World Cup of Poker: Next Step, Bahamas

WCP logo.JPGThe online portion of this competition is over, and it's almost time to take it to the felt. Nine teams in the Bahamas in January for some of the most intense, exciting, and fun tournament poker that there is to be played.

The fifth installment of the World Cup of Poker is in our midst, and the final teams have been established through a series of freerolls and playoffs. For weeks, players from 54 countries--covering all parts of the globe--have given their all to make it through tournament after tournament, and nine teams, each consisting of four players, have made it to the finals.

It has been nothing if not a wild ride of states, provinces, divisions, and points that relied, in the end, upon a team effort and the success of all individual team members working together. That is part of what makes the World Cup of Poker such a unique event, and though the team poker concept is now starting to make its way into casinos and poker tours, PokerStars made it appealing through its inaugural World Cup event. Five seasons later, team poker is in full swing at the World Cup.

Without further ado, the teams that will participate in the World Cup of Poker V live finals are:

USA - Team 1 (shaundeeb, xthesteinx, J@M0K3Y!, ba-detroit)
Nova Scotia, representing Canada (lobstrman29, dendoggone, AK**QUEEN**, born_in53)
Mexico, representing Latin America (dhubermex, Pythomunoz, AntoineMex, Kingeorge63)
Italy (mm-nh, omaruccio, billiko, gvilla2)
Poland (Borys313, kAmIkAdZeEe, BartekPL, morderbest)
Latvia (Partorg, vilks77, missjazz83, BuTuT?)
Germany - Team 1 (joscha45, Boku87, Mados4k, SmArTdOg1970)
New Zealand, representing Rest of World (bismillahno, rjmgrace, El Wayneo, Jubinator)
United Kingdom (allinstevie, Purr of Aces, N!GHTMAR3, and one player to be announced)

Sure, everyone listed above has already won, to a certain extent. They are all being awarded amazing prize packages that will transport them directly to the luxurious Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas. Not only will each player be there on behalf of their respective nations, but they will play in the live finals to be held as part of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) from January 5-10, 2009.

A team captain will be assigned to each team prior to the trip, and all will compete for $290,000 in cash prizes. The winning team will not only win the trophy and title of World Cup of Poker champions, but $100,000 of that prize pool will be split amongst the team members. It gives the notion of "world champion" an entirely new meaning.

The 2007 winners were from the United States, so undoubtedly there is a little pressure on the 2008 USA team to keep the title. And believe it or not, player Shaun Deeb, who was a member of that 2007 team, has made the latest one as well. Can he help his team defend and secure a win for the USA two years running? Or will one of the other eight teams dominate?

We won't know until January. But what we will know between now and then is more about the teams and players. In the coming weeks, PokerStars blog readers will get acquainted with the participants in the World Cup of Poker V through interviews and photos. So stay tuned for some background on the team that you're rooting for.

In the meantime, visit the World Cup of Poker V page for more information.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in World Cup of Poker