Just a couple of short years ago, only one player had accumulated five WCOOP titles.
Since then, the picture has changed quite a lot.
Two excellent MTT pros have now taken the lead, both with insane scores – one player has nine WCOOP titles, and another has eight.
With the WCOOP 2020 upon us, all could change again over the coming weeks, but it’s going to take nothing less than a legendary run if anyone is to join the top of the pack.
So as we look forward to the Series, here are the players who have won the most WCOOP titles so far. You’ll also find out who that five-time winner was below.
Denis “aDreNalin710” Strebkov is, for now at least, the greatest WCOOP player ever in terms of events won. The Russian pro has nine titles to his name and, as something of an Omaha and mixed game specialist, none of his titles came from Hold ’em.
Strebkov won his first WCOOP title in 2014, coming first in the $530 FL Omaha Hi-Lo. This was followed by a second Omaha Hi-Lo title in 2015.
In 2016, Strebkov won two titles in the space of one week; the $1,050 PLO for $63k, followed by the H.O.R.S.E tourney. This double was a massive accomplishment before the days of multi-tiered events.
Strebkov took it all to the next level in 2018, when he became the first player in history to win five WCOOPs in one series. This was one of the most astounding poker heaters of all time. It earned Stebkov the Player of the Year, brought his title count up to a total of nine, and crowned him King of WCOOP up to this day.
Denis “aDreNalin710” Strebkov didn’t win a title in 2019, but he’s still around and often in contention for high stakes tourneys. Will he add to his list of WCOOP titles this year? Or will his record serve as the bar to beat for aspiring pros?
Shaun Deeb. He’s an OG. An original grinder who kicked college and went rogue as an online poker pro, playing 20+ tables at a time and taking down MTTs for a living. Didn’t turn out bad, considering Shaun has now amassed over $7.7 million in live winnings and $7.1 million online.
Deeb has a total of eight titles, making him the second most accomplished WCOOP player of all time. He gained his first victory way back in 2008, with a staggering $144k win in the $320+R PLO event. His second came in 2010 with in the $1,050 NLHE worth an even more jaw-dropping $242,610.
Following “Black Friday”, Shaun Deeb was forced to navigate the murky oceans of life as an online poker pro during its decline in America. A short break ensued, before Deeb made his WCOOP comeback, winning the 4-Max to claim his third title in 2015. Wasting little time, Deeb won the 5-Card Draw event the very next year to make it four.
Next came a double in 2018, when Shaun won both a PLO and PLO8 event, earning $109k in combined cashes and adding to his collection of WCOOP titles (that’s six in total so far). In 2019, he hit the double again, this time in 5-Card Draw (PKO) and PLO 6-Max events for a total of eight titles.
Shaun Deeb’s consistency has shone through to bring sustained WCOOP results and cement him a place in history. Deeb rarely shows his face for the weekend majors, and the last time we saw him at PS was during last year’s series, but we fully expect to see him back for WCOOP 2020, hunting down more trophies for his cabinet and possibly vying to take Strebkov’s place as top dog.
If you were wondering who that player was with the five titles just two years ago, it was Kelly. Then considered the greatest WCOOP player in history, at least in terms of win rate, and still one of the best.
Originally from Maryland, America, Dan “djk123” Kelly started his WCOOP streak in 2009 with a performance that earned him 11 cashes and two titles, including a $53k win in the Razz event and then a $10,300 H.O.R.S.E event victory worth $252,350. Kelly also scored fourth place finish in the Main Event that year, itself worth $643,200. Needless to say, his performance made him comfortable winner of Player of the Year.
Kelly took down his third WCOOP event in 2011, the $109 8-Game, followed by his fourth in 2012, the $215 NLHE+R.
in 2016, Dan Kelly took down the 4-Max event, and in doing so became the first player ever to have five WCOOP titles to his name.
That’s how his record has stayed ever since. Word on the street is Kelly no longer plays poker. His position as third greatest WCOOP player is up for grabs. Could it be that one of the players who already has three or four titles surpasses him this year? Or perhaps even one of the top pros who are yet to win a WCOOP if they can pull off a record performance? We’ll soon see.
Andrey “Kroko-dill” Zaichenko is a long term grinder from Russia who’s WCOOP success started off early. He won the $215 PLO Hi-Lo event in 2010 for his first title.
Zaichenko wouldn’t quite hit first place in a WCOOP event for years to come. That’s not to say he wasn’t making huge waves. In the meantime his cashes included a sixth place finish in the 2013 WCOOP High Roller for $119k, a deep run in the Main Event the same year, and a third place in the 2015 High Roller for another $135k.
After a good few years of effort, Zaichenko once again earned his place as a WCOOP champion, winning an Omaha event in 2016. He claimed his third title in 2017 in the high stakes FLO8, then won the 2019 Afternoon Deepstack to make it four.
Look out for “Kroko-dill”. He’ll no doubt be looking for a fifth this time around.
With over $2.9 million in online winnings to his name, Dzmitry “Colisea” Urbanovich is emerging as one of Poland’s top players. When it comes to the WCOOP, he follows the pattern that is common among players on this list, consistently beating Omaha and mixed games.
Urbanovich’s earned his first WCOOP title in the 2014 Triple Draw 2-7 event. He picked up a second in 2016, taking down the Omaha Hi-Lo Championship.
Then came Colisea’s double in 2018. A win in the H.O.R.S.E event proved his mixed game proficiency and his win in the 8-Game High Roller only served to further this reputation, also bagging $225k, his biggest WCOOP win.
Although he didn’t manage to win a title in 2019, Urbanovich is still very much around. In fact, he claimed second place in the $530 Bounty Builder just last weekend. He’s a player who is on form heading into the WCOOP 2020.
Russian pro Gleb “Ti0373” Tremzin has four WCOOP titles, all starting with an epic (and then rare) double back in 2012. He claimed first place in the $700 Heads-up for $120k, as well as first in a high stakes rebuy event for $182,629 – a very lucrative series by anyone’s standards.
From then on, it’s been steady away for Tremzin. He picked up a WCOOP title in 2015 in the NL Draw Championship, and made it four in 2019 when he won the $215+R.
Tremzin has poker results running all the way up to-date, so he should be ready to take on the WCOOP 2020. He’s also one of the few players on this list who earned most of his titles in Texas Hold ‘em games.
Although Vieira has been on the poker circuit a long time, he only recently took down his first WCOOP, winning the $215 Triple Draw 2-7 in 2018 for just a touch under $50k.
2019 was Vieira’s year. He exploded into action and went on a heater that earned him three WCOOP titles in a single series.
These were not tame scores either. Vieira won the $530+R PLO event for $88k, then the $530 Midweek Freezout for $86k, and then smashed it out of the water with a first place finish in the $10,300 PLO Main Event, adding another $384,947 to his total.
If he goes on a hot run like that again this year, then Vieira would catapult straight up the WCOOP greatest player rankings.
Three titles is nothing to be scoffed at. To claim even one WCOOP crown is glory enough. These players all deserve an honorable mention. All have three titles, and all (apart from Anders Berg, who no longer players) could well work their way up to the higher positions in this list if they have a good run.
In no particular order, the players who currently hold three WCOOP titles are:
Anders “Donald” Berg, Mike “goleafsgoeh” Leah, Ryan “g0lfa” D’Angelo, Mikal “mikal12345” Blomlie, Jens “Fresh_oO_D” Lakemeier, Jussi “calvin7v” Nevanlinna, Patrick “prepstyle71” Serda, Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira, “rickv17” and Michael “merla888” Gathy.
You’ve seen the list of the most accomplished players in WCOOP history. Here’s some takeaway points to consider as you play and watch the WCOOP 2020:
It will be interesting to see who remains on the list, and which new and aspiring players step up to become WCOOP’s greatest players as the series progresses. Who you got?