2009 WCOOP: hustla16 wins more than $446K in $530 NLHE two-day event

WCOOP 2009 logo.jpgIt began on Sunday, September 6 when 6,219 players each ponied up a $530 buy-in to participate in the first two-day event of the 2009 WCOOP. The excitement of the day increased as the tournament hit the last hours, when 900 players found their way into the money and many began to play for Day 2 play.

Speaking of money, the prize pool was astounding. After PokerStars put up a $3 million guarantee, the final registration number pushed it even higher...to $3,109,500. And the first place prize was set at nearly $475,000, and there was more that a million dollars waiting for those who would make it to the final table. The benefits of honing those no-limit hold'em skills don't get much better than that!

Day 1 of Event 11 saw thousands of players hit the rail, including some of the most recognizable names on the Team PokerStars roster - Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Barry Greenstein, and Tom McEvoy. And once the money bubble hit and there were several PS Pros remaining, the focus was on them as some of them struggled to stay alive through the end of the first day. The host of the tournament, Vicky Coren, was one of them, and she finally ended her run in 580th place. Jose "nachobarbero" Ignacio took it to 460th place, Anton Allemann to 398th place, and Joe Hachem to 397th.

But when the night ended and only 214 players remained, two of them were Team PokerStars representatives. Veronica "Princesa" Dabul of Argentina was hanging in there, and Hevad "RaiNKhAN" Khan was in an impressive eighth position on the leaderboard. In the top spot was CONOW with 1,360,895 chips, and IG0tDibs and GypsieChris were in the high 900K range.

After an 11-hour rest period, the 214 players returned on Monday, September 7, to play for the win. Play resumed at the beginning of Level 23, with blinds at 2,500/5,000 and a 625 ante, and the action got underway with numerous eliminations in the first few hours.

Dabul was one of them, as the short-stack fight was finally lost in 179th place, which gave her a $1,772.42 payout. And though Khan was left alone to represent Team PokerStars with a stack that quickly diminished and put him in the elimination danger zone, the pro's patience came into play as he waited for the opportunity to double up. He did so in Level 29 when he pushed with J-T suited against the A-8 of his opponent but won the hand decisively with a flopped straight. He doubled up again and played aggressively to chip up, but one singular call would be the ticket to his elimination.

He had 99NvrLosez covered by less than 200K in chips and called his opponent's all-in with pocket queens, but Khan was disappointed to see that he was up against kings.

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A few hands later, it was 99NvrLosez who was able to finish the job and eliminate Khan in 50th place, which was worth $5,410.54.

Hevad Khan 2.jpg

Several other players from the previous night's top ten found themselves in trouble early on Day 2, with MpyreIntl falling in 125th place, Brett Favre in 105th, IG0tDibs in 70th placeand Grekzorba in 63rd. DaMurdera3 finally exited in 42nd place, and TheHoboKing followed a bit later in 29th. By the time that Level 37 hit and the last two tables were in play, the Day 1 third place finisher GypsieChris was in the chip lead, and the previous chipleader CONOW was in third. Also still in contention was fabstinho, who was fourth the night before and hanging in the top ten at a crucial time on Day 2.

After the eventual elimination of riverpleeze in 11th place, hand-for-hand play was put into action, and it didn't take long for fabstinho to get aggressive. He raised preflop, and when SPEKTAH reraised, fabstinho came over the top all-in, which prompted SPEKTAH to call all-in for his tournament life with A♣ Q♥. fabstinho showed A♥ K♥, and though the board of J♣ 3♦ 2♣ T♠ Q♣ brought a queen on the river, it only made a straight for fabstinho and knocked SPEKTAH out in tenth place on the final table bubble, with $17,413.21 to ease the pain.

The long-awaited final table of the tournament was finally set, and in the midst of Level 39 (blinds 50,000/100,000, ante 12,500), players were seated as follows:

Seat 1: Juancesan (6,367,644 in chips)
Seat 2: CONOW (5,385,645 in chips)
Seat 3: aaaaaaaa (11,465,030 in chips)
Seat 4: colonelkosta (8,717,052 in chips)
Seat 5: fabstinho (9,934,493 in chips)
Seat 6: kidwhowon (2,212,841 in chips)
Seat 7: GypsieChris (5,626,806 in chips)
Seat 8: Shazmeister (2,513,180 in chips)
Seat 9: hustla16 (9,967,309 in chips)

Event 11 final table.JPG

Not long into the action, kidwhowon was in desperate need of a double-up with fewer than 1.8 million chips, and that feat was accomplished when his A-9 hit a higher straight on the board than fabstinho's K-9. But most of the play was of the small ball sort for numerous rounds. The money at stake was too significant, and there was no reason to rush the action.

Shazmeister had been unable to garner any momentum at the final table, and once relegated to 1,167,680 chips, the decision was made to move. Juancesan reraised all-in to isolate, and it worked to leave only Shazmeister with A♦ J♠ and Juancesan holding pocket queens. The board produced 3♣ 5♦ 3♥ 2♥ Q♠, and Juancesan made a full house to eliminate Shazmeister in ninth place with $24,098.63.

On the very next hand, the next on the short-stack list, kidwhowon, decided to move and did so from the small blind with pocket queens. colonelkosta called with A♦ J♦ and caught the flush on the 7♦ 3♦ 2♦ flop. The J♣ turn and T♦ river changed nothing, and kidwhowon was ousted in eighth place with $37,314.01.

It was in the subsequent rounds that aaaaaaaa stepped up the aggression and not only took over the chip lead but jumped over the 20 million chip mark, more than 5 million more than the nearest competitor. But that chip lead was eventually lost to hustla16, who had been making some moves of his own, the last of which put him into the top spot.

GypsieChris moved all-in preflop with K♠ Q♦, and hustla16 was the caller holding pocket queens. When the board came 4♦ 2♥ 4♥ 4♠ 9♦, it gave hustla16 the full house and GypsieChris a seventh place finish, which was worth $68,409.01.

Another one of the shorter stacks at the final table put his last 2,732,763 all-in preflop with A♠ K♠, only to find himself in a race with hustla16's pocket jacks. The board provided no help with T♣ T♥ 4♣ 3♠ 5♦, and CONOW was ousted in sixth place with $99,504.01.

Soon after, the last of the Day 1 chip leaders was in dire need of chip assistance, and fabstinho found some with a double-up through colonelkosta. But still sitting in short-stacked position, fabstinho tried it again a few hands later with T♣ 8♣ in the big blind but received a call from aaaaaaaa and his A♦ 9♠. The virtual dealer gave them a K♦ 7♣ K♥ K♠ 9♥ board, which made a full house for aaaaaaaa and equaled a fifth place exit for fabstinho along with $130,599.01 in prize money.

For awhile, the battle for first place seemed to take place between aaaaaaaa and hustla16, and they clearly held the majority of the chips in play. So when the two tangled, there were fireworks. The hand started with a raise from hustla16, a reraise from aaaaaaaa, and several more reraises before hustla16 pushed all-in for more than 26 million chips. aaaaaaaa called and was covered by his opponent. And the sinking feeling likely continued when hustla16 showed pocket kings to the pocket queens of aaaaaaaa. The board came J♠ 4♣ 6♠ 3♥ J♣, and hustla16 raked in the 47,925,692 pot, while aaaaaaaa was forced out in fourth place with $171,022.51 as a consolation prize.

The last three players paused the tournament to discuss a potential deal, and though it took some extra time because of the need for a Spanish translator for Juancesan, the desire to deal was there and an agreement was eventually reached with the understanding that $60,000 would be set aside for the eventual winner.

Seat 1: Juancesan (3,583,502 in chips) = $270,000.00
Seat 4: colonelkosta (11,418,984 in chips) = $355,000.00
Seat 9: hustla16 (47,187,514 in chips) = $386,533.73

Once the deal was reached after nearly 30 minutes, the players asked for a 5-minute break. In particular, colonelkosta noted, "i have to poo."

Upon their return, host and Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker said, "poo boy is back," and play resumed with this writer's hopes that the conversation would not turn any further toward bathroom talk.

On the fifth hand back, colonelkosta and hustla16 chose to see a flop of K♦ 9♥ 5♠. A bet and call led to the 6♠ on the turn, at which point, colonelkosta bet out, hustla16 raised, and colonelkosta called all-in with K♣ 3♦ for top pair. But hustla16 showed K♠ 6♣ for the turned two pair, and the 2♥ on the river solidified the outcome. colonelkosta took a third place finish and the $355,000 that went with it.

Heads-up began as follows:

Seat 1: Juancesan (4,023,502 in chips)
Seat 9: hustla16 (58,166,498 in chips)

And eight hands after that, the heads-up match was decided:

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Juancesan's K♥ 7♥ hand was only good for king high on the 5♣ Q♠ 2♦ T♠ J♠ board, and though hustla16 only had ace high with A♦ 6♣, it was good for the win. Juancesan took $270,000 for second place, and hustla16 won $446,533.73 and a WCOOP gold bracelet for the victory.



Congratulations to all of the final table finishers in this two-day extravaganza!

2009 WCOOP Event 11 Results:

1st place: hustla16 ($446,533.73)*
2nd place: Juancesan ($270,000.00)*
3rd place: colonelkosta ($355,000.00)*
4th place: aaaaaaaa ($171,022.51)
5th place: fabstinho ($130,599.01)
6th place: CONOW ($99,504.01)
7th place: GypsieChris ($68,409.01)
8th place: kidwhowon ($37,314.01)
9th place: Shazmeister ($24,098.63)

*numbers based on a chop agreement during three-handed play

Watch WCOOP 2009: Event 11 - $530 NL Hold'em [ 2-day] on PokerStars.tv

The 2009 WCOOP is well underway, but another two weeks and millions more dollars are available for players. Check the newly launched WCOOP website for all of the information, including the list of tournaments and corresponding satellites that offer entries for as little as $1. And PokerStars.TV, as always, will have tips from the pros and tournament replays as the WCOOP progresses.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in WCOOP