WCOOP 2011: Dan "djk123" Kelly wins his third WCOOP title

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What hasn't already been said about Dan "djk123" Kelly? The kid is "so sick" in the parlance of our post-modern poker world. He almost made two final tables in a single day. And you know what? That's not the first time he achieved that stupendous feat. In 2009, djk123 won the High Roller H.O.R.S.E. event (his second title that year) and final tabled the Main Event (eventually finishing in 4th place). Indeed, 2009 was a magical year for djk123 because he won a pair of WCOOP titles. In addition to High Roller H.O.R.S.E., he also took down a Razz event for his first WCOOP win.


Flash forward to 2011. Djk123 was attempting to replicate his amazing feat by crushing two final tables in a single day. Although he came up short in Event #35 and bubbled off the final table in 10th place, djk123 emerged victorious in Event #37 $109 8-Game [10-minute Increases]. That victory put him a rare club of three-time WCOOP champions with Ryan "g0lfa" D'Angelo and PokerStars Team Online's Anders "Donald" Berg, who accomplished the feat earlier this week.

Three titles? Almost two final tables in a single day? That's the type of performance that legends are made of. I don't know if he's faster than a speeding bullet (or if he could even dodge bullets), but djk123 faded a difficult field to win his third career WCOOP title.

The 8-Game mixed format for Event #37 attracted 1,426 runners, which boosted the prize pool to $142,600. The top 180 places paid out prize money with $23,529 set aside for first place.

Team PokerStars Pros in attendance included ElkY, Andre Akkari, Noah "Exclusive" Boeken, Marcin "Goral" Horecki, George Danzer, Chad Brown, Liv Boeree, Vanessa Rousso, Henrique "Henrique.P" Pinho, Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth, Lex Veldhuis, Nuno Coehlo, Pat Pezzin, and the newst addition to Team Pro, Vivian Im from South Korea.

Among the PokerStars Team Online members in this event were shaniac, twin-caracas, Donald, CharismA3, talonchick, focault82 and recently signed Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen.

The money bubble burst when fly44 from Canada busted out unceremoniously in 181st place. Team Online's Shaniac started the day in the top 10 on the leader board, but just missed the money cut when he was knocked out in 198th place.

Only five PokerStars-affiliated players advanced to the money -- nuno coelho (156th), ElkY (82nd), talonchick (40th), focault82 (13th), and Pat Pezzin (5th).

At the 4 hour and 20 minute mark, a pair of Canadians -- Team Pro Pat Pezzin and Team Online's foucault82 -- were dominating their tables while they hovered in the Top 10 in chips. However, focault82 met his unfortunate fate when he busted in 13th place during a round of Seven-card Stud. By 5th street, foucault82 was all-in with 5♥Q♠7♦ showing against SixthSenSe19's 8♠6♠3♠. Foculat82 held a pair of sevens in the hole for trips, but caught the [10c] on 6th street and the A♦ on the river, which meant his trip sevens failed to improve. On 5th street, SixthSenSe19 called focault82's all-in with a monster draw -- an open-ended straight draw and a flush draw. He blanked on 6th street, but rivered a nine-high straight when the 9♥ spiked on the river. Focualt82 collected $1,162.19 for an unlucky 13th-place finish.

With 12 players to go, Pat Pezzin seized the chip lead with Dan "djk123" Kelly right behind in second place. Both players would eventually advance to the final table.

Russia's catchess was the proverbial final table "bubble boy" after he busted in seventh place. Catchess was heads-up against nilsef during a round of Seven-card Stud. On 4th street, catchess had K♣Q♦K♥ showing against nilsef's 4♦5♦A♦. Catchess checked, nilsef bet 100,000, catchess check-raised to 200,000, nilsef re-raised to 300,000, and catchess called all-in for his last 41,222. Catchess' pair of Kings was way behind and failed to improve against nilsef's Ace-high flush.

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Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: djk123 (379,494)
Seat 2: bzola (539,253)
Seat 3: SixthSenSe19 (86,784)
Seat 4: nilsef (1,095,969)
Seat 5: whatamonkey (1,246,224)
Seat 6: Pat Pezzin (930,276)

When the final table commenced, Slovakia's whatamonkey held the overall lead with 1,246,224. Germany's nilsef was the only other player with a stack worth at least 1 million. Pat Pezzin was not far behind in third place, but lost a chunk of chips early on when he doubled up djk123. Pezzin's pair of Aces lost to djk123's Ace-high flush. Pezzin suddenly found himself at the back of the pack, while djk123 embarked on a rush that eventually propelled him into the lead. Djk123 chipped up to over 1.8 million during a round of PLO when his full house, Kings full of Tens, bested bzola's two pair.

SixthSenSe19 eliminated in 6th place

During a round of 2-7 Triple Draw, SixthSenSe19 open-shoved for his last 93,034. Djk123 raised to 160,000 in an isolation attempt from the small blind, but bzola called from the big blind. On the first draw, all three players drew two. Betting on the side with SixthSenSe19 already all-in, djk123 led out for 80,000 and bzola called. On the second draw, djk123 stood pat, bzola discarded one, and SixthSenSe19 drew two. Djk123 bet 160,000 and bzola called. On the final draw, djk123 stood pat, bzola drew a single card and SixthSenSe19 discarded two. When djk123 fired out 160,000, bzola missed his draw and bailed. At showdown, djk123 won the pot with a low of 8-7-5-4-2. SixthSenSe19 lost the pot with 9-8-7-4-4 (for a paltry pair of fours). SixthSenSe19 hit the rail in sixth place, but took home a $3,921.50 score.

Team Pro Pat Pezzin eliminated in 5th place

During Triple Draw, Pat Pezzin opened to 160,000, nilsef three-bet to 240,000, and Pezzin smooth called. On the first draw, nilself discarded two and Pezzin drew one. Nilsef bet 80,000 and Pezzin called. On the second draw, both players discarded one. Nilsef bet 160,000 and Pezzin called all-in for his last 119,032. On the final draw, nilsef stood pat, while Pezzin discarded one. Nilsef won the hand with a 10-8-5-3-2 low against Pezzin's Q-8-6-5-2. For his fifth place finish, Team Pro Pat Pezzin collected $5,846.60.

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Team Pro Pat Pezzin - 5th Place

With four players to go, djk123 was out in front with 2.2 million. The table's short stack was bzola with only 165,036.

bzola eliminated in 4th place

During LHE, bzola made a final stand, yet came up short. Djk123 opened to 160,000, bzola re-raised to 240,000, and djk123 capped the betting at 320,000, which set bzola all-in for his last 10,072. Bzola was ahead with A♥J♣ against djk123's K♦T♣. The flop was K♠T♥7♥ and djk123 took the lead with two pair -- Kings and Tens. However, bzola picked up a flush draw when the 3♥ fell on the turn. Alas, the river was the J♠ and bzola whiffed on his flush draw. Djk123 won the pot with two pair. The United Kingdom's bzola finished in fourth place, collecting $9,126.40.

whatamonkey eliminated in 3rd place

During a round of Omaha hi/lo, whatamonkey shoved all-in for 237,952. Both djk123 and nilsef called. The flop was Q♥T♠T♦ and both players checked. The turn was the 9♦ and djk123 fired out 200,000, to which nilsef insta-folded. Both players tabled their hands:

whatamonkey: A♥Q♦9♠8♥
djk123: J♦T♣8♦6♠

Djk123 was ahead with trip tens against whatamoneky's two pair. Djk123 improved to a full boat when the 6♦ fell on the river. Whatamonkey busted out in third place and won $12,190.50.

Heads-up: djk123 vs. nilsef

When heads-up play began, djk123 held a comfortable 5-1 advantage over nilsef with 3.5 million to almost 717,000. It only took 12 hands before djk123 shipped the tournament.

On the 11th hand of heads-up play during a round of Omaha hi/lo, djk123 won a 1.2 million pot with a better two pair, Queens and Jacks, against nilsef's Jacks and Fives. That hand crippled nilsef.

nilsef eliminated in 2nd place

On the final hand, the game switched to Razz. By 4th street, nilsef was all in with K-4 showing against djk123's 9-3. Nilsef finished up with a J-8-7-5-4 low, but djk123 snuck in with a 10-9-7-6-3 low to win the pot. Germany's nilsef busted out in second place and collected $17,682.40 for his runner-up performance.

You can view the final hand in the snazzy replayer:

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For his first-place finish, Dan "djk123" Kelly collected $23,529 and added another WCOOP title to his impressive online resume. While djk123 finished up Event #37, he didn't have any time to relish his victory because he was focused on making the final table in Event #35 $215 NL Rebuys. Alas, djk123's run-good ended when he bubbled off Event #35's final table in 10th place. Although he missed final tabling two events in a day by one spot, djk123 posted one of the more impressive single-day performances thus far at the 2011 WCOOP.

Congrats to Dan "djk123" Kelly for his third WCOOP victory, which put him in a tie for most WCOOP victories with Ryan "g0lfa" D'Angelo and Team Online's Donald "Anders" Berg.

Event #37 8-Game - Final Table Results:
1st - djk123 - $23,529
2nd - nilsef - $17,682.40
3rd - whatamonkey - $13,190.50
4th - bzola - $9,126.40
5th - Team PokerStars Pro Pat Pezzin - $5,946.50
6th - SixthSenSe19 - $3,921.50

For all of you stat geeks, make sure you take a look at the WCOOP stats page. For a complete rundown of the leader board, head over to the WCOOP homepage, which also included schedule and satellite information for the remainder of the 2011 WCOOP.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in WCOOP