WCOOP 2010: dcg30 annihilates final table to capture WCOOP Event 49 victory

wcoop2009-thumb.jpg"Never fold on the first leg of a two-legged game," was a popular refrain at a screw-around home game I played in more than a decade ago when I was a university student. The specifics of why we held to that maxim aren't important. The idea was that, in some forms of poker, there's no such thing as throwing good money after bad. If you're in for a penny you have to be prepared to be in for a pound.

WCOOP 2010 Event 49 was a $215 No-Limit Hold'em tournament, much like the Sunday Million. The salient difference was that each player had one - and only one - rebuy available at any time in the first six levels. There was also one add-on they could take at the end of the rebuy period. The rebuy gave each player a safety net in case things went horribly wrong in the early stages of the tournament. Coupled with the add-on, however, it also meant that players had to be prepared to invest $615 in the tournament.

1,654 players came thusly prepared. 1,172 of them used their one rebuy and 942 took the add-on. All told, $753,600 went into the prize pool, easily surpassing the $250,000 guarantee that PokerStars placed on the tournament. 216 players would receive a minimum of $828.96; one of them would receive a six-figure winner's share worth $123,628, more than half the guarantee.

A tough day for the Team

Team PokerStars Pro and Team Online had a combined 23 representatives in the field. Although one Team Pro and three Team Online players made the money, none made a particularly deep run. Team Pro Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth was eliminated in 208th place. The three Team Online players - Diego "vgreen22" Brunelli, Denys "diatty" Shcherbakov and George "jorj95" Lind - exited in 190th, 113th, and 106th places, respectively.

Those players were long gone by the time the final table bubble arrived and hand-for-hand play started at 1:15am. The stacks were so evenly spread that the bubble took 35 minutes. When Elduderino67's A♠J♥ failed to improve against Shippotamus' pocket 5s, these nine players advanced to the final table:

Event 49 FT final.JPG

Seat 1: Shippotamus (2359105 in chips)
Seat 2: ariitapu (1498943 in chips)
Seat 3: dcg30 (2346736 in chips)
Seat 4: babyshark33 (585844 in chips)
Seat 5: alex987 (3041714 in chips)
Seat 6: slvrmountn (3754383 in chips)
Seat 7: Vitorbrasil (1610782 in chips)
Seat 8: Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis (1159917 in chips)
Seat 9: gerd85 (2482576 in chips)

Working 9 to 5

Blinds were 25,000 and 50,000 with an ante of 6,250, at the start of the final table. In what would become the dominant theme of the final table, dcg30 won a series of pots to chip up to 4.6 million before anyone was eliminated. The big win for dcg30 came at the expense of Shippotamus, who opened a pot pre-flop with a minimum-raise to 120,000. dcg30 called from the button to a flop of K♥T♥4♣. Shippotamus bet 235,200 there and another 478,500 when the turn fell a third heart, 8♥. dcg30 called both bets, then took the pot did uncontested by betting 767,555 after Shippotamus checked the J♥ river. "So sick," said Shippotamus before folding.

Blinds moved up to 40,000 and 80,000, causing the players to suddenly snap to life. Vitorbrasil became the first player eliminated from the final table. Down to just less than 1,000,000 in chips, Vitorbrasil opened all in with pocket treys. ariitapu called with pocket queens, which held up through the river.

Karamalikis was the next player out on the very next hand. He was the short stack and opened all in for 775,000. Karamalikis had been dealt A♠J♥, which ran right into gerd85's pocket kings. A board that blanked out 3♦5♦5♠8♦8♠ eliminated Karamalikis in 8th place.


Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis

gerd85 struck again three hands later when the very short-stacked babyshark33 pushed all in for 464,000 with A♣8♠. gerd85 showed down A♥J♣. That jack kicker played on a board of Q♣K♥9♣6♠2♠. babyshark33 earned $20,724 for 7th place.

Another three hands, another elimination. With blinds still at 40,000 and 80,000, action folded to chip leader dcg30 in the small blind. dcg30 moved all in, effectively a raise of big blind alex987's entire 2.1-million-chip stack. alex987 called with A♣Q♣ and was a dominating favorite against dcg30's Q♥J♣. Yet it was dcg30 who paired on the flop, T♦J♥6♣. alex987 would need a king or an ace to re-take the lead, but the turn came 3♦ and the river fell Q♠ to knock out alex987 in 6th place.

dcg30 crushes, mashes and slays

ariitapu became the new short stack and was ground down to 1.8 million before making a major mis-step. Sitting in the small blind, ariitapu raised all in after Shippotamus opened the button for the minimum to 160,000. The chip leader and big blind, dcg30, had been dealt A♦Q♦ and quickly re-raised all in to isolate ariitapu. After Shippotamus folded, ariitapu showed Q♥J♥ and was quickly dispatched from the final table, K♦5♣3♦A♠3♥.

With four players remaining, dcg30's count of more than 9 million represented almost half of the chips in play. dcg30's solid play, good timing and good luck were threatening to turn the rest of the final table into a race for 2nd place. That was only reinforced in the 50,000 and 100,000 when Shippotamus opened the button to 200,000. Dcg30 re-raised to 487,777 and then called after Shippotamus four-bet all in to 1.7 million. Shippotamus had the best hand with A♠J♠, but dcg30's A♣T♠ flopped best, 8♥9♣T♣. A third club on the turn, 5♣, took away some of Shippotamus' outs; the 5♦ on the river squashed the rest. Shippotamus become the fourth-place finisher.

It just seemed like dcg30 couldn't be stopped. dcg30's count increased to more than 13 million before gerd85 opened all in from the small blind for 2.1 million, approximately 21 big blinds. dcg30 gave the decision some thought before calling with A♥5♣, a hand that was ahead of gerd85's K♣9♣. dcg30 proved that winning from ahead was something dcg30 could also do as the flop came with an ace, A♠7♥Q♦. gerd85 picked up a gutshot straight draw with the T♠ turn, but the river paired sevens to end gerd85's run.

Deal or no deal?

At the start of heads-up play, dcg30 had 15.2 million chips, more than four times as many as slvrmountn (3.5 million). At the 3am break, slvrmountn suggested looking at chip-chop numbers to smooth out the 2nd and 1st place payments. The chip-chop numbers would have paid $112,979.52 to dcg30 and $96,080.56 to slvrmountn, with $5,000 remaining as a set-aside. slvrmountn counter-offered for an even $100,000. dcg30 refused to budge on the chop numbers, so no deal was struck.

Fifteen minutes later, dcg30 had widened the lead slightly with 15.9 million chips to slvrmountn's 2.9 million chips. dcg30 opened the button with a minimum raise to 200,000 that slvrmountn called. slvrmountn checked the 5♠9♠K♦ flop, inducing a continuation-bet of 173,333 from dcg30. slvrmountn check-raised to 525,555. dcg30 paused, then made the minimum raise back to 877,777. The rest of the chips quickly went into the pot. slvrmountn had middle pair, J♥9♣; dcg30 had top pair with K♥8♣. slvrmountn turned two pair with a J♣ turn, but dcg30's good fortune came through again as the river fell 5♥ to pair the board and give dcg30 a bigger two pair, kings and fives.

dcg30 notched the last five eliminations of WCOOP 2010 Event 49 using a combination of timely cards, savvy play and a pinch of luck. You can't ask for much more from a WCOOP champion.

WCOOP 2010 Event 49 - $200 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Rebuy, 1 Add-On) results:

1st: dcg30 ($123,628.08)
2nd: slvrmountn ($90,432)
3rd: gerd85 ($67,824)
4th: Shippotamus ($50,491.20)
5th: ariitapu ($35,796)
6th: alex987 ($28,260)
7th: babyshark33 ($20,724)
8th: Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis ($13,188)
9th: Vitorbrasil ($7,536)

WCOOP 2010 is coming down the home stretch of another highly successful series. All of the statistics for each of the 49 tournaments that have already been played can be found at the WCOOP homepage. There are still 13 more events before the series concludes. Check the schedule for more details and make sure to stop by PokerStars TV while you're at it.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in WCOOP