WCOOP 2010: paulgees81, Andy McLEOD in front for FT of Event #59 ($2,100 H.O.R.S.E.)

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgWith a $2,100 buy-in, Event #59, the two-day H.O.R.S.E. event, sported one of the heftier price tags for this year's WCOOP. Not surprising, then, to see a somewhat limited field of top players, with the list of entrants full of familiar names from top to bottom.

A total of 239 came out, meaning the $400K guarantee for the event was successfully met. The total prize pool added up to $478,000, with the top 32 finishers scheduled to get paid and $96,795 going to the winner. The plan for Day 1 was to play down to a final eight-handed table, at which point play would conclude until Sunday.

After one hour of play, the first page of the leaderboard was populated with folks we've become used to seeing making deep runs and/or taking down events on PokerStars, with Francis "teacuppoker" Cagney, Jamie "Xaston" Kaplan, Shaun "shaundeeb" Deeb, bad_beat_bud, Team PokerStars pros Pat Pezzin and George Danzer, Ilya "ilushan" Gorodetsky, Sorel "zangbezan24" Mizzi, Matt "Hoss_TBF" Hawrilenko all having moved to the front of the pack once again.

Bunches of Bracelets

Given the high number of recognizable runners in this event, I thought it would be interesting to determine just how many WCOOP bracelet holders were among the field of 239. Had to be more than just a handful.

A quick peek over at the WCOOP site revealed that going into today's events 223 bracelets have been awarded since the series first began in 2002. Eight players have won two bracelets, and one -- Ryan "g0lfa" D'Angelo -- has won three, having earned that third one just last night in Event #55 ($530 NLHE).

That means a total of 213 players had earned WCOOP gold going into Saturday's events. How many of those were among the group who'd signed up for Event #59?


That's right -- over 10% of the field in this one was comprised of players who've already won WCOOP events before. Here they are (links are to player profiles):

James "Andy McLEOD" Obst
Shawn "buck21" Buchanan
Tim "Calvin32" Sullivan
Anders "Donald" Berg (Team PokerStars Online) (2)
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (Team PokerStars U.K.) (2)
Greg "Fossilman" Raymer (Team PokerStars U.S.)
Ryan "g0lfa" D'Angelo (3)
George Danzer (Team PokerStars Germany)
Kevin "iacog4" Iacofano
Jason Mercier (Team PokerStars U.S.)
Alexander "joiso" Kostritsyn
Jason "JP OSU" Potter
Kyle "kwob-20" Bowker (2)
Shaun "shaundeeb" Deeb (2)
Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez
spencerman3 (2)
Steve "stevesbets" Jacobs (Team PokerStars Online)
Jamie "Xaston" Kaplan (2)

What a line-up! And that's not even mentioning folks like Alex "AJKHoosier1" Kamberis, Daniel "amichaiKK" Makowsky, Scott "BigRiskky" Clements, Justin "Boosted J" Smith, Greg "DuckU" Hobson, Gary "GB2005" Bogdanski, Brett "get crunk" Richey, Mike "gordo16" Gordon, Steve "MrSmokey1" Billirakis, Anna "VietCutie" Wroblewski, David "WhooooKidd" Baker, all of the other Team PokerStars members who entered the event, plus the many SCOOP bracelet holders, Sunday Million winners, and other formidable foes sitting at practically every table of this one.

It's safe to say that whoever emerges with a bracelet from this field will have done something extra special.

From 239 to 100

Speaking of those WCOOP bracelet holders in the field, two-time winner Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier had a bit of a delay getting to his stack as he was still playing in Day 2 of the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event on Saturday. He eventually sat down at this event a couple of hours after it had begun, with nearly half of his starting stack of 7,500 having been lost to blinds and antes.

Grospellier fought for a while, but soon slipped below 2,000. Then came a stud round in which IWillGeThere took most of his stack on a hand in which ElkY couldn't improve on a pair of aces while IWillGeThere made two pair. Gary "GB2005" Bogdanski finished Grospellier off shortly thereafter, sending him to the rail in 196th place.


Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier

ElkY joined a couple of his Team PokerStars teammates already on the rail, Ville Wahlbeck (212th) and Steve "stevesbets" Jacobs (203rd). And that trio was soon to be followed by Alex Kravchenko (186th), Chad Brown (163rd), Greg "Fossilman" Raymer (158th), Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero (154th), Noah "Exclusive" Boeken (141st), and Victor Ramdin (135th).

From 100 to 32

As the tourney crossed the six-hour break, the field had shrunk to a hundred players, with ReadyMate73, ArbahChamesh, and Yeshua_Won atop the counts. Matt "Hoss_TBF" Hawrilenko was close behind in fifth, Trickey7 (winner of WCOOP Event #40 this year, the $320 H.O.R.S.E. event) in sixth, and Sorel "zangbezan24" Mizzi in seventh.

By then three more Team PokerStars pros had been knocked out in quick succession -- Pezzin (117th), Danzer (114th), and Mercier (111st). Sometime afterwards, it was two-time bracelet winner Anders "Donald" Berg also losing the last of his chips in a stud hi/lo hand versus tongni1. All in by third street, Berg managed to draw two pair, but it wasn't enough against tongni1's trip queens, and "Donald" was out in 85th place.

Play continued, and as they neared eight hours of poker it was Deill who pushed out in front. One of the players stepping in Deill's path during that climb to the top of the leaderboard was Team PokerStars Online player George "Jorj95" Lind who would see his tourney end after tangling with Deill in an Omaha hi/lo hand.

With the blinds 1,000/2,000, schnizeltoe opened with a raise from UTG and both Lind and Deill called behind. The flop came 9♠A♥Q♥, Lind bet, and Deill called. The turn was the J♦. Lind again bet, Deill raised, and Lind called with his remaining chips. Lind had A♦9♦2♥2♠ for two pair, but Deill held K♣T♦9♣7♦ for a Broadway straight. The river was a deuce, and Lind was out in 63rd place.

The cash bubble approached. Among those failing to survive into the money were Francis "teacuppoker" Cagney (60th), Jason "JP OSU" Potter (54th), Sorel "zangbezan24" Mizzi (53rd), Trickey7 (46th), tongni1 (42nd), and Matt "Hoss_TBF" Hawrilenko (36th).

Finally just 33 remained, with LUFCBas and madrid AK both trying to hang on with less than two big bets. LUFCBas was all in first in a razz hand versus clunged, but managed to survive with a 7-low.

Soon after it was madrid AK holding a very promising 3-2-5 and all in against two opponents. Mark "SHIPP ITT" Herm bet Paul "paulgees81" Volpe out of the hand by fifth street, by which point he had a 9-low (6-4-A-9-5) but madrid AK had drawn a couple of tens. madrid AK would draw a seven and an eight, thus finishing with 8-7-5-3-2, but SHIPP ITT picked up a deuce on seventh meaning his 6-5-4-2-A was best. madrid AK was out in 33rd, and the bubble had burst.

From 32 to 8

The first players to cash were blony_tair (32nd), clunged (31st), Mike "gordo16" Gordon (30th), ArbahChamesh (29th), LUFCBas (28th), and GVOZDIKA55 (27th).

At that point there were but two members of Team PokerStars pros left in the field, Sebastien "Seb86" Sabic of Team PokerStars Online and Lee Nelson ("LeeNelsonP") of Team PokerStars New Zealand. Both were on below average stacks, then Sabic lost most of his stack in an unfortunate hand versus Alexander "joiso" Kostritsyn.

The game had moved to stud, and Sabic had begun the hand with buried kings. However, Kostritsyn also had a king as one his down cards, then picked up the case king on fourth street. Sabic led the betting all of the way to seventh street, but in the end both players hadn't improved upon his pair of kings, though Kostritsyn had the better kicker. That hand left Sabic with less than one big bet, and on the next hand he was eliminated in 26th place.

highland went out next in 25th, and like the others who'd cashed to that point took $3,585 for his efforts. Three eight-handed tables remained.

Within a couple hands, Lee Nelson lost most of his below average stack in a stud hand versus paulgees81 in which the latter started with split sevens with an ace, then drew an ace on fifth for two pair which Nelson couldn't top by seventh. Soon after, Nelson was all in on third versus two players, and unfortunately for him one of them -- bad_beat_bud -- made a heart flush by fifth and Nelson couldn't catch up. Nelson hit the rail in 24th place, earning $4,780.


Team PokerStars Pro Lee Nelson

At that point bad_beat_bud had moved into first place as the only player with more than 200,000 chips, followed by Prague1 and "joiso" Kostritsyn. Next to go were graybone (23rd), ssusso (22nd), and kleath (21st), all of whom earned $4,780.

Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez slipped to the bottom of the remaining 20, and found himself down to less than one big bet when he started with a king up two hands in a row in the razz round. Finally, down to his last 1,658, he drew 4-5-A to start and managed to make a 6-low and win a hand to move to 6,616. He'd win another hand shortly after that to get to 15,332.

Meanwhile, ziploc (20th) and marzello (19th) were eliminated, each claiming $4,780. Then SixthSenSe19 slipped back and was all in again on a stud hand, but made trip kings to survive that one. Then he pushed another stud hand versus Prague1 and was all in by fifth street, made trip aces by seventh and was up to 34,528.

They approached the 11-hour mark, around which time NoraFlum went out in 18th ($4,780). It was starting to look as though SixthSenSe19 would be inching his way up a notch on the pay ladder, but he couldn't build much further and was finally eliminated in 17th ($4,780).

Just two tables remained. schnizeltoe was next out in 16th ($7,170), sent to the rail by ReadyMate73 in a stud hi/lo hand. Soon after, Unicum next won a 117,500-chip pot -- perhaps the largest of the night to that point -- in a hold'em hand versus catican. Take a look:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Suddenly the short stack, catican was soon knocked out by James "Andy McLEOD" Obst in 15th place. The game switched to Omaha hi/lo, and Unicum next eliminated Deill in 14th. Then TALL WASP took the last of Alexander "joiso" Kostritsyn's chips, sending the Russian out in 13th. All three -- catican, Deill, and Kostritsyn -- earned $7,170 for their deep runs.

bbbbb33 made it with his short stack into the razz round, but met his end there also at the hands of Unicum next, finishing 12th ($9,560). The remaining 11 soon were on their 12-hour break, with bad_beat_bud still out in front with more than 306,000, just a couple of thousand ahead of Andy McLEOD.

Duckfish was eliminated in 11th ($9,650) in a stud hand versus paulgees81, his pair and busted straight draw not enough against paulgees81's queens and treys. SHIPP ITT also made two pair in a stud hand versus a short-stacked yuvee04 to eliminate the latter in 10th ($9,650). Then, after about 12-and-a-half hours of play, came the last hand of the night.

Unicum next had become the short-stack at his four-handed table, having slipped to 45,318 when bigjoe2003 opened with a raise (to 6,000) in the stud round with the Q♣ showing. Unicum next made it 12,000 with the 9♣, and the pair ended up capping the betting. bigjoe2003 drew the 6♣ on fourth and bet, Unicum next picked up the T♠ and raised, and they continued thusly until the last of Unicum next's chips were in the middle.

The remaining cards were dealt, and Unicum next ended with (3♣)(9♥)9♣T♠J♠4♥(4♠) for two pair, but it wasn't enough against bigjoe2003's (Q♥)(T♣)Q♣6♣4♣7♥(7♣) -- a club flush.

RSS readers click through to see replay

Unicum next was out in ninth place ($9,560), and the final eight were set. Here's how they looked at the end of Day 1:


Chip counts for start of WCOOP #59 ($2,100 H.O.R.S.E.) final table
1. paulgees81 -- 384,292
2. Andy McLEOD -- 311,778
3. bigjoe2003 -- 259,016
4. bad_beat_bud -- 255,701
5. TALLWASP -- 227,924
6. SHIPP ITT -- 201,829
7. Prague1 -- 105,015
8. ReadyMate73 -- 46,945

There will be a redrawing of seats prior to the start of play on Sunday at 17:00 ET. Be sure to come back to the PokerStars blog to see who among these eight will claim one the bracelet in one of the more stacked fields of this year's WCOOP.

And if you're looking for other results and info about this year's series as well as WCOOPs past, check the WCOOP site for more.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP