2006 WCOOP: Event #7 Final Table Report

Jeff Johanson had been to college, but it wasn't really his thing. He'd worked some technical support jobs after that, but, really, that wasn't his thing either. Three days ago, the 23-year-old Edmonton, Canada resident, decided to deposit some money at PokerStars.

"Primarily to play tournaments and satellites for WCOOP events," he said.

It looks like the young Canadian may have found his thing.

Jeff "yaaaflow" Johanson

Less than three days after making his first deposit at PokerStars, Jeff "yaaaflow" Johanson is a member of an elite community of people who hold PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker bracelets.

After battling through more than 1,800 other players, Johanson began the Event #7 final table in fourth chip position.

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Seat 1: tow75 (820301 in chips)
Seat 2: UH Big Tex (767397 in chips)
Seat 3: Frejdig (336829 in chips)
Seat 4: dalzini (466104 in chips)
Seat 5: MADEin (611840 in chips)
Seat 6: wheelz21 (506815 in chips)
Seat 7: yaaaflow (604130 in chips)
Seat 8: in_da_riva (330368 in chips)
Seat 9: MikeMcD (236216 in chips)

The limit nature of the event didn't allow for a shove'em-in-and-hope final table. Still, as the blinds increased, there was an ever-heightening sense of urgency that eventually left players--either by suck-out or hopeless hope in their big cards--with an opportunity to get all their chips in the middle before the flop. MikeMcD was the first to go. Starting with a pair of sixes, he was all-in pre-flop against wheelz21's AT. A ten on the flop left MikeMcD with precious few outs, neither of which came. He left in ninth place, earning $4,492.80.

Twenty-five minutes later, Frejdig found a pair of tens in front of him. With fewer than 150,000 chips in front of him, he decided he was ready to roll. Despite the king on the flop, he helped cap the betting. As it turned out, he was capping the bets with a miniscule chance of winning. His opponent, tow75, held KQ, enough to win the pot and bounce Frejdig in eighth place, a night's work worth $7,413.12.

Perhaps the no-limit nature of the current poker society is rubbing off on limit events more than we realize. The third elimination of the final table began with a raise and re-raise before a flop of 6d-4d-5h. That flop brought a series of raises and re-raises that ended up with a capped pot and in_da_riva all-in. By the river, the board was ten-high. As it turned out, in_da_riva's AJ was no good to UH Big Tex's...AQ. In_da_riva was out in seventh place for $9,360.00.

With six players remaining, half of them were Canadian. As Jeff "yaaaflow" Johanson put it, his native Edmonton "has gone poker crazy as much or more than most places." This night, the Canadians were doing well. Unfortunately for the folks from the land of the maple leaf, they would lose a player very soon. After flopping top pair with a king kicker on a nine-high flop, wheelz21 got all his money in. At the time, he likely didn't realize how bad a shape he was in. His opponent, UH Big Tex, held pocket kings and the best hand held up. Wheelz21 pocketed $12,916.80 for his sixth place finish.

Over the next little while, tow75's stack dwindled to such a dangerous level that he ended up getting his stack in the middle with QJ. The fates were not with him. UH Big Tex held KJ. Already a favorite, UH Big Tex made a flush on the turn to lock tow75 out of the pot and send him out in fifth place for $16,660.80.

With the next money jump out of the way, it was just a matter of seconds before he event found its fourth place finisher. MADEin got all his chips in the middle with a pair of fours against yaaaflow's AJ. Yaaflow ended up making a pair of aces and sending MADEin out in fourth place, good for $20,030.40

Three-handed, the players decided to gamble a little bit less and cut a deal based on chip-count that left $10,000 and the WCOOP bracelet for the winner. With the money chopped up, the shortest stack at the table, dalzini, fought for a good long while before succumbing in third place when his A7 couldn't outrun UH Big Tex's J2. After the chop, dalzini earned $30,608.00.

Finally, the game was heads-up. That would not mean, however, that it would end soon. In one of the longest heads-up battles so far in the 2006 WCOOP, yaaaflow and UH Big Tex battled for 40 full minutes before yaaaflow finally captured the title. For second place, UH Big Tex won $46,378.00.

Finally, just a few days after putting money into PokerStars for the first time, yaaaflow was more than $60,000 richer and had a WCOOP bracelet to his name.

"It was a phenomenal feeling," he said. "The atmosphere, including the radio show, was great and absolutely promoted fun at the table. I felt incredibly lucky to do as well as I did, and very, very proud of the eventual finish."

For a complete look at the money winners, check out the PokerStars WCOOP Limit Hold'em Results page. Final table results can be found below.

PokerStars WCOOP Event #7 Results
Results based on three-way deal that left $10,000 for first place

1. yaaaflow (Canada) $60,419.00
2. UH Big Tex (United States) $46,378.00
3. dalzini (United Kingdom) $30,608.00
4. MADEin (Canada) $20,030.40
5. tow75 (Denmark) $16,660.80
6. wheelz21 (Canada) $12,916.80
7. in_da_riva (United States) $9,360.00
8. Frejdig (Denmark) $7,413.12
9. MikeMcD (Sweden) $4,492.80

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in