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PokerStars Breaks Online Records with Nearly $100m Awarded in 2018 WCOOP

Dutch poker player wann2play wins $1.3 million.

Poker fans were expecting huge numbers from this year’s World Championship of Online Poker on PokerStars but no one could have predicted a record-setting $99,549,664 being awarded to players over a 17-day span.

It’s the most cash that’s ever been awarded over the course of a single online series and just the latest sign that online poker may be experiencing a bit of a renaissance.

By the time the smoke had cleared on this year’s WCOOP, which ran Sept. 2-18, there were a total of 1,101,677 entries.

It helped that WCOOP switched to a three-tiered schedule for the first time ever this year with low, medium and high buy-in levels for each event.

That meant there were a total of 185 tournaments but the series still managed to surpass the lofty $70 million that PokerStars guaranteed in prizes.

Online Player wann2play Closes Out WCOOP for $1.3m

It’s not often you can play a poker tournament from the comfort of your own home and walk away with $1.35 million but that’s exactly what Dutch online player wann2play accomplished this week.

wann2play outlasted all 2,044 entries in the WCOOP $5,200 buy-in Main Event to take home the $1.35-million first-place prize and a $30,000 Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC), which takes place at the PCA in the Caribbean early next year.

The Dutch player pulled off a little bit of a Chris Moneymaker as he qualified for the WCOOP Main Event through a $530 satellite.

wann2play wasn’t even the only newly made millionaire that came out of the 2018 WCOOP Main Event as runner-up finisher eze88888 locked up $1.25 million thanks to a heads-up deal.

Noted Austrian poker pro Linus “LLinusLLove” Loeliger came in third place for $764,501 while old-school poker pro Noah “Exclusive” Boeken finished sixth to win $270,293.

Here’s a complete look at the final-table payouts for the 2018 WCOOP Main Event (*reflects two-way deal):

  • 1. wann2play (Netherlands) - $1,352,967.97*
  • 2. eze88888 (Argentina) - $1,257,203.66*
  • 3. Linus “LLinusLLove” Loeliger (Austria) - $764,501.99
  • 4. PlayaPlz (Costa Rica) - $540.584.85
  • 5. Michael “mczhang” Zhang (UK) - $382,252.52
  • 6. Noah “Exclusive” Boeken (Netherlands) - $270,293.45
  • 7. 0409479 (UK) - $191,127.28
  • 8. 4rebmun (Canada) - $135,147.23

Lex Veldhuis Attracts 30,000+ Viewers on Twitch

Thanks to popular Dutch poker pro Lex Veldhuis, the 2018 WCOOP also came close to breaking some impressive records for Twitch viewership.

Veldhuis made a very deep run in the $5,200 buy-in WCOOP Main Event and actually live streamed the entire experience.

Over 34,000 viewers tuned in on Twitch.tv to watch Veldhuis play some extremely high-level poker with massive stakes on the line. It’s the second-most views that any poker player has ever achieved on Twitch.

The Team PokerStars pro’s run ended with a disappointing 58th place so there’s a good chance he would have broken all Twitch records for online poker if he made the final table.

On the bright side, Veldhuis picked up a $28,632 consolation prize and surpassed the 6,000 subscriber mark on his Twitch channel.

Getting to see the hole cards and thought process of an elite poker player like Veldhuis during a major tournament like the WCOOP Main Event would have been unheard of even five years ago.

There were plenty of impressive numbers to come out of the 2018 WCOOP, however. Here are some other eye-popping stats from the series:

  • Total events: 185
  • Total prize pool: $99,539,195
  • Players in the money: 150,239
  • Points leader: Denis “aDrENalin710” Strebkov (1,325 points)
  • Most titles: Denis “aDrENalin710” Strebkov (Five titles)
  • First prizes awarded: $15,112,664
  • Team PokerStars Pro with Most Knockouts: Jaime Staples (122 eliminations)
  • Most cashes: ImLuckNuts (53 cashes)