The 8th annual World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) starts today with thousands of players chomping at the bit to take their shots at 44 WCOOP bracelet events and the $40 million in cash that PokerStars is guaranteeing. With such a large contingency of players to keep track of, we thought it best to give you a few names of players, who are primed for a strong WCOOP, to keep an eye on.
Team PokerStars Pros
Because most Team PokerStars Pros make their living in live-action games more so than on the virtual felt, it's always exciting to watch the biggest names in poker compete in these online events. With so many big buy-in events, we expect to see some of these big-name players make a splash.
Daniel Negreanu has had some success with the heads-up format in the past, and well, he is just an amazing tournament player. The $25,000 High Roller match play event is right up his alley, and although Negreanu has yet to win a WCOOP bracelet, we're counting on a deep run in this event for Daniel.
When you talk about high stakes H.O.R.S.E., you can't mention the best in the game without including Barry Greenstein. While he has yet to take down the $50K H.O.R.S.E. event at the WSOP, his results have been nothing less than spectacular with deep runs in 2006, 2007 and 2008. If we were betting folks, and believe me we are, we'd place a wager or three on Barry to final table and possibly even win this High Roller H.O.R.S.E. event.
WCOOP success seems to be a given with Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso. Rousso has three big WCOOP scores adding up to almost a million in earnings, including a fifth-place finish in last year's High Roller Heads-Up event and a second place WCOOP Main Event finish in 2007. With her recent PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo High Roller win, look for her to use that momentum for yet another big WCOOP.
Although most big-name online players have successfully made the transition to the live tournament circuit, it's still safe to say that the WCOOP is the event they look forward to most each year. For once, the entire poker world converges onto the virtual felt where these players decidedly have the upper hand on their live-action counterparts.
While we don't see him lighting up the MTT scene as he has in the past, Isaac "westmenloAA" Baron is as clutch as they come when the high-profile online events roll into town. Baron has walked away a big winner during both WCOOP and FTOPS events in the past, and we'd expect nothing less this time around.
Alex “AJKHoosier1” Kamberis has been atop most online ranking systems for what seems like forever. Last year, “AJKHoosier1” chopped for close to a million dollars in the WCOOP Main Event, and with his big score earlier this week in the PokerStars Super Tuesday, it is clear he is ready to ride the rush.
Shaun Deeb has a WCOOP bracelet under his belt already with his $320 Pot-Limit Omaha with rebuys win last year, and he puts in the most volume out of just about anyone in the world. His stamina and experience make him a favorite in just about any event he enters.
James "Andy McLEOD" Obst, while still unable to enter a casino in the U.S. because of his age has certainly made his presence known online with a WCOOP bracelet win last year and a Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) win earlier this year. Add that to this the fact that he just final tabled the FTOPS Main Event a few weeks back and you have all the ingredients for a player ripe to take home WCOOP glory.
Although you probably aren't on this list of Team PokerStars Pros and online superstars, that's no excuse for not giving the WCOOP a try. Sign up for a PokerStars account right here and get into the action.