as part of the festivities associated with the PokerStars Carribean Adventure. Members of the teams that make it to this stage will all be given a Grand Final prize package which includes travel and accommodations. The individual players will each compete in a single-table tournament to determine their team’s starting stack at the final table. The final table is played in a “tag team” format where a team’s players rotate in and out between hands. The winning team takes home $100,000.
To celebrate the coronation of the new WCP championship team, PokerStars holds a big freeroll open to all players who competed in any of the stage I qualifiers.