PokerStars Reveals 2019 Bounty Builder Series

PokerStars Reveals 2019 Bounty Builder Series

PokerStars has long been the top dog in online poker tournament series. It all started with the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and grew into a yearlong schedule of series, from a spring version (SCOOP) to a turbo-structured version (TCOOP) and more.

Many years after PokerStars set the bar high for online tournaments, the world’s largest online poker operator still knows how to deliver what players want. It may just not be the first to do it anymore.

PartyPoker made its latest mark on the poker world by finding the ideal knockout tournaments for poker players. They were ones that first decided not to charge rake for the bounties in said events, and that helped boost the popularity of the KO tournaments.

PokerStars isn’t one to let a good thing pass it by. Seeing that popularity, PokerStars wanted a piece of that KO tournament action, too.

Thus, the Bounty Builder Series was born. And PokerStars is now gearing up for another run at it, complete with 180 events, $25 million in guarantees, and a Halloween theme.

Back Up to WCOOP

The most recent series for PokerStars was WCOOP, its largest series of the year.

The 2019 edition of the world-famous online poker series took place September 5-25 and originally offered $75 million in cumulative guarantees across a total of 219 tournaments.

When it was all over, WCOOP made history.

The 20 days of tournaments brought in more than 1.2 million tournament entries, and that pushed the prize pools well past the guarantees. In all, the tournaments awarded more than $104.7 million in prize money, solidly surpassing the 2018 WCOOP and its $99 million in prizes.

–Total 2019 WCOOP entries:  1,219,969

–Total 2019 WCOOP prize pool:  $104,733,898

–Total 2019 WCOOP cashers:  173,364

Another record-breaking number was the amount of money awarded in the WCOOP Main Event High. That amount was $11.18 million, the highest of any COOP Main Event since 2010.

Out of the 219 tournaments, there were five that didn’t make their guarantees, though the overlays were fairly minimal.

There were two players who each won three WCOOP titles in 2019: Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira and Joao “Naza114” Vieira.

PokerStars listed quite a few fun facts about the 2019 WCOOP, from top satellite winners and best ROI to the tournaments that played the fastest and the players who finished in second place most often.

Bounty Builder Series on Tap

Less than two weeks after the final WCOOP numbers were in, PokerStars was ready to get players excited about the next online series.

The Bounty Builder Series is scheduled to begin on Sunday, October 13. The two-week schedule of tournaments will run through Sunday, October 27.

There are 180 tournaments on that schedule, complete with a total of $25 million in guarantees.

PokerStars will offer 12 tournaments each day, and a wide range of buy-ins will welcome players of all stripes. And yes, each player is a bounty in every tournament.

The way it works is that every player has a bounty on their head. Knock a player out and receive about 50% of that bounty, with the remainder added to the surviving player’s bounty.

The first day of action exemplifies the diversity of poker offerings:

–Event 1:  $1.10 NLHE 6-Max with $7.5K GTD

–Event 2:  $11 NLHE 6-Max with $100K GTD

–Event 3:  $109 NLHE 6-Max with $125K GTD

–Event 4:  $55 NLHE Turbo with $100K GTD

–Event 5:  $2,100 NLHE 8-Max with $500K GTD

–Event 6:  $215 NLHE 8-Max with $400K GTD

–Event 7:  $22 NLHE 8-Max with $150K GTD

–Event 8:  $109 NLHE Turbo with $200K GTD

–Event 9:  $530 NLHE with $400K GTD

–Event 10:  $55 NLHE with $250K GTD

–Event 11:  $5.50 NLHE with $75K GTD

–Event 12:  $1,050 NLHE 8-Max Turbo with $200K GTD

And on the last day, the highly-anticipated finale will be the following:

–Event 173:  $530 NLHE 8-Max Main Event with $2M GTD

The complete Bounty Builders Series schedule is listed on the PokerStars news page.

Features and Highlights

The Bounty Builder Series will offer quite a few interesting features.

Out of the 180 tournaments on the schedule, there will be 47 with turbo structures, including four with hyper-turbo structures.

The Halloween KO Leaderboard will track all of the knockouts throughout the series. The top five players at the end of the series will each win prize money. But all players with 100 or more knockouts will win tickets into three freerolls, each worth $10K, on Halloween (October 31). Those with 25-99 knockouts will be included in the first and second freerolls, and those with 10-24 knockouts will get into the first one.

Trick or Treat tournaments will be available on Wednesdays and Fridays. Tricks will be offered as $1.10 and $5.50 tournament tickets, and treats will be $22 tournament tickets.

Also, the last tournament each day will be the Midnight Challenge. Anyone who knocks out five players in a 24/18 Players Super-KO SNG with a buy-in of $5 or higher will receive a ticket into an All-In Shootout. Each of those shootouts will award $2K in Bounty Builder Series tickets.


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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