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The time has come once again to get on the virtual tables and earn those bragging rights, not to mention you share of the millions of dollars in prizes up for grabs. That’s right, folks. PokerStars is once again hosting the World Championship of Online Poker, and it’s set to be even bigger than ever before so make sure you don’t miss out. Today Event 11 took place, with flashdisastr walking away the eventual champion.

The WCOOP is an annual series of tournaments sponsored by PokerStars and hosted on their site, and is the largest online series of poker tournaments that can be found on the internet. Each year the number of events and the sum of the guaranteed prize pools seems to get bigger and bigger, and this year is certainly no exception with 62 individual events coming together to offer a staggering guaranteed prize pool of $50,000,000. The Main Event of the series alone is guaranteed to boast a massive $10,000,000 prize pool.

The eleventh event ran its course throughout the day today, and while it was a No Limit Hold’Em event, it certainly wasn’t your run of the mill tournament. This was an “Ante Up” event, which means that the small blind and the big blind are equal – in this case they were five chips a piece – and remain fixed throughout the tournament. Right from the outset, however, there is an ante and this ante increases over time in the same way that blinds would in a regular tournament. This format makes for an action packed game as all players already feel invested in the pot coming into each hand.

Despite its slightly unusual format, the tournament drew a great crowd. The final count was 1,789 players registered, whether they bought-in directly for $300 + $20, or won their way in via the numerous satellite tournaments PokerStars is running. The large number of players meant the tournament lasted for over 16 hours, but also had the effect of far exceeding the guaranteed $300,000 prize pool, with the final figure coming in at an impressive $536,700. 234 places were paid with the official first place prize money being in excess of $85,000.

While there were amateurs and seasoned players aplenty in the tournament, there were also a slightly rarer breed of poker enthusiasts taking part: Team PokerStars Pros. Several turned out to remind the contestants where they were playing and, of course, to take a stab at running deep into the money. Stars Pro “stevesbets” was the chip leader for the majority of the final table, and made it into in the final three when talk of a chop cropped up.

The chips were close to even when the three called a pause to the tournament to discuss a chip, with the shortest having 2.5 Million and the deepest 3.5. All three players seemed oddly adamant that no deal they would come to would satisfy:

flashdisastr: nah i will never agree
stevesbets: i almost certainly will not agree to anything where someone gets a “bonus”
gaffel: I knew i would not agree earlier

And yet a few seconds later, after the numbers had been calculated and each player saw he would be receiving more than $60,000, the three players were remarkably quick to change their tune:

gaffel: i agree
flashdisastr: i agree
stevesbets: i agree

The winner of each WCOOP receives a golden bracelet, so the rules stated that any chop must leave $6,000 and the bracelet to be played out for, so despite ensuring a decent chunk of money each, they still had some poker to play. gaffel was the first to fall by the wayside, and then the remaining two battled it out in heads up play until the final hand took place. stevesbets opened, flashdisastr reraised with a 7:1 chip advantage and called stevesbets reshove. stevesbets flipped over 44 to be up against flashdisastr’s AQ. The classic race was won by the chip leader as the board ran out T92QQ, awarding him $6,000 and golden WCOOP bracelet.

The World Championship of Online Poker is a great way to test your set of skills against other players while having a whole lot of fun. More importantly, it’s also a great way to pick up some serious cash, with the prize pool guarantees being truly huge and the events many and varied. While it’s now too late to participate in Event 11, there are still a large number of tournaments on the horizon, so why not get over to PokerStars now and perhaps you could follow in the footsteps of flashdisastr.

The official final table results are as follows:

1. flashdisastr – $68,072.32
2. stevesbets – $66,044.22
3. gaffel – $64,463.11
4. 247cat – $35,288.02
5. anakinso – $25,493.25
6. foot1oose – $19,857.90
7. elchwarror – $14,490.90
8. TaLKHoUsE – $9,392.25
9. t soprano – $5,367.00