WCOOP 2014: Familiar names and familiar results at the halfway stage
So far so good for WCOOP 2014. In two weeks you might say it has delivered on what it promised--some familiar and some not familiar winners, but the best of online poker on display at each day. Oh and Russians. There have been six Russian champions so far, more than any other nation, just as we *ahem* predicted.
Alright, that might have drawn some obvious conclusion, but could we really have expected what we've seen in the past even days? Repeat winners, several of them actually, and two players who scored double WCOOP wins just days apart.
The first of those came for Scott "Aggro Santos" Margereson who, fresh off a win in Event #18 ($320 NLHE Turbo Zoom) topped that with a win in Event #22 three days later (Sunday Warm-Up Special Edition), adding $202,000 to the $106,861 he'd already collected.
"I'm not sure the reality has set in for me yet," said Margereson. "I didn't even plan on playing that much of WCOOP but now I think I have to play pretty much every event to try and lock up the leader board."
This turned out to be a similar theme among winners, including Assad91. He equalled Margereson's double in Event #28 ($320 Mixed hold'em) (LINK) and promptly set about shoring up his lead in the Player of the Year leader board. It's as though the idea of being Player of the Year never even crossed their minds until they found themselves catapulted into contention.
Elsewhere there were wins for players who you kind of just assumed had already earned a first WCOOP title. Players like Sami Kelopuro.
Kelopuro, who plays as the familiar Lars Luzak (Lrslzk) online, had two SCOOP titles to his name (including the Main Event in 2011) but had yet to secure WCOOP gold. He put that right in Event #20 with a display of complete domination at the final table, where he saw off six players. And, like a lot of great players, he absolved himself of much of the credit.
"To be honest, knocking out so many players was partly just being lucky and running good - as it always is when you go deep in any tournament."
In a similar position to Kelopuro was David Baker. Baker is one of those players who seems to win whatever he chooses--two WSOP bracelets so far and you suspect whatever he chose on the EPT if he cared to travel so far to play it. But up until this week a WCOOP title eluded him. It came in Event #33 ($320 8-Game), earning him $34,909.
To do so he had to fend off another player in great form right now, and seemingly always in great form come to think of it, Mikal "mikal12345" Blomlie.
Blomlie, a former WCOOP Player of the Year from 2012, missed out in the Baker final but bagged his third career WCOOP title. Somehow with Blomlie you get the impression that he makes his way through any tournament with his feet up, on the table, fearless to everything that comes his way.
"I always get motivated and work harder if things are not going my way," he said. "I can also play most of the games both live and online. So if I'm running bad at one place I can change game or place and get a 'fresh' start."
As far as tournaments go though it was the $10,300 NLHE High Roller that stole the show. With a field of 365 it amassed a prize pool of $3650,000, easily the biggest of the Championship so far.
It also ensured that the winner--vicenfish, from Portugal--would top the list of highest earners, with a first prize of $637,436.88. In fact so big was the event that second placed Ankush "pistons87" Mandavia went second on the earnings list having secured a $585,313.12 payday (his biggest career cash), with third Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit behind them, with $392,375. Read the full High Roller report here.
That's the half way stage gone. But there's still plenty of action left to come, with 30 more events concluding with the $5,200 Main Event on Sunday September 28, with a guaranteed prize pool of $10,000,000.
For all the details you'll ever need about tournaments, satellites, statistics and the leader board, go to the WCOOP website. For full coverage of each final table there's the WCOOP page on the PokerStars Blog
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.