2009 WCOOP: CesarSPA rules them all in Event #7, $215 Pot-Limit 5-Card Draw

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Pot-Limit 5-Card Draw. It's like your grandma's card game with an action junkie's twist-- six-handed play and pot-limit betting. In this seventh event of the 2009 WCOOP the play was fast and the swings often gut-wrenching, but it was enough to draw 844 players into the fray, each of them putting up $215 for their shot at a WCOOP title. With a $200,000 guaranteed prize pool, there was even a bit of an overlay. 132 places were paid with the champion set to earn $33,500 along with a WCOOP bracelet.

Team PokerStars Pros Andre Akkari, Chris Moneymaker, George Danzer, Jason Mercier, and Katja Thater joined host Gavin Griffin on the felt, but unfortunately, none of them managed to make the money. Familiar faces notching cashes included David "WhooooKidd" Baker (96th), Matt "jacksup" Matros (92nd), Matt "ch0ppy" Kay (90th), Scott "BigRiskky" Clements (61st), Rayan "rkruok" Nathan (75th), Jon "PearlJammer" Turner (39th), and defending champion "ImBillMcNeal" (72nd).

Here's how the final six stacked up as the action kicked off:

Seat 1: CesarSPA (980,239 in chips)
Seat 2: dudeoflife21 (772,616 in chips)
Seat 3: dev209 (1,296,819 in chips)
Seat 4: Maksflaks (359,274 in chips)
Seat 5: ELBRUS77 (364,846 in chips)
Seat 6: Papartis88 (446,206 in chips)

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Maksflaks was the first player to stumble, losing more than half his stack to CesarSPA on a bluff gone awry. CesarSPA made it 29,000 to go from the cutoff, maksflaks three-bet to 72,000 and CesarSPA made the call. After drawing one card to CesarSPA's two, maksflaks led out for 72,000. CesarSPA made the call, his K♥K♦Q♣Q♥2♦ taking down maksflaks' busted straight draw with 3♦T♠J♥9♠Q♠. Maksflaks was left with 126,000 in chips and saw his stack blinded and anted away until he ended up all in from the small blind. Though he started with four to a flush, he couldn't improve, his 8♣7♦4♣9♣6♣ falling to ELBRUS77's two pair, kings and nines. Maksflaks earned $6,000 for his sixth-place finish.

As five-handed play progressed, talk of a deal broke out, but there was a bit of a language barrier when it came to ELBRUS77. The Kiev resident didn't understand English well, but lucky for him host Gavin Griffin was on the case, bringing a Russian translator online to help him through the negotiations.

Although ELBRUS77, dev209, Papartis88, and dudeoflife21 all agreed to the deal, CesarSPA was looking for more money than any of the other players were willing to concede. No deal, and the tournament was restarted.

It turned out to be a wise decision on his part, as CesarSPA soon found himself on the winning end of the tournament's largest pot thus far. Papartis88 was the initial raiser, making it 48,000 to go. CesarSPA flat-called and dudeoflife21 put the squeeze on, re-potting to 236,000. Papartis88 moved all in for 424,000 and CesarSPA moved allin for 549,533 behind him. Dudeoflife21 called the 109,616 he hand behind and Papartis88 called the additional 125,533. Dudeoflife21 and Papartis88 each drew one card while CesarSPA drew two. Each player had to be feeling good about their chances. Papartis88 turned over K♠Kc]8♥8♠3♣ for kings up and dudeoflife21 showed A♠A♦4♥4♣T♥ for aces up but CesarSPA had drawn a one-outer, revealing, J♦J♠J♥J♣6♦ for quad jacks. CesarSPA raked in more than 1.46 million and assumed the chip lead while dudeoflife21 hit the rail in fifth place, collecting $9,000.

From there, CesarSPA began running the table, knocking former chip leader dev209 out in stunning fashion. Papartis88 opened for 48,000, CesarSPA called and dev209 came in with a three-bet to 176,000. Both Papartis88 and CesarSPA called. All three players drew one card, dev209 leading out for 208,000. Papartis88 gave up his hand, but CesarSPA re-potted to 1,184,000, setting dev209 all in. After a long think, he made the call, revealing A♠A♥6♣6♥Q♦ for aces up. It was no match, however, for CesarSPA's jacks full of eights and dev209 ended his WCOOP run in fourth place for a $13,000 payday.

Ast three-handed play commenced, CesarSPA was the dominant chip leader with nearly 3 million in his stack while ELBRUS77 held 675,000 and Papartis88 had 560,000. Papartis88 slowly ground his stack up to the1 million mark, first taking a pot off ELBRUS77 with queens vs. jacks, then making queens up against CesarSPA. However, there was no stopping CesarSPA, who vacuumed those lost chips back up in no time, pushing his stack up to 3.3 million, while both Papartis88 and ELBRUS77 fell to the 400,000-500,000 range.

ELBRUS77 ended up being the first to make a move against the chip leader. After CesarSPA opened witha button raise to 60,000, ELBRUS77 three-bet to 150,000 and earned a call. ELBRUS77 drew one card while CesarSPA drew two. ELBRUS77 made a pot-sized bet after the draw, leaving himself only 9,490 behind. CesarSPA raised him all in and ELBRUS77 called, showing A♥Q♠7♥7♣K♥ for queens up, but CesarSPA had trip jacks, sending ELBRUS77 to the rail in third place for a $19,000 score.

The chip counts were lopsided to say the least as heads-up play began:

Seat 1: CesarSPA (3,815,871 in chips)
Seat 6: Papartis88 (404,129 in chips)

This match lasted less than a minute, with all the money going in on the third hand of play. With the blinds at 12,500-2,5000 with a 6,250 ante, Papartis88 opened for 75,000 and CesarSPA called. CesarSPA took one card while Papartis88 drew two. CesarSPA checked over to Papartis88, who bet 125,000. CesarSPA came back with a raise to 537,500, and Papartis88 made the call for the rest of his chips. CesarSPA showed him the bad news, turning up K♠Q♠J♠T♥9♦ for a king-high straight, besting Papartis88's trip sevens. With that, we had a new WCOOP champion in CesarSPA who earned $33,500 for his victory. Papartis88 took home $25,000 for his runner-up finish.

If the name CesarSPA sounds familiar to you, it's with good reason. Only last weekend, he finished second in the Sunday Million, but took home the largest share of the prize money ($209,845.93) after making a five-way deal. This is a man that not only plays a fearless, aggressive game of five-card draw, he is also running extremely well when it comes to making (or in this case, not making) deals. Congratulations to CesarSPA on a truly remarkable week of tournament poker.

WCOOP Event #7 ($215 Pot-Limit 5-Card Draw) Results

1. CesarSPA $33,500
2. Papartis88 $25,000
3. ELBRUS77 $19,000
4. dev209 $13,000
5. dudeoflife21 $9,000
6. Maksflaks $6,000

Here's the PokerStars.tv recap.

Watch WCOOP 2009: Event 7 - $215 PL 5-Card Draw on PokerStars.tv

There are still another 38 events on the WCOOP calendar. Check out our WCOOP page for a complete schedule as well as satellite information. Thirsty for more WCOOP coverage? Indulge in a little visual stimulation over at PokerStars.tv.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP