WCOOP Event #6 Final Table Report
"It's like watching hummingbirds play lacrosse."
--PokerStars Radio commentator Wil Wheaton commenting on the speed of the action in WCOOP Event #6
Sure, the fast cars and fast girls are fun. They're exciting and unpredictable. You never know when you start whether you'll be in victory lane or upside down in a ditch from the start. That's no-limit hold'em.
But, the more pragmatic of gamblers (and I'm almost sure there is such a thing) sometimes like to dance with who brung'em. They like the staid and traditional approach of a game that offers fewer gambles. She may not be the girl you want on prom night, but limit hold'em is the one that's always been there for you.
To be sure, the skill is different. And despite some folks' assertions that it is an inherently flawed game, there is a sweet science to it that makes it derserving of a spot in PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker. And by the end, Wil Wheaton and co-commentator Rick Charles were having a hard time keeping up with the action.
Who says limit hold'em is too slow?
Here's what the final table looked like when the final nine sat down.
Seat 2: KaiserShosa (Encino, CA) 395,770
Seat 3: barr_b2 (Columbus, OH) $230,557
Seat 4: ActionJeff (Norfolk, MA)$544,289
Seat 5: davmcg (Glasgow, United Kingdom)$527,122
Seat 6: Lenny (Long Beach, CA) $75,877
Seat 7: bdawg31 (Mechanicsburg, PA) $198,611
Seat 8: DANICA (Copenhagen, Denmark) $580,938
Seat 9: Mackas (Newtownabbey, United Kingdom)$1,644,882
Squiggy didn't make the show
...but Lenny did. After suffering an unfortunate beat just before the final table, the man from Long Beach needed a good win pretty quickly at the final table. From the button, he decided to make his move. He came in for a raise and got called by bdawg31 in the small blind. The flop came out JcQdAh. Bdawg31 checked, Lenny bet out, and bdawg raised Lenny all-in. Lenny called. Bdawg31 showed AQ for top two pair. Lenny held QT. The king he needed didn't come and Lenny was gone in ninth place for $4,879.94.
Mackas had come to the final table with the biggest stack and did not let up as play continued. Holding QT, he capped a pot pre-flop with DANICA, flopped top pair, turned two pair, and rivered a full house on a QJ2/T/T board. DANICA came in for a raise on the turn, so it appears Mackas was up against AK an rivered the full house, but we'll never know. As $504,000 in chips slid over to Mackas, DANICA's hand went in the virtual muck.
barr_b2 is barbequed
While a lot of pro players have been playing in WCOOP, there expectedly have been a lot of part-time players as well. Barr_b2 is one of them. A business analyst for a large company, the 30 year-old spends a lot of time working, playing poker, and playing golf. He was already looking at his biggest tournament cash to date when he got into his final hand.
After raising and getting re-raised pre-flop, barr_b2 saw a flop of Ac8s9d. He and bdawg31 capped the betting. By the end of betting on the turn, a four, barr_b2 was all in. The river, a nine, paired the board, but was irrelevant. Barr_b2 held AT to bdawg31's AJ. Barr_b2 was out in eighth place for $7,408.96. Less than 12 hours after his win, the business-minded man hadn't yet planned to spend his winnings.
"I just got engaged," he said. "So, I'm sure she has plans for the money."
I've played in games where certain hands or certain cards seem to rule the day. I've played in games where everyone would play AQ to the river because it was bound to win. I've seen people fold nice pocket pairs in unraised pots because they've seen them lose to many times.
But in Event #6, if you had a jack in your hand, you were better off playing it than not. GINGER KING proved to be the greatest evidence of how good hands could go bad against the knaves. GINGER KING got into a flop holding A5. The board read AJ5. Beautiful, eh? On any other day perhaps. However, on this day, it seemed pretty clear it was over. Why? Well, a jack was on board. That's the just the way the night was going. Sure enough, by the end of the hand, GINGER KING was all in and lost to davmcg's pocket jacks. GINGER KING took seventh place and $10,686.
DANICA apparently was holding his mouth wrong, however, because having a jack in his hand didn't help him on a subsequent hand. Holding KJ, he got all his money in and never paired either card in his hand. He was out in sixth place and took $14,248 to add to his bankroll.
There might not be a Kaiser Sose, but there is a...
Kaiser Shosa. While reports that Kaiser Shosa was actually a non-limping Verbal Kent and Kevin Spacey lookalike proved to be inconclusive and, ultimately, quite wrong, the Kaiser did prove to be just as brutal and full of tricks. So, it was no surprise that Kaiser Shosa got all his money in against his opponent's full house. Just as his opponent was ready to rake in the pot, Kaiser Shosa showed quad deuces for the win and a half million dollar pot.
But then, Kaiser Shosa's luck went the way of Gabriel Byrne. He was crippled on a hand shortly thereafter, then ended up getting his money in with KQ and losing to a naked ace. He took fifth place and $18,166.
With four players remaining and the stacks all of relative size, the players finally worked out a deal that left $10,000 and the WCOOP bracelet on the table. ActionJeff, the shortest of the nearly even stacks lobbied until his cut was an even $40,000, proving once again that short-stacks don't necessarily have to give in to what the big stacks want.
Davmcg and ActionJeff started to go to town on Mackas and took a nice chunk out of his stack, then suddenly, ActionJeff, who was the lowest of stacks, was in the chip lead. Bdawg31, who had qualified through a satellite and had only $30 invested in the tournament, finally succumbed in fourth place and cashed for $42,000. Mackas went out next, taking home $43,000.
U.S. versus U.K., the grudge match
Davmcg (seen here on the left) was the quiet one. An insurance man from Glasgow, he's made enough playing poker in the past couple of years to make a living, but in his words, doesn't have "the guts" to go pro. He's been playing at PokerStars almost as long as the site has been around. A seasoned amateur player, davmcg gets his jollies in the same way we'd all like to.
"I love going to poker festivals around the world and probably would never have visted many beautiful cities and fantastic places were it not for poker," he said. "From playing golf at Carnoustie to visiting the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg."
ActionJeff is a horse of a different breed. From the "Gank owns" school of poker, ActionJeff was the talkative one at the table. Clever, sarcastic, and rarely without a quick retort at the table, ActionJeff said his screen name was initially supposed to be ironic.
"When I started playing I saw myself as a conservative player, similar to 'ActionDan' Harrington," he said. "My game has changed a lot since then, and I have learned to be more flexible in my play. Now, especially when a tournament is winding down, the 'Action' part of the name is usually a lot more accurate."
Going into heads up play, it was either players' game. For a half-hour, the players battled back and forth. Just when it seemed the game would be over, the players would be back to even stacks. Finally, ActionJeff wore down his opponent and proved he could come from the back of the pack to take the bracelet.
WCOOP Event #6 Results
1. ActionJeff (Norfolk, MA) $50,000.00
2. davmcg (Glasgow, United Kingdom) $42,387.00
3. Mackas (Newtownabbey, United Kingdom) $43,000.00
4. bdawg31 (Mechanicsburg, PA) $42,000.00
5. KaiserShosa (Encino, CA) $18,166.20
6. DANICA (Copenhagen, Denmark) $14,248.00
7. GINGER KING (Malton, United Kingdom) $10,686.00
8. barr_b2 (Columbus, OH) $7,408.96
9. Lenny (Long Beach, CA) United States $4,879.94
Click here for a full list of cash winners.