Dutch Pro Steven van Zadelhoff Wins Main Event for $1.6 Million to Cap PokerStars WCOOP Series

Following three days of virtuoso performance on the virtual felt, Dutch poker pro Steven van Zadelhoff won the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) Main Event to earn $1,624,502 in prize money.

As a tournament pro for the last decade, van Zadelhoff has accumulated just over $1.5 million in live earnings – with $3.8 million more coming online. Those numbers swelled on Tuesday, as van Zadelhoff – playing from Malta under the screenname “SvZff” – put the finishing touches on his truly dominant WCOOP Main Event run.

Beginning on September 3 and running through September 26, the 2017 edition of the PokerStars WCOOP series spread 162 events across the schedule, culminating in the $5,200 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Main Event.

The three-day affair attracted 1,804 unique entries, along with 379 reentries, to generate a $10,915,000 prize pool. That was more than enough to meet the Main Event’s advertised guarantee of $10 million, while the first-prize payout of $1,624,502.27 exceeded a $1.5 million guarantee.

The final 278 players left standing made the money, and per the PokerStars Blog, by the time Day 1 concluded just 281 hopefuls remained in contention.

Eight hours into Day 2 and the field was whittled down to the final 18, with van Zadelhoff leading the chip counts by a wide margin holding nearly 22 million while his closest competitor had less than 12 million.

When the final table of nine was set, van Zadelhoff maintained his overwhelming lead, sitting on a stack of 37.9 million – or nearly triple the 12.6 million held by “joshuah333” of Canada.

In a sign of things to come, van Zadelhoff busted the eighth-place finisher “romanooo64” of Thailand in dramatic fashion, spiking a king on the river with A-K to best pocket jacks in an all-in confrontation. He proceeded to eliminate a short-stacked “Geokarak” of the United Kingdom in sixth place, once again hitting the river with 10-9 on a K-8-7-4-6 board to down A-Q.

Having briefly lost his lead to “joshuah333” during three-handed play, van Zadelhoff then refused any discussion of a chop, answering “We can make it winner take all” in response.

Shortly thereafter, he bounced “Machadada” of Brazil in third place when A-K held up over A-4.

Holding a lead of 75,936,059 chips to 33,213,941 for “joshuah333,” van Zadelhoff wasted no time, carving his opponent down to 13 million or so in just seven hands.

When both players found an ace, all the money was moved to the middle, but van Zadelhoff’s A-J paired the flop to leave “joshuah333” and his A-2 drawing dead by the turn. With that, van Zadelhoff bagged one of the most prestigious titles in all of poker – online or otherwise.

In a Facebook post issued just before midnight, before he hit the town with fellow members of the #TeamViking crew, van Zadelhoff celebrated the monumental achievement:

“We got ‘em boys!

World Champion of Online Poker and $1.6M from $266k for me and a shitload of super happy friends. Looking forward to my next adventures!

Still can’t believe it, amazingly proud of all the hard work and super grateful for the insane hot run I got in this one

Thanks for all the support guys!”

Kenny Hallaert, a Belgian-born poker pro best known for finishing sixth in the 2016 WSOP Main Event, also posted to van Zadelhoff’s Facebook feed to congratulate his best friend:

“Nine years ago I met Steven. Throughout the years we became very close friends, and together we were studying a lot on the game.

Solely looking at results the last couple of years it looked like I became a better poker player but that was only a misconception. I was just running better at the time.

Today all things finally fell in the right place, and he can call himself World Champion of Online Poker after winning the WCOOP Main Event.

Words can’t describe how happy I am right now.”

Full final table results from the WCOOP Main Event can be found below:

1st – Steven “SvZff” van Zadelhoff (Malta) – $1,624,502.27

2nd – joshuah333 (Canada) – $1,173,712.87

3rd – Bernardo “Machadada RS” Rocha (Brazil) – $848,015.82

4th – Alexandre “Cavalito” Mantovani (Brazil) – $612,697.15

5th – JeremiieLand (Austria) – $442,677.47

6th – Geokarak (United Kingdom) – $319,837.87

7th – Kekkhou (Finland) – $231,084.73

8th – romanooo64 (Thailand) – $166,961.29

9th – imluckbox (Thailand) – $120,630.39