WCOOP Event #31: aasezz rises from the ashes to claim limit hold'em title

In WCOOP Event #31, the shove-and-pray strategy was unavailable. It was time for limit hold'em, giving the entrants an opportunity to bunker down and play a lot more hands at the six-handed tables.

With a plethora of chips spread all over, players' hopes of grabbing the $107,300.00 first-place prize were unlikely to end with one bad hand. Two, three, four bad hands, that's when the 580 participating players started getting eliminated. Multiple mistakes and they no longer had a chance to win some of the $580,000 prize pool.

Two Team PokerStars Pros did grab significant chunks of the prize pool. Venessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso claimed $49,540.00 for third place. Chris "Money800" Moneymaker took home $5,220.00 for 13th place.

ih8pp must have been a little off-base when he wrote "u guys don't play much limit do you?' ih8pp, who at one point was seated at a table with the two Team PokerStars Pros wasn't thrilled with their play.

"None. I'm lucky," Rousso answered facetiously.

"Me too," chimed Moneymaker.

It was obviously much more than luck that made it look like Rousso was primed to claim her first WCOOP title in five cashes this year. All signs were finally pointing toward a female WCOOP victory. Rousso had the momentum, huge chip advantage and luck on her side entering three-handed play.

Plus, early in the tournament, LadyMaverick even admitted to winning a pot because of a pre-flop misclick. She just so happeded to hit those ragged cards. What a good omen.

Later, there were some very beneficial river cards too. But despite falling just short of a victory, Rousso added to her impressive winnings. She has claimed $161,238.02 in prize money from this year's WCOOP.

And let's not forget, there is still the Main Event. Rousso finished second in last year's Main Event for a $700,000 score.

Somewhere, though, it all fell apart late for her in Event #31. During three-handed play, she had a significant chip lead, better than a 10/1-chip advantage over eventual winner aasezz, almost double the chips of second-place drood.

It didn't matter. This was aasezz's tournament. Having avoided extinction for almost an hour during final table action, aasezz survived and then thrived. How else can you explain rising from the ashes and capturing such a prestigious tournament in such impressive fashion?

Actually, heading into the final table aasezz was in pretty good shape.


Seat 1: Zak0707 146,468
Seat 2: juuuiice407,151
Seat 3: drood 1,345,674
Seat 4: LadyMaverick 1,120,623
Seat 5: brendol 621,560
Seat 6: aasezz 708,524

The final table started almost immediately with impressive fireworks. aasezz just stood on the side and watched as brendol essentially took out two players, Zak0707 and juuuiice, with one hand. After pre-flop betting maxed out with four players, brendol was in real good shape holding Jd-Qs. with an 8h-Td-9h flop. brendol had the nut straight. Zak0707 was eliminated on the hand and juuuiice was crippled. Several hands later, juuuiice was officially eliminated by LadyMaverick.

It really looked like it was going to be LadyMaverick's tournament at that point, especially after more chips fell into her lap while eliminating brendol. Rousso held K-6 and brendol K-J with two kings on the board. But then a six came on the river to give Rousso the full house and eliminate brendol in fourth place.

LadyMaverick had a commanding lead with 2,623,679 chips, drood had 1,484,674 and aasezz 241,647. It didn't matter. After returning from a break, aasezz eyed drood's chips, and took almost all of them. Now it was drood's time to survive, which he did, eventually building his chip stack back over one million as the three players pulled even.

Rousso then started hemorrhaging chips. First, there was this hand that put all three players on even ground with pretty much the same number of chips.

But Rousso's biggest hit came from a hand with drood. LadyMaverick had pocket threes and drood held K-Q. Despite significant betting and raising, drood hung around. He hung around long enough to catch a king on the river and leave LadyMaverick in grave danger. Soon enough, she was gone holding 2-5 in her hand. Not the way anyone wants to go, especially after some 16 hours of play.

The chip stack entering heads-up play:

aasezz 2,670,385
drood 1,679,615

It took an hour but eventually aasezz wore drood down. With drood severely shortstacked, the final hand featured 10s-2s vs. Jd-8s.

A deuce on the turn gave aasezz the victory and the coveted bracelet after 16 ½ hours of thrilling limit hold'em action.

WCOOP Event #31: $1,050 Limit Hold 'Em:

1. aasezz $107,300.00
2. drood $80,040.00
3. Venessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso $59,450.00
4. brendol $40,600.00
5. juuuiice $29,000.00
6. Zak0707 $17,400.00

If you missed any of Event #31's action check out the live blog, which takes you from the first hand to the final bustout. For full final table analysis go to PokerStars.tv. Any additional information go to the WCOOP homepage.

Jordan Raanan
@PokerStars in WCOOP