2009 WCOOP: ChopSueyyy serves up NLHE victory on a platter for Event 1

WCOOP 2009 logo.jpgAnd we're off! The first event of the 2009 World Championship of Online Poker is history, and it was an amazing tournament to launch into the much-anticipated series of big names, new stars, and $40 million in guarantees.

What better way to start than with a $1.25 million guarantee event? I'll tell you what's better - the fact that the field grew to one of 8,538 players and a subsequent $1,707,600.00 prize pool. Now that is an online poker tournament!

For $200 + $15 (or less for those who utilized the numerous satellite opportunities and got in for much less), players took their shots at that significant money in a no-limit hold'em tournament played at six-handed tables. Among them were many of the biggest names of Team PokerStars, such as Chris Moneymaker, Joe Hachem, Barry Greenstein, and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. But they were among the many who never made it to the money, which kicked in after QcKimo bubbled the tournament in 1351st place.

Triple B2 was the first to cash, taking home $290.29 for 1350th place. Numerous players cashed out for more than their buy-in, including last year's WCOOP Event 1 champion shane147, who cashed for the minimum. Some PokerStars Pros also cashed, like JC Alvarado in 1190th place, Anton Allemann in 876th place, and Lee Nelson in 421st place. But some made it even deeper, as Victor Ramdin ended his run in 189th place, and Dennis Phillips left soon after in 158th place. The last Pro standing was George Danzer, the German player who finished in 71st place.

George Danzer.jpg

After quite a long day/night of tournament play, the last two levels were in action in the wee hours of the morning (U.S. time). It wasn't until more than 16 hours into the tournament that the final table of six was reached, and every single player was fighting for those coveted seats at the last table. But eventually, AV1972 and massive chip leader LosChief got involved to see a 3♥ Q♥ A♦ flop. More betting led to the A♣ turn, at which point LosChief led out with a bet again, but this time ANV1972 raised all-in with Q♣ J♣. The middle pair was not good enough for LosChief's A♠ 2♥ hand and the trip aces. The hand ended with a 9♦ on the river, and ANV1972 pocketed $17,076.01 for the seventh place finish.

The final table was then set amidst Level 42 with blinds at 60,000/120,000 and a 15,000 ante, and the players were seated as follows:

Seat 1: LosChief (16,714,975 in chips)
Seat 2: ChopSueyyy (7,669,138 in chips)
Seat 3: JP OSU (3,517,313 in chips)
Seat 4: MMalipo (7,736,246 in chips)
Seat 5: shuriken555 (2,624,087 in chips)
Seat 6: Futuro (4,428,241 in chips)

wcoop-event-1-final-table.JPG

No time was wasted at the final table, as it only took two hands to see major action. With shuriken555 as the definite short stack, that player's preflop raise was followed by a reraise from Futuro, at which point shuriken555 came over the top with an all-in move holding pocket nines. Futuro called with pocket jacks, and the board brought nothing to save the all-in player when it showed 8♥ 5♥ 7♦ T♥ 7♣. The tournament was over for shuriken555, who garnered $23,940.56 for the sixth place finish.

Suddenly, ChopSueyyy made a run for chips. The following hand started it:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Two hands later, it was short-stacked JP OSU who needed to push all-in and did so with pocket jacks, but ChopSueyyy happened to wake up with pocket aces in the big blind for the call. The board brought nothing exciting when it came Q♥ 6♦ T♥ 2♥ 2♣, and after working a short stack for a few levels, JP OSU was gone in fifth place with $34,152.01 to show for it.

LosChief took enough pots, mostly small ones, to solidify his chip lead again, but ChopSueyyy was right on the heels of LosChief as the two exchanged the lead several times. The other two players were desperately seeking some of those chips and certainly not ready to forfeit the game. There was more than a $50K difference between fourth and third place, but someone was going to have to risk it sooner or later. Futuro was able to double through LosChief, but work was still left to do. And it would take many levels before the game changed significantly.

That happened when ChopSueyyy and LosChief tangled again. The two giants at the table started off with a 8♠ 3♥ 5♠ flop, and more money went into the pot to see the A♣ turn. When LosChief bet again, ChopSueyyy chose to raise it up that time, which received a call from LosChief. After the T♠ on the river, more chips went into the pot, and ChopSueyyy showed A♠ 8♦ to win the 18-million chip pot.

The short-stacked LosChief soon decided to push all-in preflop with pocket eights, and ChopSueyyy called from the small blind with A♠ K♥. The virtual dealer produced a T♠ K♠ 6♦ Q♦ 3♠ board, and LosChief was suddenly gone from the tournament in fourth place with $68,304.01 for the effort.

The last three players decided to pause the tournament nearly 17.5 hours into it to take a look at the chip-chop numbers. But after 20 minutes of discussion, MMalipo was determined to play it out, and they returned to the action.

Small ball poker ensued for multiple rounds of play, until finally, Mmalipo made the all-in move and doubled through ChopSueyyy, though Mmalipo remained the shortest stack of the three. That was until they both chipped away at Futuro. With 2,368,584 in his stack, the all-move came with Futuro holding K♥ 7♦, and MMalipo called with pocket nines. The 7♣ 5♠ 6♥ brought some hope for Futuro, but the 2♥ turn and T♥ river squashed it and sent Futuro out in third place with $119,532.01.

The last two players began with the following counts:

Seat 2: ChopSueyyy (31,555,342 in chips)
Seat 4: MMalipo (11,134,658 in chips)

After only a few hands, play was stopped once again to discuss a deal. Without much ado but plenty of exhaustion, the two agreed on the following numbers with the consideration that $25,000 extra be set aside for the eventual winner:

ChopSueyyy = $209,421.82
MMalipo = $183,940.20

After 18.5 hours, the end seemed near. But it would be another 30 minutes before MMalipo would be chipped down enough to venture into all-in territory. It happened with Q♣ T♥ against the A♣ 8♠ of ChopSueyyy, and the replayer will show the board:

RSS readers click through to see replay

The board only improved ChopSueyyy's hand, leaving MMalipo with a second place finish and the agreed-upon amount of $183,940.20.

And ChopSueyyy won the first event of the 2009 WCOOP! For the hard-earned and exhausting victory, ChopSueyyy will win a PokerStars WCOOP gold bracelet along with the $234,421.82. Congratulations!

2009 WCOOP Event 1 Results:

1st place: ChopSueyyy ($234,421.82)*
2nd place: MMalipo ($183.940.20)*
3rd place: Futuro ($119,532.01)
4th place: LosChief ($68,304.01)
5th place: JP OSU ($34,152.01)
6th place: shuriken555 ($23,940.56)

*based on two-way chop numbers

Here's a look at the video recap of the final table.


Watch WCOOP 2009: Event 1 - $215 NLHE [6-max] on PokerStars.tv

The 2009 WCOOP has only just begun, and more than 40 tournaments remain on the schedule and tens of millions of dollars in guarantees accompany them. Check the newly launched WCOOP website for all of the information, but don't forget to check the list of tournaments and the satellites that offer entries for as little as $1. And PokerStars.TV will have tips from the pros and exciting developments as the series progresses.

Finally, want more action from WCOOP's first day? Check out the 2009 WCOOP Event #2 $215 Razz final table report.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in WCOOP