2009 WCOOP: Sumpas soars to victory in Event #10, $10,300 High Roller NLHE

WCOOP 2009 logo.jpg The field was as elite as it gets, a comprehensive, international "Who's Who" of high-stakes tournament poker. The prize pool was massive, eclipsing those of the last four World Poker Tour events. And the play was nearly flawless, a virtual master class in aggression, position, and timing. This year's WCOOP High Roller No-Limit Hold'em event smashed through its $2 million guarantee with 299 players putting up $10,300 apiece, creating a $2,990,000 prize pool. Only 36 would emerge with a cash with the champion set to earn $611,455 along with a gold champion's bracelet and all the prestige that comes with a WCOOP title.

Team PokerStars Pro was well-represented in this event by Ylon Schwartz, Chris Moneymaker, J.C. Alvarado, Vanessa Rousso, Joe Hachem, Peter Eastgate, William Thorson, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Barry Greenstein, Steve Paul-Ambrose, Katja Thater, Dennis Phillips, Alexandre Gomes, Hevad Khan and Andre Akkari. Two team members managed to make the money, Anton Allemann, who finished in 10th place, and John Duthie, who advanced to the final table.

As the final table action commenced, all nine players, including WPT champion Kevin "BeL0WaB0Ve" Saul and EPT creator Duthie were still sporting relatively deep stacks. With the blinds at 3,000-6,000 with a 750 ante, the average stack was 332,222-- about 55 big blinds. Here's how they stacked up:

Seat 1: Sowerss (440,166 in chips)
Seat 2: John Duthie (242,238 in chips)
Seat 3: Belabacsi (315,576 in chips)
Seat 4: Sumpas (275,054 in chips)
Seat 5: KevBoyStar (227,947 in chips)
Seat 6: DDBeast (185,691 in chips)
Seat 7: Festivuss (236,531 in chips)
Seat 8: Kevin "BeL0WaB0Ve" Saul (693,072 in chips)
Seat 9: SCTrojans (373,725 in chips)

WCOOP 10 FT.jpg

An enthusiastic Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso popped into the chat box, taking on hosting duties for the evening. Joe Hachem (who was still playing in the 2-day NLHE event) popped in to cheer on Duthie, as did Vicky Coren, right after busting from the same event.

Entering the final table as the shortest stack, DDBeast was also the first player to bust. Sumpas opened for 17,000, DDBeast flat-called, and BeL0WaB0Ve put the squeeze on from the small blind, reraising to 56,225. Sumpas gave up his hand but DDBeast shoved for the rest of his chips, 202,274 in all, and earned a call. DDBeast needed to see an ace on the board, holding A♥T♥ to BeL0WaB0Ve's Q♥Q♠, but couldn't get there, the board running out 8♥4♣3♦8♦J♣ to end his run in ninth place. DDBeast picked up $56,810 for his finish. The hand catapulted BeL0WaB0Ve into the chip lead with 880,000.

Much to his fans' dismay, John Duthie was the next to fall. After Sumpas opened for 17,000 and KevBoyStar flat-called, Duthie three-bet to 77,000. Sumpas got out of the way, but KevBoyStar four-bet shoved, setting Duthie all in. Duthie called off the nearly 150,000 he had behind and had to feel a dagger in his heart as he learned he had run his A♥Q♥ smack into A♦A♠. The flop gave him a sweat, though, coming down T♣8♥5♥ to give him the nut flush draw, but the turn and river blanked out with the Q♣ and the 4♣, sending him home in eighth place for a $74,750 score.

Down to his last 122,000 in chips and the blinds up to 4,000-8,000/1,000, Festivuss open-shoved from under-the-gun with A♣J♣ and BeL0WaB0Ve made the call with A♠K♠. The A-K held, and Festivuss became our seventh place finisher, adding $104,650 to his bankroll.

BeL0WaB0Ve congratulated Festivuss on his huge score, prompting Belabacsi to chime in.

BeL0WaB0Ve said "sick 6-figures!
Belabacsi said "my first ever online"
BeL0WaB0Ve said "my 1st ever on stars =)"
Belabacsi said "hidden braggaments :)"
BeL0WaB0Ve said "haha"

Three Americans and three Europeans made up the final six. All had been playing for over 14 hours by this point, and everyone's body clock was out of whack.

"What time is it in euroville right now?" asked SCTrojans.

While it was anywhere between 1:30 and 4:30 in the morning for the Americans, Belabacsi informed him that it was 10:30 in the morning for the Euros.

Sumpas controlled the chip lead at this point and he began pulling away from the rest of the pack after tangling with KevBoyStar in a massive pot. KevBoyStar opened for 19,800 and Sumpas three-bet to 48,700 from the big blind. KevBoyStar called and they saw a 5♣8♦J♠ flop. Sumpas led out for 42,000 and KevBoyStar called. The turn came the Q♦ and Sumpas wasted no time moving all in, having his opponent significantly covered. KevBoyStar made the call for his remaining 260,740, but his A♦Q♣ was drawing dead against KevBoyStar's set of jacks. The meaningless 6♥ hit the river and KevBoyStar hit the rail in sixth place, collecting $134,550.

With five players remaining, Sumpas held 1.5 million in chips while the other four all sported stacks between 200,000 and 480,000. Only fifteen minutes after KevBoyStar's elimination, the final table lost another player when Sowerss turned trip jacks to crack Belabacsi's pocket kings, eliminating him in fifth place for $173,420. Take a look at how the hand played out:

Only two hands later, SCTrojans decided to make a move. With the action folded to him in the small blind, SCTrojans shoved for 201,000 holding A♦7♠ but ran into Sowerss' pocket jacks. SCTrojans couldn't find any help on the Q♠Q♣6♠T♦9♣ board and he exited in fourth place, earning $254,150.

Sumpas asked his opponents if they wanted to pause the tournament to take a look at the chip count chop numbers. Sowerss agreed to look at them, but short-stack BeL0WaB0Ve was less optimistic about arriving at a three-handed deal.

"I guess it couldn't hurt to look if u wanna pause after this hand, but im warning I prolly wont agree to straight chiop count," he said.

After the action was paused and the numbers calculated, deal negotiations broke down when BeL0WaB0Ve wanted a larger payday than his two opponents were willing to give him. The tournament would play on.

Sumpas began pulling away in this hand, where he flopped a wheel and got maximum value.

Only a few minutes later, a huge pot developed between BeL0WaB0Ve and Sumpas. Sumpas was the initial raiser, making it 21,400 to go, BeL0WaB0Ve three-bet to 56,530 and Sumpas made the call. BeL0WaB0Ve check-called Sumpas' 46,500 bet on the Q♠A♦3♥ flop, then check-called another 125,000 when the 3♦ hit the turn. The river fell the T♥ and BeL0WaB0Ve checked a third time. Sumpas moved all in and BeL0WaB0Ve called off his remaining 453,500, turning over A♣8♠ for aces up. Sumpas, however, had rivered a Broadway straight with K♦J♦ and sent BeL0WaB0Ve to the rail in third place for the hefty sum of $337,870.

Sumpas had a nearly five-to-one chip lead over Sowerss as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 1: Sowerss (516,250 in chips)
Seat 4: Sumpas (2,473,750 in chips)

Though he was severely outchipped, Sowerss fought fiercely in a heads-up match that lasted nearly an hour. Though he lost the first pot they played, taking his chip count down to 300,000, Sowerss picked up two back-to-back pots, to take him up to 587,000. Sowerss kept his foot on the gas, chipping up to 800,000, but Sumpas was able to grind him back down to 436,000. Though Sowerss was able to double back up to 872,000 with A-T vs. Sumpas' A-9, Sumpas began grinding him down again.

Sowerss' tournament came to an end on a bluff. On a flop of K♠4♠4♦, Sowerss check-raised Sumpas' 30,000 bet to 90,000, only to be met with a three-bet to 165,000. Sowerss moved all in for 748,250 and Sumpas made the call, showing K♦T♣ for two pair to Sowerss' bluff with J♥T♦. The turn was the 7♠, the river was the 3♦ and Sowerss was eliminated in second place, giving the WCOOP victory to Sumpas, who earned a gob-smacking $611,455 for his performance. Sowerss took home $448,500 for his runner-up finish.

It wasn't an easy feat, but with this win Sumpas managed to outdo his 2008 WCOOP performance, where he finished sixth in the $5,200 buy-in Main Event for a $415,150 score. This past March he competed in PokerStars' All-Star Week, winning his heads-up match against Vicky Coren.

WCOOP Event #10 ($10,300 High Roller NLHE) Results

1. Sumpas $611,455
2. Sowerss $448,500
3. BeL0WaB0Ve $337,870
4. SCTrojans $254,150
5. Belabacsi $173,420
6. KevBoyStar $134,550
7. Festivuss $104,650
8. John Duthie $74,750
9. DDBeast $56,810

Here's a look at the final table through the PokerStars.tv lens.

Watch WCOOP 2009: Event 10 - $10,300 NL Hold'em on PokerStars.tv

Thinking of getting in on the action yourself? Check out the WCOOP page for a complete schedule of events. For even more WCOOP coverage, hit up the fine folks at PokerStars.tv.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP