WCOOP Event #9 NLHE 4-Max live blog

Live blog coverage of WCOOP Event #9 No-Limit Hold'em 4-Max is brought to you by bloggers Johnny Kampis, Jason Kirk, Jordan Raanan and Jen Newell. Have a story for us? E-mail to blog@pokerstars.com. Click refresh to see the latest information.


6:17am--jonasof87 wins Event #9 ($95,410), emiwarg finishes in 2nd place ($55,930)

Norwegian jonasof87 knocked out emiwarg in a battle of the Scandinavians to win WCOOP Event #9!

On the final hand of this match-up, emiwarg raised 120,000 from the button to 180,000. and jonasof87 bumped it to 600,000, putting emiwarg to a decision. emiwarg decided to risk his tournament with pocket nines. jonasof87 called with Kh-Jd. The flop came Qh-8h-10s, giving jonasof87 an open-ended straight, and the As on the turn ended the tournament.

jonasof87's victory earned him $95,410. emiwarg's consolation prize for second place was $55,930.

The final table was an epic one where the players exchanged the chip lead numerous times. However, one of the steadiest players toward the end was jonasof87, who took the lead from three-handed play into heads-up and never let go. He took it all the way to victory and claimed nearly $100,000 for that stellar performance. Congratulations, jonasof87!

6:10a--And then there were two! Heads-up begins

The two remaining players began heads-up play with the following chip counts:

jonasof87 7,439,776
emiwarg 2,430,224

jonasof87 entered two-handed play with the chip lead, but if this game has taught us anything (other than the value of sleep), it is that anything is possible in this tournament.

PS Screen Shot 1.jpg

6:09am--EirikS eliminated in 3rd place ($36,190)

Immediately following the break, EirikS pushed all-in for his remaining 1,005,940 chips with Ad-6c. jonasof87 insta-called with Ac-Qd. EirikS was dominated, and the board of Qc-Kh-9d-5c-2d didnt provide any help. EirikS finished in third place and won $36,190.00 for his marathon run in this tournament.

5:08a--Another day, another level

Level 29
Blinds: 30,000/60,000, ante 6,000
Average chip count: 3,290,000
Players remaining: 3
First prize: $95,410

Remaining player chip counts:

jonasof87 6,355,836
emiwarg 2,538,224
EirikS 975,940

5:56am--3232 finishes in 4th place ($26,320.00)

jonasof87 knocked out 3232 for the first elimination of over two hours of final table play. 3232 finished Event #9 in fourth place and earned $26,320.

Down to 1,684,442 in chips, 3232 called Jonas' preflop raise. He then called jonasof87's bet after the flop, turn and river. jonasof87 had pocket kings. 3232 had Ac-9c. When the board came Kd-5h-As, it was trouble for 3232. He had top pair, and jonasof87 hit a set. By the time the betting was done, 3232 was out of chips and out of the tournament.

We are down to three with jonasof87 boasting of a massive chip lead over his two opponents, EirikS with the low stack, and no chat whatsoever in the chat box.

5:52am--Game analysis

For those reading this and not watching what is happening on Table 103 - the final one of this NLHE 4-Max tournament - we'd like to share some of the action with you. An example of a hand might be:

Player A folds. Player B raises. Player C folds. Player D calls.

The flop comes (insert any three cards here - suited, connected, rainbow). Player D raises. Player B folds.

End of hand.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, we are not getting very far. Hole cards would be helpful in giving proper analysis to these players' moves, but since that is not possible, we will simply analyze the typical action at this final table as tight conservative. Intriguing? No. Worthy of analysis later with hole cards? Yes.

Since no one has made another attempt to discuss a deal, we wait and watch. Sleep is no longer an option tonight, so we watch.

5:43am--WCOOP events for Wednesday, September 10

Yes, that is today. With this tournament still four-handed, we have transcended time, maybe space, and certainly sleep to stay with the action until the event is over.

Whether you are just waking up and wondering what to do today or still awake and thinking about some poker for yourself later today, we have options for you!

At 2:30pm ET today (Wednesday), the player-favorite PLO is on tap. Event #11 will be a $320 Pot-Limit Omaha-8 tournament for those who like action...and more action. The second tournament of the day will begin at 4:30pm ET and cater to hold'em fanatics. Event #12 is the $320 Mixed Hold'em 6-Max tournament and will likely be quite the popular event.

5:27am--jonasof87 puts EirikS in danger zone

They had been so patient for so long and then this: jonasof87 raised 80,000 to 120,000; emiwarg folded; EirikS raised 280,000 to 400,000; jonasof87 raisesd1,413,697 to 1,813,697 and was all-in; EirikS called 1,413,697. EirikS had pocket eights and jonasof87 had Ad-5d. The board was 2d-Kh-Js-Ac-4d. Do you think jonasof87 liked that ace on the turn? jonasof87 won the 3,663,394 pot. EirikS, meanwhile, was in trouble with less than 1 million chips.

5:20am--Over 90 minutes and no busts

They've been at the final table for a little more than 90 minutes right now, and all four players are still alive. Is it because they are being overly cautious? Or are they all playing really well? Regardless, give the four players credit not only for making it this far but for putting up such an admirable fight for the top prize.

5:08am--emiwarg baits jonasof87

emiwarg was getting fairly low on chips until he won a significant pot against jonasof87. With 8d-9d, the flop of 5d-6h-7h was perfect for emiwarg, especially when jonasof87 had top pair with 7-J in his hand. emiwarg doubled up on the hand and won 2,845,244 chips.

5:02am--Moving on to Level 27

Level 27
Blinds: 20,000/40,000, ante 4,000
Average chip count: 2,467,500
Players remaining: 4
First prize: $95,410

Remaining player chip counts:

jonasof87 3,460,309
3232 3,225,442
EirikS 1,637,637
emiwarg 1,546,612

4:56am--Players at Work: Don't talk

The atmosphere is so intense at the final table of Event #9 that there hasn't been any chat since the break.
Not even any talk about a possible deal in the last 50 minutes. They players are obviously serious about winning this event. Nothing else matters at this point. So, out of respect for them, can you keep it down? Players at work. Shhhh.

4:50am--Highlight reel of this here Event #9 shindig, available tomorrow

Many of the tournaments on the 2008 WCOOP schedule will be analyzed and recapped in a highlight reel available on the PokerStars website. How much would you pay for such a valuable tool? Just kidding, it's free. It is just part of the WCOOP experience made available to PokerStars players and poker enthusiasts.

Twenty-four hours after the end of this tournament, the highlight reel from this NLHE 4-max event will be available. Each show will provide in-depth analysis of key hands with all cards face-up to give players the opportunity to learn from WCOOP players.

To see the schedule of all events that will be analyzed during the scope of this WCOOP series, visit the WCOOP Live Stream section of the PokerStars website.

4:34am--A lot of hands, little headway

They have been playing at the final table for about 50 minutes now, and all four players are pretty close to where they were when they started. jonasof87 rebounded from a poor start and leveled out. He battled mostly with 3232, trading chips back and forth with big, aggressive raising. EirikS and emiwarg have remained relatively quiet at the final table so far.

emiwarg did instigate the deal talks again, but this time he was the only one interested. No one else responded to the query.

4:16am--Final four payouts

Here's what the payouts look like for the final four players:

1. $95,410
2. $55,930
3. $36,190
4. $26,320

4:07am--Let's not even discuss a deal

The four remaining players all want to win. They want that $95,410 first-place prize all for themselves. Nobody wants to share. In fact, when 3232 asked if they should at least see the deal numbers, nobody even responded. Apparently, a deal is not going to happen, at least not yet, when four hungry competitors are still playing for big money.

4:05am--3232 takes huge pot from jonasof87

3232 is not the final table chip leader after hitting two pair against jonasof87, who had a busted flush draw. The pot of just over three million chips left jonasof87 as the new shortstack with just over one million.
As we have seen time and time again in this event, though, things can change rather quickly with the short-handed, no-limit structure.

4:02am--Break ends early, players eager for Level 25

The four remaining players waiting quite some time to arrive at the final table, and they did not seem to be in the mood for a 15-minute break. They all typed in the chat box that they would like to play and end the break early, so play they would.

Level: 25
Blinds 10,000/20,000 ante 2,000
Average chip count: 246,7500
Players remaining: 4
First prize: $95,410

1. jonasof87 3,001,309
2. 3232 2,324,442
3. EirikS 2,319,637
4. emiwarg 2,224,612

3:52am--Final table action begins!

The final four players have joined together at one table to determine the winner in Event #9. Here is how they looked as one cozy bunch:

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3:50am--playboy99999 is played out and eliminated in 5th place

Hand-for-hand play between the remaining five players went on for well over an hour. On the two-handed table, not much was happening. On the three-handed table, the chip lead changed on virtually every hand. But most recently, it was playboy99999 who became so short-stacked that he simply could not come back. He did double up a few times, but anything under 500,000 in chips was considered critical.

After posting the 16,000 big blind and seeing a raise from jonasof87, playboy99999 pushed all-in, and jonasof87 called. playboy99999 turned over 9d-9s, and he was up against the Ac-Qd of jonasof87. The board produced Td-Ts-Qh-Kc-Ah, and it was over for the short stack.

3:30am--3232 back in the mix

Left as the short stack after tangling with jonasof87 earlier, 3232 has fought back to make Table 871 a crapshoot. All three players now have just above 1.5 million chips.

3232 doubled up when he hit a set of fives on the flop with an ace kicker. jonasof87 also hit three fives but had a three as his other card. 3232 actually hit the ace on the river for show and the full house.

So the five-handed action continues with no end in sight. The difference between fifth and fourth on the payout chart is significant, so you can't blame the players. Fifth place gets $16,713.20 and fourth gets $26,320.00. That's almost a $10K difference.

3:11am--Playing on, but not really

With five players remaining, there are two tables - one with three players, the other with two. Well, the table with two players, #102, really has no action.

EirikS and emiwarg both have over two million chips and are just waiting for something to happen at the other table during hand-for-hand play. The two players actually seem content not to play much right now. In the approximately 45 minutes they have been playing heads-up, there has not been one significant hand.

This is poker's version of sleepwalking. Sleepfolding.

2:58am--This could be a while

Getting from five to four and creating the final table might take some time. The players have already been at it five-handed for a good 20 minutes. After jonasof87 showed incredible resilience, especially with a meaningful double-up through 3232 that sent jonasof87 soaring close to the two million chip mark, now all the players have at least 1.5 million chips. But nobody has more than 2.6 million.

So they're all bunched up. And probably playing five-handed for quite some time.

2:47am--Break to break the tension, Level 23 when they return

Level 23
Blinds: 6,000/12,000, ante 1,200
Average chip count: 1,974,000
Players remaining: 5
First prize: $95,410

Remaining player chip counts:

3232 2,696,451
emiwarg 2,499,412
EirikS 2,214,237
playboy99999 1,603,440
jonasof87 856,460

2:43am--Chips are flying

Even though they are just one spot away from the coveted final table and an even bigger payday, the players are throwing around some chips. playboy9999 won a 1.8 million pot when his AK beat jonasof87's AQ.

Just moments later, jonasof87 doubled up when his Js-8s outdrew 3232's pocket 10s. It just goes to show that even with big bucks on the line, these players are not shy.

2:35am--bufo523 eliminated in 6th place

EirikS made an initial raise to 25,000, bufo523 reraised it to 70,000, emiwarg came over the top with a 220,000 reraise, and EirikS got out of the way. bufo523 put all of his 862,866 in the pot with Ac-Kd, and emiward called with Ad-As. It didn't look good, and the board didn't make it look better with 7h-2s-6d-Td-Qh.

emiwarg's pocket aces held up to win the pot of more than 1.75 million, and bufo523 was sent to the virtual rail with $16,713.20 for sixth place.

Upon bufo523's elimination, hand-for-hand play began to determine the final table players.

2:30am--Blute rivered into 7th place

The action is getting wild as the final table draws even closer. Blute got his remaining 421,457 into the pot with Ac-Jh. He had a slim lead on 3232 and his Kh-Qd. It looked like Blute would double to 853,914 when the board came Qh-5c-4h. The 7s on the turn did nothing. But the Ks on the river was the ultimate dagger. Blute's dream of winning close to $100K was gone. He had to settle for $10,528.

2:30am--Blute received much-needed double-up but still short

Blute has been trailing the pack during most of the two-table action. But with A-5 against the 3-2 of jonasof87, the board was scary. Q-2-Q-3 showed up before all of Blute's money went into the pot, and the 4 came on the river for the straight and the double-up. Still hanging on, Blute will have to do that again.

2:21am--FasterMB finishes fast in 8th place

FasterMB must have thought the turn card was a good one. After all, it gave him a straight. But it wasn't. It also gave 3232 a full house, and left FasterMB forced to settle for eighth place.

With 322,284 chips, 3232 called from the big blind and FasterMB checked. The flop came 7h-Jh-Jc, giving FasterMB a gut-shot straight draw. Both players checked. When the 9d showed on the turn, FasterMB hit the straight. Little did he know that 3232 hit a full house with his 9s-Jd. The 6d river didn't matter. All the chips went into the pot and FasterMB was out in eighth place with a $10,528 payday.

2:10am--johnnykran's run ends with a 9th place finish

johnnykran was in good shape for so long. But stuck at the table with the tournament's biggest stacks, johnnykran's chips started to disappear. Then the final nail in the coffin came when he ran into a set of sixes for his final 450,000 chips. Just like that, johnnykran was out in ninth place with $7,238.00.

2:08am--fivestars555 eliminated in 10th place

Sometimes, one has to take the plunge. fivestars555 chose not to wait any longer for a premium hand or prime spot to make a move with that short stack. With 303,884 to start the hand, Blute raised to 24,000 from the small blind. fivestars555 pumped it up from the big blind to 64,000, but Blute made it 360,000, enough to put fivestars555 all-in. After a little thought, fivestars555 called and showed pocket threes. Blute turned over A-T, and it was up to the cards, which came 4-8-2-6-A. The dreaded ace on the river took out fivestars in 10th place, and he was awarded $7,238 for his tenacity tonight.

2:01am--Where's the lunacy?

Not here!

No-limit Hold'Em is supposed to be a frantic, crazy game. Players usually bust out left and right, especially in a four-max tournament. And that did happen all the way to the last few tables. Apparently, the final ten players in Event #9 didn't get the memo. Despite plenty of big raises, there has not been a lot of calling.

1:55am--multitummen2 takes tough beat and 11th place

This isn't the way anyone wants to go out of a tournament this large with so much money at stake. multitummen2 looked like he was about to double-up to 303,182 when he flipped over pocket jacks against emiwarg's pocket sixes. It looked good after the Ad-2c-7c flop. But the turn sent multitummen2 disappointingly to the rail. emiwarg benefited from the 6h on the turn to make trip sixes. The 9h on the river didn't make a difference either way.

emiwarg had over 1.4 million chips after the win. multitummen2 settled for 11th place and $7,238.00.

1:44am--A short break and the 21st level ensues

Level 21
Blinds: 4,000/8,000, ante 800
Average chip count: 897,272
Players remaining: 11
First prize: $95,410

Remaining player chip counts:

jonasof87 1,719,787
EirikS 1,596,532
3232 1,210,540
bufo523 975,266
playboy99999 944,320
emiwarg 909,758
johnnykran 616,605
Blute 583,206
FasterMB 577,284
multitummen2 509,588
fivestars555 227,114

1:34am--bufo523 joins the millionaire club

bufo523 is now over one million chips after taking a big hand with AA from Blute. bufo523 is now well ahead of the other three players at his table. Blute and fivestars555 are both under 300,000 chips and in need of making a move.

1:23am--Tough table 150

There are 11 players and three tables still playing right now. It just so happens, the top three in chips are at the same table. EirikS leads the way with 1.6 million, followed by johnnykran and jonasof87 at about 1.3 million each. No one at the other two tables has over one million chips.

1:18am--jornxx eliminated in 12th place

Evidently, short-stack double-ups are not in the cards tonight. jornxx was sitting under the 200,000 chip mark and waiting...and waiting. Finally, it was slow to unfold, but it happened. Pre-flop, emiwarg raised it up in the small blind to 21,000, and jornxx just called from the big blind. After the 9d-7s-7c flo9p, emiwarg bet 28,000, and jornxx flat-called again. The turn brought a Th, and emiwarg checked it, jornxx bet 70,000, emiwarg pushed all-in, and jornxx called all-in. emiwarg showed 8c-5c, but emiwarg showed the dominating Js-8s straight hand. The 5s on the river did nothing, and jornxx was out in 12th place with $7,238.

1:08am--Mrdawwe finishes 14th

After spending several hours near the top of the leaderboard, Mrdawwe couldn't make it to the final table. Instead, he was forced to settle for 14th place and $5,922.00. It just goes to show how difficult it is to remain at the top of a No-Limit Hold 'em leaderboard given the natural swings of the game. Mrdawwe, who was once the solid chipleader, was getting low on chips when he was finally eliminated.

1:05am--Juecksel eliminated in 14th place

Juecksel had been nursing that short stack for a long time, waiting for an opportunity... Finally, in the small blind, after a raise by 3232 to 15,000, Juecksel pushed the last 146,044 into the pot. 3232 called with Td-Th, and Juecksel showed Ac-7s. The board ran out 6h-3c-Kc-3h-Qh, and it was all over for Juecksel. He received $5,922 for his performance.

12:59am--vanapeer disappears into 15th place

Just moments after being crippled by FasterMB's pocket aces, vanapeer was knocked out in 15th place by bufo523. vanapeer pushed under the gun for his remaining 213,606 Qh-Jd. Bufo called with Ac-Js. The board came 10h-8s-2s-Kc-4h, and vanapeer had king-high, losing to bufo523's ace-high. vanapeer at least gets $5,922.00 for his ten and a half hours of play.

12:53am--FasterMB loves those aces

FasterMB just jumped over 600,000 chips when he doubled up with aces. vanapeer was the victim with AQ. vanapeer is now the shortstack at his table with 213,606.

12:51am--osten ousted in 16th place

osten has been short-stacked for awhile and looking for a spot to push and attempt a double-up. He began with an initial raise to 18,000, and when multitummen2 raised it up to 49,999, osten simply called. After the Ks-8d-7d came on the flop, multitummen2 moved all-in with 7c-7h for trips, and osten called and was seriously in trouble with Kd-Qc and his top pair. The turn and river of 2h-4h didn't help, and osten was out in 16th place for $5,922. Going deep in two tournaments in a row is an impressive feat, and we hope to see osten again soon.

12:43pm--3232 takes big hit

It was a big hand. jonasof87 was prepared to put his tournament life on the line, and 3232 was willing to challenge. It was all-in pre-flop with jonasof87 showing A-K and 3232 with a pocket pair of tens. The board came 2-Q-7-K-9, and the turn gave jonasof87 a life-saving double-up. 3232, on the other hand, was forced out of his solid first place spot on the leaderboard with under 1 million chips.

12:41am--Final is four

Usually in most hold'em tournaments, the final table is comprised of ten, nine or six players. But in this event the final table is even more exclusive. Only four lucky players can qualify. So, with 16 players remaining, instead of being close to the final table, there is a long way to go. The money, meanwhile, increases at 12th, 8th, 6th, 4th and every single spot thereafter.

12:36am--Final 16 take a 5-minute break and return to Level 19

Level 19
Blinds: 3,000/6,000, ante 600
Average chip count: 616,875
Players remaining: 16
First prize: $95,410

Remaining player chip counts:

3232 1,636,083
EirikS 821,172
Blute 738,594
vanapeer 696,721
jonasof87 662,378
playboy99999 655,000
Mrdawwe 628,982
multitummen2 614,080
jornxx 577,097
fivestars555 521,314
emiwarg 510,408
Juecksel 486,408
osten 415,967
bufo523 332,870
johnnykran 313,955
FasterMB 258,971

12:30am--And we now have our final 16!

That leaves us with the final four tables of the tournament, with the next four eliminated players receiving $5,922.

Everyone remaining here tonight has done a remarkable job of navigating an immense field of 3,290 players, but with a first prize of $95,410 on the line, no one is leaving here without a fight.

12:24am--reme1313 finishes 17th

reme1313 made a desperation move with Q6o and was ran into a pocket pair. reme1313 went out in 17th as a result and collected $4,606.00

12:20am--Unst0pab13 stopped in 18th place

Unst0pab13 found himself with less than 100,000 in chips and took a stand in the big blind. multitummen2 called with As-Qd, and Unst0pab13 showed Ks-Qc. The board brought nothing for the short stack with 6h-7d-Ts-3d-Jc, and Unst0pab13 was out and looking at an extra $4,606 in his PokerStars account.

12:18am--eatyourstac eliminated in 19th place

It was 3232 who challenged eatyourstac, and it came down to the two pair - kings and tens - of eatyourstac against the ace-high flush of 3232. eatyourstac was forced out in 19th place with a $4,606 payout.

12:16am--cleenas out in 20th place

The shortstack at his table and in the tournament with just over 90K in chips, cleenas made a move from the button with Ac-8s. vanapeer, from the big blind, made the call with pocket deuces. The pair held up and cleenas was out in 20th place with $4,606 as consolation.

Play slows as money jumps become more significant

Following Alex Kravchenko's departure from Event #9 tonight, there were others right behind him:

25th place: nardical ($2,697.80)
24th place: therickbol ($3,619)
23rd place: amarillion ($3,619)
22nd place: Titantom32 ($3,619)
21st place: C.M. Burns ($3,619)

The next four eliminations will be worth $4,606, but the time between bustouts is increasing. We have had a field of 20 players for more than ten minutes, which is quite a long time compared to the pace of the tournament thus far.

11:59pm--Sticking near the top

Usually in events this large, most of the players that hover around the top of the leaderboard midway through the event eventually run out of steam. This tournament is a bit different. Several players - osten, EirikS, Mrdawwe, and emiwarg - have all been near the top for quite some time. They are all still among the top 12 with just 20 players remaining.

11:46pm--European dominance

As we stand right now with 24 players remaining, seven of the top 10 are European players. Leading the way for the Europeans and second overall is Juecksel, who is from Germany.

11:38pm--Kravchenko busts in 26th

The final PokerStars Pro left in the tournament, Alex Kravchenko, is out. Kravchenko got his remaining 140,592 chips in the pot preflop from the big blind with pocket fives. cleenas was willing to play with Ah-Qc. Kravchenko acually had the lead after the flop of Jh-6c-2c and the 4c turn. It was the As river that did him in. Kravchenko earned $2,697 for his effort.

To find out more about Alex Kravchenko, his poker accomplishments, and even what he does with his free time, check out his Team PokerStars bio page. We're confident we'll see Alex in more tournaments throughout this 2008 WCOOP.

11:32pm--Level 17 begins with osten in the lead

Level 17
Blinds: 2,000/4,000, ante 400
Average chip count: 365,555
Players remaining: 27
First prize: $95,410

Top ten chip counts:

osten 751,535
jornxx 678,952
emiwarg 656,563
Mrdawwe 647,699
Juecksel 639,928
3232 612,045
EirikS 604,372
jonasof87 554,870
johnnykran 544,135
Blute 407,344

Team PokerStars Pro:

Alex Kravchenko 139,592 (26th place)

11:20pm--Doubled-up Alex

Alex Kravchenko was in severe danger until he found pocket kings. It just so happens that bufo523 had pockets 10s on the hand, allowing Kravchenko to double-up to 165,592. Don't count him out just yet.

11:13pm--Into the $2,000s

With only 31 players remaining in the tournament, each player exiting gets at least $2,000. Those that finish 29th-32nd pocket $2,105.60.

11:07pm--Nordberg couldn't gain ground, eliminated in 34th place

After the last break, Nordberg had only 78,669 in chips but won a pot with a straight that put him over the 100,000 mark. He worked that up to over 175,000 in a matter of 25 minutes through some slow but well-timed plays, but ground was lost quickly after that time. Desperate and well under average in chips, his stack dipped continuously, as he saw flops but couldn't call any post-flop bets.

Then came the time to move. Pre-flop, Nordberg was first to act and bumped it up to 9,000, which was called by osten. After seeing the Qh-5c-7d on the flop, osten checked, Nordberg bet 15,000, osten popped it up to 51,000, and Nordberg pushed all-in for his last 103,216. osten called with Qs-Kd and top pair, and Nordberg showed 6s-4s for the straight draw. The turn and river came 4c and Th, and the straight never came. Nordberg was sent to the rail in 34th place with $1,908.20.

11:00pm--greenrizla nets another solid cash

greenrizla just busted out when his Ks-Qc fell to johnnykran's Ad-8h. greenrizla, who was short on chips, finished 36th. This just one day after finishing nine in the PLO Event #7. greenrizla earned $4,619.16 for his ninth-place finish and $1,908.20 for his efforts in Event #9. Not a bad two days.

10:50pm--Rail can't spark Kravchenko

Despite receiving plenty of encouragement from the railbirds, Alex Kravchenko just lost 60,000 chips in a pot where the board failed produce a face card. He's now well below average at 114,046. All the cheering in the world might not save him.

10:43pm--Top two together

EirikS and emiwarg are now playing at the same table. With the top two players in terms of chips, it should be interesting at Table 718. They are not, however, sitting next to each other.

10:37pm--emiwarg takes the lead

With EirickS slowly giving back some chips, emiwarg took advantage. emiwarg jumped into the lead with close to 800K in chips and won a bunch of big hands in the last 10 minutes, but none bigger than a 422K pot he won with pocket aces.

10:35pm--PokerStars TV is worth checking out

As play slows a tiny bit in this 4-handed event, we suggest you take a few minutes to check out the highlight reel from Event #5 that went down on Sunday on PokerStars. It was the $10,300 High Roller NLHE event, and it was certainly one of the most exciting WCOOP tournaments thus far in this 2008 series.


Watch WCOOP Highlights: Event 5 - $10,300 NL Hold'em on PokerStars.tv

10:26pm--Entering Level 15 after a short break

Level 15
Blinds: 1,000/2,000, ante 200
Average chip count: 205,625
Players remaining: 48
First prize: $95,410

Top ten chip counts:

EirikS 795,829
Mrdawwe 588,973
emiwarg 505,184
Belabasci 473,692
nardical 459,151
osten 441,118
Juecksel 349,930
johnnykran 332,031
C.M. Burns 331,835
multitummen2 309,090

Team PokerStars Pro:

Alex Kravchenko 182,250 (22nd place)

10:15pm--EirikS close to lapping field after huge win

EirikS is now the chipleader. Easily. That's what happens when you win a 831,244 chip pot. moe32746 was the chip donator.

moe32746 bet out 3,100 preflop with pocket queens. EirikS raised 10,050 to 14,750. moe32746 called. The flop came Th-3h-7c. Both players checked. The Qc came on the turn, and EirickS bet 21,000 and was raised to 72,650. He called. The 6c on the river was the magic card for EriickS, who called moe32746's all-in bet of 327,922 with Kc-3c for the flush. moe32746 was eliminated nine hands later.

EirickS now has over 800K in chips, with second place barely at 500K.

10:03pm--Closing in on top 50

Not that it means much monetarily, but the field is getting close to 50 players. There are currently 54 players remaining from the 3,290 entrants, and that all happened in the span of seven and a half hours.

The 54th and 53rd-place finishers get $1,414.70 and 52-49 get $1,480.50. Getting down to 50, however, means the big money is not far off. Just 18 more spots until the prize money gets into the $2,000 range.

9:57pm--Crazy ride from lead to rail

At the break, crazyrider87 was in the chip lead. Quickly though he began to drop down following a return to action. And even though crazyrider87 had plenty of chips, in just one hand he went from the top 10 to eliminated.

The original preflop raise of 2,400 came from hvilla37. In the small blind, crazyrider87 lived up to his name by pushing all-in for 238,350. emiwarg, sitting to the left of crazyrider87, called his remaining 234,533 with pocket kings. crazyrider87 flipped over As-7d. The Jd-6c-4s-4h-Qd board was no help to crazyrider87, who was left with just 2,617 chips. Two hands later, he was out. What a quick and painful fall from grace.

9:51pm--osten reaches the top ten...again

At Table 103, osten just catapulted into the top ten with the elimination of an opponent. Starting the hand with an already impressive 184,097 in chips, osten made an initial raise to 3,600. nsd4eva reraised to 11,0000, but LeKhave came over the top to move all-in for 48,305. osten called, and nsd4eva folded. All-in player LeKnave showed pocket sevens, but osten showed a dominating pocket pair of jacks, and the community cards were delivered as Q-9-4-K-5. osten soared into the top ten chip counts and currently sits in fifth place with over 280,000.

Could it be that osten is aiming for two final tables in a row? Looking strong in this ninth WCOOP event, osten finished in fourth place only last night in Event #8, the 8-game mixed tournament, for a $23,688 prize.

9:42pm--Plenty more hold 'em left

If hold 'em is your game, WCOOP will keep you busy for quite a while. Not only are there several hours left in Event #9, but there is some kind of hold 'em event taking place in the WCOOP for 11 of the next 12 days. Whether it's limit, pot-limit, no-limit, mixed, you name it, there is still an event left for you. Check the WCOOP schedule for upcoming tournaments.

9:35pm--Chipleader Mrdawwe is no stranger to PokerStars leaderboards

Current chipleader Mrdawwe is no stranger to PokerStars cashes, or even final tables. Taking a look at the player's history of winning on PokerStars, there are numerous cashes adding up to a three-year total of over $100,000, most of that being accumulated just this year. The cashes have been getting more impressive as the year progressed, the most sizable of which was a Sunday Million fourth place finish in April for $57,408.

Mrdawwe is fighting to maintain his chip lead now with 320,840 in chips.

9:25pm--Nordberg back with a bang

Coming out of the break, Nordberg won a big hand to increase his chip stack above average. With pocket nines against Maden2K's higher pocket pair, Nordberg received some help when the turn produced a nine. Nordberg won the 115,300 pot with trip nines. Maden2K, meanwhile, is now well below the average of 116,000 chips.

9:13pm--Players get a 15-minute breather before Level 13 kicks in

And when they return, here is what they will find:

Level 13
Blinds: 600/1,200
Average chip count: 108,461
Players remaining: 91
First prize: $95,410

Top ten chip counts:

crazyrider87 343,091
Mrdawwe 313,157
moe32746 294,909
multitummen2 224,427
Mr.Lucky 215,393
johnnykran 207,638
FasterMB 206,882
3232 203,728
Unst0pab13 195,251
gregrum 193,879

Team PokerStars Pro:

Alex Kravchenko 138,358 (24th place)

The current payout level is $954.10, but with the elimination of only a few more players, pay increases to $987.00. After that, we hit the $1K mark and keep increasing from there, as that is oddly how payouts in a tournament work.

8:48pm--Will the table tip over?

At Table 181, where our chipleaer Mrdawwe resides, there are four big stacks. In addition to Mrdawwe's haul, mlagoo has 197K, UnstOpab13 has 173K and PassDeGravy has 112K -- all of them are in the top 35. PassDeGravy typed into the chat box, "i c this is gonna b the murder death table"


8:37pm--Mrdawwe takes the lead

Earlier he was in the top 10, but dropped out at the last count. Mrdawwe has zoomed out in front, however, and now stands at 400K, giving the player a 80K lead over the field.

8:28pm--Eliminations have slowed

With so many players put out early we've now reached a stage of the tournament where those left still have plenty of play left in their stacks. With 500/1,000 blinds and a 100 ante, the current average stack of 79K can fade a few losses. We now sit at 123 players with each of them guaranteed $855.40.

8:26pm--Nothing's easy

Not even pots when you're the chip leader. That's especially true when you're aggressive and you have position; if you're going to fire bullets, your opponents at this stage in the tournament are going to let you do a lot of the betting. That was the case a minute ago when Mr.Lucky claimed a 54,299 pot from Kast42.

The action began with a button raise to 1,999 from multitummen2. Mr.Lucky called, and after a moment's pause Kast42 raised to 6,000. mltitummen2 got out of the way but Mr.Lucky called.

Mr.Lucky check-called 8,000 and 12,000 bets on the Th-6s-4c flop and 3s turn, respectively. When he checked a third time on the 8c river, Kast42 elected not to fire a third bullet - possibly saving himself some chips, as Mr.Lucky turned up Kd-Td to take down the pot.

After that pot Kast42 was at 253,660, while Mr.Lucky climbed to 144,902.

8:19pm--Kast system

With the action slow on Alex Kravchenko and Peter "Nordberg" Feldman's tables right now, we're keeping on eye on Table 519 as well. That's where our chip leader Kast42 is playing with a stack of 282,860. Let's see if he can expand on his lead.

8:14pm--Kast42 jumps in front

Kast42 is the first player over the 300K mark and has taken the lead in the tournament. With all of this action we will see how long it lasts.

8:10pm--Who hit the snooze button?

The action for both Nordberg and Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko has been pretty slow since the break; neither player has won a pot of any consequence in that time. Of course, with stacks over 115,000 apiece, time is definitely on their side at the moment.

8:06pm--Chip counts at the break

Level 11
Blinds 400/800 75 ante
Average chip count: 61,887
Players remaining: 160
First prize: $95,410

Top ten players:

1. grenbnrets86 233,930
2. Kast42 183,622
3. Juecksel 183,487
4. eatyourstac 180,036
5. Iftarii 170,218
6. crazyrider87 169,020
7. Dilith 159,854
8. nsd4eva 159,101
9. 3232 156,549
10.Jagz7 137,706

Team PokerStars pros in top 100:

Alex Kravchenko 133,100 (12th place)


7:59pm--Nordberg closes Table 802

Nordberg just closed the book on Don_Timon's day, and with it Table 802.

Nordberg opened under the gun for 1,800, driving out everyone except for Don_Timon, who raised to 5,500 in the big blind. Nordberg moved all-in and Don_Timon made the call for his entire 25,012 stack. His Ah-Jc hit a flush on the 7c-6h-9c-8c board, but it wasn't big enough; Nordberg held Ac-Kd for the ace-high flush.

With that pot Nordberg moved up to 118,072. Don)Timon finished in 165th place, claiming a prize of $690.90.

7:56pm--A look at Table 802

It's been slow going for Nordberg for a little while now. He's only won three of the last 18 pots at his table, and only one of those was substantial at all. Through normal wear and tear he's down to 87,960.

The table big stack is once again eatyourstac. He lived up to his screen name a little while ago, though he had to get pretty lucky to do it.

Nordberg opened the action for 1,800 under the gun and eatyourstac raised to 5,500 from the small blind. Don_Timon then made the bet 15,550, clearing Nordberg out and getting a call from eatyourstac.

eatyourstac checked on the Qh-Ts-9h flop and Don_Timon fired a bet of 22,255. eatyourstac then made the check-raise, going all-in for 64,268 total. Don_Timon had that bet covered by 29,912 and made the call with K-K, but he didn't like what he saw. eatyourstac had flopped a set with Q-Q.

The turn and river bricked off and the 161,636 pot shipped over to eatyourstac, putting him into the top 5.

7:52pm--Razz action heating up

If you're interested in keeping up with the proceedings in today's $215 Razz event, you can catch the action at the Event #10 live blog.

7:45pm--Alex the Great

Even a table change can't stop Russian steamroller Alex Kravchenko right now. He's methodically pressuring the table - and of course, winning coin flips when they count.

Shortly after moving to his new seat at Table 871, Kravchenko found himself on the button facing a pre-flop raise of 1,800 from under-the-gun player mika2na, who had 40,053 remaining behind. Kravchenko bumped the bet to 6,000, and mika2na responded with a re-re-raise to 17,000.

Kravchenko then put in the fourth raise, making the bet 28,000, only to see mika2na return the favor by making the bet 39,000. Kravchenko made the obligatory raise for the last 2,853 of mika2na's stack and turned up As-Kd; mike2na showed himself a slight favorite with his 5s-5c.

Of course, that only lasted until the flop came Ad-Th-6h. The Kh on the turn gave Kravchenko an unneeded two pair, and the 7h on the river shipped a pot worth 84,806 to his stack. mika2na finished in 199th place for $658. Kravchenko, meanwhile, sits on a stack of 162,682.

7:37pm--They should call it "dropping like poker players"

Because, really, flies have nothing on poker players in today's match. We shouldn't be surprised, though. When you combine No-Limit Hold'em, a maximum of four players per table and good, aggressive play, you're bound to see the seats empty very quickly. We're currently down to 199 players with the next break looming in 20 minutes. All remaining players are guaranteed $658.

7:33pm--Smashed out

After a pretty good run earlier in the day, slidensmash's momentum came to a grinding halt just a few minutes ago on Table 297.

nardical, a recent addition to the table with a stack of 67,144, opened the betting for 1,200 under the gun. The action folded back to slidensmash, who called in the big blind.

The flop came 7h-6s-5h and slidensmash check-called nardical's bet of 1,200. When the 4s came on the turn, slidensmash checked again, but this time he re-raised all-in for 26,638 when nardical put out a bet of 3,000.

nardical quickly called with Jc-8c for the eight-high straight, while slidensmash turned up Tc-9d for a gutshot draw. The river was a meaningless As, giving nardical the 58,696 pot and boosting his stack to 96,742. slidensmash went home in 219th place, earning $625.10.

7:29pm--The Don takes one down

The action on Table 802 hasn't involved Nordberg much in the last three orbits, but Don_Timon did take down a very healthy pot just a few minutes ago.

Don_Timon opened with a raise to 1,050 under the gun and RBathoorn1 made it 2,400 from the small blind. When Don_Timon shoved all-in for 33,053 - almost 11,000 more than his opponent - total he got the call he wanted. RBathoorn1 showed Kd-Qh, leaving him in horrible shape against Don_Timon's Kh-Ks.

The board ran out with no danger to the cowboys and RBathoorn1 was out in 230th place, earning $592.20.

7:23pm--Bully

Alex Kravchenko is throwing his weight around selectively, but when he does wield his stack it's like a hammer.

Villejj opened for 2,400 on the button and 5fty Outs called from the small blind. When Kravchenko made the bet 7,200 from the big blind, both players came along.

The flop came down 7s-7c-3h and 5fty Outs checked. Kravchenko promptly moved all-in for 98,781, almost five times 5fty Outs' stack and about twelve times that of Villejj. Both players got out of the way and the table bully let the computer do his chip-stacking for him.

7:18pm--Big one for Nordberg

Just after Alex Kravchenko jumped into the top 10 on Table 297, Nordberg did the same on Table 802.

Don_Timon opened the action under the gun with a bet of 1,050, which Nordberg called on the button. eatyourstac, with a stack over 130k, then raised from the big blind to 4,500. Don_Timon got out of the way but Nordberg then made another raise, taking the bet up to 15,000.

eatyoustac made the call and the flop came down Ad-5d-Ah. Both players checked, ad they checked again on the 7c turn. When the 5s hit the river, eatyourstac led out for 12,000 into the 31,450 pot; Nordberg called, and his K-K was good against the big stack's 9-9.

After that hand, Nordberg was up to 7th place with a stack of 108,460; eatyourstac remained in 8th place with 103,287.

7:15pm--Still plenty of events left

If you haven't gotten in on the action yet there's still plenty of time. For the full WCOOP schedule, go here.

7:08pm--A big, big coin flip

Alex Kravchenko just vaulted into the top 10 thanks to a big call and coming out on the right side of a coin flip.

The action began with 5fty Outs opening for 1,200 under the gun. Kravchenko called on the button, and when the action reached wwnnxxtt in the big blind the bet was raised to 3,600. 5fty Outs decided to muck, but Kravchenko now raised to 12,000.

The seconds ticked by as wwnnxxtt considered his next move. Finally, he elected to push all-in for a total of 44,492. Kravchenko had that bet covered, but only by 7,847. The Russian went into the tank himself, and when he finally emerged it was with a call. He showed 7d-7s, putting him in a race with wwnnxxtt's Ah-Qc.

The board ran out Jc-8h-5s-5c-Kh, leaving Kravchenko at the table with a stack of 98,431. Meanwhile wwnnxxtt finished in 278th place, taking home $526.40

7:06pm--Your featured players for the hour

We're going to continue to follow Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko this hour, since he's been at the center of so much action.

In addition to the world's most famous Russian poker player, we're going to follow along with respected tournament pro Peter "Nordberg" Feldman on Table 802. He was in 23rd place at the break, but he's stormed up to 12th since we opened his table. His stack is now sitting on 85,110.

6:59pm--crazyrider87 has big lead at the break

Level 9
Blinds 200/400 50 ante
Average chip count: 32,149
Players remaining: 307
First prize: $95,410

Top ten players:

1. crazyrider87 176,665
2. WatchOutSir 112,129
3. Dilith 105,048
4. socioanonimo 104,316
5. Blute 90,128
6. EirikS 89,811
7. Altrum Altus 88,343
8. Juecksel 86,220
9. SrixXxon 80,184
10.Mrdawwe 80,184

Team PokerStars pros in top 100:

Alex Kravchenko 56,989 (39th place)

6:51pm--MrSmokey1 cashes out

MrSmokey1 finally bit the dust, but he got in with the best of it. When the action folded to him in the small blind, he shoved for his last 3,050. WatchOutSir made the call from the big blind with K-5, which was behind Billirakis' A-3 until the flop came down 8d-5s-3s.

The Kc gave WatchOutSir two pair on the turn, and when Billirakis couldn't catch an ace or three on the river he was out in 316th place, earning a payout of $460.60.

6:48pm--I will attack, and you don't want that

Alex Kravchenko is now the big stack at Table 297, thanks to slidensmash dropping that big pot a little while ago. He's making good use of the stack to lean on the table, too.

A few moments ago, Kravchenko opened on the button for 600 and wwnnxxtt responded with a raise to 2,100 from the big blind. Kravchenko very quickly bumped the bet up to 5,400, and his opponent timed out before folding his hand. With that pot, the Team PokerStars Pro is up to 56,914.

6:43pm--Up in smoke?

MrSmokey1 has been hanging on tight, but his stack has only dwindled as the blinds and antes go higher. He's now at 4,600 after giving up his blinds and limping into a handful of pots only to fold after the flop. Without a double-up soon he's going to be gone, and even if he gets that he'll still need to run good to go deep today.

6:39pm--Another big pot on 297

After dropping that last pot to Alex Kravchenko, wwnnxxtt is back in the swing of things thanks to a timely double-up.

wwnnxxtt opened the betting under the gun for 900 and slidensmash called in the big blind. On the Jd-Tc-6s flop, slidensmash checked and wwnnxxtt bet 1,600. slidensmash then check-raised, making the bet 3,900 total, and wwnnxxtt shoved for his entire 18,371 stack.

slidensmash made the call with Td-6d, giving him two pair and a backdoor flush draw, while wwnnxxtt held Ks-Qh for the open-ended straight draw. The Ad on the turn gave wwnnxxtt the Broadway straight but also opened the door to the diamond flush hitting on the river.

Fortunately for wwnnxxtt, the 7h on the river was harmless and he doubled up to 38,792. slidensmash, meanwhile, is down to 48,994.

6:32pm--Big pot for Alex

Alex Kravchenko and wwnnxxtt just butted heads to break the table trend, and the Team PokerStars Pro came out the better of the two.

wwnnxxtt opened the betting on the button for 900 and Kravchenko called from the big blind. When the flop came down Ts-2s-Td, Kravchenko elected to check-call wwnnxxtt's 1,600 bet. The turn saw him employ the same tactic, check-calling a 3,650 bet from wwnnxxtt.

A third check-call of 6,500 on the 5d river saw wwnnxxtt flip up J-J, but Kravchenko held Q-T for trips and the 25,550 pot. That put him up to 56,399, while wwnnxxtt slipped to 17,916.

6:31pm--Players burning chips after the bubble

Those who held back to ensure a payday are now pushing their chips around. We're already had nearly 100 casualties since the bubble burst. Among the victims was Team PokerStars Pro and 2004 WSOP Main Event champion Greg "FossilMan" Raymer in 421st.

6:27pm--Smokin'!

Steve "MrSmokey1" Billirakis just helped himself to a pot right before the blinds went up.

He opened the betting for 700 on the button and got a call in the big blind from DKVIKING333. When the flop came down As-Kc-8s, DKVIKING333 check-called a 950 bet from MrSmokey1; however, even after using his entire time bank he wasn't willing to call MrSmokey1's all-in bet of 5,350 when the 9s came on the turn.

That pot put Billirakis up to 8,875 - enough to work with for a bit.

6:21pm--Falling asleep?

Someone might want to check the denizens of Table 297 - after some hugely aggressive poker earlier, they seem to have fallen asleep at the wheel. For twenty-five hands in a row, not a single pot at the table was worth so much as 2,000. Kravchenko ended that streak by calling the 1,410 all-in of Soitanai, but he didn't put his opponent away with K-3 against A-K

6:16pm--The bubble bursts

MaSkeN was the unfortunate bubble boy in 481st place. Everyone else is guaranteed at least $315.84 for their troubles.

6:15pm--Hanging in there

MrSmokey1 continues to hang on. Despite taking down four medium-sized pots since the break, he's barely breaking even; his stack sits at 6,825 here on the bubble and we expect him to be ready for a move sometime soon.

6:13pm--Slidin' and smashin'

Big pots continue to go down at Alex Kravchenko's table, but he hasn't been involved in many lately, only taking down a handful of small pots since the break. The man with the action hand right now is table big-stack slidensmash.

Like so many other big pots we've seen today, this one came blind versus blind. slidensmash opened the betting from the small blind by raising to 750. wwnnxxtt, in the big blind, made it 2,250 total and slidensmash called.

slidensmash check-called a 3,000 bet from wwnnxxtt on the Qd-Jc-5h flop, and then check-called another 7,800 when the Ac came on the turn. When the 2c hit th river, slidensmash moved all-in for 30,500; that bet had wwnnxxtt just covered and was enough reason for him to muck it, shipping the 26,200 pot to his opponent.

6:09pm--Ten off the bubble

490 remain, but only 480 of those will get paid. In addition to Barry Greenstein's recent exit, his Team PokerStars peer Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan has also departed in 598th place.

6:07pm--Watch out, here he comes

Our new chipleader is WatchOutSir, who held 88,434 at the break. WatchOutSir has now chipped up to 113K to crack the six-figure mark.

6:03pm--New featured player

With Barry Greenstein's elimination, we've decided to follow 2007 WSOP Mixed Hold'em bracelet winner Steve "MrSmokey1" Billirakis over on Table 526. He's not on life support with 7,950, but he'll be looking for opportunities to build his stack with the blinds at 125/250 and antes at 25.

5:59pm--Brutal beat for Barry

Barry Greenstein just took a nasty beat at the hands of Boosted J:

5:55pm--Featured players

With Alex Kravchenko on such a roll today we just couldn't take ourselves away from his table, so we'll be sticking with him for at least the next hour. We've also decided to check back in on his fellow Team PokerStars Pro, Barry Greenstein, who's stacked at 11,565 on Table 876.

5:52pm--ICantPlay still leads at third break

Level 7
Blinds 125/250 ante 25
Average chip count: 17,945
Players remaining: 550
First prize: $95,410

Top ten players:

1. ICantPlay 91,154
2. WatchOutSir 88,434
3. eatyourstac 76,668
4. johnnykran 68,334
5. grebnrets86 64,920
6. 3232 57,348
7. Mrdawwe 56,914
8. castlellimich 56,306
9. slidensmash 54,295
10. FasterMB 50,471

Team PokerStars pros in top 100:
Alex Kravchenko 39,009 (31st place)

5:44pm--More fireworks at 297

slidensmash moved into Humberto Brenes' old seat at Table 297 and was into the mix faster than a hand dealt from the random number generator.

His big hand started with a raise to 600 under the gun. StuMan123 called on the button and the two players went to the flop heads-up. It came down Kc-Jd-7s, and StuMan123 called slidensmash's 1,000 bet, leaving himself 21,624 behind.

When the 5c came on the turn, slidensmash checked and StuMan123 bet 2,024. The check-raise didn't take too long, with slidensmash bumping the bet up to 6,000. StuMan123 responded by shoving and slidensmash called with quickness. He showed As-Ad to StuMan123's Kd-Ts, and StuMan123 was gone when the 4h fell on the river.

With that pot, slidensmash moved up to 60,715, well ahead of Alex Kravchenko at 43,979. To balance things out a little, wwnnxxtt moved in with his 38,186 stack a few hands later.

5:41 pm--Da svidaniya, Humberto

With all the shoving and re-shoving at Table 297, it appeared it would only be a matter of time before we got ourselves a big clash. Table newcomer Alex Kravchenko was the beneficiary, sending Humberto Brenes to the rail a little earlier than he would've liked.

The action started with StuMan123 raising under the gun to 550. Kravchenko called in the small blind, but Brenes in the big blind made a raise to 3,000. StuMan123 got out of the way, but Kravchenko put his fellow pro to the test with an all-in raise.

Brenes called off his 11,559 stack and showed Ac-Jh, but he was in awful shape against Kravchenko's As-Qs. Brenes' fate looked even gloomier on the Ah-Ks-3s flop, and he was bounced when the Ts on the river gave Kravchenko the nut flush.

With that pot, Kravcehnko moved up to a stack of 44,079.

5:33pm--Approaching 600 players remaining

Team PokerStars pros Marcin "Goral" Horecki and Humberto Brenes are gone in 646th and 642nd places. Other players who have been stacked off recently include Isaac "westmenloAA" Baron in 833rd, Scott "emptyseat88" Fischman in 795th and Scott "BigRiskky" Clements in 670th.

5:29 pm--The tale of Alex

Alex Kravchenko's table broke shortly after that last big hand, thanks to a huge hand he took from recent table addition and217.

With blinds up to 100/200, Kravchenko raised under the gun to 440. Tanacca called on the button, and and217 called out of the small blind.

When the flop came down 8s-4d-2d, and217 quickly fired out a 600 bet. Kravcehnko wasted no time raising to 2,400. When and217 shoved, Kravcehnko couldn't call fast enough with Qs-Qc. and217 held 9c-8c for top pair on the flop, but he was out when he couldn't improve.

Now up to 33,300, we went to track Kravchenko down. It didn't take us long to find the Russian Team PokerStars Pro, though - he moved to Table 297, directly to the left of Humberto Brenes.

5:23pm--Kravchenko chipping up

Alex Kravchenko has a little bit more room to get creative now, thanks to a big pot at the expense of Bauer44's tournament life.

Kravcehnko opened the betting under the gun, raising to 360, and got calls from Tanacca on the button and Bauer44 in the small blind.

Bauer44 checked the 9h-6d-5s flop, drawing a 750 bet out of Kravchenko. Tanacca folded, but Bauer44 check-raised all-in for 4,133. Kravchenko made the call with Jh-9d for top pair, while Bauer44 held Kd-5d for bottom pair. The turn and the river changed nothing and Kravchenko found himself up to 24,940.

5:21pm--Brenes backpedaling

Another pot with no showdown went down on Table 297, but Humberto Brenes wasn't on the winning side this time.

The action folded to Brenes in the small blind and he limped in. StuMan123 raised to 450 in the big blind and Brenes made another raise to 1,350. StuMan123 made the call and the flop came down Ts-4d-2d.

Brenes wasted no time betting his hand, putting 3,150 out into a 2,700 pot and leaving himself 4,202 behind. StuMan123 responded with a shove all-in, however, and Brenes gave up his hand to boost StuMan123's stack to 18,130.

5:19 pm--Sayonara for shaniac

It was only a matter of time before shaniac tangled with someone else at Table 486. Unfortunately for him the end result was an exit from this event.

MaSkeN opened the betting with a raise to 450 under the gun, leaving himself 3,166 behind. Schleger called and had a little less - 3,046 - in his stack.

The hand went to the Kc-Jh-8h flop heads-up, and shaniac called when MaSkeN bet 600. The turn card was the 4d, bringing a check from MaSkeN and a bet of 1,150 by shaniac. MaSkeN then check-raised all-in, and Schleger stuck his last 1,296 in the middle.

Schleger couldn't have been in a worse spot: he held K-Q, while MaSkeN had flopped a set with J-J. Drawing dead, shaniac's tournament came to an end.

5:18pm--ICantPlay continues to lead

Our chipleader at the break has steadily increased his stack with aggressive play from 38,685 at the break to more than 60K now.

5:08pm--He didn't cash, but he is OK

Rkruok, who already has several cashes in the 2008 WCOOP, including a fifth-place finish in Event #7, $215 Pot-Limit Omaha, that concluded in the wee hours this morning, just busted in 839th today in the 4-max.

5:04pm--Kravchenko drops one

Tanacca opened for 450 under the gun and Alex Kravchenko called from the big blind. When the flop came down Td-6c-6s, he check-called a 600 bet from Tanacca.

The Kh then came on the turn and Kravchenko checked once again. This time Tanacca bet 1,050, and Kravchenko responded with a raise to 2,700. As we've seen over and over today, a third bet went in: Tanacca shoved for a total of 8,005. Not wanting to drop nearly half his remaining stack, Kravcehnko let the hand go.

5:02pm--Costa Rican flex

Humberto Brenes is not a man to be trifled with, and he just let gettum47 know that with no uncertainty.

The action had folded to gettum47 in the small blind and he elected to simply call. When Brenes raised to 600, gettum47 responded with a re-raise to 1,550. The Costa Rican pro then came back with a re-re-raise, making the bet 4,050. That was enough to drive gettum47 away and give Brenes the pot.

4:59pm--Under 900 runners now remain

Recent knockouts include Team PokerStars pros Chad Brown in 1,119th and Gavin Griffin 1,023rd.

4:54 pm--"It all depends"

In a 4-max game, everything really is situational. Right now Alex Kravchenko has a huge stack compared to his three opponents, but most of them have huge stacks compared to the blinds. The play is already aggressive enough with the table four-handed, but the stack sizes allow for even more re-raising in each player's arsenal.

Unlike Alex Kravchenko's table, where the stacks are all relatively deep, nobody at Shane Schleger's table has more than 5,408. With the blinds now at 75/150, the line between proper aggression and donkitude over here is a little blurrier than usual

4:50pm--Featured players

Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko is firmly in the top 60 at the break, coming in at 53rd place with 20,967. We'll have our eyes on the former WSOP Main Event final tablist throughout the next hour.

We'll also be following Humberto Brenes, who's stacked at 10,667 right now on Table 297, and well-known online pro Shane "shaniac" Schleger, who's hanging on with 3,521 at Table 486.

4:45pm--He can too play!

ICantPlay is the chip leader at the second break, and what are the odds of this? Yomma_9 was sixth at the first break with 16,095 chips and is still sixth at this break with 30,997 chips.

Level 5
Blinds 75/150
Average chip count: 9,088
Players remaining: 1,086
First prize: $95,410

Top ten players:

1. ICantPlay 38,685
2. 3232 35,766
3. miraginox 33,728
4. johnnykran 32,551
5. scarface2911 32,551
6. yomma_9 30,997
7. garnishgut 29,351
8. crazyrider87 29,047
9. LovEva 28,428
10. Pipedream17 27,836

Team PokerStars pros in top 100:

Alex Kravchenko 20,967 (53rd place)


4:37pm--FossilMan takes another hit, rebounds

Tizzle 10 took another bite out of Greg Raymer's stack a few minutes ago, flopping three jacks with Jc-8c from the big blind and allowing Raymer to continuation bet for two streets before extracting a value bet of 1,800 on the river.

Down to 6,873, Raymer still opened for 250 under the gun on the hand. randomcrayon decided it was time to put the champ to the test and raised to 800. When the action got back to Raymer, he pondered his move for a bit before moving his entire stack in the middle. randomcrayon let his time bank expire before relenting, giving Raymer's stack a quick boost back to 7,823.

4:33pm--Can't make a high? Go for the low!

Don't forget that WCOOP Event #10, the $215 Razz tournament, is beginning right now. You still have 25 minutes to register so give it a try.

4:31pm--Back to the grind

It looks like FossilMan is going to have to get to work grinding that stack back up.

Raymer opened for his usual 250 on the button and Tizzle 10, a new addition to the table, re-raised to 500 from the big blind. Raymer called to see the flop of 6c-5d-2c.

When Tizzle 10 led out for 300, Raymer raised to 1,600; Tizzle 10 then shoved for 6,782 and Raymer called quickly with 7-7. The bad news was that Tizzle 10 had K-K. The kings held and boosted him to 14,614, while FossilMan drops to 8,923.

4:30pm--300 more out in 15 minutes

The eliminations just keep coming quicker. As we approach the second break less than 1,200 players remain. Among the bustouts was Team PokerStars Pro and 2003 WSOP Main Event champion Chris "Money800" Moneymaker in 1,380th place.

4:24pm--Fossilman notches two up

One of the nice things about having a big stack is that it allows you to take more risks than your opponents. Greg Raymer's proving that right now - and also benefiting from a nice card here and there.

Raymer opened for a standard 250 on the button and BananaJoe73 called in the small blind, leaving himself 690 behind. j2495 called from the big blind and the flop came down Qc-Td-3h. BananaJoe73 quickly shoved with K-Q, and Raymer called with A-3. The Th on the turn changed nothing, but the Ah on the river gave Raymer the pot and sent BananaJoe73 packing.

On the very next hand, Raymer's A-3 would again sink K-Q - this time belonging to j2495. All the chips went in before the flop, and j2495 caught a queen on the flop, but another ace on the river gave Raymer a stack of 16,305.

4:20pm--Don't mess with the Bear

Barry Greenstein just took down another healthy pot without having to show down his hand. easy$1974 started things off by limping in from the button. Greenstein, in the big blind, raised from 100 to 400. easy$1974 made the call and the flop came down 8c-7s-5d.

Greenstein quickly bet 600, and easy$1974 decided to make a minimum raise to 1,200. That only earned an all-in shove from Greenstein, with a total price of 3,641. easy$1974 demurred and Greenstein claimed the 3,450 in the pot.

4:19pm--Raymer stacking up

Greg Raymer continues to build a nice stack over on Table 282. One railbird commented that Raymer must really enjoy the 4-max games. To that Raymer replied: "been getting lots of hands so far, hard to complain." At 13,497, he definitely doesn't have anything to complain about.

4:17pm--Skirmish

Another raising war, another pot won for JokerWilgres against RaiNKhaN. JokerWilgres raised on the button 300 and Khan made it 900 to go. JokerWilgres' response? A re-raise to 2,600. At a price approaching Khan's remaining stack, that was enough to get the Team PokerStars Pro to go away.

4:16pm--Griffin gets back up

Hitting two sets has done wonders for Gavin Griffin's stack. After hitting the set of threes earlier, Griffin found himself all-in on another hand with a small pair - fives, in this case. The situation was much worse for him than before, though, as kalidonios held T-T. A little five on the turn changed everything, allowing Griffin to stack up to 4,228.

4:15pm--Who can keep up with these bustous?

We're not yet two hours in and already more than half the field is out. In fact, we are now under 1,470 players. Team PokerStars Pro Alexandre" Allingomes" Gomes was among the latest departures in 1,684th place.

4:10 pm--Khan, Greenstein on cruise control

Over on Table 416, Hevad Khan is still on 7,445. He dropped 1,450 in a pot where JokerWilgres opened, Khan raised, and JokerWilgres made it three bets to go, but regained most of what he lost by taking down five of the last eight pots at the table.

Barry Greenstein, meanwhile, has been pretty quiet over on Table 876. Boosted J has been dominating the action, with the Bear claiming only a single pot out of the last 15 contested.

4:05pm--Griffin down, but not out

Gavin Griffin lost a big chunk of his stack on the button a few minutes ago with Q-J. After chiseller limped under the gun, Griffin opened for 200 and was called by kalidonios in the small blind as well as chiseller. kalidonios led out for 300 on the Ks-Qd-7c flop, and only Griffin came along.

chiseller opened for 700 when the 2s came on the turn, and Griffin responded with a shove for 3,490. That had kalidonios covered, but he happily called with Kc-Qh for two pair. His hand held up and Griffin was down to 741.

Two hands later Griffin doubled through kalidonios, picking himself back up to 1,182 with K-J against T-4, before dropping half of that stack when kalidonios flopped a full house with 3-3. Griffin doubled again with his own 3-3, though, turning a set that held up against FlopeDeNuts' 8d-6d after the flop brought two diamonds.

Griffin is sitting on just shy of 1,400, so we'll be watching him closely.

4:02pm--King-Ten has been very good to him

If FossilMan has a favorite hand in the early going of today's event, it's probably K-T. He just won another huge pot with it against ratoneBR.

4:00pm--NoMercy no more

Isabelle "NoMercy" Mercier never showed up and was finally eliminated in 1,802nd place. Amazingly, she outlasted nearly half the field with an empty seat. She joins fellow Team PokerStars pros Tom McEvoy (1,848th) and Luca Pagano (1,823rd) on the rail.

3:54pm--I'll take that one, thanks

With a nice raise and no showdown, Barry Greenstein scores a respectable pot.

3:50pm--Now under 2,000 players

They are moving out fast. Team PokerStars pros Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose and Dario Minieri were among the recent eliminations in 2,087th and 2,028th places respectively. Other names gone are Kevin "BeLOWaBOVe" Saul in 2,532nd, Jon "PearlJammer" Turner in 2,237th, Jerrod "jerrod" Ankenman in 2,167th and Eric "sheets" Haber in 2,072nd.

3:45pm--FossilMan moving up

Greg Raymer wasted no time in scoring the first big pot after the break at his table. ratoneBR raised to 150 under the gun and Raymer called on the button. BananaJoe73 came along from the small blind to see the flop come down 2c-2s-4s. The action checked to Raymer, who bet 300, and only ratoneBR called.

The turn was the Ks, and ratoneBR checked again. This time Raymer bet 600 and ratoneBR check-raised to 1,750. Raymer made the call and the two checked down the 3h on the river. ratoneBR showed Ah-Qc for ace high, and Raymer claimed the 4,600 pot with KhTd for a pair of kings.

3:43pm--Fossilman and Griffin both in action

We'll be trailing a few different pros this hour. Gavin Griffin is in action at Table 590, with a stack of 4,000. Greg "FossilMan" Raymer, the Team PokerStars Pro and 2004 WSOP Main Event champion, wasn't in the field earlier when we scanned the list of players, but he's at Table 282 right now with a nice stack of 6,550.

We also still have our eyes on Barry Greenstein and Hevad Khan, so expect a few updates on them as well.

3:39am--First hour in the books

Level 3
Blinds 25/50
Average chip count: 4,453
Players remaining: 2,216
First prize: $95,410

Top ten players:

1. forzby1 19,270
2. amichaiKK 17,087
3. jonasof87 16,910
4. JJMags 16,682
5. CryMe@River5 16,430
6. yomma_9 16,095
7. Mr.Lucky 16,020
8. schrech 15,947
9. sambot 15,675
10. Arvid2k7 15,101

3:28pm--Goodbye Andre

Andre Akkari won't be playing any more 4-max in the WCOOP today.

WazzleDazzle opened the pot for 90 from the small blind, and Akkari responded by shoving for 1,810 from the big blind. WazzleDazzle called quickly with Ad-Kc, miles ahead of Akkari's As-Qh. The board brought no help and our Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro is history in 2,385th place.

3:28 pm--Dancing in the dark

"Khan, do u do ur dance when ur at home?" asked one railbird on Table 416. After his K-K held up to knock out J-C AA's flopped pair of nines, Hevad Khan typed, "yes i do. but not just then. bad karma."

Good thing he held onto his good karma - just six hands later, Khan took down a 4,715 pot when his 8-7 hit a nine-high straight against cuete's flopped pair of aces with A-K. He's now sitting on 7,585.

3:27pm--Still no sign of Mercier

NoMercy has been blinded down to less than 700 as we approach the first break of the tournament.

3:21pm--MIA no more

Alexadre "Allingomes" Gomes finally showed up a little while ago at Table 579. He's won three small pots to get back to 2,160. Fellow former MIA pro Hevad Khan, meanwhile, is back down to 2,785 after his king on the river had boosted him earlier. He turned a straight with the same card that gave xxReuxx the nut flush and dropped the 2,295 pot to his opponent.

3:19pm--A man of the world

Over on Table 876, Barry Greenstein is impressing the aliens on the rail. He's speaking a little bit of German with some of his fans, which he says he picked up when he lived in German House in college. So far as the cards go, they're holding steady for Greenstein - he's still sitting on a stack of 3,591 at the moment.

3:17pm--Less than 2,500 players remaining

They continue to go fast. Among some notable recent causalties include James "mig.com" Mackey in 2,714th place, Brett "gank" Jungblut in 2,588th and Kevin "BeLOWaBOVe" Saul in 2,532nd.

3:13 pm--Wasting no time

He might've been late to the party, but Hevad "RaiNKhaN" isn't wasting any time getting to work. He's already up to 4,105, thanks to a nice double-up with A-K.

Khan opened under the gun for 90 and was called by xxReyuxx from the big blind. The flop came down 6d-5d-5c and xxReyuxx checked, drawing a 120 bet from Khan. When xxReyuxx check-raised to 300, Khan's response was to shove. xxReyuxx called with a pair of tens, but a timely king on the river saved Khan and gave him new life at the table.

3:10pm--The power of position

Andre Akkari just got involved in a big pot with DirtyTowel that didn't go his way.

The hand started with b1EiGhT7 limping in under the gun and DirtyTowel raising to 90 on the button. Akkari re-raised to 270 from the big blind, which DirtyTowel called.

Both players checked the Kd-7d-3c board, and when the 8d fell on the turn Akkari led out for 320. DirtyTowel called, and then called again when Akkari bet 420 on the river. Akkari flipped up Ad-Qh, no good against DirtyTowel's 9c-9s.

After the hand Akkari had 2,000 left, while DirtyTowel jumped to 6,510.

3:08 pm--Call off the search team

With 1,655 left in his stack, Hevad Khan is at the table. xxReyuxx welcomed Khan to the table. "Stuck in traffic?" he asked. Whatever kept the pro away, he's not saying - maybe the aliens got to him? Perhaps his chopped pot with Q-J against Giovanni1983's K-Q was part of the payoff for his silence.

3:05 pm--Out of this world

The railbirds on Table 37 are starting to peep up - and they might not be of this planet.

One chatter asked Barry Greenstein, "Do you think aliens are out there?" His reply? "aliens are only on the rail." Another asked if the Team PokerStars Pro liked Pot-Limit Omaha, and "when i win" was his quick reply.

Alas, Table 37 was shut down soon after, perhaps the casualty of an alien conspiracy of X-Files proportions.

3:03pm--Victor Ramdin among early departures

Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin found himself in a large pot with kicker problems. Here is the hand that just bounced the affable Ramdin in 2,819th place:

3:01pm--Final numbers are in; winner to get $95K

We had 3,290 entrants into Event #9, creating a prize pool of $658,000, well above the guarantee of $400,000. The winner will receive $95,410 and the bottom of the rung, 480th, will get $315.84. Go forth and conquer, players!

2:58pm--Akkari holds steady, Pros still MIA

Over on Table 813, Brazil's Andre Akkari is down just a bit from where he started, with 2,900. Most of the action at his table has been driven by Dirty Towel, who now has about 3,900.

Meanwhile, RaiNKhan, NoMercy and Allingomes continue to post and fold. Our guess is that this might be the only time you'll ever see these guys (and gal) fold their buttons in shorthanded play. Mercier is down to less than 1,500.

2:55pm--Nearly 400 gone in first 25 minutes

Among those out so far are Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso in 2,921st place.

2:54 pm--Score another one for Barry

Barry "barryg1" Greenstein is still the focus of his table, but now he's a little closer to the chip lead. His Ah-Qc was good against FINAL DREAM's 9d-4h on a board of 5h-9h-Qs-5d-8s, sending the 2,400 pot the 2008 WSOP bracelet winner's way and boosting his stack to 4,125.

2:49 pm--How long can they last?

Meanwhile, the stacks of our other two MIA Team PokerStars Pros are both seeing the impact that a severely shorthanded table can have. Even with blinds at just 10/20, Alexandre Gomes is already down to 2,580 and Hevad Khan to 2,360. If they don't hurry, they might show up to find themselves on the rail before the game ever began.

2:48pm--Sitting out heads up is not good for the stack

Isabelle "No Mercy" Mercier has still not arrived, which is extermely bad news for her now. Kahnu has eliminated the only other opponent at the table and is currently eating away at Mercier's chips. She is down to 2,200 while Kahnu is among the chip leaders with 6,700.

2:45 pm--Action Barry

Barry Greenstein is almost back to his starting stack, winning seven of the next nine pots after his rivered full house. The action might be focused on him, but he isn't the big stack at the table; that distinction belongs to F#### Forever, who has 4,500 at the moment.

2:38 pm--Greenstein and Akkari in action

One Team PokerStars pro who isn't sitting out right now is Andre "aakkari" Akkari. He's in action on Table 813 with WazzleDazzle and DirtyTowel and still has 2,990 of his starting stack.

Another Team PokerStars Pro who's at it is Barry "barryg1" Greenstein. His stack is already swinging a good bit; he was at 1,900 when we pulled up his table but took down a nice pot when he hit a full house on the river with 5-5 and got paid by ryliefan on a value bet.

2:32 pm--MIA

In scouting out our feature tables for the day, we tried to find a Team PokerStars Pro to follow in the early going. Several of them, including Alexandre "Allingomes" Gomes, Isabelle "NoMercy" Mercier and Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan, are sitting out right now.

Given that the 4-max tables in this event all started with three competitors each, their 3,000-chip starting stacks are being blinded away much faster than they normally might.

2:30pm--We're off and running

We are starting Event #9 with more than 2,900 players and registration is still open. You can expect eliminations to come swiftly today with four players per table. Any guesses on the over/under for eliminations in the first hour?

8:36am-WCOOP EVent #9 NLHE 4-Max begins at 2:30pm ET

You like short-handed play? How about 4-Max? For an action packed WCOOP event, join us at 2:30pm ET!

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in WCOOP