WCOOP 2021: Three up for Vousden as two other champs return after long absence on Day 16

September 09, 2021inPoker

The latest from the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) on PokerStars, where two stars of yesteryear returned, and a surprise leader emerged on the Player of the Series leader board. All the details…


  • gnetaren overcomes timeout hiccup to win Super Tuesday
  • Vousden makes it three
  • Van den Berg and Sousa come back for more
  • Twists start to tighten in Player of Series race


Lex’s fall is gnetaren’s gain: The Swedish player known as “gnetaren” on PokerStars has a brilliant $13.4 million in documented online tournament scores, according to Pocket Fives, which makes it all the more surprising to learn that he also has no wins in either WCOOP or SCOOP. Until last night, that is. As the rest of the poker world was coping with the disappointment of Lex Veldhuis’s bust in 12th in the $2K Super Tuesday, gnetaren was among those redoubling their efforts in the tournament and go looking for the $134,908 first prize. A few hours later, gnetaren was the only one left, watching Anatoly “NL_Profit” Filatov fall in third and defeating Brazil’s “hellzito” heads up. gnetaren finally, therefore, had his COOP title after at least three SCOOP runner-up finishes. This was actually the biggest single win of gnetaren’s career, which is testament to two things: firstly how much volume he puts in across all tournaments, and secondly how big these WCOOP events continue to be. Incidentally, gnetaren almost let victory slip through his fingers after a hugely dramatic timebank blunder. Check this out:

A third title for Vousden

Vousden makes it three: There are a handful of players who absolutely dominate the biggest tournaments on PokerStars for the full 12 months of the year, i.e., whether there’s a ‘COOP on or not. Of course, they don’t stop actually during those major series either, but the point is that players like Niklas “Lena900” Astedt, Simon “C.Darwin 2” Mattsson and Joao “Naza114” Vieira aren’t just seasonal visitors. They win whether anyone is watching or not. You can include in that little group Samuel “€urop€an” Vousden, who puts the Finnish flag at the top of countless leader boards throughout the year. Last night, he planted it atop the payout table for WCOOP-73-H: $1K 6-Max PKO, earning a third career WCOOP title and $81,412, including bounties. Vousden has close to $10 million in documented online earnings, and first featured as a ‘COOP force all the way back in 2013, when he finished runner up in a SCOOP event. He folds WCOOP into his regular schedule and regularly wins too. His previous two titles came in 2016 and 2019 and built his collection by beating a 629-entry field last night.

Six years on, Van den Berg is back: Back in 2015, when there were only 70 tournaments on the WCOOP schedule and one buy-in level in each event, we watched Erik “Popiedejopie” van den Berg of the Netherlands take down a $530 NLHE tournament and build on an ever-growing CV. He had a “collection that also includes a TCOOP and Sunday Million,” we wrote. “Popiedejopie is now only a SCOOP win away from securing a Triple COOP and Stars Grand Slam.” Van den Berg never did win that SCOOP. At least not yet. But he is still clearly a poker player and last night won his second WCOOP, a full six years after the first. He did it in WCOOP-71-L, a $22 buy-in freezeout, a buy-in level that suggests he does this only for fun these days. However, defeating a field of 7,320 players also suggests he still knows what he’s doing, and a $17,584 first prize, after a three-way deal, is also not to be sniffed at.

It’s always a mighty achievement to win more than one WCOOP tournament, but it’s especially true when at least one of the events took place during the years before the series switched to multiple buy-in levels. To then come back and win a second when “low” events have such vast fields adds another degree of difficulty to the achievement. So hats off to Van den Berg.

Two for Sousa, five years apart

Sousa waits a while for second too: In a neat parallel, the $215 version of WCOOP-71, billed as the Mini Super Tuesday, was also won by a player picking up a second title some time after their first. In this tournament, Rui “sousinha23” Sousa won $50,837, again after a three-way deal, adding a second title to the one he won in 2016, in a $320 buy-in Win The Button event. Back then, Sousa played under the Hungarian flag, but this time he picked up the first title of the series for Croatia. (Sousa is actually Portuguese, but travels to play online.) The deal these players arranged gave a near-identical payout to the second and third-placed finishers — nearly $39K, picked up by “Barrebløff” of Norway and Estonia’s Markuu “markovitsus” Koplimaa — and the extra $12K went to the winner, Sousa.

Short-deck’s European appeal: 6+ hold’em, otherwise known as “short deck”, is supposed to be the game of the Asian high rollers and confined to small, elite circles. But it’s now been on the WCOOP schedule for at least a couple of years, where its sizeable fields, and ever-expanding player base, shows how the game has caught on across the world. Last night, all three buy-in levels of this year’s WCOOP 6+ event played out and gave us winners from Poland, Slovenia and Austria. It suggests Europe is now a short-deck hotbed too. “kurzatvvarz” of Poland won the high, picking up $14,168 for beating a field of 135 entries. “Scarmak3r“‘s victory in the medium was worth $5,995 and put Slovenia on the WCOOP board for the first time this year. And “PippoHDX” won the $5.50 buy-in tournament, which they turned into $2,961.



*denotes deal
†inc. bounties


Prize pools for this WCOOP have now broken through the $75 million mark, with 222 tournaments now completed. We’re approaching the final weekend and the Main Events, which are certain to put the total well past the guaranteed $100 million.

Tournaments completed: 222
Entries: 898,203 (inc. 214,432 re-entries)
Prize pools: $75,981,423
First-place prizes: $11,596,179 (inc. $2,146,064 in bounties)
Tournaments ongoing: 6
Tournaments starting today: 18

Stats refer to completed tournaments only


A look at what’s happening in the events paused overnight:

  • Anyone who has been following the Player of the Series race this year (see more details below) will know that it’s been neck-and-neck between Patrick “pads1161” Leonard and the Canadian player “Camilancefieldg” almost since the word go. That’s what makes the final stages of WCOOP-75-H even more intriguing as both players are among only nine left, of an original 91-entry field. Leonard is placed seventh; Camilancefieldg is second overall. The leader is Ramiro “ramastar88” Petrone of Uruguay, while Parker “tonkaaaa” Talbot is also still involved. There are plots and subplots all over the place and $109K up top. (Talbot, by the way, also has chips in the $2K 5-Card NLO8, resuming tonight. There are 17 left in that one and Talbot is 15th.)
  • The $55 Midweek Freeze is paused with 57 players left, two of whom have a PokerStars red spade beside their name. They are Arlie “Prince Pablo” Shaban, who is looking for a third final table of the series, and Rafael “GM_VALTER” Moraes, hoping to seal his ascension to the team with a major title. They are 16th and 34th of 57 returning, but deep in the money already. There were 4,335 entries. Their fellow Team Pro colleague, Lasse “Wistern” Jagd Lauritsen, is also having a terrific WCOOP and sits eighth of 38 coming back in the $530 buy-in version of the same event.


    It really wasn’t Lex Veldhuis’s day, and this pot against Simon Higgins, in the $5K Midweek Freeze, kind of summed it up. Who is trapping whom?


    He might not have won a title, but Lex Veldhuis is still Twitch poker’s ultimate draw. Fintan Hand found an appropriate meme to illustrate what it feels like to be “another” streamer when Lex is online.


    Croatia and Slovenia won first titles of the year last night, bringing our total number of nationalities to 37. Two titles each for Brazil and Russia kept those two a long way clear at the top, with Russia now also crossing the 30-win mark. Brazilians are pushing 40.

    Current standings:

    39 titles — Brazil
    30 — Russia
    19 — UK
    14 – Netherlands
    13 — Austria
    10 — Canada, Sweden
    6 — Finland, Germany, Poland
    5 – Belarus, Hungary, Mexico, Norway, Ukraine
    4 — Argentina, Czech Republic, Latvia
    3 — Bulgaria, Lithuania
    2 — Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Japan, Moldova, Peru, Romania
    1 — Andorra, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Croatia, Georgia, New Zealand, Panama, San Marino, Slovenia, Uzbekistan.


    As predicted yesterday, this Player of the Series race has some twists still to come. Overnight, a second place for Russia’s perennial challenger “FONBET_RULIT” has put them on top of the overall leader board — but with both Patrick Leonard and Camilancefieldg at the final table of the $5K WCOOP-75-H, it could be all change again tomorrow.


    1 – FONBET_RULIT (Russia) – 1,290 points
    2 – Patrick “pads1161” Leonard (UK) – 1,250
    3 – Camilancefieldg (Canada) – 1,235
    4 – Talal “raidalot” Shakerchi (UK) – 1,160
    5 – Konstantin “krakukra” Maslak (Russia) – 1,145
    Prize: $25,000 to the winner


    1 – Joao “Naza114” Vieira (Netherlands) – 675 points
    2 – Yuri “theNERDguy” Martins (Brazil) – 625
    3 – Patrick “pads1161” Leonard (UK) – 620
    4 – Talal “raidalot” Shakerchi (UK) – 525
    5 – Jussi “calvin7v” Nevanlinna (Finland) – 490
    Prizes: 1st — $15,000; 2nd — $10,000; 3rd — $5,000


    1 – FONBET_RULIT (Russia) – 565 points
    2 – Matt “OLD TIME GIN” Stone (Canada) – 535
    3 – Camilancefieldg (Canada) – 525
    4 – Jerry “Perrymejsen” Odeen (Sweden) – 420
    5 – Scarmak3r (Slovenia) – 410
    Prizes: 1st — $10,000; 2nd — $7,500; 3rd — $5,000; 4th — $2,500; 5th — $1,500; 6th-10th — $1,000


    1 – ekvilibryst (Ukraine) – 540 points
    2 – ILoveScarfGuy (Croatia) – 515
    3 – Camilancefieldg (Canada) – 500
    4 – renemastermi (Germany) – 490
    5 – WTFOMFGOAO (Russia) – 485
    Prizes: 1st — $5,000; 2nd — $2,500; 3rd — $1,500; 4th — $1,000; 5th — $500; 6th-10th — $300; 11th-20th — $150

    Read a full explanation of this year’s promotions.


    There’s another $10K buy-in event kicking off tonight, the high designation tournament in the Thursday Thrill event. Also, it’s time for the mixed game specialists to climb back on the HORSE.

    WCOOP-78: NLHE 6-Max
    Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
    Guarantees: $65K, $200K, $250K

    WCOOP-79: PLO 6-Max, PKO
    Buy-ins: $5.50, $55, $530
    Guarantees: $25K, $100K, $200K

    WCOOP-80: NLHE 8-Max, PKO, Thursday Thrill SE, Freezeout
    Buy-ins: $109, $1,050, $10,300
    Guarantees: $650K, $850K, $750K

    Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
    Guarantees: $20K, $50K, $100K

    WCOOP-82: NLHE 6-Max, Freezeout
    Buy-ins: $22, $215, $2,100
    Guarantees: $100K, $200K, $300K

    WCOOP-83: NLHE 7-Max, Turbo, PKO, Freezeout
    Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
    Guarantees: $100K, $250K, $250K


    Live broadcasts of WCOOP 2021 go out every Monday through Wednesday featuring cards up coverage of the biggest final tables and expert commentary from James Hartigan, Joe Stapleton and a host of special guests. Click for full details.

    You can watch on the PokerStars YouTube channel, the PokerStars YouTube UK channel, or PokerStars’ Twitch channel.

    Broadcast schedule:

    PokerStars TV WCOOP Broadcast Schedule


    Our friends at Poker News will be bringing you live updates from a number of events during WCOOP. Head to their Live Reporting pages to see the action unfold in real time.

    Poker News WCOOP reporting schedule:

    WCOOP 80-H: $10,300 NLHE [8-Max, Progressive KO, High Roller], $750K Gtd
    WCOOP 91-L: $55 NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event], $1.5M Gtd
    WCOOP 91-M: $530 NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event], $2.5M Gtd
    WCOOP 91-H: $5,200 NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event], $10M Gtd
    WCOOP 92-M: $1,050 PLO [6-Max, PLO Main Event], $750K Gtd
    WCOOP 92-H: $10,300 PLO [6-Max, PLO Main Event], $1M Gtd
    WCOOP 94-H: $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, Progressive KO, Series Saver], $1.25M Gtd
    WCOOP 01-H: $109 NLHE [Phase 2], $1M Gtd


    DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9 | DAY 10 | DAY 11 | DAY 12 | DAY 13 | DAY 14 | DAY 15

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