WCOOP 2012: Alexx Porter snares Event #51; INSHALA82 chops ($215 NLHE 1R1A)

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgThere has been plenty of drama through the first 50 events of this year's World Championship of Online Poker at PokerStars. Of course, one place where there hasn't been too much drama has been over the issue of the events' guarantees.

Going into Event #51, all 50 of the guarantees had been met, in some cases doubling or even tripling the guaranteed prize pool. And this one -- a $215 buy-in no-limit hold'em event with one re-buy and one add-on -- would not break the streak. With a guarantee of $300K, it was clear early on during the re-buy period the prize pool would certainly exceed that total.

However, as players continued to late register and more re-buys were taken, another bit of drama did emerge over whether or not the prize pool might exceed the half-million-dollar mark. Check out how the numbers added up once the re-buy period ended and the last add-on was purchased:

1,112 entrants = $222,400
765 re-buys = $153,000
624 add-ons = $124,800
--------------------------------------------
total prize pool = $500,200

Those last couple of add-ons -- $200 each -- did it, tripping the total up over half a milly. The top 144 finishers were due to divide those riches, with $87,434.96 for first place barring any final table deals.

Finding a Final Table

It would take a little over six hours for the field to be carved down to just 200 players, at which point 4rebmun, hlamberg, and diouf999 had grabbed the top spots on the leaderboard.

About an hour-and-a-half after that the money bubble burst and 144 were left, with Ghetto_River, hlamberg, and Kelvin_FP:AR occupying the top three spots as the only players with more than 300,000 chips.

Among the cashers was Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso, sitting with a below-average stack. Rousso would last a short while longer before finally committing her chips with K♦J♠ and getting called by Tagir holding A♦6♦. The board brought no help for Rousso -- and three diamonds for Tagir -- and LadyMaverick was eliminated in 119th place for a payday of $900.36.


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Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso


By the nine-hour mark less than 50 players remained. Kelvin_FP:AR had moved up to first position with more than 701,000, iwonthurtyou was next with a little over 596,000, and Ghetto_River third with about 554,000. A little more than two hours after that they were down to 18, with iwonthurtyou, PDonfire, Marty "TheLipoFund" Mathis, and natefive leading with counts ranging between 1.25-1.65 million.

It would take another hour for the final nine to emerge, during which stretch PDonfire moved up over 2.2 million chips and into the lead. medmar (18th), LordTBird (17th), and donvito1st (16th) each earned $2,751.10 paydays. Syndrome1977 (15th), RB79s (14th), and Pokerger1337 (13th) took away $3,751.50 apiece. And natefive (12th), TheGreatPike (11th), and JIM_BALLAS (10th) each grabbed $4,751.90 from the prize pool.

The final table was set.


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Seat 1: TheLipoFund (Mexico) -- 948,403
Seat 2: Benjaphon (Thailand) -- 702,730
Seat 3: Alexx Porter (Russia) -- 1,287,811
Seat 4: PDonfire (Austria) -- 2,241,190
Seat 5: iwonthurtyou (Russia) -- 1,460,641
Seat 6: highland (Mexico) -- 599,142
Seat 7: buckguy2200 (Mexico) -- 1,536,029
Seat 8: INSHALA82 (United Kingdom) -- 1,724,055
Seat 9: 4rebmun (Canada) -- 2,004,999

From 9 to 6

It would take more than half an hour before the first final elimination took place, during which time PDonfire slipped back to the pack while iwonthurtyou and INSHALA82 pushed in front.

The blinds were at 20,000/40,000 when highland open-raised all in for 244,141 from under the gun and got a single caller from iwonthurtyou from the big blind. highland showed J♠9♠ and iwonthurtyou A♦Q♠, and when the board rolled out 5♣7♠8♠Q♣9♣, iwonthurtyou had the better pair and highland was out in ninth. That makes five cashes for highland in the 2012 WCOOP, and a second final table after a sixth-place finish in Event #37 ($530 FL Omaha H/L).

iwonthurtyou would continue to add chips over the next half-hour as the final eight continued their battle. Then with the blinds up to 25,000/50,000, iwonthurtyou opened for 100,000 from early position and 4rebmun reraised all in from the cutoff for 370,438 total. It folded back to iwonthurtyou who called the shove, showing J♣T♥ to 4rebmun's 6♦6♠.

The flop came 8♥5♣Q♣ and 4rebmun's sixes were still best. But the 9♥ on the turn filled iwonthurtyou's straight, making the A♦ river no matter and sending 4rebmun railward in eighth.

Just a few minutes after that it was PDonfire min-raising to 100,000 from middle position, then INSHALA82 reraised all in over the top from the small blind, forcing out the big blind and getting a call from PDonfire with the 606,810 left behind.

INSHALA82 showed J♠J♥, but PDonfire was well in front with A♥A♣. The 9♥Q♥Q♠ flop and K♦ turn meant PDonfire's aces were still ahead, but the T♣ fell on the river to give INSHALA82 a straight and eliminate PDonfire in seventh.

Here's a live action shot of PDonfire's rockets getting shot down:


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From 6 to 2

The final table's second hour began with iwonthurtyou and INSHALA82 having widened the gap between themselves and the others, with iwonthurtyou up over 3.8 million and INSHALA82 with about 3.13 million.

The blinds had jumped to 30,000/60,000 when a hand arose in which the table folded to Marty "TheLipoFund" Mathis in the small blind who open-shoved for 989,128 and Benjaphon called from the big blind. Mathis turned over J♦9♦ and Benjaphon K♠J♠, and five cards later -- Q♥6♠A♠K♣2♣ -- TheLipoFund had been depleted, ending Mathis's run in sixth.


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Marty "TheLipoFund" Mathis


The remaining five pushed forward through the 14-hour break, with INSHALA82 breaking away a bit to move up over 4 million and into the lead.

Not long after the blinds were 40,000/80,000 when a big hand developed in which buckguy2200 opened with a raise, Benjaphon shoved all in from the small blind for more than 1.62 million, then Alexx Porter called the reraise from the big blind and buckguy2200 stepped aside.

Benjaphon had A♠T♦ but Alexx Porter had woken up with K♠K♥, and when the kings held up Alexx Porter was up over 3.46 million while Benjaphon had been crippled down to less than the 10,000 ante.

Benjaphon would be all in before betting began on the next hand, ultimately taking 5♣4♣ up against buckguy2200's A♦Q♦. Benjaphon paired the flop when it came 4♠2♣K♦ and was still ahead after the K♠ turn. But the A♠ fell on the river to give buckguy2200 the hand and send Benjaphon out in fifth.

About 25 minutes later leader INSHALA82 opened with a 2x raise to 240,000 from under the gun, then buckguy2200 reraised all in for 1,096,368 from the big blind. INSHALA82 called the shove, showing K♠T♥, while buckguy2200 turned over A♥5♥.

The flop was bad for buckguy2200, coming 7♦T♦T♣ to give INSHALA82 trips. The turn was the 8♣ and river the 4♥, and buckguy2200 was out in fourth -- buckguy2200's best finish out of five cashes in this year's WCOOP.

Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thurman of Team Online, host of the final table, chimed in to comment afterwards.

WizardOfAhhs (Team Online): And then there were 3...
WizardOfAhhs (Team Online): Russia vs UK

Indeed, while Russia had more players left with two to the United Kingdom's three, the U.K. player -- INSHALA82 -- had most of the chips in play with more than 7.17 million to iwonthurtyou's 3.38 million and Alexx Porter's 1.94 million.

Soon iwonthurtyou's stack began to slide, then with the blinds still at 60,000/120,000 iwonthurtyou open-pushed all in from the button for 835,296 and was called by Alexx Porter from the big blind.

iwonthurtyou had K♦8♠ and needed to improve against Alexx Porter's A♦9♥, but the board came 4♥9♠3♥6♥Q♣ and iwonthurtyou was knocked out in third. By the way, that marked iwonthurtyou's 10th cash in the 2012 WCOOP, and first final table!

Heads-Up

Heads-up play began with INSHALA82 enjoying a better than 2-to-1 lead with 8,665,714 to Alexx Porter's 3,839,286. Both players have had considerable success in the WCOOP this year, with Alexx Porter having cashed four times before and INSHALA82 eight times. However, this marks the first final table for both in this year's series.

The pair played a few hands with Alexx Porter closing the gap just a bit, then they agreed to pause the tourney to discuss a possible deal. Soon Thurman produced the numbers -- leaving $6,000 for which to play -- and both players quickly agreed. Cards were soon back in the air.

It wasn't long before they'd crossed the 15-hour mark for the tournament, and soon Alexx Porter chipped up to even the score and then push out to a small advantage. That lead rapidly grew bigger, and before long it was Alexx Porter with the more than 2-to-1 edge.

Then with the blinds at 70,000/140,000, INSHALA82 raised to 280,000 from the button, Alexx Porter reraised to 700,000, INSHALA82 pushed all in for 3,652,214 total, and Alexx Porter called.

Alexx Porter: A♠J♠
INSHALA82: K♣Q♠

The flop came 2♥3♦5♦ and turn 2♦, leaving INSHALA82 needing a king or queen to survive. But the river was the 4♣, improving Alexx Porter's already better hand to a wheel and sending the chips -- and bracelet -- Alexx Porter's way.


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Congratulations to Alexx Porter for capturing a fourth 2012 WCOOP bracelet for Russia. And kudos as well to INSHALA82 who picks up nearly as much cash as the winner following the pair's deal.

WCOOP Event #51 ($215 No-Limit Hold'em, 1R1A) Results (*reflects two-way deal):
1st: Alexx Porter (Russia) -- $76,227.04*
2nd: INSHALA82 (United Kingdom) -- $74,733.32*
3rd: iwonthurtyou (Russia) -- $47,519
4th: buckguy2200 (Mexico) -- $35,514.20
5th: Benjaphon (Thailand) - $25,010
6th: TheLipoFund (Mexico) -- $20,008
7th: PDonfire (Austria) -- $15,006
8th: 4rebmun (Canada) -- $10,004
9th: highland (Mexico) -- $5,752.30

Entrants: 1,112
Places paid: 144

There's still plenty of drama left to be had in the 2012 WCOOP, with more than a dozen events remaining on the schedule. See the WCOOP site for details and don't forget to check out the daily shows on WCOOP Radio as well.

Martin Harris is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP