WCOOP 2010: CrabMaki King of Event #2 ($10,300 NLHE)

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgTwo years ago PokerStars first introduced the "High Roller" $10,000+$300 buy-in no-limit hold'em event as part of the World Championship of Online Poker schedule. As was the case in 2008 -- when dorinvandy won -- and in 2009 -- when Sumpas came out on top, this year's version of the event again attracted an elite class of poker talent, with familiar names from both the live and online arenas turning up in practically every seat around the virtual tables.

The event's $2 million guarantee was smashed to bits when 313 runners arrived Sunday afternoon to play. That made for a $3.13 million prize pool to be distributed among the top 45 finishers, with the victor scheduled to kick off his or her 2010 WCOOP with a nifty $605,655 payday.

As play began, Shawn "buck21" Buchanan, David "Chino23" Rheem, and MUSTAFABET jumped out as early leaders during first few levels. At the two-hour mark Scott "gunning4you" Seiver had cruised into the top spot and would increase his lead over the next hour or so before falling back to the pack. Then, after five hours of play, psuNYY51 was in front with 170 players left, closely followed by Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis and Ben "KidCardiff6" Warrington.

Soon, however, Shaun Deeb and PureProfitFo, having drawn seats right next to each other from the tourney's start, were next to each other at the top of the leaderboard as well with 125 players left. Deeb would slip a bit, though, and had relinquished the lead to CrabMaki just before the latter was moved to the 2010 SCOOP Event #17-M winner's table. Soon the two big stacks got involved in a huge hand against one another.

Preflop back-and-forthing between Deeb and CrabMaki had built a pot of 18,410 when the flop came 7♣[10h]6♥. Deeb led for 11,230 and CrabMaki called. The turn was the 9♣, and when Deeb checked CrabMaki shoved all in. Deeb went into his time bank, then called with his remaining 57,465. Deeb showed K♦9♦ for nines, but was in desperate shape against CrabMaki's Q♦8♣ -- a turned straight. Deeb needed one of the remaining eights on the river just to chop, but the J♦ meant he was suddenly out in 94th place.

That hand bumped CrabMaki up over 170,000, well ahead of Unicum next in second place with 101,000. Rheem and Karamalikis would continue to build their stacks, while the others (Buchanan, MUSTAFABET, Seiver, Warrington, psuNYY51, PureProfitFo) would be among those departing shy of the money.

As players continued to fall, Team PokerStars Pro Chris "Money800" Moneymaker moved into the top ten. A total of 21 Team PokerStars pros entered this one, and with 60 players remaining there were still a half-dozen PS pros left with chips. At that point some shuffling of players put four Team PokerStars pros at one table -- Moneymaker, Pat Pezzin, Anh Van Nguyen, and Ville Wahlbeck.

The Canadian Pezzin was the last to join the others:

Pat Pezzin: hi guys
Money800: hi pat, gl
A Van Nguyen: hi pat
Pat Pezzin: gl
Pat Pezzin: too many team pros at this table
Pat Pezzin: rest of the players must be licking their chops

Whatever their opponents were thinking, those four managed to hold their own, and each survived into the top 45 and the money. And for Money800, he wasn't just surviving -- he was thriving, and in fact Moneymaker held the chip lead briefly just before the bubble burst after 10 hours and 15 minutes of play.


Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker

Pezzin would ultimately exit in 33rd (knocked out by Wahlbeck), followed by Team PokerStars Online player Randy "nanonoko" Lew in 32nd. "Chino23" Rheem would go out in 31st. Van Nguyen would hit the rail a little later in 29th, then Team PokerStars pro Jason Mercier would be eliminated by "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis in 28th, leaving only Moneymaker and Wahlbeck to represent Team PokerStars.

A couple of mistimed moves sent Moneymaker back to a below average stack, and he'd ultimately fall in 24th. Karamalikis would follow him in 18th, as would James "mig.com" Mackey in 16th, and Unicum next in 15th. Eventually Wahlbeck knocked out a short-stacked Paul "paulgees81" Volpe in 10th, and after almost 13 hours of play, the final table was set:


Seat 1: pokerjamers -- 209,275
Seat 2: Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck -- 476,130
Seat 3: sms9231 -- 50,466
Seat 4: bmwmcoupe -- 493,057
Seat 5: LooneyGerbil -- 429,022
Seat 6: antesvante -- 189,125
Seat 7: Also11 -- 366,100
Seat 8: Vick Is God -- 478,227
Seat 9: CrabMaki -- 438,598

Mohsin "sms9231" Charania, winner of 2010 SCOOP #20-H, had been nursing his short stack for some time prior to reaching the final nine. Charania continued to fold through the first orbit of the final table, then watched as CrabMaki opened with a 2.5x raise to 12,500 from middle position. All folded to antesvante who called from the big blind,

The flop came 3♦9♣J♠. antesvante checked, CrabMaki bet 22,750, antesvante check-raised all in for 174,125 total, and CrabMaki called. antesvante showed T♦Q♦ for an open-ended straight draw, while CrabMaki showed J♦A♦ for top pair of jacks. The turn and river brought a couple of deuces, and antesvante was out in ninth.

"gg ante," typed sms9231 after the elimination. Then: "i <3 him."

Charania continued to fold, and watched again as pokerjamers opened with a 2x raise to 12,000 from middle position. It folded to Jean-Francois "bmwmcoupe" Talbot in the small blind who reraised to 30,000. The big blind folded, pokerjamers jammed for 139,845 total, and Talbot quickly called, showing K♣K♦ to pokerjamers 9♣9♦. The board came T♣Q♠A♣4♠A♦, pokerjamers was out in eighth, and Charania -- sitting with just over 45,000 chips -- had moved up another spot.

Charania would manage to double up once with pocket queens, but soon was all in before the flop for his last 114,864 with A♥Q♦ and got called by Ville Wahlbeck who held 9♦9♠. The community cards came 5♥7♦7♥J♠8♦, and sms9231 was out in seventh.

The blinds moved to 3,500/7,000, and a hand came in which CrabMaki opened with a raise to 16,500 from UTG+1. Wahlbeck, sitting to CrabMaki's left, called, as did bmwmcoupe. Then LooneyGerbil reraised to 48,850 from the small blind. Only Wahlbeck called the reraise, so the two of them saw the flop come 6♣A♣J♠. LooneyGerbil bet 68,800, and Wahlbeck called.

The turn brought the 9♥. This time LooneyGerbil checked, which Wahlbeck took as an invitation to shove all in his stack of 408,780. LooneyGerbil had but 254,525 left, and thought a while before making the call with Q♦Q♥. It was a good call, as Wahlbeck had Q♠T♠ for the straight draw. Alas for LooneyGerbil, the river was the K♥ and Wahlbeck won the massive pot. Take a look:

LooneyGerbil was out in sixth, while Wahlbeck assumed the chip lead with more than 940,000 chips. At that point Also11 was Wahlbeck's closest competitor with just over 684,000. "Vick Is God" Schneller and "bmwmcoupe" Talbot were close behind Also11, while CrabMaki had the short stack with about 262,000.

Play reached the 14-hour mark and a scheduled break, at which point Vick Is God proved himself fallible, apparently having a mishap in which he spilled water on his laptop. Schneller asked if the break could be extended a few minutes while he took care of the situation, and his request was granted.

When play resumed, however, Vick Is God didn't fare too well after the flood.

Just a few hands back from the break, Also11 raised from the cutoff seat to 16,558, and Schneller reraised to 46,000 from the button. The blinds got out, then Also11 reraised to 96,255. Vick Is God shoved all in over the top for 493,253 total, and Also11 called. Also11 showed T♦T♥, and Schneller was needing help with his 5♥5♦. The board came 2♠A♣9♠4♦7♥, and Vick Is God was out in fifth.

With four left, Also11 and Wahlbeck had the big stacks with 1.36 million and 1.14 million respectively, while bmwmcoupe and CrabMaki both hovered around 300,000. The balance shifted over the next half-hour, though, and Also11 had become the short stack with just 165,401.

With the blinds 4,000/8,000, CrabMaki then opened with a raise from UTG to 19,750, it folded to Also11 who shoved all in from the big blind, and CrabMaki called. Also11 had K♥J♣ and was hoping to outrun CrabMaki's 4♦4♥. But the board came 8♣2♥8♠3♦3♣, and Also11 was out in fourth.

The tournament was then paused while the remaining trio considered a deal. A "chip chop" was proposed, but CrabMaki said he wanted a bit more than he was being offered. The other two quickly declined considering that possibility, and cards thus went back in the air, with Wahlbeck the leader with 1,480,537, Jean-Francois "bmwmcoupe" Talbot in second with 850,380, and CrabMaki with 799,083.


Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck

By the time they'd reached Level 28 (6,000/12,000), bmwmcoupe had slipped to 328,150 while CrabMaki had moved out in front just past Wahlbeck with a stack of 1,540,708. bmwmcoupe opened by raising to 24,000, and both of his opponents called, CrabMaki in the small blind and Wahlbeck in the big blind.

The flop came all babies -- 6♣2♦4♣. CrabMaki checked, Wahlbeck bet 48,000, and bmwmcoupe raised to 132,000. CrabMaki folded, and Wahlbeck called. The turn was the 6♥, pairing the board. Wahlbeck checked, and bmwmcoupe pushed all in with his last 170,650. Wahlbeck called, showing 6♠4♠ for a full house, and bmwmcoupe was drawing dead with A♣7♣. Jean-Francois "bmwmcoupe" Talbot was out in third.

The two remaining players were nearly even when heads-up play commenced, with Wahlbeck at 1,614,792 chips to CrabMaki's 1,515,208. The pair quickly fought through more than 60 hands, with CrabMaki taking the lead and then gradually building to a better than 3-to-1 chip advantage. Finally, with CrabMaki sitting at 2,423,166 and Wahlbeck 706,834, the last hand of the tournament was dealt -- nearly 16 hours after Event #2 had begun.

With the blinds still 6,000/12,000, CrabMaki raised to 36,000 from the small blind/button and Wahlbeck called. The flop came 5♠A♦6♦. Wahlbeck checked, CrabMaki bet 57,500, and Wahlbeck called. The turn was the 8♦. Wahlbeck again checked, and this time CrabMaki bet 142,500. Wahlbeck once more made the call, leaving himself 469,334 behind.

The river was the 2♣. Wahlbeck checked one more time, and CrabMaki pushed all in. Wahlbeck thought about it, then called with his remaining chips, showing A♣2♦ for two pair, but CrabMaki had turned the diamond flush with his K♦9♦.

Congratulations to CrabMaki, 2010 WCOOP Event #2 Champion!

WCOOP Event #2 ($10,300 High Roller NLHE) Results

1st place: CrabMaki ($605,655)
2nd: Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck ($453,850)
3rd: bmwmcoupe ($344,300)
4th: Also11 ($258,225)
5th: Vick Is God ($178,410)
6th: LooneyGerbil ($137,720)
7th: sms9231 ($106,420)
8th: pokerjamers ($75,120)
9th: antesvante ($54,775)

What a start! And things are only beginning to get cranked up WCOOP-wise. For more coverage from the first day of play and throughout the series, head over to PokerStars.tv. And visit the WCOOP site for the full schedule, results and player-of-the-year stats, information about satellites, and more!

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP