Just before the 2018 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) got under way, we took a look at five players who were overdue a victory in poker’s premiere tournament series. There was simply no rational explanation for how come all of Niklas “Lena900” Astedt, Simon “C. Darwin2” Mattsson, Luke “lb6121” Schwartz, Talal “raidalot” Shakerchi and Tobias “kuhns89” Hausen had not, to that point, won a WCOOP tournament.
Two years on, only Astedt has put it right. He won the $530 PLO 6-Max in 2018 to get the monkey off his back.
Today we’re taking a look at another list of brilliant talents who have not yet won a title during WCOOP. But remember as you read the list of nearly men below that Mattsson, Schwartz, Shakerchi and Hausen are still looking for that WCOOP title too. Perhaps there’s no real shame in all of this.
Conor “1_conor_b_1” Beresford
At time of writing, Conor “1_conor_b_1” Beresford is ranked No 1 in the world on the Pocket Fives rankings and will likely head into WCOOP still in that position. Yet online tournament poker’s leading talent has somehow drawn a blank during online poker’s leading tournament series, with a fourth place during WCOOP in 2013 his highest finish to date. Beresford has three SCOOP titles, and won from a 915-strong field during the recent Stadium Series on PokerStars, so there’s no real reason why a WCOOP title has eluded him. He’s a no limit hold’em specialist and so will have 150 shots at claiming his first WCOOP win.
Andras “probirs” Nemeth & Peter “Belabacsi” Traply
Hungarian poker players have an unhappy habit of finishing second on the European Poker Tour (EPT) where both Denes Kalo and Marton Czuczor have twice been runner up, and Norbert Szécsi has also fallen at the final hurdle. No Hungarian has ever won on the EPT. It’s startling too that neither of the two best Hungarian online players have ever won a title during WCOOP, but the trophy cabinets of both Andras “probirs” Nemeth and Peter “Belabacsi” Traply are still awaiting their first piece of WOOP silverware. Both players have crushed SCOOP — three titles for Nemeth; two for Traply — and both have been ranked No 1 on the Pocket Fives global rankings. Traply’s $17.96 million is the second highest total of any player’s documented online tournament earnings, and Nemeth’s is surely not far off. (He is no longer registered on Pocket Fives, so the information is not available.) Surely one of them will get over the line in WCOOP soon, and join their countrymen “TsiTool”, “xnrobix” and “Wildace_hun”, who each won during WCOOP last time.
Sebastian “p0cket00” Siborski
You can’t come much closer to winning a WCOOP title, yet still be without one, than Sebastian “p0cket00” Siborski. Siborski has finished second in WCOOP events in 2018 and 2019, third in 2018, fourth in 2014, 6th in 2018 and 2019, 8th in 2014, and won a WCOOP “Second Chance” tournament in 2012. But none of those represents and official WCOOP victory. In total, according to Pocket Fives, Seborski has more than $13.4 million in online tournament winnings and has won the Pocket Fives Triple Crown seven times. He is also another former No 1. But the hunt goes on for that elusive WCOOP title…until this year maybe?
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Parker “tonkaaaa” Talbot
If Stadium Series taught us one thing, it is that Parker “tonkaaaa” Talbot is still a force to be reckoned with. The Canadian was one of the early Twitch streaming pioneers, but decided to put that part of his game on hold a few years ago as he reduced overall volume of play. But he enjoyed an extraordinary Stadium Series last month, winning one of the Weekly Finals as well as a high buy-in heat, for a combined haul of more than $400,000. Talbot suggested that he could be tempted back to Twitch at some point, and has clearly rediscovered his appetite for online MTTs as he’s also been grinding the WSOP this month. It could be about time for him to make a breakthrough in the ‘COOPs, with a wide selection of tournaments at all buy-ins in WCOOP surely offering him a fine opportunity to continue this run.
Lex, Spraggy or Fintan
On the subject of Twitch poker, it’s about time one of the PokerStars streaming ambassadors won a WCOOP title while streaming live. A year ago, that might have sounded far fetched, but Fintan “easywithaces” Hand won a SCOOP title while streaming earlier this year, Lex Veldhuis followed up by winning a Stadium Series title while streaming and each of those two, plus Ben “Spraggy” Spragg, continues to break their own viewer records during each major series. It gives them the encouragement they need to put the volume in and to play their A-games, with so many people following along. It’s not improbable at all that one of them makes a breakthrough during the upcoming WCOOP — and tens of thousands of people will watch them do it.