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WCOOP Day 8: Athanasios Polychronopoulos Eyes WCOOP Gold

Athanasios Polychronopoulos

There were no champions crowned on Day 8 of the 2011 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker, but a pair of two-day no-limit hold'em events got under way and created two of the series' largest prize pools to date. Several of the world's top online players will return Monday to take their shots at massive paydays, including Athanasios "Athanasios 9" Polychronopoulos, Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen, Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis, and Steve "gboro780" Gross.

PokerStars WCOOP 21 - $200 No-Limit Hold'em Two-Day ($1.25M Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$200+$158,484$1,696,800

Day 1 of Event #22, the $215 No-Limit Hold'em, began with 8,484 players competing for a prize pool of nearly $1.7 million. After 13 hours of play, less than 60 players were left in contention for a first-place prize of $254,524.

Among the chip leaders as play concluded was Athanasios Polychronopoulos, who plays under the name "Athanasios 9." The talented online superstar made waves at the 2011 World Series of Poker by winning his first bracelet, and he has a shot to win a bracelet of a different variety on Monday.

Polychronopoulos won a massive pot toward the end of Day 1 to take the chip lead with less than 100 players remaining. With the blinds at 25,000/50,000, Norway's "Angelos Nor" raised to 50,000 from early position and Germany's "ReifesEisen" called from middle position. Polychronopoulos then three-bet to 150,209 directly behind, prompting a fold from the Norwegian player when action made its way back around. "ReifesEisen" wasn't finished with the hand, though, and four-bet all-in for just under 900,000. Polychronopoulos called instantly, and the cards went on their backs.

"ReifesEisen:" {A-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}
Polychronopoulos: {K-Spades}{K-Hearts}

The board ran out {8-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{7-Clubs} and Polychronopoulos increased his stack to more than 3 million. He finished the day third in chips with just under 4 million as Russia's "BlockedWinner" entered Day 2 with the overall chip lead.

Other notables still in the field as Day 2 began included Andy "andyh26" Holman, former Spring Championship of Online Poker champ "mullex84" of Germany, and former PokerStars Sunday Warm-up winner "Levan1971" of Georgia.

Seats were redrawn prior to Day 2 and play resumed at 1000 ET (1500 BST) on Monday.

PokerStars WCOOP 22 - $500 No-Limit Hold'em Two-Day ($1.5M Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$500+$303,739$1,869,500

A first-place prize of $293,512.31 is up for grabs in Event #22, the $500 No-Limit Hold'em affair. A field of 3,739 came to play and after 23 levels on Day 1, only 131 remain. Leading the way into Day 2 is “TheUrsaraie” with 1,323,355. Having already crossed the million-chip plateau, “TheUrsaraie” found a bit of luck after getting outflopped to gain even more chips.

The blinds and antes were at the 2,000/4,000/500 level when “TheUrsaraie” opened to 8,520 under the gun. Both players in the blinds called to see the flop come down {10-Diamonds}{7-Hearts}{6-Hearts}. Action was checked to “TheUrsaraie” who bet 17,000. The player in the small blind folded, but “GODofHU” in the big blind shoved for 96,619. “TheUrsaraie” called with {K-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}, but had been outflopped by “GODofHU's” {10-Clubs}{7-Clubs}. However, the {K-Spades} hit the turn and locked up the pot “TheUrsaraie.”

Among those that still remain include Marius "danskemann" Olsvik, Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen, Kenny "LoneHixx" Hicks, Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis, Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah, Jeremy "00psiedaisy" Fitzpatrick and Steve "gboro780" Gross.

Here are the top ten chip counts heading into Day 2:

PlacePlayerChips
1TheUrsaraie1,323,355
2po77a1,011,877
3Torsten "jektiss" Brinkmann838,025
4BGM111727,675
5yvonjr67719,823
6granadine00699,746
7alienPL1968656,838
8Showmann626,551
9Flying Smile626,470
10lachanin553,691

We will be providing in-depth daily recaps of all WCOOP final tables, so be sure to keep it here at PokerNews to stay up to date on all of the exciting action as it occurs.

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