The PokerNews Top 10: The Top 10 WCOOP Moments of 2009
Since its inception in 2002, PokerStars’ World Championship of Online Poker has grown into one of the poker world’s marquee events. Much like its live equivalent, the World Series of Poker, the WCOOP draws not only top tournament pros and hardcore onliners, but low-stakes satellite winners, part-time players, rookies and high-stakes cash gamers alike. With 45 events, $50 million in prize pools and over 112,000 players participating, WCOOP bracelets are now, more than ever, deserving of being called a “major” poker title, especially given the size and the strength of the fields that materialized this year. In another striking similarity to this year’s WSOP, the 2009 WCOOP produced three double-bracelet winners including Team PokerStars Pro’s seemingly unstoppable Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. To relive some of the excitement and drama from online poker’s premiere series, check out our top ten moments from the 2009 WCOOP.
10. Event #6 ($109 No-Limit Hold’em) draws 15,675 players.
No, PokerStars wasn’t trying to break the Guiness World Record for the largest poker tournament again. The WCOOP’s own version of the “stimulus special,” a $109 NLHE freeze-out, just happened to draw a monster field, 15,675 players buying in for their shots at a $183,000 first-place prize. Despite the massive turnout, the largest in WCOOP history, the event took a rather swift ten hours to play out, with Greece’s "vakAAtack" coming away with the win. Making a deep run in this event was former WCOOP Main Event champion J.C. “area23jc” Tran, who finished in 35th place.
9. “Science” sleeps through three hours of $530 Omaha Hi/Lo event, pulls out a win.
The starting times and the sheer length of WCOOP events can wreak havoc on anyone’s body clock. For Americans, events start in the early afternoon and continue into the wee hours of the morning. But for Europeans, events start late in the evening and often play on until well past noon the next day. Stationed at home in London, “Science” started playing the $530 Omaha Hi/Lo event around 9:30 p.m., and after four hours of play was in dire need of some shut-eye. With 23,000 chips in his stack, Science decided to take a short nap but ended up sleeping through the next three hours. He woke up around 4:00 a.m., 10,000 chips still in his stack, and set to work building it back up. Although he had less than 6% of the total chips in play when the tournament was three-handed, Science took that short stack and ran it all the way to the winner’s circle, despite having fallen asleep on the job.
8. Jonathan “Iftarii” Jaffe claims $25,000 High Roller Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em title.
The field in this event may have been small, drawing only 36 players, but they were some of the elite heads-up no-limit hold’em players in the world, including Isaac ”philivey2694” Haxton, Ashton “theASHMAN103” Griffin, Daniel Negreanu, Tom “Hold_enNL” Dwan, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Barry “barryg1” Greenstein, Steven “stevesbets” Jacobs, Aaron “aejones” Jones, Steve “Zugwat” Silverman, Alec “traheho” Torelli, Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro, Sorel “zangbezan24” Mizzi, Alexander “joiso” Kostritsyn, Peter Eastgate, Dani “supernova9” Stern, and Scott “gunning4you” Seiver. Finishing on top of this staggeringly talented field, however, was Jonathan “Iftarii” Jaffe, no stranger to a heads-up final having finished fourth in the 2008 $10,000 heads-up NLHE event at the WSOP. Finishing third in the event was none other than Oliver “Adonis112” Busquet, who only yesterday made a stunning come-from-behind victory at the WPT Borgata Open.
7. Barry Greenstein razzes Raymond “raydavis77” Davis en route to Badugi win
Take the name “Barry Greenstein” and try a little free-association. “Comedian” isn’t the first thing that came to mind, right? However, after his hilarious stint hosting the final table of the $320 Badugi event, he may want to look into finding a booking agent. Greenstein’s friend (and comic punching bag) Raymond ”raydavis77” Davis made the final table as the chip leader and rode it all the way to a win, but not without some inspired razzing from Greenstein.
“Normally I would congratulate all of you, but you are all behind Raymond Davis, which is embarrassing. I have to root for you, Raymond. No one else owes me money,” quipped Greenstein as the final table began.
It only got better from there, as Davis and Greenstein got into this exchange awhile later.
barryg1 said "raymond still leading. bad for the arguments that poker is a game of skill"
raydavis77 said "lol lol lol"
raydavis77 said "can I go on pokerroad and explain badugi???"
barryg1 said "that would close the site down"
raydavis77 said "they love me on pokerroad. Show made me famous."
barryg1 said " they also love people jumping out of airplanes without parachutes."
6. Ryan “g0lfa” D’Angelo becomes the first player to win two bracelets in 2009.
After winning the $320 Pot-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha event, Ryan “g0lfa” D’Angelo became only the second player in WCOOP history to win two bracelets in one year (Kyle Bowker was the first in 2006). D’Angelo’s first bracelet came in the $320 8-Game event, when he went heads-up with David “vui-qua-di” Pham. Although he wasn’t nearly as experienced a stud player as Pham, D’Angelo turned up the heat during the hold’em and Omaha rounds, ultimately coming away with the title. Earning his second bracelet was no easier, as D’Angelo had to overcome a stacked final table that included Julian “MrCoco” Gardner and Corey “Comandr_Cool” Burbick. D’Angelo’s WCOOP wins, however, weren’t his largest poker scores ever. That title goes to the $326,812 he pulled in for finishing in third place in the $2,000 no-limit Hold’em event at the 2008 WSOP.
5. Eugene “MyRabbiFoo” Katchalov wins marathon $530 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Event.
Lasting over 21 hours, the $530 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em tournament was by far the longest one-day event at this year’s WCOOP, starting at 11:45 a.m. PDT on Saturday morning and ending at 9:20 a.m. on Sunday. In the end, it was Eugene “MyRabbiFoo” Katchalov who came away with the bracelet, winning his final match against “Jakus Khan,” who was nodding off during the final hands of play. After Katchalov asked JakusKhan if they could skip over one of the scheduled breaks and received no response in the chat box for several minutes, the tournament moderators tried to wake him up.
Moderator: Have you fallen asleep over there? :)
JakusKhan: sorry pleas for the love of God put this to rest
4. Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko Wins the WCOOP Main Event
With his poker accomplishments over the last year, Yevgeniy Timoshenko is, quite simply, rolling in dough. A win at the Asian Poker Tour’s Macau stop earned him $500,000. A third-place finish at the WSOP-Europe gave him another $100,000. Then in April, he pulled out all the stops and won the $25,000 buy-in WPT World Championship at Bellagio, taking home over $2.1 million. Now, with a victory in the WCOOP’s $5,200 buy-in, two-day Main Event, Timoshenko has added another $1.7 million to the till.
Watching PokerStars.tv’s final table replay with the hole cards exposed shows just how much Timoshenko put on a clinic in unbridled aggression and positional play. Arriving at the final table second in chips, Timoshenko stole, reraised, and shoved his way to victory, the turning point in the game coming when Daniel “djk123” Kelly couldn’t get away from pocket tens preflop when Timoshenko held pocket kings. The hand spelled Kelly’s fourth-place elimination and left Timoshenko with a dominating chip lead over his two remaining opponents, whom he put away in short order.
3. Terrence “Unassigned” Chan adds WCOOP bracelet to SCOOP titles.
Terrence Chan is, quite simply the master of the universe when it comes to online limit hold’em tournaments. Last April, Chan accomplished the unthinkable, winning two limit hold’em tournaments in PokerStars’ Spring Championship of Online Poker in one night. Then, last week, Chan won the $1,050 buy-in six-max limit Hold’em event in the WCOOP, matching his SCOOP watches with a WCOOP bracelet. When it comes to limit hold’em tournaments, no one has even come close to the feat Chan has accomplished with this “three-peat.” It also couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
2. Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier wins two WCOOP bracelets
Grospellier’s double-bracelet win in the WCOOP caps off two years of the sickest results we've seen from any player on the circuit in recent years. Since 2008, Grospellier has won the PokerStars Carribean Adventure for $2 million, won the WPT Festa al Lago for $1.4 million, won the 2009 PCA High Roller event for $433,000, finished third in the NBC National Heads-Up Championships, finished third in the WPT World Championship, and made five WSOP cashes. Now he adds two WCOOP bracelets, $505,000 in winnings and a second-place finish in the 2009 WCOOP Player of the Series standings to his ever-increasing list of accomplishments. ElkY isn't just that crazy-aggressive French dude in the studded Ed Hardy jacket anymore — he’s one of the premiere no-limit hold’em tournament players in the world who shows no sign of slowing down.
1. Daniel “djk123” Kelly makes the WCOOP Main Event final table after winning two bracelets.
Winning the $215 Razz event on the first day of the WCOOP was just the beginning for Daniel “djk123” Kelly, 20-year-old Villanova University junior. Kelly took the $53,000 he won and kept right on playing, even entering the $10,300 buy-in High Roller H.O.R.S.E. event while simultaneously building up his chip stack in the $5,200 Main Event. By the time Kelly finished Day 1 of the Main Event as the chip leader, he was at the final table of the H.O.R.S.E. event where he faced off with players like Matt “Hoss_TBF” Hawrilenko, Noah “Exclusive” Boeken, and Marco “NoraFlum” Johnson. Kelly not only won the H.O.R.S.E. event but came back the next day on very little sleep to play out the rest of the Main Event, where he ultimately finished in fourth place on a cooler of a hand against eventual champion Yevgeniy Timoshenko. With eleven cashes, three final tables, two bracelets, and $957,000 in winnings, Kelly deservedly earned 2009 WCOOP Player of the Year honors, and won a free trip to the 2010 PokerStars Carribean Adventure for his efforts. Well played, sir.
The WCOOP may be over, but the action is still better than ever on PokerStars. Open an account today and get in the game.