2009 WCOOP: iacog4 followed instincts and won Event 8 ($215 FLHE)
Limit hold'em is for the patient, calculating player. It is a game that many learn when they first walk into a casino or log on to an online poker site, as the buy-ins are lower and the betting is more controlled, and while some eventually move on to no-limit or even other games like Omaha, some never forget their first love - limit hold'em. And those who grow to master the limit games realize that there are special skills that make the game profitable.
That adoration for the fixed limit game brought exactly 1,800 players to the virtual felt on Saturday, August 5th for the first FLHE game of the 2009 WCOOP. Though the number was slightly lower than anticipated, it benefited the players when PokerStars kicked in its $400,000 guarantee for the prize pool, creating a $40,000 overlay and a little extra incentive to grab a piece of that poker pie.
Among those at the tables when it started were Team PokerStars Pros Chris Moneymaker, Vanessa Rousso, Dennis Phillips, Katja Thater, Victor Ramdin, Marcel Luske, George Danzer, Andre Akkari, and Marcin Horecki. But there was one who made a solid run for the WCOOP bracelet, and that player was Barry "barryg1" Greenstein, who played an average to low stack for quite awhile before finally being eliminated in 57th place with $860. It was a nice run for the sarcastic host of the previous night's Event 4, but a win will have to wait for another tournament.
While 270 players were paid in the tournament, all eyes were on the last ten players as they closed in on the final table as the eleventh hour of the event neared. Short-stacked lordhuttyx was able to double through Esquemo to stay alive, and yngmnN4quiki attempted it next, though his J♦ T♦ ran into Titantom32's A♣ 5♦ that found an ace on the flop and a five on the turn. yngmnN4quiki was gone in tenth place with $3,100 for bubbling the final table.
With that, the final table was set at the very beginning of Level 30, with blinds at 40,000/80,000 and the players seated as follows:
Seat 1: lordhuttyx (290,898 in chips)
Seat 2: xxjondxx (1,386,280 in chips)
Seat 3: Bumpasaurus (1,404,443 in chips)
Seat 4: SonnyRamone (151,345 in chips)
Seat 5: MiguelPiper (535,770 in chips)
Seat 6: iacog4 (2,230,360 in chips)
Seat 7: Esquemo (644,722 in chips)
Seat 8: Titantom32 (1,431,717 in chips)
Seat 9: ~US&Co~ (924,465 in chips)
It didn't take long for big pots to develop, one of which involved SonnyRamone and xxjondxx involved in a raising war preflop that ended with SonnyRamone all-in holding 9♦ 4♦ against the K♣ T♥ of xxjondxx. The flop came in favor of SonnyRamone with 4♠ 8♥ J♠, and the Q♥ on the turn changed nothing, but the K♠ on the river eliminated SonnyRamone in ninth place, which was worth $4,000 for the effort.
Only several hands later, another sizable pot took shape when xxjondxx and lordhuttyx went to see a flop of T♦ A♣ A♥. They checked to the 7♣ turn, at which point xxjondxx bet out but lordhuttyx check-raised all-in for his last 150,898. xxjondxx called and showed pocket queens for top two pair, while lordhuttyx turned over J♠ T♠ for a lesser two pair. The K♣ on the river ended the tournament for lordhuttyx, who took home $7,000 for the eighth place finish.
Play slowed for the next few rounds, and as some players struggled to chip up, it was iacog4 who dominated. While he didn't play an outrageous number of hands, he steadily increased his chip lead - over the 3-million chip mark - with hands like the one that plays out here:
Upon returning from a 15-minute break, it only took a few hands for short-stacked Esquemo to risk those chips in the hopes of a double-up. When Bumpasaurus made a preflop raise, Esquemo called all-in from the small blind with K♦ J♥, but Titantom32 came up with a reraise, which Bumpasaurus called. The latter got out of the hand after the 2♣ 4♣ 8♦ flop, though, after Titantom32 made a bet that Bumpasaurus couldn't call. Titantom32 turned over pocket tens, and the two players watched the A♥ come on the turn and the 2♠ fall on the river to end Esquemo's run in seventh place with a $10,000 consolation prize.
Moments after, a hand got underway that involved ~US&Co~ and xxjondxx and a flop of K♠ Q♦ J♠. Betting was capped by xxjondxx, and ~US&Co~ called all-in with K♣ 4♥ and top pair. But xxjondxx turned over the Q♠ 6♠ for middle pair and the flush draw, and that flush came when the 9♠ showed up on the turn. The J♣ ended it for ~US&Co~ in sixth place with a $14,000 payout.
One player who seemed to struggle to gain any momentum at the final table was MiguelPiper, and getting involved in a hand with Titantom32 to see a flop ended up putting the shorter stack to the test. After the two saw a 5♦ 6♠ K♥ flop, they checked to the J♣ on the turn, which prompted a bet from MiguelPiper, raise from Titantom32, and all-in reraise from MiguelPiper. Titantom32 called and showed Q♣ T♣ for the straight draw, and MiguelPiper turned over the Q♥ 6♣ for the pair of sixes. But the T♥ hit on the river to give Titantom32 the better pair, which sent MiguelPiper out in fifth place with $18,000.
Despite Titantom32's elimination of the fifth place player, he remained the short stack at the table but was still willing to gamble. Titantom32 and xxjondxx capped the betting to see a 6♥ J♥ 8♠ flop, which brought on a simple bet and call. But the Q♠ on the turn prompted them to cap the betting again. After the J♠ hit on the river, Titantom32 bet all-in for his last 107,209 chips with A♠ Q♦ and two pair, but xxjondxx called with Q♥ J♣ and the full house to win the pot. Titantom32 was eliminated in fourth place with $25,660 to show for it.
With the latest moves by xxjondxx, it was chipleader position for him as he climbed above the 4-million chip mark, while the other two players struggled to make some headway. Bumpasaurus chipped into that xxjondxx lead, though, until the three were fairly close to even again. As they took a few moments of a break to chat, the three decided to take a look at chip-chop numbers, but the talks quickly broke down, and play resumed.
It should be noted that the deal was nixed by iacog4, who said he simply felt he was going to win the tournament and didn't want to settle. From there, iacog4 went on a rampage and pure aggressive play put him over the 6-million chip mark while the other two players were left far behind.
Finally, Bumpasaurus got involved with xxjondxx preflop until the betting was capped and Bumpasaurus was all-in holding K♦ 8♣. xxjondxx showed pocket threes, and they held up on the 4♦ 5♦ 5♥ Q♠ J♣ board. Bumpasaurus was ousted in third place with $36,000.
Heads-up action began with the following counts:
Seat 2: xxjondxx (2,479,640 in chips)
Seat 6: iacog4 (6,520,360 in chips)
The uphill battle for xxjondxx began, and though some reasonably sized pots kept him in the game, but iacog4 was bound and determined to win. And it all came down to the last stand of xxjondxx that played out as displayed in this replayer:
The J♥ 9♥ of xxjondxx was lagging behind the Q♠ 8♠ of iacog4 from the moment the cards were turned over, and the 2♦ A♠ K♣ 3♠ 7♥ board did nothing to change that. xxjondxx was forced to accept a second place finish and the $48,000 that went with it, while iacog4 won the WCOOP bracelet and $64,000 first place prize. Congratulations!
2009 WCOOP Event 8 Results:
1st place: iacog4 ($64,000.00)
2nd place: xxjondxx ($48,000.00)
3rd place: Bumpasaurus ($36,000.00)
4th place: Titantom32 ($25,660.00)
5th place: MiguelPiper ($18,000.00)
6th place: ~US&Co~ ($14,000.00)
7th place: Esquemo ($10,000.00)
8th place: lordhuttyx ($7,000.00)
9th place: SonnyRamone ($4,000.00)
The 2009 WCOOP is well underway, but another two weeks and millions more dollars are still available for players. 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.