WCOOP 2010: flashdisastr avoids cataclysm with victory in Event #11 $320 NL (Ante Up)

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgEven if you never learned Latin, you could probably guess that the word "Ante" means "before." Event #11 $320 NL (Ante Up) featured frozen 5/5 blinds for the entire tournament, while the antes escalated after every 20-minute level. The key to this tournament was what happened before the flop, because this eclectic event specialized in pre-flop play.

The "Ante Up" event attracted 1,789 runners and a prize pool of $536,700. The top 234 places paid out cash, with $85,872.65 originally set aside for the winner.

The earliest stages of the tournament began with extremely brisk play. Barry Greenstein was one of the first noteworthy pros to make an early exit. About four hours in, Steve "stevesbets" Jacobs held the chiplead and it seemed as though the tournament could play down to the final table in less than four hours. Alas, we spoke too soon. The dreaded slow down occurred shortly after the money bubble burst. The average stacks were way out in front of the pace that the antes were rising. the majority of hands never went to the flop, with hyper-aggressive pre-flop play. Three-bets were standard with four-betting and five-betting becoming the norm.

Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby from the Czech Republic finished in 216th place and was the only Team PokerStars Pro to make the money. Meanwhile, only two members of Team PokerStars Online cashed in this event -- Jorge Arias (172nd) and Steve "stevesbets" Jacobs, who advanced to the final table and finished in second place. He came so close to winning this 16-hour long event, but a couple of unlucky hands did him in.

THE_stevesbets.jpgTeam PokerStars Online's Steve "stevesbets" Jacobs

Notables players who cashed included: t soprano (9th), twirlpro (17th), JohnFR (46th), rkruok (85th), apestyles (86th), 00psoedaisy (95th), Moorman1 (98th), and FatalError (228th).

With 32 to go, when one player complimented stevesbets' abilities. The humbled stevesbets replied with a prediction, "Fairly certain that I'm finishing 13th in the tournament."

With two tables to go, stevesbets rocketed into second in chips and passed the 1 million mark after he busted pmahoney22 in 18th place.

With 12 to go, anakinso seized the chiplead in a heck of a cooler. KissMyAcePlz opened to 30,000, anakinso re-raised to 120,995, and KissMyAcePlz called. The flop was A♣J♥9♦. Anakinso checked, KissMyAcePlz bet 84,000, anakinso check-raised to 208,000, and KissMyAcePlz called. The turn was the 9♥, and both both players checked. The 5♥ fell on the river. When anakinso bet 435,000, KissMyAcePlz re-raised all-in for 676,228. Anakinso had him covered and called with A♠A♦. KissMyAcePlz held J♦J♣. Ouch. Both players flopped a set, and checked their full houses on the turn, only to get it all in on the river. KissMyAcePlz was crippled and anakinso sat on a stack worth over 1.85 million.

When this event reached the 12th hour, players took an extended 15-minute break (as opposed to the usual five-minute synchronized break at 55 past the hour). Anakinso held the lead and closing in on 2 million in chips. Stevesbets and t soprano were both in the Top 5 in chips with 12 players remaining. A few hours earlier, stevesbets predicted a 13th place finish and he was guaranteed to finish in a much better spot.

With 10 players to go, munchenHB bubbled off the final table. He got his short stack all-in preflop with A♣T♣ against 247cat's A♦Q♠. Although munchenHB flopped a flush draw, he failed to improve on the river and busted out in 10th place. With his elimination, the final table was set, with anakinso out in front with the lead.


Final table chip counts:
Seat 1: foot1oose (1,794,120)
Seat 2: anakinso (2,012,505)
Seat 3: stevesbets (998,836)
Seat 4: t soprano (1,095,836)
Seat 5: 247cat (948,152)
Seat 6: elchwarrior (980,265)
Seat 7: TaLkHoUsE (540,940)
Seat 8: flashdisastr (251,748)
Seat 9: gaffel (322,598)

Shortly after the commencement of the final table, anakinso lost his lead when short-stacked Gaffel avoided an elimination with a timely double up. Gaffel's A♦J♠ held up against anakinso's K♠J♥. Anakinso lost the hand, and foot1oose slid into first place by default.

The first "monsterpotten" of the final table developed between t soprano and elchwarrior. With 6K antes, the pot was already 54K. T soprano limped for 5 -- a tactic that many players in early position utilized in the later stages of the tournament. 247cat also limped for 5, but elchwarrior made it 25,999 to go. Only t soprano called. On a flop of Q♥5♦3♥, t soprano checked, elchwarrior fired out 54,040, t soprano check-raised to 148,400, and elchwarrior called. The 6♣ fell on the turn. T soprano bet 240,000, elchwarrior raised to 504,700, and t soprano three-bet shoved for 927,442. He had elchwarrior covered by the tiniest margin.

elchwarrior: Q♠Q♣
t soprano: 3♣3♠

Both players flopped sets, but elchwarrior's set of Queens was ahead. The case trey did not magically appear on the river and t soprano was crippled. With only 517 in chips remaining, t soprano promptly busted out on the next hand when flashdisastr's A♦T♣ took out his [10d]2♦. Brock "t soprano" Parker collected $5,367 for 9th place.

Stevesbets took command of the lead after he tussled in a hand with anakinso. Four players saw the flop of 4♥3♠2♦. Foot1oose and anakinso both checked. Stevesbets shoved for 864,391. Elchwarrior and foot1oose bailed, while anakinso called. He had stevesbets covered, but only held A♠K♦. Stevesbets showed 6♣6♦, and his hand held up as he dragged the 2.4 million pot.

Short-stacked TaLkHoUsE made a stand. After three players limped for 5, TaLkHoUsE shoved for his last 280,337. 247cat called with 7♦7♣ and he was flipping against TaLkHoUsE's A♠Q♦. The flop was A♣J♥7♥, and although TaLkHoUsE flopped one of his overcards he was way behind 247cat's set of sevens. The turn was the 5♥, and the river was the A♦. 247cat won the hand with a full house. TaLkHoUsE was eliminated in 8th place and collected $9,392.25.

With 7 to go, elchwarrior chipped up to the lead as stevesbets slipped to 1.5 million. However, elchwarrior was tested right away when anakinso got it all in pre-flop with K♠Q♥ against his pocket Jacks. Anakinso doubled up to over 850K when a Queen hit the flop. Elchwarrior still retained the lead with over 2 million, but that was short lived after he lost a hand against stevesbets.

Stevesbets regained the lead when his pocket Aces held up. He opened to 39,010 and elchwarrior called. The flop was Q♣9♣3♣, and elchwarrior check-called a 90,005 bet from stevesbets. Both players checked the 2♣ on the turn. The 7♠ fell on the river, and fireworks ensued. Elchwarrior fired out 253,285 and stevesbets shoved all-in for 1,285,751. Elchwarrior had him covered and called with K♠J♣. His Jack-high flush was no match compared to stevesbets' A♥A♣ and Ace-high flush. Stevesbets won the largest pot in the tournament (at that point) and doubled up to 2,878,552. Elchwarrior went from the big stack to the short stack in two hands.

Elchwarrior won a few pots and got back into contention with over 1 million, but relinquished all that ground when he lost a 1.7 million pot against 247cat. On a board of A♣Q♣4♥2♠ and with almost 750K in the pot, 247cat check-raised all in for over 1 million. Elchwarrior tanked and almost used up the entire time bank before folding. 247cat won the pot and surged over 2.2 million, good enough for second in chips.

Stevesbets passed the 3 million mark when he picked off a bluff from anakinso. The board read K♥Q♥5♦3♠K♦. Anakinso raised pre-flop with A♣J♦, and stevesbets called. Anakinso bet the flop and turn, hoping to get rid of stevesbets. However, the dubious stevesbets didn't blink and called his both of his bets. On the river, anakinso bet 2/3 the pot and stevesbets didn't blink when anakinso fired a third bullet. Stevesbets insta-called with Q♦T♠. Anakinso's Ace-high was no good and he lost the pot.

After over 70 minutes of seven-handed play, we finally had an elimination... and it was in a limped pot. Yes, six players limped in to see a flop of A♥A♦9♣. Anakinso checked, stevesbets bet 15,555, 247cat folded, and elchwarrior check-raised all-in for 204,647. Gaffel called and everyone folded. Gaffel showed A♠4♣ and was ahead with trips against Elchwarrior's Q♣9♦. Gaffel won the hand, as elchwarrior hit the rail in 7th place with a $14,490.90 payday.

With six to go, stevesbets shifted gears and won five out of eight hands. He increased his stack to over 3.7 million.

Short-stacked flashdisastr doubled up when he won a race with A♣Q♣ against anakinso's pocket sevens. All of a sudden, anakinso became the hunted with a short-stack under 300K.

Gaffel was one of the shortstacks and doubled through foot1oose with quad Aces. You can check out the hand in our snazzy replayer (though you have to click through to view it if you are reading this post via RSS feed).

With around 163K in chips, foot1oose made a stand with A♥9♦. Unfortunately, he ran into stevesbets's pocket Kings. Stevesbets is running good because even though foort1oose flopped an Ace, a King also appeared on the flop. Stevesbets won the hand with a set of Kings. Foot1oose was eliminated in 6th place and won $19,857.90.

Stevesbets ran into some trouble when he attempted to throw his big stack around and knock out two players. On the first hand, he crashed his K♦J♦ into flashdisastr's pocket Aces, and flashdisastr doubled up to over 1.7 million. On the second hand, anakinso was racing with J♣9♣ against stevesbets' pocket fours. The flop was A♣K♣3♣, and anakinso doubled up to 823K with a flopped flush.

"Anakinso is unknockoutbale," remarked stevesbets in the chat.

Well, maybe he couldn't knock out anakinso, but someone else managed to achieve that difficult feat. Short-stacked anakinso shoved with T♠8♠ and got called by gaffel's A♥K♠. The board ran out A♦A♣J♦T♦T♣, and gaffel won the hand with a bigger boat. Anakinso busted out in 5th place and received $25,493.25.

With four to go, Gaffel moved into second in chips behind stevesbets.

Updated chip count:
Seat 3: stevesbets (3,339,302)
Seat 5: 247cat (1,225,358)
Seat 8: flashdisastr (1,766,943)
Seat 9: gaffel (2,613,397)

The next player was eliminated in a 4-way raised family pot. Stevesbets opened to 30,010 UTG and everyone called him. The flop was A♣5♣3♠. Flashdisastr and gaffel checked. Stevesbets c-bet for 77,775. 247cat and flashdisastr both flatted, and gaffel folded. The turn was the 3♥. Flashdisastr checked, along with stevesbets. 247cat fired out 93,180, and flashdisastr check-raised to 289,333. Stevesbets bailed. 247cat re-raised all-in for his last 725,427. Flashdisastr had him covered and called with A♥8♥. 247cat trailed with A♠7♦. The 6♣ on the river did not help 247cat, and flashdisastr won the pot. 247cat was scratched out in 4th place and won $35,288.02.

With three to go, stevesbets held the lead with 3.6 million, while gaffel and flashdisastr were about even around 2.6 million apiece. As the tournament passed the 15th hour of play, the notion of a chip-count deal was floated by stevebets, but he was quickly shot down by gaffel.

When play approached the 16th hour, gaffel chipped up to 3 million and was ready to discuss a deal. Based on the chip counts for the final three players, the deal went down as follows: stevesbet $66,044.22, gaffel $64,463.11, and flashdisastr $62,072.32. They had to leave $6,000 for the winner, and played out for the title.

Play resumed and stevesbets won four out of the next five hands, and his stack raced toward 4 million. But then disaster struck in the form of flashdisastr. Stevesbets opened to 40,010, flashdisastr raised to 115,888, and stevesbets called. The flop was 9♥8♦2♥. Flashdisastr bet 112,222 and stevesbets called. The turn was the 8♣. Flashdisastr bet 239,844, stevesbets raised to 704,300, and flashdisastr called. The K♦ fell on the river. Flashdisastr checked, stevesbets shoved for 2,919,960, and flashdisastr called all-in.

flashdisastr: Q♣8♥
stevesbets: 8♠7♣

Both players had trip eights, but flashdisastr won with the better kicker. Flashdisastr had won the largest pot in the tournament worth 5.2 million pot. After losing that hand, stevesbets slipped into third in chips with under 1.3 million.

The consummate pro, stevesbets, was not about to give up. He obtained some of his chips back when he doubled up with A♣5♠ against flashdisastr's A♥2♥. The board ran out J♣T♣3♦4♠Q♦. Stevesbets won with Ace-high, but his 5-kicker clinched the hand. He improved to almost 2 million. Despite the minor setback, flashdisastr retained his lead and held more than 50% of the remaining chips in play.

Just when it looked like he was gaining momentum, stevesbets got involved in two unfortunate hands. He had to bail out of a hand on the turn against flashdisastr and lost almost half his stack. Two hands later, he had gotten it all in with A♣6♦ against gaffel's A♠5♣. The board ran out T♥8♦2♠Q♥A♥, and they had to split the pot.

Gaffel met his demise in three-way limped pot. The flop was 8♣6♥4♣. Stevesbets checked, flashdisastr checked, gaffel bet 35,000, stevesbets folded, flashdisastr check-raised to 128,777, and gaffel called. The 9♥ fell on the turn and yadda yadda yadda... both players for it all in.

flashdisastr: 7♦5♥
gaffel: 9♦4♥

Gaffel's two pair trailed flashdisastr's nine-high straight. The river was the 5♦ and flashdisastr dragged the pot. Gaffel hit the road in 3rd place and won $64,463.11.

Heads-up chipcounts:
Seat 3: stevesbets (1,239,846)
Seat 8: flashdisastr (7,705,154)

Stevesbets was trailing by more than 6-1 in chips, but he couldn't mount a comeback. The heads-up battle was over in less than ten hands.

On the final hand, stevesbets shoved with pocket fours and was racing against A♠Q♣. The board ran out T♥9♥2♥Q♥Q♣ and he lost to flashdisastr's trip Queens. For his runner-up performance, stevesbets won $66,044.22.

You can view the final hand in the replayer ...

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Flashdisastr, a pro from Luxemborg, collected $68,072.32 for first place in Event #11 $320 NL (Ante Up). He successfully pulled off an epic comeback, considering the fact that he began the final table as the shortest stack. Congrats to flashdisastr.

Final table results and payouts:
1. flashdisastr - $68,072.32 *
2. Team PokerStars Online's Steve "stevesbets" Jacobs - $66,044.22 *
3. gaffel - $64,463.11 *
4. 247cat - $35,288.02
5. anakinso - $25,493.25
6. Foot1oose - $19,857.90
7. elchwarrior - $14,490.90
8. TaLkHoUsE - $9,392.25
9. t soprano - $5,367

* denotes a three-way deal with an extra $6,000 going to the winner.

For stimulating visual coverage of the 2010 WCOOP, visit PokerStars.tv. Don't forget to peruse the WCOOP homepage for the remaining schedule, event results, current player-of-the-year stats, satellite information, and much much more.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in WCOOP