Big names still in the WCOOP weekend bracelet hunt

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgSunday is the day for tournament poker. Sunday is also the day for American Football (just 'football' if you're American or a sitting-on-his-high-horse EPT presenter James Hartigan). These two came together yesterday in a climatic explosion as a new NFL season kicked off and the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) anted up some its largest events.

While the Bears of Chicago were savaging the Colts of Indianapolis - hardly a fair fight if you think about it - we had three two-day WCOOP events launching; WCOOP-21: $215 No-Limit Hold'em, WCOOP-22: $10,300 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller, and WCOOP-23: $700 No-Limit Hold'em.

The two guaranteed tournaments smashed their offered outlay and cumulatively the three tournaments pulled together combined prize pools of $6,769,250. In all three the vast majority of that money is yet to be won.

WCOOP-21: $215 No-Limit Hold'em
There are 103 players remaining from a starting field of 8,226 with $246,784.18 registered for first place. Team PokerStars Pro Matthias 'mattidm' De Meulder is sat 21st and will be looking to go one step further than Friday when he bubbled the final table of WCOOP-13. Back-to-back EPT runner-up Max 'HotKarlMC' Heinzelmann sits just a few spots behind in 26th.

Play resumes at 11:00 ET.


Matthias De Meulder

WCOOP-22: $10,300 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller
This tournament is a railbird's delight; 297 of the biggest players around buying in for $10,300 in a deep-stacked, slow-structured tournament. Starting stacks of 15,000 with starting blinds of 25/50 and a 30-minute clock. You just can't ride your luck on this one.

Quality has won out in the shape of Darren 'darrenelias' Elias who leads with Jonathan 'MONSTER_DONG' Karamaliklis in second with 31 players remaining. Everyone left in has doubled their money so far but $574,695 sits in the window for the winner. Other players in the mix include Chris 'ImDaNuts' Oliver (9th), Matt 'ch0ppy' Kay (11th), Johan 'busto_soon' Van Til (14th), Faraz 'The-Toilet 0' Jaka (20th) and Steve 'gboro780' Gross (29th). Both Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu (37th) and Leo Fernadez (40th) busted out towards the end of play yesterday pocketing $17,820.

Paul 'Paolo69' Foltyn (21st) looks like he may have hit form just in time. He yesterday tweeted, "stars balance had a cracking run, need something to happen today/tomorrow #wcoopgrind". Calling it in?

Play resumes at 12:30 ET.

pca_bounty 2_darren elias.jpg

Darren Elias, High Roller chip leader

WCOOP-23: $700 No-Limit Hold'em
Isaac 'westmenloAA' Baron leads the 169 players coming through to Day 2 of this 3,215-strong field. First prize tips the scales at $339,264.78 and players chasing Baron include Jamie 'TheChronic420' Rosen (29th), Chris 'NigDawG' Brammer (105th), and Team PokerStars Pros Vicky Coren (131st) and Daniel Negreanu (48th).

Play resumes at 14:30 ET.


Negreanu is still in the chase for the bracelet

Keeping up with WCOOP
Find out who wins these bracelet events and more by looking at the PokerStars Blog's WCOOP coverage and check out the full schedule of events and leader board at the PokerStars WCOOP website. And don't forget you can listen to WCOOP radio daily at 15.00 ET until 25 September.

is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in WCOOP