WCOOP 2014: Mr Negreanu ahead, but Player of the Series yet to be decided
Arguably the best player right now in the World Championship of Online Poker has yet to even win a WCOOP title, or any COOP titles for that matter. Instead, he has simply shown remarkable consistency in scoring more points than anyone else to top the leader board as of today.
Actually Alan "Mr Negreanu" Gold, from the United Kingdom, has been at the top for several days now. It's all thanks to a record that is 15 cash finishes long. Mr "not that" Negreanu cashed in the first event, and cashed in the latest, the best one though coming in-between, a second place finish in Event #15.
Even more impressive is that the results have come in a variety of disciplines. It's not all hold'em. His second place was in Stud Hi/Lo, while other cashes have come in pot-limit Omaha, Triple Draw 207, 5-card Omaha and even Badugi. It's good enough to put him on 320 points, some 35 points ahead of the next man.
That is psyhoagromer from Ukraine on 285 points, who won Event #51 this week. For the record, he needs a final table finish--ninth to be specific--to match Mr Negreanu on points. But with Mr Negreanu cashing in roughly one in every three tournaments he'd better work fast.
In third place is Assad91 from Norway, who has won two WCOOP events this year, Event #9 and #28. This week he managed two deep runs to keep within reach of Mr Negreanu. Assad91 spoke to the PokerStars Blog shortly after his second win about his wins but couldn't deny that the leader board had become something of a pre-occupation.
"I didn't have plans to "go hard" on this series, but now I've definitely gotta try win the leader board so will grind every day, and most likely play all events except the 10k heads-up."
Tied with Assad91 is Brianm15. Based in Costa Rica, Brianm15 boosted his leader board status with a win in Event #25 ($215 NL Hold'em) and since reached a second final table in Event #46. That puts him on 280 points also going into the all-important last weekend.
Then back in sixth place, behind fifth place vovtroy, the best of the bast number of Russian entrants, is Mikal12345, who knows a thing or two about winning WCOOP Player of the Series.
He did just that two years ago, finishing some way ahead of Russian player Ti0373 and Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer. Who would write him off a late flurry to pick up the points required to top the leader board when the main event finishes next Tuesday?
Here's how the leader board looks after 54 of 66 events:
1. Mr Negreanu (United Kingdom) 320 points
2. psyhoagromor (Ukraine) 285
3. Assad91 (Norway) 280
3. brianm15 (Costa Rica) 280
5. vovtroy (Russia) 270
6. mikal12345 (Norway) 265
7. ImaLuckSac (Canada) 260
8. djk123 (Australia) 250
9. octane190 (Canada) 245
10. aDrENalin710 (Russia) 240
10. RolldUpTrips (Mexico) 240
Other notables include Aggro Santos, a double winner from this year's WCOOP, in 12th place with 235 points. Plattsburgh, who we featured in an interview with the PokerStars Blog earlier in the Series, is tied 14th with 215 points, while the highest liveried player is Team Online's Naoya "Nkeyno" Kihara in 18th place, with 195 points.
If recent history is anything to go by the contest is still wide open. In the past two years at least, the Player of the Series has surpassed 400 points or at least come very close (2013: Sykoen, 440 points, 2012: Mikal12345, 395 points). It would suggest that Mr Negreanu is not home safe just yet, with 13 events still to conclude.
And let's not forget what's at stake. As well as the Champion's Trophy, the winner of the Player of the Series competition receives a PCA package, an EPT Grand Final package and a TCOOP Main Event ticket, with other prizes for the top five.
For details on all of those events still to come check out the WCOOP webpage, where you'll also find extensive leader board details and statistics about this year's Championship. You can also read reports of every final table, as well as interviews with some of the winners, on the WCOOP section of the PokerStars Blog.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.