BelaLany earns tough victory in 2010 WBCOOP Main Event

WBCOOP logo.jpgIt is a special treat for many in the poker community. The World Blogger Championship of Online Poker is an opportunity for those who take poker seriously enough to blog about it in some form or another, whether for work or pure enjoyment of the game, to compete in any of a week's worth of freeroll tournaments for tickets to SCOOP events.

The WBCOOP started on January 25 and ran throughout the course of the week with a little bit of everything - NLHE, PLO, and even an 8-game mix. All tournaments gave away entries to Spring Championship of Online Poker tournaments, which players can then use in the coming months when the 2010 SCOOP gets underway. For many of us who don't play as much as we'd like, the chance to parlay a freeroll into the possibility of significant money is, as mentioned, a treat.

Today, a total of 2,062 bloggers took seats in the WBCOOP Main Event for SCOOP tickets of various values: $22 tickets to 46th - 136th place, $55 tickets to 28th - 45th place, and $215 tickets to 10th - 27th place. (There were also SCOOP tickets awaiting those who did the best live event blogging and best tweeting throughout the series.) And that brought us to the fight for the final table.

It was serious business. No one at the last two tables was leaving without a fight. But it finally came down to hand-for-hand play and took only a few minutes to see lordTasse push all-in with pocket jacks and BelaLany call with Q♦ K♦. The flop hit the latter with 7♣ K♠ 3♣ for top pair, and the 6♠ turn and 9♥ river ended it for lordTasse, who was awarded a SCOOP ticket worth $215 for the effort.

In Level 31, with blinds at 3,600/7,200 and a 900 ante, the final table began with chip counts as follows:

Seat 1: BelaLany (615,412 in chips)
Seat 2: ErickRiveraD (402,949 in chips)
Seat 3: luvrhino (522,812 in chips) out of hand
Seat 4: lostsoul311 (470,822 in chips)
Seat 5: metsapull (958,908 in chips)
Seat 6: hanktankus (447,078 in chips)
Seat 7: sprocket66 (414,709 in chips)
Seat 8: cardinal23 (697,514 in chips)
Seat 9: kalamiis (624,796 in chips)

WBCOOP 2010 final table.PNG

Though metsapull headed into action with a significant chip lead, it took only one hand - a double-up of lostsoul311 with K-Q over a failed flush draw - to change that. The lead then went to lostsoul311, while metsapull fell to the middle of the pack until slowly but surely chipping back up. Though many several levels than passed without any heart-stopping action, this hand caught everyone's attention pretty quickly:

RSS readers click through to see replay

And there were still nine players. Until one hand crippled luvrhino. Upon moving all-in preflop with pocket kings, hanktankus called with A-D of diamonds and caught the ace on the turn. That left luvrhino with little more than 35,000 to play on. It only took a few more hands for the all-in move to come, which received two callers - lostsoul311 and hanktankus. They checked the 9♣ K♦ K♠ flop, but when lostsoul311 bet the 6♠ turn, hanktankus folded. lostsoul311 then showed K♣ 8♣ for the flopped trips, while luvrhino had to show 9♦ 5♦ for two pair. The 2♥ on the river ended the run for luvrhino, who picked up a $2,100 SCOOP ticket for a day's work and ninth place finish.

The action sped up a bit. BelaLany raised a hand preflop, and ErickRiveraD reraised. BelaLany came over the top all-in, and ErickRiveraD called all-in for his tournament life with pocket kings. BelaLany showed A♠ K♠, and the board came T♦ 8♠ J♦ 5♠ 7♠ to river the flush and eliminate ErickRiveraD in eighth place, which was worth a $2,100 SCOOP ticket.

In super-fast mode, several more players exited the tournament. The first incidence started with metsapull and BelaLany going to see a 2♥ Q♦ 5♠ flop, at which point metsapull bet, BelaLany raised, and metsapull called all-in with pocket jacks. But BelaLany showed Q♣ 9♣ for top pair, and the K♠ turn and 4♥ river allowed that to remain the best hand. metsapull was eliminated in seventh place with a $2,100 SCOOP ticket.

Moments later, hanktankus and cardinal23 went to see a flop of [(c] J♥ T♥. The initial bet came from cardinal23, but hanktankus check-raised. cardinal23 called all-in for 323,615 chips and showed pocket jacks for the set. But hanktankus turned over K♠ Q♣ for the flopped straight. The Q♦ and 2♥ completed the board and eliminated cardinal23 in sixth place with that $2,100 SCOOP ticket.

Action slowed for a time, as the five remaining players began to see the light at the end of the tournament. However, kalamiis had been sitting out for quite a few levels at that point and was in short-stacked position because of it. Upon that player's eventual return, hanktankus was found to be dominating the table with more than 2 million chips. But as play continued, kalamiis continued to experience internet connection issues, which didn't bode well for any of the tired players.

Finally, many levels later, one player left the fun. The hand started with hanktankus and BelaLany limping in and lostsoul311 checking the big blind option. After the flop of 4♥ 3♥ T♥, lostsoul311 bet out, hanktankus called, but BelaLany raised it up. lostsoul311 responded with an all-in reraise, which pushed hanktankus out. BelaLany called with J♥ T♠ for top pair, and lostsoul311 showed only A♥ 7♠ for ace high. The K♣ on the turn and 8♣ on the river allowed the pair of tens to hold, and lostsoul311 was eliminated in fifth place with a $2,100 SCOOP ticket.

It was well into the tenth hour of the tournament that sprocket66 found an opportunity to chip up, doing it via a double-up through BelaLany. That put sprocket66 and BelaLany in the 1.5 million-chip range and hanktankus only holding a lead by a slight margin. kalamiis was still disconnected and losing chips as a result, having been relegated to a stack of less than 300K. In time, BelaLany took several big pots to climb well over the 2 million mark, sitting solidly in top position.

Finally, it came time for someone to make a move. The hand began with sprocket66 and BelaLany checking out a flop of 2♠ K♦ 3♥, which they both checked to see the 7♣ on the turn. The bet came from BelaLany, the raise from sprocket66, and more action led to sprocket66 pushing all-in with K♥ T♦ for top pair. But that was trumped by the K♠ 7♥ and two pair of BelaLany, which held up through the 8♦ on the river. That left sprocket66 out in fourth place with - you guessed it - a $2,100 SCOOP ticket.

The disconnection problem for kalamiis led to a diminishing chip stack that was put all-in automatically by being in the big blind. BelaLany was there with Q♠ J♦, and kalamiis had Q♦ T♣. The board blanked with 7♠ 2♦ 6♥ 9♠ K♥, and kalamiis was ousted in third place.

Heads-up play then began with the following chip counts:

Seat 1: BelaLany (3,996,009 in chips)
Seat 6: hanktankus (1,158,991 in chips)

The two battled for some time before hanktankus felt the ability to make a double-up attempt, which succeeded:

RSS readers click through to see replay

But in order to get ahead, it was going to take another double-up. The two started the hand innocently enough by limping in to a 5♠ 9♦ 2♣ flop, at which point the betting and raising ultimately led to hanktankus moving all-in with 5♣ 2♦, but that two pair was outdone by the 9♠ 2♥ of BelaLany. And when the 9♣ hit on the turn, BelaLany had the full house. The 3♣ on the river ended the tournament, with hanktankus finishing in second place for the $2,100 SCOOP ticket.

The winner of the WBCOOP Main Event and the $3,150 SCOOP buy-in was BelaLany of Munich. Congratulations from the PokerStars blog!

WBCOOP Main Event Results for 01/31/10:

1st place: BelaLany ($3,150 SCOOP buy-in)
2nd place: hanktankus ($2,100 SCOOP buy-in)
3rd place: kalamiis ($2,100 SCOOP buy-in)
4th place: sprocket66 ($2,100 SCOOP buy-in)
5th place: lostsoul311 ($2,100 SCOOP buy-in)
6th place: cardinal23 ($2,100 SCOOP buy-in)
7th place: metsapull ($2,100 SCOOP buy-in)
8th place: ErickRiveraD ($2,100 SCOOP buy-in)
9th place: luvrhino ($2,100 SCOOP buy-in)

To find out who wins the best live blogging and tweeting SCOOP tickets, check back with the PokerStars blog. Though we can't win our own contest, we can still let you know who deserves your attention for taking down the bonus awards! And keep eyes peeled for the SCOOP schedule, which will be listed here when it is released.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in WBCOOP