The biggest buy-in event of the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) brought out the biggest stars. And one of them is now half a million dollars richer. Stick around for all the latest from the tables.
• “Trueteller” rises to the top of $25K, banks half a million
• Joao “Naza114” Vieira bags customary victory
• Hungarians emerge as serious challengers
• Deep run for Lex, good sweat for Twitch fans
• Deeb speaks, we listen!
BEHIND THE HEADLINES
The biggest event so far in this year’s WCOOP was won overnight by one of the biggest names in the world game. Timofey “Trueteller” Kuznetsov might still be best known for his nosebleed cash-game antics, but he’s a tournament boss too and he won $527,458 for finishing first of 90 entries in the $25,000 buy-in WCOOP High Roller. The final table was completely stacked with the best in the world, but Kuznetsov outdid Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo, who finished third, and then fellow high-stakes cash gamer Jordi “prot0” Urlings in second, to take the largest slice from the $2.207 million prize pool.
Yesterday it was Rui “RuiNF” Ferreira, today it was Joao “Naza114” Vieira. Portugal doesn’t have many Netherlands-based ‘COOP crushers, but the two it does have crush hard, and hot on the heels of Ferreira’s first WCOOP 2019 triumph comes Vieira’s. He won the $530+R 6-Max PLO for $87K, justifying his billing as one of our players to watch.
Vieira won two SCOOP titles in May and a WCOOP crown exactly one year ago, to the day. September 12 is Vieira day.
To seal this title, Vieira had to beat another former champion “rickv17” heads-up, and dispatch Denis “aDrENalin710” Strebkov in third. Not only that, Vieira also finished the first day of WCOOP-29-H as chip leader of 19 remaining.
We’ve all seen Brazilians run away with COOP leader boards, and we’ve all heard Stapes joke about the Year of Romania. But the real country to watch in major poker tournaments at the moment seems to be Hungary, whose players dominated WCOOP-25-M, the $2,110 NLHE event. Don’t forget Andras “probirs” Nemeth is currently Pocket Fives’ No 1 ranked online player, but he could only finish fifth in this one for $49,849. Instead, his fellow Hungarians “xnrobix” and “TheBrodie5” went heads-up for the title, with the former claiming the top prize of $193,067. (Canada’s Andrew “achen” Chen was third.) When you also remember Marton Czuczor’s brilliance on the EPT of late, Hungary’s major breakthrough seems imminent.
During last year’s SCOOP, Ukraine’s “Remi Lebo_10” battled back from an 11 to one heads up chip deficit to win the Thursday Thrill, for $236K, including bounties. This year, “Remi Lebo_10” is a WCOOP champion after beating Canada’s “Alexos888” heads up to the WCOOP-27-H title, worth another $78,182. The final table also featured Michael “M_Acevedo” Acevedo, from who you too can learn a few tricks in our latest book excerpt. Acevedo finished fourth for $33K.
“AAgoodfold“, based in the UK, became another former SCOOP champion to pick up a WCOOP title overnight when he won WCOOP-25-L. Despite the “L” in this title, this was a high roller with a buy-in of $215 and a first prize of $104,827. That’s the biggest score of “AAgoodfold”‘s career, beating a 3,658-entry field.
INTERVIEW! INTERVIEW! INTERVIEW!
Where there’s a ‘COOP there’s a Deeb. It’s a truism that has lasted as long as online poker has existed: pretty much every time PokerStars has laid on a major online series, Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb has won at least one tournament. This time he did it early, in WCOOP-09-H: the $1,050 buy-in no-limit five-card draw event, which earned him his seventh ‘COOP title. And to do so he had to beat Denis “aDrENalin710” Strebkov heads up. In Deeb’s words, no problem. “For some reason he thought he had an edge — which he doesn’t,” Deeb said. Find out what else New York’s finest had to say.
|WCOOP-25-L: $215 NLHE 8-Max, High Roller||3,658||$731,600||Aagoodfold||UK||$104,827.00|
|WCOOP-25-M: $2,100 NLHE 8-Max, High Rolle||546||$1,092,000||xnrobix||Hungary||$193,067.24|
|WCOOP-25-H: $25,000 NLHE 8-Max, High Roller||90||$2,207,250||Trueteller||Russia||$527,458.43|
|WCOOP-26-L: $5.50+R PLO 6-Max||3,175||$51,078||Benyamins||Denmark||$7,356.52|
|WCOOP-26-M: $55+R PLO 6-Max||1,018||$182,145||_pauL€FauL_||Germany||$29,764.44|
|WCOOP-26-H: $530+R PLO 6-Max||232||$449,450||Naza114||Netherlands||$88,846.38|
|WCOOP-27-L: $11 NLHE||7,825||$76,685||19_Kumite_79||Norway||$10,807.66|
|WCOOP-27-M: $109 NLHE||2,768||$276,900||OneH1tWonder||Austria||$40,471.22|
|WCOOP-27-H: $1,050 NLHE||438||$438,000||Remi Lebo_10||Ukraine||$78,182.44|
CHARITY EVENT RAISES $56K FOR RIGHT TO PLAY
We reported earlier on the week on the WCOOP tournament that raised more than $56,000 for PokerStars’ long-time charity partner Right To Play, and the charity’s representatives want to say thank-you to the poker players whose tournament fees went toward helping the most vulnerable.
“On behalf of us all here at Right To Play, I want to say a huge thank you to PokerStars for hosting the charity tournament at the WCOOP event and to all the players who took part,” said Neil Child-Dyer, Senior Partnerships Manager at Right To Play UK. “We are extremely grateful for your support. $56,000 raised is an amazing amount which will make a huge difference to our work to educate, empower and protect vulnerable children in our programmes.”
The sentiments were echoed from inside PokerStars Towers.
“We’re delighted with the amount we raised on Sunday and want to say thanks to the 11,000 players who participated,” said Sue Hammett, Head of Corporate Giving at The Stars Group. “The vital funds raised will continue to make such a positive impact to so many children around the world. We’re thrilled that the donation is helping their vital efforts. Thank you to every player who took part and to everyone helping us to reach our target.”
Events completed: 78
Entries so far: 330,624
Prize pools so far: $32,038,040
First prizes so far: $5,096,493.85
In-the-money finishers so far: 54,173
Tournaments starting today: 9
(Note: completed events only)
PODCAST! PODCAST! PODCAST!
With EPT Barcelona now in the history books, Poker In The Ears is back with Episode 159. James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton talk over all things EPT Barcelona, including the launch of PSPC 2020 during the Chase Your Dream live stream. (If you didn’t see that one, you can watch the full stream or the top 5 hands.)
Their guests this week are two of the Chase Your Dream competitors who earned Platinum Passes to next year’s PSPC: Daryl Inglis from Canada and Danielle Summer from Tenerife. Both of them thought that were playing for $10,000 when they traveled to Barcelona — neither had any idea that a Platinum Pass was waiting. They relive all the excitement and disappointment and incredible reveals beginning at the 33:46 mark below:
Twitch viewers are preparing for a great sweat tonight when Lex Veldhuis sits back down in WCOOP-30-H, the $2,100 NLHE event. Only 42 players now remain from a 327-entry field, with our hero in 12th place. Veldhuis knocked out “APonakov” (“such a dangerous opponent”) last night to build his stack to a million chips. Here’s how:
And while it’s not strictly a WCOOP tournament, there’s no harm in celebrating Fintan “EasyWithAces” Hand closing out the $109 PKO on PokerStars last night, banking $2.6K.
Good luck to Norway’s @mresprectro in his quest for WCOOP glory today.
Day2 of the $55 WCOOP PKO on @PokerStars
— MrEsprectro (@mresprectro) September 13, 2019
Meanwhile Steve van Zadelhoff hasn’t had the greatest start to WCOOP this time, but plenty of chances still to catch that camel:
Me chasing my losses after the first week of WCOOP https://t.co/cGRD7bM75I
— Steven van Zadelhoff (@svzff) September 12, 2019
COUNTRIES LEADER BOARD
Although it was a barren Thursday for the Samba boys and girls, Brazil still leads the WCOOP countries leader board (and, spoiler warning, they will win it too). But Russia have pulled up close with Truteller giving them their 10th title, while the UK’s haul of seven, has the Brits (or the UK-based Spanish) in third place.
12 – Brazil
10 – Russia
7 – UK
6 – Canada
5 – Austria
4 – Germany
3 – Finland, Netherlands
2 – Mexico, Sweden, China, Lithuania, Argentina, Poland, Hungary, Norway, Ukraine
1 – Malta, Lebanon, Czech Republic, Romania, Belgium, Thailand, Ireland, Uruguay, Japan, Denmark
As stated above, the big news from the tournaments currently in play is that Joao “Naza114” Vieira complemented his big win last night with a dominant display in the PLO Hi/Lo six max, where he is chip-leading the $2,100 buy-in event. That’s a super-tough field still, with Mike “SirWatts” Watson in second, Yuri “theNERDguy” Martins in seventh and Niklas “Lena900” Asted in eighth. Also alive: Benny “RunGodlike” Glaser, Ari “BodogAri” Engel, Connor “blanconegro” Drinan, Ole “wizowizo” Schemion, Dominik “Bounatiro” Nitsche and Alex “bigfox86” Foxen.
But don’t rule out Vieira’s compatriot Rui “RuiNF” Ferreira, who occupies top spot in the $5,200 PKO. He currently leads the last 31 with Andras “probirs” Nemeth in second and, yes, Yuri “theNERDguy” Martins in fifth there too. We’re still awaiting our first double champion of this WCOOP, but there’s a very good chance we’ll get one tonight.
A quick word too about Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira. Of nine tournaments ongoing, he still has chips in three of them, and has already cashed two others. He sits:
31/31 in WCOOP-28-H
4/206 in WCOOP-28-M
17/157 in WCOOP-29-H
WCOOP-28: NLHE PKO – Buy-ins: $55, $530, $5,200
WCOOP-29: PL Omaha Hi/Lo Six Max: $22, $215, $2,100
WCOOP-30: NLHE – Buy-ins: $22, $215, $2,100
COMING UP TODAY
Friday at the WCOOP tables starts perfectly normally, but it quickly goes off at the deep end. We all know about No Limit Hold’em, which is what we’re looking at for WCOOP-31 (with buy-ins of $11, $109 and $1,050). But then we roll out the 8-Game, which proves the best test of everyone’s all-round poker skills, before we unveil the NL Hold’em Heads-Up Turbo PKO Zoom. And if you think that’s been designed just to add as many different names to a tournament title, you might be right.
WCOOP-31: NL Hold’em – Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
WCOOP-32: 8-Game – Buy-ins: $22, $215, $2,100
WCOOP-33: NL Hold’em Heads-Up Turbo PKO Zoom – Buy-ins: $5.50, $55, $530