The most expensive online poker tournament, PokerStars, came to a conclusion this week and when the betting was over it was Ben Tollerene standing victorious.
A week before its $10 million World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) gets underway, PokerStars hosted a super-high-stakes showdown that was as much of a spectacle for the rail as it was the players.
Costing a bankroll busting $51,000 to enter, WCOOP Event #47 attracted a veritable “who’s who” of the poker world on its opening day.
From live stalwarts, such as Daniel Negreanu and Jason Mercier to online grinders such as the aforementioned Tollerene and defending WCOOP Main Event champion, Fedor Holz, the tournament was a glittering affair.
However, after the opening day saw the 46 runners whittled down to just eight, it was Mike McDonald who led the way. Holding just enough chips to lead the UK’s ‘Cekajas14’, McDonald looked like the man to beat on Monday.
As the final eight battled for one of the six prize money places, it was Tollerene who took control.
The American pro, who now lives in Canada, is traditionally a high stakes cash game player; although, he took a break from the grind to ante-up $51,000 and compete in PokerStars’ landmark WCOOP event.
After watching Canada’s ‘dpeters17’ miss out on a payday in seventh, then WCOOP expert Fedor Holz exit in sixth, Tollerene began to make some moves. Conspiring to oust the former chip leader McDonald before pushing ‘Nopaleva’ to the rail, Tollerene was then willing to discuss a deal with his final two opponents.
With Nikita Bodyakovskiy, Jose Angel Latorre and Tollerene unwilling to give up any equity, the trio eventually agreed to look at the ICM numbers, and once they were read out all agreed to a deal. That split left Tollerene with at least $596,518 and $20,000 left to play for.
Now financially secure, Tollerene began to push the pace and by the time Bodyakovskiy hit the rail in third, he was able to carry the chip lead into the finale.
Within five minutes, it was all over after Tollerene’s 8h 7h was able to hit a straight to defeat the Latorre’s pocket nines. After the final pot was pushed Tollerene’s way, the most expensive MTT ever held online was brought to a close and the young American was crowned the latest WCOOP champion.
1. Ben “Ben86” Tollerene – $616,518.34*
2. Jose “Cejakas14” Angel Latorre – $560,412.13*
3. Nikita “fish2013” Bodyakovskiy – $594,069.53*
4. “Nopaleva” – $230,000
5. Mike “Tîmex” McDonald – $172,500
6. Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz – $126,500