PokerStars has recently begun running more regional events and the response has been quite positive. In fact, there has been enough attention that the world’s leading online poker site decided to run a Regional Championship of Online Poker shortly after the culmination of the 2010 WCOOP. The American version began yesterday with Event #1, a $55 re-buy tournament with a 6-max structure. Over 1,100 Americans entered the ground-breaking event. With 1,147 entrants, 1,981 re-buys, and another 831 add-ons the tournament prize pool grew to nearly $200,000 before topping out at $197,950. It is always a great sign when the first event of a series crushes its guarantee and those participating in the 2010 USA COOP can hope for more of the same as the 11 event series runs through November 28th.

While 144 spots made the money there was not one PokerStars professional who was able to get paid. Getting the closest was Supernova Elite extraordinaire George “Jorj94” Lind who is always one of the first players each year to reach SNE. The first final table of the 2010 USA COOP was only six players but that did not take away from the quality of the competition.  A handful of well-known online professionals made it to the final six to battle itou of a $33,157 first-place prize and ultimate countrywide bragging rights.

Coming in 6th was Jeremy “thechemist83” Gaubert who earned just $5,938 for his final table appearance. The highly-ranked online MTT pro has seen great success on PokerStars in the past including a 2nd place finish in the Sunday Million in 2007 for $178,398 as well as a victory in the Sunday Warm-Up for $79,853 that very same year.  Finishing one spot better in fifth place was small-stakes grinder “ant0730” who just missed out on what would have been the first five-figure score of his career on PokerStars.

One of the best poker players in the world, Adam “Roothlus” Levy, was unable to use all of his experience to his advantage as he fell in fourth place for just $12,866. The well-known live and online professional found himself in the spotlight during last year’s 2009 WSOP broadcast where he tussled with Phil Hellmuth on multiple occasions.  However, it is online where Levy is his most dominant having shipped many six-figure scores including a massive $387,500 payday for finishing 2nd in FTOPS Event 22 last February.  While Levy might have been the best tournament grinder at the final table the same could be said about “AndrewBoccia” when it comes to cash games. The mid-stakes professional has put in a ton of hands online and has made quite a name for himself in $2/4 through $5/10 6-max games. With his experience in six-max cash it was no surprise he fared as well as he did in a deep stack re-buy tournament.

Heads-up play came down to “ShipshapeSir” and “akb1” who both quickly agreed upon a chip-chop divvying  up the remaining $57,900 prize pool based on chip counts. Taking the biggest piece of the pie and the title was akb1 who easily earned the biggest score of his career. ShipshapeSir also earned a nice $27,450 payday which bested a win in the $11 re-buy on Stars earlier this year for $10,958.

Congratulations goes to akb1, ShipshapeSir, and all 144 players who made the money in the 2010 USA COOP Event #1!!

PokerStars USA COOP Event #1 $150k Guaranteed
1,147 Entrants; $197,950 prize pool
*2-way chop

1. akb1 $30,450
2. ShipshapeSir $27,450
3. AndrewBoccia $18,805
4. Roothlus $12,866
5. ant0730 $8,492
6. thechemist83 $5,938