The 2015 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), which is in its 14th edition, is happening now on PokerStars. The year’s biggest online poker festival features 70 action-packed events with a combined $45 million in guaranteed prize pools, but perhaps none is as highly anticipated as $51,000 Super High Roller on September 20.
The largest tournament buy-in in online poker history boasts a guaranteed $1 million prize pool and is expected to draw some of the biggest names in the game. Among those confirmed to play are Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, and Isaac Haxton, just to name a few.
Speaking of Haxton, who according to HighStakesDB is up $704,138 and $341,821 in 2015 on PokerStars and Full Tilt respectively, he recently spoke to us about the WCOOP, and more specifically the $51,000 Super High Roller.
PokerNews: The 14th edition of the WCOOP is about to begin. What are you doing to prepare? Where will you be playing from?
Haxton: I’m playing from Vancouver. I like being on Pacific Time for SCOOP and WCOOP so I can play during the day and sleep at night. To prepare, I’m trying to get over the cold that I caught in Barcelona and get the Internet working properly in my short-term apartment.
Looking back through the years, what are some of your best WCOOP memories?
I’ve never really had any good results in WCOOP, but I always look forward to the extra cash game traffic it brings. Maybe this year I’ll turn my record around and win a tournament.
This year there will be a $51,000 Super High Roller event with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool. Why are you looking forward to this event?
I look forward to every high stakes event, but this is a special one. It’s much bigger than anything that’s run online before and a successful event could pave the way for it to become a more frequent thing. I’d love to see SHR events become a regular component of SCOOP and WCOOP schedules, so I’m really hoping there is a big turnout and people enjoy the event.
As someone tied into the high-roller scene, do you think this event will attract a lot of players? Have any noteworthy players told you that they will be playing?
I haven’t asked many people and poker players tend not to make up their minds about such things until the last possible minute anyway. I think most of the familiar faces from EPT SHRs will end up playing.
What do you think will be the main differences from say an EPT Super High Roller and the WCOOP SHR?
I think it will be even tougher than a similar live event. Some of the amateurs who play EPT SHRs don’t like to play online and some top cash game players who usually skip live events will probably play this, so those factors should combine to produce an extremely strong field.
Aside from yourself, who’re some players you think have a good shot of success in the WCOOP SHR?
I think this tournament will favor people who play a lot online, in very tough games, and have some tournament experience. Keep an eye on the regulars at high stakes cash no-limit and high stakes SNGs – guys like: "fish2013," "OTB_RedBaron," "forhayley," "pokerkluka," Dan Smith, and Christoph Vogelsang.
Assuming the first-place prize would be the same, what would you rather win – the WCOOP Main Event or the $51,000 Super High Roller (online poker’s largest buy-in ever)?
I’ll take the $51,000. Someone wins the WCOOP ME every year. There only gets to be one winner of the first online SHR.
Aside from the Super High Roller, what other events are you most looking forward to and why?
I usually only play the bigger tournaments during WCOOP and otherwise focus on cash games and SNGs. I’m looking forward to the $10,000 8-max NL Hold’em and the Main Event. I might play some of the weekday $1,000 and $2,000 events as well, if other games are slow on those days.
What are your poker plans after the WCOOP through the end of the year?
I’m planning to play EPT Malta and the ACOP in Macau. Apart from that, I’ll play a bit of whatever is running online. Thanks to a very busy SCOOP, I made Supernova Elite VIP status early this year, so I don’t have the pressure to put in huge volume in the last quarter that I’ve gotten used to in the last few years. I might even take a vacation.
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