The World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) 2020 is just around the corner, with 75 events, 225 tournaments, and total guaranteed prize pools of close to $82 million.
In the lead up to online poker’s most prestigious series we’ve already taken a look at some of the top poker talents who have (inexplicably) never won during WCOOP, and we’ve reminded ourselves of the most unstoppable players in WCOOP history.
But what about the up-and-coming players hungry for success who still hover below the radar?
Some you might know, others you might not. But they’ve all been putting in some serious work and are just a handful of the many talented young players making a living in the multi-table tournament (MTT) game.
Here we’re going to look at five members of the class of 2020 ready to smash WCOOP.
Brunno “botteonpoker” Botteon
He might not be a household name in the poker world just yet, but there aren’t many players lighting things up quite like Brunno “botteonpoker” Botteon is right now.
At just 25 years old, he’s amassed more than $3.2 million in online winnings. For a country so densely populated with poker talented, Botteon is currently ranked no.1 in his native Brazil, according to Pocket Fives.
He’s also ranked fourth in the world at the time of writing, thanks to recent wins in the High Roller Club (1st in the $530 Bounty Builder HR for $45K + bounties), multiple Winter Series Main Event close calls in January (3rd in the $5,200 Main Event for $265K, 2nd in the $530 edition for $196K), and a third-place finish during the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) 2020 in May (3rd in the $10,300 High Roller for $142K).
He’s yet to make a WCOOP final table though. Expect that to change this year.
Tyler “Wonderboy222” Goatcher
Tyler “Wonderboy222” Goatcher has been on fire so far in 2020, winning his first SCOOP title in a $1,050 event for $107K.
The Brit has also been crushing in the High Roller Club, with at least 17 wins and many more final table finishes in the past year alone. All of those scores took him up to eighth in the world earlier this year (he currently ranks at 19th, according to Pocket Fives).
Goatcher almost won a WCOOP title last year but ultimately had to settle for second and $61K in a $1,050 event. Will he go one better next month?
Oh, he also tweeted this earlier this year and then won it that same week. We admire the confidence.
@MikeMcDonald89 Can you add a line for Wonderboy222 to win the thrusday thrill tonight pls?
— Wonderboy222 (@TGoat17) March 12, 2020
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Justin “jlapka” Taylor Lapka
Justin “jlapka” Taylor Lapka has made a name for himself as a popular Twitch streamer, but he’s also an accomplished player with more than $1.6 million in online winnings, according to Pocket Fives.
Back in May Lapka recorded one of the most impressive online poker days we’ve seen, with a win in the SCOOP $55 PLO for $37K, a runner-up finish in the SCOOP $55 Main Event second chance for $105K (his biggest win to date), and another victory in the $55 Daily Marathon for $5,812 to top things off.
He’s been putting in the hours of late and we expect him to keep up the momentum into WCOOP.
THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!!! What just happened?! Oh My Goodness. $149,421 in cashes today. Thank you everyone who was here to take part in today. You made my day ❤️ pic.twitter.com/2suzwaUV2L
— Justin Taylor Lapka (@LappyPoker) May 27, 2020
Paulius “D3cor” Vaitiekunas
As the highest-ranked player in Lithuania (according to Pocket Fives), Paulius “D3cor” Vaitiekunas has been flying the flag and representing his country in style throughout 2020.
First, he reached the final table of the Sunday Million 14th Anniversary back in March, finishing ninth for $71K.
He’d then be back on the Milly final table during Summer Series 2020 and this time went all the way, winning it for $176K.
He then went on to final table a Stadium Series event and has continued to notch up big scores ever since.
Brandon “Tyrion2205” Sheils
Despite being only 25, Brandon Sheils has been around the game for a few years now battling on PokerStars under the screen name “Tyrion2205”.
Throughout 2020 he’s been playing more high stakes tournaments than ever before, and things have been going rather well. He finished third in a SCOOP event this year for $41K (his largest online score to date) and has established himself in the High Roller Club with a couple of final tables.
Sheils is part of a talented young poker crew from the UK which also includes other twenty-somethings Jack “JBHInfinity” Hardcastle and Sven “SvenCalls” McDermott (both of whom you should also look out for during WCOOP).