WPT WOC Finds Five New Champions in $100.7M Series

The World Poker Tour entered new territory in 2020. For 18 seasons, it focused on hosting live tournaments around the world, filming final tables for television broadcasts. When this year delivered the coronavirus pandemic and closed live poker in virtually every country in the world – while also banning most travel – the WPT needed to do something…fast.

Luckily, WPT executives had already been in talks with PartyPoker about trying to replicate the live tournament experience online. They wanted to offer a WPT-quality tournament in the online space. The goal was to invite more people to play and present more opportunities in new parts of the world.

When the pandemic hit and the WPT was forced to cancel all of its events around the globe, the WPT got PartyPoker on the line (or on email or video conference). It was time to move up the timeline and get those tournaments online ASAP.

Building an Online Business

The first offering was the WPT Online Series by PartyPoker. It ran for nearly 2.5 weeks in May with 10 WPT-branded events (including WPT500 and WPTDeepStacks events) amongst a bigger PartyPoker series schedule.

Not long after the success of that initial foray into the online world, the World Poker Tour announced another one, one that could compete with the World Series of Poker’s online offerings and other competitors like PokerStars. The WPT World Online Championships – nicknamed the WPT WOC – took shape and guaranteed $100 million.

In the weeks that followed, the WPT and PartyPoker worked out some kinks, smoothed the schedule, and added leaderboard competitions and a charity tournament. The WPT WOC was ready to begin on July 18 and run through the middle of September.

The Final Results

The core of the WPT WOC offered 12 tournaments, most of which consisted of three buy-in levels to accommodate a variety of bankrolls. But the full schedule offered much more, with daily WPT offerings for the entirety of the two months.

Last week, the series ended.

Buy-ins ranged from $5.50 to $102,000, most offering reentries as well, and the series paid a total of $100,746,175 in cash prize pools.

There were also two leaderboard competitions, one for larger buy-ins and the other for the lower ones.

The main Player of the Championship leaderboard focusing on higher buy-ins, for which PartyPoker posted $75,000 for the top players of the series. Artur Martirosyan of Russia took the top spot. He won $50K for that accomplishment, which included three wins, 11 final tables, and 17 cashes.

The Rising Star leaderboard offered $25K for the top performers in lower buy-in tournaments. Luiz Antonio Silva Constantino De Melo won $10K for finishing atop that large group of players.

Five Members of WPT Champions Club

All of the tournaments in the WPT WOC series awarded prize pools and titles with the “WPT” brand attached. However, only five of those titles put their associated players in the WPT Champions Club. This comes with their names engraved on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup, a Hublot watch for each, as well as a set of Everyday Baccarat Tumblers. Each of those five winners also took a $15K seat to the WPT Tournament of Champions presented by Baccarat Crystal.

The most obvious WPT Champions Club member is the winner of the main WPT Main Event, the $10,300 buy-in World Championship event. That tournament attracted 1,011 entries and an $10.11 million prize pool. Phil Mighall of the UK won it for $1,550,298.

The other four new members of the WPT Champions Club are:

  • Gavin Cochrane (UK) won $540,664 for Event 3 ($3,200 NLHE 8-Max), which had 1,062 entries and a $3,186,000 prize pool.
  • Nick Petrangelo (Canada) won $494,550 for Event 4 ($3,200 NLHE 6-Max), which drew 999 entries and a $3,000,000 prize pool ($3K overlay).
  • Daniel Smyth (Ireland) won $204,588.92 for Event 5 ($3,200 NLHE Knockout), with its 1,035 entries and $3,105,000 prize pool.
  • Andrey Kotelnikov (Russia) won $488,508 for Event 6 ($3,200 NLHE/PLO Mix-Max), which attracted 989 entries and a $3,000,000 prize pool ($33K overlay).

Other WPT Championship Winners

These players won top buy-in WPT WOC Championship tournaments, though these did not allow the winners into the WPT Champions Club. Even so, they won some significant prize money and impressive online poker titles.

  • Event 1: $3,200 PLO Hi-Lo: Paul Tedeschi won for $92,105 (145 total entries)
  • Event 2: $3,200 PLO: Alex Manzano won for $176,131 (342 total entries)
  • Event 7: $109 NLHE Micro Main Event: Luiz De Melo won for $148,985 (8,465 total entries)
  • Event 7: $1,050 NLHE Mini Main Event: Renan Carlos Bruschi won for $504,582 (4,600 total entries)
  • Event 9: $3,200 NLHE Heads-Up: Steve O’Dwyer won for $135,000 (166 total players)
  • Event 10: $25,500 NLHE High Roller: Mikita Badziakouski won for $1,062,730 (199 total entries)
  • Event 11: $3,200 NLHE Turbo: Dimitar Danchev won for $188,316 (433 total entries)
  • Event 12: $102K NLHE Super High Roller: Michael Addamo won for $1,284,113 (40 total entries)


Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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