WCOOP 2012: Danzer Does it Again in Event #10 ($320 NLHE Ante Up)

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Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer has won his second WCOOP title.

After two days of constantly-increasing antes and a grueling heads-up match that lasted two-and-a-half hours, Danzer has emerged victorious.

Danzer seemed to own this tournament from the beginning, gaining the lead with about 1,000 players left and keeping it throughout most of the day. There were a few low points though, Danzer finished Day 1 second-to-last in chips and started the final table 8th in chips.

While Danzer quickly got the final table chip lead, he'd lose it several times before finally taking down Event #10. For more details on Danzer's hard-earned victory, read on.

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Poker pros are always looking for their next fix.

When too many players started figuring out the secrets of no-limit hold'em, pros started dabbling with pot-limit omaha. When people started learning the tricks of 2-7 TD, veterans tried their hands at Badugi.

But despite all this poker experimentation, no one ever cut the cord with no-limit hold'em. There's too much emotional and practical attachment. NLHE offers the biggest prizes in the poker world and strikes a great balance between revealed and hidden information.

People are in love with the game. So -- like all things we love -- we don't get rid of it, we change it to suit our selfish needs.

"I need some change," the poker community pleaded with NLHE.

Frustrated, NLHE told them to just go and run away with that four-card hussy, PLO. The poker community apologized and pleaded it's love to NLHE. The two then had a long, serious conversation about their future. After a few late-night cups of coffee, NLHE finally agreed to let the poker community fool around with its betting structure a bit.

And that's how NLHE [Ante Up] was born.*

*Not really.

KID LOVE

This NLHE variation offers a different experience that several pros, including Daniel Negreanu, are quite fond of.

"About 30 min away from #WCOOP10 one of the coolest events of the series "Ante Up" NLH.You HAVE to try it if you can.So much fun.@PokerStars"
- Daniel Negreanu, Team PokerStars Pro (@realkidpro)

One Negreanu follower (@stealthmunk) tweeted back, saying the event was perfect for people who liked seeing flops as much as Negreanu did. The Team PokerStars Pro agreed:

"@stealthmunk @PokerStars Absolutely, it's the key reason I enjoy the format so much.Lots of interesting nuances."
- Daniel Negreanu, Team Pokerstars Pro (@realkidpro)

Negreanu joined 19 other red spade pros and a field of 1,367 players for Event #10. Out of those 1,367 players, only 16 would survive the first 30 levels and make it to day two.

Negreanu wasn't one of them, he was eliminated just short of the money in 196th place. Negreanu's ante up adventure ended in level 14. The antes were up to 350 while the blinds were still a lowly 5/5:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Fifteen other Team PokerStars Online and Pro players joined Negreanu in the non-cashing camp, but four other Team PokerStars players managed to make the final 171 players and cash.

Matthias "mattidm" de Meulder finished in 109th for $738.18, while both George "Jorj95" Lind and Marcin "Goral" Horecki cashed for $779.19. Horecki finished in 106th place while Lind outlasted a few more players and finished in 101st place.

The last Team PokerStars Pro standing was George Danzer. Danzer grabbed the chip lead early in Day 1 and stayed near the top of the leader board until we reached the final three tables. With less than 20 players left, Danzer lost a series of pots and finished the day with about 189,000. Just shy of the 200,000 mark, Danzer would start Day 2 15th in chips out of the remaining 16 players.

DAY 2

Play started back up at 11:00 ET and less than 90 minutes later, players hit the final table. Our final table bubble for this tournament was Illini213. The blinds -- as always -- were 5/5 and the antes were up to 6,000.

Illini213 raised raised to 9,185 from the cutoff and thetz re-raised to 28,958 from the small blind. Illini213 moved all-in for 337,432 and thetz called instantly.

Illini213 showed A♦[10c] and was crushed by thetz's A♠A♥. The flop came 9♥9♦7♦ and Illini213 picked up a straight draw when the 8♥ came on the turn. But the river was the 7♠ and Illini213 was eliminated in 10th place for $3,526.86.

With that, the final table was set.

FINAL TABLE

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Seat 1: mrAndreeew -- 559,904
Seat 2: GeorgeDanzer -- 398,225
Seat 3: ratajpoker -- 734,970
Seat 4: ediguadro -- 1,334,984
Seat 5: thetz -- 1,625,036
Seat 6: huiiiiiiiiii -- 433,845
Seat 7: $kill Game -- 735,980
Seat 8: Megaheiner -- 203,366
Seat 9: Buffett 1986 -- 808,690

DANZING TO THE TOP

While we didn't lose a player for the first 20 minutes, Danzer quickly jumped back to the top of the leader board. The blinds refused to go up and were stuck at 5/5, while the antes were up to 7,000. $kill Game and Megaheiner called from early position while mrAndreeew raised to 25,125 from middle position.

Danzer was in the hijack and moved all-in for 300,190. mrAndreeew was the only caller and we got our first final table all-in.

Danzer: A♥8♥
mrAndreeew: Q♠Q♥

The 8♣K♥J♣ flop paired Danzer's 8, but the Team Pro needed more help. The turn was a 5♥ and Danzer picked up a flush draw. The river brought a 3♥ and Danzer got the flush and a double up.

Danzer was up to 663,400 while mrAndreeew's stack shrunk to 306,239.

But that double up wasn't enough for Danzer, he'd have to do it again. The ante was still at 7,000 and Danzer raised to 25,755 from early position. $kill Game 3-bet to 82,320 from the small blind and Danzer moved all in for 686,655.

$kill Game called and showed K♦K♣, dominating Danzer's J♥J♣. Things looked even worse for Danzer when $kill Game hit a set of kings on the 3♥9♣K♠ flop. The turn was [10s] and all of the sudden Danzer had hopes for a straight. The river was a Q♣, giving Danzer the 1,436,320 pot and leaving $kill Game with 166,350.

Sometimes it's also a luck game.

Danzer then took a large pot off of thetz and reclaimed his spot atop the leader board:

RSS readers click through to see replay

ONE DOWN

It took a while, but the final table eventually lost a player. The ante had gone up to 8,000 and thetz raised to 25,555 from under the gun. huiiiiiiiiii moved all-in for 317,173 from thetz's immediate left and the rest of the table folded. thetz called and showed A♦K♠. huiiiiiiiiii turned over J♣J♦ and was flipping for his tournament life.

The board ran 4♦K♥9♣4♠6♣ and huiiiiiiiiii became our 9th place finisher, earning $4,429.08.

TWO MORE

The seal had been broken and floodgates of elimination opened. A few minutes after huiiiiiiiiii's elimination, we got back-to-back knockouts.

The blinds didn't change, but the ante was up to 9,000. thetz folded from under-the-gun and the remaining players called until action got to ratajpoker in the small blind. ratajpoker raised to 34,540 and $kill Game moved all-in for 254,537.

ratajpoker called when action was folded back to him and we had another showdown. $kill Game showed A♥[10d] and was dominated by ratajpoker's A♠K♠.

The flop brought ratajpoker a K♦ and no help for $kill Game. The 7♠ turn and 9♦ river didn't help $kill Game either and we were down to our final seven players.

For the 8th place finish, $kill Game won $7,996.95 and some WCOOP bragging rights.

The following hand, Buffet1986 raised to 22,500 from early position and Danzer called from the cutoff. ediguardo re-raised to 69,255 from the small blind and Buffet1986 moved all-in for 520,071.

Danzer bowed out of the hand and ediguadro called.

It was pocket pair vs. pocket pair situation and ediguardo was in the lead with a pair of jacks. Buffet1986 showed 9♣9♠. The board ran [10h]2♦Q♣8♣A♦ and Buffet1986 was eliminated in 7th place.

Buffet1986's 7th place finish was the first to receive a 5-digit payout -- $12,097.95 to be exact.

LIVE WITH FIVE

With the rest of the players near or over 1 million chips, Megaheiner was the shortstack with less than 200,000. Megaheiner was in need of a double up and tried to get one five hands after Buffet1986's elimination.

Megaheiner moved all-in for 171,661 from the hijack and Danzer called from the button. The rest of the table folded and Megaheiner turned over his last hand of the tournament, [10s]9♦. Danzer showed A♠[10c] and his lead increased when the flop came A♥9♠6♠. The turn was a 5♣ and the river was another 5, the 5♥.

Megaheiner was eliminated in 6th place, a finish worth $16,198.95.

With five players left, Danzer continued to dominate and increase his lead:

RSS readers click through to see replay

POCKET PAIR PROBLEMS

The ante was up to 10,000 and Danzer raised to 22,855 from UTG. ratajpoker re-raised to 55,400 from the cutoff and thetz 4-bet to 168,000. Danzer folded and ratajpoker threw in another raise to 346,959.

thetz 6-bet all-in for 899,485 and ratajpoker called. With all this betting, it wasn't much of surprise when both players revealed their hands.

ratajpoker: K♣K♦
thetz: A♠A♣

The board ran [10h]3♦[10d]Q♠6♦ and thetz doubled up to 1.8 million while ratajpoker was left with 125,809.

A few hands later, ratajpoker moved all-in from UTG for 190,814. mrAndreeew called from the small blind and, five cards later, we were down to four players.

ratajpoker showed A♠2♠ and was up against mrAndreeew's K♣Q♣. ratajpoker was in the lead until the flop came J♠Q♥8♥. The turn was a 5♦ and a J♥ completed the board and ratajpoker's tournament life.

ratajpoker earned $20,299.95 and brought the tournament down to four players.

ediguardo would then follow a similar fate.

mrAndreew was all-in and was showing [10d][10h], ediguardo had called mrAndreew's all-in and was showing 8♦8♣. More pocket pair problems.

The board ran K♥6♥6♣3♠5♦ and mrAndreeew doubled up to 2.17 million while ediguardo was down to 797,762.

The ante was up to 12,500 and ediguardo's stack was quickly shrinking. ediguardo was down to 413,527 when he moved all-in from the small blind.

thetz called from the big blind and showed A♦[10d] to ediguardo's A♣9♥. The board missed both players and thetz's A♦[10d] came out on top. ediguardo finished 4th and got $27,886.80 to show for it.

DOWN TO TWO

ediguardo's elimination gave thetz 2.2 million chips, but that still made thetz the three-handed short stack. thetz's stack would then shrink by 1 million in the next five hands. thetz lost the largest portion of his stack in the following hand:

RSS readers click through to see replay

mrAndreeew and Danzer then took turns picking away at thetz's stack until they got it down to under 500,000.

The ante was up to 17,500 and mrAndreeew raised to 21,000 from the button. Danzer called and thetz moved all-in for 458,064. mrAndreeew called and Danzer let the two battle it out.

thetz turned over K♣5♠ and was going to have to outdraw mrAndreeew's A♥Q♣ to stay alive. The flop came Q♥6♦2♠ and the turn was a 9♥. thetz was hoping for a king, but the river brought another 9 instead.

With thetz out in 3rd -- a finish worth $38,918.49 -- we were down to the heads-up portion of the tournament.

This portion was, without a doubt, the longest of the tournament without an elimination. Danzer and mrAndreeew got heads-up at 14:42 ET and we didn't have a winner until 17:07 ET.

HEADS UP: HOUR 1

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mrAndreeew -- 4,032,071
GeorgeDanzer -- 2,802,929

mrAndreeew started the heads-up match with the lead, but by the end of the first hour, Danzer would take it back. Lots of the action ended pre flop, but Danzer won three consecutive hands to level things out.

Hand 1:
The ante was 17,500 and mrAndreeew raised to 21,000 from the button. Danzer called and the flop came [10c]4♦K♥. Danzer checked, mrAndreeew bet 37,125 and Danzer called, bringing a 2♠ on the turn. Danzer check-called mrAndreeew's 91,225 bet and an A♠ came on the river.

Both players checked, Danzer showed A♦Q♥ and took down the pot.

mrAndreeew -- 3,882,726
GeorgeDanzer -- 2,952,274

Hand 2:

Danzer raised to 17,555 from the button and mrAndreeew 3-bet to 65,125. Danzer called and the flop fell Q♥A♠8♥. mrAndreeew bet 85,125 and Danzer called, bringing a [10h] on the turn. mrAndreeew bet 135,225 and Danzer raised to 388,755.

mrAndreeew thought for a bit and went for the fold.

mrAndreeew -- 3,579,751
GeorgeDanzer -- 3,255,249

Hand 3:

mrAndreeew raised to 21,000 from the button and Danzer called. Danzer check-called a 35,125 bet on the A♠8♠[10h] flop and a 9♦ came on the turn. Both players checked and a J♣ came on the river.

mrAndreeew bet out 126,225 when checked to and Danzer raised 455,000. The raise made mrAndreeew fold and Danzer took the lead.

mrAndreeew -- 3,379,901
GeorgeDanzer -- 3,455,099

BIG SHIFT

Danzer then won a large pot near the end of the hour:

RSS readers click through to see replay

HEADS UP: HOUR 2

Danzer managed to take another 1 million off of mrAndreeew before doubling him up. The ante was up to 35,000 and mrAndreeew raised to 32,125 from the button. Danzer 3-bet to 115,755 and mrAndreeew called, bringing a J♣2♣9♦ flop.

Danzer bet 125,555 and mrAndreeew moved all-in for 1,607,856. Danzer thought for a while, dipped into his time bank, and then made the call. Danzer showed A♦Q♣ and mrAndreeew turned over 4♣5♣.

The turn was a 4♦, giving mrAndreeew a pair. The river brought a 7♠ and mrAndreeew's 4s were good for the double up.

Players were about even in chips with mrAndreeew holding 3.5 million to Danzer's 3.3 million. mrAndreeew then crossed the 4 million mark after taking a big pot away from Danzer. The ante was up to 40,000 and mrAndreeew bet 45,125 when checked to. Danzer called and the flop came 5♠2♠4♣. mrAndreeew bet out 85,125 and Danzer raised to 215,555.

The turn brought an A♥ when mrAndreeew called and Danzer bet out another 185,755. mrAndreeew called and an 8♥ came on the river. Both players checked and mrAndreeew showed 7♠5♣, it was good enough for the pot.

mrAndreeew -- 4,426,017
GeorgeDanzer -- 2,408,983

DANZER DOES IT

Danzer took back the tournament lead for what was possibly the billionth time and then took things home.

The ante was up to 50,000 and Danzer raised to 58,555 from the button. mrAndreeew 3-bet to 136,725 and Danzer called, bringing a 3♠6♠7♣ flop. mrAndreeew bet 205,125, Danzer called and a 4♣ came on the turn.

mrAndreeew checked this low, clubbish turn and Danzer bet 325,755. mrAndreeew raised to 690,000 and Danzer called. The river was a 9♦ and both players checked. mrAndreeew showed Q♦8♥ for a busted straight draw and Danzer turned over [10d]6♦ for a pair of 6s. The sixes took down the 2 million chip pot and Danzer was up to 3.8 million.

Danzer used the lead and aggression to build his stack up to 5.5 million before he dealt the final blow.

Danzer raised to 55,855 from the button and mrAndreeew re-raised to 135,125. Danzer called, PokerStars's random number generator spit out a 6♥Q♣9♠ flop and Danzer bet 155,255. mrAndreeew moved all-in for 1,075,256 and Danzer called.

The Team PokerStars Pro showed Q♥[10d] and mrAndreeew revealed his last hand of the tournament, 9♣[10s]. The turn was a 3♥ and a 4♣ came on the river, ending the tournament and grueling 2 and-a-half hour heads-up match.

mrAndreeew earned $51,262.50 for his runner-up finish while George Danzer takes his second WCOOP title and $69,717.09

WCOOP Event #10 ($320 No-Limit Hold'em Ante Up) Results:

Entrants: 1,367
Places Paid: 171
Prize Pool: $410,100.00

1st: GeorgeDanzer (Germany) -- $69,717.09
2nd: mrAndreeew (Sweden) -- $51,262.50
3rd: thetz (Romania) -- $38,918.49
4th: ediguardo (Finland) -- $27,886.80
5th: ratajpoker (Poland) -- $20,299.95
6th: Megaheiner (Germany) -- $16,198.95
7th: Buffett1986 (Australia) -- $12,097.95
8th: $kill Game (Canada) -- $7,996.95
9th: huiiiiiiiiii (Germany) -- $4,429.08

While the antes have finally stopped going wild, there's still plenty more WCOOP action to go. Check out the WCOOP homepage for a schedule of the remaining events and satellites. Still need more for your WCOOP fix? Then check out the WCOOP radio every day at 15:00 ET for giveaways and non-stop WCOOP fun.

Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Alex Villegas
@PokerStars in WCOOP