2009 WCOOP: Daniel "djk123" Kelly dazzles in Event #2, $215 Razz

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgOnline poker's biggest names were out in force today for the first day of the 2009 World Championship of Online Poker, 1,526 of them putting $215 down to play in Event #2. This deep-stacked Razz event blew through its $200,000 Guarantee, the prize pool swelling to $305,200. 224 places would be paid, with the champion earning $53,410.01 along with a WCOOP bracelet.

Now, when we say deep-stacked, we mean deep-stacked. Everyone started with 5,000 chips and by the end of the second hour, only five players had been eliminated. 19 members of Team PokerStars Pro were in the mix including 2007 WSOP Razz bracelet winner Katja Thater, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, Victor Ramdin, and Ylon Schwartz. Only one Team Pro managed to cash, however, Chad Brown winning the last-longer with his 136th-place finish. Vanessa Rousso, Barry Greenstein, and Emad Tahtouh all just missed the money, busting in 236th, 247th, and 248th places respectively. Other familiar names going deep included EPT Dortmund champion Mike "Timex" McDonald (45th), Mike "SirWatts" Watson (40th), and Ari "BodogAri" Engel.

It took a solid twelve hours to reach the final table, which included two online pros with resumes as long as your arm-- Daniel "djk123" Kelly and Matt "plattsburgh" Vengrin. As the cards went in the air, Team Pros Andre Akkari and George Danzer stopped in to wish everyone luck, Danzer even needling grampabumkin for running good against him earlier in the tournament. Here's how their stacks looked as action got underway:

Seat 1: pascap (1,169,088 in chips)
Seat 2: djk123 (1,316,247 in chips)
Seat 3: hans61 (362,192 in chips)
Seat 4: Ottawa_Boy27 (847,860 in chips)
Seat 5: grampabumkin (1,084,898 in chips)
Seat 6: SebbyGl (792,468 in chips)
Seat 7: adamevan (1,110,648 in chips)
Seat 8: plattsburgh (946,599 in chips)


It took less than fifteen minutes for the final table to shed a player. Pascap had the bring-in with the Q♠ and the action was folded to Ottawa_Boy27, who completed with the 7♣ up. Grampabumkin raised, making it 80,000 to go, and perhaps resigned to his fate, Ottawa_Boy27 typed "gg all gl" into the chat box as he reraised to 120,000, leaving himself only 47,860 behind. Grampabumkin called and they went to fourth street, Ottawa_Boy27 catching a three for a board of 7♣3♣ while grampbumkin hit a jack for 7♥J♣. Ottawa_Boy27 bet out and grampabumkin called. Ottawa_Boy27 paired threes on fifth street while grampabumkin hit the T♥ and he called all in after grampbumkin led out.

Ottawa_Boy27 (3♥)(4♠) 7♣3♣3♦J♥ (A♣)
grampabumkin (3♠)(8♠) 7♥J♣T♥T♠ (9♥)

As their boards ran out, grampabumkin notched the KO with a T-9-8-7-3 low against Ottawa_Boy27's J-7-4-3-A, sending him to the rail in eighth place for a $3,052.01 payday.

Hans61 was the next player to stumble. After being crippled on back-to-back hands, hans61 had anted his way down to 41,192 when he made his last stand, going all in on third street. Both adamevan and plattsburgh called. In the end, hans61's 9-8-7-3-2 low couldn't beat plattsburgh's 7-5-4-2-A low and he exited the tournament in seventh place, earning $6,104.01.

With six players remaining, pascap suffered a tough beat to djk123 that left him with only a few big bets.

pascap (X) (X) 6♣A♦4♥2♦ (X)
djk123 (X) (X) 3♣4♠9♠5♦ (X)

The two went heads-up to fourth street, where they both checked. Pascap led out on fifth, djk123 raised and pascap made the call. Djk123 led on sixth street and pascap called. After check-calling one more bet on the river, pascap saw the bad news, as djk123 rolled over a 6-5-4-3-2 low to rake in the 1.2 million chip pot, leaving pascap with little more than two big bets.

However, pascap wasn't the only one in trouble. Only three hands later, adamevan was crippled when SebbyGI turned over a 7-5 low on the river despite catching a queen on fourth and another on sixth. Left with only 57,000 and change, he managed to find new life however, tripling through SebbyGI and pascap with an 8-7 low against their 9-7 lows.

Pascap hung on for a few more hands before getting the rest of his chips in on third street against SebbyGI as well as adamevan, who was all in himself on fourth. Pascap's 9-7-6 low couldn't hold up against SebbyGI's 9-7-5 low and adamevan's 8-7 low, sending him to the rail in sixth place. Pascap took home $9,156.01 for the day's work.

Despite his short-term reprieve, adamevan succumbed only a few hands later on a heartbreaker of a hand.

adamevan (A♠)(4♣) 6♦8♣7♠T♠ (5♦)
plattsburgh (6♠)(3♦) 5♣9♣4♠Q♥ (2♣)

Adamevan completed on third street, plattsburgh raised and adamevan called. Adamevan led out on every subsequent street, plattsburgh calling him down until seventh, when he put in a raise. Adamevan called off the remainder of his chips and had to be confident in his 7-6-5-4-A, but plattsburgh turned over 6-5-4-3-2 to wrest the pot away and send adamevan to the rail in fifth place. He earned $15,260.01 for his efforts.

As four-handed play progressed, plattsburgh began pulling away from the pack, jumping out to 3.7 million in chips while his three remaining opponents were all bunched together in the 1-1.5 million range with the betting limits at 80,000-160,000. Grampabumkin was the first to find himself in trouble, losing the majority of his stack to djk123.

grampabumkin (X) (X) 3♥9♣4♥4♣ (X)
djk123 (X) (X) 6♥T♦3♠3♦ (X)

Grampabumkin raised djk123's completion on third street and djk123 responded with a three-bet. Grampabumkin called, then led out on fourth. Djk123 called. Grampabumkin led again on fifth, djk123 raised and grampabumkin called. Djk123 led sixth and grampabumkin called to see a seventh street card, but folded for one more bet on the river, leaving himself with only 171,000 in chips, while djk123 moved up to 2.5 million.

Though grampabumkin was able to keep it going for a little while, climbing back up to nearly a million in chips, he eventually succumbed in fourth place. Grampabumkin put the last of his chips in on fifth street against SebbyGI, SebbyGI already had a made eight low against grampabumkin's K-T-6-4-2 on fifth, and it was all over when grampabumkin paired sixes on sixth. SebbyGI improved to a 6-5-4-2-A low on the river and grampabumkin ended his WCOOP Razz run with a $21,364.01 score.

As play turned three-handed, plattsburgh began to take control of the table, his chip count climbing to 5.5 million while SebbyGI held 950,000 and djk123 1.1 million. However, in the space of one pivotal hand, djk123 was able to pull within striking range.

plattsburgh (X) (X) 2♣T♥A♣8♦ (X)
djk123 (X) (X) 3♠5♣T♦T♣ (X)

SebbyGI had the bring-in, plattsburgh completed, djk123 raised, SebbyGI folded and plattsburgh called. Djk123 led out with the low board on fourth street and plattsburgh made the call. On fifth, plattsburgh was low and bet out, djk123 making the call. Plattsburgh led again on sixth street, and despite pairing tens, djk123 made the call. On the river, plattsburgh check-called one more bet. Djk123 revealed 9♦4♠7♥ in the hole for a 9-7 low and plattsburgh mucked. That hand left the two nearly even, with SebbyGI bringing up the rear. Then, only three minutes later, djk123 snatched away the chip lead when he showed down a 7-6 low in a 2 million chip pot against plattsburgh.

Below a million in chips with 100,000-200,000 limits, SebbyGI took a stand against plattsburgh. Though both players were sporting ugly-looking boards, plattsburgh ended up with the best of it, his J-T-9-6-5 besting SebbyGI's Q-9-4-3-2 to end his tournament in third place. SebbyGI earned $28,994.01 for a long, impressive run.

Plattsburgh and djk123 quickly decided against a deal, opting to play out the tournament for the full amount of the remaining prize pool, rather than making a save. Here's how their stacks looked as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 2: djk123 (4,045,247 in chips)
Seat 8: plattsburgh (3,584,753 in chips)

Heads-up play was truly a battle royale between these two experienced pros. EPT creator and Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie even stopped in to congratulate both players and comment on the quality of the play he had seen. Though they went for small-pot poker at first, djk123 quickly lost some ground, his stack falling as low as 1.1 million to plattsburgh's 6 million before he mounted a comeback and pulled nearly even again.

At one point the stacks were so evenly matched, both players were looking for something, anything to push the action.

djk123 said, "stars"
djk123 said, "can we change this to nl"
plattsburgh said, "how about plo"
djk123 said, "ya"
djk123 said, "even ebtter"

At just past 6:45 a.m. EDT, djk123 at last broke through and took control of the heads-up match after winning this pivotal hand.

plattsburgh (X) (X) 2♣5♠8♦3♠ (X)
djk123 (X) (X) 2♦7♣2♥J♥ (X)

Plattsburgh completed on third street, djk123 raised and plattsburgh called. Plattsburgh had the low board and led on fourth street, djk123 raised and plattsburgh called. Plattsburgh led fifth, was again met with a raise, and made the call. When djk123 caught a jack on sixth street plattsburgh continued to fire, but djk123 looked him up. Plattsburgh bet again on the river, djk123 raised and plattsburgh called. Djk123 showed 6♦A♣3♣ in the hole for a 7-6 low and took down the 4.5 million chip pot.

It was all over only minutes later. Plattsburgh got his remaining 1.1 million in chips in the middle by fifth street showing T♦2♣7♣ and djk123 called with 5♣6♣2♦.

plattsburgh (A♥)(4♣) T♦2♣7♣5♠ (7♥)
djk123 (8♣)(4♥) 5♣6♣2♦A♣ (7♠)

In the end, djk123's 6-5-4-2-A edged out plattsburgh's 7-5-4-2-A to earn him the WCOOP bracelet and $53,410.01. Plattsburgh earned $38,150.01 for his runner-up finish.

Andre Akkari had some consoling words for plattsburgh as the tournament concluded.

"Enjoy it Matt, Really nice job, you did a great tournament, I hope see u here against my friend! You are the man...The best HU ever!"


Matt "plattsburgh" Vengrin

For Matt "plattsburgh" Vengrin, this marks his 13th WCOOP cash. He previously finished third in the $1,000 LHE event at the 2007 WCOOP, and has also notched runner-up finishes in both the Sunday Million and the Sunday Second Chance.


Daniel "djk123" Kelly

This is Daniel "djk123" Kelly's first WCOOP victory. In 2008 he made the final table of the $10,300 H.O.R.S.E. finishing 6th. Kelly has also earned Top 50 finishes on both the 2007 and 2008 Tournament Leaderboards.

WCOOP Event #2 ($215 Razz) Results

1. PokerStars.tv highlight how.

Watch WCOOP 2009: Event 2 - $215 Limit Razz on PokerStars.tv

The WCOOP action is only just beginning. Check out the WCOOP page for more information, including a complete event schedule. Still hungry for more? Hit up PokerStars.tv for tons of video goodness.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP