2009 WCOOP: PiMaster circles the final table in Event #40, $215 NLO8 win

wcoop-thumb.pngLast year in the 2008 WCOOP there was the double turbo tourney which shot out a winner so fast; the PokerStarsBlog live blogging crew's fingers had blisters from trying to keep up with the action. While that tourney was of the NLHE variety, tonight's Event #40 $200,000 Guarantee No Limit Omaha Eight or Better with ten minute levels had a similar feel to it. Despite the 1,265 players that lined up their $215 entry fee straight up or via the multitude of satellites being run around the clock, the final table took just over six hours to reach and eight hours to crown a new WCOOP champion.

Players were not shy about heading into preflop all-in battles, as much like the NLO8 cash games, you can be assured to see at least a few preflop shoves for entire stacks despite no other betting. The stagnant blinds in a cash game didn't relate here tonight, as the players either found a hand to gamble with when the blinds got high, or ended up getting looked up by someone playing any four cards after the blind ate up their stacks.

barry_greenstein.pngAfter the 15 minute break during the six hour mark, Team PokerStars Pro Barry "barryg1" Greenstein was still in the hunt to crack into the big final table money which set aside $42,263.65 for the winner along with a 2009 WCOOP champion's bracelet. As noted from a recent post from Greenstein by Brad Willis, Greenstein has been multi-tabling live and online poker and was disappointed for only cashing four (now five) times as 180 players took away cash this evening. Unfortunately for Bear his K♦ A♠ A♦ 6♣ couldn't sneak past the A♥ 2♣ Q♠ 4♥ of cocody1 after pushing from the button as cocody1 would flop the nut low and hit a wheel on the turn to send Greenstein out in 19th place ($1,012.00).

cocody1 would use some of Greenstein's chips to springboard into the chip lead with two tables remaining and was the first player with over one million chips. But, while on the final table bubble, some of those chips swelled up to 1.5 million then got redistributed to Benba and dav713 via timely double ups as the blinds of 15K/30K ante 3,750 really started to dig into the lower half of the chip counts. SicTheory would take an average stack of 490,532 and put into the middle preflop after 3-betting PiMaster's 71K raise. PiMaster would make the call showing 9♠ A♠ 2♠ 5♣ against SicTheory's 3♣ A♣ J♠ T♠ and when no low hit the river on the Q♠ 2♥ 7♣ 9♥ T♦ board we had our final table set as SicTheory couldn't beat PiMaster's two pair and came up short of the final table but took away $2,150.50 in tenth place.


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Seat 1: cocody1 (796444 in chips)
Seat 2: Benba (546344 in chips)
Seat 3: dav713 (662339 in chips)
Seat 4: PLO UFO (579021 in chips)
Seat 5: LUCKY FACE (839295 in chips)
Seat 6: PiMaster (1572426 in chips)
Seat 7: chips151 (748480 in chips)
Seat 8: late_entry (304250 in chips)
Seat 9: thegrizz1111 (276401 in chips)

Thanks to the bubble bursting pot, PiMaster came into the final table as the chip leader as even the average stacks had the blinds to worry about waiting for aces with the 15K/30K ante 3,750 blinds but moved up to 17.5K/35K ante 4,375 in just seven hands.

cocody1 would take the first big hit of the final table after raising to 100,000 with 3♥ 2♠ 4♣ A♠ and called the all-in 3-bet from PLO UFO who held 7♣ A♥ A♦ 8♥. The aces would go to hold up on the 8♠ J♦ J♥ Q♣ 5♥ board to give PLO UFO the nearly 1.1 million chip pot. Two hands later cocody1 was involved in another big hand, this time cocody1's tourney life was on the line. chips151 set cocody1 all-in with a 3-bet shove from the small blind holding 2♣K♥A♣6♠ and cocody1 would make the call with 5♠3♠A♥4♠. The 7♣ J♠ K♠ T♦ 9♥ board did not cooperate with cocody1 low wrap hand again as chips151's pair of kings was enough to send cocody1 out in ninth place ($2,631.20).

Four hands later it was Benba and VIP Supernova late_entry who would throw their chips in preflop. Queens 6♣Q♣Q♠5♦ for late_entry against the 8♣A♥2♠K♠ for Benba and this one ended on the turn as Benba would hit an ace on the flop but turn the nut flush and an unnecessary 8-6-5-2-A low on the [As 6s Jd 9s] 5♣ board sending late_entry back to the task of collecting oodles of FPPs while collecting the eighth place paycheck ($4,807.00) this evening.

Despite several all-ins and a blind bump to 20K/40K ante 5K nearly twenty hands went by before the next elimination. The very short stacked thegrizz1111 just doubled up the hand prior to get to 160,300 in chips and put those right back into play the next hand pushing preflop with J♥ A♣ 2♦ 4♣. Chip leader and first one to two million chips tonight PiMaster was waiting in the cutoff with T♥A♠K♦4♦ and raised to isolate. thegrizz1111 held the better low draw, but as with the cocody1's elimination the low cards did not form on the 9♠ 2♣ T♠ 6♠ 6♥ board as PiMaster's tens and sixes were enough to send thegrizz1111 home in seventh place ($7,337.00).

Another victim to high cards trumping low wraps, as PLO UFO took 2♥ A♣ 3♥ 4♣ up against the chip machine of PiMaster's Q♦ A♥ 3♦ J♥ all-in preflop to form a 1.4 million chip pot. Watch PLO UFO's chips fly into the black hole of PiMaster's stack below:

RSS readers click through to see replay

And with the flopped queen (and overkill of a rivered nut straight) PiMaster sent PLO UFO off to explore other galaxies in sixth place ($9,867.00).

Just before the blinds moved up to 30K/60K ante 7,500 it was LUCKY FACE's turn to take on everyone's favorite geometric calculation and the results were the same as other who faced π this evening. LUCKY FACE would shove in 446,430 in chips holding 4♦ T♠ A♣ K♥ from the small blind hoping to collect the sizable preflop pot. But, PiMaster had other plans and plenty of chips to call in the big blind with Q♦ 8♠ A♦ 6♥. By the 9♣ 6♦ T♦ 4♥ turn it looked to be a scooper with LUCKY FACE holding two pair against PiMaster's flush draw and a live low draw. The cruel 7♦ river would deliver both for PiMaster and with the nut flush the 924,110 was deposited into the bank of PiMaster as LUCKY FACE's bankroll received a deposit of $12,397.00 in fifth place.

Those blisters from last year are making a comeback as the PiMaster continued to make mincemeat of the final table. This time five hands after giving LUCKY FACE fifth place money, it was dav713's turn to face PiMaster's wall of chips which had grown to nearly four million. After dav713 called the cutoff 133,000 chip raise from PiMaster in the big blind both would hold the fireworks till after the J♣ 5♦ 2♥ flop. dav713 would then lead out by shoving 688,376 chips into the middle as PiMaster made the call. PiMaster turned up J♦ 3♦ 4♠ K♣ for top pair plus the open ended straight draw, while dav713 produced 3♥ 8♠ 5♥ 9♠ for middle pair (and needing a lot of help). But, it was PiMaster's hand that would improve to two pair from the turn K♠ and a wheel on the A♣ river to scoop the 1.7 million chip pot and shovel dav713 out in fourth place ($17,204.00).

Three handed play started like this:

Seat 2: Benba (1102344 in chips)
Seat 6: PiMaster (4606735 in chips)
Seat 7: chips151 (615921 in chips)

After Benba rebuked to look at chop numbers the three would play through most of the 40K/80K ante 10K blind level with Benba winning the below pivotal hand, finding a weak spot in PiMaster's chip wall and assuming the chip lead:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Benba's aces held up against the low hand of PiMaster and the 3.2 million chip pot slid across the table as chips151's became a spectator to the two huge chip stacks squeezing the chips out of the small stack. Four hands after Benba's big double up, chips151 would call all in for just 308,896 chips holding 8♣ 5♦ 9♦ 3♣ against PiMaster's small blind raise. PiMaster would turn over 2♣ 6♥ 4♦ Q♥ and was rewarded for the aggression with a T♦ A♥ Q♣ 6♣ K♠ board that couldn't connect with chips151's middle cards and $23,276.00 in third place money was awarded to chips151.

Chip counts for the start of heads-up play:

Seat 2: Benba (3376944 in chips)
Seat 6: PiMaster (2948056 in chips)

With the chip counts fairly close to each other and huge 50K/100K ante 12.5K blinds looming in a few minutes, immediately the two remaining players considered chip chop number from hosting Team PokerStars Pro Steve Paul-Ambrose since they were "just playing for a 12K difference" it didn't seem worth their time and continued on.

After a 1.5 million chip pot PiMaster earned with a 1.4 million bet on the river with a board showing 7♠ 4♣ 4♦ 5♣ 6♦ and Benba had no answer to PiMaster opened up a small four million to 2.2 million chip lead by the eighth hour break.

PiMaster would further open up the lead with a 1.1 million chip pot a few hands later, this time earned with a 800,000 chip check raise on a flop of 9♦ T♦ K♠ after Benba raised preflop and followed through for 300,000 but couldn't make the call or go over the top.

Four hands later it would all be all over. With the blinds holding at 50K/100K ante 12.5K Benba pushed in a 245,000 chip raise from the button as PiMaster called to see a 9♦ 8♠ 4♥ flop. Both players would check and watch the 8♦ float into the turn and it was PiMaster who lead out for 300,000. Benba sensing weakness pushed for 1.8 million and PiMaster couldn't spam his call button quick enough holding 8♣ 3♥ 8♥ 2♥ for quad eights! Benba was forced to turn over 6♦ A♥ K♣ 6♠ and needed a trey or deuce to negate PiMaster's better low draw and split the pot. But, the quads held on the 4♠ river giving PiMaster the Event #40 WCOOP bracelet and $42,263.65 for first place, adding to a SCOOP victory a few months ago in Event #12 for $10K, and a third place in the Sunday Million for $85K.

Benba's comeback was almost complete, but did take home $30,866.00 as the runner-up adding another successful WCOOP event run as Benba notched a third place showing for $33K in 2008 WCCOP Event #15 (see recap here).

Be sure to check out the recaps to all WCOOP events at PokerStarsBlog and WCOOP.com as well as PokerStars.TV showing video recaps complete with hole cards and commentary.

WCOOP Event #40 $200,000 Guarantee $215 No Limit Omaha Eight or Better
1. PiMaster (Glen Carbon) $42,263.65
2. Benba (Tulsa) $30,866.00
3. chips151 (Baltimore) $23,276.00
4. dav713 (Chagrin Falls) $17,204.00
5. LUCKY FACE (ware) $12,397.00
6. PLO UFO (Tallahassee) $9,867.00
7. thegrizz1111 (Clinton Twp. MI) $7,337.00
8. late_entry (la jolla) $4,807.00
9. cocody1 (chelles) $2,631.00

David Aydt
@PokerStars in WCOOP