World Cup of Poker: More upsets as eight teams remain

The World Cup of poker delivered more shocks over the weekend as 16 teams were whittled down to just eight. The biggest story of the weekend was the elimination of pre-tournament favorites the USA, but there was plenty else going on in the rest of the draw - including an incredible individual performance. Here's how the bracket looks for the quarter finals:

WCP_latest_1dec14.jpgThe situation so far in the World Cup of Poker (click to enlarge)

The opening match went to form with Russia putting an end to the Kiwi's fairy tale run. The antipodeans were hugely outnumbered and were eliminated when their final competitor was knocked out with twelve players remaining. The overall victory was claimed by Russian 'marel4'.

The match between Ukraine and Italy was a much closer affair. On paper the Italians would have been slight favorites, but on the day of the match they were heavily outnumbered by their opponents - comprising just 30 of the 204 runners. As the tourney reached a crescendo though the Italians had closed the gap and had six of the final 16 player in the match. By the last four it was down to two from each nation. With just two left it was all over - the Italians had closed it out and booked a place in the last eight, with 'maxanagni' taking first place.

Germany went into their first knockout match as a solid favourite over Spain, but it was never going to be an easy match against a large European nation. The match began with a tangible advantage for Germany with 189 players against Spain's 73, and with four left the advantage had held up with only one Spaniard remaining. That Spaniard was 'el gaito' and he was not to be stopped - taking down his last two matches to cause another upset.

Venezuela and Peru made up the competition's most unlikely match, and the two small South American nations could only must 51 players between them. Venezuela held the advantage of numbers and showed no respect for Peru's status as former World Cup of Poker champions - they powered to a victory with ten players left in the tourney for the round's most dominant win. 'tony love953' had the honour of taking first place.

Australia against Kazakhstan was a beautifully balanced match, with just six more players representing Kazakhstan than Australia. It remained evenly matched throughout and it went right down to the wire. Ultimately it was 'Medet1991' from Kazakhstan that took the glory and sent his team through to the next round and ending Australasian interest.

France looked to have a simple route into the next round taking on a much smaller European nation in Switzerland. When the Swiss only managed to field eight players in the game it looked a formality for the French. But the Alpine nation had already pulled off a miracle to progress from the group stage, with 'and73' going it alone with 128 players left to secure a place in the knockout phase. So it proved to be again in this elimination match with one determined player doing the business to keep the Cinderella story alive. That player was 'and73' delivering remarkable back to back victories to earn a place for his nation in the quarter finals!

Former champions Poland were slight favorites for their match against Bulgaria and they were made to work hard. With eight to go there were still two Bulgarians in the mix, but only one survived to the last four. In the end it was Pole 'jaarema' that finished the job for his nation to keep hopes alive for regaining the title.

Finally it was the huge clash between the USA and Canada - with almost 1,000 players lining up for their countries. The Canadians made up a little more than a quarter of the field, so had more than a hope of defeating the tournament favorites and former champions. By the time the tourney had reached four players the numbers had been reversed with just one American left to keep his country in the competition. It proved too big a task as the Canadians locked up the win by the final, with the victory honour going to 'pacer18'.

The quarter final matches take place on Saturday, December 6 and will cost 25K play chips to enter. Each match will have 20M chips added to the prize pool.

To find out more about the World Cup of Poker please visit the dedicated web page.

Bob Dix
@PokerStars in World Cup of Poker