As the biggest prize of the series draws ever closer, the final numbers are in for this year’s World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). And they are huge. How huge? Read on…
• Main Event builds $11.18 million prize pool; 86 players left
• More than 1.1 million entries across tournament series
• Prize pools hit $104.7 million through 219 events
• Joao “Naza114” Vieira’s third title biggest of them all
• Three wins each for players based in UK and Netherlands
• Can Fintan “easywithaces” Hand Twitch stream all the way to final?
BEHIND THE HEADLINES
WCOOP 2019 is very nearly over, with just the two no limit hold’em Main Events yet to finish. Registration closed on the $5,200 high buy-in event at start of play yesterday, by which point there had been 2,236 entries, including 599 re-entries, and building a prize pool of $11.18 million. There’s $1.666 million on the line for the winner, while the runner up is also due to be a millionaire, set for a prize of $1.188 million. Jack “jAkDAriPAA” O’Neill, who won his first WCOOP title last year, is the chip-leader of 86 remaining. PokerStars Ambassador Fintan “easywithaces” Hand remains in the hunt too. He lies 23rd, having already locked up $24,308, and admitted on his Twitch stream last night that this is already the highest buy-in event he has ever cashed.
The $55 buy-in “low” Main Event drew a staggering 24,477 entries (including 12,588 re-entries) and resultantly boasts a prize pool of more than $1.85 million. The winner is due to turn his or her fifty bucks into $180,656.41. Only 16 players are left, with “vladobu6i” of Bulgaria in the lead.
While the hold’em Main Event plays on, the Omaha equivalent wrapped on Monday night and presented a very familiar winner. Joao “Naza114” Vieira, the Portuguese titan now based in the UK, beat Ben “Ben86” Tollerene heads up to claim a $384,947.88 first prize. In so doing, Vieira won his third title of this series, matching the haul of his countryman Filipe “zagazaur” Oliveira. “He’ll likely be another one to pay attention to over the coming weeks,” understated Martin Harris of Vieira in his preview of this series. We were watching, but his opponents seemed powerless to stop him. Vieira’s first title, in a PLO 6-Max event, banked him $88,846.38. His second, in a NLHE tournament with a $530 buy-in, was worth $86,876.70. But this one, in the $10,300 High Roller, and from a field of 193 of the very best, outstripped them all.
WCOOP-01 was played over multiple starting phases, starting on the very first day of competition all the way back at the beginning of the month. But it finally reached its final Phase 2 stage over the past two days and resulted in big winners from the biggest fields of the series. Including everyone who entered at some stage, the $2.20 low buy-in event featured 129,080 entries; the $22 medium buy-in attracted 56,650; and the $215 high buy-in had 11,254 entries. With those figures now added to the series total, WCOOP 2019 has had more than 1.17 million total tournament entries.
When all was said and done in the phased tournament, the biggest two winners were friends and countrymen Rens “Rens02” Feenstra and Joep “Pappe_Ruk” van den Bijgaart, who chopped the high buy-in version. Feenstra won the heads up battle to finish with a $189,829.64 score, while Van den Bijgaart earned $158,978.78 for second. Another Dutch player, “marthijn_own” won the medium, for $100,034.96, while just over the border into Luxembourg, “bigmeck1958” won the tiny country’s first title of the series, and $18,304.33. The current population of Luxembourg is around 618,000, not even five times the size of the tournament won by “bigmeck1958”.
The last event to get started during this series was WCOOP-73, billed as a “series saver”, with buy-ins of $11, $109 and $1,050. Based on the turnout — 25,238, 9,565 and 1,664 entries, respectively — there were a lot of people who needed saving. As ever, the biggest prize went to the winner of the high buy-in event, in this instance Mexico’s Julio Cesar “jucetoor18” Torres, who won $216,652.68 including bounties, after beating one of Hungary’s top stars Laszlo “omaha4rollz” Bujtas heads up. Christophe “chrisdm” De Meulder finished third, and made two final tables on the series’ last day. De Meulder, the former Team Pro from Belgium, also came third in WCOOP-68-H.
Russian players have been the dominant force in this WCOOP series, but they have never been quite so overwhelming as they were in WCOOP-69-M, a $109 NLHE 8-Max event. When “Tzitzi989” of Romania was knocked out in fifth, the title was guaranteed to be going to a Russian. All of the last four places were occupied by players with the white, blue and red flag. “svquit” ended up as champion, striking a heads-up deal with “telv!n” and then winning the all-important final bounty for a total $78,711.54 haul.
It’s been no secret during this WCOOP that the UK’s victory haul has been inflated by the large number of Spanish players making their home in London to play online. Last night Sergio “VeGeTTo89” Marti became the latest Britain-based Spaniard to pick up a title, winning a total $188,469.86, including bounties, in WCOOP-69-H: $1,050 NLHE 8-Max PKO. He survived a very tough three-handed showdown with Ryan “newguy89” McEathron and Griffin “Flush_Entity” Benger to win. That said, Marti himself claimed it was his cat that won it, so maybe we need a subsection within a subsection, representing animals of London-based Spanish pros.
— Sergio Marti (@gradalamar) September 23, 2019
|WCOOP-68-L: $5.50 NLHE||9,627||$47,172||Mr. Willson82||Czech Republic||$5,075.80*|
|WCOOP-68-M: $55 NLHE||5,398||$269,900||TakiToRivers||UK||$38,380.07|
|WCOOP-68-H: $530 NLHE||1,155||$577,500||jantjevAdam||Netherlands||$81,902.96*|
|WCOOP-69-L: $11 NLHE 8-Max PKO||18,717||$183,427||nicusordej||Romania||$13,015.72†|
|WCOOP-69-M: $109 NLHE 8-Max PKO||8,462||$846,200||svquit||Russia||$78,711.54†*|
|WCOOP-69-H: $1,050 NLHE 8-Max PKO||1,425||$1,425,000||VeGeTTo89||UK||$188,469.86†|
|WCOOP-01-L: $2.20 NLHE Phased||129,080||$252,997||bigmeck1958||Luxembourg||$18,304.33*|
|WCOOP-01-M: $22 NLHE Phased||56,650||$1,133,000||marthijn_own||Netherlands||$100,034.96|
|WCOOP-01-H: $215 NLHE Phased||11,254||$2,250,800||Rens02||Netherlands||$189,829.64*|
|WCOOP-71-L: $109 PLO 6-Max Main Event||4,041||$404,100||Fruble||Brazil||$57,730.54|
|WCOOP-71-M: $1,050 PLO 6-Max Main Event||916||$916,000||skattefar||Denmark||$150,894.28|
|WCOOP-71-H: $10,300 PLO 6-Max Main Event||193||$1,930,000||Naza114||UK||$384,947.88|
|WCOOP-73-L: $11 NLHE PKO Series Saver||25,238||$247,332||seriousziggy||Belgium||$17,235.90†|
|WCOOP-73-M: $109 NLHE PKO Series Saver||9,565||$956,500||teruliro||Brazil||$92,286.68†|
|WCOOP-73-H: $1,050 NLHE PKO Series Saver||1,664||$1,664,000||jucetoor18||Mexico||$216,652.68†|
With registration now closed on all WCOOP events (and only the two hold’em Main Events yet to finish) we can take a look at the full numbers for this tournament series. They are ridiculous. Though all the following still need to be officially confirmed, our latest tallies for WCOOP 2019 are as follows:
Prize pools: $104,733,898.76
First prizes: $13,969,057.78*
In-the-money finishers: 173,364*
*Does not include Main Events, where players may yet do deals.
INTERVIEWS! INTERVIEWS! INTERVIEWS!
We’ve been catching up with a heap of winners from this year’s WCOOP, all of whom have been happy to share the secrets of their successes. Click through for first-person accounts of WCOOP triumph, from those who have been there many times before to newcomers sampling the limelight for the first time.
• Maxim “Pylusha” Pylev: From 15 big blinds to NL08 champion
• “Mr. No way”: It’s not easy beating “Colisea” heads up. Or is it?
• Germany’s “Gaul4200”: “$44K is a lot of money for a 20-year-old student in Germany”
• Joris “BillLewinsky” Ruijs: Two-time winner says “It’s like when you jump out of a plane”
• Russia’s “myIT4”: A friend told him to “fight to the end!”. He did.
• Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira: The 2019 breakout star on winning three titles in a week
• Espen “_sennj_” Sandvik: “It’s my first win in an official tournament”
• Rodrigo “guinHuuh” Freire: Brazilian’s roller coaster ride turns $11 into $13K
• Patrick “prepstyle71” Serda: No more pizzas for the three-time winner
• Jeffrey “Jefffrr8” Reardon: He wanted a five-figure score. He got one.
• Maxime “Daghemuneguu” Chilaud: Malta-based Frenchman wins first WCOOP of the series
• Norway’s “19_Kumite_79”: First two-day event, biggest field, biggest cash
• Viktor “TsiTool” Kovács: Puts Hungary on the WCOOP map
• Italo “sep_itl1914” Carandinas: Brazilian chooses his own adventure
• Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara: Woken up by a kick from his 3-year-old, plays Razz and wins!
• “snovalshik1”: first-timer, who turned $5.50 into $3,408
• Rinat “Zapahzamazki” Lyapin: Won PLO while streaming live
• Alex “dynoalot” Difelice: Second win, but “I feel I have a ways to go.”
• Pedro “PaDiLhA SP” Padilha: Akkari’s acolyte, who sets the record straight
• Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb: Seventh title, surely not the last
Although Fintan “easywithaces” Hand was enjoying the most exciting deep run of his career in the WCOOP Main, a large portion of his attention was taken up by the similar exploits of “croaks”, the popular Twitch moderator, and friend to all the streamers. “croaks” was in the tournament thanks to Lex Veldhuis and PokerStars, who went halves to put him in the Main Event. They may not have been expecting much ROI, but “croaks” surprised them all, getting all the way to 185th before falling to Chris “Apotheosis92” Kruk. The moment was captured by a rueful Hand:
In the circumstances, it’s probably worth reminding the world of this tweet from a few days ago:
I’m giving away 1% of my WCOOP $5,200 main event on Twitter.
I’ll pick 1 follower who RTs and replies with their favorite pic of their pet or just an animal.
I’ll do the draw on Sunday before I enter.
It’ll be random because I can’t pick a best pet.
— Fintan Hand (@EasyWithAces) September 20, 2019
Not only has Mike “goleafsgoeh” Leah had his customarily successful tournament series while being railed by his tiny baby, but that baby’s mother, also known as Christine “christined” Do can also play a bit too. Last night she finished fourth in WCOOP-73-M, with Leah the proud rail-bird:
So proud of my ❤️@Chri57ined
After almost stone bubbling the Main Event AA < QQ 💔 she grinded all day & night to finish 4th out of almost 10,000 players in the last #WCOOP event of the series 🤗👏🏻#BabyRunGood #MamaPlayGood 🥰 pic.twitter.com/bAyhn4dn6A
— Mike Leah (@GoLeafsGoEh) September 24, 2019
As for Duff “BOOGANDEHAH” Charette, it’s always worth asking the question…
— Duff Charette (@duff1981) September 24, 2019
LEADER BOARD UPDATE
After leading the Player of the Series race for so long, it now seems certain that Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira will miss out entirely on the bonus prizes for winners of the four leader boards. Jussi “calvin7v” Nevanlinna now seems to have a lock on the overall leader board, for which there’s a $20,000 award, while Rui “RuiNF” Ferreira‘s relentless consistency in the high buy-in events has put him top of that particular chart.
Although the Main Event results are yet to be included, and all of this is still subject to official confirmation, Dzmitry “colisea” Urbanovich has a lock on the medium buy-in leader board, and should find an extra $5,000 heading his way, while Russia’s “FONBET_RULIT” can be similarly confident in the low race, which should earn him a $3,500 sweetener.
1 – calvin7v Finland 1,400
2 – Zagazaur Netherlands 1,330
3 – RuiNF Netherlands 1,280
4 – TruthBeTold7 Canada 1,205
5 – shaundeeb Mexico 1,150
=6 – Colisea Latvia 1,040
=6 – krakukra Russia 1,040
8 – goleafsgoeh Canada 930
9 – FONBET_RULIT Russia 880
10 – WTFOMFGOAO Russia 845
1 – FONBET_RULIT Russia 575
2 – Voziyanov15 Russia 445
3 – -Rebus1980- Russia 440
4 – krakukra Russia 435
5 – TruthBeTold7 Canada 395
1 – Colisea Latvia 580
2 – shaundeeb Mexico 450
3 – pantri Paraguay 400
4 – Zagazaur Netherlands 375
5 – calvin7v Finland 370
1 – RuiNF Netherlands 705
2 – Zagazaur Netherlands 685
3 – calvin7v Finland 675
4 – Naza114 UK 600
5 – theNERDguy Brazil 495
COUNTRIES LEADER BOARD
UK-based players won three titles on WCOOP’s penultimate day, putting Great Britain only one spot behind Russia in the overall standings. It seems unlikely that they can do it, but two wins from the last two tournaments would mean the Union Flag at the top of the final leader board.
It was a gala day for the Dutch yesterday, who booked three wins (don’t forget Joao “Naza114” Vieira has now defected to the UK), while there’s a big welcome to the winner’s enclosure for Luxembourgians. “bigmeck1958”, representing one of the smallest nations in the world, won WCOOP’s biggest tournament.
28 titles – Russia
27 – UK
23 – Brazil
14 – Netherlands
13 – Canada, Germany
9 – Finland
7 – Austria, Romania
6 – Norway, Mexico
5 – Ukraine, Lithuania, Sweden, Poland
4 – Malta, Hungary, Belgium
3 – Denmark, Czech Republic
2 – China, Argentina, Lebanon, Ireland, Bulgaria, Japan, Croatia
1 – Thailand, Uruguay, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Serbia, Chile, Macau, Taiwan, Greece, Armenia, Luxembourg.