WCOOP Event #29: PiKappRaider dominates final table action and wins $530 NLHE Rebuy tournament

As the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker began to wind down, the series offered the last of the rebuy tournaments for those who simply aren't satisfied with buying into a tournament once. While there are those who enter the tournament with the intention of refraining from the rebuy options, for many it brings out the aggressive and risky players who take those extra chances with marginal hands and less-than-mathematically-sound calls because there is that option. It is nothing if not entertaining.

The $530 NLHE Rebuys tournament was set up to allow people to take more chances, build bigger stacks, and enjoy a player-favorite game. And making it a six-max event ensures even more play with short-handed tables. PokerStars put it all together, and the players came out in droves - with rebuy funds available - to make it a huge success.

PokerStars made Event #29 a $400,000 guaranteed tournament, but the final numbers surpassed that more than three-fold. A total of 852 players entered, and there were 1,011 rebuys and 658 add-ons during the event to create a phenomenal prize pool of $1,260,500. The last 132 players remaining would be paid a portion of that, with the most generous amount of $211,133.76 going to the ultimate victor.

Many members of Team PokerStars registered to play the event, include Andre Akkari, Chad Brown, Bertrand Grospellier, Vicky Coren, Tom McEvoy, Gavin Griffin, Raymond Rahme, Dario Minieri, Victor Ramdin, Joe Hachem, Bill Chen, Greg Raymer, Lee Nelson, Luca Pagano, Katja Thater, Humberto Brenes, Vanessa Rousso, Hevad Khan, Alex Kravchenko, Steve Paul-Ambrose, Alexandre Gomes, Noah Boeken, and Chris Moneymaker. A few of them went fairly deep in the event, like Minieri who made it to nearly the six-hour mark but was finally eliminated by a flush in 251st place. Rousso left twenty places later, and Hachem was out in 180th place. Griffin also went deep but took 164th place by the trips of nitbuster.

Once the money bubble burst, thanks to Taknapotin in 133rd place, the pace quickened and numerous players went to the rail, including one of only two remaining Team PokerStars Pros. Boeken's K-J ran into the pocket eights of an opponent who made a set on the flop, and Boeken was gone in 125th place. And as in so many tournaments before, that left Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier to represent for Team PokerStars.

When the field was reduced to three tables, play slowed for the most part. YRWTMELTHR and Draeger went out in 18th and 17th places respectively within minutes of each other, but there was a span of time after that when chips were changing hands and action was thin. BKiCE eventually took 16th place after a severe fall from the top of the leaderboard over the course of only a few levels. Those players were awarded $10,714.26 each.

Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier was then at risk, as TheActionKid doubled through him and sent ElkY spiraling down to 331,819. With that, EklY was then knocked out of the tournament when his A-Q met with Adamkosh's J-T...and the jack on the turn. ElkY was out in 15th place and with a particular distinction; this was the sixth time that he had finished in the top fifteen spots in a 2008 WCOOP event. Impressive.

With the elimination of markkx in 14th place, TheActionKid was the next on the chopping block, and two final tables in two days was not meant to be. After winning Event #27 just the night before, TheActionKid was eliminated in 13th place when his A-K ran into 9-5 that hit a nine on the flop. Both players received $10,714.26 for their efforts.

Down to two tables, it was rdcrsn who was the first to leave that cozy setting in 12th place, courtesy of PickyTooth. Adamkosh was crippled after PickyTooth doubled through him, and Adamkosh ended his tournament as the 11th place finisher. And shortly thereafter, PickyTooth himself was flossed by DuckU and eliminated in 10th place. The three finishers received $15,882.31. And to complete the playdown to the final table, Talent06 took ninth place, Darinox found himself in eighth, and popular online pro THAY3R was eliminated in seventh - all three receiving $22,689.01 for making it so close to the final table.

Speaking of the final table, it had been established with the following chip counts starting the action:

Seat 1: grunter321 1,247,525
Seat 2: AceOfSpade11 3,212,254
Seat 3: DuckU 3,000,127
Seat 4: PiKappRaider 2,442,144
Seat 5: isuckoutonu 1,305,742
Seat 6: Roothlus 1,508,208

PS Screen Shot.JPG

Only minutes after the start of the final table, online pro Roothlus came to find out who would be the sixth place finisher. He began the raising with jacks and pushed it up to 78,750. PiKappRaider reraised, and Roothlus came over the top all-in for 1,715,208. PiKappRaider called with pocket queens. The board ran out 7d-As-3d-4c-Ks, and there was no jack and no more time for Roothlus to continue on. He finished in sixth place for $37,815.01.

Play continued on for another half hour before the table saw its second departure. grunter321 was ready to put his tournament life on the line with pocket jacks, and AceOfSpade11 liked his hand so much he reraised to isolate, which he did, and then showed his pocket kings. The board was a blank for the underdog when it produced Tc-3d-2h-8d-Qh, and grunter321 was sent to the virtual rail in fifth place with $56,722,51.

Shortly thereafter, it was isuckoutonu who took a chance with the short stack, and it didn't work out as planned. With A-Q of hearts, isuckoutonu pushed all-in, and DuckU called with Ad-Ks. The board ran out 3h-7c-2d-6c-Ac, and there was nothing isuckoutonu could do, not even suck out. isuckoutonu finished in fourth place for a $81,932.51 payday.

When the final three players faced each other, they asked that the clock be paused to discuss a potential deal. The tournament administrator came back with payout numbers based on chip counts at that point, and despite DuckU being the shortest stacked player, he insisted on receiving second place money or not agreeing to a deal. Though discussions continued for several more minutes, it was finally acknowledged that no deal would be struck. They played on...

PiKappRaider simply dominated the action. And upon taking a pot worth over three million from DuckU, PiKappRaider soared out in front of the others. Meanwhile, DuckU was struggling, despite having proven to be a strong player with his second place finish in Event #5 at the beginning of the 2008 WCOOP. But this tournament was different. The key pot for DuckU emerged, as all three players were in on preflop action, but when DuckU pushed all-in for 1,194,283, it was only him and the chipleader. DuckU showed pocket fives but was dominated by the pocket eights of PiKappRaider. The flop came Ad-6s-3c-Ks-Ts, and DuckU was eliminated in third place with a $119,747.51 prize.

Heads-up play began with the following chip counts:

PiKappRaider 8,456,478
AceOfSpade11 4,259,522

In the fifteen minutes of play, five of which was a break, PiKappRaider simply chipped away at AceOfSpade11, putting pressure on with nearly every hand. AceOfSpade11 couldn't seem to find a spot to move until the last hand. Preflop action consisted of a raise by AceOfSpade11 to 120,000 and a call by his opponent to see the flop of Jd-7c-9s. After AceOfSpade11 bet 180,000, PiKappRaider check-raised to 480,000, which prompted AceOfSpade11 to push all-in. PiKappRaider called and proudly showed the Js-9h, while AceOfSpade11 had only Jh-Th. The turn of 5s and river of As gave no assistance to the underdog's pair of jacks, as PiKappRaider's two pair was good to take it down.

AceOfSpade11 finished in second place and received $157,562.51 for getting so far in the tournament.

PiKappRaider was the ultimate victor in Event #29, claiming the WCOOP title, bracelet, and accompanying $211,133.76 prize. Congratulations!

For all of the action as it happened during Event #26, read through the $530 NLHE Rebuys 6-Max Live Blog.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in WCOOP