PokerStars Disqualifies 2018 WCOOP Main Event Winner; Redistributes Prize Money

In 2018, an online poker player named wann2play won the World Championship of Online Poker, taking down a first-place prize of $1.353 million. The winner never revealed who he was and now it has come to light that PokerStars has disqualified the winner and the prize money has now been redistributed to new winner of the event.

Details of the Disqualification

All that is known about wann2play is that the player is Dutch and was able to play in the Main Event in 2018 after winning a ticket from a $530 satellite. Rumors have surfaced that the player might be a professional but nothing has been confirmed.

This week, PokerStars declared that Ezequiel Waigel, a poker pro from Argentina, is the winner, having played in the event under the name eze88888. Funnily enough, Waigel took to Twitter to talk about the change, calling himself the ‘world default champ of poker 2018’.

The new winner now earns more cash than wann2play won, thanks to the disqualification. The two were playing for $1.529 million but a deal saw Waigel earn $1.257 and wann2play earning $1.153 million. The two kept playing after the deal for the remaining $200,000 and a Platinum Pass. Waigel was given $1.529 million and asked PokerStars about the Platinum Pass. Whether he gets or not is yet to be seen.

So, What Happened?

So why the disqualification? It is really still unclear; however, the poker community has their own theories. Some feel that wann2play was using a secondary account that was owned by a well-known professional player, which would be multi-accounting and against the rules.

Another theory is that PokerStars figured out that the player was ghosting. This means that wann2play would have one or more stronger players providing advice on how to play hands during the tournament. According to PocketFives, Waigel felt that something was going on during the event late in play and reviewed the tournament with other pro players afterwards.

It was after this that PokerStars was prompted to investigate the matter. Hopefully, the online poker room will state what happened or poker sleuths will figure it out, so we know the real reason behind the disqualification. It certainly peaks ones interest, especially considering the amount of money lost!

This is not the first time a player has been disqualified and it most certainly won’t be the last. Despite the strict rules and regulations listed in poker tournaments and at poker rooms, players still try to beat the system. Even if an advantage is acquired, the player using the advantage is almost always figured out.

Online poker sites use complicated tech in their platforms to detect any forms of cheating or misleading behavior. This event is a prime example. Even though it happened in 2018, PokerStars did their due diligence and eventually made things right, even though we do not know yet why the player was disqualified in the first place!

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Jacqueline Packett