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Söndag 22 November, Edward Walters

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World Championship of Online Poker

The WCOOP, which stands for the World Championship of Online Poker, was established by PokerStars in 2002, just in time for the online poker boom. Since then, the WCOOP has grown to be the biggest online poker tournament on the Net.

The first winner of the WCOOP was a Swedish player, screen name, “MultiMarine,” who won $65,000+ in the main event of the championship. By 2003, the WCOOP tournament prize pool had grown, this time awarding $222,000+ to “DeOhGee,” who came in first place. The pots continued to grow. The 2004 winner, Ragde, won $435,000, while the 2005 winner, Panella86, saw $577,000 for making placing first. In 2006, the $600,000 WCOOP first prize went to professional poker player, J.C. Tran. Player, “Ka$ino,” won the 2007 prize, taking nearly $1.4 million for winning the WCOOP, which was actually a bigger first place prize than the following 2008 WCOOP.

WCOOP 2008

The most recent WCOOP in 2008 offered a total guaranteed prize pool of more than $30 million, which paid out to 33 events. These events included a wide variety of poker variations including Hold ‘em, Omaha, Razz, Stud, HORSE, 2-7Draw, and others. New games were introduced in 2008, as well. Some of these games included Mixed Hold ‘em and Mixed Omaha, 4-Max Hold ‘em, and an eight-game mixed event. Also new to the list of WCOOP games in 2008 were two high-roller events that brought in the big guns. Both of these events paid out about $600,000 to first place winners.
The 2008 WCOOP spanned across 16 days of harsh competition among 22,873 participating poker players from 119 countries that culminated with the $10K Guaranteed WCOOP Main Event. The winner was US player, “ckingusc,” who placed first in front of more than 2000 fellow poker players, winning the bracelet and a cash prize of just under $1.3 million.

A popular tournament

One reason the WCOOP is so popular is the large number of professional poker players and Team PokerStars Pros that play the events. In 2008, Chris Moneymaker made two of the final tables, once in the High-Roller No Limit Hold ‘em and also in the Pot Limit Omaha event. Another Team PokerStars Pro to end up at the Pot Limit Omaha final table was Vanessa Rousso. Other professional poker players included Gavin Griffin and Andre Akkari. Online French poker player, “ElkY,” did quite well throughout the entire tournament, banking more than $400,000 in combined winnings. The biggest winner, though, was “liberace” from the UK, who won more than $1.3 million, though, US player, “thedonator,” cashed the most times with 10 paying wins.

Highlights of the WCOOP series can be viewed at