American Players Score Big During WCOOP

Matthew Clark October 7, 2017 469 Reads
WCOOP

The PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker concluded recently with millions in prize money awarded. American players are unable to play PokerStars (except for New Jersey) within home borders but quite a few travel to Canada and Mexico to play in the largest online series of the year. For some of those players, it was a profitable trip with titles and deep runs to show for their many days of grinding.

Petrangelo ships $25K High Roller

The highest buy-in events on the WCOOP schedule were the respective $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold’em high rollers. A total of 149 entries jumped in the hold’em variation and Nick ‘caecilius’ Petrangelo emerged on top to win $624,676 in a three-way chop deal. Petrangelo added the major score to his career online total that includes a win in the Sunday Million.

Taking second in the deal was Bryn Kenney, who earned $559,694. Kenney started his WCOOP off strong by final tabling the $1,050 Sunday Million. A few tournaments later, Kenney placed fifth in the $2,100 FL Triple Draw, earning $13,440.

Strong series for Connor Drinan

Following up on his top-60 finish in the World Series of Poker Main Event, Connor ‘blanconegro’ Drinan continued his hot run with a WCOOP title. Drinan won the $530 PLO8 event for $38,000 and a few weeks later, made the final table of the $530 8-Game High Roller. That run resulted in a third-place finish for Drinan, who added $19,740 to his PokerStars account.

During the course of the series, Drinan added a pair of top-20 finishes in the $2,100 8-Max event and the and the $10,300 High Roller, earning a combined $37,000 more. Drinan also added a final table result in the $1,050 Fixed Limit Hold’em 6-Max event.

Drinan’s WCOOP continued his strong 2017 COOP campaign. Drinan ended the Spring Championship of Online Poker with a sixth place win in the $10,300 Main Event, where he earned his career-best online score of $250,723.

‘Big Huni’ wins first WCOOP title

One of the greatest online tournament players of all-time by any metric, Chris ‘BigHuni’ Hunichen finally earned his first career WCOOP title. Hunichen shipped the $530 5-Card PLO event for $53,537, defeating a final table that included fellow American Michael ‘munchenHB’ Telker, who placed fourth.

Hunichen recently crossed over the $10,000,000 mark in career online tournament earnings, making him the fifth player ever to do so. During the partypoker Powerfest series in September, Hunichen earned his best career online score by winning the $5,200 buy-in high roller for $143,325. 

Nick Rampone Cashes Big

The $530 $1.5 million guaranteed Sunday Million brought in a field of 3,574 and $256,502 went up top for first place. Nick ‘PureCash25’ Rampone took down the title, besting his three final table appearances from the 2017 SCOOP series. The two-day event brought back 166 players for Day 2 and Rampone emerged victorious for one of the largest scores of any player during WCOOP.

Americans run deep in WCOOP Main Event

The WCOOP Main Event placed a $10 million guaranteed prize pool up for grabs and 2,183 entrants tried their hand at winning the $1,624,000 first place prize won by Steven ‘SvZff’ van Zadelhoff. No Americans with recorded online accounts made the final table but a fair amount made their presence felt deep in the tournament.

Jordan ‘JWProdigy’ Westmoreland and Jon ‘PearlJammer’ Turner earned over $55,000 each for 21st and 23rd place finishes. Turner’s finish is far from his best in a COOP Main Event as he finished third in the 2009 SCOOP finale for $527,100. 

Ankush ‘pistons87’ Mandavia took 41st and 2017 SCOOP Main Event runner-up Harrison ‘gibler321’ Gimbel made a run to go back-to-back but fell in 46th.

Other Americans who reached the top-100 were Brian ‘byoon’ Yoon and Nick ‘FU_15’ Maimone.

Looking ahead

There were some notable absences in American participation with Calvin Anderson and Shaun Deeb sitting this year’s WCOOP out. As online poker becomes more difficult to access, it will be interesting to see what the numbers look like when SCOOP comes around in 2018.