2007 WCOOP: Event #9 Final Table Report
It takes a certain breed of poker player to compete in an event the likes of Event #9 of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker. Though many words comes to mind, the only one that seems to fit like a gutshot draw's lucky card is "manic."
With nearly 2,200 players in the field, the first few levels required a particular (and some would say peculiar) sense of abandon. No draw was too ugly. No amount of rebuys was too much. No amount of recklessness would be criticized. It was like a mid-20th century anti-drug film titled, "Rebuy Madness." When the rebuy period was over, there were more than twice the number of rebuys and add-ons as initial buy-ins.
Those players left after the first hour of play must have been sitting in front of their computers with the glazed eyes of someone who has looked insanity in the face and come out the other side. If the craziness of the first hour was the stuff of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," the next several hours were Huxley's sweet, sweet soma. Deep-stacked and relaxed, the poker players settled into the freedom of playing tons of post-flop poker, the kind of environment where real poker players find solace. Though it would require the stamina greater than that of most people, the people of Event #9 persevered. Nearly 16 hours later, nine of those rebuy maniacs turned deep stack geniuses settled into a final table covered in money. First prize, more than a quarter million bucks, was enough to keep any of them in rebuys for the next several years.
Here's how the stacks looked going into the final table.
Seat 1: 777NMC (928843 in chips)
Seat 2: puffinmypurp (663306 in chips)
Seat 3: OlliPolli (1641930 in chips)
Seat 4: Qcity1 (1687738 in chips)
Seat 5: kiwid10 (3515871 in chips)
Seat 6: LUHMAN (6437978 in chips)
Seat 7: Blinda74 (1333840 in chips)
Seat 8: ruthan (3375954 in chips)
Seat 9: yojje (3404540 in chips)
With the blinds at 30,000/60,000/6,000, puffinmypurp only had one choice when facing a standard raise from ruthan. Holding pocket eights, puffinmypurp shoved in the rest of his chips. At that point, he would've been happy to race. He must have been decidedly unhappy to the ruthan's insta-call. Up against pocket aces, puffinmypurp was woefully behind and never caught up. After exactly 16 hours of play, puffinmypurp finished in ninth place out 2,188 for $11,640.64.
Puffinmypurp's departure left 777NMC as the shortest stack at the table and the only player with fewer than a million in chips. After raising with KK, he found a huckleberry in kiwid10. Kiwid10 popped him back and 777NMC got it all in. Up against pocket tens, 777NMC was comfortable favorite. As an old boss of mine liked to say, "Nothing bad happened," and 777NMC doubled up. Ollipolli got the same favor around half an hour later when he doubled through kiwid10 with A4 vs KQ.
777NMC's early double up didn't sustain his tack for long, and by the time the blinds had moved up to 40,000/80,000/8,000, he felt it was time to get the chips in again. This time, he open pushed with ATo. This time, kiwid10 stayed out of his way, but LUHMAN did not. LUHMAN isolated with AJ, flopped his jack, and sent 777NMC out in eighth place for $19,445.16.
Now seven-handed and at the 40,000/80,000/8,000 level, the beauty of the event's structure stuck out. The average stack at the table had an M of 20, enough that push monkeys need not apply, but not so large that the already-marathon event wouldn't stretch on for an unreasonable amount of time. Players could call re-raises without committing themselves to the pot and make continuation bets that were not all-in shoves.
So, once again, the players settled into a rhythm that respected the $220,000 difference between seventh place and the Event #9 bracelet. Apart from a pre-flop race that saw Blinda74 double through ruthan, showdowns were rare for many trips around the table. That only changed when OlliPolli went for a re-steal from the blinds after ruthan made a standard button-raise. OlliPolli held A7 to ruthan's AQ. The board offered OlliPolli no help and he was out in seventh place, cashing for $31,350.36
That exit took the players to a 15-minute break, a brief respite before jumping back into the fray. The blinds moved up to 50,000/100,000/10,000 and would go no higher. IT was high enough that Blinda74 felt it was time to open shove with A8s. Kiwid10 offered a heart-felt good luck and made the call with 77. A seven on the flop and a paired board on the turn sent Blinda74 out in sixth place for $44,578.36.
It was then that people began to notice the final five came from two counties. As host Lee Jones pointed out, "We've got us an all Swedish-American final. 3:2 for the Swedes, if you're booking side action."
Whether it was national pride or the kind of aggression born of blind battles, the two counties went to war. Kiwid10 came in for a raise from the small blind, LUHMAN re-raised, kiwid10 pushed all-in and LUHMAN called. Kiwid10 held A5 suited in hearts to LUHMAN's AJ.
The flop was all hearts. LUHMAN had kiwid10 well covered, but it was huge blow to the American.
Just a couple of hands later, kiwidd10 did it again. This time, he put Qcity1 to bed. Qcity1's K9 paired the nine on the flop, but kiwid10 turned his ace and river his eight for two pair, sending Qcity1 out in fifth place for $59,129.16.
Four-handed, the players quickly struck a deal that left $66,000 on the table and guaranteed the players the following prize money.
With six-figure paydays guaranteed, the players opened up a bit, as evidenced by the biggest pot of the tournament thus far. A raising and re-raising battle between ruthan and kiwid10 ended with ruthan all-in and kiwid10 with just a couple chips left in his stack. Ruthan held pocket tens to kiwid10's AQo. Kiwid10 never improved. He was out in short order, having already locked up his $144,539. Despite finishing fourth, he made a deal at the right time, earning better than the posted second place money.
A few hands later, yojje went out on the sickest hand of the tournament, getting all his chips in with A6 on a AAT3 board against ruthan's KJ. Indeed, a queen fell on the river, knocking yojje out in third place.
Now Event #9 was left with one American and one Swede. Ruthan had around a 2-1 chip lead over LUHMAN going into heads-up play, but LUHMAN made up most of the difference rather quickly without showing down a hand. It all ended in one instant, though, as the American and the Swede went to war pre-flop, getting it all-in with LUHMAN holding AT to ruthan's KK. LUHMAN never had a chance. By the river, ruthan held jacks full of kings...and the WCOOP bracelet. After eighteen and half hours, the mania had ended.
Here are the final table results.
2007 WCOOP Event #9 final table results
Based on finishing order and four-way chop that left $66,000 for first place
1. ruthan (Sweden) $198,126.00
2. LUHMAN (United States) $109,241.00
3. yojje (Sweden) $107,109.00
4. kiwid10 (Sweden) $144,539.00
5. Qcity1 (United States) $59,129.16
6. Blinda74 (Sweden) $44,578.36
7. OlliPolli (Finland) $31,350.36
8. 777NMC (Brazil) $19,445.16
9. puffinmypurp (United States) $11,640.64
Full 2007 WCOOP Event #9 Results