WCOOP 2014: As Holz wins Main Event "Mr Negreanu" named Player of the Series
After three weeks, 66 events, and some $61,934,886 in prize money, the 2014 running of the World Championship of Online Poker is now at an end. No more morning reports to read, no more scanning the tournament schedule every day, no more juicy contests between some of the best players in the business.
It was all brought to a close in the early hours of this morning with the herculean efforts of Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz, winner of the $5,200 buy-in Main event and recipient of the title, the winner's bracelet and a first prize of $1.3 million. One can only imagine how that kind of achievement must feel.
As Martin Harris explained in his report on the PokerStars Blog, it proved to be an all-star finale. At the final table alone there were some formidable players, not least Faraz "The-Toilet 0" Jaka, who would depart in fifth place (only after a six-way deal that netted him $945,000, second only to the winner), but also that most feared of usernames Isildur1, that of Viktor Blom, who would be first to depart the final table in ninths place.
Holz defeated them all. He arrived at the final table in first place, and left it in first place. Three handed he found himself massively out-chipped, and may well have thought his chances of success were all but finished. But he rallied to win the most sought after title in the online game. It's a story that will never really get old.
"It is the most prestigious tournament in Online Poker - so yes, it means pretty much everything to me poker-wise," said Holz in an interview with the PokerStars Blog. "I've always been a very competitive person when it's about poker, so there is nothing comparable to winning this bracelet for me."
Here's the full result from the Main Event final table.
WCOOP 2014: Event #66 ($5,200 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event)
Prize pool: $10,710,000.00
Places paid: 270
1. CrownUpGuy (Austria) -- $1,300,000.00*
2. Yuri "theNERDguy" Martins (Brazil) -- $708,251.21*
3. neckbr4ke (Germany) -- $651,430.61*
4. Elior "Crazy Elior" Sion (United Kingdom) -- $780,227.66*
5. Faraz "The-Toilet 0" Jaka (Poland) -- $945,000.00*
6. 19Dan86 (United Kingdom) -- $769,813.52*
7. Dylan "Pokerl)eviL" Hortin (Canada) -- $214,200.00
8. MaltLiquor40 (Canada) -- $160,650.00
9. Viktor "Isildur1" Blom (United Kingdom) -- $107,100.00
* denotes six-way deal
While he now basks in this moment (he certainly didn't seem sleepy, even after 13 hours at the table), there was another contest still ongoing, concluding a short while before the Main Event came to an end.
Going into the Main Event the Player of the Series competition was still wide open. As we detailed last week, the Player of the Year is usually the first to reach about 400 points. Going into the last day Alan "Mr Negreanu" Gold, a former UKIPT winner, had 320 of them, and had led the leader board after what seemed like an endless string of results, which included a second place in Event #15 and a second final table a week or so ago.
And so, as he was eliminated from the Main Event, all Gold could do was watch the leader board for one last agonising day, looking on as the only man capable of snatching the title away played on into the last hours of the Main Event.
That man was Assad91. Whereas Mr Negreanu was topping the charts without a title to his name, Assad91 had two of them from WCOOP 2014 alone. He would need to go deep though, very deep, and when he finally exited the Main Event in 145th place, it became clear it would not be enough. The top spot, and the package to the PCA and EPT Grand Final Main Events, along with a TCOOP Main Event ticket, was in the hands of Mr Negreanu.
Here are the top Player of the Series standings.
WCOOP 2014 Player of the Series final standings
1. Alan "Mr Negreanu" Gold (United Kingdom) 350 points
2. psyhoagromor (Ukraine) 340
3. Assad91 (Norway) 335
4. brianm15 (Costa Rica) 310
4. mikal12345 (Norway) 310
4. RolldUpTrips (Mexico) 301
4. WhatIfGod (Sweden) 301
(Second place psyhoagromer also receives a 2015 PCA package and a TCOOP Main Event ticket. The remaining players in the top five all receive TCOOP Main Event tickets).
It shouldn't be a surprise that the finale to WCOOP proved as dramatic as it was. But it seemed that at every stage there was a cliff hanger to keep you on the edge of your seat, every moment like the last episode of a box set.
The first came at the end of Day 1, when the action paused at the hand-for-hand stage on the stone cold bubble. Had it been a TV drama it would have been scripted as such--some 271 players remaining with only 270 guaranteed to finish in the money.
Laying in 271st at that point was Olga "alfaromea" Ermolcheva with 6,300 (the big blind at that time was 5,000). She was notable for various reasons.
First of all she would likely be all in from the start, almost denied the opportunity to actually click a button as play restarted. But more importantly she was one of the four Protégés, winners of a special competition to receive mentoring from a Team PokerStars Pro ahead of playing three of the larger WCOOP tournaments--including the Main Event. For the price of entry into that competition - a mere $5.50 - she was now on the brink of a min-cash worth more than $12,000. Or at least, as play paused overnight, she was on the brink of losing it.
Ermolcheva though was not the only one. Three of the four Protégés remained within the last 271 players, proof it seemed that their Team Pro mentors knew what they were talking about. The best finishing Protégé would be headed to the PCA Main Event.
But first they had other business on their minds.
So when play restarted all eyes were on Ermolcheva. Miraculously she survived. As the bubble burst she was still in her seat, reaching 258th spot before crashing out, no doubt delighted with a pay day of $12,316.50.
As for the Protégé competition itself that would be won by Arseny "asfin88" Shurapchikov (trained by ElkY), who finished best in 139th place, collecting not just that PCA package but $15,529.50. Allan "Justino" Justino (trained by Andre Akkari) earned 14458.50 for his 171st place finish.
There were other notable runs from players we'd become familiar with over the course of WCOOP 2014.
Matt "Plattsburgh" Vengrin, who we featured earlier in the Series finished 263rd.
PokerStars Team Online's Alex "Kanu7" Millar finished in 262nd.
PokerStars Team Online's Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara finished in 245th
Former EPT Grand Final winner Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo finished in 234th
Assad91, who won two WCOOP titles this year, finished in 145th
Team PokerStars Pro Mathias De Meulder finished in 91st
Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody finished in 59th
Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari, who mentored the best placed Protégé, finished in 16th
Chip leader after Day 1 Viking8844 finished in tenth place
Now though it's all over. A month or so ago we told you all there was to look forward. It was some schedule; one that we felt back then would go on for ever. Now it's over. What exactly are we all supposed to do now?
Take heart in the fact that the poker world goes on, and there's always MicroMillions to come a little later in the year. For now though we can only reflect on what has proved a memorable WCOOP, with the help of the WCOOP webpage, which details all the results, the reports, the final standings and all the statistics from the 66 events played.
Congratulations to Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz, to Alan "Mr Negreanu" Gold and all the WCOOP 2014 winners.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.