WCOOP Event #26: rubenrtv runs over final table and wins $320 NLHE 6-Max title

According to popular demand, there can never be too many no-limit hold'em tournaments. Not only does PokerStars recognize this and cater to the wants of its players with daily NLHE offerings, but when it came to planning the 2008 WCOOP, there had to be enough NLHE events for everyone. Thus, Event #26 was a $320 NLHE tournament.

As with many of the tournaments, this was also a six-max event. With only a half-dozen at each table, players are able to utilize more complicated strategies, see more action, and get a better feel for their opponents. Short-handed play appeals to many players, and that is what PokerStars gives them. And with only a few days left in the WCOOP, people registered early and were anxious to get in on this NLHE six-max action.

In fact, a total of 3,273 players bought in to Event #26, which provided a $981,900 prize pool to be split among the last 480 players standing. And with a first prize of $152,194.51, there would be some competition for that respectable total and the WCOOP title.

Among the masses were numerous Team PokerStars Pros, along with several names made famous by past WCOOP performances. From the corresponding 2007 event, four of the final tablists - PeachyMer, pape85, Pillars, and winner pes4fans - were looking to make the final table of this tournament an annual occurrence. And players who have already captured a 2008 WCOOP title were looking for a second, including shane147, cwp394, dorinvandy, Mary717, Ulett_23, jonasof87, Randers, Mildred53, Huxfluxen, Andy McLEOD, and luvgamble.

Soon after the event began, some of the pros took an early exit, like Katja Thater, John Duthie, Chris Moneymaker, Chad Brown, Greg Raymer, and Alex Kravchenko. Following in the next few levels were Alex Gomes, Humberto Brenes, Bertrand Grospellier, Andre Akkari, Tom McEvoy, Luca Pagano, William Thorson, Lee Nelson, Marcin Horecki, and Isabelle Mercier. Gavin Griffin and Victor Ramdin made a run through the first few levels but couldn't maintain, and Raymond Rahme, Hevad Khan, and Bill Chen followed them to the rail.

When the money bubble approached, there were three players eliminated in hand-for-hand action, but the shortest stack, and thus the bubble player, was banaan60. The remaining 480 players were guaranteed $461.49 for their tournament finishes. Among those in the race to the money window was Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri, who finished in 402nd place. The 2007 $320 NLHE 6-Max champion pes4fans then left in 223rd place to forfeit his run at a back-to-back titles, and Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso took 211th place.

As the field thinned, pape85 was finally eliminated in 99th place; the last player standing from the 2007 WCOOP corresponding event final table. And the last Team PokerStars Pro standing, Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose, was ousted in 86th place. Also on the virtual chopping block was well-known pro Shane "shaniac" Schleger, who looked strong but got hit hard in the end when his A-K ran into pocket aces, ousting him in 44th place.

With only three tables left, more money was at stake and play noticeably slowed. When short stacks moved, however, eliminations followed. alleykat was ironically taken out by tunafish919 in 18th place, rimmer27 left in 17th, chubb10 in 16th, and BongBob left in 15th place. Joe "ender555" Ebanks was the next to go. Ebanks was an online qualifier for the LAPT San Jose Event who made a deep run in this WCOOP to finish in 14th place, only missing the final table by a handful of places. And toweliestar finally left the tournament in 13th place. All of them were awarded $6,382.36 for their outstanding performances.

When the field had been condensed to two tables, it was tunafish919 who was first to depart in 12th place, courtesy of MangosPapa. McNugent was eliminated in 11th at the hands of dorinvandy, and MangosPapa was sent away by xPeepx in 10th, all of whom received $8,346.16. Longtime short stack bmwmcoupe finally succumbed to one of his many all-in moves and finished in ninth thanks to dorinvandy, pro player Sowerss was eliminated in eighth by HT-Max, and xPeepx was taken out by tRaMp$d0PrAy in seventh and on the final table bubble. The last three eliminations were good for $10,800.91 each.

At nearly fourteen hours after the start of the tournament, the final table was set. The players, seating assignments, and chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1: HT-Max (2516269 in chips)
Seat 2: tRaMp$d0PrAy (2881644 in chips)
Seat 3: dorinvandy (1697266 in chips)
Seat 4: rubenrtv (4351507 in chips)
Seat 5: BB_ShiNing (403601 in chips)
Seat 6: MCLegend (1241713 in chips)

PS Screen Shot 1.jpg

Not long after the action got underway between the final six, BB_ShiNing was at risk as the short stack and saw an opportunity after tRaMp$d0PrAy opened for a raise preflop. BB_ShiNing moved all-in with Ad-4c, and tRaMp$d0PrAy called with Ah-Kh. The board didn't help the endangered player with Tc-Ac-3d-9d-Qd, and BB_ShiNing was out the virtual poker room door in sixth place with $17,183.26.

By watching earlier action, one would have anticipated a win from dorinvandy in this event, but the other players' aggression and passion to win would have been ignored. dorinvandy went into the hand with well over one million in chips and raised to start the action from the button. rubenrtv reraised, and dorinvandy pushed all-in for 1,394,766 with pocket sevens, but rubenrtv called with pocket kings. The board was inconsequential to dorinvandy with Qc-8s-8h-2h-5c, and he was forced to accept a fifth place finish and $31,499.36. But added to his previous win in 2008 WCOOP Event #5 and other WCOOP cashes, that put dorinvandy over the $650,000 mark for this series alone. Stellar performance.

With four players remaining, they asked that the clock be stopped to discuss a deal. When the tournament administrator came back with initial payout numbers calculated by traditional chip count methods, the two short-stacked players balked. Clearly, everyone wanted to come to an agreement, but it took them approximately twenty minutes to do so. Upon conclusion of the talks, it was determined that rubenrtv would receive $125,687.64, HT-Max $92,000, MCLegend $84,500, and tRaMp$d0PrAy $84,500. They would play to determine the ultimate winner, however, who would receive the remaining $10,000 and the WCOOP bracelet.

Play continued, and not long after, tRaMp$d0PrAy put his remaining 1,422,280 chips in the pot with pocket jacks, and the seemingly-unstoppable rubenrtv called with pocket nines. The board determined the outcome on the flop when it came 8d-Qd-9d-4s-8h, giving rubenrtv a set and sending tRaMp$d0PrAy to the virtual rail in fourth place with the agreed-upon $84,500 payout.

Three-handed play was possibly not intended to continue for long, as HT-Max looked to move with Ad-Js preflop. rubenrtv called with pocket sixes that held up after the board produced 2c-8c-8h-Kd-7c. HT-Max was eliminated and given $92,000 for his third place finish.

Heads-up play began with rubenrtv holding a massive lead over his opponent. rubenrtv had 10,848,594 in chips to the 2,243,406 of MCLegend. Though it looked like an easy task, MCLegend was not having it. Battling through, MCLegend eventually overtook rubenrtv and gained a 5/1 chip advantage, only to lose it and find the two close to even. But when rubenrtv doubled through MCLegend with A-4 versus A-8 and the board produced two more fours for rubenrtv's trips, rubenrtv went back to his significant lead.

The final hand still found MCLegend trying to battle back from a deficit. rubenrtv made the initial raise to 100,000, and MCLegend called to see the 7c-Jd-Ks flop. One round of betting led to the Ah on the turn. MCLegend bet 300,000, rubenrtv raised it up to 1,007,250, and MCLegend pushed all-in for 3,283,666 with 7h-6h and bottom pair. rubenrtv called with Qs-Tc for the straight, and the river was an irrelevant Qh.

McLegend made a valiant effort to win the title but fell one short with a second place finish worth the previously-agreed upon $84,500. rubenrtv stole the show in this event and came out on top with a first place finish worth $135,687.64 and the WCOOP bracelet.

For all of the action as it happened during Event #26, read through the $320 NLHE 6-Max Live Blog.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in WCOOP