WCOOP 2011: Ugnis Victorious in Ante Up

If you're seeking advanced strategy insight into "Ante Up" events to complete your poker education, then I'm here to break the bad news -- there isn't much literature on the ins and outs of Ante Up tournaments.

I heard a half-baked rumor that the subject might be addressed in Super System 3. However, until the third volume of Doyle Brunson's Holy Bible of poker is released, then I'm afraid you're going to have make up strategy as you go along.

In Ante Up tournaments, the blinds remain the same at 5-5, but the antes accelerate with each level. A fair amount of curious players took a chance at playing the Ante Up gimmick event, but they had to deal with a few sharks, all of whom already had experience dealing with the nuances of the Ante Up strategy.

Event #11 $320 NL Ante Up attracted 1,467 runners which boosted the prize pool to over $440,100. The top 198 places paid out prize money with $73,717.02 set aside for the champion.

A slew of PokerStars Team Pros and Team Online participated in this special event. Some familiar faces included... Daniel Negreanu, Humberto Brenes, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Vicky Coren, JP Kelly, John Duthie, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, Johnny Lodden, Matthias "mattidm" De Meulder, Toni Judet, Kevin "WizardofAhhs" Thurman, Freddy "sirfreddy83" Torres, Henrique "Henrique.P" Pinho, Pat Pezzin, Fatima De Melo, George Danzer, Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas, Marcin "Goral" Horceki, Leo Fernandez, Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby, Shane "Shaniac" Schleger, Jonathan Duhamel, Andre "acoimbra" Coimbra, Andrew "foucalt82" Brokos, Andre Akkari, Dale "Daleroxxu" Philip, Javier "El_Cañonero" Dominguez, Anders "Donald" Berg, Pierre "Zoutechamp" Neuville, George "gkap13" Kapalas, Sandra Naujoks, Lex Veldhuis, and Jose "twin-caracas" Arias.

Seven PokerStars players cashed in this event including Johnny Lodden (167th), Daniel Negreanu (89th), WizardofAhhs (83rd), Henrique.P (65th), Vicky Coren (52nd), and Humberto Brenes (36th), and ElkY (30th).

ElkY's finished in 30th place when he made a valiant stand with A♠2♣, however he ran into ricestud's A♥J♦ and that's all she wrote for ElkY.


ElkY = 30th

When Day 1 ended, only 12 players remained on the final two tables. Ugnis from Lithuania held the lead with 1.28 million. Also returning to play on Day 2 included... James "Andy McLEOD" Obst, boaboa99, BILLIE1971x, vitalya155, mizarkshzark, Big_Nemo, deluxe, SONGJOY, z81ima, SvZff, and andyhin22.

Final Table Bubble Boy = SvZff

On first hand of Day 2, short-stacked SONGJOY hit the road in 12th place when pocket fives lost to BILLIE1971x's A♠9♣. On 13th hand of Day 2, mizarkshzark got knocked out in 11th when his A♥T♠ lost to z81ima's A♠K♦.

After 38 minutes of action on Day 2, the final nine was officially set after SvZff bubbled off the final table in 10th place. SvZff's A♦J♠ lost to vitalya155's A♣Q♦ when the board ran out 7♦2♣5♠5♣5♦, and SvZff was out-kicked.


Event #11 $320 NL [Ante Up] - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: Ugnis (1,088,412)
Seat 2: boaboa99 (1,118,967)
Seat 3: Andy McLEOD (953,631)
Seat 4: deluxe (591,001)
Seat 5: Big_Nemo (672,638)
Seat 6: BILLIE1971x (1,239,768)
Seat 7: vitalya155 (679,830)
Seat 8: z81ima (491,325)
Seat 9: andyhin22 (499,428)

BILLIE1971x began the final table as the chipleader with over 1.2 million. The only two other players with stacks in excess of 1 million included Ugnis and boaboa99. After a long period of inaction at the onset of the final table, two eliminations occurred on consecutive hands.

Andy McLEOD eliminated in 9th place

Andy McLEOD began the final table third in chips with a smidgen below 1 million, but he incurred a couple of hits to his stack early on to knock him back to the middle of the pack. With antes at 10,000, Andy McLEOD limped for 5. Big_Nemo raised to 56,789. BILLIE1971x and Ugnis both called. Andy McLEOD re-raised all-in for 526,591. Big_Nemo re-shoved for 806,586 and BILLIE1971x called all-in for his last 524,697.

BILLIE1971x: K♠K♦
Big_Nemo: A♠K♥
Andy McLEOD: A♦Q♦

BILLIE1971x was ahead with Kings, which held up when the board ran out 7♣6♦4♦2♠9♥. BILLIE1971x won the side pot and the main pot. BILLIE1971x also took over the lead with 1.8 million. James "Andy McLEOD" Obst busted out in ninth place and won $4,533.03.

Big_Nemo eliminated in 8th place

After getting crippled on the previous hand, Big_Nemo limp-shoved with A♠5♦ for his last 215,100 and andyhin22 called with A♥K♥. Big_Nemo turned a gutshot, but failed to hit his straight draw. The board ran out A♣6♣2♠4♠4♥ and andyhin22 won the pot with two pair, Aces and Fours, and a better King-kicker. Andyhin22's stack improved to over 1 million, but he was only third overall. Big_Nemo won $8,361.90 for an eighth place finish.

Ugnis back on top

Ugnis regained the lead when he doubled through BILLIE1971x. Both players flopped trip Kings, but BILLIE1971x had a better kicker (K-9 to K-7) until the 7♣ spiked on the river and Ugnis rivered a full house. Ugnis improved to 2.7 million, while BILLIE1971x slipped to the basement with approximately 330,000.

z81ima eliminated in 7th place

With antes at 15,000, z81ima limped for 5, andyhin22 raised to 44,444, vitalya155 called, and when action returned to z81ima, he limp-shoved for 536,565. andyhin22 re-shoved for 959,733 to isolate and vitalya155 bailed. Z81ima trailed with Q♣J♣ against andyhin22's A♣Q♠. Although z81ima turned an open-ended straight draw, he failed to improve on the river when the board ran out 9♣9♠5♦T♥3♦. Andyhin22 won the pot and z81ima busted out in seventh place, collecting $12,762.90.

deluxe eliminated in 6th place

With antes at 17,500, deluxe open-shoved for 501,933 and vitalya155 called. Heads-up with vitalya155's J♦J♠ ahead of deluxe's 8♦8♣. The board ran out T♠9♦3♠3♦K♦ and vitalya155's Jacks held up. Deluxe went out in sixth place and collected $17,163.90.

With five to go, Ugnis was way out in front with 3.5 million. Only vitalya155 had over 1 million with 1.66. The remaining three, were roughly in the same boat: BILLIE1971x (866,364), boaboa99 (663,478), and andyhin22 (630,450).

andyhin22 eliminated in 5th place

With antes increased to 20,000, Ugnis opened to 65,555, andyhin22 shoved for his last 465,425, and Ugnis called. Ugnis led with J♣J♦ against andyhin22's K♦J♥. Andyhin22 caught a glimmer of hope when he flopped a gutshot, but the board ran out Q♠9♣7♦5h]8♦ and he whiffed on his straight draw. Ugnis's Jacks held up and he won the pot, while andyhin22 hit the rail in fifth place, collecting $21,564.90.
With four to go, Ugnis jumped up to 4.3 million and boaboa99 slipped to the short-stack with under a half of a million.

boaboa99 eliminated in 4th place

Ugnis opened to 65,555, short-stacked boaboa99 shoved for 223,963, BILLIE1971x called, and Ugnis folded. BILLIE1971x was way ahead with A♣A♠ against boaboa99's K♦9♥. The board ran out J♣T♣J♠A♦2♦ and boaboa99 flopped a gutshot, but he was drawing dead when BILLIE1971x turned a full house. BILLIE1971x's Aces held up and he won the pot. Boaboa99 was knocked out in fourth place, winning $29,926.80.

With three to go, Ugnis held 4.4 million in chips, with vitalya155 at 1.7 million and
BILLIE1971x at 1.1 million. Vitalya155 had a chance to take out BILLIE1971x with K♦J♠ versus J♥T♣, but the board ran out Q♣T♦9♥K♥3♦ and both players chopped the pot.

BILLIE1971x eliminated in 3rd place

With antes at 30,000, Ugnis raised to 45,555 from the small blind. BILLIE1971x shoved all-in for his entire 819,053 stack. Ugnis called with A♥J♦ and was racing against BILLIE1971x's 4♣4♥. Ugnis flopped a Jack to win the coin flip as the board ran out J♣8♥7♣5♠9♦. BILLIE1971x was busted in third place and won $40,709.25.

Heads-up: Ugnis (Lithuania) vs. vitalya155 (Russia)

The final two was a battle of the old Soviet Union, with Russia's vitalya155 trailing more than 3-1 in chips against Lithuania's Ugnis.

Heads-Up Chip Counts:
Seat 1: Ugnis (5,640,470)
Seat 7: vitalya155 (1,694,530)

vitalya155 eliminated in 2nd place

It only took 22 minutes or so before a winner was determined. On the final hand, with antes set at 35,000, Ugnis opened to 45,555 from the small blind. vitalya155 shoved for 953,134 from the big blind, and Ugnis called.

Ugnis: A♥K♠
vitalya155: A♦9♦

Ugnis was ahead with Big Slick, but vitalya155 flopped a nut-flush draw. Alas, the board ran out 7♦4♠2♦2♥T♥ and vitalya155 missed his draw. Ugnis' hand held up when his King-kicker played and he won the pot. Vitalya155 won $53,912.25 for his runner-up performance.

Ugnis won the tournament, his first WCOOP title, and $73,717.02. Congrats!

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Event #11 - $320 NL [Ante Up] Final Table Results:
1 - Ugnis - $73,717.02
2 - vitalya155 - $53,912.25
3 - BILLIE1971x - $40,709.25
4 - boaboa99 - $29,926.90
5 - andyhin22 - $21,564.90
6 - deluxe - $17,163.90
7 - z81ima - $12,762.90
8 - Big_Nemo - $8,361.90
9 - Andy McLEOD - $4,533.03

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 if you like numbers, then take a peek at the WCOOP stats page.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in WCOOP