The 2021 World Championship of Online Poker has been full of surprises, including a mind-boggling $1.5 million win. The high-stakes, international, online poker event drew 1,965 entrants from all over the world.
A Swiss Citizen Takes the Gold
Linus “LLinusLLove” Loeliger of Switzerland battled 72 of the top contestants over the course of Day 2 for the Main Event. For hours, Loeliger drifted in and out of the top 10, until the chip leader triumphed, claiming $1,499,942. He finished up with a chip count of 20,005,066.
The 26-year old Swiss poker professional almost exclusively plays Texas No-Limit Hold’em. He began his poker career in 2013, and by 2018, had won a total of $1,400,000 online, and $1,800,000 at live poker tournaments. According to the Hendon Mob Database, Loeliger ranks 1,033 on the all-time money list. However, he ranks at #2 for all-time money in his native Switzerland. This recent win should boost that ranking considerably.
This isn’t the first million-dollar win for Loeliger; during the Poker Masters Online, held in April 2020, the Swiss claimed first place and $1,097,250 in winnings. He also took first place at the Super High Roller Bowl Online, claiming a $520,000 prize. In fact, the 2020 lockdown seems to have been good to Loeliger, earning him well over $2,500,000.
“Körrinho” Takes Second Place
Koray Körrinho“ Aldemir from Austria, came in behind Loeliger with a chip count of 16,684,865. The 31-year old Austrian pro kicked off his career at the Silvester 2006 mit Poker in Berührung.
He’s earned a staggering $12,298,006 over his career and ranks number 66 on the all-time money list. Aldemir’s best live cash win was $2,154,265 However, during this year’s WCOOP, the Austrian champ only came home with $ 5,567.
A Canadian Slides into Third Place
Tyler “Juicy_J_93” Jardine ended the WCOOP in 3rd place with a chip count of 15,029,865. The Canadian has been playing the game for 10 years but has not yet won any tournaments. In fact, this 3rd place win seems to be a career-best. He only made it into the Hendon Mob database with his May 2020 4th place win at the WPT Online Championship by partypoker. During that event, he took home $17,000. It seems this poker veteran is finally climbing the ranks.
The Mysterious Sintoras of Germany Places Fourth
“Sintoras” of Germany is a screen name online poker tournament regulars immediately recognize. But, the real identity of the German poker champ appears to be carefully hidden. In any case, the mysterious Sintoras took 4th place at the WCOOP with a chip count of 14,161,813.
“Stakelis24” Takes Fifth Place
Audrius Stakelis of Lithuania ended the WCOOP with a chip count of 13,905,244. However, the day before, Stakelis ended Day 1 of the tournament as the chip leader, with 3,708,458 chips. Sadly, the Lithuanian poker champ could not hold onto that lead.
Stakelis has had a checkered career, bouncing up and down the leaderboard; in September 2018 he took first place at the Merit Gangsters Poker Cup in Kyrenia for a win of $17,000. But, at this year’s WSOP ONLINE at GGPoker, he only placed 733 for a win of $1,152. Overall, the Lithuanian poker player ranks 18,446th on the all-time money list.
Number 6: Guntis “poker@luffyD” Aleskins
Guntis Aleskins of Latvia came in 6th place with a chip count of 13,890,896. His screen name is well-known around the online poker scene, but the Latvian has a relatively modest career. He’s had a total of $64,552 in live earnings and ranks 32,335th on the all-time money list.
Aleskins’ biggest take home appears to be $21,483 for taking 127th place at the WSOP Online 2020 at GGPoker. The Lithuanian hit a few live poker tournaments around Europe in 2018 but doesn’t appear to have played any tournaments in 2019. However, it looks like the Lithuanian hit the keyboard during the 2020 lockdown. He played 18 major online tournaments between April 2020 and September 2021.
Romanian “Rebel FishAK” Number 7
Florin-Ionut Ilies, aka RebelFishAK, slid into 7th place with 12,905,254 chips. The Romanian poker player has been on the scene since 2013, when he took 44th place at the Eureka Poker Tour in Varna, Bulgaria for a prize of $2,654. His career appears to have played out mostly at live, European poker tournaments. However, he did participate in the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on sunny Paradise Island. At that event, the Romanian champ took 17th place and went home with $3,380.
Florin-Ionut Ilies has $41,387 in lifetime live earnings, with $12,823 as his best live cash, earned at the European Poker Tour in Barcelona, Spain. The Romanian ranks 37,213th on the all-time money list.