The WCOOP is a festival which is keenly anticipated each year, even for those who cannot afford to play. Watching the best in the world going to war across the virtual felt makes for captivating viewing, and while there are no longer gold bracelets up for grabs, the 2016 edition has still been a fascinating spectacle – particularly in the final days.
Final few days of online festival see Galfond go close
Phil Galfond has always been a highly respected and well liked online pro who seems to have won most titles in his career, and so, many would be surprised to hear that he has never won a “COOP” title. Under his online alias of “MrSweets28” he has taken 2nd place in a SCOOP PLO High Roller in 2014 along with 4th place in a PLO Heads Up High Roller this year, but a major online title still eludes him.
On the final day of WCOOP 2016 Galfond once again came agonisingly close in the WCOOP Special Edition Sunday Warm Up. Having navigated his way through a field 6,200 players in a tournament with a prize pool of over $1,933,000 he eventually got heads up with Danish player “mighty28”. Despite his best efforts, he couldn’t overcome the chip deficit he started heads up play with and had to settle for another 2nd place finish. Galfond picked up over $183,000 for that, while mighty28 took home almost $265,000 for the win.
Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu battle for HORSE crown
147 entries meant that the prize pool grew to $294,000 in this hotly anticipated mixed game event. HORSE tournaments are renowned for bringing in pro heavy fields, and that always increases the chances of an exciting final table lineup and potentially a big name winner. This year’s $2,100 buy in HORSE event went one step further, delighting railbirds by pitting two global stars against each other in the final duel for the title.
As the final table reached heads up play, just live poker legend Daniel Negreanu and online poker legend Isildur1 remained. Negreanu held over 2.1 million chips to Isildur1‘s 798,669 which always meant life would be difficult for the Swedish star, as Negreanu‘s mixed game experience in addition to this chiplead proved to be enough. Isildur1 was simply on the wrong side of some early heads up pots when he didn’t have the chips to withstand it, and Negreanu duly took down his first WCOOP title. The Canadian pro collected $61,865 for that, while Isildur1 had to make do with $48,112.
SICK! Played exactly one WCOOP event and won it! Love playing mixed games. So fun. So so fun.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 25, 2016
Event 80 $700 NLH: James Obst runner -up
It may not have been the headline event reaching its conclusion this evening, but Event 80, the $700 NLH saw serial COOP crusher James “Andy McLEOD” Obst put on another spectacular display, finishing 2nd for $76,000.
Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez caps a great year by winning Player of the Series
Fabrizio Gonzalez is quickly becoming an very recognisable name in online poker, having joined a very special COOP triple winners club in the Spring. He managed to win event 48 in the SCOOP series, to become one of just four player who own a SCOOP, TCOOP and WCOOP title. Having greatly enhanced his reputation through this feat, he has now also won the WCOOP 2016 Player of the Series leaderboard.
The Uruguayan pro was consistent with his deep runs through the series, and while he didn’t take the WCOOP by storm, he did enough to comfortably win the title, with “blanconegro” following up in 2nd. Gonzalez wins the trophy, an Ultimate Bahamas Experience package, and a TCOOP Main Event ticket.
IlJaYJaYll wins the WCOOP Main Event
The Main Event of the WCOOP saw 2,091 hopefuls stump up the $5,000 buy in, which helped to narrowly avoid an overlay, with the guarantee set at $10 million. Many top pros from across the world sat down to play, but there were remarkably few big names left in the final 20 players. The only surviving team pro at that point was India’s Aditya Agarwal, although he eventually exited in 16th place.
The final table reached heads up play after “R_Scientist” bowed out in 3rd, but he will at least see a good profit on the two bullets he fired, having picked up a $799,196 prize for his efforts. The heads up battle that followed would go on for some time, as “0409479” and “llJaYJaYll” traded blows with each other. The momentum swung back and forth before finally, an AQ vs AK cooler put an end to proceedings. German player “llJaYJaYll” was on the right side of that altercation, and crippled UK player “0409479” in the process. It was all over soon after, with the German player taking home $1,517,541 for his WCOOP Main Event win. His opponent will no doubt take some comfort in the $1,101,278 he received for 2nd place.
Article by Craig B.