With massive prize pools on offer and its tournaments attracting some of the very best players from around the globe, it's not surprising that PokerStars' World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP) dominated the headlines at UK & Ireland PokerNews this week.
The week kicked off in style with British pro Jack Salter taking down the Sunday Supersonic at PokerStars and collecting $56,179.12 for a mere 105 minutes work. Salter rose to prominence in 2014 thanks to a number of high-profile second-place finishes, not least in the European Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event for €765,000 and World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific Main Event (A$516,960).
Other stellar names such as Team PokerStars Liv Boeree, Rick Trigg, Charlie Carrell and Scotland's "pilsuhng" also banked large scores, which you can read about in the Sunday Briefing.
The first of many big WCOOP scores went to Ireland's Gary "GaryT20" Thompson, who secured a $277,870 payday when he finished in third place in the special edition of the Sunday Million, which featured a $3 million guarantee this week. David "Clarkson7" Clarkson also won a substantial prize, finishing second in a $530 buy-in WCOOP event for almost $90,000.
Earlier in the WCOOP, Billy "b8chatz" Chattaway finished fourth in the $10,300 buy-in High Roller for a career-best score of $263,500 and he was up to his old tricks in the $1,050 NL Hold'em 3-Stack. Chattway was looking to complete a COOP Triple Crown, having won a TCOOP and SCOOP Main Event in 2015, but his quest fell just short, busting in second place for $24,000.
Another top poker player, Ben Vinson, had a podium finish in the WCOOP, crashing out of the $530 buy-in rebuy event in third place, a finish worth some $71,553.00. You may recall Vinson finished fourth in the Sunday Million then won the following Super Tuesday in April 2014. He'll be hoping for a similar one-two this weekend as the $10 million guaranteed WCOOP Main Event approaches.
The last of the online poker news from the past seven days centered around the online poker rankings, where Patrick Leonard still occupies the top spot in the UK, but is being pushed by the aforementioned Chattaway. Leonard took down a WCOOP event earlier in the series and will no doubt be playing the majority of the remaining WCOOP events this weekend. If he runs as well as he plays, Leonard could put himself back in contention for a worldwide number one ranking once again.
To the world of live poker now, which was quieter than usual after the half-dozen festivals that ran during the previous week. In Luton, the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour crowned its latest champion when Will Davies walked away with a £65,550 first-place prize and the coveted GUKPT trophy. Davies joins a line of superb former Luton champions including Neil Channing and a certain Sam Trickett.
Lastly, Dublin is once again playing host to a live event, namely the Winamax Poker Open. Always a popular stop, WPO Dublin's €550 Main Event has begun brightly with 336 players buying in on the first of two starting flights, including three-time WSOP bracelet winner Davidi Kitai. The Belgian finished with a stack large enough to warrant a top 10 spot on the leaderboard, but he was still quite some distance behind Day 1a chip leader Saber Harrazi.
Those of you wanting to keep abreast of the poker news from the United Kingdom and Ireland should bookmark the UK & Ireland PokerNews site, which updated each day with all the goings on from these two countries. Do it, you know it makes perfect sense!