WCOOP Event #32: DocHolatchya captures $10,300 HORSE bracelet

The last mixed game event of the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker sported an eye-popping $10,300 price tag for entering. And as we see during the $50K H.O.R.S.E. event at the World Series of Poker every summer, the combination of the challenging mixed game format and high entry fee meant a relatively small, but especially talented field of players.

A total of 125 runners came out for today's event, creating a total prize pool of $1,250,000, obliterating the half-million guarantee. A glance at the list of entrants yielded many familiar screen names, including Daut44, The Omaholic, Timex, Hoss_TBF, Andy McLEOD, luvgamble, CHUFTY, mig.com, PearlJammer, emptyseat88, #1PEN, among others. And, as to be expected, nearly the entire team of PokerStars pros made it out as well, with more than two dozen signing up to test their chops in the game many consider the truest test of poker skill.

With starting stacks of 25,000 and 15-minute levels (a bit longer than the 12-minute levels of the earlier $215 H.O.R.S.E. event), there was no hurry at the outset and in fact all 125 entrants would last into the second hour of play. That the first to be eliminated was stevesbets -- bracelet winner of Event No. 19, the $25K High-Roller No-Limit Hold'em heads-up event -- gives further indication of the quality of today's field.

Team PokerStars pro John Duthie would hit the rail shortly after stevesbets, and was followed by fellow PS pros Ray Rahme, Dario Minieri, and Steve "stevejpa" Ambrose, victor Ramdin, Hevad "RaiNKhan" Khan, all of whom finished outside the top one hundred.

Two PokerStars pros who had much better starts today were Noah "Exclusive" Boeken and 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Joe Hachem. After four hours of play, Boeken was in fourth place and Hachem in sixth with 63 players remaining.

But it would take a lot more work to be one of the final 24 players and make the cash of today's event. It wouldn't be until the eighth hour of play -- the middle of Level 29 -- that the cash bubble would finally burst with the elimination of Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier in a hand of stud versus djk123. Four other PokerStars pros were still alive at that point, with Andre "aakkari" Akkari sitting at the top of the chip counts.

Before we reached the final table, three of Akkari's fellow pros would fall by the wayside: Lee "LeeNelsonP*" Nelson (20th), Noah "Exclusive" Boeken (17th), and Humberto "Humberto B." Brenes (13th). Here is what it looked like when the final eight were set:


Seat 1: djk123 (567,371)
Seat 2: crazyjanie (435,921)
Seat 3: 7CardRyon (204,951)
Seat 4: aakkari (617,843)
Seat 5: pycb (187,898)
Seat 6: DocHolatchya (373,246)
Seat 7: gipsy74 (502,182)
Seat 8: pumped4good (235,588)

It would take nearly an hour before we would see our first player eliminated from the final table. Soon after switching to razz, a short-stacked gipsy74 ended up committing the rest of his stack with 9d-6s / 4s and found himself up against DocHolatchya's fine starting hand of 2d-5d / As. gipsy74 would end up drawing out 9d-6s / 4s-6d-Ks-8h / 6h -- which would've been nice in stud but was crushing here in razz. DocHolatchya ended up making an eight-low, drawing a board of 2d-5d / As-5c-8c-4h / Ts. That sent gipsy74 to the rail in eighth.

Before we made it out of that razz round, we had another elimination, again at the hands of DocHolatchya. This time 7CardRyon got it all in by fifth street, at the time holding a nice draw with 2h-7d / 6c-4c-4d. Meanwhile, DocHolatchya held 8d-3h / Ad-3c-7s for a made eight. 7CardRyon never got there, catching the 4d and Td and getting bounced in 7th.

The next round, stud, would see our next knockout, with crazyjanie ousting ElkY's earlier vanquisher -- djk123 -- when her pair of kings held up against djk123's failed flush draw. A few hands after that, pycb would knock out pumped4good, also in a stud hand. In that one, pumped4good would be all in on fifth street with a pair of tens, while pycb had four spades. The flush wouldn't come for pycb, but a backdoor straight did, and as pumped4good didn't improve, he'd go out in fifth.

By the time the last four H.O.R.S.E.men circled back around to hold'em, pycb and Akkari would get tangled in a big pot in the level's second hand. The pair capped the action preflop. The flop came 5d-5c-3d. pycb bet, Akkari bet (25,000), and pycb promptly check-raised. Akkari three-bet it, and when pycb just called -- having just a bit more than 34,000 left behind -- it looked like pycb might be in trouble. The turn brought the As, and pycb ended up putting the last of his chips in there, turning over 4h-4d. Akkari showed Ad-Qc. The Qd came on the river, and pycb was gone in fourth.

That hand with pycb helped propel Akkari past DocHolatchya and into the lead as three-handed play continued. At one point Akkari enjoyed a commanding lead with more than 2 million chips -- about two-thirds of the chips in play.

It was an Omaha high/low hand that did crazyjanie in, landing her in third place. Down to just 63,000, she'd pushed it all in preflop with 3h-Js-Jc-6s and found herself up against DocHolatchya who had 4h-9s-6c-2h. The board came 3d-7d-2d-Jd-5c -- giving crazyjanie a set of jacks, but DocHolatchya a straight (not to mention a low), allowing him to scoop the pot.

At the start of heads up play, Andre Akkari had a better than 3-to-1 chip advantage with 2,390,478 to DocHolatchya's 734,522. The rest of the Omaha round was good to DocHolatchya, however, and after 25 hands of heads up the pair were virtually even. The razz round continued to go well for DocHolatchya, and by the time they made it to stud he was the one enjoying the 3-to-1 advantage with 2,286,522 to Akkari's 838,478.

With stakes at 30,000/60,000 (Level 44), it didn't take too many tough hands for Akkari's stack to wither away. He hit a low with 67,478 (to DocHolatchya's 3,057,522), but bounced back to more than 750K.

DocHolatchya kept pounding, though, and as they reached the very last hand of the stud round -- the 128th hand of heads up -- Akkari was back down to 287,912 chips.

It was clear from the beginning of this hand that Akkari was going to push all the way. With a 6h showing, he reraised DocHolyatcha's raise with the 9s, then rapidly capped the betting. Akkari kept pushing all of the way to sixth, when the chips finally ran out. Their hole cards were revealed:

Akkari: 7c-7s / 6h-2s-Ah-Js
DocHolatchya: Ks-Ts / 9s-8d-4h-Kd

DocHolatchya caught the 7d on the end -- a card Akkari could've used. The 4c Akkari did catch didn't help him, and the last representative of Team PokerStars finished runner-up. After exactly 11 hours of play (taking a little over 12 with breaks), DocHolatchya captured the coveted Event No. 32 bracelet!

Here's what those making the final table took home:

WCOOP Event #32 - $10,300 H.O.R.S.E. Order of Finish

1. DocHolatchya $287,500
2. Team PokerStars pro Andre "aakkari" Akkari $200,000
3. crazyjanie $150,000
4. pycb $112,500
5. pumped4good $75,000
6. djk123 $59,375
7. 7CardRyon $46,875
8. gipsy74 $38,750

For more information about WCOOP Event #32, see the live blog. More WCOOP-related news is available at the WCOOP homepage.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP