Zachary 'ckingusc' King claims Main Event gold

Zachary "ckingusc" King outlasted a massive field of 2,185 players including some of the world's biggest stars to take down the Main Event of the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker. The 2-day event had a record $10,925,000 prize pool, with $1,260,000 heading to the young pro from Columbia, SC. Oh, and for the record, the "usc" in his screen name does refer to the college, but the University of South Carolina, not the other USC that some folks might have heard of.

We caught up with King a little while after the Main Event, which he called "the most amazing moment of my life so far." With his newly inflated bankroll, he plans to "definitely buy myself something nice, possibly a new car." I think with $1.26 million in the bank, you can buy a really nice car, Zachary!

King, a 22-year-old pro, got inspired to play poker by watching Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker make his amazing run at the WSOP Main Event. Following in Moneymaker's footsteps, King parlayed his $320 Mega-Satellite entry into a Main Event bracelet. King used poker as a way to get to know people in high school, as he moved around a lot early in life and enjoyed the social aspect of the game. That continued into his professional poker career, making friends with top online pros like Shaun Deeb, psyduck101, Thay3r, Intervntion and Cdbr3799, who he cites as some of the players who helped teach him the game.

As a professional tournament player, King knew many of his opponents throughout the event, especially Bertrand 'ElkY" Grospellier from Team PokerStars Pro. Grospellier capped off a successful WCOOP with a 21st-place finish in the Main Event. When asked about the play he saw from the other pros in the event, King said "The obviously all played well and I pretty much avoided them except for a few well-timed 3-bet spots."

With no legal live poker in South Carolina, King plays tournaments online "almost every day" and has spent the last two summers in Las Vegas at the World Series of Poker, racking up an impressive five cashes in his first two years of eligibility. He made his first final table this year in Event #3, Pot Limit Hold'em, and cashed in two other No Limit Hold'em events. He also has a runner-up finish in a WSOP Circuit event and dozens of online tournament victories on his resume, including one six-figure score earlier this year.

With his win in the WCOOP Main Event, King has joined a rare crowd of players that have claimed prizes of more than $1 million in one tournament. We expect this young man to ride the wave of his success to even greater heights in the future. Because when you're a 22-year-old millionaire and World Champion with one WSOP final table already to your credit, the future is bright enough to need two pairs of shades! Congratulations to Zachary "ckingusc" King, our 2008 World Championship of Online Poker Main Event Champion!

John
@PokerStars in WCOOP