WCOOP 2012: beardo1981 bags Event #8 bracelet ($1,050 NLHE), Team Pro de León 4th

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgThe 2012 World Championship of Online Poker has just begun, with nearly three weeks' worth of action still left to go in the 65-tourney schedule. While the WCOOP plays out, the Super Tuesday -- that weekly $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney that always brings out online poker's best -- goes on hiatus. But the WCOOP schedule neatly covers the omission with similar tourneys each Tuesday night during the series (Events #8, #29, and #50).

That said, don't call these Super Tuesdays. More like Super Whooped-De-Duper Tuesdays, with longer levels (20 minutes instead of 15), deeper starting stacks (7,500 instead of 5,000), and a schedule calling for two days' worth of play rather than one.

Oh, and if Event #8 is any indication, the fields are going to be super-sized as well. While the Super Tuesday has been averaging around 420 players each week, Event #8 of the 2012 WCOOP brought out a whopping 1,574 entrants. That huge field meant a massive $1,574,000 prize pool, more than twice the event's $750K guarantee. The top 180 spots paid in this one, with $262,936.70 due the winner barring any final table deals.

Day 1: From 1,574 to 78

Tuesday saw the tourney push through 24 of those 20-minute levels, making for about a nine-hour day with breaks for those surviving to the end.

After three hours it was NhFy sitting atop the the leaderboard with 43,962 chips, followed by ocropTi (26,146) and Robert "rrobert333" Cezarescu (35,119). Three hours after that the field had already been carved to just 335 players, led by Pierresibi (165,673), WushuTM (119,858), and miho777 (118,552).

Nearly two dozen Team PokerStars Pros and Team Online members competed in Event #8, although by the six-hour mark all but six had been knocked out. Of those Randy "nanonoko" Lew, Fredy "sirfreddy83" Torres, and Shane "shaniac" Schleger of Team Online and Team Pro Matthias "mattidm" de Meulder would all fall shy of the cash. However, George "Jorj95" Lind of Team Online barely squeaked through to claim the 180th spot for a minimum cash of $2,056.20.

That left just Christian "el grillo" de León to represent Team PokerStars, and he'd thrive during the final stretch to end the night in 24th position of the 78 who made it through.

Meanwhile others following Lind to the rail and making the money at the end of Day 1 included William "Altrum Altus" Reynolds (174th - $2,046.20), Jorge "twin-caracas" Arias (172nd - $2,046.20), iwonthurtyou (169th - $2,046.20), eisenhower1 (126th - $2,675.80), Marc "dean23price" Price (124th - $2,675.80), Christian "charder30" Harder (108th - $2,990.60), danceofddead (105th - $2,990.60), Laurence "rivermanl" Houghton (95th - $3,148), Alex "skalexjung" Jung (93rd - $3,148), THEDUTCH4141 (92nd - $3,148), tollefishy (91st - $3,148), and Nicolas "niccc" Chouity (83rd - $3,305.40).

Here's how the Top 10 looked when players signed off on Tuesday:

1. Viking8844 (Israel) -- 556,728
2. bearsfan775 (Mexico) -- 407,502
3. tonydatiger5 (Canada) -- 393,092
4. Ami "UhhMee" Barer (Canada) -- 383,866
5. gabyalp (Argentina) -- 381,307
6. Griffin "Flush_Entity" Benger (Canada) -- 335,649
7. bob43155 (Mexico) -- 300,592
8. Pierresibi (Germany) -- 297,064
9. WushuTM (Austria) -- 283,646
10. Pascal "Pass_72" LeFrancois (Canada) -- 278,392

There were a number of other familiar names with above-average stacks as well, including NhFy (11th - 254,348), the aforementioned Team PokerStars Pro Christian "el grillo" de León (24th - 177,145), RuiNF (25th - 171,693), Jonathan "Iftarii" Jaffe (27th - 169,712), and Nicky "Cod Meharly" Evans (28th - 160,761).

Day 2: From 78 to 1

The first hour of play on Wednesday saw the field shrink from 78 to 54, with Nicky "Cod Meharly" Evans (63rd - $3,935) and RuiNF (62nd - $3,935) among those seeing their stacks depleted. An hour later they were down to 42, by which point TeamWispy had pushed into the lead with just over 701,000, with PSCPRODIGY the nearest challenger with a little under 590,000.

Meanwhile after holding steady for most of the early going, Team PokerStars Pro Christian "el grillo" de León managed a big double up just before the break with K♦K♥ versus the A♥K♠ of Griffin "Flush_Entity" Benger to push up close to half a million chips and into the top 10. Crippled after that one, it wasn't long after the two-hour break that Benger would go out in 38th ($4,722).

It would take almost another hour-and-a-half for the field to be trimmed to 18, with Jonathan "Iftarii" Jaffe (36th - $5,509), bearsfan775 (34th - $5,509), NhFy (30th - $5,509), WushuTM (27th - $6,296), and PSCPRODIGY (22nd - $6,296) having joined those heading railward. By then Pascal "Pass_72" LeFrancois had surged in front with more than 1.4 million, followed by beardo1981, TeamWispy, and de León in fourth position.

Two-and-a-half hours after that -- just past the six-hour break of Day 2 -- the final 18 became nine. Ami "UhhMee" Barer (18th), donvito1st (17th), and Pierresibi (16th) each took away $7,555.20. tonydatiger5 (15th), Viking8844 (14th), and NeoForastero (13th) cashed for $10,467.10 apiece. And beed2 (12th), I_Mr_U_Bean (11th), and Jamie "TheCronic420" Rosen (10th) saw $13,379 added to their PokerStars accounts.

Meanwhile, de León pushed to the top of the counts and was still in first position -- and Seat 1 -- as the final table began.


Seat 1: Team PokerStars Pro Christian "el grillo" de León (Mexico) -- 2,384,486
Seat 2: osten (Norway) -- 1,792,398
Seat 3: Pascal "Pass_72" LeFrancois (Canada) -- 754,311
Seat 4: roi kin23 (Russia) -- 1,595,180
Seat 5: beardo1981 (United Kingdom) -- 1,454,830
Seat 6: TeamWispy (Costa Rica) -- 1,946,153
Seat 7: bob43155 (Mexico) -- 438,725
Seat 8: The Lag rat (Costa Rica) -- 914,386
Seat 9: gabyalp (Argentina) -- 524,531

One of the short stacks, gabyalp, had hopes of becoming the second Argentinian to take a WCOOP bracelet, following Ezequiel "ezepoker90" Vazquez who won Event #1 ($215 NLHE, 6-max.). But as it turned out, gabyalp's final table experience would last but one hand.

With the blinds 12,500/25,000, roi kin23 opened for 50,000 from middle position, then gabyalp reraised to 175,000 from the small blind. It folded back to roi kin23 who reraised all in, and gabyalp called with the 346,406 chips left behind. gabyalp had A♠Q♠ and was in need of help versus roi kin23's A♣K♦. But the community cards came 8♦7♣4♦6♠7♥, and gabyalp was gone in ninth.

It would take a half-hour more before the next elimination, by which time the blinds had climbed to 15,000/30,000. Down to 326,225, bob43155 open-pushed from under the gun with 9♠9♦ but unfortunately got a caller in beardo1981 holding T♠T♦ in the small blind. The board came K♠3♠2♥2♠T♣, and bob43155 hit the rail in eighth.

Just five hands later they'd bumped up another level and TeamWispy was open-raising 2x to 70,000 from early position. It folded to Pascal "Pass_72" LeFrancois in the small blind who made it 167,500 to go, and when the big blind folded TeamWispy shoved all in for 804,392 total and and LeFrancois quickly made the call.

Pass_72: A♠K♣
TeamWispy: K♠Q♥

The board improved neither player's hand, rolling out 8♦3♥8♥3♣4♠, and TeamWispy was eliminated in seventh.

The remaining six pushed forward to the seven-hour break of Day 2, with The Lag rat having edged ahead of de León and into the chip lead. Over the next 20 minutes "el grillo" would slide to a below-average stack, then was all in for his last 800,000 or so versus leader The Lag rat. When they showed their hands -- 8♦8♠ for The Lag rat and 8♥8♣ for de León -- it was a bit anticlimactic, although The Lag rat provided some grins by calling for an eight as the community cards came and the pair chopped the pot.

Not too long after the blinds were 22,500/45,000 when osten raised to 94,555 from the cutoff, then beardo1981 reraised to 280,000 from the big blind. osten called the reraise, and both watched the flop come K♠7♥3♥. beardo1981 led for 616,000, osten pushed all in for 1,114,610, and beardo1981 called. Both players showed kings, but beardo1981's A♣K♣ gave him the better kicker versus osten's K♥J♠. The turn was the T♣ and river the 5♣, and osten was out in sixth.

It looked very much like Christian "el grillo" de León would be following osten out of the tourney on the very next hand after the Team PokerStars Pro found himself all in with A♠[10c] versus the A♥J♥ of Pascal "Pass_72" LeFrancois and the first four community cards came 3♣6♥8♠3♥. But the river brought the [10s] and life for de León.

About a half-hour after that, LeFrancois was again the victim of an unfortunate river card, this time sending him out in fifth place.

After open-raising all in for 790,383 (a little over 13 big blinds) from UTG, Pass_72 saw roi kin23 reraise from a seat over to clear the field. LaFrancois turned over A♥T♣ and roi kin23 A♦T♦, and after the 2♣8♣3♦ flop a chop appeared imminent. But the turn was the 4♦ and river the A♦, giving roi kin23 a flush and knocking Pass_72 out in fifth.

With four left Christian de León continued to hang on with the short stack, once more enjoying good fortune after going all in with K♠Q♦ against roi kin23's A♣6♠ and hitting a king-high straight on the turn. But soon after that the blinds were 30,000/60,000 when de León raised all in from under the gun fro 925,942 with 2♠2♥ and was called by The Lag rat waiting in the big blind with A♣K♠.

The Team PokerStars Pro was still ahead after the 5♥T♣Q♥ flop, but the A♦ landed on the turn to put The Lag rat in front, and after the T♦ river de León was out in fourth.


Team PokerStars Pro Christian "el grillo" de León, 4th place

With three left beardo1981 led with more than 4.91 million, The Lag rat was next with about 4.32 million, and roi kin23 third with just over 2.56 million. The trio pushed on toward the nine-hour mark of Day 2 with The Lag rat chipping up to over 7.5 million to increase the lead.

Then with the blinds at 40,000/80,000, beardo1981 raised to 160,000 from the button and roi kin23 shoved all in for 1,574,504 total from the big blind. beardo1981 called, showing A♦8♠ to roi kin23's K♠T♥. The community cards came 2♥5♣9♠A♣4♥, ending roi kin23's run in third place.

RSS readers click through to see replay

"gl mate" typed The Lag rat as the final two commenced heads-up play. The Lag rat had the advantage to start with 7,464,875 to beardo1981's 4,340,125. But over the first half-hour of their duel beardo1981 would chip away to even things up and then push in front, gradually building to a better than 2-to-1 chip lead over The Lag rat.

Ten minutes later beardo1981 had climbed up over the 10 million-chip mark while The Lag rat had fallen to less than 1.7 million when the final hand of Event #8 took place.

With the blinds 50,000/100,000, beardo1981 opened for 200,000 from the button, then The Lag rat pushed all in for 1,628,096 and beardo1981 called. The Lag rat showed 9♥9♦ and beardo1981 K♣J♠. The flop was fine for The Lag rat, coming 5♥2♥3♦. But the J♣ turn gave beardo1981 the lead, and after the 3♥ river it was all over.

RSS readers click through to see replay

Congratulations to beardo1981 for topping an especially tough field in Event #8 to earn a WCOOP bracelet and a $262K-plus score!

WCOOP Event #8 ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) Results:
1st: beardo1981 (United Kingdom) -- $262,936.70
2nd: The Lag rat (Costa Rica) -- $192,028
3rd: roi kin23 (Russia) -- $144,808
4th: Team PokerStars Pro Christian "el grillo" de León (Mexico) -- $107,032
5th: Pascal "Pass_72" LeFrancois (Canada) -- $77,126
6th: osten (Norway) -- $61,386
7th: TeamWispy (Costa Rica) -- $45,646
8th: bob43155 (Mexico) -- $29,906
9th: gabyalp (Argentina) -- $16,369.60

Entrants: 1,574
Places paid: 180

There's still plenty of WCOOPin' left to go. Check the WCOOP site for results and information about remaining events (including satellites). And of course do tune in each day at 15:00 ET for WCOOP Radio for interviews, recaps, and more.

Martin Harris is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP