WCOOP 2011: Russia's ranayr Rallies to Victory in PL Draw

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgBefore Rounders hit the big screen in 1998, whenever the word "poker" was mentioned, most people conjured up images of cowboys playing five-card draw poker. Hollywood popularized draw poker in many of their films and television programs, which was the medium how many in the general public had been introduced to poker.

My earliest poker experiences as a child centered around my grandfather sitting at the poker table with other silver-haired WWII veterans. They chomped down on cigars and told raunchy stories while they played cards. Their game of choice was five-card draw -- Jacks or Better -- otherwise known as the old timers' game in my neighborhood.

Times have changed. Draw poker used to be relegated to an activity that old men engaged upon while regaling tales of war, but these days battles are fought across the virtual felt with players from all over the globe pitted against each other to determine which one of them really was the best five-card draw player in the world.

The WCOOP Event #7 $215 Pot Limit 5-Card Draw attracted 566 runners. The top 66 places paid out prize money with $19,608 set aside for first place. Several familiar faces from Team PokerStars Pro and Team Online were represented including Daniel Negreanu, Jonathan Duhamel, Humberto Brenes, Andre Akkari, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, George Danzer, Lex Velhuis, Pierre "Zoutechamp" Neuville, Anders "Donald" Berg, Jude "J.thaddeus" Ainsworth, and Shane "Shaniac" Schelger. But, only one of them would advance to the money.

Kid Poker busted in 104th place. He held A♠A♥9♦9♠6♠ for two pair, but lost to mr.kiris's trip fives and T♥5♣5♠5♥3♠.

Team Pro from Brazil, Andre Akkari, busted out in 68th place just two away from the money. Short-stacked Akkari made a stand with a pair of Queens and drew three, but his hand did not improve. Akkari lost to finnen321's two pair, Aces and Nines, and was eliminated in 68th place. His fellow Brazilian, JULIOSAPHINO, busted out in 67th place and took home the "Bubble Boy" honors.

Former WSOP World Champion Jonathan Duhamel hit the road in 38th place. On his final hand, he drew only one card and finished with A♥K♥K♣Q♠4♦, for only a pair of Kings with Ace-high kicker. Meanwhile, fly44 discarded three and improved to A♣A♦Q♦Q♣6♦ to win the pot with two pair. Duhamel collected $567.60 for his 38th place finish.

With two tables to go, the action slowed down significantly. The final eight played four-handed on the last two tables for almost two hours. When the dust settled, zxz_ bubbled off the final table in 7th place. Zxz_ open-shoved for his last 12,678 and got two callers. Zxz_ discarded three, pirata200436 also discarded three cards, and finnen321 discarded two cards. Finnen321 won the main pot and side pot with two pair, Aces and Queens, beating out zzyz_'s pair of Kings and K♥K♣T♣7♥2♠. For bubbling off the final table, zzyz collected $2,167.20

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WCOOP Event #7 PL Five-card Draw - Final Table:
Seat 1: finnen321 (293,667)
Seat 2: ranayr (470,976)
Seat 3: navroza (644,300)
Seat 4: ImaLucSac (519,931)
Seat 5: pirata200436 (339,694)
Seat 6: Martini_7777 (311,432)

Navroza advanced to the final table as the chipleader, but ImaLucSac was right behind him. ImaLucSac won the first sizable pot of the final table to seize the lead. ImaLucSac six-bet shoved for 409,531. Martini_7777 had him covered and called. Both players stood pat. ImaLucSac showed 5♦5♠5♣3♦3♥ for a full house, which bested Martini_7777's K♥Q♥T♥7♥5♥ King-high flush. ImaLucSac won the pot worth almost 850,000.

ImaLucSac's run good continued after he won five out of seven pots to surge over 1 million in chips. One of those hands included a juicy pot against ranayr to cripple him. Ranayr was on the ropes. A few orbits later, ImaLucSac tried to deliver the knockout blow, but ranayr avoided an eliminated with a timely double up. ImaLucSac's pair of Kings lost to ranayr's sevens full of fives full boat.

Pirata200436 makes finnen321 walk the plank; finnen321 eliminated in 6th

Short-stacked finnen321 was all-in in his big blind. Pirata200436 opened to 36,000 and got two callers. Martini_7777 discarded three, finnen321 discarded two, pirata200436 discarded two, and ImaLucSca only drew one. Martini_7777 bet 60,000, ImaLucSac folded, pirata200436 raised all-in for 315,134, and Martini_7777 folded. Pirata200436 won the side pot and main pot with A♣A♠6♥6♠6♦ for a full house -- sixes full of Aces. Finnen321 lost with trip fives and 6♣5♣5♥5♠4♣. For 6th place, finnen321 finished collected $3,302.40.

Ranayr makes pirata200436 walk plank; pirata200436 eliminated in 5th place

Ranayr won a couple of pots from pirata200436. In the first one, ranayr won with two pair, Aces and Nines, against pirata200436's Jacks and Eights. On the second hand, piarata200436's pair of fives were no match for ranayr's trip sevens. After pillaging pirata200436's stack, ranayr increased his stack to almost 777,000, which was good enough for second overall. Meanwhile, pirata200436 slipped significantly.

ImaLucSac opened to 28,000 and pirata200436 shoved for her last 100,191. ImaLucSac called and discarded two. Pirata200436 tossed away three, but did not improve her pair of Kings. ImaLucSac showed 4♣4♥4♠6♥5♠ and won the pot with trip fours. Pirata200436 won $5,160 for 5th place.

With four to go, ImaLucSac held the lead with over 1 million. Ranayr was behind in second with almost 750,000. Martini_7777 brought up the rear with 337,157.

Two pair vs. two pair dilemma; navroza eliminated in 4th

Martini_7777 opened to 42,000, navroza raised to 154,000, and Martini_7777 called. Navroza only discarded one, while Martini_7777 drew three. Navroza shoved for his last 43,268 and Martini_7777 called. Navroza showed 8♠8♣2♠2♥7♥ for two pair, eights and deuces, while Martini_7777 won the pot with A♠A♦Q♣Q♥5♥ and a better two pair. Navroza busted in 4th place and won $7,224.

Martini_7777 shakes up and stirs ImaLucSac; ImaLucSac eliminated in 3rd place

With three to go, ImaLucSca held the lead with ranayr and Martini_7777 holding almost identical stacks. However, ImaLucSac embarked on a bad stretch when he lost a couple of decisive pots to Martini_7777, both time having an unimproved pair of Aces. All of a sudden, ImaLucSac went from top dog to the hunted wounded animal.

On his final hand, ImaLucSac called all-in after Martini_7777 opened to 150,000 (and had him covered). Martini_7777 stood pat and ImaLucSac discarded one. Martini_7777 won with 7♦7♥7♣9♦9♠ for sevens full of nines and ImaLucSac's J♥J♠T♠4♠4♦ was not strong enough. ImaLucSac hit the road in 3rd place. He won $10,578.

Then there were two; ranayr (Russia) vs. Martini_7777 (Germany)

The WCOOP title was down to two players -- a German and a Russian. The German, Martini_7777, held over a 2-1 advantage over ranayr.

Heads-Up Chip Counts:
Seat 2: ranayr (867,774)
Seat 6: Martini_7777 (1,712,226)

Ranayr struck first blood winning a pair of 570,000 pots to take the lead. Eventually the roles were reverse and he held a 2-1 advantage. However, Martini_7777 launched a counterattack to pull even, winning a timely hand with trip treys against Martini_7777's pair of Aces.

Ranayr regained the top spot winning a 262,500 pot with a pair of Queens against a pair of sixes. He improved to almost a 4-1 chip lead before delivering a devastating blow. Both players discarded three. Martini_7777 bet 100,000, ranayr shoved for 512500, and Martini_7777 folded. After that hand, Martini_7777 held less than 300,000, while ranayr improved to over 2.28 million.

Ranayr wins first WCOOP title; Martini_7777 eliminated in 2nd place

On the final hand, Martini_7777 trailed by over a 4-1 margin, ranayr min-raised to 50,000, Martini_7777 in-re-raised to 100,000, ranayr four-bet to 312,500, and Martini_7777 called. Martini_7777 drew three and ranayr only tossed away one. Martini_7777 checked. Ranayr bet 75,000. Martini_7777 called his last 72,226 and was all-in with only a pair of Aces and A♠A♦J♣T♦5♠. Ranayr showed 7♦7♣2♣2♠6♦ for two pair, Sevens and Deuces, to win the pot. Ranayr won the tournament, the WCOOP title, and $19,608. Martini_7777 finished in second place and collected $14,448 for a runner-up performance.

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2011 WCOOP Event #7 $215 5-Card Draw - Final Table Results:
1st - ranayr - $19,608
2nd - Martini_7777 - $14,448
3rd - ImaLucSac - $10,578
4th - navroza - $7,224
5th - pirata200436 - $5,160
6th - finnen321 - $3,302.40

Don't forget to check out the official WCOOP home page where you can find information like the schedule of remaining events, satellites, and the WCOOP leader board. Also check out the handy WCOOP stats page.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in WCOOP