There’s only one day left at the 2018 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and we’re building and building to a huge crescendo. There was a frenzy of interest yesterday as poker’s top streamer hit a new high, while huge names won titles and another moved into pole position in the big one. All in today’s latest WCOOP round-up.


TODAY’S HEADLINES

• LAST DAY OF 2018 WCOOP! – 17 LEFT IN MAIN EVENTS
Lex “RasSZi” Veldhuis sends Twitch into poker frenzy
• Linus “LLinusLLove” Loeliger leads high buy-in Main Event
• Another WCOOP title for Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb
• First major online victory for Steve “Mr. Tim Caum” O’Dwyer
• Bonus High Rollers start today


WORLD GOES WILD FOR LEX AS MAIN RUNS DEEP

The $5,200 WCOOP Main Event is moving towards what could be a tremendous final table, with some of the contemporary online game’s undisputed monsters leading the charge. There are 17 players left and it’s Linus “LLinusLLove” Loeliger in front, with a massive chip lead. Loeliger has 98 million chips, which is 140 blinds when they return to a 700,000 big blind.

Linus “LLinusLLove” Loeliger: Leading the Main Event

For all that, the headline news from the WCOOP tables yesterday was the poker frenzy that took over on Twitch, particularly the table featuring Lex “L.Veldhuis” Veldhuis. Team Pro’s favourite Dutchman ran very deep in the Main Event and at one point had 32,839 concurrent viewers. That was the second most viewed channel across the whole of the streaming platform and left some of the world’s best known video game streamers in the shade.

Most watched: Lex Veldhuis interrupts the video game streamers

Veldhuis’s run included plenty of highs and lows (see Twitch section below) and came to a crushing conclusion with a gruesome blind vs. blind runner-runner flush knockout.

Among those still involved, Loeliger leads Russia’s “wann2play”, who is second, with 59.6 million. Simon “C.Darwin2” Mattsson is in fourth place, with the UK’s “0409479” in eighth and Noah “Exclusive” Boeken in ninth. Behind them, both “CrazyLissy” and Michael “mczhang” Zhang, have won tournaments during this series already.

Red Spade involvement ended in the tournament when Liv Boeree and Veldhuis both went out within a few spots of one another. They both won $28,632.35 for their 62nd (Boeree) and 58th (Veldhuis) finishes.

Top five overnight:

Linus “LLinusLLove” Loeliger (Austria) – 98,371,192
wann2play (Netherlands) – 59,600,908
AceAceee (China) – 46,167,283
Simon “C. Darwin2” Mattsson (Sweden) – 36,533,625
Robert “PlayaPlz” Lipkin (Costa Rica) – 35,850,411

Seventeen players now remain after two days of the $55 “low” Main Event, with “AlexKhandaur” of Russia holding a narrow chip advantage over the UK’s “equinespy”. Both players are in for two bullets, but have locked up $6,505.10 already and have eyes on the $192,036.92 first prize. There are three Russians in the top five in the counts. Spraggy was the last Team Pro standing. He took $434 for 330th place.

Top five overnight:

AlexKhandaur (Russia) – 190,184,856
equinespy (United Kingdom) – 183,921,742
psychocleyyy (Austria) – 179,839,492
nafnaf_funny (Russia) – 162,432,630
Pavlikov1975 (Russia) – 161,532,757


TODAY’S RESULTS

Name Buy-in Entries Prize pool Places Winner Country Prize
1-L: NLHE Phased $2.2 141,825 $277,977 10,927 JimBigChips UK $20,062.46
1-M: NLHE Phased $22 61,085 $1,221,700 5,281 Faboulus888 Austria $95,000*
1-H: NLHE Phased $215 11,447 $2,289,400 1,081 ForzaVaxholm Sweden $225,006.22*
56-L: NLHE $5.50 13,063 $64,009 2141 Igor Girard! Brazil $5,743.78*
56-M: NLHE $55 6,619 $334,260 953 lozzz UK $47,493.84
56-H: NLHE $530 1,360 $680,000 161 Xungazz Switzerland $106,185.22
57-L: NLHE [8-Max] $22 13,270 $265,400 2,191 boblert89 Finland $30,041.02*
57-M: NLHE $215 4,233 $846,600 591 Nicolas “Legadzo” Cardyn UK $120,900.63
57-H: NLHE [8-Max] $2,100 667 $1,334,000 87 Steve “Mr. Tim Caum” O’Dwyer Ireland $227,100.97
59-L: PLO8 [6-Max] $22 4,193 $83,860 695 Aces Amin UK $11,973.30
59-M: PLO8 [6-Max] $215 909 $181,800 131 Egption Canada $29,948.84
59-H: PLO8 [6-Max] $2,100 173 $346,000 23 Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb Mexico $69,011.45
61-L: NLHE [8-Max PKO] $11 30,573 $299,615 5,007 MinimalLove Ukraine $19,608.56*†
61-M: NLHE [8-Max PKO] $109 9,996 $999,600 1,424 psxfrcndhe Taiwan $98,211.82†
61-H: NLHE [8-Max PKO] $1,050 1,577 $1,577,000 191 dartazzzz Lithuania $201,539.47†
Daily totals 300,990 $10,801,221 30,884 $1,307,827.58

*after deal
†including bounties


PLAYER OF THE DAY

Nobody is going to accuse Steve O’Dwyer of being a quitter. He’s won $23 million in live tournaments, including High Rollers and Super High Rollers across the world, but now O’Dwyer can finally say he is also WCOOP champion too.

 

Playing as “Mr. Tim Caum”, and a regular in WCOOP since 2005, the tournament reg won $227,101 for beating a 667-entry field in the $2,100 8-Max NLHE. It was his largest ever online tournament score, and the first time he has got anywhere close to a WCOOP title.


Steve O’Dwyer: Finally making the difficult transition to online poker


The final table also included Benny “towliestar” Spindler, and Thiago “KKremate” Crema, while Chris “Moorman1” Moorman finished 10th.


BEHIND THE HEADLINES

Deeb double: Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb picked up his second title of this WCOOP, and the sixth of his career, when he won the $2,100 PLO8 Six-Max. Deeb added another $69,011.45 to his earnings, and kept in sight of Denis “aDrENalin710” Strebkov at the top of the leader board for all-time WCOOP victories. The deep stages of this event were full of WCOOP crushers, including “Leviathan101” (2nd), Julian “jutrack” Track (3rd), “ImLuckNuts” (4th), “Fabahaba” (5th), Niklas “Lena900” Åstedt (6th), “nilsef” (10th), Ari “BodogAri” Engel (12th), Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (13th), Joao “Naza114” Vieira (14th) and Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond (17th).

One for Ukraine: In the $11 NLHE Knockout, not only did “MinimalLove” win Ukraine’s first title of the series, he also denied the UK’s “soumi7” a second of the series. The pair did a deal heads up, but MinimalLove closed it out, picked up the final bounty, and relegated “soumi7” to the silver medal berth. Taiwan also won its first title of the series.

Big in Lithuania: In the $1,050 NLHE PKO, “dartazzzz” consolidated his or her position as Lithuania’s No 1, picking up $201,539.47 (including bounties), which is the highest single win of his or her career. That career is not to be sniffed at. “dartazzzz” has more than $3.7 million in online tournament scores and is currently ranked 23rd in the world on Pocket Five’s rankings.

Staples’ soul crushed: Jaime Staples finished 23rd in the $1,050 turbo, losing with aces to pocket eights. He took about $8K for his deepest run this series. But all was not lost…

 

Phasing out: The first tournament to get under way in this year’s WCOOP is finally now over. The phased tournaments in WCOOP-01, with buy-ins at $2.20, $22 and $215, played to their winners last night. In total, there were 141,825 entries to the low buy-in, 61,085 to the medium and 11,447 to the high, which makes this tournament the biggest in terms of entrants. Everyone playing Phase 2 was guaranteed a place in the money, and “ForzaVaxholm” of Sweden took the biggest chunk.

 


STAT TRACKER

Events completed: 180
Entries so far: 801,177
Prize pool so far: $77,601,039
Players in the money: 125,359
First prizes awarded: $12,103,069.20

Completed tournaments only


THE BIGGEST SPIN UPS

As ever at the PokerStars tables, the “buy-in” figure you see in the client is nominal. That’s because thousands upon thousands of players qualify for major events via satellites, costing a fraction of the advertised buy-in.

This WCOOP has provided numerous classic examples of how mighty oaks can grow from the smallest acorns, and how players’ return on investment (ROI) can be ridiculous. PokerStars Blog’s Jason Kirk took a look at some of the WCOOP’s ROI-alty, which might be either the best or worst ever poker-related pun. I’m just not sure.

Read all the details: Meet WCOOP 2018’s ROI-alty


TOP TWEETS


Felix “@xflixx” Bleickers summed up the mood of the night quite nicely:

 

And as for @SalkicDino‘s new wife, it was a case of “Sorry darling, that can wait:

 

@ArtySmokesPS found an old post on Two Plus Two that makes interesting reading when you consider who is leading the WCOOP Main Event, and was reportedly playing nosebleed cash at the same time:

 

Meanwhile Patrick “Egption” Tardif, who has been an outspoken critic of some things during this WCOOP, struck gold. In his own words, he “moaned it in”:

 

COUNTRIES LEADER BOARD

There were four titles for players based in the UK yesterday, which means Britons are neck and neck with Brazilians at the top of the countries leader board again. The High Roller events start today, as well as the Main finishing, so it’s totally possible they go to the wire. It is also definitely impossible for any other nation to now win though.

There are four Brits in $5,200 Main still and no Brazilians. There’s one Brit and one Brazilian in the $55 Main.

Place Country Wins
1 Brazil 22
2 UK 22
3 Russia 14
4 Germany 13
5 Canada 11
6 Finland 10
=7 Austria 9
=7 Sweden 9
9 Mexico 7
10 Netherlands 6

 


TWITCH WATCH

It was all about Lex Veldhuis yesterday, and it is totally worth your time to head over to his Twitch channel and watch the whole thing from the start. But if you can’t, here are a few highlights:

Lex’s deep run–and Twitch record–gets noticed at PokerStars HQ:

Lex takes on Dominik “Bounatirou” Nitsche in a pot, makes a good read and gets a fold:

Lex gets aces all-in versus two opponents and…:


LEADER BOARD UPDATES

It had seemed to be done and dusted days ago, but a late surge from both “ImluckNuts” and Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb have applied the pressure on Denis “aDrENalin710” Strebkov at the top of the overall leader board. None of the leaders are still in contention in the Main Events, but the last High Rollers could be decisive. This isn’t especially good news for mixed-game specialist Strebkov either as he has not won any of his WCOOP titles in hold’em events.

Here’s the latest top of the overall leader board:

1: Denis “aDrENalin710” Strebkov, Russia, 1,325
2: “ImluckNuts”, Russia, 1,225
3: Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb, Mexico, 1,030
4: Jussi “calvin7v” Nevanlinna, Finland, 1,000
5: Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond, Canada, 940
6: Joao “Naza114” Vieira, Netherlands, 900

Click for all of the Player of the Series leader boards.


COMING UP

There are only three tournaments left in this year’s WCOOP and they’re all big ones. WCOOP-62 is a PKO Turbo, with buy-ins at the $215, $2,100 and $25,000 level.

Lex Veldhuis has promised to Twitch stream the $25K, so be sure to tune in.


PREVIOUS WCOOP ROUND-UPS

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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Howard Swains is a freelance journalist based in London

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