With some of the regional qualifying events already in the books, the fourth annual World Cup of Poker at PokerStars is building toward its September finale in Barcelona. 57 countries are participating in this year's event, each trying to take the crown claimed by Poland in WCP III last year. The events have been free to enter through Stars qualifying tourneys.
Teams representing each of the 57 countries square off in a battle for $250,000 in prize money in this year's World Cup of Poker. Three countries --- the United States, Canada and Germany --- have just finished an extra opening round of play, with the regional teams for each of these countries being finalized at the present time. The next step for these three countries is Divisional Qualification events, where teams representing U.S. states and Canadian and German provinces will play on July 22nd to narrow down the field for those three countries, each with a large Stars contingent. Because of that, those three countries receive two teams each, bringing the total number of WCP teams to 60.
From there it's on to the National Team qualifying tournaments for all 57 countries during the last week of July, with the lineups for the World Cup of Poker itself being finalized during the first week of August. Each country's final team will consist of four players --- two of which come from these qualifying tourneys, who are joined by that country's highest two performers in the Stars Tournament Leader Board rankings for the 2006 calendar year. For each of the teams reaching the final event in Barcelona, a fifth player will be added by Poker Stars.
Eight national teams will qualify for the September 4-7 finale in Barcelona, with cash prizes going to the top four teams. The first prize of $100,000 is distributed equally among that teams five players, with each member of the winning team receiving $20,000.
Additional information on the World Cup of Poker IV is available at pokerstars.com.