Welsh WCOAP victory over German echoes soccer history

Jon Pill
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Posted on: January 29, 2021 2:14 pm EST

With casinos closed across Europe, the World Championships of Amateur Poker has moved online, like so many other poker events this year. The Amateur Poker Association & Tour run the WCOAP as part of their series targeted at amateur players. APAT hosted the events on PartyPoker this year.

The individual events for the WCOAP are still running with buy-ins ranging from $55 to $530. For the first time ever, they are also running mini versions of all the events. The mini events are all $5.50 to buy into.

The highlight of the series is always the team event. Poker is typically a dog-eat-dog deal, so injecting some teamwork and co-operation (but never collusion) is a bit of a novelty.

The Team Event was the game of the series, kicking off on January 23rd and finished with a surprising upset. Wales won the event with 190 points, just beating out Germany by 8 points. Not only did they edge out their long time continental opponents, they also put their local rivals in their place. Scotland came 4th with 172 points, one spot ahead of England with 157 points.

The full rankings for the Team Event were as follows:

  1. Wales – 190 pts
  2. Germany – 182 pts
  3. Austria – 181 pts
  4. Scotland – 172 pts
  5. England – 157 pts
  6. Romania – 152 pts
  7. Canada – 141 pts
  8. Belgium – 141 pts
  9. Ireland – 141 pts
  10. Netherlands – 127 pts

The APAT announced the Welsh team’s win in a Tweet that read: “Congratulations to the Wales team of Richard Rudling-smith, Dylan Herbert, Greg Mawson & Dan Owston; World Amateur Champions in WCOAP Event #1.”

Cymru yn ennill

Each of the ten nations put up a team of four amateurs. One player per country entered each of a series of 24 ten-man single table tournaments. The STTS covered a variety of game formats including hold’em, PLO, and Omaha eight-or-better.

The Welsh team of Richard Rudling-Smith, Dylan Herbert, Dan Owston, and Greg Mawson only won two STTs. But they put in a consistent performance across the board. All in all, they clocked six finishes in the number two spot and three in third. That was enough, in the end, for a first-place finish on the leaderboard.

The presence of professional footballer Maz Kruse on the German team invites comparisons with Great Britain’s long-running soccer rivalry with the Teutons. Two world wars and one world cup, goes the England team’s chant. Max Kruse should not be confused with alleged poker-cheat Fedor Kruse.

Turns out that to beat the Germans at poker, the Great Britain only needed to enter as three separate countries.

Featured image source: Andrew Bowden on Flickr