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World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP)

Scoop the WCOOP

Jonathan wins the 2010 WSOP main event title The World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is the daddy of online poker tournament series. Created by network giant PokerStars, this September witnessed a 62 event frenzy, culminating in the $5,200 main event.

For those unwilling to face the hustle and bustle of Vegas during WSOP period, PokerStars offers you a shot at tournament glory from the comfort of your computer chair. The WCOOP is all about diversity, offering players a range of games, structures and buy-ins.

PokerStars WCOOP

Since its 2002 inception, which featured a paltry nine events, the festival has attracted an interesting blend of satellite winners and seasoned pros.

Despite the large fields (2,443 players signed up for the 2010 main event, generating a record $12 million prize pool), cream inevitably rises the top, and a number of stellar names have tasted victory.

Erik Sagstrom, known for his mixed game exploits on Full Tilt Poker as ‘DIN_FRU’, clinched the $320 NLH event back in 2003 for his biggest online payday. 2009 was the year of the Bertrand 'Elky' Grospellier, as the French sensation won two coveted NLH titles for a combined total of $495k.

Other notable names to have triumphed include PokerStars pros David Williams and Yevgeniy Timoshenko. 2010 saw more Russian success, with Alexander Kravchenko prevailing in the $10,300 8-game high-roller event.

Tyson ‘POTTERPOKER’ Marks scooped $2,278,097 for winning the 2010 main event, but not without a fair slice of luck. Aggression may be the key to bulldozing through large tournament fields, but Marks was in need of a miracle when his K9 came up against Jack Ellwood’s bullets in heads-up. A J Q 9 5 10 board, however, gifted Marks a straight and the title.

To add to the drama, the WCOOP has even had its share of controversy. In 2007, main event winner ‘theV0id’ was disqualified after he was accused of collusion and found to be multi-accounting. Pokerstars has proven to be the most vigilant poker room for detecting cheating and when they catch someone, his account is closed and the money he stole restituted to the people he cheated.


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Why participate in the WCOOP?

What advantages does it have over other poker festivals?

First of all, it represents a great chance for the casual player to hit the jackpot. With satellite steps running from as low as 10FPP (frequent player points), you can find yourself sharing the virtual felt with Negreanu and Greenstein without forking out a sizeable portion of your bankroll.

There is an interaction with pros and players you don’t get in other festivals. Video sharing website Pokertube has posted action of Negreanu participating in the 8-game, with the charismatic Canadian commentating on his play.

The World Series of Poker may be the authentic thing, but with higher buy-ins and a set location, a lot of recreational players across the globe are ostracised. The WCOOP offers buy-ins ranging from $100 to $10,000, with satellites running on the clock.


The challenge of playing the WCOOP

The WCOOP allows you to play to your strengths, by virtue of event selection.

From Omaha to Razz, Stud to Badugi, all events are represented. You don’t think that specialising in a variant makes a difference? Just ask Jeff Lisandro, who won consecutive Stud bracelets at the 2009 World Series of Poker, and is widely considered to be the best 7-Card Stud player on the planet.

The WCOOP also offers full ring, 6-max, shootout and heads-up formats, giving less patient players the chance at glory. It gives you a chance of achieving poker stardom, with players such as ‘chiren80’ and ‘stevesbets’ obtaining PokerStars online pro contracts through their WCOOP exploits.

With online poker continuing to expand (partly due to the infiltration of the Asian market), the next WCOOP is set to be bigger than ever.

Jonathan Duhamel WSOP celebration The age of the online phenomenon is here.

You don’t have to be playing the nosebleed stakes to get recognition – the likes of ‘nanonoko’ have built their reputation grinding $5/$10 and enduring steady tournament success. See the next WCOOP as your chance to secure a major coup.

If you sign up at pokerstars, you can play in the WCOOP and many other events.

This is the advantage of registering at PokerStars, you can watch the largest games and learn from it if you are new, or you can play for big money if you are experienced.


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