WCP VIII: Peru wins the World Cup of Poker
Peru has won the World Cup of Poker, snatching the title away from the Netherlands and Japan in an exciting eight-way team battle. Peru had never been far from the lead but a strong finish in the final heads-up rounds powered them through to victory and the $90,000 winner's purse.
After six rounds of play over two days, which took in full ring and short-handed sit-and-gos, one multi-table tournament and a series of heads-up matches, the Netherlands were the team to beat. That set up one final round of heads-up matches, which pitted the team ranked first against eighth, second against seventh and so on. These were played side by side, all team members attendance, which helped to create a thrilling and noisy crescendo to a spectacular event.
Railing, both for and against, was loud, passionate and usually involved Humberto Brenes. Little surprise given that every point scored changed the leader board. Even fourth-placed Germany could have scored a shock victory had they won all five of the matches against Tajikistan and the teams above them stumbled.
Peru, however, performed the best when it mattered and the five South American players - Luis Felipe Villaran, Daniel Banacco, Renato Lezama, Renso Renfigo and team captain Martin Sansour - beat their final round opponents, Team France, four-to-one with Banacco's fifth leg victory securing the cup ahead of the Netherlands and Japan. Their jubilation was genuine, exuberate and, dare I say it, heart-warming.
Their main opponents, the Netherlands, met stiff resistance from Team Rest of the World, captained by Team PokerStars Pro David Williams, who stopped the orange army from keeping the slender lead that they held going into the last round. That match finished three-two against the Dutch who claim the runner-up spot.
The five winning team members each pocket $22,500, the trophy and a whole stack of national pride so roll out the red carpet, get the military brass band ready and start mixing those Pisco sours - the World Cup is going to Peru.
The leader board going into the final round
1. Netherlands, 241 points
2. Peru, 237 points
3. Japan, 222 points
4. Germany, 219 points
5. Tajikistan, 215 points
6. Costa Rica, 189 points
7. France, 187 points
8. Rest of the World, 174 points
World Champions: Peru (267 points), $90,000
Runner-up. Netherlands (251 points), $65,000
3rd. Japan (247 points), $45,000
4th. Germany (244 points), $30,000
5th. Tajikistan (225 points), $20,000
6th. Rest of the World (199 points*), $15,000
7th. Costa Rica (199 points*), $10,000
8th. France (192 points), $7,500
9th: Italy, (eliminated Day 1) $5,000
*Played off in a sudden death match with David Williams beating Humberto Brenes
Congratulations to Team Peru. If you'd like to track how the World Cup of Poker was played just click on this link that will take you to every World Cup of Poker VIII PokerStars Blog post.
Photos and images are courtesy of Joe Giron and copyright is held by www.joegironphotography.com. He's a feisty chap, I wouldn't recommend messing with him.