Although you may have had your mind on other matters — Santa Claus, chocolate, booze and movies, maybe — the Winter Series has been running on PokerStars since Christmas Day. And it’s been about as stuffed as the average westerner’s belly.
To date, there have been 157 completed tournaments, nearly 750,000 entries and prize pools of close to $30 million. And it’s still got more than a week to run.
WINTER SERIES 2021-22 STAT TRACKER
Tournaments completed: 157
Entries: 745,504 (inc. 232,196 re-entries)
Prize pools: $29,111,734
First-place prizes: $4,135,676 (inc. $926,225 in bounties)
BIG NAMES LAGGING IN PREMOVE’S WAKE
As you might expect, some of the tournament winners have been very well known, with the likes of Yuri “theNERDguy” Martins, Claas “SsicK_OnE” Segebrecht, Ramiro “ramastar88” Petrone, Patrick “pads1161” Leonard, Vlad “dariepoker” Darie, Sebastian “p0cket00” Sikorski, Jerry “Perrymejsen” Odeen, Marty “TheLipoFund” Matthis and Simon “C. Darwin2” Mattsson among the winners so far.
In fact, the latter has two titles already from this series, both won over the past weekend. Mattsson won a $1K NLHE 6-Max for $48,114 after claiming the spoils in a $2K Sunday High Roller, where he won $92,298.
There’s only one other double champion so far — Hungary’s “BC1989RF“, who has won two $1K events — but Russia’s “Premove” has won four Winter Series titles. You read that right. Premove has won a $215 5-Card PLO event, a $530 HORSE title, a $1K PLO8 event and a $2K PLO8 tournament, absolutely dominating the high buy-in non-hold’em tournaments.
These typically have small fields and are not among the richest tournaments on offer, but it’s still a staggering achievement to have won four tournaments before the halfway point.
HULME HAULING IT IN
By some margin, the biggest prize pool of the series so far came in the special Sunday Two Million, at the end of the New Year weekend. With 10,176 entries of $215 apiece, the massive guarantee was beaten as they played for $2.035 million.
The tournament winner was “NukeTheFish!” of the UK, whose top prize of $226,733 was the biggest of any winner in the series so far. However, it wasn’t actually the biggest prize. How so? Well, the tournament ended in a heads up deal between NukeTheFish! and Andrew “stato_1” Hulme, and the latter took the bigger slice of the prize pool.
Hulme, who also won Event 33-H $2,100 NLHE [8-Max, Turbo, PKO] earlier in the series, took $240,619 for finishing “runner-up” in the Sunday Two Million. That was about $13K more than the winner.
It’s been a very, very good Winter Series already for Hulme, who also has a third place, a sixth and a seventh, among numerous cashes.
BRAZIL, OF COURSE
Players from the tournament series hotbed of Brazil have applied themselves with characteristic fashion in the Winter Series. So far, 25 wins have gone to Brazilians, which puts them top of the countries leader board. Perennial runners-up Russia sit in their traditional position too, with 20.
There are few surprises immediately below those two countries, with Sweden and Canada having won 12 and 11 titles, respectively, but there have been good showings too from
Romania, with nine, and Ireland, who have 6.
In all, winners have come from 32 countries already.
There’s still a long way to go but, let’s be honest, Brazil will win!
Countries leader board:
25 titles – Brazil
20 – Russia
12 – Sweden
11 – Canada
9 – Romania, UK
8 – Germany, Ukraine
6 – Ireland
5 – Hungary
4 – Poland
3 – Argentina, Belgium, Lithuania
2 – Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Malta, Mexico, Norway, Slovenia
1 – Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Finland, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Uruguay, Vietnam.
NEYMAR SCORES TOURNAMENT BEST
There’s been a fairly good showing from Team PokerStars Ambassadors so far, with a runner-up finish each for Tonkaaaa and Alejandro “Papo MC” Lococo, a couple of final tables for Lex (including one where Andre Akkari finished third) and a few deep runs for Spraggy too.
However, the internet just might have broken had cards fallen a slightly different way in Event 40-H, a $1K NLHE Turbo. From a field of 192 entries, Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr (aka “neymar-jr” on PokerStars) was in the last three and looking to claim a famous victory.
Currently nursing an ankle ligament injury, which is keeping him away from the soccer field, Neymar has been hitting the poker tables in his recuperation time. As an eager student of the game, Neymar will have received a good lesson in short-handed play from Ivan “zufo16” Zufic and Nikolaus “RealAndyBeal” Jedlicka, who made up the final trio.
Neymar couldn’t get the better of either of them, busting in third and banking $23,884 — a meagre amount for a soccer megastar, but no doubt a thrill as he continues to seek that major victory.