Lee Davy brings you news of the World Championship of Online Poker Main Event winners: including three brand new millionaires.
As a 10-year old I donned a top hat and tails, held a black cane in my hand and sang: ‘Who wants to be a millionaire and have flash flunkies everywhere?’ I performed the Sinatra classic with a schoolgirl who came perilously close to falling off the stage because of her NFL sized shoulder pads.
“I don’t!” She replied.
It used to be a bucket list goal to become a millionaire. It was Del Boy’s fault. It’s not like that in the poker world. A million is no longer a million. It used to be fillet steak and caviar. Today, it’s more like fish and chips.
The World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) has ended. The wanderlust bit the dust as thousands of poker players explained to their partners that they had to work really hard for three weeks, and their partners got really angry as they cooked and cleaned whilst they played video games all day.
PokerStars dished out over $66m in prize money throughout those three weeks. Three people earned a million bucks, thousands more skipped across that profit line, and thousands more had a lot of explaining to do.
There is a scene in the fabulous Las Vegas show Absinthe where a lady, with her head encased in a giant balloon, suddenly steps into it. That’s what the poker world is like. Had Del Boy known about it he would have swapped the three wheeler and big brown suitcase for a deck of cards years ago.
Del Boy is not alone. There still isn’t that many people who know about this little bubble some of us call home. It’s a place filled with little ferret like kids all chasing golden carrots. Outsiders, called Muggles, are beleaguered when they hear the fantastical tales of guts and glory. There is also an insipid underbelly, but show me a part of the world that doesn’t rub shoulders with that particular monster and I will show you my hairy ass.
This morning a Belgian is waking up knowing that yesterday he banked $1.3m playing in the WCOOP Main Event. He paid $5,200 for the privilege – enough money to pay all of my living expenses for a month – so that’s quite a hefty profit. I am in Brussels next week, to play in the World Poker Tour (WPT) National Event, perhaps I will bump into him.
He wasn’t the only millionaire. A four-handed deal saw Nolet20 bank $1.2m and AlwaysiNduCe managed to sweet talk himself into a tasty headline for a conversation with a nice round million dollar prize. The chip leader, and arguably most experienced player at the table, Alexander “joiso” Kostritsyn finished eighth earning just $150,000. I know I used the word ‘just’. I understand the madness of that statement, but this is the world we live in.
Last night I spoke to Tim “WICKED617” Reilly and his beautiful wife Ness Reilly. They will be guests on the CalvinAyre Podcast sometime this week, or early next. Tim was the final table bubble boy. He earned $63,000 for his finish, but was bitterly disappointed.
“My friend wanted to throw me out of the window when I told him I had won $63,000 and was disappointed.” Reilly told me.
I was also fortunate enough to speak to Patrick “pads1161” Leonard yesterday. Leonard played hard throughout the series, won his first WCOOP title and managed to make a profit in the six figure region.
“It’s not about the money. I don’t think about the money anymore.” Said Leonard.
It’s difficult for people outside of this bubble to understand how the money doesn’t seem to register as much as you think it would. Trying to understand, without being a part of the community, would be like asking Rambo to exchange his M16 for a water pistol.
But I don’t think it will be too long before more people are drafted into this little secret. Jason Somerville is doing his level best to drag in more eyeballs via Twitch, Alexander Dreyfus is doing everything in his power to Sportify poker, and it can’t be too long before entities like Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) start to take notice of these astronomical numbers and place online poker on the same pedestal as the likes of Call of Duty and League of Legends.
In the meantime, here are the final table results of the WCOOP Main Event.
Final Table Results
1st. Coenaldinho7 – $1,300,000*
2nd. AlwaysiNduCe – $1,000,000*
3rd. Nolet20 – $1,223,000*
4th. Beertjes79 – $800,000
5th. Ravic85 – $400,000
6th. Rory “Mr.Kingball” Brown – $273,000
7th. K.T.A-1985 – $200,000
8th. Alexander “joiso” Kostritsyn – $150,000
9th. Bindernutnut – $100,000
* Indicates a four way deal with $200k left for the winner.