PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Begins Today

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This weekend, the 2008 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker kicks off on the world's largest poker site. The man who spurned the modern poker boom, Chris Moneymaker, a former accountant from Tennessee, joins the PocketFives.com Podcast this week to discuss his expectations for the 2008 WCOOP. He also reveals what makes PokerStars the world's premier online poker room.

Back when I won my seat to the Main Event, the Sunday tournament was $100,000. PokerStars was getting about 200 people to enter every week. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that we'd be playing in $10 million guaranteed tournaments or $25,000 buy-in events. That's absurd to see where we've come from.

Nearly every poker player agrees that the poker boom was started when Chris Moneymaker, a man with a timely last name, took down the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event after winning his seat on PokerStars. His ascension to the top of poker reinforced the notion that on any given day, any amateur player could out-muscle the top pros in the world. Today, Moneymaker is one of the main faces of PokerStars. He joins the PocketFives.com Podcast this week to talk about the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker.

The 2008 WCOOP boasts 33 events that guarantee a total of $30 million. The Main Event is a $5,200 buy-in two-day event with a healthy $10 million in guaranteed prize money. Moneymaker commented on the enormous paydays that will be handed out in the upcoming weeks: "Back when I won my seat to the Main Event, the Sunday tournament was $100,000. PokerStars was getting about 200 people to enter every week. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that we'd be playing in $10 million guaranteed tournaments or $25,000 buy-in events. That's absurd to see where we've come from."

PocketFives.com members had several huge scores in the weekend's major online poker tournaments, led by Alex "AWice" Wice of Canada, who won the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up for $135,000. "Ankstrajks" of Sweden took home $95,000 for second place in the same tournament. "Titantom32" earned over $91K for his victory in the PokerStars $250K Guaranteed after prevailing over several high-profile players. Daniel "Telefonkiosk" Gothberg of Sweden received $60,000 for taking down the PartyPoker $300K Guaranteed and "oldschool043" nabbed $80K for second in the Full Tilt Poker $750K Guaranteed. Veteran poker player Shane "shaniac" Schleger walked away with $51,000 after winning the Stars $200 Sunday rebuy and "Dahotshot" won the Bodog $100K Guaranteed for $25,000.

Steve "grobo780" Gross moved up three spots to #8 in the PocketFives.com Online Poker Rankings this past week thanks his recent second place finish in the Full Tilt $1K Monday for $64,000 and win in the PokerStars Nightly Hundred Grand for another $33,600. Craig "MrCasino" Gray moved up 11 to #28 by taking down the PokerStars $1K Super Tuesday for $78,000, while Ben "Waters" climbed to #34 following his victory in the PokerStars $500K Guaranteed for $91,250. The largest rankings jump this week came from "titantom32," who is up 35 to #55; he also won the $500K Guaranteed on Stars. Australian Steve "stevoL" Leonard re-entered the Rankings this week at #73 after placing second in the Stars $100 rebuy for $29,500 and final tabling the Sunday Million for another $13,500.

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Maria del Mar Gomez
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