2018 WCOOP Main Event Winner Disqualified Over Alleged Ghosting
The winner of the 2018 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) Main Event has been disqualified.
It’s now understood the winnings of “Wann2play” will be redistributed after an investigation by PokerStars found the Dutch player violated the online poker site’s terms of service.
Back in September 2018, “Wann2play” won the $5,200 WCOOP Main Event following a heads-up deal with runner-up Argentina’s Ezequiel “eze88888” Waigel. “Wann2play” banked $1,352,967.97 in first-place prize, with Waigel earning $1,257,203.66 for finishing second.
The event attracted a total of 2,044 entries, and had a star-studded final table which included the UK’s Michael “mczhang” Zhang, Austria’s Linus “LlinusLlove” Loeliger, Noah “Exclusive” Boeken from The Netherlands and Robby “PlayaPlz” Lipkin from Costa Rica.
“Wann2play” was considered a “mystery” player as there was not much available info in relation to his or her true identity. What everyone knew was that the player came from Netherlands and won a $530 satellite which enabled him to enter the Main Event.
PokerStars’ investigation into the unknown player started following speculations that a popular pro could be ghosting the account. The controversy first came to light through a tweet from top online poker pro “girafganger7“.
Purely hypothetically speaking : if you have a credible source outing a well known Pro winning, lets just say, the WCOOP 2018 Main Event for over a million on a 2nd account, what do you do?
— giraf ganger (@Girafganger7) July 15, 2019
Eventual runner-up Waigel said he also noticed that something was off about the player, when he spotted a remarkable difference in the player’s game style as they reached the final table. Some players also had similar observations. Waigel then notified PokerStars, but it appeared that the online poker operator was already investigating and eventually confirmed to Waigel that ghosting was indeed involved and a VPN was also used, although no further details were disclosed.
As a result, “Wann2play“‘s had his account frozen shortly after the tournament, and Waigel was promoted as Main Event winner. The over $1.3 million in top prize was redistributed among those who finished in the money, with Waigel earning an extra $272,000.
Not The First Time
This is not the first time that a WCOOP Winner has been disqualified for tournament misconduct. A similar issue took place in 2007 when “TheV0id” won the Main Event for $1.22 million. It was later revealed that another player had used the account, apart from the original registered user Natalie Teltscher.
Teltscher tried to take matters to court but was unsuccessful, and reportedly admitted that someone else was indeed using her account. Runner-up finisher Kyle “ka$ino1” Schroeder was officially declared the winner, taking home an adjusted prize money of more than $1.3 million.