The Venom, a $5M challenge
"Poker is only good if it's big." With those words, the WPN's CEO, Phil Nagy, referred to The Venom a few months ago, and today the celebrations must be happening at the WPN Headquarters in Costa Rica, as it managed to attract 2,553 players (paying a $2,500 + $150 buy-in) that created a massive prize pool of $6.382.500, covering the GTD prize pool and adding another $1,3M to the prizes.
WPN makes history with The Venom
The tournament was played in an 8-max super deepstack format (250,000 initial chips, multi-entry) and had three initial flights on 14th, 16th, and 21st July:
To cover the guaranteed prize pool, The Venom needed to draw at least 667 players per day, therefore the Day 1A was good news for the network, but we are sure the Day 1B (439 players) turned on some alarms, as at least 776 players were needed on Day 1C to at least cover the GTD prize. But after 1,328 players registered the mark was set.
One hundred and seventeen players advanced from Day 1A, 52 from day 1B, and 205 from day 1C, which reunited on Monday 22 for day 2. The bubble burst at 352 players ("KillerKowalski") and from player 351 rewards started with $3,191. The final table was defined on Tuesday 23rd and the last eight players reunited again to fight for the $1M prize on Wednesday 24; the last hand before the final table saw the 9dJd from FatUSKid beating the TsJs of alwaysH1TS in a board 4h8s7s7hTc. The final was composed by:
- IGotMilkBaby, 215,315,312, Latvia
- GinkoBiloba, 181,737,750, Canada
- Aldeberan90, 148,323,802, Hungary
- TheBigKid, 70,902,525, Brazil
- FatUSKid, 67,047,350, Czech Republic
- ShameWizard, 30,475,708, USA
- BLEECKER_ST, 27,470,652, USA
- kreint, 24,059,200, Germany
Right before the final table, we spotted two amazing hands:
1. "Aldeberan90" went all-in preflop against "8NightsInMiami" and "GetTheree" and his pocket aces beat JJ and AK respectively. The two players were eliminated as the board was 5c2d5h8d8s.
2. "PGAFan52" raised 2,4M (two BB) from the button and TheBigKid re-raised to 7,895M from the BB. PGAFan52 called and bet another 4,25M in the 8cTc2s flop. TheBigKid called the bet. The turn was a 4d and TheBigKid went all-in for 31M chips, getting an insta-call from PGAFan52 with 15M. TheBigKid showed an 8d2c for two pairs that cracked the AA from PGAFan52. The river was another 2 that gave TheBigKid a full-house.
The Latvian player IGotMilkBaby started the final table as the chip leader with 215.315.312 chips, 28% of the total. In the end, the player Brazilian player Rafael "TheBigKid" Moraes won the tournament becoming the first Venom champion and receiving over $1M for his efforts.
WPN stated that the tournament winner would be able to request the millionaire prize right away in Bitcoins, so don't get shocked if someone tries to exchange over 100BTC next week :). Phil Nagy told us about The Venom success:
"Our $5 Million Venom tourney was a huge success with a $6,382,500 final prize pool. It was so successful that we just announced a $6 Million Venom starting right after Thanksgiving."
The Venom is a fantastic milestone for the development of US online poker, and even after facing several problems with a software update, WPN was able not only to cover the GTD prize pool but also to add over $1M additional. With this, poker players living in the US will feel more confident about joining alternative poker rooms, and with our rakeback deals, the offer is even more attractive.
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