It’s been almost a year since Natalie “TheV0id” Teltscher took down the 2007 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event. After initially chopping the event, Teltscher was to have been awarded just over $1 million for her win. However, PokerStars disqualified Teltscher, claiming that she was not the one using the account when the tournament was played. She quickly filed a lawsuit in the Isle of Man and the situation seemed to be escalating until Monday, when Teltscher withdrew her suit, much to the elation of PokerStars. Several sources have alleged that her brother, poker pro Mark Teltscher, was the one piloting TheV0id’s account through the 2007 WCOOP Main Event. That violates PokerStars policy, as do infractions like multi-accounting.
A statement distributed by PokerStars claims that, in addition to withdrawing her suit against the online poker room over the $1 million payday, “she has agreed to contribute a sum towards the legal costs incurred by PokerStars in this matter.” Due to the disqualification, ka$ino pocketed $1,378,330.50 for winning the WCOOP Main Event after originally finishing second. Moving from third place into second place was Vanessa “LadyMaverick” Rousso, who is now a member of Team PokerStars. Rousso won $700,782.50, quickly vaulting her into the spotlight. Her massive WCOOP payday was partly responsible for her becoming a well-known face for the online poker site.
The statement by PokerStars claims, “Teltscher initially claimed that she had played the account. However, when faced with the results from PokerStars’ investigation she eventually admitted she hadn’t played.” Her brother Mark is a live poker veteran. In October, 2005 Mark Teltscher won the European Poker Tour’s London event, taking home £280,000 (about USD $560,000) for the win. At the final table of that tournament were Noah Jefferson, Paul King, Kirill Gerasimov, Dale Greenleaf, Istvan Novak, and Graham Clarkson. Gerasimov has made one World Poker Tour final table and two EPT final tables.
For PokerStars, it marks an end to a squabble that has marred its marquee poker tournament series. The company’s exultation is spelled out in the closing sentences of its statement: “The decision of Ms Teltscher to withdraw her claim fully vindicates PokerStars’ decision to disqualify her from the tournament and subsequently defend the claim [and] actions which were taken in order to protect the integrity of the games on offer at PokerStars.” The online poker room has largely been able to shield itself from cheating scandals like the ones that have crept up on Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet.
The timing for PokerStars could not have been better. The 2008 WCOOP kicks off on September 5th and offers a total of $30 million in guarantees, double the amount from 2007. The Main Event is a $5,200 buy-in no limit hold’em tournament that spans two days. It alone offers a $10 million guarantee, making it among the richest online poker tournaments ever offered. The WCOOP Main Event champion will be crowned on September 22nd.
The WCOOP sports 33 events in all shapes and sizes. Along with the Full Tilt Online Poker Series, which is currently underway, it ranks among the highlights of the year for many online poker players. In 2006, poker pro J.C. Tran won the Main Event, vaulting his name to the top of the poker world. Like Rousso and a handful of other WCOOP stars, Tran has been able to translate his success behind a computer into success at the live poker table.