WCOOP: Event #2 Five-Card Draw live blog

Live blog coverage of WCOOP Event #2 $215 Five Card Draw is brought to you by bloggers Stephen Bartley, Jason Kirk, Change100, and Jen Newell. Have a story for us? E-mail to blog@pokerstars.com. Click refresh to see the latest information. Looking for other events? How about the WCOOP Event #1 Live Blog?

7:50am - ImBillMcNeal is the winner of WCOOP Event #2!

ImBillMcNeal posted the small blind, and after wedlowjones posted the big blind, ImBillMcNeal came in raising to 100,000. wedlowjones called and discarded three, as did his opponent. wedlowjones led out with a 150,000 bet, but ImBillMcNeal raised it up to 550,000. wedlowjones typed in the chat box, "you got it gg and called all-in. In the showdown, wedlowjones showed 7h-8d-Qd-Qs-7s for two pair, queens and sevens, but ImBillMcNeal had 2c-As-Ah-6c-Ac three magical aces. ImBillMcNeal returned a "gg" in the chat, and it was over.

wedlowjones finished in a respectable second place for a cash prize of $25,395.20.

And the Event #2 Pot-Limit 5-Card Draw Champion is ImBillMcNeal! He will be awarded $34,201.60 for his patience and tenacity in earning the win, along with a coveted WCOOP bracelet.

Congratulations, and goodnight!

7:40am - wedlowjones takes a major hit

After a whole lot of back-and-forth, ImBillMcNeal and wedlowjones were about back where they started their heads-up match (2 million to 1 million) when this hand unfolded. ImBillMcNeal raised double the big blind to 80,000 and wedlowjones made the call. wedlowjones took three cards while ImBillMcNeal discarded one. wedlowjones led out for a small bet of 80,000 after the draw, which ImBillMcNeal popped to 280,000. wedlowjones called, only to see his opponent's king-high flush. The hand left wedlowjones with only 653,230 to ImBillMcNeal's 2,418,770.

7:24am - Heads-up play begins

Chip counts heading into heads-up play were:

ImBillMcNeal 2,058,770
wedlowjones 1,013,230

While ImBillMcNeal held a 2:1 chip lead over his opponent through a number of hands, wedlowjones finally got involved in a pot worth over 1 million chips and won it with trip sevens. When ImBillMcNeal mucked his hand, wedlowjones took the lead for the first time in heads-up action. But it wasn't long before ImBillMcNeal took it back.

Chips went back and forth, though talks of a deal did no such thing. wedlowjones had made it clear in previous chats that he/she was not interested, so the poker played on.

7:23am - Isidor3 eliminated in third place

Short-stack ninja Isidor3 was eliminated only moments ago after surviving a number of perilous situations throughout the tournament endgame. With just under 393,000 in chips, Isidor3 made it 80,000 to go from the small blind after wedlowjones folded the button. ImBillMcNeal min-raised to 160,000, and Isidor3 reraised all in for an additional 229,000. ImBillMcNeal made the call and drew two after Isidor3 took three. When the hands were turned up, Isidor3's pair of aces fell to ImBillMcNeal's trip fives, taking us to heads-up play. Isidor3 will take home $18,739.20 for the day's work.

7:46am - New level, new day for many of us

Level 28
Blinds 25,000/50,000, antes 5,000
Average chip count: 1,536,000
Players remaining: 2
First prize: $34,201.60
Second prize: $25,395.20

Chip counts:

ImBillMcNeal 2,502,770
wedlowjones 569,230

7:15am - Level 27, a short break, and no deal

In an online poker world where time has no meaning and hours are replaced by blind levels, we give you this info:

Level 27
Blinds 20,000/40,000, antes 4,000
Average chip count: 1,024,000
Remaining players: 3
First prize: Hasn't changed

And the chip counts are...

ImBillMcNeal 1,621,820
Isidor3 812,950
wedlowjones 637,230

7:03am - ImBillMcNeal back in dominating lead

With ImBillMcNeal holding a 2-1 chip lead on both his remaining opponents, surprisingly enough chat broke out of a potential deal shortly after Yamzit's elimination. Isidor3 and ImBillMcNeal were both interested in taking a look at chip-count chop numbers, but wedlowjones turned them down. wedlowjones typed, "nt not that much difference i'd rather play" so play continued with wedlowjones as the new short stack.

6:58am - Yamzit eliminated in fourth place

Whittled down to just over 245,000 in chips, Yamzit opened for a 90,000 raise and was immediately put to the test by the resurgent Isidor3, who reraised to 210,000. Yamzit decided it was time to take a stand and moved all in for 242,000, Isidor3 calling the 32,000 balance. Each player drew one card and Isidor3 turned up Queens and deuces, trumping Yamzit's sevens and fives. Isidor3's stack climbed to nearly 800,000 while Yamzit departed in 4th place, earning $14,848.000. Down to 3.

6:52am - Isidor3 stays strong, doubles twice

Isidor3 had seen that short stack continually get shorter, mostly at the expense of wedlowjones, who steadily climbed up over the million chip mark to give ImBillMcNeal a run for the top spot.

Finally, Isidor3 took a stand with an initial raise to Yamzit, who popped it up again. Isidor3 called and was all-in with that. Yamzit discarded one, and Isidor3 took two for the winning hand of trip tens over Yamzit's two pair, jacks and threes. Quicklly, Isidor3 saw another opportunity from the small blind when wedlowjones made the first raise. Isidor3 made it 210,000 to go, wedlowjones raised to 330,000, and Isidor3 called all-in. After Isidor3 took three cards and wedlowjones took only one, Isidor3 won with three aces to wedlowjones' two pair.

Isidor3 was ready to fight to the end.

6:40am - ImBillMcNeal still leading going into Level 26

Oh yeah, we're still here! So are the remaining four players. Here is some not-so-interesting, yet important information:

Level 26
Blinds 15,000/30,000, antes 3,000
Average chip count: 768,000
Players remaining: 4
First prize: Still $34,201.60

Our troopers, still in the game as dawn hits the Eastern U.S.:

ImBillMcNeal 1,427,820
Yamzit 770,172
wedlowjones 545,082
Isidor3 328,926

ImBillMcNeal, with close to 1.5 million, now boasts a chip stack more than twice as large as his closest competitor, Yamzit, who is hovering around the 700,000 mark. wedlowjones is hovering around the 500,000 spot, while Isidor3 continues to play excellent short-stack poker and sits on less than 350,000.

6:15am - nathalie111 eliminated in fifth place

After sitting at or near the chip lead for the last several hours, nathalie111 was just eliminated over the course of two hands, while ImBillMcNeal vaulted to the front of the pack.

ImBillMcNeal opened for a 40,000 raise from the button, nathalie111 reraised to 150,000, wedlowjones gave up the big blind and ImBillMcNeal called. Each player drew one card, and nathalie111 led out for a pot-sized bet of 330,000. ImBillMcNeal made the call and showed down Aces and Queens, revealing that nathalie111 was on a total bluff with only king-high. nathalie111 was down to 248,000 after the hand, while ImBillMcNeal increased his stack to more than 1.2 million.

Two hands later, nathalie111 opened for 80,000 from the cutoff, Yamzit popped it to 260,000 from the small blind and nathalie111 shoved for 286,694. Yamzit called and drew one card while nathalie111 drew two. At showdown, Yamzit revealed kings and nines while nathalie111 couldn't show more than ace high. Yamzit raked in the 603,000 pot and just like that, nathalie111 was gone. Not all is lost, though -- how about that $11,038.72 payday?

The downfall of nathalie111 was somewhat sudden, but there were bound to be some chip exchanges as the blinds and antes rise and players tire. ImBillMcNeal is now ahead of the four-pack with over 1.2 million in chips, though Yamzit is closing in on the 1 million mark.

5:55am - Break time before the start of Level 25

And a much-deserved one at that.

Level 25
Blinds 10,000/20,000, antes 2,000
Average chip count: 614,400
Players remaining: 5
First prize: Same as it always was

Chip counts:

ImBillMcNeal 919,820
nathalie111 792,694
Yamzit 615,478
Isidor3 426,926
wedlowjones 317,082

The chip lead has finally been turned over to ImBillMcNeal, who has scratched and clawed to get to it. nathalie111 is still strong in second place, but he/she is being challenged. As the blinds and antes continue to rise, everyone is being forced to move around with less-than-stellar hands. There should be some fireworks soon.

5:40am - Isidor3 slipped (off the internet) and nathalie111 climbed again

Much to his or her probable dismay, Isidor3 seemed to have some connection problems during a big hand with nathalie111 and lost a reasonable amount of chips. nathalie111 chipped back up to over 1 million, while Isidor3 slipped to less than 300,000.

It seems that as the hours have gone by and play has slowed, tensions rose a bit, as evidenced by some wordy chat lines. The disconnection of another player didn't help, though everyone seemed to be doing their best to be cordial. Most online players know the frustration of being disconnected at a critical point in a tournament.

5:35am - ImBillMcNeal doubled through chip leader nathalie111

For a while there, it looked like nothing could stop nathalie111, who was the runaway chip leader with 1.25 million. Not so fast, said ImBillMcNeal. With the action folded to him in the small blind, ImBillMcNeal made a minimum raise to 32,000, and nathalie 111 called from the big blind. ImBillMcNeal drew one while nathalie111 took two. ImBillMcNeal led out for 32,000, nathalie111 raised to 96,000 and ImBillMcNeal came over the top for the rest of his chips. nathalie111 made the call for an additional 204,000. nathalie111's As-Ad-3c-3d-2d was no match for ImBillMcNeal's tens full of jacks and he raked in the nearly 672,000 pot. nathalie111 slipped to 893,000.

5:25am - Blinds up, bloggers barely up

Level 24
Blinds 8,000/16,000, antes 2,000
Average chip count: 614,400
Players remaining: 5
First prize: Take a guess

5:10am - xoxol73 eliminated in sixth place

It didn't take long to see an elimination from the final table. xoxol73 had less than 100,000 in chips and needed to move. After an initial raise by Yamzit to 36,000, xoxol73 shoved all-in for 98,730 and was called by Yamzit. Both players took one card, and as xoxol73's Ts-Tc-Js-Jh-Ac was good for two pair, Yamzit showed a better two with 5c-Ad-As-5h-2h. nathalie111 typed, "gg," which was echoed by Yamzit and Isidor3, and xoxol73 took leave of the table in 6th place for $7,680.00 in prize money.

5:02am - And we have the final six!

PS Screen Shot.JPG

5:00am - The destruction of Khan, RaiNKhAN eliminated in seventh place

Unfortunately, Team PokerStars Pro's Hevad "RaiNKhAN" Khan was our final table bubble boy, busting out in 7th place just moments ago. He was crippled on a hand where Yamzit limped in from UTG and Khan made it 36,000 to go from the button. Isidor3 folded, ImBillMcNeal flat-called the additional 24,000 from the big blind, and Yamzit called as well. ImBillMcNeal and RaiNKhAN took three cards apiece while Yamzit took two. ImBillMcNeal led out for 84,000 after the draw, prompting a fold from Yamzit. Khan called, though and saw the bad news when his opponent turned up Aces full of tens. Our former chip leader was now down to only 89,000.

Only a few hands later he met his end, getting his remaining chips all in before the draw vs. the ever-resilient Isador3. Each player drew one card, and Khan's nines and fives fell to Isidor3's Aces and sixes, eliminating him from the tournament in 7th place.

4:40am - Level 23 ensues

Level 23
Blinds 6,000/12,000, antes 1,200
Average chip count: 438,857
Players remaining: 7
First prize: 34,201.60

nathalie111 1,295,945
ImBillMcNeal 531,910
Yamzit 360,948
wedlowjones 261,341
Isidor3 240,776
RaiNKhAN 216,350
xoxol73 164,730

4:30am - Hand-for-hand play sees nathalie111 hit the 1 million chip mark

With seven players left, virtual tension was high, and hand-for-hand play ensued, during which chip leader nathalie111 soared over 1 million in chips, well over two times that of her nearest opponent.

4:27am - Crispy86 creamed, finished in 8th place

Down to 69,000 in chips, Crispy86 made it 39,000 to go from second position, and wedlowjones set him all-in. Crispy86 made the call and drew three while wedlowjones drew two. In the end, it was a pair of kings creaming Crispy86's pair of eights, and he hit the rail, fittingly enough, in 8th place for a $4,096 payday.

4:23am - Isidor3 continues to build through RaiNKhAN

ImBillMcNeal opened for a raise to 20,000 from UTG, RaiNKhAN re-potted to 94,000, Isidor3 called all-in for 76,296, and ImBillMcNeal mucked his hand. Khan drew three while Isidor3 drew two and turned up trip kings, besting Khan's sevens and fours. Isidor3 got a another much-needed double-up and now sits around the 200,000 mark.

4:21am - Somehow, we are at Level 22

I think it might be because blinds and antes are increasing at regular intervals, but I can't swear by it.

Level 22
Blinds 5,000/10,000, antes 1,000
Average chip count: 384,000
Players remaining: 8
First prize: Same as every level before this one

nathalie111 still sits atop the leaderboard, far above his/her opponents, though RaiNKhAN is hanging on for the second spot. Creeping up in third place to make a run is xoxol73.

4:10am - Isidor3 takes some hits from Khan but strikes back...twice

RaiNKhAN had been pushing short-stacked Isidor3 closer and closer to the brink of elimination. It wasn't pretty, but finally, Isidor3 pushed back. With only 23,924 in chips, Isidor3 was all-in right away, and RaiNKhAN called. Both discarded three, and Isidor3 took the hand down with three nines against Khan's pair of aces. Two hands later, Khan raised it up again, but Isidor3 was all-in, called by his/her nemesis once more. After discarding three each, the showdown gave victory to Isidor3 with three aces against Khan's pair of nines.

Isidor3 decided enough was enough, and the hands cooperated to allow for another battle.

4:03am - lasker took the 9th place spot

Short-stacked lasker opened for 20,000 of his remaining 105,500 chips, and RaiNKhAN reraised to 50,000. That induced folds from Isidor3, ImBillMcNeal and Yamzit, leaving lasker to move all-in for an additional 55,000. Khan made the call and drew two while lasker drew one. Though lasker made aces and queens, Khan turned up the dominant trip deuces and raked in the 225,000 pot, eliminating lasker. The 9th place elimination for lasker was good for a $4,096.00 payout.

4:00am - dirty4b eliminated in 10th place, pay jump now in place

After xoxol73 open-raised to 24,000, dirty4b re-potted to 80,000, and xoxol73 put him all in for 30,000 more. His/her tournament life at risk, dirty4b made the call, and both players drew three cards. dirty4b emerged with a pair of jacks at showdown, no match for xoxol73's pair of aces, and he departed in 10th place. $1,843.20 should soothe the blow just a little.

With dirty4b's elimination, the remaining nine players have hit that significant pay jump. Each is now guaranteed at least $4,096 for their play today.

3:55am - wedlowjones doubles to get back to sixth place on the leaderboard

wedlowjones was having a roller coaster ride of a tournament and was near the bottom of the totem pole with 138,108 going into a critical hand. In the small blind, wedlowjones raised the pot to 24,000 only to be reraised to 76,000 by xoxol73. wedlowjones responded with an all-in push, and xoxol73 called 61,308 more. Both players discarded three, and xoxol73 showed Ts-7c-2d-Ks-Kd for a pair of Kings while wedlowjones turned over As-8c-Ac-4s-2s for the higher pair of aces. wedlowjones was saved and presumably glad to be out of immediate danger.

3:40am - cabezauro has been eliminated in 11th place

At Table 136, nearly every pot is raised and reraised pre-draw, and this one was no exception. dirty4b opened for 21,000 from UTG, cabezauro flat-called on the button, only to have xoxol73 put in the squeeze raise to 77,000 from the small blind. Once the big blind and dirty4b got out of the way, cabezauro moved all-in for an additional 55,000. xoxol73 quickly called and stood pat while cabezauro drew two. xoxol73's pat flush bested cabezauro's trip tens, and he hit the rail in 11th place, earning $1,843.20.

With ten players left, there is a big money jump looming. The 10th place finisher will receive $1,843.20 while the 9th place player will receive $4,096.00. A sizable difference might slow play a bit, but lasker is the only player under 100,000 in chips, and it remains to be seen what that short-stack can do with that position.

3:35am - Whose house? Khan's house!

If you're wondering how the Khan lives, which I'm sure that you are, PokerStars.tv has an interesting look at Hevad's home life, as it was during the WSOP this summer.

Watch WSOP: Hevad Khan's House (Part One) on PokerStars.tv

3:25am - Isidor3 draws the boat

RaiNKhAN opened for a pre-draw raise to 21,000 and got a caller in Isidor3 in the cutoff. Khan drew two cards while Isidor3 drew one, and Khan thought for some time before deciding to check. Isidor3 bet 28,000 and Khan went into the tank, using up a good portion of his time bank on the decision before making the call. Isidor3 turned over fours full of threes, and Khan mucked. Isidor3 is now closing in on the 300K mark after being down to only 30,000 about 90 minutes ago.

3:14am - And now for something different

An interesting level, if you are inclined to be interested by these sorts of things:

Level 20
Blinds 3,500/7,000, antes 700
Average chip count: 279,272
Players remaining: 11
First prize: I'm just not typing it again for awhile.

3:11am - Ogelthorpe eliminated in 12th place

Ogelthorpe hung on as long as he could to his short stack, ultimately electing to move that last 35,000 in over the top of Yamzit's opening raise to 21,000. Yamzit called the additional 14K and after drawing three each, Yamzit's two pair, kings and deuces, emerged as the winning hand over Ogelthorpe's pair of queens. Ogelthorpe will take home $1,843,20 for his finish.

3:10am - Clapi eliminated in 13th place

RaiNKhAN opened for a pre-draw raise to 15,000 from UTG, wedlowjones called right behind him, and Clapi moved his remaining 59,000 all in from the big blind. Khan elected to fold, but wedlowjones called and stood pat after Clapi drew three cards. Clapi made aces and fives, but they were no match for wedlowjones' pat queen-high straight. Clapi hit the virtual rail in 13th place and will take home a virtual check for $1,331,20 for his performance today.

3:05am - 2007 WCOOP champion ka$ino out in 14th place, courtesy of RaiNKhAN

After a roller-coaster couple of hours that took him to the brink of elimination and back to the top ten on the leaderboard again, 2007 WCOOP Main Event champion ka$ino has succumbed in 14th place. With 98,000 remaining and blinds and antes rising faster than U.S. petroleum, ka$ino raised to 16,000 pre-draw and RaiNKhAN popped it to 48,000 from the small blind. ka$ino four-bet all-in, and Khan called the additional 50,000. After drawing one card each, Khan emerged with aces and sixes, besting ka$ino's kings up and sending him to the rail in 14th place.

And Hevad Khan has launched himself back into fifth place and climbing.

2:55am - Jagz7 eliminated in 15th place

One of the shorter stacks, Jagz7 sat with 47,521 in the small blind. Yamzit got it started with a raise to 18,000, Jagz7 pushed it all-in for his last 46,921, and Yamzit called. Jagz7 discarded two to his opponent's three, and the cards were shown. Jagz7's hand was Qd-Kc-5c-Qs-Tc for a pair of queens, but Yamzit held the dominating hand with 5s-Ad-Ac-Ah-6c and trip aces. Yamzit took the large 102,842 pot, and Jagz7 took 15th place and the $1,331.20 corresponding prize.

It has been a solid month for Jagz7, who won the $200R on August 17th for over $46,000. And going back a bit further, this player placed second in the Sunday Second Chance tournament in January for $29,489. And who knows, there are many more events to be played in this WCOOP... Might want to keep an eye out for Jagz7!

2:50am - atlantic17 eliminated in 16th place

Down to 15,554 in chips and 6,000 of them posted in the big blind, atlantic17 called all-in behind a pre-draw raise from xoxol73 and a call from dirty4b. Each player drew three cards, and it was dirty4b's pair of queens that came out on top, eliminating atlantic17, who will enjoy (or not, we can't say for sure) a $1,331.20 payday for his/her finish.

2:40am - Weekend plans

With the weekend upon us, it's time to think about what to do. Hit the gym? Clean the garage? Watch bad cable TV movies?

C'mon... Challenge yourself. There are two brand spankin' new WCOOP tournaments starting tomorrow! The first will be the $215 Limit Hold'em starting at 2:30pm ET, and the second, for those with a specific poker taste, will be the $215 2-7 Triple Draw event beginning at 4:30pm ET.

If those don't suit you, there are many more events scheduled over the next 2 1/2 weeks. Take a gander at the schedule and mark your calendar!

2:37am - Hitting level 19

We have reached another milestone, errr, level.

Level 19
Blinds 3,000/6,000, antes 600
Average chip count: 192,000
Players remaining: 16
First prize: $34,201.60

Top ten chip counts:

nathalie111 436,768
ImBillMcNeal 331,102
xoxol73 323,078
wedlowjones 284,332
Yamzit 256,631
Crispy86 226,125
cabezauro 173,928
ka$ino 166,909
RaiNKhAN 164,339
Ogelthorpe 160,823

2:32am - MichaR711 eliminated in 17th place

The tournament's shortest remaining stack, MichaR711 just took a stand, opening for 10,000 from UTG and moving all in for 44,000 over the top of xoxol73's reraise to 20,000. MichaR711 drew two while xoxol73 stood pat...and for good reason. xoxol73 turned up sevens full of fives, toasting MichaR711's trip tens.

MichaR711 will soon find an extra $1,331.20 in his or her PokerStars account.

2:25am - ka$ino climbing as a little bit of RaiN falls

ka$ino has built his chip stack back up to the 170,000 mark after winning several key pots, beginning with a double-up through nathalie111. After ka$ino opened for 15,000 of his remaining 44,000, nathalie111 reraised to 30,000, ka$ino shipped in the rest and nathalie111 called. Each player drew one and ended up with two pair, ka$ino's queens and fours taking it down. That pot put him back at 96,000. ka$ino dipped into nathalie111's stack two more times in the next ten hands,taking one down on the draw without a showdown as well as besting her pair of queens with jacks and deuces in a subsequent hand.

As ka$ino approached the top ten of the remaining 17, RaiNKhAN fell a bit, sitting now in fifth place.

2:17am - pleazzzzzzz out in 18th, thank you

pleazzzzzzz opened for a pot-sized raise to 20,500 from second position and Jagz7 obliged, putting him all in for an additional 2,186. pleazzzzzzz made the call and drew three after Jagz7 took one. Though pleazzzzzzz improved to jacks and sixes, they were no match for Jagz7's aces and fives and pleazzzzzzz was eliminated, taking home $1,331,20 at the money jump for his/her performance.

Maybe that money can buy some more zzzz's.

Other recent bustouts included:

19th place: ELBRUS77 ($1,024.00)
20th place: psimalive ($1,024.00)
21st place: Pokerccini ($1,024.00)
22nd place: *BSC* ($1,024.00)

2:10am - 2007 WCOOP champion crippled

ka$ino has been crippled by wedlowjones. With more than 185,000 in his stack, ka$ino opened for 10,500 from UTG and faced a 36,000 reraise from wedlowjones in the small blind. ka$ino came over the top for 114,000 and wedlowjones almost instantly moved all-in for a total of 141,716. ka$ino called and drew three after wedlowjones drew two. ka$ino's pair of aces did not improve, and wedlowjones took down the 289,000 pot with trip kings, crippling ka$ino to only 38,000 in chips.

After sitting near the top of the chip counts for several levels, the 2007 WCOOP main event champion is down but not out. In the last few moments, ka$ino chipped back up to over 100,000 as he tries to recover.

2:07am - Seriously, another level jump

Level 18
Blinds 2,500/5,000, antes 500
Average chip count: 161,684
Players remaining: 19
First prize: I think you should know that by now ($34,201.60)

2:00am - ELBRUS77 and Isidor3 stave off elimination

Short-stacked ELBRUS77 is stayin' alive. With less than 13,000 in chips, ELBRUS77's kings and deuces were good in an all-in situation against the aces of RaiNKhAN.

And talk about the right hand at the right time. Isidor3's tournament life was at stake after moving all-in for 31,000 over the top of Jagz7's 10,777 opening-raise. Jagz7 called and drew two while Isidor3 drew one. Jagz7 couldn't manage more than a pair of eights, but Isidor3 improved to fours full of aces and took down the 70,000 pot. Isidor3 has about half of average now and is unfortunately trapped in the land of big stacks, with ka$ino, Clapi, and chip leader nathalie111 all at his table.

1:45am - Onkel Bief ground in 23rd place, 22 remain at four tables

Onkel Bief was fourth in chips just a bit over an hour ago, and Bief just made his exit in 23rd place. Ground down to only 8,213 in chips, he moved all in from the button and got two callers in lasker and ImBillMcNeal. At showdown, ImBillMcNeal's pair of aces took it down, and Onkel Bief (would love to know the origin of that name) was eliminated, collecting $1,024.

Other recent eliminations:

24th place: loneloboGB-5 ($1,024.00)
25th place: zlvbaryosef ($819.20)
26th place: kelo1975 ($819.20)
27th place: Jak_Blak ($819.20)
28th place: CASHRUS ($819.20)
29th place: THE__D__RY ($819.20)
30th place: mb5322 ($819.20)

1:36am - Are the levels moving faster or am I typing slower?

We have catapulted to the next level.

Level 17
Blinds 2,000/4,000, antes 400
Average chip count: 109,714
Players remaining: 28
First prize: $34,201.60 (stays the same every level, if you hadn't noticed)

Top ten chip counts coming back from break:

1. nathalie111 345,225
2. ka$ino 245,040
3. RaiNKhAN 236,329
4. ImBillMcNeal 200,845
5. cabezauro 181,360
6. Jagz7 175,569
7. xoxol73 167,671
8. Crispy86 167,461
9. Lasker 146,770
10. Clapi 127,488

1:35am - Danny "THE__D__RY" Ryan eliminated in 29th place

With 24,963 remaining in his stack and the action folded to him in the small blind, Danny Ryan raised to 10,500, Jagz7 reraised from the big blind, setting Ryan all-in and he made the call. Ryan drew three while Jagz7 took two, and at showdown, Ryan's pair of sevens couldn't improve against Jagz7's pair of queens. Ryan exited the tournament in 29th place and earned $819.20 for his efforts.

1:30am - To be KhAN

RaiNKhAN is doing his best to reclaim the chip lead, his aggressive play continuing to be effective. In one nine-hand stretch, Khan won seven hands, four of them in a row to increase his stack from 168,000 to the 253,533 he sits with at the moment.

So, what's it like to be RaiNKhAN and at the top of the leaderboard in yet another tournament? Well, you get a rail. Funny thing, RaiNKhAN has answers to questions you might not expect. Here's a brief snippet of some recent chat at his table.

GlenFilter [observer]: I bet you got alot of cool new videogames with that mill you won huh?
RaiNKhAN: ya
RaiNKhAN: i bought a 12k desktop
RaiNKhAN: preparing for starcraft two
GlenFilter [observer]: Nice
GlenFilter [observer]: u the man
SGHattan [observer]: lies with that rig you can run sc 3
fishm0nger [observer]: lolol
RaiNKhAN: lol
B all in Tim [observer]: Hevad, do you think aliens are out there?
Spencer67 [observer]: 12k,,,,,where did you get it,,,NASA
RaiNKhAN: yea i believe in aliens, like in the movies as well
RaiNKhAN: but i also believe in predator
jock4863 [observer]: lol

1:25am - CASHRUS took a hit, might need to change name to DOUBLEUPRUS

CASHRUS was cruising in the top ten with over 125,000 chips earlier in the level, but just saw his stack halved by the surging ImBillMcNeal. McNeal opened for a min-raise to 6,000 and CASHRUS min-reraised him back to 12,000. McNeal called and both players drew one. CASHRUS led out for a minimum bet of 6,000, only to be raised to 27,000 by McNeal. CASHRUS ultimately made the call and saw the bad news when McNeal revealed an ace-high flush. The hand knocked CASHRUS down to the 42,000 mark and he has some rebuilding to do while McNeal jumped to more than 181,000.

Kidding about the name change; that would just be wrong.

1:20am - Biggest pot of the tournament?

Sitting on a slightly below average stack of 73,444, Clapi made a pre-draw raise to 12,000 after zivbaryosef limped in, only to have bbbbb33 come over the top for 39,000. zivbaryosef got out of the way, Clapi moved all-in, and bbbbb33 called the additional 34,144. Each player drew two cards and at the showdown, Clapi's kings full of nines prevailed over bbbbb33's trip fives, earning him the 150,000 pot. (Say it with me - 150K!) In the chat, original limper zivbaryosef claimed to have folded A-A pre-draw.

1:05am - nathalie111 taking over and ready to crack the 300,000 mark

During this level, nathalie111 has taken his/her game to new heights. His/her queens up bested Onkel Bief's sixes and fives in a 20,000 pot, and on the next deal, he/she snagged another 23,000 when he/she hit a pair of aces to beat Pokerccini's lone pair of fives.

He/she took down four of the next six pots with pre-draw raises and reraises and then picked up a 60,000 pot less than five minutes later. nathalie111 opened for 6,000 and made the call when he/she was reraised to 20,200 by Oddla. Each player drew one, and nathalie111 called Oddla's 9,112 all-in, showing an ace-high flush to crush Oddla's kings and sevens. Oddla finished in 38th place while nathalie111 continued to roll.

In the time it took to type this post, he/she boosted her chip count by another 40,000 and is about to crack the 300k mark.

(Trying not to be gender-specific is hard!)

12:55am - BeLOWaBOVe eliminated in 44th place

Kevin "BeLOWaBOVe" Saul was ready to tangle with Pokerccini again. Though he doubled through him a short time ago, this didn't mimic those results.

Down to 28,400, Saul reraised Pokerccini's 4,888 pre-draw raise to 12,000, only to have Pokerccini four-bet him all-in. Saul made the call and drew one call while Pokerccini stood pat. Saul made queens and jacks with an ace kicker, but Pokerccini had been dealt a pat nine-high straight and dragged the 60,000 chip pot, eliminating Saul. He was forced to accept 44th place and $552.96 for his troubles.

Other notable eliminations in recent history (the last 10 or 15 minutes) were Rappe123 in 42nd place ($614.40) and ExMeter in 40th place ($614.40).

12:42am - RaiNKhAN storming his table

(If you hadn't guessed, players did return from break. If they didn't, that would have been interesting.)

And as players returned, those sitting at RaiNKhAN's table were witness and victim to his bulldozing the table. He now has at least a 2.5/1 chip lead over all other players on Table 118. However, pleazzzzzzzz has been staying active there and remains a thorn in Khan's right side.

Meanwhile, nathalie111 has taken over the chip lead from Khan, currently sitting with 187,547 after picking up several pots. This game is far from over, and it belongs to anyone. Insert ominous music here.

12:25am - A five minute break is just long enough to...

...write this post and let you know that players will enter a new level upon their return.

Level 15
Blinds: 1,000/2,000, ante 200
Average chip count: 66,782
Players remaining: 46
First prize: $34,201.60

Top ten chip counts:

RaiNKhAN 150,917
psiamalive 143,827
Yamzit 117,979
Onkel Bief 116,863
Crispy86 114,633
CASHRUS 112,316
atlantic17 99,734
bbbbb33 98,703
nathalie111 93,936
marianoboni 93,119

Other notable chip counts:

ka$ino 65,884
BeLOWaBOVe 37,800
THE__D__RY 29,645

12:10am - BeLOWaBOVe earns much-needed double-up

Kevin "BeLOWaBOVe" Saul was looking for chips; his 29,000 wasn't going to do for long with blinds at 800/1,600. Saul limped in from UTG and Pokerccini raised it up to 9,700 from the button. Saul reraised to 17,800 and Pokerccini called the additional 8,100. Saul stood pat, Pokerccini drew one, and Saul immediately moved all-in for his remaining 11,050. Pokerccini made the call, showing two pair, queens and nines, but Saul held an ace-high flush in hearts, good to double his stack to 62,600.

12:00am - Andre Akkari bids adieu

The current level was not kind to aakkari. He tried to get into numerous pots cheap but reraises pushed him out almost every time. Finally, he was hovering near the $25,000 mark and felt it was time to make a move.

In the small blind, aakkari posted his 800 chips, and The Erb raised to 4,800. aakkari made it 9,600 to go, and The Erb called. After aakkari discarded two and The Erb discarded one, aakkari put his last 15,576 in the pot and got the call. aakkari showed Kd-Ac-Ah-9d-8c for the pair of aces, but The Erb had him dominated with 8d-6h-7s-7c-8s. Two pair took the 52,852 pot and sent aakkari to the virtual rail.

Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari has been eliminated in 58th place with a $512.00 consolation prize.

11:50pm - THE__D__RY's bluff goes awry but gets some back

Danny "THE__D__RY" Ryan's latest squeeze play didn't go quite the way he wanted.

dirty4b opened for 2,999 and ImBillMcNeal made the call before Ryan, stacked at 57,000, popped it to 10,000. dirty4b called the additional 7,001 and ImBillMcNeal got out of the way. Ryan rapped pat while dirty4b drew one. Ryan led out for 20,000, setting dirty4b all in and after a short think, dirty4b called off his remaining 16,204. dirty4b showed Ac-Ad-6s-6c-Ts for aces up, while all Ryan held was Q-9 high. dirty4b raked in the nearly 57,000 pot, Ryan losing nearly half his stack on the bluff.

However, only a few hands later, Ryan was able to rebound and double back up. Opening pre-draw for 2,850, his bet was reraised by MattEMenz to 7,200 and Ryan made the call. MattEMenz drew two and Ryan rapped pat again. After a check from MattEMenz, Ryan bet 11,850 and was called. No bluff this time-- Ryan turned over eights full of aces to drag the pot and put his stack back over the 50K mark.

11:42pm - CASHRUS looking for another final table

It seems like ancient history. What's that? The time when the PokerStars Sunday Million didn't exist. In the faded pages of the history books sits a tale of a Sunday tournament with a $700,000 gaurantee. Back then, there was a guy from Houston named CASHRUS. He won that fabled tournament for more than $150,000. At this hour, CASHRUS is still alive in this event and sits in the Top 20 in chips. Those people who talked about history repeating itself may have been onto something.

11:25pm - Back from break with a familiar face in the lead

Just before the break, a new chip leader emerged. In a monster hand with a pot nearly 90,000 chips strong, Hevad "RaiNKhAN" Khan won it with trip kings against TabberNackle's mucked hand. It all went down as follows:

With just over 56,000 in his stack, TabberNackle made a pre-draw raise to 2,775. A similarly stacked kafelnikovz made the call and RainKhan, with around 58,000 behind reraised to 12,700 from the small blind. TabberNackle called and kafelnikovz gave it up. Both players drew two cards and RainKhan led out for 29,775, well over half his remaining stack.

"Ugh," wrote TabberNackle in the chat box as he made a reluctant call.

RainKhan turned up Ks-Kc-Kh-5c-7c for trip kings and raked in the 89,325 pot, sending his stack up to 104,772 at the break. TabberNackle was left with just under 14,000.

While those at the top of the leaderboard seem to have returned from break with every intention of staying in the lead, a few have already fallen by the wayside. Szaqal, hvilla37, and The Dad have left the tournament in 79th through 77th places respectively, each taking $450.56 for their efforts.

11:05 pm - And then there was the break...

Level 13
Blinds 600/1200, antes 125
Average stack: 38,886
Players remaining: 79
First prize: $34,201.60

Here's the top 10 leaderboard as we take another break:

1. RaiNKhaN - 104,772
2. xoxol73 - 94,886
3. bonobostyle - 87,820
4. Rappe123 - 84,029
5. bbbbb33 - 82,772
6. lsidor3 - 76,694
7. vovtroy - 74,084
8. Yamzit - 69,514
9. Pokerccini - 68,648
10. CASHRUS - 63,030

11pm - Battle of the PokerStars

There may be camaraderie away from the tables but whilst they're at them Team PokerStars Pros are focused only on winning chips, regardless of whom they once belonged to. That certainly went for Andre Akkari and Hevad Khan who tussled in a pot that was ultimately worth nearly 20,000.

With action folded to Khan on the button he raised to 2,500 with Akkari in the small blind next to act. He called, leaving the big blind to get out of their way. Andre discarded three whilst Khan needed just the two.

Another raise from Khan, this time 6,500, but not enough to deter the Brazilian who called showing a set of kings with Jh-4d-Ks-Kh-Kc. For Khan two pair, 6h-9h-9s-Ah-As.

A vital boost for Akkari. Both players now hover around the 40K mark.

10:52 pm - Now with the power of fizz!

BodogAri is no longer with us at Table 77 after three big pots.

The first saw him raise to 2,500 before the draw in middle position. Only pokerbitc.. called from the big blind, leaving himself 6,634 behind he drew three cards while Ari drew two. pokerbitc.. checked and Ari bet 4,700, which pokerbitc.. called with two pair, jacks and fours; either of those would've been good enough to beat Ari's lowly pair of 3s. That took Ari down to 14,550.

The next to take a swing at BodogAri was PullenPots, who opened the pot under the gun for 2,000. Ari raised on the button to 4,650, which drew an all-in raise to 6,790 from PullenPots. Ari called the raise and both players drew a single card. Ari showed two pair, eights and sixes, but PullenPots held threes full of tens to drag the 15,680 pot.

With BodogAri down to just 5,860, it seemed he would need a lot of help to stay in the game. He got in a three-way pot for his tournament life after calling a 2,700 pre-draw raise by Danny Ryan and having FizzPower shove for 6,650 behind him; Ryan called, as did Ari, and it was time for some drama.

FizzPower drew two cards, Ryan drew three, and Ari drew three. In the end Ari was third-best, his pair of queens no good against the pair of aces of Ryan or the three tens of FizzPower. He went to the rail wondering what might have been as FizzPower stacked up to 20,660.

10:40pm - Up and down for Team PokerStars pros

Almost unnoticed Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan wins 25K in just four hands. Andre Akkari meanwhile has arrived at the table on Khan's immediate left, and has been winning his share too, working up his stack to more than 33,000.

Seat 1: kafelnikovz 30,881
Seat 2: RaiNKhAN 47,652
Seat 3: aakkari 33,526
Seat 4: TaTaTunes 40,751
Seat 5: TabberNackle 60,648
Seat 6: vovtroy 79,684

Vovtroy in middle position raises to 3,000 and it's folded around to Andre in the big blind who calls. Each players discards a card. Andre checked to Vovtroy who takes a second before betting 4,000. Andre calls and watches as Vovtroy turns over 6s-6d-Ad-Ac-5d, his two pair being good enough to beat Andre to a 15,100 pot.

10:34 pm - I want to take you higher

Level 12
Blinds 500/1000, antes 100
Average stack: 27,428
Players remaining: 112
First prize: $34,201.60

Once again it's time for the blinds to go up. With only 11% of the field left, the end is beginning to appear on the horizon - but of course, we're still not really close. Team PokerStars Pro still has representatives in the hunt, with Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan (30,870) and Andre "aakkari" Akkari (17,440) both making strong showings. Fellow Team PokerStars Pro Tom McEvoy, however, fell by the wayside just before the break in 204th place.

10:25pm - Seeing double twice

Kjelal just doubled up to more than 24,000 after making quad tens. With blinds now 400/800 with a 75 ante, brsavage rasied to 2,400 in total from middle position which kjelal in the cut off called, as did KidPokerJD on teh button and charder30 under-the-gun . Charder30 took one card, brsavage three while kjelal and brsavage also discarded one.

A check by charder30 before brsavage bet 4,000. Kjelal saw his moment and re-raised all-in, a further 3,720. Only brsavage takes on the call, watching as kjelal turned over 5d-Th-Td-Ts-Tc. For brsavage two pair, aces and queens.

"nh" said brsavage, the decent thing despite having just lost a pot worth more than 25,000.

With tables breaking all over the place, the bubble having released a huge sigh of relief from many, this table has caught the eye, featuring as it does Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari and charder30, who final tabled at the PCA earlier this year.

Following the kjelal coup the table lines up like this...

Kjelal 24,865
KidPokerJD 12,771
TheChair70 11,181
Andre "aakkari " Akkari 26,690
Charder30 20,872
Brsavage 7,696

10:25 pm - Pullin' pots on 77

We've seen two double-ups through the big stacks, exactly what neither of them wanted to see, on Table 77.

BodogAri gave out the first one. He opened before the draw for 3,200 , only to see kedvedert move all-in for a total of 3,902. That cleared out the rest of the field and got a call from Ari, who took three cards; kedvedert, meanwhile, took only one. Ari's pair of eights was no good against kedvedert's 6-6-4-4-A, sending him up to 9,454 and dropping Ari to 20,302.

On the very next hand, Danny Ryan opened under the gun for 1,600 and had a flashback to Ari's hand just moments before when PullenPots moved all-in for 5,120. It was a much bigger call than Ari had to make, but Ryan put the chips in anyway. He took three cards and made two pair, tens and threes; unfortunately for him, PullenPots discarded only one card because he already had a bigger two pair, kings and queens.

Ryan now sits on 21,462, while PullenPots is up to 11,490.

10:17 pm - First you get the chips, then you get the power...

Danny "THE_D_RY" Ryan (30,357) and BodogAri (22,704) have all the power right now on Table 77, but they aren't going crazy with it. The other four players at the table are all short enough to be willing to get aggressive, and most of them just deep enough to make an appreciable dent in either Ryan's or Ari's stack right now. kedvedert (5,477), FizzPower (5,800), PullenPots (8664), and pokerbitc..(4,169) would love to double through either of the big stacks at this point.

10:08 pm - Bad beat for EndlessJ

We finally broke the bubble a moment ago, and the bad luck player for the evening is EndlessJ. Our condolences.

That means that everyone else is in the money. Here's a quick look at what the future bustouts will receive - as well as that one lucky player who outlasts everyone as else:

1st $34,201.60
2nd $25,395.20
3rd $18,739.20
4th $14,848.00
5th $11,038.72
6th $7,680.00
7th to 9th $4,096.00
10th to 12th $1,843.20
13th to 18th $1,331.20
19th to 24th $1,024.00
25th to 30th $819.20
31st to 36th $716.80
37th to 42nd $614.40
43rd to 48th $552.96
49th to 54th $532.48
55th to 60th $512.00
61st to 66th $491.52
67th to 72nd $471.04
73rd to 84th $450.56
85th to 96th $430.08
97th to 108th $409.60
109th to 120th $389.12
121st to 132nd $368.64
133rd to 144th $348.16
145th to 156th $327.68

10:00 pm - The beat goes on

Level 11
Blinds 400/800, antes 75
Average stack: 19566
Players remaining: 157
First prize: $34,201.60

We've reached the break without bursting the bubble. Two players we're watching are hanging on for dear life right now - Jysky11 with 370 and zezao27 with 710. That's less than the big blind for both those players now, so something needs to happen soon for each of them.

As for the other side of the spectrum, here's the leaderboard as of the break:

1. Rappe123 90,153
2. CASHRUS 78,130
3. Bigegypt 69,258
4. The Erb 64,345
5. TabberNackle 63,418
6. Mb5322 62,669
7. Hoodini10 62,161
8. ImBillMcNeal 57,651
9. Xoxol73 48,700
10. Crispy 86 46,162

And your other notables:

ExaMeter 41,709
Danny "THE_D_RY" Ryan 38,730
Kongsgaard 39,253
Andre "aakkari" Akkari 20,840
*BSC* 17,540

Falling just short of the money in the last fifteen minutes were TravestyFund (158th), Foxwoody (159th), Ripall (160th), HoldemKy5 (161st), and BOCCE - (162nd).

9:55pm -- Bouncing on the bubble

The bubble held no fear for one player at least.

Tok3r found a hand he thought he could do business with and he pushed with his remaining 1,800 from the button. Next to him in the small blind was ExaMeter, comfortably able to call the bet, sitting as he was with more than 31,000. Whilst ExaMeter discarded three Tok3r stood pat, a sign perhaps of steel nerves or a just hand that would give anyone a welcome shot of confidence.

It was exactly that. Tok3r turned over 5h-6c-7c-8h-9h for a straight whilst ExaMeter could manage only a pair of aces, showing 5c-4c-Ad-Ac-Kh.

Nothing more than a slight dent in ExaMeter's fortunes perhaps, but a mighty boost for Tok3r now with a fighting chance of making the money.

9:40pm - Kedvedert gets a boost

Kedvedert found a welcome boost to his options when he took down a decent pot. Raised by Idw1971 in the cut-off to 1,200 it was folded back to kedvedert in the big blind who made the call. It was a hand that could easily have gone to the death, with both players on a few thousand each, 3k and 4k respectively.

ldw1971 discarded three whilst his opponent switched just one. And it was a good one, with kedvedert betting 1,800, getting called and taking down the 6,600 pot with a full house, fives over deuces.

9:27 pm - The price of poker's going up

Level 10
Blinds 300/600, antes 50
Average stack: 16,083
Players remaining: 191
First prize: $34,201.60

We're beginning to get close to bubble time in the second event of this year's WCOOP. Rappe123 is the current chip leader with 80,940, about 27,000 more than his nearest competitor. Team PokerStars Pros Andre Akkari and Hevad Khan are still in the hunt as well.

9:20 pm - Signs of rain over Khan

We've been following RaiNKhaN for much of the day, watching him in the early stages amass a stack likely to cause opponents some trouble. Now though it's Khan looking for help.

Ckingusc raised to 1,000 from the cut-off. The button and small blind folded to Khan who promptly re-rasied to 3,500. Without pause for drama ckingusc re-raised all-in, finding Khan calling, showing his 3d-6c-Ah-3s-Ac having discarded just one card.

ckingusc had swapped two and had topped Khan's two pair, tabling 2h-Jc-2c-2s-6s for trip deuces and a pot of 17,400 that left the Team PokerStars Pro on 3,800.

9:16 pm - The TV table of the moment

Over at Table 18, we've got quite a lineup going right now. Team PokerStars Pro Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan, jornxx - who was down to under 1,000 on one of our earliest feature tables, and ckingusc are all sitting together - and it's jornxx who's the big stack with 26,618. Here's a look at the full lineup:

Seat 1 - ShowdownX - 14,900
Seat 2 - kedvedert - 13,971
Seat 3 - ckingusc - 7,800
Seat 4 - jornxx - 26,618
Seat 5 - ldw1971 - 6,990
Seat 6 - RaiNKhaN - 12,900

9:15pm - The fight back falls short

Only a few hands later Sarp Ovutmen was out to recoup some losses, raising on the button to 2,100. The blinds folded leaving just pokerbitc.. who had limped under-the-gun. It was now the 10k stack of pokerbitc.. up against the 2,400 of Sarp.

Pokerbitc.. called, discarded one card and raised to 2,100 leaving Sarp no choice but to fold. A pot worth 5,100 to pokerbitc.. and a stack perilously close to the felt for Sarp Ovutmen who takes another hit without seeing the hand that cost him.

9:10pm - Move aside

Sarp Ovutmen, with nearly 6,000, got things moving under-the gun, making it 1,200. It was folded back round to Danny Ryan in the small blind who after a few flashes of his avatar re-raised, 2,800 in total, with Sarp and finelame (sat with 6,500) waiting in the big blind well and truly covered.

Testament to what can be done with a stack so powerful the re-raise was good for the pot, another 3,100 to Ryan.

9:10 pm - Akkari warrior?

We dropped in to check on Team PokerStars Pro Andre "aakkari" Akkari's stack, and it looks like things have been going well for him. He dragged an 8,100-chip pot against bonobostyle earlier after drawing one card to an ace-high flush, and he's sitting on a healthy 20,130 right now.

9pm - Over to table Ryan

Into level nine now with blinds at 200/400 with a 50 ante and attention focuses on table 77 where THE_D_RY, also known as Danny Ryan, perhaps one of the European Poker Tour's most persistent and successful qualifiers, sits with a little less than 21,000. It's fair to say that he's ahead at this table...

Finelame 4,667
Sarp Ovutmen 6,441
Zezao27 8,310
PullenPots 3,676
Pokerbitc.. 7,092
THE_D_RY 21,734

8:57 pm--Break time finishes, Level 9 begins

We're back in action now; here's a look at the current situation:

Level 9
Blinds 200/400, antes 50
Average chip stack: 12,800
Players remaining: 240
First prize: $34,201.60

Top 10 chip counts

1. Rappe123 70,840
2. Crispy86 49,184
3. Kongsgaard 35,587
4. PSMozak 33,971
5. WushuTM 32,657
6. loneloboGB-5 28,660
7. jrot1 28,206
8. AndrewBoccia 26,258
9. Onkel Bief 26,105
10. Bonobostyle 25,395

Other notable players:

Bigegypt 23890
Tmay420 21647
THE_D_RY 20134
Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan 18650
*BSC* 14265
Andre "aakkari" Akkari 14810

Recent bustouts:
Erik_Ikast (318th)
LeeNelsonP* (350th)

8:38pm-- A few more stacks get a welcome boost

A nice call just boosted HoldemKy5's stack even further. zivbaryosef opened for 900 on the button, and HoldemKy5 made the call from the big blind. HoldemKy5 drew just one and zivbaryosef stood pat. It was clear he would bet, so HoldemKy5 checked, allowing zivbaryosef to bet out 1,200.

Deciding that it was worth the call HoldemKy5 committed the chips and showed two pair, fours and threes. zivbaryosef meanwhile turned over ace-king high and shipped a 4,500 pot over to HoldemKy5.
After that nice little run though HoldemKy5 slid back a bit, courtesy of two pots.

In the first mike77q opened for 800 and HoldemKy5 raised to 2,100 on the button to isolate. That prompted a shove for 5,730 from miko and HoldemKy5 called, leaving himself 23,600. miko stood pat on a king-high flush which beat HoldemKy5's two pair, queens and tens.

In the second pot, it was Team PokerStars Pro Tom McEvoy who got the check in his "W" column. He called HoldemKy5's raise to 900 before the draw, as did vgreen22. HoldemKy5 drew just a single card while McEvoy and vgreen22 took three each. HoldemKy5 checked after the draw, and McEvoy bet 1,800. HoldemKy5 made the call and dropped to 20,850 when McEvoy showed A-A-9-9-Q for the win, upping his stack to 9,055.

8:35pm-- Big stacks, small stacks

With 600 in the pot before the cards are dealt it's not too hard to build a pot with some aggression. HoldemKy5 has been proving just that, taking pots easily at this point in the tournament thanks to a big stack. He's up to 26,580, a jump of over 5,000 since arriving at this table.

Meanwhile, Tom McEvoy seems to have been handcuffed since HoldemKy5 showed up on his right; he's hanging on with 5,430.

8:25pm-- Like the good old days

After blinding down VegasPro74 has made his exit from table 150. He's been replaced by HoldemKy5, who sits on Tom McEvoy's right with a massive stack of 21,435.

A railbird just asked Tom McEvoy if this event reminded him of the old days.

"Reminds me of old Gardena," replied McEvoy in the chat box, referring to the old Five Card Draw capital of the 1970s.

"Too bad Mike Caro can't be here, lol," replied the railbird.

Meanwhile, HoldemKy5 scored his first kill at the table, taking out Sonsbiggestf in a pot worth 7,190. Most of the money went in before the draw, with Sonsbiggestf opening for 900 and calling a re-raise to 2,100. That left Sonsbiggestf just 1,270 behind, all of which went in after the draw.

We might as well have been playing hold'em when both players held two cards. HoldemKy5's pair of aces held up against Sonsbiggestf's pair of kings to bust him. zivbaryosef now replaces Sonsbiggestf, coming in with 17,205.

8:15pm-- Looking for a miracle

With blinds at 150/300 and an ante of 25, miko77q just caught back at the expense of VegasPro74, leaving him extremely short. miko77q raised up to 650 on the button and his only caller was VegasPro74 in the small blind. Both players drew two cards and VegasPro74 made the call when miko77q bet 750. Trips aces were good for miko, while VegasPro74 dropped to just 720.

To make things worse, he limped in before the draw on the next hand and folded when Tom McEvoy raised it up to over 1,000. It looks like VegasPro74 needs a serious intervention from the poker gods to stay alive here.

8:10pm-- A welcome pot for Car0lusRex

Tom McEvoy limped in for 250 in middle position and found himself raised to 750 by Car0lusRex on the button. Before McEvoy could make a decision miko77q came along from the big blind. McEvoy called as well to go to the draw.

miko77q took only one card, while MEvoy drew three and Car0lusRex the same. Oddly, the action checked around after the draw; miko77q showed two pair, fives and deuces, but Car0lusRex caught up to make kings and nines, taking down the 2,525 pot and boosting him to 6,640.

8pm -- Don't forget there's more

Whilst the PokerStars blog is your first stop for wall-to-wall coverage of WCOOP events don't forget you can find even more including news and results on PokerStars.tv. PokerStars will be bringing you highlights from final tables as well as some extras, including the thoughts of Team PokerStars Pros on what is the biggest and richest online poker series anywhere. Check out the PokerStars.tv WCOOP page for more info.

7:55 pm-- Attention turns to table McEvoy

Team PokerStars Pro and former World Champion Tom McEvoy is at an interesting table in the sense that nobody is extremely deep right now; with blinds of 125/250 and a 25 ante, here are the chip counts as we come in on the new feature table:

Car0lusRex 4,215
Sonsbiggestf 4,270
mike77q 8,180
VegasPro74 2,420
Tom McEvoy 5,610
vgreen 7,315

7.50pm -- At the end of level six

Level 7
Blinds 125/250, antes 25
Average chip count: 7,777
Players remaining: 395
First Prize: $34,201.60

1. Rappe123 - 25,035
2. LOLTY - 24,517
3. mb5322 - 24,403
4. Seb86 - 23,823
5. jwvdcw - 23,356
6. zxz_ - 23,191
7. jornxx - 22,488
8. mossified84 - 20,999
9. philwho69 - 20,849
10. Ripall - 20,407

Team PokerStars Pros (at end of level six)
Hevad "RainKHaN" Khan 13,370
Tom McEvoy 8,520
LeeNelsonP* 4,325
Andre "aakkari" Akkari 5,705

sketchy1 10,840
Tmay420 4,346

ChadBrownPRO (400th)
Bill Chen (646th)

7:45pm-- Just before the break

More action before the break on table 151, and all before the draw. BigRoofus opened for 600 on the button leaving himself another 5,975 behind. Erik_lkast then made it 1,900 from the big blind, with 2,155 behind. BigRoofus then found enough for a third raise, which would set Erik all-in.

He eventually declined, giving us a convenient point to end our coverage of this feature table. Here's where the players stood:

*BSC* - 14,140
BigRoofus - 8,575
marianoboni - 5,950
Clapi - 5,390
Dariominieri - 3,725
Erik_lkast - 3,255

7:41 pm-- Nightmares forecast

When Clapi goes to bed tonight he's going to have trouble sleeping thanks to all the visions of *BSC* filling his head. Clapi just dropped even further thanks to his nemesis-of-late, who turned up trip jacks for a 2,700 pot. Clapi now has 5,690, while *BSC* has 14,440.

7:35pm-- A new leader breaks loose

A tough break for Dario Minieri just a moment ago saw him fall to 4,925.

*BSC* opened under the gun for 600, which Dario called on the button. Both blinds got out of the way, leaving *BSC* to draw three cards while Dario took just one. *BSC* check-called Dario's 1,500 bet with two pair, aces and fives, just good enough to beat Dario's kings and tens. That bumped *BSC* up to 9,640.
Clapi continued his descent as *BSC* continued to climb in the next hand.

Clapi opened in middle position for 600 getting a call from *BSC* only in the big blind. Both players drew a single card, and *BSC* opened the action with a check. Clapi bet 600 again, but *BSC* check-raised to 1,400. Clapi made the call only to see *BSC* turn over a full house, fours full of eights, to claim the 4,100 in the middle.

That pot dropped Clapi to just 7,790, while *BSC* was up to 11,740, making him the new big stack at the table.

7:25pm-- The calm before the storm

Things have stayed relatively calm around here since the last update. Dario Minieri, Erik_lkast, and marianoboni have each claimed one small-action pot worth about 1,500, but that's the extent of the action right now.

Minieri continues to play the role of poker terrorist perfectly, raising almost every time he has a chance, and that has him up to 8,025. Clapi, meanwhile, is down to 11,145 after being closer to 15,000 earlier.

Erik_lkast had been the table short stack since marianoboni doubled up earlier, but he's now back in contention after a hand that went just the way he wanted.

Erik opened in middle position and got a call from Clapi on the button. Erik drew just one card, while Clapi took two. Erik waited a moment before shoving all-in for his last 1,455. Clapi snap-called with a pair of aces, but it was no good against the kings and sevens of Erik_lkast. That gave him 4,610, while Clapi dropped to 10,890.

7:15 pm-- The Dario show

While he may not be the biggest stack at table 151 Dario Minieri certainly is the center of attention right now. Everyone wants a piece of him, even railbirds asking him to play heads-up. Erik_lkast wanted a piece, too, but it ended up being more than he anticipated.

Erik opened on the button for 450 and Dario called in the big blind. Both players drew two cards, and Dario checked after the draw. Erik didn't take long to fire 750, leaving himself just 2,005 behind, but Dario immediately made the bet 3,225 - enough to set his opponent all-in. A few seconds went by before Erik passed, shipping the 2,475 pot to Dario and boosting him to 7,625.

Then the shortest stack at the table, marianoboni, got a big break that put him back in contention.

Minieri (surprise!) opened for 525 on the button, and marianoboni made it 1,725, leaving himself only 610 behind. BigRoofus, who had 8,610 in his stack, made an isolation raise to get Dario out of the way. It worked and the two were heads-up.

Both players drew two cards, with the showdown being a rough one for BigRoofus. He showed T-8-2-2-2 for trip deuces, but marianoboni showed K-J-J-J-T for trip jacks to take down the 5,195 pot. BigRoofus, meanwhile, slipped to 6,425.

7:05 pm-- Mariano versus Dario

Surprise, surprise - Dario opened another pot before the draw. Anyone familiar with the young Italian pro will know of his formidable reputation and it's no different here.

This time the bet was 525 in middle position, drawing a call from the short-stacked marianoboni behind Minieri. Minieri drew just one card while marianoboni took two. Minieri checked, but marianoboni couldn't pull the trigger for the rest of his stack; he turned up two pair, aces and kings, good enough to beat Minieri's Ah-2h-3h-4h-9c.

That boosted marianoboni to 2,485 and dropped Dario to 6,350.

7:00 pm-- Taking on the Italian

Only one player at the table had Dario Minieri covered since the Italian made his moves after the break. Clapi is that player, sitting to Minieri's right. But that hasn't affected him much so far. He's taken a few of the pots that Minieri had been involved in, pushing himself up to just shy of 15,000. Minieri meanwhile, has slid back to 6,050.

Here's the full count right now:

Clapi - 14,720
*BSC* - 7,540
BigRoofus - 7,260
Dariominieri - 6,125
Erik_lkast - 2,905
marianoboni - 2,485

We were just getting ready to say that things were slowing down when Clapi raised on the button to 450. Dario Minieri wasted no time making the bet 1,500 out of the small blind, driving both big blind marianoboni and button Clapi away and picking himself back up to 6,875. Outside of that pot, though, things are staying relatively calm for the moment.

6:51 pm - The force known as Dario

As we enter the third hour of play today and start level five we're going to shift attention over to Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri and his tablemates on table 151, especially after what Dario just pulled off. In two pots to start off the table, he went from 4,235 to 9,275.

In the first hand he opened in middle position for 525 and marianoboni, who had 4,960 in his stack, made the call. Minieri stood pat and marianoboni drew one card. Minieri led out for 1,275 and marianoboni made the call, only to find out that Minieri had started off with a full house, fours over kings.

After that pot, worth 3,825, slid his way, the Italian got moving again immediately. He opened to 525 under-the-gun only to find himself re-raised to 1,500 on the button by CFB402. Minieri then pushed back, raising to 4,725, more than enough to put CFB402 all-in. He made the call and the players went to the draw.

Minieri took one card, while CFB402 took two. Minieri showed 9-9-9-6-2 for trip nines, good enough to beat his opponent's A-K-Q-Q-5 and send him to the rail

6.45pm -- At the end of level 4

Level 5
Blinds 75/150
Average chip count: 5,163
Players remaining: 595
First Prize: $34,201.60

1. zxz_ - 16,765
2. mb5322 - 16,245
3. KidPvP - 15,250
4. Bricklayer30 - 13,735
5. HITALICK111 - 13,685
6. Aguskb - 13,680
7. jrot1 - 13,291
8. Yosup5 - 12,790
9. jclan5 - 12,765
10. MattEMenz - 12,695

Team PokerStars pros (at the end of level 4)
ChadBrownPRO 12,475
Bill Chen 965
Isabelle "NoMercy" Mercier 4,600
Tom McEvoy 6,140

Other notables:
BeL0WaB0Ve 10,473
BodogAri 6,710
JohnnyBax 7,800

55lucky55 (684th)
Gavin Griffin (724th)
Humberto Brenes (805th)
Victor Ramdin (832nd)
John Duthie (860th)
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (867th)

6:38 pm-- Holding fire

On the last two hands before the break RainKHaN made a big move and pushed himself up to 8,215. The first saw him re-re-raise before the draw, tripling twirlpro's bet of 1,000 and scaring him off. Then twirlpro opened the last pot for 350, only to see Khan make it 1,000. twirlpro called, but after Khan stood pat and bet 800, he wasn't willing to come along.

6:33 pm-- McDog still has some bite

For 25 hands in a row we didn't see a single pot worth more than 900, but Lefty McDog ended that streak just a minute ago with a healthy sized pot.

jornxx limped in under-the-gun and twirlpro, who earlier had missed out on a hand after losing his connection, followed him up, leaving Lefty McDog to check from the big blind and draw three cards. jornxx drew just two, as did twirlpro. Lefty McDog led out weak for just 200 after the draw, and jornxx raised it up to 600.

Lefty made the call and twirlpro showed T-T-T-9-8 for three tens. That wasn't good, though, as Lefty McDog showed down A-A-A-K-8 for the bigger trips and scooped up the 1,550 pot.

6:28 pm -- Outkicked

jornxx opened for 350 under-the-gun and got a call on the button from RaiNKhaN. Both players discarded three and after jornxx checked Khan bet 100. jornxx called and Khan turned up As-Ks-Kd-9d-7d for kings with an ace. jornxx mucked, but a moment later Khan typed "wow thats pretty sick, outkicked lol" into the chat box, suggesting jornxx also had a pair of kings.

6.25pm - All those years ago

Hardcore fans of the WCOOP will know that all this started back in 2002 with a nine event series that was the first of its kind, amassing a total prize pool all those years in excess of $730,000. How things change, with that figure shattered year on year since then.

Those same hardcore may also remember a player by the name 55lucky55 who took a bracelet in that first year in the Seven Card Stud high-low event, good for $14,025.

Well lucky is back, although whether he's living up to that name only he may be able to say. At the second break the former bracelet winner was over his original 3,000 but now four levels in lucky is down. No wait, he's back up, from more than 3k, to less than 2k and now back up to nearly 2,500.

Two from the button and with blinds at 50/100 and sat with 2,260 chips 55lucky55 calls the big blind whilst to his left gangstuhl raises another 200. Only lucky stays to call taking one card, the same as gangstuhl, before betting 600. It's six times the big blind and called by gangstuhl.

The showdown brought sets for both players but lucky's set of threes was no use against the three jacks gangstuhl turned over. A pot worth 1,950 went his way leaving former bracelet winner lucky hampered once more.

6.20pm -- A quiet spell

Things have slowed down a bit. With the big blind at 100 and the opening bet normally somewhere between 300 and 350, there's always the possibility of finding yourself all-in.

We were on a 12-hand streak of nobody winning a pot bigger than one built by a pre-draw raise and a call. RaiNKhaN dropped a pot with two pair just a few moments ago when his nines and fives were no good against Maximardel's aces and eights.

He quickly rebounded though, taking a pot from twirlpro after standing pat on the draw and betting pot afterward. He's now sitting on 5,215.

6:10 pm -- Ups and downs

A nice call for ShowdownX has lifted him back up to par. twirlpro raised in middle position to 300, and ShowdownX called out of the small blind. He drew three cards and twirlpro hesitated before drawing just one. ShowdownX checked after the draw and twirlpro bet 500 into the 700 pot. ShowdownX immediately called with a pair of aces, good enough to beat twirlpro's busted queen-high flush draw. Up to 3,650 for ShowdownX now while twirlpro dips to 4,505.

6:06 pm-- Hard times for Lefty

Poor Lefty McDog, he just can't catch a break right now. He opened on the button for 175 again, only to find himself popped out of the blinds once more. This time it was jornxx getting aggressive, making the bet 575. "Boo," said Luck McDog in the chatbox. He has dropped slightly to 2,665, while former shorty jornxx is at 3,130.

6:00 pm-- Look, no hands!

We just saw the biggest pot of this table so far, and not a showdown to be found.

Lefty McDog opened for 175 on the button and twirlpro popped it to 550 from the big blind. Lefty slipped into his time bank a bit before making it 1,675 to go, and twirlpro made the call.

On the draw, twirlpro stood pat, while Lefty McDog took two. It didn't take a half-second for twirlpro to shove all-in for his last 2,180 and put Lefty to the test. He eventually decided against the call, mucking and typing "stand pat bluff!" into the chat box while twirlpro dragged the 3,375 pot.

5.50pm -- No let up in the action

It seems jornxx doesn't look to be going anywhere just yet. After dropping that first pot before the draw to RaiNKhaN he's struck back with a well-timed double-up.

ShowdownX raised the minimum under-the-gun and jornxx called the 100. RaiNKhaN also came along, and all drew three cards. Khan checked and ShowdownX led out for 150. jornxx then shoved, getting Khan out of the way and leaving the decision to ShowdownX. He eventually called with two pair, aces and fives, but couldn't keep jornxx and his trip queens from jumping back to 1,655.

5:43 pm - Turning our attention elsewhere

Among one of the bigger stacked players in the tournament is Team PokerStars Pro Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan, so our attention is on him for a while. When we loaded up his table he was raising enough to put jornxx all-in, a bet which he decided against calling. Khan is already up to 6,390, a jump of over 500 since the break.

Here's where everyone is as we turn to this feature table:

RaiNKhaN - 6,390
twirlpro - 4,430
Lefty McDog - 4,015
ShowdownX - 3,565
Maximardel - 2,305
jornxx - 1,165

5.30pm -- Chip counts at the start of level 3

Level 3
Blinds 25/50
Average chip count: 3,335
Players remaining: 920
First Prize: $34,201.60

1. wedlowjones 11,130
2. jwvdcw 9,630
4. agriffrod 8,430
5. cla1234 8,395
6. MOJOEX1 8,375
7. tschimo 8,175
8. elmasmacho 8,165
9. JasonGray 8,010
10. mrLando 7,550

Team PokerStars pros (at the end of level 2):
Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan 5,840
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier 1,730
John Duthie 1,470
GavinGriffin 2,560
Humberto "Humberto B." Brenes 3,335
Tom McEvoy 5,265
Bill Chen 3,070
Victor Ramdin 3,485

Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso (973rd)

5:20pm-- Chips all over the place

The pace got slower after Chad Brown's monster pot until the Team PokerStars Pro made one too many pre-draw raises for Shaun Deeb's liking.

Brown opened from middle position to 60, getting a call from Car0lusRex on the button. Deeb made it a total of 270, getting Brown out of the way, but Car0lusRex was in for the ride.

Both players discarded one card, and Deeb wasted no time in betting 400. Car0lus called and Deeb showed 2s-8d-Qd-8c-8s for three of a kind to take down the 1,430 pot. He's now on 3,765, while Car0lusRex is down to 2,480, but the roller coaster would continue. Three hands later Car0lusRex struck back.

It all started innocuously enough, with Car0lusRex limping in, first to act, followed by rocketime on the button. Brown made it 135 from the big blind, getting a call only from Car0lusRex. Both players discarded one and the stage was set for the action.

Brown fired a bet of 315 out of position, and Car0lusRex came in for the min-raise. Brown called and Car0lusRex flipped up a queen-high heart flush, winning the 1,575 pot and picking himself back up to 3,200. Brown, meanwhile, was back down to 4,285.

5.12pm - The good and the bad

The last few hands have not been good to Isabelle Mercier. After losing a sizeable hand to vbet_holmes a few hundred more had passed by during the next few hands and more so in a hand against ChrisX whose aces and fours were good to knock Mercier down to 1,300.

Meanwhile sets haven't been too hard for Chad Brown to come by today. He just picked up another pot worth 1,005 with three jacks, picking him up to 5,590. That's four times the size of any other pot won by any player at the table since he hit the full house earlier.

5:00 pm -- Chad Brown takes a hit

rocketime just got his revenge on Chad Brown, bringing the Team PokerStars Pro back down a little closer to par. With 4,370 in his stack Brown raised to 90 after rocketime had limped in first to act. rocketime then reraised to 160, leaving himself 1,400 behind. Brown called and rocketime drew just one card; Brown thought for a moment before drawing three.

rocketime fired out a bet of 220 pretty quickly and Brown made a quick raise to 440. rocketime fired back to 660 just as fast and Brown called to see rocketime's three aces. The pot dropped Brown back to 3,550 and boosted rocketime to 2,410.

Brown got more back than he bargained for just four hands later.

With RB4454 and rocketime having limped in ahead of him, Brown bumped the bet to 120 from the small blind before the draw. Both opponents called, building the pot to 390. Brown drew just one card, while RB4454 and rocketime both took three.

Brown led out for 150 after the draw, and RB4454 made it 300. rocketime folded and Brown hesitated just a moment before making it 1,290 to go. RB4454 made the call, a bad one as it turned out: Brown held T-T-T-7-7 for a full house to take down the 2,970 pot. That boosted him back to 5,170, and dropped RB4454 to 1,920.

4.58pm -- No Mercy for Isabelle

Into level two with blinds of 15/30 Team PokerStars Pro Isabelle Mercier is getting stuck into this event after crashing out of the opening event earlier today. She just tangled with vbet_holmes who came out raising Mercier's big blind, 90 to go. With everyone folding it was back to Mercier who called, discarding three cards to vbet_holmes' one.

A check from Mercier, another 90 from her opponent before the Canadian re-raised, 270 total. Things got even more interesting when vbet_holmes raised again, a total of 570 which again Mercier called for a showdown, one that would cost her a good portion of her stack, mucking when vbet_holmes showed Ad-Jh-Ah-Ac-2h for a set of aces.

4:54 pm-- More raising and re-raising

RB4454 took down a nice pot worth 860 against Car0lusRex to pull ahead of his starting chip count for the first time. RB4454 raised it to 40 first to act, only to be re-raised to 100 by Car0lusRex in the big blind. Car0lusRex drew one and RB4454 took three. When Rex led out for 160 it didn't take long for RB to raise him up to 320.

Rex called to see the bad news: three kings for RB, and a muck for himself. Car0lusRex was down to 3,120, while RB4454 jumped to 3,200.

4:51 pm-- Not so fast for Brown

Chad Brown has fallen back a little after missing a flush against Car0lusRex and later mucking his hand when RB4454 showed down two pair, tens and fives. Shaun Deeb meanwhile, is back to 3,000 after re-popping Brown before the draw again, getting another three-way pot, and betting pot to win without a showdown.

The latest chip counts look like this...

ChadBrownPRO - 4,230
Car0lusRex - 3,540
shaundeeb - 3,050
RB4554 - 2,730
77riverg - 2,800
rocketime - 1,610

4:38 pm - Notables getting busy

Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown and shaundeeb have come out swinging at table 108. They've been winning the majority of the pots at the table so far, both making plenty of pre-draw raises, but Brown's now 17th in the field thanks to a big pot.

With 3,390 in his stack, Brown opened to 90 and Deeb made the table's first re-raise before the draw, coming over the top of Brown with 300 of his 3,000.

It became a three-way pot when rocketime (with 2,680) decided he was coming along for the ride as well. Deeb and rocketime both discarded two cards, while Brown took three. Things worked out for him, too - his 940 bet after the draw was called by rocketime, who mucked when Brown showed Kc-Ks-Kh-Qs-5h for three of a kind.

Brown is now up to 4,970.

4.30pm -- Play begins in the Five-Card draw

Whilst the Six-Max no-limit hold'em event is in full swing in the next virtual cardroom along what you'll find here is good old fashioned pot-limit Five-Card draw. It's the game that used to be the game of choice for a generation gone, but now is back with as much dramatic flair as any of its younger cousins.

So here we go, 3,000 starting chips with blinds of 10/20, perfect for the poker connoisseur. The field is peppered with familiar names, among them a host of Team PokerStars Pros including Gavin Griffin, Humberto Brenes, John Duthie, Chad Brown, Katja Thater, Victor Ramdin, ElkY and Isabelle Mercier, to name just a few. We'll have more on them later as play begins with a field of 935 so far playing for part of a prize pool currently worth more than $187,000.

11:11am--Event #2 $215 Five-Card Draw to begin at 4:30pm ET

Event #2 of the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker will begin at 4:30pm ET. The Five-Card Draw event has a $100,000 guarantee. Full coverage will appear here when the event begins.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in WCOOP