WCOOP’s middle weekend was when the dam broke on this year’s flood of double champions. Here are all the specifics from the World Championship of Online Poker:
• Double double on WCOOP’s second weekend
• Deeb up to eight titles after latest victory
• Hungary’s “xnrobix” with second near $200K score
• Ruijs and Zaichenko into winner’s enclosure
• Biggest field and prize pool of WCOOP so far in UFC special
BEHIND THE HEADLINES
Just when you thought there might not be a double WCOOP champion this year, along come two on the same night. The first: a man named Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb. Yes, the Mexico-based New Yorker, and all-round ‘COOP superstar, returned to winning ways again on Sunday night, precisely a week after he won his first title of WCOOP 2019. Triumph in the $530 buy-in PLO event marks Deeb’s eighth career WCOOP victory, and added another $52,371 to his ledger. Deeb is now only one triumph behind Denis “aDrENalin710” Strebkov’s nine career titles, and this festival is only about halfway through.
In the high roller version of the same PLO event, Hungary’s “xnrobix” got his hands on a second title too. “xnrobix” beat a field of 179 entries in the $5,200 buy-in event, defeating the Malta-based “ActionFreak” heads up. All of the top three finishers received six-figure prizes, though “xnrobix”‘s $178.512 was smaller than the $193,067 he won last week in the $2,100 buy-in NLHE High Roller. Two high roller titles in one WCOOP? Not bad. Third place went to “kimokh” of Lebanon, who fell only slightly short of back-to-back titles.
The first PokerStars superstar to pick up a WCOOP title on Sunday was Alexander “kroko-dill” Zaichenko, whose victory from a field of 2,787 entries in WCOOP-34-H $1,050 Afternoon Deep Stack earned him $70K. Zaichenko now has four WCOOP titles, and five ‘COOPs overall, though this is his first since a successful FL08 defence in 2017.
Joris “BillLewinsky” Ruijs is one of online poker’s undisputed stars and the current Netherlands No 1, according to Pocket Fives. Last night he won the second WCOOP title of his career, adding another $128,879.48 to his lifetime total of $6.5 million, for victory in the WCOOP-36-H: $530 NLHE 8-Max PKO. The guarantee of $500,000 was nearly doubled by the 1,859-entry field and Ruijs beat RenanToniolo of Brazil to the first-place prize.
Ronnie “ronnieb122” Ballantyne is a long-time online grinder, whose victory in WCOOP-36-M 8-Max PKO represented a new career high. Including bounties, his reward for beating a field of 11,349 entries was $46,009.84, which not only represented the biggest single cash of his career, but also took him past $1 million in documented online tournament earnings. On his Pocket Fives profile, Ballantyne describes his reason for turning to poker as: “pretty much suck at everything this happened to be best of a bad bunch.” Well it just got a little better with this, his first WCOOP victory.
|WCOOP-34-L: $11 NLHE Afternoon Deep Stack||11,476||$112,465||Tomas20LT||Lithuania||$14,694.05|
|WCOOP-34-M: $109 NLHE Afternoon Deep Stack||2,787||$278,700||Reckoner303||Georgia||$40,733.84|
|WCOOP-34-H: $1,050 NLHE Afternoon Deep Stack||384||$384,000||Kroko-dill||Russia||$69,953.22|
|WCOOP-36-L: $5.50 NLHE 8-Max PKO||25,829||$126,562||karamba1111||Russia||$8,535.47†|
|WCOOP-36-M: $55 NLHE 8-Max PKO||11,349||$567,450||ronnieb122||UK||$46,009.84†*|
|WCOOP-36-H: $530 NLHE 8-Max PKO||1,859||$929,500||BillLewinsky||Netherlands||$128,879.48†|
|WCOOP-37-L: $55 PLO 6-Max||2,352||$125,000||Gabriel1244||Romania||$16,632.16*|
|WCOOP-37-M: $530 PLO 6-Max||599||$299,500||shaundeeb||Mexico||$52,371.70|
|WCOOP-37-H: $5,200 PLO 6-Max, High Rolle||179||$895,000||xnrobix||Hungary||$178,512.19|
Events completed: 111
Entries so far: 474,557
Prize pools so far: $44,147,590
First prizes so far: $6,894,079.15
In-the-money finishers so far: 73,448
Tournaments starting today: 9
(Note: completed events only)
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.
• 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
A wave of positivity swept through the PokerStars Twitch streamers over the weekend. Not only did Lex Veldhuis realise he’s been wrong all along about Phil Hellmuth, and decide to give out some copies of his book, but Spraggy suddenly discovered the power of positive visualisation. It was great to see…
You don’t need to speak Dutch to know what Joris “@Ruysvogel is happy about.
— Joris Ruijs (@Ruysvogel) September 16, 2019
DeanooBeanoo is learning some nasty truths about playing tournament poker thanks to watching the PokerStars streamers during WCOOP:
One thing I learned over last few months from watching @LexVeldhuis @spraggy @EasyWithAces @GJReggie @ArlieShaban that bad beats happen to everyone and you got to sometimes fold a pocket pair pre flop…must watched over 150 over last few months but great learning tool #wcoop
— DeanooBeanoo (@Deanoobeanoo) September 16, 2019
Celina Lin is through to yet another Day 2:
— Celina Lin (@CelinaLin) September 16, 2019
And David “Whoookid” Baker is also bagging chips:
Got beat up all day but managed to run pure with AKhh beating both AA and QQ in two separate hands w 10 min left to scoop two giant bounties and bag 7th in chips with 152 left. Big shot tomorrow! https://t.co/TRcEm8YF5X pic.twitter.com/GMBWjPQDEI
— baeks (@DMBakes) September 16, 2019
LEADER BOARD UPDATE
It’s all change in the latest Player of the Series leader board race with new leaders in three of the four designations since we last checked in.
Although it appears the weekend’s results have not yet been added to the standings, Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira has enjoyed a brilliant past week and as a result has taken over at the top of the overall leader board. He now leads by 735 points to “TruthBeTold7″‘s 715. There’s a good chance that Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb’s latest victory could push him a little higher than fourth.
Overall standings: 1- Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira (735 points), 2- “TruthBeTold7” (715), 3- Rui “RuiNF” Ferreira (650)
“TruthBeTold7” is still standing firm in the low buy-in race, though the Russian pair of “iwonthurtyou” and “krakukra” are edging ever nearer. You can probably forgive “TruthBeTold7” for focusing on higher buy-in events now, but there’s a bonus $3,500 on offer for winning this leader board, so it’s worth winning if you can.
Low buy-in leader board: 1- “TruthBeTold7” (290 points), 2- “iwonthurtyou” (265), 3- “krakukra” (255).
It’s fairly unusual for Dzmitry “colisea” Urbanovich not to win at least one title during a major ‘COOP festival, but the Latvia-based Polish player is still hunting his first success this time. That said, he’s clearly still playing a bunch as he has taken over at the top of the Medium buy-in leader board, sitting now with 335 points to Alan “Mr Negreanu” Gold’s 250.
Medium buy-in leader board: 1- Dzmitry “colisea” Urbanovich (335 points), 2- Alan “Mr Negreanu” Gold (250), 3- Jussi “calvin7v” Nevanlinna (225).
A fantastic couple of days, in which he has won one title and finished third in another, has put Lebanon’s “kimokh” top of the High buy-in leader board, with Rui “RuiNF” Ferreira just behind. All can still change quickly here, with the smaller fields representing more chances for players to win big. “kimokh” will do well to hold on, and earn the $7,500 bonus.
High buy-in leader board: 1- kimokh (375 points), 2- Rui “RuiNF” Ferreira (370), Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira (330).
Sixteen huge tournaments that started on Sunday are all still ongoing, with the pick being WCOOP-41, which has four buy-in levels: $11, $109, $1,050 and $10,300. The winners of all four tournaments will also receive a package for two to UFC 244 in New York on November 2.
Thanks in no small part to this additional incentive, the micro buy-in tournament — billed as the bantamweight event — attracted 32,820 entries, which is the most of any tournament so far in this WCOOP.
Similarly, the medium buy-in event was contested by 2,251 entries (including 632 re-entries) and built a prize pool of $2.251 million. That’s the biggest prize pool so far, with a first prize of $167K in addition to all the bounties. We’ll have details of the winners tomorrow.
Come on then all you Badugi enthusiasts. Today is your day. There’s also a Win The Button hold’em event, for those only prepared to dip their toes slightly in non-conventional waters.
WCOOP-44: NLHE PKO – Buy-ins: $5.50, $55, $530
WCOOP-45: Limit Badugi – Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
WCOOP-46: NLHE Win The Button – Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050