The 2009 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) will go down in history for many reasons, not the least of which was the amount of money awarded to players. Though the guarantees promised more than $40 million would be up for grabs, the final total of prize pools for the 45 events came to $51,652,800. More than $50 million dollars in less than 2.5 weeks of online poker tournaments!
History will also note that three different players took down multiple WCOOP bracelets, which is unprecedented in online poker tournament series. Ryan “g0lfa” D’Angelo claimed two victories in the 2009 series, one in Event 18 and the other only days later in Event 29. Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier did it next and within the span of two days by winning Events 38 and 43. Then came Daniel “djk123” Kelly, who won Event 2 early in the series but came back with a last-minute victory in Event 44 and made the final table of the Main Event to claim the Player of the Series award.
And finally, the WCOOP Main Event was not only exciting for the money at stake, but many of the players in the last stages of the tournament were well-known throughout the world for their poker skills. When Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko won Event 45 and more than $1.7 million, the WPT World Champion surprised no one but reiterated in his own way that poker is a game of skill, and sometimes the best player simply does win.
Let’s get to the details of the last five tournaments that wrapped the 2009 WCOOP.
Event 41: $530 Pot-Limit Omaha Heads-Up Match Play
In the one and only PLO heads-up opportunity of the 2009 WCOOP, the guarantee was set at $250K and only eclipsed that slightly when the 526 entrants made it $263,000. Players had to win two matches to get to the money portion of the event where the final 128 were paid. But only two made the final table, and AB_illusive and robert07 started with even chip stacks of 3.84 million each. It was robert07 who took the lead soon into the match and only gave it up once, but soon after chipped away at AB_illusive until the last hand. After a flop of , AB_illusive got his chips in with , but robert07 had the better hand with . The turn and river allowed it to hold and gave robert07 the win with more than $52K in prize money.
1st place: robert07 ($52,600)
2nd place: AB_illusive ($26,300)
3rd place: hartwith ($15,780)
4th place: GambleAB ($15,780)
Event 42: $2,100 8-Game Mixed
A higher buy-in mixed game was on tap for the second tournament on Saturday, September 19, and there were 245 players interested. The $350K guarantee was bypassed for a $490,000 prize pool, though only 36 players would see any part of it. Two PokerStars Pros ran deep - Chad Brown (25th place) and Joe Hachem (24th place), but it was Van “Sirens” Marcus who led the final six-handed table when it began. He finished third and left Alexander “joiso” Kostritsyn and David “RugDoctor” Williams to face each other heads-up, and the last hand of the night saw RugDoctor in the lead and holding ()() (). That flush outdid joiso’s ()() () and the straight. David Williams claimed his first WCOOP title and more than $107K to go with it.
1st place: RugDoctor ($107,800)
2nd place: joiso ($75,215)
3rd place: Sirens ($56,350)
4th place: luetch1 ($39,200)
5th place: plattsburgh ($29,400)
6th place: grampabumkin ($19,600)
Event 43: $215 No-Limit Hold’em
The last night of WCOOP events brought all of the players still seeking titles and a piece of the millions left in guarantees, which meant the field started with 9,220 players. The $1 million guarantee was absolutely killed in lieu of a $1,844,000 prize pool, and the final 1,350 players received a piece of it. But it was at the final table where the biggest battle would ensue, where jm18 began as the chipleader but Team PokerStars Pro and previous 2009 WCOOP winner Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier was not to be counted out. While jm18 exited in seventh place, ElkY made it to three-handed as the short stack but doubled through and then eliminated chilipepp. Chip counts between jetkiss and ElkY were nearly even at the start of heads-up action, but the latter quickly went to work and took the lead. Finally, ElkY pushed all-in with and jetkiss called all-in with , but the board came , and the river gave ElkY his second WCOOP bracelet along with another $263K to add to his massive live and online career winnings.
1st place: ElkY ($263,323.20)
2nd place: jetkiss ($193,620.00)
3rd place: chilipepp ($137,285.80)
4th place: KNtheKid ($92,200.00)
5th place: Profesigh ($73,760.00)
6th place: kezug ($55,320.00)
7th place: jm18 ($36,880.00)
8th place: bundesmiro ($20,284.00)
9th place: Trippple_A ($12,908.00)
Event 44: $10,300 High Roller HORSE
The last non-main event tournament of the WCOOP was one for the high-stakes players who could buy-in to a HORSE event for $10,300. There were 103 takers, which pushed the prize pool just past the $1 million guarantee to $1,030,000. Only the last 16 players standing were to be paid, though the only Team PokerStars Pros in the money were Katja Thater, Chad Brown, and Noah Boeken, the latter of whom made the final table. The chip leader at said table, though, was Matt “Hoss_TBF” Hawrilenko, who ended up finishing in fourth place, just ahead of Boeken in fifth. Heads-up started with ozenc holding twice as many chips as previous WCOOP winner Daniel “djk123” Kelly, but djk123 pulled ahead and dominated from then on. ozenc finally put his chips at risk with ()() (), but djk123 had ()() 0 (), and the pair of sixes brought djk123 his second WCOOP title and another $252K to add to his winnings.
1st place: djk123 ($252,350)
2nd place: ozenc ($175,100)
3rd place: NoraFlum ($133,900)
4th place: Hoss_TBF ($92,700)
5th place: Exclusive ($66,950)
6th place: wallfly ($51,500)
7th place: matchpoint20 ($41,200)
8th place: Jorj95 ($30,900)
Event 45: $5,200 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, 2-day
The first of the two days of the Main Event found 2,144 players starting the day with the $10 million guarantee in mind but the final prize pool ending at $10,720,000. The bubble burst midway through the day so the last 306 players could be paid, and 178 players ended the night with chips. They returned on Day 2, where the last Team PokerStars Pro standing - Jan Heitmann - left in 141st place and other big names in online poker followed, like Isaac Haxton and Layne Flack.
When the final nine were seated at the final table, it was two-time WCOOP winner Daniel “djk123” Kelly in the lead with more than 12 million chips, and Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko following with more than 10.5 million. djk123 ended up finishing in fourth place but secured his place as the 2009 WCOOP Player of the Series, for which he will receive a trophy and PokerStars Caribbean Adventure prize package. Moving forward in the tournament to heads-up, though, were Jovial Gent and Udon Wannit. Jovial Gent came in with more than a 3-to-1 chip advantage and took care of his opponent rather quickly. The final hand started with a flop, and Udon Wannit pushed all-in with for middle pair, but Jovial Gent called with for two pair. The on the turn and on the river changed nothing, and Jovial Gent won the Main Event and $1,715,200 first place prize.
1st place: Jovial Gent ($1,715,200)
2nd place: Udon Wannit ($1,286,400)
3rd place: reddeevil ($933,712)
4th place: djk123 ($643,200)
5th place: Xaston ($482,400)
6th place: Chong94 ($375,200)
7th place: Mudvaynes ($268,000)
8th place: Supa4real ($182,240)
9th place: PeachyMer ($96,480)
And that wrapped the 2009 WCOOP on PokerStars. To participate in the site’s daily tournaments or the world-renowned Sunday majors, download PokerStars now. Use marketing code “POKERWORKS” and bonus code “STARS600” to qualify for a 100% bonus and weekly $2,000 freerolls.