What's the World Cup of Poker? I'm glad you asked! The PokerStars World Cup of Poker (WCP) is an international competition where teams of poker players battle it out for the title of World Cup of Poker Champions and $250,000 in prize money! The tournament is free to enter, and you get a shot at a cool quarter million in prize money! Think of it as rakeback on a bigger scale!
The fifty-seven teams involved in the competition are split into eight divisions - these are listed on the World Cup of Poker Countries page. A set of tournaments is played among the teams in each division to determine the final eight teams.
The eight winning teams from the division stages will win packages - including travel expenses and accommodation - to play live in Barcelona, Spain. Details of the live event can be found on the World Cup of Poker live event page. The teams that progress to the Barcelona final will compete in a televised tournament to determine the PokerStars World Cup of Poker IV Champions.
How do I enter? Well, again, I'm glad you asked! To compete in the World Cup of Poker IV you must first qualify for your country's team. During the online stages of the event, each team consists of four players. A fifth player will be added to each team that manages to qualify from their Division for the live final in Barcelona.
Each country will have two Freeroll Tournament Qualifiers. The final table finishers from each of these qualifiers will play in an 18-player final event. Both the winner and runner-up of the country final will be offered a place on their country's team.
The third and fourth place finishers in these tournaments will be the alternate players for their country's team. Should one of the team members be unavailable, then an alternate team member will play in his or her place.
The top two Tournament Leader Board (from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2006) players in each of the 57 countries represented will automatically qualify as World Cup team players. The top finishing Tournament Leader Board (TLB) player will have the option of becoming the team's Captain. Each player who qualifies for one of these coveted spots will receive an e-mail from WCP@pokerstars.com. Players must reply to this e-mail and let PokerStars know whether they wish to play for their country. Players should check their e-mail inbox regularly if they have qualified. If a TLB qualifier is unable to play, the next highest TLB player for that country will be offered the spot.
The fifth player is chosen by PokerStars and is usually somebody cool, like Joe Hachem or, even better, Isabelle Mercier (sigh). So if you're not a big-time tournament player that's already qualified for your country, get in gear, join PokerStars today (through PokerWorks and receive an exclusive PokerWorks bonus) and sign up for the freerolls!
Because of the sheer volume of players in those countries, the US, Canada and Germany will have their own divisions, giving players in those countries different qualifying routes. Players in the US (and PokerStars still welcomes new signups from US players!) participate in state qualifiers, then states compete against each other in regional competitions. Finally two US national teams will compete against three qualifying state teams to see which team represents the US in the World Cup Event in Barcelona. Regional qualifying in Canada and Germany follows a similar path.
So sign up for PokerStars today and join the fun in Barcelona representing your country in the World Cup of Poker!