WCOOP Event #3 Final Table Report
It's the difference between a brawl in the middle of a bar and a one-on-one fight in the back alley. It's the difference between a full-court NBA game and a game of one-on-one between Kevin Garnett and Lebron James. It's a science few understand and even fewer have mastered.
It's heads-up play and it was Event #3 at PokerStars.com's World Championship of Online Poker.
I will admit, although I've covered and done commentary for heads up matches before, it's always been live. Covering an online event is beyond challenging. Nonetheless, these solitary warriors deserved their due.
The Elite Eight
After battling through a field of 1024, here is how the final eight chip-slinging action junkies fared (winner in bold):
thegrumpyone vs. cf tourney
snake8484 vs. Thrasymachus
lmoneybling vs. BooBangin
melonhead vs. KidDoc
The Final Four
lmoneybling vs. melonhead
snake8484 vs. thegrumpyone
Heads up for the bracelet
To make it this far required more than just poker playing ability. It's hour after hour of concentration. It's the ability to change styles and adapt to the styles of multiple heads up opponents. Most people who get heads up in a tournament have had time to evaluate their opponent for at least a little while. In this tournament, the first time they saw their final opponent, they were battling for the bracelet.
lmoneybling and snake8484 were no dummies. With equal stacks and more than $60,000 on the line, the players agreed to an immediate 50/50 chop, leaving $10,000 and the WCOOP bracelet on the table. With the deal in place, they went to work wth 768,000 in chips a piece.
In the span of three hands, lmoneybling's agression paid off. He opened up an early 2-1 chip lead, building pots of around 300,000 each time and taking them down with large bets on the turn card. Within a few more hands, lmoneybling was up 1,105,920 to 430,080.
But snake8484 would not back down. On a subsequent hand, he came in for a min-raise and got a call. On a flop of 5c4d7h, snake8484 put out a pot-sized bet and got another call. The turn came as the seven of clubs. Again, snake8484 put out a pot-sized bet and got another call. The turn was the ten of diamonds. Again a bet, again a call. Snake8484 showed K5 for two pair. Lmoneybling was only playing the sevens on the board with his KJ.
The back and forth battle continued. Lmoneybling and his aggressive tactics opened up nearly a 4-1 chip lead, while rarely having to show down a hand. Snake8484 cut into the lead by showing down the same two pair as lmoneybling, but having him outkicked, then evened the score by pushing a pair of sixes to the river and getting called down by imoneybling who was only playing a pair on board.
After a hardcore back and forth battle, it seemed it would all be over in one hand. Lmoneybling came in for a raise, faced a re-raise from snake8484, then pushed all in. Lmoneybling showed AKo. Snake8484 showed JJ. At the time, Lmoneybling was down by a few chips and the board looked like it was going to send him out in second place: 8d9h7d5c. But then the turn fell. It was a six, putting a straight on board and forcing a chopped pot.
Lmoneybling, it appeared, vowed to not be caught in he same position again, and ramped up his aggression, taking several large pots off snake8484 and opening up a massive chip lead. Finally, with less than 200,000 in chips, snake8484 called all-in pre-flop with K3s against lmoneybling's A4o. Lmoneybling took it down when he made the wheel on the river.
Congratulations to all the folks who cashed in this one-of-a-kind event. Here are the top eight finishers and what they won for their efforts.
WCOOP Event #3 Final Eight
1. lmoneybling (Van Nuys, CA) $35,720.00
2. snake8484 (Kelowna, BC, Canada) $25,720.00
3. thegrumpyone (Springfield, MA) $12,288.00
4 melonhead (Clinton Twp, MI) $12,288.00
5. KidDoc (Fayetteville, NC) United States $6,348.80
6. HooBangin (Fort McMurray, AB, Canada) $6,348.80
7. Thrasymachus (Toronto, ON, Canada) $6,348.80
8. cf tourney (Philadelphia, PA) $6,348.80
Click here for a full list of cash winners.