Lauck in Luck as Polk Stakes the Main Event Winner

4 years ago
Polk Backs the Main Event Winner
29 Sep


Jonas 'llJaYJaYll' Lauck may have scooped the WCOOP Main Event and $1,517,541 but it won’t all be going in his own back pocket as it emerged that Doug ‘WCGRider’ Polk had backed the young German in his online efforts.

The huge payday dwarves Lauck’s previous best cash – a $260,000 cash back in 2012 – and is in fact more than all his previous live cashes combined, some $1.3milliion being a not too shabby total over the past five years.

Lauck’s famous backer emerged after he had turned down a deal – not once but twice! – at the final table of the $5k buy-in Main Event, the curtain closer on the WCOOP’s autumn extravaganza.

Having whittled the 2091-player field down to just five, Lauck refused to bend in the negotiations, reports stating that he wanted more than what the ICM (Independent Chip Model) would have offered.

This kind of refusal can often backfire, but for Lauck it proved to be a wise decision – although he may have had little say in it as he claimed afterwards "his backers wanted more”!

Eventually the German found himself heads-up against the UK’s ‘0409479’ for the top spot and a see-saw battle ensued for the next hour, ending when a pre-flop raising war saw Lauck all-in with AK, dominating the Brits AQ holding. With a king on the flop it was all over bar the shouting and Lauck was crowned WCOOP Main Event champion. The British player walked off with a tasty $1,101,278 for his efforts in second place.

Lauck’s backing would doubtless have been for more than just the single Main Event, top-name pros such as Polk and Fedor Holz known for their backing packages. The remarkable Holz, for example, found himself heads-up against good friend Rainer Kempe.

Kempe may have won that individual duel, but Holz actually had a stake in his friend’s $300k buy-in! So Holz’s $3.5milllion second place payout was actually not much more than his cut of Kempe’s $5million win!

To many it might seem that ‘staking’ another player can lead to problems – and they would be correct in some ways. As Steve Ruddock wrote a while ago:

"While staking has always been a part of the game (I’m willing to bet that the practice goes back to the days when poker was first proliferating up and down the Mississippi River) it certainly is not in the best interest of the game, and creates a myriad of problems from soft collusion to outright cheating.”

As I wrote in my Halloween nightmares article last year on the subject of staking, the trite answer is simply don’t stake anyone, friend, foe or other. However, as mentioned, it can be a profitable business and can help you yourself fund your tournament life-style if it’s a reciprocal kind of arrangement.

If you do stake someone, or multiple players, make sure there is a written and signed contract outlining every detail of the arrangement. If you do find yourself being bumped for the readies when your ‘horse’ comes in, you may have some recourse.

For Lauck and Polk, however, it seems that both are extremely happy with the outcome of their recent deal, and well-played Lauck on his first WCOOP win!

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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