The 2019 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is becoming a one-man show. I really, really, really, really wanna Zag-aza-ur.
• Third title for Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira
• Success in Triple Draw increases Player of Series lead
• Two $1m+ prize pools awarded in Super Tuesday events
• High Roller triumph banks $350K for Michael “mczhang” Zhang
• 6+ here to stay as Nick “FU_15” Maimone takes down latest
BEHIND THE HEADLINES
Ladies and gentlemen, we might have found our Player of the Series. Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira (main picture, above) has been on fire during this WCOOP and last night his furnace grew even hotter. He added a third title to his batch, prevailing from the 67-entry field in WCOOP-49-H, a $2,100 buy-in 2-7 Triple Draw affair. Though this one earned him a comparatively meagre $40,200 — meagre, that is, in comparison with the $185,467.46 and $360,309.54 of his first two hauls — it provided another heap of leader board points. The Portuguese player, based in the Netherlands, also further burnished a growing reputation that includes a $1.5 million live haul in a tournament in the Bahamas last November. Read our new interview with Oliveira, the day of his third title.
At EPT Barcelona a few weeks ago, we caught up with Michael “mczhang” Zhang of the UK, who was playing the €10K High Roller. It was particularly interesting to hear the story of his past few years, a rapid rise through the ranks from £10 buy-in tournaments at his local casino to games that cost 10,000 times as much. Last night, Zhang again proved that he’s here to stay at the high buy-in tables when he won the $10,000 WCOOP High Roller, beating Alexandru “steakaddict.” Papazian heads up and winning $352,811. The 175-entry field was stacked with the very best online tournament players, but Zhang outdid them all.
Thomas “MarToMchat” Boivin, a Belgian player based in the UK, has also pulled off a similar rise through the ranks to occupy poker’s top table. Last night he won the medium buy-in tournament, billed as the Super Tuesday special edition, banking a career high $178,332. Boivin’s list of documented cashes on Pocket Fives shows a steady increase in success, including a few High Roller Club victories earlier this year, plus a few final tables in Sunday Millions and the like. He has also secured a number of high-profile live scores including a single-day high roller title at EPT Prague, and is a regular in events with buy-ins of $25K or more. Last night, victory in WCOOP-48 was worth $178,331 after he beat a 1,112-entry field.
6+ hold’em, otherwise known as short deck, really does seem like it is here to stay. WCOOP-53 was played with this variant last night, and with 2,966 players in the low buy-in, 677 in the medium and 178 in the high buy-in, it’s safe to say the guarantees were easily met. The biggest winner was also one of the most familiar names: Nick “FU_15” Maimone won $35,503 in the $1,050 buy-in, adding another major online title to his vast clutch of accolades. He later tweeted that it was his first tournament in 6+, but likely not his last (see below). The top ten also included Mikita “fish2013” Badziakouski and Krissy “krissyb24” Bicknell. Players in three of the top four spots in the high buy-in, including Maimone, were based in Canada, but it was far more cosmopolitan at the other levels. Ireland’s “cha 1” won the low buy-in, and Austria’s “LutznButzn” was first in the medium.
The Asian gambling hotspot of Macau has its first champion of this year’s WCOOP as Sam “neesam1405” Nee, originally from Malaysia, defeated Latvia’s “PIPON777” heads up to win WCOOP-51-M, the six-max PLO. Not that “PIPON777” will be too disappointed. The two players struck a heads-up deal that secured the player from Latvia $21,346 to Nee’s $20,364.37. Nee may have ended up with all the chips, but “PIPON777” got more money.
Lex Veldhuis had another deep run in WCOOP-51-H last night, but he was long gone in 20th place by the time another UK-based player, “shenideda“, was heads up with Brazil’s Felipe “felipebeltra” Beltra for the title. Those two had also seen off Yuri “theNERDguy” Martins in fourth and Rui “RuiNF” Ferreira in third, but it was one-way traffic heads up with “shenideda” winning his or her first WCOOP title. It came with a prize of $81,752.23 for topping a field of 458 entries.
|WCOOP-48-L: $109 NLHE||4,578||$457,800||flamant.blanc||Netherlands||$65,239.80|
|WCOOP-48-M: $1,050 NLHE Super Tuesday||1,112||$1,112,000||MarToMchat||UK||$178,331.76|
|WCOOP-48-H: $10,300 High Roller||175||$1,750,000||mczhang||UK||$352,810.54|
|WCOOP-49-L: $22 FL 2-7 Triple Draw||1,064||$21,280||Denis XXX007||Russia||$3,564.90|
|WCOOP-49-M: $215 FL 2-7 Triple Draw||297||$59,400||Pauli elTopo||Germany||$12,177.00|
|WCOOP-49-H: $2,100 FL 2-7 Triple Draw||67||$134,000||Zagazaur||Netherlands||$40,200.00|
|WCOOP-51-L: $11 PLO 6-Max||4,414||$43,257||sonnor1707||Germany||$6,173.51|
|WCOOP-51-M: $109 PLO 6-Max||1,617||$161,700||neesam1405||Macau||$20,364.37*|
|WCOOP-51-H: $1,050 PLO 6-Max||458||$458,000||shenideda||UK||$81,752.23|
|WCOOP-53-L: $11 6+ Hold’em 6-Max||2,966||$29,067||cha 1||Ireland||$3,038.21*|
|WCOOP-53-M: $109 6+ Hold’em 6-Max||677||$67,700||LutznButzn||Austria||$11,611.91|
|WCOOP-53-H: $1,050 6+ Hold’em 6-Max||178||$178,000||FU_15||Canada||$35,503.07|
Events completed: 154
Entries so far: 659,677
Prize pools so far: $62,410,279
First prizes so far: $9,665,207.42
In-the-money finishers so far: 104,279
Tournaments starting today: 15
(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.
• Espen “_sennj_” Sandvik: “It’s my first win in an official tournament”
• Rodrigo “guinHuuh” Freire: Brazilian’s roller coaster ride turns $11 into $13K
• Patrick “prepstyle71” Serda: No more pizzas for the three-time winner
• Jeffrey “Jefffrr8” Reardon: He wanted a five-figure score. He got one.
• Maxime “Daghemuneguu” Chilaud: Malta-based Frenchman wins first WCOOP of the series
• Norway’s “19_Kumite_79”: First two-day event, biggest field, biggest cash
• Viktor “TsiTool” Kovács: Puts Hungary on the WCOOP map
• 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
Are you a fan of Lex Veldhuis? Do you like UFC? If so, you could be going to New York to see UFC 244 after Lex found out on last night’s stream that he can take a viewer along with him to the massive showdown.
Nick “FU_15” Maimone has taken to 6+ like a duck to water. He reveals exactly how he did it:
Won the short deck WCOOP High event!! Vamosssss. Just watched videos and live streams but never played a 6+ tourney before…won a satellite and somehow luckboxed it pic.twitter.com/ZWt9jk4Pjx
— Nick FU_15 (@FU_15) September 19, 2019
Meanwhile Celina Lin went deep in the same tournament. And the rest is brilliant #humblebrag time.
Scored my first cash in the 6+ holdem today plus a bunch of mid-stakes 💵.
— Celina Lin (@CelinaLin) September 19, 2019
Means a lot to @NegromJames:
— Manuco. (@NegromJames) September 19, 2019
COUNTRIES LEADER BOARD
Are you all OK over there in Brazil? Another day without a win for Brazilians means that they have now slipped down to third in the country standings, with the UK’s three titles overnight putting the Brits within two spots of the Russians at the top. No matter than most of the UK’s titles have actually been won by other Europeans based in the country. The UK needs this kind of help at the moment — and anyway the biggest winner, Michael “mczhang” Zhang is British through and through.
21 titles – Russia
19 – UK
18 – Brazil
11 – Canada
10 – Germany
9 – Netherlands
7 – Finland
6 – Austria
5 – Ukraine
4 – Lithuania, Norway
3 – Mexico, Hungary, Romania, Malta
2 – Sweden, China, Argentina, Poland, Lebanon, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland
1 – Czech Republic, Thailand, Uruguay, Japan, Croatia, Georgia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Serbia, Chile, Macau.
PLAYER OF THE SERIES LEADER BOARD
This is without doubt one of the best races of recent years with top place in the Overall leader board now changing hands for the third consecutive day. Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira’s win yesterday in the 2-7 Triple Draw earned him 100 leader board points and helped him leapfrog Canada’s “TruthBeTold7” once again. Oliveira now has a 25-point lead, but Jussi “calvin7v” Nevanlinna is also within striking distance, on 955 points.
Here are all the latest standings, with 66 events still to be completed.
1 – Zagazaur Netherlands 1,030
2 – TruthBeTold7 Canada 1,005
3 – calvin7v Finland 955
4 – shaundeeb Mexico 840
5 – krakukra Russia 835
6 – RuiNF Netherlands 805
7 – goleafsgoeh Canada 745
8 – Colisea Latvia 720
9 – Adamyid Mexico 635
10 – Kroko-dill Russia 595
1 – FONBET_RULIT Russia 400 points
2 – krakukra Russia 380
3 – -Rebus1980- Russia 340
4 – PamPamPake Finland 325
=5 – TruthBeTold7 Canada 320
=5 – Voziyanov15 Russia 320
1 – Colisea Latvia 470
2 – shaundeeb Mexico 325
3 – TruthBeTold7 Canada 295
=4 – Mr Negreanu United Kingdom 275
=4 – Zagazaur Netherlands 270
1 – Zagazaur Netherlands 575
2 – calvin7v Finland 465
3 – RuiNF Netherlands 440
4 – Lrslzk Finland 410
5 – theNERDguy Brazil 385
Another two $1m+ prize pools are guaranteed in WCOOP-57, another huge NLHE PKO event with a high buy-in of $10,300. But possibly of greater interest to the Player of the Series races will be the HORSE tournament, which could play into the hands of the many mixed games specialists who are riding high this WCOOP. There’s also a Fixed Limit Omaha Hi/Lo event which, miraculously, is due to wrap in a single day. Chopped pots galore are surely inevitable. Thank goodness that the very opposite is also available: the latest re-buy NLHE event also gets under way, with the action certain to be wild.
WCOOP-55: NLHE – Buy-ins: $5.50, $55, $530
WCOOP-56: Limit Omaha Hi Lo – Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
WCOOP-57: NLHE 8-Max PKO – Buy-ins: $109, $1,050, $10,300
WCOOP-58: HORSE – Buy-ins: $22, $215, $2,100
WCOOP-59: NLHE with re-buys – Buy-ins: $5.50, $55, $530