2009 WCOOP: Sick! ElkY scores 2nd bracelet in Event #43, $215 NLHE

WCOOP 2009 logo.jpgEvent #43, the last of the $215 buy-in no-limit hold'em events in this year's WCOOP series, drew a whopping 9,220 entrants, making for a $1,844,000 prize pool. That was well beyond the $1 million guarantee, and the eighth time during the series we've seen a prize pool of greater than $1.5 million. (There'd be one more WCOOP event with at least a $1.5 million prize pool, of course -- the Main Event, with more than $10 million up for grabs!) The top 1,350 finishers would be cashing in this one, with first place scheduled to earn a nifty $263,323.20.

After nine-and-a-half hours of play, the field had been whittled down to 250 players, with Team PokerStars pros Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier in 12th, Victor Ramdin in 22nd, and Barry "barryg1" Greenstein in 90th. At that point, 0926ricsi held the chip lead with 683,105, followed closely by LakersGTD, kezug, ångvälten, and HN Kakaroto.

At the 11-and-a-half hour mark, they were down to 100 players. Greenstein had departed in 203rd, followed by Team PokerStars Holland Pro Lex "RaSZi" Veldhuis in 152nd. But Ramdin was still there in 42nd, and Grospellier had chipped all of the way up to second place, just behind LakersGTD who was nearing the 200,000 mark.

ElkY would soon overtake LakersGTD and claim the chip lead. With five cashes already this WCOOP and a bracelet in Event #38 (NLHE $530 + 1R1A), the London-based French pro appeared to be gearing up for yet another deep run in an WCOOP event. (Click here to read ElkY's reflection on his WCOOP win for the PokerStars blog.)


Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier

ElkY would maintain his lead over the next ninety minutes, and while LakersGTD would briefly sneak in front at around the 13-hour mark, with 50 players left ElkY was back on top with more than 3.7 million, followed by LakersGTD, KNtheKid, kezug, and ixi0n. Victor Ramdin was still there, too, sitting in 13th.

LakersGTD would subsequently retake the lead, and would maintain the advantage for the next few hours, during which time Ramdin would finally be eliminated in 22nd place. LakersGTD's stack began to dwindle, while jm18 pushed out in front. Then, 16-and-a-half hours after the tourney began, bundesmiro knocked out LakersGTD in 10th place, and the final nine were set:

Seat 1: bundesmiro -- 3,872,471
Seat 2: Profesigh -- 4,165,536
Seat 3: chilipepp -- 5,385,642
Seat 4: Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier -- 4,918,030
Seat 5: jm18 -- 11,144,998
Seat 6: Trippple_A -- 1,838,006
Seat 7: jektiss -- 3,831,843
Seat 8: kezug -- 4,554,226
Seat 9: KNtheKid -- 6,389,248


As most of the final nine traded congratulations with one another, Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer, host for this final table, chimed in as well, adding a special message to Grospellier by calling him "sick" for making yet another deep WCOOP run. "ty ty george," replied ElkY. "I'll try to make you guys proud once again :)"

Just one orbit into the final table, Grospellier set to work doing just that. With the blinds 60,000/120,000 (15,000 ante), Grospellier opened from the button with a raise to 267,896, then Trippple_A reraised all in for 1,643,006 from the big blind. ElkY made the call, showing A♣K♦ to Trippple_A's Q♦A♠. The community cards came T♠9♣T♥7♠8♦, and Trippple_A was out in ninth.

It would take another 40 minutes before the next elimination. Profesigh opened from under the gun with a raise to 344,777, Elky called, then bundesmiro pushed all in from the big blind for 2,060,628. Profesigh called, and ElkY stepped aside. bundesmiro showed A♥T♦ and Profesigh 7♣7♠. The flop came 7♥4♣9♦, giving Profesigh a set. The turn was the T♠, pairing bundesmiro, but no river card could take the hand from Profesigh, and bundesmiro was out in eighth.

Meanwhile, jm18 had fallen below the 2 million mark, becoming one of the table's short stacks. jm18 would open-shove all in for 1,861,140 from middle position, and kezug called from the small blind. kezug showed 9♥9♣ and jm18 T♠A♦. Again we'd see a flopped set, as the flop came 4♦9♠Q♠. The turn was the 4♥, giving kezug a full house and closing the door on jm18 who ended the night in seventh.

With six left, chilipepp had pushed out in front with more than 16 million, followed by jektiss with 12.26 million, then ElkY with just under 6 million. A series of unfortunate hands for kezug had suddenly made him the new short stack. Then came a hand when it folded around to kezug in the small blind who open-pushed all in for 243,414. KNtheKid didn't waste much time calling from the BB, showing K♠J♥ to kezug's A♣7♦. kezug was okay through the turn -- 3♠Q♥Q♠T♦ -- but the 9♠ on the river gave KNtheKid the straight, and they were down to five.

Soon afterwards, with the blinds now 100,000/200,000 (25,000 ante), Profesigh was raising from middle position to 444,444, and got two callers in chilipepp (small blind) and ElkY (big blind). The flop came A♦5♣K♦. chilipepp checked, ElkY bet 567,896, then Profesigh raised all in for 4,044,371. chilipepp folded and ElkY made the call.

ElkY showed A♣5♠ and Profesigh 5♦K♣ -- both had flopped two pair, though Grospellier's was the better hand. Watch as the turn and river didn't help Profesigh, who was eliminated in fifth:

That hand would push ElkY near the chip lead, though he'd lose a chunk back to chilipepp soon thereafter, making him the short stack with four to go. He'd survive an all-in versus KNtheKid, though, to move back into third place. Then came a hand in which jektiss opened with a raise to 700,000, then KNtheKid reraised all in for 5,211,403. jektiss quickly called, showing Q♠Q♥ while KNtheKid had 7♦A♦. The board came 9♦6♥T♣4♣3♠, and KNtheKid was out in fourth.

At that point, jektiss and chilipepp asked ElkY about possibly making a deal, but Grospellier said he wasn't interested, so the remaining trio played on. After 18 hours of poker, jektiss had over 21 million, chilipepp about 16.2 million, and ElkY 8.85 million.

Grospellier managed a swift double-up through chilipepp. After a flop of 3♠3♦7♠, chilipepp checked, ElkY bet 678,965, chilipepp check-raised all in, and ElkY instacalled, showing 4♥3♥ for trip treys. chilipepp had 2♥7♥, and after the 8♣ turn and A♣ river, Grospellier was now in second and chilipepp the short stack. ElkY would take another chunk off of chilipepp in a subsequent hand when his preflop four-bet forced chilipepp to fold, after which came this chatbox exchange:

chilipepp: u should fold there elky
ElkY: i should
ElkY: i don't really like to fold
chilipepp: new things are often good 4 u

ElkY wasn't listening, and on the very next hand was again not folding, and rather opening with a raise to 600,000 from the button. chilipepp reraised to 1,555,555 from the big blind. ElkY shoved all in, and chilipepp called with his last 5.69 million. chilipepp showed Q♥Q♠, well ahead of ElkY's 8♣8♥. Until the flop, anyway -- 8♦J♦6♠. The turn was the 6♣, giving Grospellier a boat. chilipepp was looking for one of the two remaining queens to save him, but the river was the 3♣ and chilipepp landed in third.

When heads-up play began, ElkY and jektiss were almost dead even in chips. jektiss had 23,400,235, just ahead of the Team PokerStars Pro who had 22,699,765.

After 14 hands, jektiss still had a slight edge when he opened with a raise to 600,000 (2x) from the small blind/button, and ElkY called from the big blind. The flop came J♦5♣6♥, and both checked. The turn brought the 8♣, and ElkY fired a bet of 678,965. jektiss called.

The river was the 9♠. ElkY checked, jektiss bet 1,555,555, ElkY check-raised to 5,678,965, jektiss reraised all in, and Elky called with his remaining chips. jektiss showed T♥7♠ for a jack-high straight, but ElkY had T♣Q♥ for a queen-high straight. That hand left jektiss with just under 1.8 million, and it would just take three more hands for ElkY to claim the last of his opponent's chips.

In the final hand, ElkY opened from the button by pushing all in, and jektiss called. ElkY showed 8♣T♥ and jektiss K♥A♠. The flop -- J♦3♣J♠ -- and turn 7♦ -- were safe for jektiss, but the T♠ on the river meant Grospellier had claimed his second WCOOP bracelet this fall.

WCOOP Event #43 ($215 NLHE) Results
1. Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (United Kingdom) -- $263,323.20
2. jektiss (Germany) -- $193,620.00
3. chilipepp (Norway) -- $137,285.80
4. KNtheKid (Canada) -- $92,200.00
5. Profesigh (United States) -- $73,760.00
6. kezug (Denmark) -- $55,320.00
7. jm18 (Canada) -- $36,880.00
8. bundesmiro (Germany) -- $20,284.00
9. Trippple_A (Netherlands) -- $12,908.00

Congratulations to ElkY, the second player to score two WCOOP bracelets in 2009 (along with Ryan "g0lfa" D'Angelo)!

One more day of WCOOP action, as Day 2 of the Main Event plays out later today. Come back to the PokerStars blog for complete coverage, and check the WCOOP site for all of the results from this year's series.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP