WCOOP: Nevanlinna, Ventura and Shakerchi Score, ‘Doke’ Gets Close

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Jussi 'calvin7v' Nevanlinna, Diego 'Die_Ventura' Ventura, and Dara 'Doke' O'Kearney had big-time scores over the weekend during WCOOP 2021.

The weekend’s 2021 World Championship of Online Poker events saw some of online poker’s most notable names score big as the latest High events in the PokerStars online series took place. There were wins for players including South American poker crusher Diego Ventura, British high roller Talal Shakerchi, and Finnish online legend Jussi ‘calvin7v’ Nevanlinna, who moved into the top four of all-time WCOOP title winners. Plus, a near miss for long-time grinder, and author, Dara ‘Doke’ O’Kearney.

The High events saw some of the biggest action of the weekend, with Event #26-H ($530 NLHE Deep Stack Freezeout) seeing Finnish player ‘mahmutt88’ taking the title and $53,840 top prize. It was Bulgarian player ‘Stoqnov303’ who finished second, beaten heads-up to take the $40,145 runner-up prize, with Canadian ‘Camilancefieldg’ claiming $29,934 for a podium finish. Brazilian player Pedro Garagnani, a recent big winner himself online, came fifth for $16,643.

Dara ‘SlowDoke’ O’Kearney came fourth for $22,320 after qualifying for the tournament via a satellite, not a surprise for someone who has published a bestselling poker book on the subject, 2019’s Poker Satellite Strategy.

As he told us after his weekend win, O’Kearney follows strict self-discipline on entering events of this level, despite his enormous success at the online felt.

“I’m following conservative bankroll management these days with all the big series online, so for WCOOP anything above $215 I only play if I satellite in.”

This stringent strategy led to a massive return on O’Kearney’s investment on Sunday.

“I got into [the event] through the last deadline satellite – pro tip, those are always the softest. To be honest, I remember very little about Day 1 other than being pleasantly surprised that I got through with a decent stack as I was 12-tabling. For Day 2, I kept down to six tables to give it more focus which meant I even ended up skipping my favourite Sunday MTT, the Supernova on Unibet.”

Day 2 was inevitably a tough field, as some of the best poker players around got down to the business end of bringing their A-games to battle for big money.

“The field got noticeably tougher as it thinned out,” agrees O’Kearney. “I remember deciding I had to take thin edges given how tough the remaining field was. The first one I took, four-bet shoving ace-five suited on the final table bubble paid off, as I got there against pocket jacks. The bust-out was a similar spot, barely profitable, but this time my pocket deuces didn’t get there against pocket tens, but I have no regrets.”

One of the biggest winners over the weekend was Peru’s finest poker player – at least in terms of live results – Diego Ventura. The Peruvian poker professional won Event #28-H ($1,050 8-Max PKO) for a total of $113,488 as the massive prize pool of $810,000 was shared out between just 103 players of the 810 entries.

The top two chopped bar a dollar for the win, but Ventura’s incredible bounty total meant he won a lot more than ‘Spotzilla666’ in second place ($20,642 in bounties and a $58,993 runner-up prize) and ‘GamadGADOL’ ($7,273 in bounties and $36,619 for their third-place finish. Elsewhere in the event, five Brazilians cashed in the top 18 players, another amazing South American showing in a series that has been dominated by players from the continent.

Event #27-H ($1,050 5-Card PLO8 6-Max) saw ‘PaGaOVelhinho’ win yet another WCOOP title for $32,834, with Lithuania’s ‘vincelis’ (2nd for $24,991) and Russian ‘recusant_89’ (3rd for $19,021) both coming close. Elsewhere in the event, recent PokerStars Team Pro addition Parker ‘tonkaaaa’ Talbot sneaked into the money in 18th place for $2,386. The event saw Ami ‘UhhMee’ Barer miss out on the money by bubbling the event, having claimed the Event #21-M WCOOP title just last week.

Event #29-H ($2,100 8-Game 6-Max) saw the incredible ‘calvin7v’ from Finland, a.k.a. Jussi Nevanlinna, win his fifth WCOOP title, putting him fourth on the list of all-time multiple WCOOP winners. The champion took the top prize of $40,486 from a prize pool of $150,000, with 68 yielding just nine paid places. ‘Fresh_oO_D’ came second for $30,264, with ‘spaise411’ finishing third for $22,623, while Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira snuck into the money by finishing ninth for $5,280.

One of the biggest winners of the weekend was British player Talal ‘raidalot’ Shakerchi, the high roller regular taking his second WCOOP title after winning Event #45 of the 2020 WCOOP series. Shakerchi, who won a SCOOP title way back in 2016 too, bossed Event #37-H ($5,200 NLHE 8-Max Turbo PKO High Roller) for a top prize of $124,687 including bounties and place prizes combined. With a whopping $580,000 prize pool and 116 entries, ‘WushuTM’ won $42,187 in bounties and $56,406 as a place prize for coming second, with current #1-ranked Yuri ‘theNERDguy’ Dzivielevski amassing over $55,000 in total winnings by finishing third.

In the Event #30-H ($2,100 NLHE 8-Max Turbo) tournament, ‘WizardOffAz’ won the $63,304 top prize, with ‘Graftekkel’ (2nd for $49,284) and ‘YacuTTi’ (3rd for $38,369) both falling just short. With a massive $314,000 in the prize pool, 157 entries saw just 20 players cash with Sam ‘SamSquid’ Grafton (19th for $4,267) among them. Event #31-H ($1,050 7-Max Turbo PKO) saw 382 players topped by ‘_m0ney2_89’, who lived up to their name to win over $78,000 in prizes, while Event #36-H ($1,050 8-Max PKO Freezeout) saw $457,000 in the prize pool claimed by some great players, with the winner, ‘Piggysnipz’ winning over $74,000 and the title.

The weekend welcomed plenty of winners in low and medium events. WCOOP winners in those value events included ‘JohnnieD47’ (Event #26-L), ‘Venulaband’ (Event #26-M), ‘Maverick250’ (Event #27-L), ‘IExPlayI’ (Event #27-M), ‘iveydoagrest’ (Event #28-L), ‘makemevision’ (Event #28-M), ‘lukaschek.1’ (Event #29-L), ‘Loveles5’ (Event #29-M), ‘fiorikopke69’ (Event #30-L), ‘Manu8866’ (Event #30-M), ‘lucksomuch77’ (Event #31-L), ‘karbovski’ (Event #31-M), ‘Durabo’ (Event #36-L), $uperdecay (Event #36-M), ‘anth0nypappa’ (Event #37-L) and ‘“0PIGGYBANK”’ (Event #37-M).

High Event Winners:

Event #26 (High) $530 NLHE Deep Stack Freezout
Prize pool $305,000
Entries: 610

  1. ‘mahmuttt88’ – $53,840
  2. ‘Stoqnov303’ – $40,145
  3. ‘Camilancefieldg’ $29,934

Event #27 (High) $1,050 5-Card PLO8 6-Max
Prize pool: $162,000
Entries: 162

  1. ‘PaGaOVelhinho’ – $32,834
  2. ‘vincelis’ – $24,991
  3. ‘recusant_89’ – $19,021

Event #28 (High) $1,050 8-Max PKO
Prize pool: $810,000
Entries: 810

  1. ‘Die_Ventura’ – $54,494 (Bounties) $58,994 (Prize)
  2. ‘Spotzilla666’ – $20,642 (Bounties) $58,993 (Prize)
  3. ‘GamadGADOL’ $7,273 (Bounties) $36,619 (Prize)

Event #29 (High) $2,100 8-Game 6-Max
Prize pool: $150,000
Entries: 68

  1. ‘calvin7v’ – $40,486
  2. ‘Fresh_oO_D’ – $30,264
  3. ‘spaise411’ – 22,623

Event #30 (High) $2,100 NLHE 8-Max Turbo
Prize pool: $314,000
Entries: 157

  1. ‘WizardOffAz’ – $63,304
  2. ‘Graftekkel’ – $49,284
  3. ‘YacuTTi’ – $38,369

Event #31 (High) $1,050 7-Max Turbo PKO
Prizepool: 382,000
Entries: 382

  1. ‘_m0ney2_89’ – $45,207 (Bounties) $33,950 (Prize)
  2. ‘zerodeda’ – $6,218 (Bounties) $33,950 (Prize)
  3. ‘pistecaloze’ $250 (Bounties) $19,816 (Prize)

Event #36 (High) $1,050 8-Max PKO Freezeout
Prizepool: 457,000
Entries: 457

  1. ‘Piggysnipz’ $38,648 (Bounties) $35,700 (Prize)
  2. ‘GlobalHappiness’ – $22,085 (Bounties) $35,699 (Prize)
  3. ‘Proudflop’ – $22,626 (Prize only)

Event #37 (High) $5,200 NLHE 8-Max Turbo PKO High Roller
Prize pool: $580,000
Entries: 116

  1. ‘raidalot’ – $68,281 (Bounties) $56,406 (Prize)
  2. ‘WushuTM’ $42,187 (Bounties) $56,406 (Prize)
  3. ‘theNERDguy’ $16,093 (Bounties) $38,157 (Prize)