2009 WCOOP: FireGoblin burns through the field in Event #5, $109 8-Game

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgIn the beginning, it was no-limit hold'em. Everyone wanted to learn the game they saw on TV. Then, as poker evolved and more players hopped online, pot-limit Omaha was in vogue. Next it was H.O.R.S.E. that began gaining momentum, bringing Generation Y into the stud variations that were once the games of their grandfathers' generation. And now, the 8-game mix is taking over, as evidenced by the record-setting number of players that came out for WCOOP Event #5, a $109 buy-in 8-Game event that combined 2-7 Triple Draw, the five limit H.O.R.S.E. games, no-limit hold'em, and pot-limit Omaha.

1,779 players bought in to this tournament,creating a prize pool of $177,900. 264 places were paid, with the first-place finisher set to earn $28,019.26. With a brisk blind structure that had players switching games every five minutes, this event hit the money only 2 hours and 45 minutes into play, with "iamhiv" earning the dubious title of bubble boy in 265th place. A number of Team PokerStars Pros notched cashes including Chris Moneymaker (63rd), George Danzer (67th), Joe Hachem (182nd), Tom McEvoy (126th), and Ylon Schwartz (109th). Some other notable players making deep runs were Bryan "micon" Micon (65th), Chad 'lilholdem954" Batista (61st) and Danny "THE__D__RY" Ryan (20th).

As the remaining six players hit the final table, Team Pros Tom McEvoy and Barry Greenstein popped into the chat box

"Congratulations, you have survived the fire," quipped Greenstein.

"Fantastic job everybody... this was the largest number of players in history in a mixed event. You all should be very proud to be part of a new world record," added McEvoy.

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

Seat 1: Y2JohnK6 (496,175 in chips)
Seat 2: Odd_Oddsen (386,201 in chips)
Seat 3: FireGoblin (800,904 in chips)
Seat 4: vilaincanard (2,094,635 in chips)
Seat 5: -kadlatko- (521,039 in chips)
Seat 6: krutish2009 (1,038,046 in chips)


Action began with limit hold'em and betting limits of 40,000-80,000. The first elimination came less than ten minutes into the final table, on a hand of Omaha Hi/Lo. Chip leader vilaincanard led off the action with a raise from the button, -kadlatko- three bet and vilaincanard called. -Kadlatko- led out on the 8♠T♣K♦ flop and vilaincanard came along with a call. The turn came the 5♦ and -kadlatko- fired again, vilaincanard looking him up. The last of -kadlatko-'s chips went in once the 7♣ hit the river and vilaincanard called. -Kadlatko- turned up A♣9♥Q♠3♣ for 8-7-5-3-A low and ace high, but vilaincanard's A♥4♥2♠4♣ for an 8-7-5-2-A low and a pair of fours for high was good for the scoop, sending -kadlatko- to the rail in sixth place for $3.753.70.

After losing a few small pots, Odd_Oddsen was down to 121,000 and made his move on a Razz hand, getting the rest of his chips in on fourth street against Y2JohnK6 and vilaincanard. Vilaincanard's fifth street lead bet chased Y2JohnK6 out of the pot and the cards went on their backs.

Odd_Oddsen (9♥) (2♥) 4♥8♠Q♦3♥ (8♦)
vilaincanard (3♠) (6♦) 5♥7♥6♠2♠ (J♣)

Odd_Oddsen was drawing dead on sixth street when vilaincanard made a 7-6-5-3-2 low and exited the tournament in fifth place for a $6,671.26 score.

At this stage, vilaincanard held a clear chip lead with around 2.5 million while krutish2009, FireGoblin, and Y2JohnK6 all vacillated between 500,000 and 1.2 million. Just as it looked like vilaincanard might run away with this thing and take the three short stacks out one by one, he ran into some trouble on a hand of Omaha Hi/Lo against Y2JohnK6. The two put in three bets apiece on a flop of Q♦4♣J♠, then vilaincanard check-raised the turn when the Q♥ fell. Y2JohnK6 made the call for the remainder of his chips and turned over A♥A♣T♠5♠ for aces up while vilaincanard showed K♥J♥4♦3♦ for jacks up. The K♠ hit the river, Y2JohnK6 improving to a Broadway straight to scoop the 1.7 million chip pot. The hand knocked vilaincanard down to 1.6 million in chips while Y2JohnK6 found new life with a double-up to 1.7 million.

Four-handed play went on for more than forty-five minutes total, the betting limits climbing to 100,000-200,000 before krutish2009 succumbed in fourth place on a hand of, you guessed it, Omaha Hi/Lo, which was (surprisingly) emerging as the stack-killing game of the night. Down to only 264,000, krutish2009 got the rest of his chips in the middle before the flop , taking his A♠K♣3♦2♥ up against FireGoblin's A♣K♥K♦5♥. The board ran out 7♣4♠3♠2♦Q♥, FireGoblin turning a wheel to scoop the pot and end krutish2009's tournament in fourth place. For his efforts, krutish2009 earned $10,229.26.

The three remaining players all agreed to pause the tournament and discuss a deal. Their stacks had evened up somewhat and the blinds were sky-high at this point; even chip leader FireGoblin had only a bit more than ten big bets. When host Tom McEvoy came back with the chip count chop numbers, all three players quickly agreed to a deal that would pay them out according to their present chip stacks, leaving $1,000 on the table for the winner.

"Now lets us szee some poker you can only see in the french clubs" wrote Paris resident vilaincanard in the chat box as the card went back on the screen.

It would be the Frenchman who would exit first, his final hand coming in a round of seven-card stud where he got the rest of his chips in on fifth street against FireGoblin.

vilaincanard: (4♦)(A♦) J♦6♦5♣8♠ (K♣)
FireGoblin: (5♠)(J♠) T♠6♥8♣A♠ (8♦)

Vilaincanard could not hit a fifth diamond, ending up with only ace high while FireGoblin rivered a pair of eights to take down the pot and leave vilaincanard to collect his $19,452.05 in earnings.

Here's a look at the chip stacks as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 1: Y2JohnK6 (1,823,376 in chips)
Seat 3: FireGoblin (3,513,624 in chips)

With the vast majority of the prize pool already distributed, heads-up play was as swift as you'd imagine, lasting only six hands. Y2JohnK6 lost two back-to-back Stud Hi/Lo pots that left him with little more than one big bet against FireGoblin's 5 million plus. On the final hand, Y2JohnK6 got the rest of his chips in on third street and let the cards speak.

Y2JohnK6: (6♦)(2♦) T♣7♦K♣3♦ (2♠)
FireGoblin: (A♦)(J♠) J♣A♥5♦9♠ (7♠)

Y2JohnK6 ended up with a pair of deuces, no match for FireGoblin's aces up and with neither player making a low, FireGoblin scooped the pot, sealing up that extra $1,000 and the WCOOP victory. FireGoblin took down $23,230.85 for his performance while runner-up Y2JohnK6 earned $21,805.89.

Y2JohnK6 is a familiar face in PokerStars MTTs. On Super Bowl Sunday 2008, he cut through a massive field to take down the Sunday Hundred Grand. He has also won the Nightly Seventy Grand and the $33 Rebuy within the last year. As for FireGoblin, he's primarily a cash player and this is his first WCOOP title.

WCOOP Event #5 ($109 8-Game) Results

1. FireGoblin $23,230.85*
2. Y2JohnK6 $21,805.89*
3. vilaincanard $19,452.05*
4. krutish2009 $10,229,26
5. Odd_Oddsen $6,671.26
6. -kadlatko- $3,753.70

(*=amounts reflect a three-way deal that left $1,000 for the winner)

There's plenty of time to get in on the WCOOP action no matter what the size of your bankroll. Check out the WCOOP page for more information-- satellites are running around the clock. For even more WCOOP news, check out PokerStars.tv.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP