WCOOP 2010: Xaston speeds to expedited victory in Event #6 NL Turbo Rebuys

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgSupersonic poker.

That's the charm of turbo tournaments -- fast paced and built for adrenaline junkies who don't want to grind it out in a deep stacked tournament with structure so slow that you're folding hand after hand after hand ad nauseam for 16 hours straight. Add the rebuy element and you have a recipe for a poker junkie's nirvana. Where can you play a 1,600+ player tournament in less than four hours with a prize pool topping over $1.3 million?

Jamie "Xaston" Kaplan won this all-out sprint to claim his first WCOOP title. If his name sounds familiar, well, it is. Xaston made the final table of the WCOOP Main Event last year and finished up with an impressive 5th place performance, which netted him close to a half of a million dollars.

Xaston didn't wait very long this year to make some noise. He beat former tennis pro Raj "BadcardsAA" Vohra heads-up in order to win Event #6 $215 NL Turbo. Because of the fast-paced structure, this might be the quickest run tournament at this year's WCOOP. I know that we're only six events in, but it's going to be tough to finish a tournament faster than 3 hours and 49 minutes.

Event #6 attracted 1,667 thrill seekers. They added 3,918 re-buys and 937 add-ons to the $1,304,400 total prize pool. The top 216 places were paid out with $214,986.82 awarded to first place.

The turbo format featured escalating blinds every five minutes with the re-buy period lasting a full hour. Daniel Negreanu, Humberto Brenes, ElkY, and former major league baseball player Orel Hershiser were a few of the familiar faces who faded into oblivion before the money bubble burst. As expected, the players quickly raced toward the money. From the time cards went in the air, it took a mere 2 hours and 14 minutes before SkillVille bubbled out in 217th place, and the remaining 216 players were guaranteed a pay day.


Team PokerStars Online player George Lind III

George Lind III went the deepest among the Team PokerStars players with a 26th place finish. Several other Team PokerStars Pros made the money including Chris Moneymaker (60th), Barry Greenstein (146th), Randy "nanonoko" Lew (189th), and Sebastian Ruthenberg (206th). Team PokerStars Online's Steven Paul made it to 87th.

Notable players who cashed included AJKHoiser1 (14th), Andy McLEOD (22nd), 2009 WCOOP Main Event champion Yevgeniy "Jovial Gent" Timoshenko (30th), Kevin "BeL0WaB0Ve" Saul (33rd), 2010 WSOP November Niner Joe "subiime" Cheong (95th), charder30 (119th), ShaunDeeb (124th), Dan "Lenny" Heimiller (194th) and JohnnyBax (213th).

With two tables to go, Xaston snapped off Kings with pocket nines. Yep, you guessed it -- a nine on the river to sunk knecht_poker's Kings. The perturbed player went out in 13th place, while Xaston rocketed to the top of the leaderboard with almost $3 million.

The dubious final table bubble boy honors went to Quebec's Phil "takechip" D'Auteuil. The French Canadian pro got crippled on the previous hand before Xaston took him out in 10th place. Xaston began the final table as the chipleader, but with blinds rapidly increasing, the title was within the reach of any of the final nine players.


Final table chip counts:
Seat 1: Xaston (3,040,016)
Seat 2: spikedag (1,555,676)
Seat 3: "0PIGGYBANK" (874,555)
Seat 4: SHAKAJAMES (1,761,008)
Seat 5: MeFishUShark (1,571,586)
Seat 6: AndASodaPop (824,166)
Seat 7: Schappuscha (1,116,651)
Seat 8: BadcardsAA (1,250,372)
Seat 9: BradL (1,986,970)

AndASodaPop, the shortest stack at the final table, was the first player to hit the road. MeFishUShark opened with a min-raise. AndASodaPop shoved all-in for 704,166. Sitting in the big blind, BadcardsAA re-raised all-in to 1,507,872. MeFishUShark folded, which left AndASodaPop fighting for his tournament life with A♠Q♠ against BadcardsAA's A♣K♦. BadcardsAA's Big Slick held up to win the pot. AndASodaPop was eliminated in 9th place and won $13,044.

Short-stacked Schappuscha shoved with Q♥J♠. Xaston called from the big blind with K♣2♣. The board ran out T♣7♠5♥8♥ 4♠ and he won the pot with just King-high. Schappuscha went out in 8th place and collected $22,827.

The game did not last seven-handed very long after two players busted simultaneously, with Xaston once again on the winning side of this melee. MeFishUShark open-shoved for 653,342. Xaston re-raised all-in from the small blind for almost 3.6 million. Spikedag called from the big blind with his last 1,363,176. The board ran out 5♣3♠2♦3♦ 8♦. Xaston won the pot with T♠T♣. His pair of tens won a flip against Spikedag's A♠K♥. MeFishUShark's J♠T♥ was also futile. Spikedag finished in 6th place and won $48,915, while MeFishUShark busted in 7th place and won $35,871.

"0PIGGYBANK" bottomed out shortly after when he shoved from the button with pocket eights and BadcardsAA insta-called from his big blind with A♣A♠. "0PIGGYBANK" could not flop a set or catch a miracle. As a result, "0PIGGYBANK" went busto in 5th place, good enough for a $61,959 payout.

With four players to go, Xaston led the pack with almost 6 million before he claimed another victim. Short-stacked BradL lost a battle of the blinds when he shoved from his small blind with J♦8♦ and Xaston called with J♠T♠. Xaston flopped a pair of tens, which held up. BradL was knocked out in 4th place and took home $87,394.80.

With three to go, it was a matter of time before Xaston and BadcardsAA got rid of SHAKAJAMES. On the decisive hand, SHAKAJAMES raised to almost 1.6 million from the small blind with Q♥4♠. BadcardsAA called with A♣K♥ from the big blind. The board ran out J♦T♦5♠3♦Q♠. BadcardsAA rivered a Broadway straight to win the pot. SHAKAJAMES headed to the rail in 3rd place, but not before collecting $117,396 for his efforts.

When heads-up play began, Xaston had a 2.7 million lead over BadcardsAA, but one hand and BadcardsAA could easily be back in the event.

Event #6: Heads-up chip counts
Seat 1: Xaston (8,348,844)
Seat 8: BadcardsAA (5,632,156)

On the 6th hand of heads-up play, an aggressive Xaston struck first to set the tone of the match. Xaston opened to 300,000 and BadcardsAA called. The flop was A♣K♦3♣. BadcardsAA checked, Xaston bet 400,000, BadcardsAA check-raised to 980,000, but Xaston re-raised to almost 2 million. BadcardsAA reached for more ammo and raised to 3.36 million. Xaston shoved all in for over 7.9 million and... Badcards folded. Xaston won the pot worth over 4.5 million and extended a 6-1 lead over BadcardsAA.

On the 16th hand of heads-up play, Xaston finally ditched BadcardsAA. Xaston shoved for over 12 million and BadcardsAA called. Xaston was ahead with K♥8♣ against J♠T♣. Xaston's King-high held up, he won the pot, and knocked out BadcardsAA.

For hisrunner-up performance, BadcardsAA won $156,528. Xaston collected $213,986.82 for first place, in addition to his first wcoop title.

Event #6 $215+ R NLH Turbo final table results:
1. Xaston - $213,986.82
2. BadcardsAA - $156,528
3. SHAKAJAMES - $117,396
4. BradL - $87,394.80
5. "0PIGGYBANK" - $61,959
6. spikedag - $48,915
7. MeFishUShark - $35,871
8. Schappuscha - $22,827
9. AndASodaPop - $13,044

For more coverage of the 2010 WCOOP head over to PokerStars.tv. Don't forget to visit the WCOOP homepage for the full schedule, results, player-of-the-year stats, satellite information, and more.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in WCOOP