WCOOP 2010: What retirement? Shaun Deeb wins second career WCOOP title in Event #28, $1,050 NLHE

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgA little over ten months ago, Shaun "shaundeeb" Deeb announced his retirement from tournament poker at the ripe old age of 24. One of the most high-volume tournament grinders online, Deeb was understandably burned out from staring at a blinking screen for most of his waking hours and aside from a few live events he had already won packages for, he decided to take the rest of the year off from poker. From November 2009 to May 2010, Deeb kept his word for the most part, playing only the occasional online tournament until SCOOP kicked off. Deeb cashed nine times and paired his 2008 WCOOP title with a bracelet in the SCOOP $162 6-Max PLO event, banking $62,000.

After SCOOP, Deeb went back to doing what retired online poker players do. In his case, it was concentrating on live play at the World Series of Poker and honing his cash game skills. Until earlier this month, Deeb was more likely to be found in a $200/$400 mixed game on the Strip than in front of his computer monitor. That's when WCOOP came calling. Deeb once again emerged from retirement only to discover that the time off did him a world of good. In the first two weeks of September, Deeb earned over $160,000 from online tournament play... and that was before he found himself at tonight's talent-packed final table.

When you're on a roll, you're on a roll.

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Shaun "shaundeeb" Deeb

Just over 14 hours after Day 1 ended, Event #28's 72 survivors returned to play down to a winner. All of them were safely in the money, and while a guaranteed $3,439.20 is nothing to turn up one's nose at, many of the online heavy hitters still in contention had only one thing on their minds-- the $243,610 first-place prize and the WCOOP bracelet.

Isaac "philivey2694" Haxton was one of the more famous faces remaining in the field but he fell short of the big money, running his A♦6♦ into modogrinder's A♠K♣. Modogrinder flopped trip kings and that was all she wrote for Haxton, who exited in 23rd place.

Deeb found himself short-stacked with 17 players remaining and when Josh "josh prager" Prager set him all in for his last 14 big blinds on the button, Deeb made the call from the big blind, turning over A♣7♣. Prager's Q♦9♦ did not improve on the J♦5♠5♥T♠2♥ board and his stack was nearly halved while Deeb doubled up to 300,000. A few hands later, Prager open-shoved for his last 161,000 with pocket eights and OGURI made the call holding A♦K♣. OGURI won the flip, flopping a king and rivering an ace to end Prager's run in 17th place.

On the final table bubble, jcamby33 tried to move jhwang21 off his hand pre-flop, three-bet shoving for 413,000 behind jhwang21's 43,275 opening raise. VLs85s, however, ruined those plans, cold four-betting all-in from the small blind. Jhwang21 folded and jcamby33 needed some help, his K♣J♠ up against A♠Q♥. Jcamby33 hit top pair when the flop came down J♦T♣6♥ and turned two pair with the T♠. However, the Q♣ spiked on the river making VLs85s a better two pair. Jcamby33 hit the rail as the final table bubble boy while VLs85s raked in the pot with queens up.

Here's a look at how the final table stacked up as action kicked off:

Seat 1: Tjollerboy (2,490,461 in chips)
Seat 2: HotKarlMC (1,116,290 in chips)
Seat 3: buck21 (745,122 in chips)
Seat 4: insanocut (414,449 in chips)
Seat 5: Ruxandescu (1,178,416 in chips)
Seat 6: jhwang21 (1,007,080 in chips)
Seat 7: shaundeeb (499,917 in chips)
Seat 8: VLs85s (1,233,041 in chips)
Seat 9: DuckU (2,062,724 in chips)

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The final table was stacked with some of the sharpest minds in the game. Greg "DuckU" Hobson's brain cells were firing on all cylinders tonight; while he played the final table of Event #28, he was also making a deep run in Event #31 ($320 8-Game), where he finished in 18th place. HotKarlMC has over $1 million in online tournament earnings. Ruxandescu and VLs85s are experienced cash game players. Insanocut won the Sunday Warm-Up for a $136,000 score earlier this year. And if you want to talk about being on a roll, talk to Tjollerboy, who has already won three MTTs on PokerStars this month, earning more than $100,000. Let's also not forget about Day 1 chip leader Shawn "buck21" Buchanan, who was one card away from winning his first WSOP bracelet in the $25,000 six-max NLHE event this summer. Everyone had their work cut out for them.

The first elimination of the final table took place on its first hand. HotKarlMC opened for 41,000 and jhwang21 made the call from the big blind. Jhwang21 checked the T♥6♥2♠ flop over to HotKarlMC, who bet 52,005. Jhwang21 raised to 138,275, HotKarlMC made it 285,000 to go, jhwang21 shoved for 963,580 and HotKarlMC called, turning over 2♥2♣ for a set. Jhwang21 showed K♥9♥ for a flush draw. Although jhwang21 caught the 7♥ on the turn and made his flush, the board paired on the river with the 6♠, HotKarlMC making a full house to eliminate him in ninth place.

Insanocut was the next to go, busting out in a huge three-way pot with Deeb and Ruxandescu. We'll let the replayer tell the story but we'll offer up one hint-- set over set:

DuckU had busted from the 8-Game event only moments before that hand unfolded and was naturally a little tilted.

DuckU: go ahead and save some time and type "Great effort DuckU,......"
shaundeeb: dude I really have gained a ton of respect for you
shaundeeb: I wouldnt be a douche to you
shaundeeb: I wouldnt even slowroll you now
buck21: lol
shaundeeb: bucky I def will be slowrolling you :)
buck21: haha
DuckU: appreciated.... just need a break

DuckU, however, just couldn't seem to conjure up any more run-good. Crippled to less than half a big blind after running pocket kings into buck21's pocket aces, DuckU couldn't improve his 5♣9♣ against VLs85s' A♦K♦ and ended his run with a seventh-place finish and a $42,273.50 score.

"Seems about right....... so gross," DuckU said before logging off.

With six players remaining, the two chip leaders, Ruxandescu and Tjollerboy got involved in a curious hand that was six-bet before the flop. With the way these pre-flop raises were sized, you'd think they were playing limit hold'em.

Deeb wasn't afraid to drive the needle in after witnessing the questionable play:

shaundeeb: tough decion after 8betthing lol champions nutlow queen might be good again?
Ruxandescu: nh
shaundeeb: this replay going to be hilarious
shaundeeb: no nh to you rux
Ruxandescu: lol
Ruxandescu: sure will
shaundeeb: no wonder you breakeven after 500k hands
Ruxandescu: i guess i am a little speewy :P
shaundeeb: ROUND 4 fight
shaundeeb: you guys go play hu well wait for 5 handed
buck21: lol

VLs85s was the next player to go. He moved all-in for his last 613,000 on a 4♦5♠6♦Q♥ board and buck21 made the call, turning over K♦Q♦ for top pair and a flush draw. VLs85s had only J♣7♣ for a straight draw, and was eliminated in sixth place when the 4♠ hit the river. He earned $56,603.50 for his efforts.

Three minutes later, HotKarlMC four-bet all-in for 1.47 million after Deeb opened for 70,000 and Tjollerboy reraised to 198,300. Deeb folded and Tjollerboy called, turning up A♦K♣. HotKarlMC showed pocket tens, but they were run down on the A♣K♦J♠6♣9♣ board, Tjollerboy sending him home in fifth place for a $70,933.50 score.

Ruxandescu was the short stack with 500,000 as play turned four-handed, while buck21 (2.4 million), Deeb (3 million) and Tjollerboy (4.7 million) were in safer territory. Ruxandescu, however, scored a double-up against buck21, when his pocket kings held up against A♣K♥ to take his stack up to 1.88 million. Buck21 survived until the next level, when he got his stack in before the flop with A♣K♠ against Deeb's K♦Q♦. The K♥J♦7♦ flop favored buck21, but Deeb caught two pair on the turn when the Q♣ fell. The river blanked out with the J♥ and buck21 had to settle for fourth place and $97,444.

Down to about 22 big blinds, Ruxandescu opened for 100,000, Deeb three-bet to 223,479, and Ruzandescu pulled the trigger, moving all-in for 1,117,407. Deeb made an easy call, turning up pocket kings while Ruzandescu showed pocket fours. Deeb's cowboys held on the Q♥9♦3♣K♦6♦ board, eliminating Ruxandescu in third place and sending us to heads-up play.

Tjollerboy had a 7-4 chip lead over Deeb as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 1: Tjollerboy (6,901,864 in chips)
Seat 7: shaundeeb (3,845,636 in chips)

The mano-a-mano battle between Tjollerboy and Deeb lasted more than forty minutes. Their stacks remained relatively unchanged for the first half of their match, Deeb letting Tjollerboy hammer at him in the smaller pots, only to reclaim his lost chips in a larger one. In this decisive hand, Deeb debuted a new technique. Decide for yourself-- was his bet on the river a misclick or an intentional overbet for value?

The stacks had nearly evened up again, Deeb with 6.1 million and Tjollerboy with 4.6 million when the final hand of the tournament unfolded. Tjollerboy opened for 120,000 with T♣9♥, Deeb reraised to 282,034 with K♣Q♥, Tjollerboy went for a light four-bet to 792,034 and Deeb called. Deeb hit top pair on the K♥6♣3♥ flop and checked to Tjollerboy fired out 324,300 despite having completely missed the flop. Deeb raised to 792,034 and nevertheless, Tjollerboy made the call. The turn was the A♥, giving Tjollerboy a flush draw. Deeb checked, Tjollerboy shoved for close to 3.2 million and Deeb made the call. Tjollerboy could not find a heart on the river, the K♠ falling to make Deeb trips and seal his WCOOP victory.

Congratulations to Shaun Deeb on his second career WCOOP title and a $243,610 score. For his runner-up finish, Tjollerboy earned $179,125.

WCOOP Event #28 ($1,050 NLHE) Results:

1. Shaun "shaundeeb" Deeb ($243,610)
2. Tjollerboy ($179,125)
3. Ruxandescu ($135,991.70)
4. Shawn "buck21" Buchanan ($97,444)
5. HotKarlMC ($70,933.50)
6. VLs85s ($56,603.50)
7. Greg "DuckU" Hobson ($42,273.50)
8. insanocut ($27,943.50)
9. jhwang21 ($15,476.40)

Curious how some of your favorite players are faring in WCOOP? Check out the leaderboard over on the WCOOP page. And if you missed any of the action, head over to PokerStars.tv for interviews and video recaps.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP