WCOOP Event #7 Final Table Report

"Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. We're so glad you could attend, step inside, step inside."
--PokerStars' Lee Jones channeling Emerson, Lake, and Palmer as Event #7's final table began

Sometimes, there are events that happen within events. At this year's World Series of Poker, there were stories within stories. Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson shooting for their tenth WSOP bracelets while Phil Hellmuth steamed on the rail. A host of poker players calling a cancer-stricken friend of the poker blogging community in his last living days. Barry Greenstein dedicating a newly-won bracelet to that same young man.

In the online poker world, those human stories are fewer and farther between. But Saturday night, one of those stories started to emerge. Poker pro Barry Greenstein emerged from the shadows and announced not only was he going to play and then later co-host PokerStars Radio during the final table, but that he would donate any of his winnings to the Hurrican Katrina relief effort. With that pledge made, PokerStars announced it would match the pledge 100%. Greenstein battled through the long night, eventually finishing in 16th place and together with PokerStars contributed $10,665 to the hurricane relief effort.

The effort was a sight to behold and quite fun to watch. Thanks to Barry for making such an effort to finish strong and high in the money. All of you can help out this week, too. On Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, PokerStars and Wil Wheaton will host Hurricane Katrina relief tournaments. All buy-ins (with the exception of one penny) will go to the American Red Cross. PokerStars will match all donations 100%. Click on "Tourney" and "Special" in your game lobby to register.

With all that behind us, there was a $500 buyin PL Hold'em table to play, and play they did. Here's what the final table looked like when the final nine players sat down.

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Seat 1: Az nutnut (Phoenix, AZ) $323,474
Seat 2: fat&50 (Royal Oak, MI) $287,941
Seat 3: celentan1o (Moscow, Russia) $577,920
Seat 4: TillerMaN (Glasgow, United Kingdom)$426,149
Seat 5: Hold_emNL (Edison, NJ) $375,246
Seat 6: Caleros (Clemson, SC) $173,442
Seat 7: Birdman266 (Las Vegas, NV) $415,365
Seat 8: kwil20 (Delta, BC, Canada) $162,741
Seat 9: NOXQZEZ (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) $220,222

If you take anything from this report, it should be this: Never give up. Kwil20 came into Event #7's final table with fewer chips than any of his opponents. He would eventually be dubbed the Comeback Kid. It began early on as he found AQ and re-raised all-in. He ended up in a race with Hold_emNL who had a pair of jacks. An ace on the flop doubled up the self described "Sheriff of Nottingham of Poker" and began a run that wouldn't end for quite a while.

Perhaps the early double throgh put a scare into the table. Players stopped playing hands to the river for a while and for a period of time seemed to be literally afraid of flops.

The game finally opened back up when Az nutnut decided to make a stand and re-raised all-in with pocket tens against NOXQZEZ pair of aces. Az nutnut was crippled and departed in ninth place for $8,887.50.

Fat&50 was looking to double up and he picked 55 to do it. Celentan1o held AQ but it was no good from the flop when a five fell. What that hand lacked in drama, the next hand made up.

Caleros, celebrating his birthday from Clemson, South Carolina, had been playing fairly tight, so when he came over the top of Hold_emNL's raise all-in, Hold_emNL had to think for quite a while before calling all-in with a pair of queens. Sure enough, Caleros was holding aces. With all the chips in the middle and cards face-up on the table, all that remained was the board, where the first card off the deck was a queen, a card that was set to ruin Caleros's birthday. With only two outs remianing, Caleros watched three more inconsequential cards fall.

And then he watched an ace fall on the river. Hold_emNL was out in eighth place, cashing for $13,627.50.

"That's a real birthday present right there," Caleros said.

TillerMaN was in need of chips and finally decided to make his move with A8. Sitting in the small blind, he pushed all in after celentan1o raised from the button. Celentan1o called with QJ. The flop brough a queen to move Celentan1o ahead. The flop also brough an eight, but TillerMaN's hand improved no further and he was out in seventh place. He took home $19,552.50 for his efforts.

Fat&50 likes his pocket fives. Presto is a monster for him. Birdman266 would be the next victim and the next to bite the dust. He got his AQ in against fat&50's pocket fives. Again the fives held up and Birdman266 was out in sixth place, cashing for $25,477.50.

Shortly thereafter, fat&50's luck would turn bad. His A9 would not be able to run down NOXXQZEZ's AQ. Then his AQ would run up against kwil20's AK. He would not be much longer for the evening.

But the birthday boy would be the next to go. Caleros got all his chips in on a 5h7d2s flop. He held T5 to kwil20's A7. What did the birthday present equal? How about fifth place and $31,402.50.

Perhaps the most dramatic hand of the evening ended one man's hopes at a bracelet. Holding A2 of diamonds, fat&50 got all his chips in the middle with the nut flush (and Royal flush draw) on a 9dQcKdJd board with only the river to come. Celentan1o called with KJ, two pair. No doubt the money was going in. The doubt was about what would happen on the river.

A jack would happen on the river to give celentan1o a full house and send fat&50 out in fourth place for $38,512.50.

With three players remaining, it was time to talk a deal. NOXQZEZ, on the short stack, battled and battlle and until got what he wanted. In the end might have wondered whether he shouldve dealt at all.

In two back-to-back hands NOXQZEZ crippled celentan1o, first by rivering two pair with A7 against celentan1o's pocket nines, then crushing celentan1o's AT with AJ. Celentan1o was out soon thereafter in third place, cashing for a very respectable $92,000.

But NOXQZEZ could not make a full comeback against the Comeback Kid. Kwil20 took a $1.6 million pot off NOZQZEZ without having to show down a hand (it looked like NOXQZEZ was on a diamond flush draw). Finally, NOXQZEZ got all his money in with pocket sixes against Kwil20's QT. A ten on the river ended it all. Kwil20 was the champion.

Congratulations to all the players.

WCOOP Event #7 Results
(results based on three-way chip count deal)

1. kwil20 (Delta, BC, Canada) $114,000
2. NOXQZEZ (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) $78,400
3. celentan1o (Moscow, Russia) $92,000.00
4. fat&50 (Royal Oak, MI) $38,512.50
5. Caleros (Clemson, SC) $31,402.50
6. Birdman266 (Las Vegas, NV) $25,477.50
7. TillerMaN (Glasgow, United Kingdom) $19,552.50
8. Hold_emNL (Edison, NJ) $13,627.50
9. Az nutnut (Phoenix, AZ) $8,887.50

Click here for a full list of cash winners.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in WCOOP