WCOOP Event #5 Final Table Report

"I want a mouse medium rare. And a side of flies."
--Dead Cat, in deal negotiations as the final table began.

Few folks will deny that re-buy tournments are crazy. I mean loony, wacky, there has to be a rubber room around here somewhere kind of crazy. Well, WCOOP Event #5 must have decided that it needed to put a finer point on it. It must have decided it wanted its picture in the dictionary next to the definition of "wild and crazy tournament."

Dead Cat's begging for mice, greater deal negotiations than it takes to work out a wartime peace treaty, massive service provider outages in Los Angeles, and, yeah, a well-known pro sitting at the table. That's how Event #5's final table played out in the last few hours of a 15+ hour event. How did it look to begin with? A little like this:

Click here for larger image

Seat 1: Carlos_dk (Norresundby, Denmark) $1,146,650
Seat 2: kamsa (Heights, MI) $458,551
Seat 3: Dead Cat (Summerlin, NV) $1,445,644
Seat 4: genoa_st (Emeryville, CA) $1,280,012
Seat 5: fidallio (San Francisco, CA) $2,375,480
Seat 6: yoda777 (Berkshire, United Kingdom) $1,501,727
Seat 7: Maksflaks (Bergen, Norway) $4,042,580
Seat 8: PokerSavage1 (Los Angeles, CA) $650,408
Seat 9: n1stunnor (Humboldt, CA) $731,448

Hey Joe, where you going with those chips your hand?

There was little question about who was in charge at the beginning. Norwegian Maksflaks (a name that translates roughly into English as "lucky") came to the final table with a commanding chip lead. Still, in second place sat a man whose screen name might not be familair, but his given name is. With his permission, I'm pleased to be able to announce fidallio is none other than Joe Sebok, poker pro. Those of you who might not yet have heard of Sebok, you will. He made two final tables at the World Series of Poker this year. He is a columnist for CardPlayer Magazine. He also happens to be the son of poker pro Barry Greenstein. You can look for a Sebok profile here on the PokerStars Blog very soon.

Joe Sebok (center)

Sebok aka fidallio can put on a good show at the card table, not with antics, but with his stellar play. As it happened, however, the hands he found early ran into bigger hands. As the final table began, Sebok's pocket tens ran into PokerSavage1's pocket aces. PokerSavage1 was more than pleased. "If I can make my avatar dance," he said, "I would do it right now."

Sebok's AQ then ran right into kamsa's AK. Then his jacks ran into genoa_st's pocket kings. Just like that, the man who started the final table in second place was down to less than $200,000 in chips. It wasn't enough to survive the final hand, his A7 against pocket kings. Fidallio was out in ninth place, cashing for $13,535.60.


N1stunnor had come a long way to the final table. With around 80 players remaining, he had the chip lead and had no doubt he'd make the final table. Four years ago, the 26 year-old had been working in a sawmill full-time and playing poker part-time. One day he took a look at his books and realized he was making more playing poker than he was working at the mill. So, he quit and took up poker fulltime. Now, he sat at the final table and was looking at the very real prospect of making more in 15 hours of work than most of his fellow Americans make in an entire year of hard labor.

With that in mind, n1stunnor won a huge hand, getting all in with pocket tens versus kamsa's AQ. N1stunnor flopped tens full of fours and took down a monster $1.4 million pot. Kamsa, now crippled, departed in eighth place shortly thereafter after pushing in with Q6 out of the big blind and running into genoa_st's pocket sevens. Kamsa took home $20,824 for his efforts.

It would not be long before the man from Denmark, Carlos_dk, would leave as well. Facing a raise from n1stunnor, Carlos_dk pushed all in with AQ. It was not the race he was looking for. N1stunnor held a pair of aces and Carlos_dk was out in seventh place and $29,153.60.

Let's make a deal...or not

Something about the departure of the Dane sent the final table into a spiral of silliness and mind torture. It began with the river drying up. Play had tightened up so much, it had been so long since we'd seen a river, it was like we were crossing the Mojave. Dead Cat was in dire need of a mouse. And most of the players we're looking to make a deal. But see, yoda777 was in the house.

Chips more than a million Yoda777 had, mmmmmmmm.

Now, anyone who has played tournament poker for any length of time knows there is more than one way to skin a cat (No offense, Dead Cat, but you had to see that one coming). There is no one single way to cut a deal. PokerStars has a standard formula it uses at its final tables when asked by players to calculate a deal based on chip percentage. Lee Jones is always the first to point out, however, there are other ways to do it. In Event #5, the players on the shorter stacks wanted to look at the other ways. Yoda777, on the shortest stack, required more money than the initial chop offered him.

Rick Charles and Dan Goldman, commentating on PokerStars Radio described it perfectly. The art of the deal-cutting was like a poker game in itself, and yoda777 was not about to get short-changed. Eventually, the bigger stacks agreed to chip in and meet yoda777's demands.

But wait...waitaminute. PokerSavage1 is gone.

At the very same moment it seemed a six-way deal would be cut, a city-wide ISP crash happened in Los Angeles. It happened to be PokerSavage1's ISP. He was gone for half an hour and the entire deal negotiation. And then when he finally re-emerged on a dial-up connection, he didn't like the deal. Play resumed.

During the next few hands, PokerSavage1 doubled up, genoa_st moved into the chip lead, Maksflaks gave up some chips, and yoda777 went on a roll. Suddenly, the past deal didn't look so good to anyone anymore. Anyone except, perhaps, Dead Cat.

Dead Cat and PokerSavage1 were still grousing at each other about the dead deal. For Dead Cat, the lack of a deal stripped him of a guaranteed $99,000. So, when PokerSavage1 came in for a raise, it wasn't much of a surprise to see Dead Cat come over the top all-in for more thn $2 million. The surprise, friends, rested in chip leader genoa_st thinking, thinking some more, and then calling the all in. He held AKo. PokerSavage1 folded and Dead Cat showed pocket sevens. An ace on the flop sent the man who was--just an hour before--guaranteed nearly $100,000. He was out in sixth place, cashing for $38,524.40.

The win catapulted genoa_st to east street. He had $6.6 million in chips and a commanding chip lead. He almost killed n1stunnor when his A5 flopped two pair against n1stunnor's AJ (all in pre-flop), but the board paired sixes on the river to counterfeit genoa_st's two-pair.

Again, we moved into the desert, seeing few rivers, and a large amount of small pots. Eventually, the action shifted, PokerSavage1 briefly held second chip position before doubling up yoda777 with 99 versus TT. Yoda777 held the chips for a short amount of time before losing to a miracle four-flush with A6 versus yoda777's AT.

With that, the players again started talking about a deal. Again, the chip percentage deal wasn't satisfactory to the small stacks. They wanted $80,000 a piece, and after negotiations as tough a peace accord, they got it.

With a deal finally in place, the action picked up. PokerSavage1's pocket sevens lost to Maksflaks pair of queens and he was gone in fifth place. Yoda77 departed in fourth place when his JT couldn't run down n1stunnor's AQ.

Going into heads up play, genoa_st held about a 3-1 chip lead. Maksflaks did all he could to make up the difference. After all, $20,000 and a WCOOP bracelet were still on the table.

Finally, Maksflaks made a stand with QT but ran into genao_st's AK. After more than 15 hours, Event #5 was over.

As the sun came up, I couldn't help but wonder if Dead Cat ever got his mouse.

WCOOP Event #5 Final Table Results

1. genoa_st (Emeryville, CA) $187,166.20
2. Maksflaks (Bergen, Norway) $115,422.18
3. n1stunnor (Humboldt, CA) $81,500.00
4. yoda777 (Berkshire, United Kingdom) $80,000.00
5. PokerSavage1 (Los Angeles, CA) $81,500.00
6. Dead Cat (Summerlin, NV) $38,524.40
7. Carlos_dk (N0rresundby, Denmark) $29,153.60
8. kamsa Madison (Heights, MI) $20,824.00
9. fidallio San (Francisco, CA)$13,535.60

Click here for a list of all cash winners.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in WCOOP