Best poker tournaments: Top 10 poker events in the world

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Have you ever wanted to play poker and win millions of dollars? Well, as it is in life, nothing is guaranteed in poker. You need to know a bit more than how to post the ante or raise from the button if you want to win a tournament. 

However, there are plenty of opportunities to play for millions once you master the basics. From live events, such as the WSOP, to major online poker tournaments, you can ante up and compete against others for cash prizes. To see what the best poker tournaments are and how much you could win, scroll down for all the info you need.

Top sites for live poker in 2023

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  3. Mr Vegas
  4. Grosvenor Casinos
  5. Karamba

Top 10 poker tournaments in the world

What are the top 10 poker tournaments in the world? Let’s take a look:

1. WSOP 

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the biggest event in poker. It takes place in Las Vegas in May and June, but there are various online spinoffs you can play throughout the year. The WSOP is seen as poker’s World Cup, which means players from the US, Europe, Latin America, Asia and beyond travel to Vegas for the summer festival. 

Dates: May to July

How many players ante up?

The WSOP now offers more than 80 events. The average field is over 1,000 players, while the $10,000 Main Event, which has the best structure, often attracts over 7,000 entrants. 

How much can I win?

The average payout for WSOP events is over $100,000. However, for the WSOP Main Event, the world champion typically takes home upwards of $10 million. 

Interesting fact: The WSOP was called the Texas Gambling Reunion in 1969. In 1970, Johnny Moss was voted world champion because there wasn’t a tournament. 

2. PokerStars Players Championship and PCA

PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) is part of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Costing $25,000 to enter, the tournament attracts pros from around the world. However, because PokerStars runs hundreds of qualifiers and Platinum Pass promotions, there are plenty of amateurs in the starting field. 

Dates: Jan to Feb

How many players ante up?

The slow structure and large guarantee give PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship a certain allure. As such, it typically attracts 1,000+ players.  

How much can I win?

The winner of the 2023 PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship, Aliaksandr Shylko, banked $3.1 million.

Interesting fact: The PSPC is part of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. This means it’s been held at various exotic locations, including Atlantis Bahamas and Baha Mar Resort. 

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3. WPT World Championship

The World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship is an annual event with an entry fee of $10,300. The starting field is typically a mixture of pros, rising stars and amateurs who are just happy to play. The WPT World Championship was held at the Wynn, Las Vegas, for the first time in 2022 and it broke all previous records. On that occasion, Canada’s Eliot Hudon won the title and $4.1 million.

Dates: December

How many players ante up?

The average field for a WPT World Championship main event is 2,500 players. 

How much can I win?

The guarantee in 2022 was $15 million. However, once the entry desks had closed, the prize pool topped $29 million. This meant the winner’s payout was over $4 million. 

Interesting fact: The first WPT World Championship took place in 2003. The entry fee was $25,000 back then and the winner, Alan Goehring, took home $1 million. 

4. Triton Super High Roller Series

Triton is a relatively new name in poker compared to the WSOP, WPT and PokerStars. However, its focus on high roller events has made it a favourite with established pros. Today, the Triton Poker Super High Roller series takes place in exotic locations around the world and the average entry fee is $10,000+.

Dates: Throughout the year

How many players ante up?

Triton Poker tournaments typically attract between 30 and 200 players. These are high roller events, so you don’t get many people entering who don’t know what a poker chip is or how to play the button.

How much can I win?

Triton Super High Roller payouts range from $200,000 up to $20 million+, depending on the entry fee and number of entrants. 

Interesting fact: Triton Poker paid out the biggest tournament prize in history back in 2019. The $1 million buy-in event was held in London and runner-up, Bryn Kenney, won $20 million after a heads-up deal.

5. European Poker Tour (EPT)

PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) has been running since 2004. The brainchild of director and poker player John Duthie, the first series of tournaments took place in countries across Europe, including London, Barcelona, and Monte Carlo. 

Dates: Throughout the year

How many players ante up?

The average EPT main event attracts over 1,000 players. A lot of these players have qualified online via satellite tournaments on PokerStars. 

How much can I win?

The average top prize for an EPT main event is over $1 million. Side event payouts range from $50,000 to $900,000.

Interesting fact: PokerStars always offers freerolls and affordable qualifiers for EPT events. Therefore, even if you barely know what the button is in poker, or how to post the big blind, you’ve still got a shot at playing with the pros. 

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6. WSOP Online

The WSOP’s evolution has led the organisation to host a series of online tournaments. As well as official WSOP bracelet events, you can play WSOP Circuit tournaments online in the UK, US and elsewhere around the world. 

Dates: Throughout the year

How many players ante up?

The average WSOP online tournament attracts upwards of 2,000 players. 

How much can I win?

The WSOP Online Main Event typically offers payouts in excess of $2 million. Smaller buy-in WSOP Online events have prizes of $5,000 or more. 

Interesting fact: The first WSOP Online bracelet event took place in 2015 and was one by Anthony Spinella. 

7. WCOOP

PokerStars’ annual World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is a series of events covering all buy-ins and variants. From Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Hold’em, to Stud, Draw and Mixed Games, WCOOP has something for everyone. 

Dates: November

How many players ante up?

In general, Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha tournaments attract the most players. The average WCOOP field is 1,000+ players, but the $5,200 main event usually attracts 2,000+.

How much can I win?

WCOOP payouts can range from $10,000 to $1 million+. The total guaranteed prize pool for WCOOP 2023 was $85 million. 

Interesting fact: WCOOP now offers main events at two buy-in levels: $55 and $5,200. 

8. SCOOP

PokerStars’ Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) was introduced as an accompaniment to WCOOP. Like its counterpart, this series has events covering all variants, including Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. However, the main difference between WCOOP and SCOOP is that the latter has MTTs at three buy-in levels. 

Dates: May to June

How many players ante up?

The average starting field for low stakes SCOOP events is 5,000+ players. For higher buy-in events, the number of entries can range from 200 to 2,000+.

How much can I win?

The total guaranteed prize pool for SCOOP 2022 was $75 million, but the final payouts exceeded $100 million. The top prize for SCOOP main events is over $800,000.

Interesting fact: The first SCOOP series on PokerStars took place in 2009 and featured 66 tournaments. In 2020, SCOOP had 372 tournaments. 

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9. Super High Roller Bowl

PokerGo’s Super High Roller Bowl was first held in 2015 and cost $500,000 to enter. The buy-in was lowered to $300,000 in 2016 and that’s where it’s stayed. Daniel Negreanu won the Super High Roller Bowl VII in 2022 for $3.3 million. 

Dates: Events throughout the year

How many players ante up?

Super High Roller Bowl tournaments cost $300,000 to enter. This means the fields are often less than 100 players. 

How much can I win?

The average payout for Super High Roller Bowl main events is $3 million+.

Interesting fact: There are now various incarnations of the Super High Roller Bowl, including events in Europe, the Caribbean, and online. 

10. PokerGo Tour

The PokerGo Tour (PGT) launched in 2021 with the aim of finding the best tournament player in the world. As such, everyone in these events knows how to post the big blind and perform a chip trick or two. Players earn points based on the amount of cash they win. The top performer of the year wins a special prize.

Dates: Throughout the year

How many players ante up?

The average PokerGo Tour event costs $10,000+ and the average field is 30 to 200 players.  

How much can I win?

PokerGo Tour payouts typically range from $200,000 to $1 million+.

Interesting fact: The PokerGo Tour has a season-ending championship reserved for the top performers throughout the year. 

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What is the biggest poker tournament in the world?

The biggest event in poker is the WSOP or, to give it its full name, the World Series of Poker. The WSOP first took place in the back room of the Holiday Hotel and Casino in Reno. It was known as the Texas Gambling Reunion back then and only a handful of players were invited. 

Casino owner Benny Binion upped the ante in 1970 by moving the event to Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas. There wasn’t a WSOP Main Event at the time, so Johnny Moss was voted “world champion” by his peers, including the legendary Doyle Brunson. By 1971 a “main event” was added to the schedule and, with that, the WSOP was born. 

Things exploded in 2003 when an accountant from Tennessee called Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event. Moneymaker was an amateur who qualified for the $10,000 tournament via an $86 satellite tournament on PokerStars. From that online qualifier, Moneymaker beat 838 players to become world champion and $2.5 million richer. 

Moneymaker caught the imagination of people around the world. That caused online poker to flourish. Today, the WSOP attracts players from over 50 countries. There are dozens of tournaments on the annual WSOP schedule, including the $10,000 main event which has fields topping 7,000 players. 

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What are the prize pools for the best poker tournaments?

The best prize pools in poker are found online and in live tournaments. There are high stakes cash games where players can win or lose $1 million in a single hand. However, you need to have millions in the bank to even sit down in these games. 

For the majority of poker players, tournaments are the best way to win million-dollar prizes. Some of the biggest prize pools are found in these tournaments:

  • WSOP Main Event – $10,000 buy-in – average prize pool $75 million+
  • Big One for One Drop – $1 million buy-in – average prize pool $40 million+
  • WPT World Championship – $10,300 buy-in – average prize pool $29 million+
  • WSOP Online Main Event – $5,000 buy-in – average prize pool $27 million+
  • PokerStars Players Championship – $25,000 buy-in – average prize pool $25 million+
  • Super High Roller Bowl – $300,000 buy-in – average prize pool $7 million+
  • WCOOP Main Event – $5,200 buy-in – average prize pool $7 million+

Who is the number one poker player in the world?

The top poker player in the world, based on tournament earnings, is Justin Bonomo. The American poker pro had $60,222,954 in live tournament earnings as of March 2023. 

What is the best casino for poker?

There are plenty of fantastic online poker sites, but online casinos also give you ways to ante-up. One of the best online casinos for poker is 888casino. This top-rated operator has products that span the entire online gambling spectrum, from casino games and poker to sports betting and bingo. 

As such, you can click here to create an account and get access to a variety of betting options, including Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Three Card Poker and live dealer tables. You can also play against other people in tournaments and cash games at 888poker. 

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How to play poker at an online casino

To win an online poker tournament you need to play. With this in mind, here’s how to play poker online:

  1. Find a reputable online casino and poker site. Use our online casino reviews to find the best apps. Each app we review and recommend is 100% legal, safe, and secure. 
  2. Create an account at your chosen online casino and poker site/s. Use our secure registration links to open the correct sign-up form and activate exclusive welcome bonuses. 
  3. Complete the registration process and go to the poker tournament lobby. 
  4. Find freerolls if you want to play for cash prizes without spending any money. 
  5. Alternatively, deposit money and enter real-money tournaments.
  6. Outlast enough people to cash out or beat everyone to get the top prize. 

What is the most money won in a poker tournament?

The biggest prize won in a single poker tournament was claimed by Bryn Kenney in August 2019. Kenney didn’t win the £1 million buy-in Triton Million for Charity event in London. He made a deal with Aaron Zang after everyone else in the tournament had been eliminated. 

As per the terms of the deal, Kenney locked up £16.8 million ($20.5 million), while Zang secured £13.7 million ($16.7 million). Once the deal had been made, the two played for the title and Zang won. 

What are the biggest Sunday poker tournaments online?

PokerStars’ Sunday Million has been the most popular Sunday major since it launched in 2006. As its name suggests, this online poker tournament carries a $1 million guarantee. Even more impressive for an online MTT is the fact it now costs just $109. 

Alternatively, you can win a seat in the Sunday Million for less than $1 through various weekly satellite tournaments. If you want more options on a Sunday, you can spread your interests across various poker sites, including GGPoker, Partypoker and 888poker.

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What are the best poker tournaments for a new player?

Freerolls and low stakes tournaments are best for new poker players. Freerolls don’t cost anything, but you can win cash prizes. Therefore, they’re a great way to learn the basics of poker and nuances of tournament strategy. From there, you can graduate to low stakes MTTs and single table tournaments (SNG) costing $5 or less. 

How to play online poker tournaments?

You need an account with a licensed online poker room and casino if you want to play tournaments via your computer or mobile. Our secure sign-up links will take you straight to the best online poker sites and unlock special offers. 

How to play online poker tournaments for free?

You can enter freerolls or use bonuses to play poker tournaments for free. All the best online poker sites, including 888 and PokerStars, have dozens of daily freerolls.

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Are there tournaments for other casino table games?

Poker isn’t the only casino game available in a tournament format. Many of the best online casinos offer slot, roulette and blackjack tournaments. These tournaments require you to play a certain game/s within to earn you points. If you finish high enough on the leaderboard, you win a share of prize pools worth £100,000 or more. 

Final thoughts

Winning poker tournaments takes a combination of skill and timing. You need to understand the structure of a tournament, how to attack positions such as the button and how to defend your big blind. You also need a bit of luck. If all of these things fall into place, you might just claim every chip in a tournament and bank yourself a prize worth $1 million!

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Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chase their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or go to www.gamstop.co.uk to be excluded from all UK-regulated gambling websites.


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