How Tom Middleton "Hitthehole" in WCOOP Championship Series
While the WCOOP is still a month away, you can still find some action in the WCOOP Championship Series coming up this weekend.
As we detailed yesterday, the Series begins this Friday with the first of nine events spread out over three days and promising a combined $7million guaranteed prize pool. Some $2million of that is secured for the Main Event on Sunday.
It's only the third running of the Championship Series, but it's a competition that has already established a knack of producing some notable winners. Most recently that was Tom Middleton, "Hitthehole" to his online opponents, "Middy" to his friends shouting encouragement from the rail, who capped off a remarkable few months with his win back in March.
It came amid what would best be described as a breakthrough period for the Brit, whose story had begun a little more than six months earlier at EPT Barcelona.
It was there that he eclipsed a field of 1,234, navigating a tricky final table deal, to win the first title of the Tour's tenth season, traditionally one of its biggest. His first prize of €942,000 immediately made people pay attention. Or at least if it didn't results that followed surely did.
A week later Middleton, back to being "Hitthehole", earned $89,000 in the Sunday 500 and before long he was adding another $72,000 to his bankroll after reaching a WCOOP final table. Then came March, and the second running of the WCOOP Championship series.
With a $2 million guarantee in the Main Event alone, it inevitably attracted some big names, several of whom stood out over the course of the two day finale. As well as Middleton the likes of Bryn "BrynKenney" Kenney and Ben "ShankingYou" Palmer proved a threat, as did David "WhooooKidd" Baker, who led after the first day, with Middleton a short way behind in seventh.
But with the prize pool by now swollen by 1,624 players to more than $3.2 million Day 2 proved to be all about Middleton. While Kenney would depart in ninth place, Palmer in seventh and Baker sixth, Middleton's form was good for another title, locking up another $500,000 payday and, well, surprising no-one.
They'll be another Middleton of sorts this Sunday, when the Main Event kicks off with a $2,100 buy-in. If that's too rich there is always the satellite route, with regular qualifiers to be found in the PokerStars lobby.
Feel like you want to create your own success story? Then check out the WCOOP Championship Series page for details of all the events this weekend, and how you can win your seat in daily satellites. In just a few days they'll be another WCOOP Championship Series story to tell.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.