WCOOP 2010: Team Pro Alex Kravchenko conquers Event 61 for 8-game title

WCOOP 2009 logo.jpgOn the last day of the 2010 World Championship of Online Poker, Event 61 was prepared to play its second and final day. The High Roller $10,000 buy-in 8-Game tournament was everything that online poker players and fans could have wanted in a WCOOP event - big money, well-known players, and mixed games that changed each 15 minutes with the new levels. And it all culminated in an exciting set-up for the final table.

Day 1 of the action was recapped here, as some of the biggest and best in the world of online poker came to the tables. The 133-player field established a $1,330,000 prize pool, well past the $1 million guarantee, and allowed the top 18 players to cash. But it was at the six-player final table that the action would heat up.

Day 2 began in the midst of Level 42, which offered limit hold'em with blinds of 5,000/10,000. And the final table of six players, led by Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko, took their seats at 15:00 ET with starting chip counts (and seating assignments since this picture was taken) as follows:

Seat 1: bigfish302 (323,010 in chips)
Seat 2: Team PokerStars Pro Alex "Kravchenko" Kravechenko (493,692 in chips)
Seat 3: Team PokerStars Pro Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero (70,564 in chips)
Seat 4: Indigoae (83,999 in chips)
Seat 5: kirbynator (249,514 in chips)
Seat 6: PearlJammer (109,221 in chips)

Event 61 FT screen shot.JPG

Action began with some caution but without Indigoae, who was sitting out as play got underway. The rest of the players wished each other luck and began their individual strategies for winning the second last bracelet available in the 2010 WCOOP. And about ten minutes into play, Indigoae did indeed come to the table.

Barbero quickly rose from the short stack to fourth place of the six through some well-timed aggression and collection of small pots. But bigfish302 soon took a pot worth 93K from Barbero, pushing him back to fifth place. However, about 30 minutes into the action, Barbero took an Omaha hi/lo pot worth 99K from PearlJammer to climb out of the danger zone but leave the latter with less than 20K in chips.

PearlJammer began the recovery process by winning some hands in the razz round. But it was Indigoae who needed help with the short stack and got involved with kirbynator to do it. The razz hand started with Indigoae dealt a 3♦ and kirbynator the A♦, and by fifth street, Indigoae was all-in with 2♣5♣3♦7♥T♠ against the 3♥5♦A♦4♠3♠ of kirbynator. Two fives didn't help Indigoae when kirbynator received two sevens and made the 7-5-4-3-A low hand. Indigoae was the first to leave the table, taking home $59,850.00 for the sixth place finish.

Moments later, another razz hand developed as PearlJammer pushed his last few chips all-in on third street with 4♦ showing, and Barbero was there with 8♣. When all of the cards were turned up and dealt, PearlJammer displayed 3♠5♥4♦8♦4♠Q♣9♥, but Barbero had 4♥9♦8♣T♥2♦A♣K♣ for the 9-8-4-2-A low. Jon "PearlJammer" Turner was eliminated in fifth place with $86,450.00.

Barbero then lost a sizable pot to Kravchenko to be in danger again, but he doubled back through Kravchenko to leap back above the 100K mark. By the time the remaining four players hit their first break, Kravchenko still led, kirbynator held up second place, while Barbero and bigfish302 were quite close - both with just over 170K - in the last two spots.

A bit later, in the midst of the stud hi/lo level, bigfish302 found himself with little more than 35K in chips and got involved with kirbynator. The all-in move came on fifth street with bigfish302 showing J♣A♦9♦ and kirbynator with 4♦Q♦4♠. When all of the cards were dealt, kirbynator had 7♣3♦4♦Q♦4♠9♥4♣, and bigfish302 showed 3♠J♥J♣A♦9♦K♦7♥, but those jacks weren't enough to beat the three fours of kirbynator. With no qualifying low, bigfish302 exited the tournament in fourth place with $113,050.00.

A series of hands that ended the stud hi/lo level found kirbynator with a succession of pots that pushed him into the chip lead, though Kravchenko quietly and calmly proceeded to take down a 220K pot to regain his lead. That brought players to the no-limit hold'em round, and almost immediately, Barbero was all-in against fellow Team Pro Kravchenko and doubled up as follows:

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As the game switched over to PLO, Barbero and Kravchenko tangled again, this time to see a 2♠8♥J♠ flop. And it was then that a bet from Kravchenko prompted an all-in call from Barbero for his last 77,966 chips. Barbero showed K♣K♠6♣2♥, and Kravchenko turned over T♥7♦T♠A♦. The 4♣ on the turn changed nothing, but the 9♦ on the river filled Kravchenko's straight. That eliminated Team PokerStars Pro Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero in third place with $172,900.00.

Jose Barbero - Event 61.JPG

Heads-up play then began with the following chip counts:

Seat 2: Kravchenko (960,111 in chips)
Seat 5: kirbynator (369,889 in chips)

And shortly thereafter, at the request of kirbynator, the two players chose to pause the game to discuss a possible deal. But after more than 20 minutes of haggling over some figures, the two could not come to an agreement, so play resumed with no deal in place.

The two continued with chip counts remaining very close to the starting numbers, but one pot developed toward the end of the PLO round that decided it all. A raise from kirbynator and call from Kravchenko led them to a 7♥5♠9♥ flop. Kirbynator bet, and when Kravchenko check-raised, the two battled until kirbynator called the last reraise all-in with 6♠2♣5♣8♣ for the nine-high straight. Kravchenko showed 6♥T♦A♥K♣ but found it to be a winning hand when the J♦ and Q♣ completed the board for a king-high straight. Kirbynator accepted $232,750.00 for second place.

Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko
claimed victory in Event 61, for which he was awarded $345,800.00, a gold bracelet, and a WCOOP title. Congratulations!

Alex Kravchenko 2 - Event 61.JPG

2010 WCOOP Event 61 Final Results:

1st place: Team PokerStars Pro Alex "Kravchenko" Kravchenko ($345,800.00)
2nd place: kirbynator ($232,750.00)
3rd place: Team PokerStars Pro Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero ($172,900.00)
4th place: bigfish302 ($113,050.00)
5th place: PearlJammer ($86,450.00)
6th place: Indigoae ($59,850.00)

The 2010 WCOOP is coming to an end, but all of the excitement of the series can be found on the official WCOOP website, and PokerStars TV offers tournament highlights.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in WCOOP