Team Poland defeated Team United States to take the top prize at the third annual PokerStars.com World Cup of Poker in Barcelona, Spain, June 25. Members of the Polish team battled their American opponents heads-up to collect the $100,000 first place payout.
In total, each of the five Polish team members received $20,000 in prize money. Team USA was awarded $50,000 in total for their second place finish, while Team Canada received $30,000 to share, and Team Israel split $20,000. Other teams in the competition included Brazil, England, Ireland, and Iceland.
The World Cup of Poker was a freeroll event that began in April with players from 39 nations around the globe battling online. at PokerStars.com for the right to represent their countries in the televised eight-team finale. Winners were awarded flights to Barcelona to compete in the no-buy in event.
Each national team featured five players: two Frequent Player Point (FPP) PokerStars.com qualifiers, two top-ranking PokerStars.com players, and one "celebrity" player chosen by the team. These included Tom McEvoy for the U.S. and Isabelle Mercier for Canada, among others.
The live tournament format for the Barcelona final involved five qualifying heats, with each team member playing in a single-table mini-tournament heat where they were awarded points. After the fifth and final heat, the top four teams went through to a four-handed knock-out to decide the World Cup winners.
The PokerStars.com World Cup of Poker was taped for TV by award winning TV production company Sunset+Vine, and will be broadcast in six episodes on Challenge TV (Sky Digital) and other channels throughout Europe starting in September.