WCOOP 2013: The parade of heroes
The World Championship of Online Poker is over for another year having paid out a guarantee-busting $62,362,757. It's been a hell of a series lasting 66 tournaments and three weeks of play. Some players have confirmed their class while others have emerged from the masses as possible stars of the future. Where better to start than with the $10,665,000 Main Event.
PlayinWasted, online World champ
WCOOP-66: $5,200 Main Event
The first (very expensive) hat tip has to go to WCOOP Main Event champ PlayinWasted. The German low stakes grinder's previous largest PokerStars win had been $17,000. The $1,493,499 they collected for their World Champion title has boosted their bankroll considerably, to put it lightly, so keep an eye out for PlainWasted in bigger buy-in comps going forward.
If you want to see how PlayinWasted took down that enormous first prize then watch the WCOOP Main Event final table below with commentary from Nick Wealthall and reigning EPT Grand Final Champion Steve O'Dwyer.
Ankush "Pistons87" Mandavia proves his mettle again
WCOOP-58: $530 NLHE (1R/1A)
Ankush "Pistons87" Mandavia has increasingly been one of those players that you really, really, really want to fade in a heads-up or short-handed tournaments. He won his first WCOOP in 2011 in the $10,300 Heads-Up High Roller for $119,000 having beaten Daniel Negreanu in the semi-finals. He's since won a four-max SCOOP title for more than $100,000 and won two heads-up tournaments on the EPT last season sealing his claim on the EPT9 Heads-Up Player of the Year title. This time round he went for regular full-ring glory.
Toby Lewis and Zimnan Ziyard are regular faces on the European Poker Tour and both have matching EPT and WCOOP titles. Lewis picked up an early bracelet and $189,379.23 in WCOOP-6, just a week after seeing his percentage in Tom "hitthehole" Middleton pay out big at EPT Barcelona. The win took Lewis through the $2m mark in online tournament winnings at PokerStars. Zimnan "Zimmy86" Ziyard may be trailing on both counts with $1.1m in live winnings and $1.45m in online tournament cashes, but both highlight the continuing strength of the UK in both live and online poker.
Continuing to make a name for themselves
The following players are well known in certain circles and their WCOOP wins in this series have given them a leg up, whether they want it or not, to more widespread recognition. Players such as Sebastian "bassysaffari" Saffari, Gavin "gavonater" O'Rourke, Luke "LukeFromB13" Staudenmaier, Diego "Vgreen22" Brunelli and Alex "biatchpeople" Luneau all picked up virgin WCOOP titles. All have previous results of varying degrees and stakes but picking up a WCOOP win is always a step forward.
David "Gunslinger3" Bach, Jonathan "iftarii" Jaffe, Darren "darrenelias" Elias and Dave "CrabMaki" Shallow are perhaps more widely known, not least of all because they all hold prior COOP titles with Bach the heavyweight who is now chasing the PokerStars Grand Slam: he holds WCOOP, SCOOP and Sunday Million titles, just the TCOOP win to go. You can check out all the WCOOP winners by clicking here.
Player of the Series
Heading into the last week Russian player -Rebus1980- looked like he was untouchable at the top of the WCOOP Leader Board with a solid lead of 100 points but Norwegian Sykoen played consistently well to the bitter end with deep runs in WCOOP-62 (70th), WCOOP-63 (5th) and WCOOP-64 (36th). That late surge was enough to put Sykoen five points above -Rebus1980- to give him the spoils; a Champion's trophy, 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) package, 2014 TCOOP Main Event ticket, 2014 SCOOP Main Event (H) ticket, and 2014 WCOOP Main Event ticket. That's quite some prize.
WCOOP Leader Board
1. Sykoen, Norway, 440
2. -Rebus1980-, Russia, 435
3. SunDancerSVK, Slovakia, 335
4. WithoutNickk, Russia, 320
5=, Team PokerStars Pro George "GeorgeDanzer" Danzer, Austria, 280
5=, Stephen "stevie444" Chidwick, United Kingdom, 280
7, Ami "UhhMee" Barer, Canada, 275
8=, Jonathan "OMGjonyctt" Concepción, United Kingdom, 265
8=, V_RouNder, Australia, 265
10. NL_Profit, Russia, 255
Kudos to George Danzer whose top ten finish here follows his SCOOP Player of the Series title. The German is on form as it seems are many of his countrymen....
Strong German finish
Russia (12), Canada (11) and the UK (10) may well have collected most of the glory but Germany did collect the big Main Event title as one of the three WCOOP bracelets picked up in 2013. That doesn't tell the whole story though. Thanks to getting four players through to the Main Event final table, Germany managed to rake in more winnings than any other country with $8,569,275. They picked up more than $4m of that at the Main Event final table alone. Talk about saving the day.
The $10m (Moor)man
Chris "moorman1" Moorman achieved as incredible feat over WCOOP: he became the first player to ever break the $10,000,000 mark in online tournament winnings. It's an astounding feat given that he's only once collected a six-figure score on PokerStars, which was in the 2009 SCOOP Main Event-H for $112,950 (although he has three times made six-figure scores on our sister site FullTiltPoker.com). It's a phenomenal achievement which highlights Moorman's mental endurance, greatness in consistently adapting to shifting strategies, and his ability to keep his love of the game alive through all its ups and downs. Moorman cashed in 10 events for a cumulative $16,550.97 to help push them through that eight digit milestone.
The return of the milkybarkid
WCOOP-46: $320 5-Card Omaha 6-max
High stakes Omaha UK legend Ben "milkybarkid" Kid picked up his first COOP title some seven years after his first WCOOP final table, which was won by JC Tran no less. It wasn't the biggest win of his career, 'just' $41,870, but it's always good to see an old face (or should that be a young face) finally score a title.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.