WCOOP Event #20 $1,050 NLHE live blog

Live blog coverage of WCOOP Event #20 $1,050 NLHE brought to you by bloggers David Aydt, Martin Harris, Jennifer Newell, and Dave Behr. Have a story for us? E-mail to blog@pokerstars.com. Click refresh to see the latest information. Want to see the live blog for the $25,000 heads up event? Check out the WCOOP Event #19 live blog.

5:07am--Day 1 play has stopped, resumes tomorrow at 4:30pm ET

Considering this is a two-day event, play for Day 1 must be stopped at some point to enable a Day 2 to take place. That is what has happened.

Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes had a stellar first day of this tournament and ends it in fifth place on the leaderboard. After having cashed in the Event #18 HORSE tournament yesterday, Brenes has done one better tonight and guarantees himself a minimum cash of $6.240.60, though there are hundreds of thousands at stake for those making the final table. He is aiming to be one of them.

Play will resume later today at Level 23, and all of the pertinent information is as follows:

Level 23
Blinds: 12,500/25,000, ante 2,500
Average chip count: 1,209,418
Players remaining: 43
First prize: $468,045

Top ten chip counts:

I'am_Sound 3,073,340
BJKing 2,851,329
QuasiFiction 2,839,907
diatty 2,494,279
Team PokerStars Pro Humberto "Humberto B." Brenes 2,285,850
VuaXiTo 2,217,819
Ryan45 2,020,589
JSchnett 1,971,915
Numbass 1,914,718
golfsoc 1,826,196

4:52am--Say it with us now; online poker is so rigged

At the start of a recent hand on Table 338, I'am_Sound had 1.2 million in chips, fabryyy had about 600,000 in chips, and pingit had almost 1.9 million in chips. By the end of the hand, I'am_Sound had over 3 million in chips, pingit was sitting on about 676,000 and fabryyy was out. It seems hard to believe, but that's what happens pocket queens, pocket kings and pocket aces are all out preflop. fabryyy had the aces and was the hard-luck loser when I'am_Sound flopped a king to match the two in his hand. That left pingit with queens and a loser for both the side pot and the main pot.

4:44am--Numbass in fifth on leaderboard

Sure, climbing up into the top ten of this tournament and approaching the 2 million chip mark is worthy of mention here, but more importantly, we had to take this opportunity to put the screen name "Numbass" in an entry title. Some things just have to be done.

4:35am--Humberto can do no wrong

Humberto Brenes is running hot. He seems to be incapable of losing a flip. HappyMeals started things off with a preflop raise from the cutoff to 48,000. Brenes reraised to 160,000, folding both of the blinds. With action back on HappyMeals, he shoved all in for over 1.6 million in chips. Brenes deliberated briefly before calling all in for just less than 1 million in chips. He was the player at risk of elimination.

HappyMeals: Ad-Kd
Brenes: Jc-Jh

The board came down 9d-8s-4c-4h-Qs, allowing Brenes' jacks to hold and vaulting him up the chip counts with 2.3 million total chips.

4:32am--Maridu eliminated in 72nd place

In two huge hands, Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck went from over 900,000 in chips to out in 72nd place.

In the first, BigDunph limped in to the pot, as did Maridu in the small blind, and droniko checked the option. The flop came down Tc-6h-7s, and droniko bet, BigDunph called, and Maridu check-raised to 105,000. droniko got out of the way, and BigDunph reraised to 210,000. Maridu pushed all-in with pocket sixes for three of a kind, and BigDunph called all-in with 9d-8d for the flopped straight. Maridu typed, "sigh." The turn and river were meaningless, and the 1.3 million pot went to BigDunph.

The second started with MarySmythe raising to 45,000 and Maridu pushing all-in for her last 287,682. MarySmythe called with Ad-Qc, and Maridu showed As-Jd. The board came down 2d-3d-Js-4h-Qs, and the river sent Maridu to the rail. She claimed $5,547.20 for her success tonight.

4:25am--The Shark crosses the one-million chip mark

The shark is still thrasing in the ocean of this tournament. He moved over one million in chips by call the all-in reraise of tweeprise for 291,021 chips in total. Brenes had the best hand with Td-Th against tweeprise's As-Js. His hand held up when the board ran out 8d-Qc-5c-2c-2s. tweeprise was sent to the virtual rail in 71st place, where he colleted $5,547.20.

4:23am--Reversal of fortune for ElkY

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier is on an extended downswing after riding high and hitting everything for close to two hours. He raised a recent pot preflop to 39,898 from late position and was called by Ryan45, the small blind. The flop was 9s-5h-2d, causing Ryan45 to lead into ElkY for 65,555. ElkY raised that bet to 169,696, bringing a reraise to 405,000 from Ryan45. ElkY finally got the message and folded his hand. That fold left him with 676,023 chips, about 300,000 less than he had just twenty minutes ago.

4:16am--VuaXiTo surpasses the 3 million chip mark

The chipleader in this tournament has just taken his position to a new level by surpassing the 3 million chip mark, leaving second place JSchnett nearly 700,000 behind and the rest of the field in the figurative dust.

Upon looking at some statistics for VuaXiTo, it became clear that this tournament player is no beginner. With nearly $150,000 in tournament winnings on PokerStars this year alone, the money assured VuaXiTo in this event clearly puts him over that level. The one thing missing from this player's list of accomplishments, however, is a WCOOP cash - better yet, a win. Clearly, VuaXiTo is looking for that in this tournament.

4:12am--Ending the night on a tricky table

Eight tables remain in the tournament, yet there's a confluence of big stacks on just one of those tables. JSchnett (2,431,515 - 2nd), pingit (1,961,274 - 3rd), diatty (1,651,590 -5h) and ElMasterMind (1,288,842 - 10th) are all seated at Table 17. We expect to see some fireworks before play concludes for the night in just under an hour.

4:05am--Brenes Over and Out

No, not Humberto Brenes. The other Brenes from San Jose, Costa Rica -- JHBrenes -- is out of the tournament. We were really hoping that both Brenes players would survive to Day 2, but JHBrenes came up just short. With a stack of 180,000, he reraised Bullson68, who had opened the pot to 45,000 from under the gun, to a total of 135,000. Bullson68 shipped all of his chips in, prompting JHBrenes to call for his last 41,624. JHBrenes showed Ah-Jh. He needed hearts or an ace when Bullson68 turned over Ks-Kd. JHBrenes got neither on a board of Ts-3s-3h-7c-Tc. He was eliminated in 78th place, an elimination worth $5,200.50 in prize money.

3:59am--Last break of the night

Level 21
Blinds: 7,500/15,000, ante 1,500
Average chip count: 666,730
Players remaining: 78
First prize: $468,045

Top ten chip counts:

VuaXiTo 2,472,930
JSchnett 2,367,015
kidzero 1,904,354
pingit 1,883,274
diatty 1,713,590
Ryan45 1,483,197
august35 1,290,063
CamoJr 1,054,335
Zugwat 1,043,320

Team PokerStars Pros Remaining:

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier 955,219 (11th place)
Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck 867,876 (16th place)
Humberto "HumbertoB" Brenes 756,127 (27th place)

3:49am--WCOOP brings out the stars

WCOOP Events don't just attract Team PokerStars Pros and "the rest of us". They also attract stars -- players with stars, that is. Players with gold stars; players with Supernova stars. Table 17 is a great example. Seated at Table 17 are Pokerl)eviL (GoldStar status), ElMastermind (Supernova status) and Scary_Tiger (Supernova status). These are players who have turned their single-minded obsession with poker, and their dedicated play on PokerStars, into a VIP status with some pretty nice benefits.

Those benefits don't come cheaply. GoldStar status requires 4,000 VPPs a month; Supernova status requires 100,000 a year -- over 8,000 a month! Some might call those people "degenerates", but we think they're people that love the game.

3:44am--Two new names cross the 2 million mark

Seemingly out of nowhere, two players have come into view in the top ten - technically the top two - on the leaderboard. VuaXiTo and JSchnett have soared to the top in this tournament, leaving former leaders like killerkp, diatty, and kidzero to do the catching up.

3:40am--Public Service Announcement

Fifteen minutes remain in Level 20. At the conclusion of Level 22, play will be suspended for the night, resuming at 16:30pm ET tomorrow.

3:37am--That other Brenes

JHBrenes is holding steady at about 250,000 chips. He put in a raise to 36,000 that was called by Evilduke11 on the button. The big blind, JD9712, then made it 118,000 to go. JHBrenes went into the tank, taking up about forty seconds of time total before folding.

3:36am--WCOOP events galore

Sure, this is the only WCOOP event going on at this very moment, but we are far from over in this 2008 series!

Take tomorrow, for example. At 2:30pm ET, there is the $530 buy-in 7-Stud 8-or-better tournament. And at 4:30pm ET, PokerStars offers the Mixed Omaha Hi/Lo event. Or wait a day for a NLHE or NL 2-7 Draw tournament. The choices are there. And the entire WCOOP schedule is here, near the bottom of the page.

3:23am--Can anyone stop ElkY?

About ninety minutes ago, after Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier was eliminated in second place from Event #19, he had just fifteen big blinds remaining in his stack in Event #20. What a difference an hour and a half and undivided attention can make! ElkY crossed the 1-million chip mark, moving into the top ten in chip counts for the first time, by firing on every street against cristiaan26. ElkY made it 25,454 to go preflop, 36,363 to go on a flop of 6h-Kh-Ts, 98,989 when the turn came 8s, and 165,659 on a 2c river. christiaan26 called every bet except the river bet, finally giving up any claim to the pot there by folding.

3:17am--Hubertz is just chum in the water for the Shark

Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes picked the wrong time to make a move but was bailed out by the board. He opened the betting preflop to 30,000 from middle position. Action folded to the player on the button, Hubertz, who put in a reraise to 90,000. Although Brenes has been reluctant to call preflop reraises so far today, he called this one.

The flop came down 8d-9c-7c. Brenes promptly shoved his remaining 197,905 chips int the middle, and Hubertz called in a shot.

Brenes: Ah-Kc
Hubertz: Qh-Qc

Brenes was in bad shape, needing either an ace, a king or running clubs to stay alive. The Jc that hit the turn was the first club Brenes needed. The Tc on the river was the second. Brenes runner-runner'ed a king-high flush, one rank better than Hubertz's queen-high flush, to take down the pot and double up to almost 600,000 in chips.

3:13am--Maridu nears million mark

Aggressive is the word. Not afraid to risk it all is the mantra.

Maridu is just took a 518,000 pot to get ever closer to the one million mark. She now sits firmly in the top ten on the leaderboard, and this is one example of how she has gotten there:

3:06am--Watch out, the man has chips now

Nobody ever accused Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier of not knowing how to wield a big stack. He won three pots in a row on Table 462, first with a preflop raise, next with a flop reraise all in on a flop of 9h-7s-7h (netting himself 124,000 chips in the process) and then with a preflop reraise over the top of another player's opening raise. And just like that, inside of three minutes ElkY increased his stack from about 607,000 to about 815,000 chips.

2:59am--kidzero looking for personal best

Over the course of the past two hours, kidzero has taken the chip lead and held on tight. Usually sitting between 300K and 500K above the rest of the pack, kidzero is looking serious about getting to the final table of this event.

However, looking at kidzero's PokerStars record, there are not a lot of heavy tournament cashes on it. There was an $18,022.50 third place cash in a $200 tournament from 2006, but nothing else in that range. But it seems that the 2008 WCOOP may be where he adds a new accomplishment to that list. He finished 138th out of the 7,218-person field in WCOOP Event #1 this year, and currently, he is guaranteed a minimum $4,507.10 cash in this one. This tournament could be the big one; you could say the cards are in kidzero's hands.

2:50am--We pause the tournament to bring you these stats

Level 19
Blinds 5,000/10,000 ante 1,000
Average Chip Stack: 393,977
Players Remaining 132
First Prize: $468,045.00

Top ten chip counts:

1. kidzero 1,579,685
2. JSchnett 1,248,158
3. diatty 1,173,478
4. Bullson68 934,694
5. pingit 921,610
6. killerkp 865,062
7. VuaXiTo 823,198
8. Ryan45 817,481
9. HappyMeals 806,739
10. august35 801,204

Team PokerStars pros remaining:

Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck 741,900 (16th place)
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier 589,812 (25th place)
Humberto "HumbertoB" Brenes 248,905 (86th place)

2:40am--Getting to know Mr. Grospellier

As ElkY maintains a decent stack in this tournament and a spot in the top 25% of the field, it might be time to get to know Bertrand Grospellier a little better. And thanks to this profile on PokerStars.tv, that opportunity to familiarize is right here for your convenience:

Watch EPT 3 Copenhagen - Elky Profile on PokerStars.tv

2:36am--A different Brenes with over 200,000

Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes isn't the only Brenes doing well in tonight's tournament. On Table 17, railbirds will find JHBrenes, a player who also lists his location as San Jose, Costa Rica, just like Humberto! We're not sure what the odds are of two players named Brenes from San Jose, Costa Rica going deep in the same tournament and having nearly identical 230,000-chip stacks (probably not as astronomical as they might seem at first glance). We do think that it would be quite a story if both players managed to survive into Day 2...

2:26am--ElkY on a heater!

Missing out on his first WCOOP bracelet in Event #19 may have woken the slumbering beast inside of Bertrand "ElkY" Grosspelier. He has over 450,000 chips after reraising WiscoMurray preflop from 16,600 to 44,444. WiscoMurray came back oer the top of ElkY for almost 300,000 chips, an amount that had ElkY covered. He showed no hesitation in calling all in with Ks-Kd. As might be expected, he had to dodge an ace when WiscoMurray turned over Ah-Qd. The flop brought WiscoMurray's ace, but it also brough three spades -- As-9s-5s. That gave ElkY eleven outs to improve. He missed them all on the turn but hit one, the 4s, on the river to make a flush and double up again.

2:23am--Jumping through payout hoops

Currently, the players still in the tournament are in the eight payout level, which guarantees them $4,160.40 for their play in this event. Not too shabby...

But payouts increase substantially as we get deeper into Event #20. A 12th place finish will be worth $20,802. And just as a reminder, the first place prize in this tournament is a whopping $468,045. Now that's something worth sticking around for.

2:16am--Andre Akkari eliminated

Another Team PokerStars Pro has been eliminated from the tournament. Andre "aakkari" Akkari put in a third preflop raise, from the big blind, to 151,591 after MohammadKam opened from the button for 17,000 and DiPollo reraised fro the small blind to 42,000. DiPollo, who started the hand with 434,384 chips, decided to look Akkari up once MohammadKam got out of the way and folded. The hands may have raised some eyebrows when they were tabled:

Akkari: Kc-3c
DiPollo: 8d-7d

It was all downhill for Akkari after the chips were in. The flop of Ts-5d-6h gave DiPollo an up-and-down straight draw, and he picked up a flush draw with the Qd turn. The river Kd made Akkari a pair of kings but also filled DiPollo's flush draw, knocking Akkari out in the process. His 191st place finish was worth $3,813.70.

2:07am--No-showdown pots are the sweetest pots

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier has done it again. He called a 24,000-chip bet from tibaloo on a flop of 4c-7s-4h, then raised tibaloo all in on the Jh turn. tiballo, who had fired 48,000 on the turn, wasn't willing to call another 60,000 and let his hand go.

Grospellier's stack is now over 200,000.

2:06am--Brenes can't run down jacks

This is the time of the tournament when, if the cards break the right way, players with above average stacks can really put a hurting to the short stacks and open up big chip leads. The corollary is that if the cards break the wrong way, it's not such a far fall to an average or below-average stack.

Humberto Brenes is moving in the wrong direction. He took a few small hits with preflop raises that didn't work out before he called an all-in raise of 63,703 fro PlayaAAK8. Brenes had Big Slick and found himself trying to catch an ace or a king to beat PlayaAAK8's Jh-Js. It didn't happen, and so Brenes has come bak to the pack and is under 300,000 chips for the first time in over an hour.

1:58am--Maridu crosses 500K mark

There was one hand that set her on the path to climb up the leaderboard. PokerStars Pro Maridu was in the big blind and called her opponent, Otto Doctor, before and after the flop of 3s-Qd-7c. Both players checked the Kh on the turn, but after the 6d on the river, Maridu pushed all-in for 108,264, and Otto Doctor called with Ac-Qh. But Maridu showed pocket sevens for trips and the 337,528 pot.

Since that hand, Maridu has been on the rise and recently cracked the 500,000 chip mark to get ever closer to the top ten section of the leaderboard. With numerous railbirds in the chat box rooting her on, there seems to be no stopping her.

1:55am--River is sweet to ElkY

After a series of preflop raises went awry, Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier found himself with only 65,817 chips left. He pushed them all into the middle from late position and was called by the small blind, tibaloo. They were off to the races after the cards were opened, with Grospellier's Qc-Tc trying to outdraw tiballo's 6h-6c. Nothing changed on a flop of 2c-3d-2s or on a turn of As, but the river was very nice to Grospellier, falling the Th. It made him a pair of tens and gave him new life in Event #20.

1:47am--Break it up!

A 5-minute break for the players... When they return, they will be playing at Level 17.

Level 17
Blinds: 3,000/6,000, ante 600
Average chip count: 240,763
Players remaining: 216
First prize: $468,045

Top ten chip counts:

kidzero 748,107
joe82 710,994
Hoss_TBV 707,051
supernova9 682,596
august35 606,767
Sumar07 599,210
MarySmythe 589,113
sm1le 565,523
killerkp 554,953
Dracospinner 547,172

Team PokerStars Pros in Top 100:

Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck 459,070 (22nd place)
Humberto "HumbertoB" Brenes 391,608 (32nd place)
Andre "aakari" Akkari 227,049 (100th place)

1:35am--Joe Hachem eliminated

After taking another fall to the low 100,000 range with his chip stack, Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem slowly fell to 94,603 and decided it was time to put that shrimp on the barbie. After a raise from diatty to 12,000, Hachem reraised all-in with Jc-Js, but diatty called with Kd-Ks. The virtual dealer gave them 4h-8c-2h-As-5d on the table, and that was the end of Hachem's WCOOP day.

Hachem finished the tournament in 240th place with a payout of $3,467.

1:28am--ElkY's Attention restored

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier has one less thing on his plate. He was eliminated in second place in Event #19, missing out on a WCOOP bracelet but still walking away with $320,000. Not a bad night, and now that Event #19 is finished, his attention can be completely focused on winning a WCOOP bracelet in Event #20. He has raised three of the last six hands preflop, winning all without a contest. ElkY's stack is still on the short side, with about 16 big blinds total, but anything can happen.

To see the details of the final heads-up match between ElkY and stevesbets that people will be talking about tomorrow, check out the Event #19 Live Blog.

1:20am--Akkari keeps firing

Team PokerStars Pro Andre "aakkari" Akkari made a small raise to 13,500 from early position. He was called in two spots -- by numbass on the button and by MohammadKam in the big blind. The flop was potentially dangerous, as it came out a well-connected 5d-6c-9c. But there was no fear from aakkari. He fired out a continuation-bet of 19,000 that folded both of his opponents. He now sits behind more than 217,000 in chips.

1:14am--Maridu doubles to stay in it

Someone in Rio is happy, and it could be Maridu. She just pushed all-in preflop with A-7, and sms9231 called with K-Q. The first card up was a queen, but the rest of the cards fell right into place for Maridu as the board completed Q-5-4-3-2 to give her the straight. With more than 100,000 to work with, she then proceeded to chip up to 130,000.

Humberto Brenes.jpg
1:03am--Brenes slowly building

Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes has been relatively quiet during the last hour. He has taken down a few small pots with timely preflop raises or bets after the flop to chip up to almost 352,000, but it's been slow-going for the Shark. With a top twenty-five chip stack, Brenes has the luxury of time right now.

12:57am--Hachem considers leaving top 100 but changes his mind

A solid chunk of chips left Hachem's stack just before the last break. On a Qs-3c-6c flop, PocketPayett pushed all-in with pocket aces, and Hachem called with Kh-Jh. The turn and river were Qd and 5s, neither of which assisted Hachem, who lost a 146,900 pot to PocketPayett. That put Hachem down to 50th place.

Post-break, he lost a 50,000 pot against popeyeslr, who moved all-in preflop with Ah-Jh. Hachem called with As-7d, and he lost with it. At that point, he was in 91st place on the leaderboard and falling.

However, Hachem has consistently chipped back up over the past 20 minutes. And part of that process allowed him the opportunity for a little revenge on PocketPayett, who had been crippled by another player. With A-3, Hachem said goodbye to his opponent and his J-7. Hachem not sits with over 215,000 in chips.

12:46am--When you're good, you're good

Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier has almost twice as many chips as stevesbets in the final of Event #19. In Event #20, he has almost twice as many chips as he previously had after calling an all-in raise from the button to 56,226 by tien0. ElkY's Ad-Js had tien's Jc-Th dominated, and was the winning hand on a seven-high board, 7d-2d-6h-4s-2h. ElkY's chip count increased to about 140,000 as a result of winning the pot.

12:42am--Players receive a complimentary 5-minute break

Level 15
Blinds: 2,000/4,000
Average chip count: 149,011
Players remaining: 349
First prize: $468,045

Top ten chip counts:

joe82 668,944
DirtBox 595,719
killerkp 555,781
Hoss_TBF 537,516
sm1le 534,556
kidzero 513,585
MarySmythe 445,547
Talent06 443,409
raidalot 437,580
Ryan45 432,530

Team PokerStars Pros in Top 100:

Humberto Brenes 325,109 (25th place)
Joe Hachem 255,128 (51st place)

12:30am--Game over for Boeken

"The 5 minute break will start when hands on all tables are completed." is how the automated message reads that pops up on all tables just before a break. Team PokerStars Pro Noah "Exclusive" Boeken didn't see the other side of that message when he tangled with Game Over 61. Starting the hand with about 58,000 in chips and sitting in the big blind, Boeken took a four-way limped flop of 6d-5c-2d. He opened the betting with a bet of 9,000 that was called only by Game Over 61. The turn was another baby, the 8h. Boeken checked, then raised all in over the top of a bet of 18,777 from Game Over 61. It was the wrong move; Game Over 61 snap-called with pocket aces. Boeken was down to just five outs after showing Ts-6s and did not improve on the river.

He is eliminated in 350th place, earning $2,426.90 for his performance in this event.


That was what Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes typed into the chatbox after being congratulated by a railbird for eliminating agriffrod. agriffrod opened the pot to 7,575. Brenes was sitting in the small blind and made it 21,000 to go. agriffrod started the hand with only 41,558 total and shipped it all in after the big blind folded. Brenes called, slightly ahead with pocket tens against agriffrod's ace-queen. The board ran out Kh-9d-Qc-7h-9s, which did not improve agriffrod's hand. His chips now belong to Brenes.

12:26am--Two tournaments are twice as nice

Just because Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier is playing in Event #19 final doesn't mean he can't find time for a double-up in this event. When tien0 opened from the button with a min-raise, ElkY shoved his whole stack of 40,644 into the middle out of the small blind. tien0 called with Kc-Jd and found himself on the short side of a race against ElkY's pocket nines. tien0 did not improve, allowing ElkY to double to 86,988.

Since that hand, ElkY has become a bit more active, raising an additional two hands and taking both down preflop.

12:22am--Restless in Brazil

PokerStars Pro Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck may have gotten used to waiting for action to write about when she was the PokerStars Brazilian blogger, but playing is a different story. Since transitioning to a pro player, she is in the midst of her third 2008 WCOOP cash. But patience doesn't come as easy when the chips are hers to play. Since being moved to Table 381, she has been unable to find much action. She moved all-in twice in three hands and got no callers.

12:16am--Funny meeting you here

With only six Team PokerStars Pros remaining in a field that still numbers 423 players spread across 47 tables, it seems unlikely that two of them should wind up seated across from each other at the same table. Yet that's the situation that Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Noah "Exclusive" Boeken find themselves in after Boeken was broken to Table 423, Grospellier's table.

They're certainly not afraid to go after each other. Despite simultaneously playing stevesbets in the final of WCOOP Event #19 for $560,000 and a WCOOP bracelet, Grospellier raised to 7,858 from middle position. He was called by LAGJEM before Boeken pushed over the top of both of them, all in for 53,422. Neither ElkY nor LAGJEM wanted to dance.

12:12am--Joe Hachem soars into top ten

How did he do it? Opponent acehighdro was all-in with K-Q against the K-3 of Hachem, and it is quite likely that Hachem yelled at his computer, "One time!" His wish came true, and he catapulted himself into the top ten on the leaderboard. See the hand in all it's glory here:

12:03am--ElkY's divided attention

Now that ElkY is heads-up in the finals of Event #19 playing for the $560,000 first prize, he is attempting to do something with his stack in this tournament. Still just above the 50,000 chip mark here, he pushed all-in from the small blind. With no callers, he is still in this one, though the other tournament just may be getting the better of his attention.

11:52pm--How fast they fall

In the half hour since play resumed after the last break, the money bubble burst and just about 100 players have departed this event. Amazing what making the money can do to reduce the field in a tournament!


The money bubble has burst. moxl was the unfortunate bubble boy who was eliminated in 541st place, the last elimination that didn't earn any money. The remaining 540 players will all be guaranteed at least $1,733.50. Of course, the winner of the tournament will take down significantly more than that -- $468,045.

11:38pm--Shark chomps on more chips

It's good to be the king. Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes amassed one of the largest stacks in the tournament thus far and has been using it to bludgeon his table. He recently called a raise to 6,532, in position, from MohammadKam. Both players checked a flop that came down 3c-2s-Ks. On the Ts turn, MohammadKam made a probing bet of 8,000 that Brenes called. When the river fell Kh, MohammadKam quickly checked it over to Brenes, who fired for 25,000. MohammadKam decided enough was enough and folded. The pot was shipped to Brenes, pushing his stack over 300,000.

11:35pm--ElkY in final round of Event #19

Sure, Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier is no stranger to multi-tabling online tournaments. But this is the WCOOP! Currently, he is maintaining a chip stack of over 50,000 in this NLHE event. And while doing so, he just earned a seat at the final heads-up table in Event #19! With a hard-fought victory over Gavin Griffin in the last round, he is waiting to see who his opponent will be in the final match.

Take a look-see at the action going on over there at the Event #19 Live Blog. But don't forget to come back here!

11:21pm--Chip counts at six-hour mark; just eight from the money

Level 13
Blinds 1,250/2,500, ante 250
Average Chip Stack: 94,899
Players Remaining 548 (8 left to the money)
First Prize: $468,045.00

1. DirtBox 562,420
2. Hoss_TBF 488,188
3. killerkp 467,683
4. sm1le 437,818
5. utreg 355,814
6. Jon9ball 347,767
7. Otto Doctor 336,331
8. RUGONZ 331,927
9. snake8484 326,880
10. javel 324,330

Team PokerStars pros remaining:
Humberto "Humberto B" Brenes 281,001 (14th place)
Joe Hachem 210,412 (43rd)
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier 58,468 (335th)
Noah "Exclusive" Boeken 54,961 (360th)
Andre "Aakkari" Akkari 52,356 (372nd)
Marcin "Goral" Horecki 25,312 (510th)

11:10pm--No home runs, but enough singles for Joe Hachem to get a top 100 stack

Team PokerStars pro Joe Hachem has his table covered and he's been letting them know it with frequent pre-flop raises, though for the most part has not been getting involved with overly large pots. We are 10 more levels away from shutting down for the evening to come back tomorrow and battle for that $468,045.00 first prize.

However, in the very last hand before the break Hachem did mix it up with bobbybagpipe. Hachem raised to 3,500 from UTG and the table folded back around to bobbybagpipe who called from the big blind. The flop came 6h-Jh-5s and when bobbybagpipe checked, Hachem promptly put in a big overbet of 40,000, clearly wanting to take it down right there. bobbybagpipe contemplated a bit, then pushed all in for 41,007 total, turning over Ac-Js for top pair. Hachem showed Ah-5h, and when the turn brought the 8h, bobbybagpipe was the last player out before the break in 549th place.

We'll call that one a ground-rule double. Hachem now has 210,142. Just eight more eliminations before the cash bubble bursts.

11:05pm--Players closing in on 500,000

Players killerkp and Hoss_TBF are both threatening to cross the half million chip mark as we careen toward the six-hour break. Both are making life very uncomfortable for the short stacks at their tables as we are just 15 more eliminations off of the money.

10:56pm--Aces make even Humberto Brenes smile

Who am I kidding, it's very rare you'd see the spicy Puerto Rican not showing off his row of teeth through a wide smile at the tables (perhaps even the virtual ones?). His grin just got bigger as Humberto nears the 300,000 chip mark after this hand with hanji:

10:47pm--It's getting late... do you know where your chips are and where they are going?

With the average stack hovering around 84,000, some players may need to decide if they want to preserve chips and likely make a little profit this evening or bust out in a Twisted Sister-ish frenzy, shout at the table chip captain "WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!!", and stand up to the bully for a shot at a bigger payday.

We are about 20 minutes away from the end of Level 12 and the fifteen-minute break scheduled when players reach the six-hour mark. There are exactly 600 players left in the field, meaning we're 60 eliminations from the money. Those lasting to reach the top 540 will all be guaranteed at least $1,733.50 for their efforts today.

10:37pm--It's good to be (holding) king(s), Humberto cracks the top 20 again

Team PokerStars Pro Humbero Brenes took El-Gribbo to valuetown on the below hand collecting a sizable 77,850 chip pot good enough to boost him back into the top 50 with nearly double the average in chips.

Three hands later Brenes would pick up pocket jacks and another 73,000 in chips, vaulting him into the top 20.

10:29pm--At least $160,000 richer, ElkY is last player pulling double duty tonight

After winning his quarterfinal match in the $25,500 buy in WCOOP Event #19 High Roller Heads-up tourney, Team PokerStars Pro Betrand "ElkY" Grospellier is assured $160,000 with a shot at the winner's share of $560,000.

Currently in this tourney Grospellier is a little under par with 67,000. The average chip stack is around 91,000 at the moment.

In about ten minutes we'll be moving to Level 12, where the blinds are scheduled to increase in to 1,000/2,000 with an ante of 150.

Check out the Event #19 live blog to see how ElkY does.

10:22pm--Clash of the titans on Table 54

Two of the biggest stacks in the tournament are both seated at Table 54 at the moment -- chip leader killerkp and solvalla08, who was in 6th place prior to the following hand.

The hand began with killerp (373,279 in chips at the start) raising to 3,750 from middle position. solvalla08 (258,004 at the start) then reraised to 11,780 from the big blind. It folded back around killerkp who made the call.

The flop 8d-Ac-6s. solvalla08 checked, killerkp bet 19,000, and solvalla called. The turn was the 2s. solvalla08 again checked, and this time killerkp bet 57,000. solvalla08 again called.

The river was the 7s, completing a possible flush. solvalla08 checked one more time, and killerkp promptly shoved his monstrous stack all in. solvalla08 went deep into the tank, taking over 100 seconds from his time bank. Finally he folded, typing "MAN i wanted 2 call geeezzzz" as he did.

After that hand, killerkp has 463,009 (still 1st), while solvalla08 falls to 170,074 (40th at the moment).

10:09pm--Chip counts at five-hour mark

Level 11
Blinds 750/1,500, antes 150
Average Chip Stack: 68,517
Players Remaining: 759 (219 more eliminations to the money)
First Prize: $468,045

1. killerkp 333,879
2. sm1le 321,183
3. gp333 294,141
4. Otto Doctor 281,306
5. solvalla08 263,854
6. Iti12 238,503
7. Rekrul 236,359
8. NPR34675992 228,571
9. jcaddel 222,854
10. javel 216,130

Team PokerStars pros in Top 100:
Humberto "Humberto B" Brenes 129,192 (69th place)

9:59pm--Barry Greenstein limping after running into aces, then down in 803rd

Team PokerStars Pro Barry "barryg1" Greenstein raised UTG+1 to 3,600 after starting the hand with 43,089 chips (blinds 600/1200, ante 100). potstabber10 re-raised to 8,400 cutoff, and Greenstein made the call.

The flop of 7h-5s-4s had Greenstein checking, then potstabber10 made a continuation bet to 7,600. Greenstein sprung to life by check-raising all in for his remaining 34,589 and potstabber10 made the quick call, having Greenstein covered by 7,655.

potstabber10: Ad-Ac
barryg1: 3s-3d

Six outs for Greenstein, none of which would hit, with the 8s and Qd showing by the river, and the 73,368-chip pot went to potstabber10. That left Greenstein with just six big blinds. Eight hands later, the Bear was out in 803rd place.

9:53pm--Moneymaker moves on

It seemed life had been a struggle for Team PokerStars pro Chris "Money800" Moneymaker ever since fellow PS pro Noah "Exclusive" Boeken took a seat to his left. While Boeken was busy catching cards and doubling up -- he currently has more than 67,000 after being down below 1,000 earlier -- Moneymaker didn't seem able to catch a cold.

Down to 34,516, Moneymaker watched Olofsson raise to 3,600 preflop from middle position, then decided to reraise to 12,000 from the button. Player raidalot then unexpectedly repopped it from the big blind, shoving his entire 93,000-plus chip stack in the middle. Olofsson retreated, but Moneymaker decided he'd make a stand.

raidalot: Qc-Qd
Money800: 9c-9s

The board came 3c-7d-2s-Ac-8c, and Moneymaker was eliminated in 826th.

9:48pm--Move made, chips acquired; highway out of the danger zone for Marcin

Team PokerStars Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki found a decent hand to make his tournament stand with only 15 big blinds remaining.

Horecki found a customer in the original aggressor of the hand, kenny05, who raised preflop to 3,600 (blinds 600/1200, ante 100). Unfortunately for kenny05, he would find out the flat call by Horecki meant strength after the flop...

9:39pm--Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari flops flush, makes space cadet pay up

After making the call of a middle position raise to 2,525 by SpaceyFCB, Team PokerStars pro Andre "aakkari" Akkari checked the monotone flop of Ah-8h-6h from the big blind. The turn brought a 3c which sparked some interest for Akkari as he slid out a 4,000 chip bet which was called by SpaceyFCB.

The river 8c paired the board. Neither player liked the card, as both checked. Akkari flipped up the slowplayed flopped flush with Qh-7h and SpaceyFCB mucked, shipping the 14,225 pot to Akkari as he broke the 100,000-chip mark.

9:33pm--Premier drops in on Marcin Horecki's table

The man who once used his valuable FPPs to shoot a round of H.O.R.S.E. with the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban, Premier is now sitting behind Team PokerStars Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki with hopes of chipping up enough to make a run at a final table tomorrow.

Premier is currently under par at 42,000 chips, while "Goral" is sitting with only 16,000

9:30pm--killerkp is killin'

Player killerkp has distanced himself from the pack a bit, nearing the 400k-chip mark with a gaudy-looking stack of 366,882 at the moment. His nearest foe at the moment is solvalla08 with 244,594, followed by Strategovic with 229,181.

9:21pm--Boeken livin' right

Team PokerStars pro Noah "Exclusive" Boeken, down below 1,000 chips not one hour ago, has suddenly catapulted back up to 47,165 on the strength of a series of successful all ins.

A few hands ago, Boeken took pocket sixes up against MPetes' Jc-Ad, flopped a six and doubled up. Then Boeken doubled up against fellow PS pro Chris "Money800" Moneymaker when his Ad-Js outdrew Moneymaker's pocket nines. Here's how the latter hand played out:

9:17pm--1,000 remain

Exactly 1,000 of our original 3,467 entrants are still alive in today's event. Over half -- 540, to be exact -- will get paid.

9:14pm--Coin falls the opposite way for Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano

The Italian Team PokerStars Pro took a risk to gain needed chips in an odd hand with Mad Daniels as Pagano min raised from middle position to 2000 with blinds at 500/1000, ante 75.

A flat call was made by IONA06 one before the button, then Mad Daniels decided to shove for 56,457, putting Pagano into a decision for his tournament life as he had 33,561 behind. Watch the hand play out below:

9:10pm--Defending champ doubles up

After a rough beginning, winner of the 2007 WCOOP $1,050 NLHE event mig.com had built back up to a stack of 33,846 when the following hand took place.

mig.com raised to 2,100 from middle position, and then chip leader Strategovic (sporting a 260,000-plus chip stack) called from the big blind. The flop came Js-Qh-6c. Both checked. The turn was the Jh. Strategovic bet 3,200, and mig.com raised to 8,800. Strategovic called.

The river was the 8s. Strategovic checked, mig.com pushed all in for 22,896, and Strategovic called. mig.com turned over 8d-Jd for jacks full of eights, while Strategovic showed Jc-Ac.

mig.com is currently sitting on a stack of a little more than 80,000, while Strategovic is still among the chip leaders with 224,293.

9:00pm--Chip counts at four-hour mark

Level 9
Blinds 500/1000, antes 75
Average Chip Stack: 47,277
Players Remaining: 1,100 (560 more eliminations to the money)
First Prize: $468,045.00

1. killerkp 297,311
2. Strategovic 227,168
3. gp333 214,787
4. Rekrul 178,357
5. gerndg 178,300
6. Shakunimama8 172,392
7. hassearo228 167,075
8. august35 164,675
9. EmbKings 160,496
10. MagicCoin 157,959

Team PokerStars pros in Top 100:
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier 95,922 (69th place)
Andre "aakkari" Akkari 90,196 (92nd)

8:57pm--Moneymaker lets chips do talking

After raising preflop to 4,800, Team PokerStars pro Chris "Money800" Moneymaker saw platinni reraise him to 10,400. Moneymaker promptly reraised by shoving his entire stack of 49,850 in the middle, and platinni abandoned ship.

Moneymaker currently has 66,050. Fellow PS pro Noah "Exclusive" Boeken sits to his left, still suriving with 14,358.

8:54pm--Recent eliminations

Other Team PokerStars pros recently knocked out: Tom McEvoy (1296th), Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan (1254th), and Greg "FossilMan" Raymer (1239th).

8:46pm--Thater takes a big hit with big slick, out seven hands later

The table had folded around to solvalla08 (with 76,465) in middle position who sat on Katja Thater's immediate left. Thater had a nice, healthy stack of 113,825. solvalla08 put out a 2,200-chip bet which Thater then raised to 7,200. The blinds ran for cover as the two big stacks began a raising war as solvalla08 bet to 26,900, then Thater shoved, getting called immediately by solvalla08. Thater received a 37,360 discount for covering. Their hands:

solvalla08: As-Ad
Katja Thater: Ah-Kc

The board ran out 5s-Js-5d-Ks-5h to give solvalla08 fives full of aces for the win and a huge 154,480-chip pot. Thater would tangle again with solvalla08 just six hands later, running Ah-7d into solvalla08's pocket tens preflop and with no help on the board she went from top 20 chip stack to out in 1,256th place.

8:37pm--Barry and Joe talk shop, Greenstein collects chips in the middle of the conversation

While Team PokerStars Pros Barry Greenstein and Joe Hachem discussed a WSOP hand that made the television broadcast (where Joe hit the two-outer ten on the river to overcome someone's flopped set of eights), there was actual poker being played.

Check out how Greenstein recuperated some chips he lost to his fellow Team PokerStars Pro a few minutes earlier in the hand below:

8:34pm--Failed semi-bluff nearly sinks Noah's boat

Team PokerStars Pro Noah "Exclusive" Boeken just took a huge, crippling hit to his stack. With the board showing 2h-4d-7c-6h and 10,450 in the pot already, Reggie&Ollie bet 5,600 from the cutoff, then Boeken reraised all in from the button with his entire stack of 26,064. Then GB2005 surprisingly called for 25,155 worth from the big blind, forcing Reggie&Ollie from the hand.

GB2005 showed 10c-10s for the overpair, while Exclusive had 10h-9h for the big semibluff. The river was the 5s, and Boeken was down under 1,000 chips.

Boeken has since tripled up a couple of times and now sits with 9,504.

8:26pm--LadyMaverick rides into sunset

PS pro Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso had a below average stack of 28,788 when the following, tournament-ending hand took place. Began innocently enough with some limpers and her checking her option from the big blind. The flop brought two fours, and the four in Rousso's hand meant she wasn't going to let it go. Unfortunately for her, someone else had a four as well. Here is how Rousso ended up eliminated in 1,406th:

8:22pm--Griffin gone

Team PokerStars pro Gavin Griffin has just hit the rail in 1435th place.

8:19pm--Katja Thater uses level 19 stealth maneuvers to quietly acquire a top 20 stack

The German Team PokerStars Pro is amassing chips without even making a sound out on Table 46. Instead she's letting the 110,000 chips in front of her do the talking as we near level 8 and the introduction of antes into the game.

We just witnessed one such hand demonstrating Thater's steathiness. After a flat call from the big blind of HissiProppen's raise to 2,400, Thater calmly checked the Jh-7h-4s flop, then HissiProppen followed through with a 3,200 chip continuation bet. The bet was met with a raise to 8,000 by Thater and a quick fold by the Norwegian. Thater collected the 11,600 chips and went back into the dark, waiting to strike again.

8:07pm--Hello Barry, Hello Joe

Just as we noticed Barry "barryg1" Greenstein at Andy McLEOD's table, a table change now has him seated with fellow Team PokerStars pro Joe Hachem. Here's the scene currently at Table 134:


8:01pm--WCOOP champ, meet WSOP champ

Andy McLEOD recently took down Event #16 ($215 Pot Limit Omaha, one rebuy/one add-on) and now finds himself sitting on the left of three-time WSOP bracelet winner Barry Greenstein. Let the sparks fly as these two champs take to battle.

7:50pm--Chip counts at three-hour mark; Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater hanging in the top 50

Level 7
Blinds 400/800
Average Chip Stack: 29,598
Players Remaining: 1757 (540 to make the money)
First Prize: $468,045.00

1. phinster 122,269
2. AlphaMale626 118,805
3. Strategovic 115,529
4. Confiteor 113,979
5. Mr. Tim Caum 112,926
6. javel 109,807
7. killerkp 108,638
8. LEB_BEL 105,245
9. MagicCoin 103,609
10. hanji 102,929

Team PokerStars Pros in Top 100
Katja Thater 83,750 (31st place)
Barry "barryg1" Greenstein 65,888 (82nd)

7:44pm--River saves Brenes

Wpt-jsipf raised to 2,400 from under the gun, and Team PokerStars pro Humberto "Humberto B." Brenes called from late position. Both checked the Qs-6c-7s flop. The turn was the Tc. Wpt-jsipf checked, Brenes bet 5,400, and Wpt-jsipf check-raised all in for 13,825. With only 4,575 left, Brenes made the call.

Wpt-jsipf: Td-Ac
Brenes: Kh-Ad

Brenes would need help to stay alive. And help arrived, with the Jc on the river giving him the Broadway straight. "ffffffffff" said Wpt-jsipf. We can imagine what the rest of the word was he was trying to say.

Brenes lives on with 25,650. Meanwhile Wpt-jsipf, down to less than 4,000, would be eliminated within one orbit in 1,829th.

7:40pm-- Smile, you're on PokerStars.TV

There will be a live stream of this tournament's conclusion tomorrow brought to you by Lee Nelson, Gavin Griffin, Vanessa Rousso, John Duthie. Check out the PokerStars.com WCOOP radio page for live streaming commentary of some of the bigger events, including tonight's $25,500 Heads-up tourney (follow the link to the radio page for the stream).

7:34pm--Double duty for PS pros

Four of the Team PokerStars pros still with chips in this event are also currently still alive in the Round of 16 of Event No. 19, the $25,500 no-limit hold'em heads-up event: Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Gavin Griffin, Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso, and Victor Ramdin. At the moment, Rousso and Ramdin have leads over their opponents, while ElKY and Griffin are behind in their matches.

Also alive in Event No. 19 are fellow PS pros John Duthie and Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu. Click here to follow the Event No. 19 live blog.

7:27pm--A trio of Team PokerStars Pros hit the rail

Vicky Coren (2031st)
Alexandre "allingomes" Gomes (2189th)
William Thorson (2562nd)

We've moved into level six with blinds at 300/600 and the average stack around 26,344. Former Sunday Million winner Kongsgaard and MTT crusher THE__D__RY have crept up to the top 20.

Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater has also broken the top 20, currently sitting on ~81,000 in chips.

7:20pm--While he's gentle to the rail, not so much to the eight other players at his table:

After Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein re-popped alexn124's 1000 chip raise to 4400 for the second straight hand, alexn124 of the bully tactics and shoved his remaining 6,360 chips into the middle. Greenstein made the called with a suited Big Slick (Ac-Kc) and was well ahead of alexn124's Ad-Jd.

The board ran out to no avail: 8s-7s-2h-7d-Qd and Greenstein has cracked the 60,000 chip mark while alexn124 is no more.

7:16pm--phinster looking just (100) grand

It looks like phinster is our first player to crack the 100,000-chip mark today. He currently holds a slight lead over outragous76, slowpokes888, AlphaMale626, and JSchnett.

7:14pm--Re: my rights to your chips...

Team PokerStars pro Noah "Exclusive" Boeken has chipped all of the way up to 59,225. After watching him win four straight hands on Table 347, we're starting to understand the significance of that username.

7:11pm--Reflecting on what could have been

Barry Greenstein is always a great chatter, and today he's showing extra graciousness describing his bust out to a railbird of Event #18 $215 H.O.R.S.E. tourney on the final table bubble:

Fluffdog87 [observer]: good 9th place but always brutal to
bubble since u only play 4 1st
barryg1: yes. rolled ups beat in stud at the end crippled me

This tourney is starting out well, as he's well above average sitting on 56,000 in chips with the average stack hovering 23,000.

7:04pm--Rousso rebounds

Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso just used pocket kings to bounce back up to more than 34,000. Here's how the hand played out:

7:00pm--Blinds not outrageous yet

Currently sitting blinds at 200/400 in level 5 over 1,100 of the original 3,467 entrants have busted including Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson in 2562nd. Outragous76 is your current chip leader with nearly 100,000 in chips and the blinds not increasing for another 15 minutes.

6:56pm--Rough patch for Joe

Team PokerStars pro Joe Hachem raised to 1,000 from middle position, and bambaata reraised to 2,400 from the button. It folded back around and Hachem reraised again to 6,800 total. bambaata called.

The flop was 8s-Jd-8d. Hachem waited a few moments, then bet 8,000. bambaata spent little time before pushing all in for 44,066 total.

Hachem went deep into the tank -- to call would mean leaving himself only 3k or so behind. After taking a about 120 seconds of his time bank, he finally let it go. bambaata moves up to 66,266 on that one.

On the very next hand, Hachem experienced a bit of a cooler when he flopped a set of threes to danglow47's flopped set of sevens. Luckily for Hachem, danglow47 was short-stacked and he only lost about 8k on the hand.

After those two hands, Hachem is down to 34,689.

6:52pm--Cobra seeks to add to his poker library from Barry Greenstein. Greenstein seeks to memorize his zip code

As many people know Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein will hand you a signed copy of his book "Ace on the River" should you manage to knock him out of a live tourney. So, Cobra234 simply asked the question about getting a copy for an elimination today...
hand finishes

Cobra234: hey barry do you give a signed book when getting knocked out online?
barryg1: no cobra
Purrel [observer]: isnt that like the 40th time someone asked u that
barryg1: I'll take way the over
Cobra234: ok :)
Purrel [observer]: i wasnt gonna gamble on that lol
barryg1: if I wasn't lazy, I might do it, but it's too much work, and I don't even know where the post office is around here

6:46pm--A loss of nerve?

In the last hand of Level 4, Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso lost about a fourth of her stack in a hand against YrrsiNN. YrrsiNN had raised to 780 from under the gun, Rousso called from middle position, allinstevie called from the button, and magicpitch called from the big blind. The flop came 5d-6d-5c, and all four checked.

The turn was the Jc. magicpitch checked, YrrsiNN bet 2,300, and Rousso promptly reraised the minimum to 4,600. The others folded, and after some thought YrrsiNN called.

The river brought the 7h. YrrsiNN checked, and Rousso checked behind. YrrsiNN showed Js-Ac for jacks and fives, and Rousso mucked, having slipped back to 17,705.

6:42pm--Chip counts at two-hour break; a few PokerStars Pros near the top

Level 5
Blinds 200/400
Average Chip Stack: 20,188
Players Remaining 2575 (540 places paid)
First Prize: $468,045.00

1. killerkp 75,400
2. Ma-5 75,157
3. bulez 68,929
4. SaltyDogCP 66,843
5. logical 66,325
6. IRunPS 65,980
7. mx4ever 64,822
8. phinster 64,097
9. Meff1 63,950
10. WeStmOr 62,101

Team PokerStars Pros in Top 100:
Barry "barryg1" Greenstein 54,935 (23rd)
Joe Hachem 53,815 (30th)
Noah "Exclusive" Boeken 49,675 (53rd)

Team PokerStars Pros Eliminated:
Lee Nelson (2872nd)
Orel Hershiser (2819th)
Bill Chen (2929th)
Isabelle "NoMercy" Mercier (3064th)
Chad Brown (3360th)
John Duthie (3400th)

6:32pm--Rousso rustles up some chips

Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso just had another confrontation with magicpitch. The hand began similarly to the one from earlier today, with magicpitch open-raising to 800 from the button and Rousso calling from the big blind. The flop came Kd-4s-Jc and both checked. The turn was the 6h. Rousso bet 1,200, and magicpitch called.

The river brought the Ac. This time Rousso bet 4,200 and magicpitch made the call. Rousso turned over As-Ks for top two, and magicpitch mucked.

Rousso is currently up to 26,235, while magicpitch has slipped to 15,750.

6:28pm--Things looking up for defending champ

A nice turnaround for defending $1,050 NLHE event champ mig.com after a rough start. Having slipped way down to just 6,000 chips by the middle of Level 3, mig.com built back up to 10,400 before finding himself all in with pocket jacks against Phwap. See how the hand played out:

6:25pm-- Latest updates on Team PokerStars Pros

The following Team PokerStars Pros have met their demise and will not be joining us for the second break in 10 minutes:

Lee Nelson out in 2872nd
Orel Hershiser out in 2819th
Bill Chen out in 2929th
Isabelle "NoMercy" Mercier out in 3064th

6:17pm-- Barry hits a flush again and doubles up to join the top 10

Another huge flush for Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein as he outlasts the presto magic of Panny3 in this hand and vaults himself into a top 10 chipstack:

6:12pm--A few nibbles for the Shark

Team PokerStars pro Humberto "Humberto B." Brenes has begun to get active here in the second hour. In one hand versus oogee Brenes turned two pair with his Qs-Ts to claim a 5,200-chip pot.

Then a few hands later, Brenes won a pot of 6,700 chips without having to show his hand, his river bet on a board of Js-4d-6c-3h-5d being enough to frighten METZMAGNY away.

Brenes is up to 21,350 at the moment with blinds moving up to 150/300.

6:05pm--Thorson caught red handed

bl0wback starting out the hand with 8,945 sniffed out this bluff from Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson holding 26,292 in chips. Thorson open min raised to 200 in middle position, bl0wback 3-bet to 1105 total right next to him, folded back to Thorson who flat called saw the flop of: Ks-9c-9d

Thorson check as bl0wback wagered 1775 which was met by a check-raise to 7600 by Thorson. The bet would nearly put bl0wback all-in, so he pushed his remaining 6065 chips into the middle. Getting 90:1 pot odds, Thorson reluctantly called exposing 5d-3d for the post oak bluff as showed pocket tens (Th-Td) and the board did not run out a runner-runner flush and the 18,190 chip pot went to bl0wback.

Thorson still above the starting stack at 17,347 after the thieving did not work.

6:01pm--I had bigger

PS pro Joe Hachem is starting to have his way with his table, having chipped up to more than 40,000 now.

In a recent hand, bambaata raised to 600, PocketPayett reraised to 1,900, then Hachem three-bet to 10,200. bambaata quickly folded, and after some thought PocketPayett folded as well. "fold big" said PocketPayett, employing some creative syntax.

JoeHachem said, "i had bigger"
JoeHachem said, "gf"

5:53pm--Hachem wins staredown contest at Table 134

We just watched a relatively large pot develop between PS pro Joe Hachem and deamon10 over on Table 134.

Things got started with a preflop raise to 600 by deamon10 from middle position, followed by Hachem's reraise to 2,000 from the button. It folded back around to deamon10 who then reraised again to 5,750. Hachem thought for several seconds, then made the call.

The flop came Ah-Qd-5d, and deamon10 fairly quickly fired out 6,250 into the 11,800 pot. Hachem meditated for a while, using his time bank, before making the call. The turn brought the 5c, pairing the board. This time deamon10 checked, and Hachem didn't wait long before betting his last 9,475. deamon10 took about 20 seconds, then let it go, giving Hachem the pot.

Hachem is now up to 33,775, while deamon10 has slipped to 13,500.

5:50pm--Greenstein flushes the Party Poker fan home

The board may have paired at the end, but that didn't prevent Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein from delivering the walking papers to PrtyPsux on this cooler:

Greenstein is now up to 26,374 in chips after the hand with blinds at 100/200.

5:45pm--Team PokerStars Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki displays his stars

A new feature at PokerStars allows the player to choose whether they would like the world to know their current VIP level at PokerStars.com. Search for "Goral" in the PokerStars lobby, and then take a look at our Team PokerStars Pro's avatar with the five stars beneath his picture, proclaiming him to be a Supernova. You can find the controls for this under "options" then choose "VIP status display options" and volia! Boast your VIP rank with fellow tablemates at any ring or tournament game without chatting.

5:39pm--Duthie down, Brown busto

Looks like two Team PokerStars pros didn't make it through the first hour of today's event. John Duthie went out early in 3400th place, followed shortly thereafter by Chad "ChadBrownPRO" Brown in 3360th.

A much briefer day for Brown today than yesterday, when he led Event No. 17 ($530 pot-limit hold'em) for most of the day before going out in 20th.

5:34pm--Chip counts at one-hour mark

Level 3
Blinds 100/200
Average Chip Count: 16,105
Players Remaining: 3,229
First Prize: $468,045.00

1. Betudontbet 54,110
2. The Doc 51,725
3. Leloudis 50,502
4. Meff1 50,000
5. NoTime2WaZT 49.503
6. wurevolution 46,875
7. M X 5 45,575
8. PokerNoob999 44,325
9. jakoon1985 44,050
10. Staight Up35 43,937

Team PokeStarsPros Top 100:

5:30pm--The patience of the Shark

We've watched the first 50 hands over on Table 30 where Team PokerStars pro Humberto "Humberto B." Brenes is seated. Perhaps you'll find it interesting to know how a player like Brenes, who has won two WSOP bracelets and has performed well in past WCOOP events, approaches the start of a deep-stacked tourney such as this.

In the first 50 hands, Brenes has voluntarily put money into the pot exactly four times -- raising three of those, and limping once. He has yet to show a hand. He sits with 14,300 at the moment, just under his original starting stack.

5:26pm--Since this is a TWO-day event, you'll need to wait until tomorrow for that six-figure transfer:

Our apologies for those figuring on wrapping up this tourney Monday morning, but this is a two-day event in which we will stop the tourney at level 22 and those with chips will be allowed to join us tomorrow for another fun filled day of poker.

5:20pm--Bear wants your chips, and doesn't wish to show his cards

Barry Greenstein picked up a nice pot off Cobra234 after Greenstein open raised from one off the button for 300 chips with the blinds at 50/100 and Cobra234 made the call from the small blind. Flop of 7h-Kh-Th got Cobra to lead out for 500 which Greenstein raised to 1600 and got a call from Cobra234.

Waiting to strike again, Cobra234 lead out for 1600 on the turn card of 2h which Greenstein decided to fall call this time.

River card of the five of diamonds had Cobra234 apply the brakes suddenly and checked. Bear pounced on his prey and shipped 5,100 chips into the middle which Cobra234 said "grr" and slithered back to his hole and folded.

Greenstein is up to 20,925 in chips after that hand.

5:18pm--Rousso can't make magicpitch disappear

Action had folded around to magicpitch on the button who raised to 300. Perhaps sensing a steal attempt, Team PokerStars pro Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso called from the big blind.

The flop came Kc-6h-2d. Rousso checked, magicpitch bet 300, and Rousso check-raised the minimum to 600. magicpitch called. The turn was the Td. This time LadyMaverick bet out 1,000, and magicpitch again called.

The river was the 2h. Rousso checked, and magicpitch checked behind. Rousso showed 5s-6s for a pair of sixes, and magicpitch turned over Jc-Jd for the better pair. magicpitch now has 17,600, while Rousso has slipped to 12,025.

5:12pm--Keeping the pots small

Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem had raised to 250 preflop from middle position, and only O-Totoro called from the big blind. The pair both checked the flop -- 7s-Qc-9s -- as well as the turn -- the Ah. When the river brought the 8s, O-Totoro bet 300, and Hachem promptly raised to 1,400. O-Totoro thought for about 15 seconds, then made the call.

Hachem showed As-5s for the nut flush, and O-Totoro mucked. Hachem is now up to 19,025.

5:10pm--Payouts locked in, big payday in store for someone 17, 18, 19 hours from now...

Registration for WCOOP Event No. 20 is now closed. A total of 3,467 have ponied up the $1,050 entry fee to participate in today's event, a bit more than the 3,325 who entered this same event last year. That makes for a total prize pool of $3,467,000 -- well over the $3 million guarantee. Here are the payouts for the top spots:

1. $468,045.00
2. $329,365.00
3. $225,355.00
4. $178,550.50
5. $142,147.00
6. $107,477.00
7. $72,807.00
8. $45,071.00
9. $31,203.00

Six players going home today with a six-figure score. As the blinds move up to 50/100 here in Level 2, there are already over 100 players who are no longer eligible for the prizes.

5:07pm--Message received

Team PokerStars pro Joe Hachem has been quiet in the early going. However just now player nilsok, sitting to Hachem's right, just woke up the 2005 WSOP Main Event champ.

Near the end of Level 1, nilsok raised to 200 and Hachem reraised to 500 behind him. It folded back around, and nilsok three-bet to 1,350. That prompted Hachem to repop it again to 4,500. That's when nilsok decided he'd had enough.

Hachem now has 17,325.

5:05pm--Three's company, but I doubt it is welcome

PokerStars random table shuffler decided the Thorson table did not have enough fire power as fellow Team PokerStars pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki has now dropped in to play on Table 325 as well. Tight play is sure to reign here.

5:00pm--mig.com title defense starts slowly

In last year's WCOOP, mig.com won this same event (the $1,050 no-limit hold'em event), outlasting chulwoo for first. mig.com has gotten off to a slow start today, dropping to 10,750 near the end of Level 1.

chulwoo is here again, too, and has 14,750 here in the early going.

4:58pm-- Thorson can dodge bullets baby!

Yes, our own Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson can dodge bullets without taking a huge hit to his stack on these well-placed value bets along the flop and turn by yosef12:


In the first 15 minutes of play, we've already seen 30 players eliminated. One of those bustouts just occurred over on Table 443.

CryMe@River5 raised from UTG to 100, midastruck and diegomilek both called, the Pappiri raised to 400 from the small blind. CryMe@River5 repopped it to 1,600 forcing the others to fold, and Pappiri just called.

The flop came Js-Jd-4s. Pappiri checked, CryMe@River5 bet 1,600, and Pappiri called. The turn was the 8c. Pappiri again checked, CryMe@River5 bet 3,600, and again Pappiri called.

The river was the 3d. Pappiri checked again, CryMe@River5 went all in for 8,325, and Pappiri made the call with his last 8,000.

CryMe@River5 showed As-Ad, better than Pappiri's Qh-Qc. Pappiri is out, and CryMe@River5 has doubled up early to 30,175.

4:41pm--Redraw for table 325!

Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson will be tested early having #1PEN at his table. #1PEN has enjoyed two final tables (Event #3 and Event #5 and currently sitting at fourth on the money list for the 2008 WCOOP series.

4:33pm--Early fireworks

With 15,000 in starting chips and 25/50 blinds, we anticipate most of the entrants should feel little need to hurry here at the start of today's event.

We did, however, see our first big pot of the day over on Table 142. In the second hand of the day, caio_pimenta raised to 150 from middle position, then SHIPP ITT reraised to 550 from the big blind. caio_pimenta called.

The flop came 2c-5h-Ac. SHIPP ITT bet 750, caio_pimenta raised to 2,000, and SHIPP ITT called.

Both checked the Kh on the turn. The river brought the Ts. SHIPP ITT checked, caio_pimenta bet 3,400, and SHIPP ITT called. caio_pimenta showed 2h-2d for a set of ducks, and SHIPP ITT mucked. caio_pimenta is out to a quick lead today with 20,950, while SHIPP ITT will be working uphill with 9,050.

4:30pm--Line up of Team PokerStars Pros for this event today, let's shuffle up and deal!!:

Andre "Aakkari" Akkari
Alexandre "allingomes" Gomes
Barry "barryg1" Greentstein
Bill Chen
Chad "ChadBrownPRO" Brown
Chris "Money800" Moneymaker
Dario Minieri
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier
Noah "Exclusive" Boeken
Greg "FossilMan" Raymer
Gavin Griffin
Marcin "Goral" Horecki
Humberto "Humberto B" Brenes
Joe Hachem
John Duthie
Katja Thater
Alex "Kravchenko" Kravchenko
Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso
Lee "LeeNelsonP*" Nelson
Luca Pagano
Isabelle "NoMercy" Mercier
Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan
Raymond Rahme
Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose
Tom McEvoy
Vicky Coren
Victor Ramdin
William Thorson

I know of one Barry Greenstein who will be a little tired after his 9th place finish in Event #18's H.O.R.S.E. tourney this morning but a true competitor in playing in this tourney this afternoon.

9:00am-- At least $3 million on the line

WCOOP Event #20, the $1,050 No-Limit Hold'em event begins at 4:30pm ET. The 2-day event has a $3 million guarantee. Join us here for all the action when it begins.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in WCOOP