WCOOP 2012: Easy money for ezepoker90, winner of Event #1, $184K ($215 NLHE 6-max.)

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgIt's finally here! The 2012 version of the World Championship of Online Poker, the annual online poker tournament series that gets poker players excited all over the poker world, has at last begun.

In 2011 players from 137 countries cashed in the WCOOP, dividing up prize pools that totaled over $47 million! With a similar 65-event schedule in place for 2012, there's a lot to look forward to over the coming three weeks. Indeed, as Event #1, a two-day $215 six-handed no-limit hold'em tourney, approached, poker players from all over took to Twitter to express their eagerness to play, including several from Team PokerStars...

"On my way to Toronto today to get settled in for the #wcoop grind. I plan on taking zero days off and going for the Player of the Series."
~Daniel Negreanu, Team PokerStars Pro (@realkidpoker)

"Really excited to start the #WCOOP grind tonight! Not often I get to play online lately, especially for shiny new bracelets! #GameTime"
~Eugene Katchalov, Team PokerStars Pro (@EugeneKatchalov)

"Gym, sauna, massage, WCOOP. Yum Yum."
~Liv Boeree, Team PokerStars Pro (@Liv_Boeree)

~Mickey Petersen, Team Online (@mickeydp)

"Remember to play the #wcoop @PokerStars today! Only 1 hour and 20 min until it starts! First event 215$ NL HoldEM! Lets go!"
~Johnny Lodden, Team PokerStars Pro (@johnnylodden)

Day 1: From 7,322 to 63

Lodden quickly proved how ready he was, as the Norwegian immediately catapulted to the front of the pack during the first couple of hours of Event #1.

Soon others would take turns replacing Lodden atop the leaderboard, and by the three-hour mark when late registration closed atila84 and Hemmer101 led all as the only players with more than 100,000, with turataika, onegrega, and user223 rounding out the top five.

By then a total of 7,322 players had registered, building an eye-popping prize pool of $1,464,400 and thereby easily besting the event's $1 million guarantee. The top 960 places paid in this one, with $219,663.48 scheduled to go to the winner barring any final table deals.

After those three hours the field had already been trimmed to less than 4,000 players remaining. It would then take about three more hours for the field to shrink under 1,000, and soon after that the cash bubble burst. With 960 players left, Phantom4444, superbad2000, Miiinouuu, and Makaz14 had risen to the top of the counts, all with more than 300,000 chips when the average stack was just over 76,000.

Lodden was still thriving with a top 100 stack, while four other members of Team PokerStars -- Christian "el grillo" de León, Marcin "Goral" Horecki, Katchalov, and Grzegorz "DaWarsaw" Mikielewicz (Team Online) -- also found themselves in the money.

During the next hour Katchalov ran his short stack into Matt "swifterjet" Swift's A♦A♣ to be eliminated in 818th ($380.74). Horecki would then lose the last of his chips to go out in 704th ($410.03). And not long after that "el grillo" de León was knocked out in 541st ($453.96) in a hand verus c1ubber.

Meanwhile Mikielewicz had a healthy stack but unfortunately for "DaWarsaw" he would crash K♣K♥ into the A♠A♥ of aabas to go out in 280th ($615.04). And moments later it was Lodden losing the last of his chips when his A♦K♠ failed to overcome Tom "kingsofcards" Marchese's [10c][10s], sending Lodden to the rail in 272nd ($644.33).


Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden, 272nd place

As they approached the nine-hour mark of Day 1 just a little over 200 players were left when nickarka19 became the first player to 1 million chips, with ataraktos 06 crossing the milestone shortly after.

Meanwhile Jason "Taknapotin" Somerville continued to rise up the counts. Playing from Canada, Somerville tweeted a status update: "my first tournament back and i got 850k! 14/177 in wcoop 1 with 3 hours left to play tonight." Somerville also sent his followers a link to a BOOM replayer hand which had helped him move into the top 20.

A little over an hour later less than 100 players remained, with Svaeren and _Bomber_NN having pushed up over the 2 million-chip mark and ahead of everyone else. Svaeren would continue to add chips, building to well over 3 million as the last hands of the night played out.

Somerville continued to battle right up until the end of first day, but as it happened would fall just shy of making it to Monday. With the board showing 3♠8♦7♠A♥3♣, "Taknapotin" made a big river call for all of his chips holding A♣Q♠, but Piggysnipz had A♦A♠ for a full house and Somerville was out in 64th ($2,489.48).

That marked the last elimination of the night, meaning 63 players would be returning for Monday's second and final day. Here's how the top 10 looked overnight:

1. Svaeren (Norway) -- 3,600,690
2. ataraktos 06 (Germany) -- 3,461,264
3. Miser_W (Netherlands) -- 3,156,797
4. Piggysnipz (Canada) -- 3,143,178
5. puicachamp (Romania) -- 2,516,547
6. backoncrack (Romania) -- 2,166,348
7. elsamjoll (Iceland) -- 2,024,446
8. moyerboide (Mexico) -- 1,905,099
9. TEENageTuRtL (Argentina) -- 1,803,333
10. Froz3ns0ul (Bulgaria) -- 1,771,283

Other notables signing off with big-to-decent stacks on Sunday night included Jim "Mr_BigQueso" Collopy (1,725,862 - 11th), Kenny "kenny05" Smaron (1,105,576 - 29th), and Clayton "slammedfire" Mozdzen (968,965 - 35th).

Day 2: From 63 to 1

After about 11-and-a-half hours to rest, the final 63 players returned, gathering around 11 tables for Day 2.

Just 36 survived the first hour of play on Monday, with ataraktos 06 of Germany climbing to first position, just ahead of Svaeren with more than 4.5 million. During that stretch Marc-Andre "FrenchDawg" Ladouceur (56th, $2,635.92), David "Betudontbet" Emmons (53rd, $2,782.36), David "My Brim Low" Ivers (46th, $3,075.24), and turataika (40th, $3,661) were among the eliminated.

It would take another couple of hours for the field to be carved further to 18 players. During that stretch Svaeren initially enjoyed the lead, then fell back to the pack while ezepoker90 grabbed the top spot as the first to 10 million chips. Meanwhile _Bomber_NN (31st, $4,686.08), Piggysnipz (29th, $5,857.60), and all in 2526 (19th, $7,322) were among the fallen.

Soon after it was start-of-Day-2 leader Svaeren suddenly going out in 18th ($8,786.40). Svaeren's end was precipitated in part by losing a big all-in with K♥K♣ against flysohigh87's 8♣8♠ when an eight binked on the river. Following Svaeren to the rail were elsamjoll (17th), LundRrR (16th), ataraktos 06 (15th), Jim "Mr_BigQueso" Collopy (14th), and Kenny "kenny05" Smaron (13th), each of whom also earned $8,786.40.


Jim "Mr_BigQueso" Collopy, 13th place

ezepoker90 kept right on adding chips as more players fell, with aabas (12th), Mondayafter (11th), and P@vlik (10th) each earning $11,715.20, then pmf278 (9th), Flavius "puicachamp" Puica (8th), and Gottonik (7th) going out to earn $14,644 apiece.

With ezepoker90 up over 22 million and still leading, the final six-handed table was set.


Seat 1: moyerboide (Mexico) -- 13,489,330
Seat 2: ezepoker90 (Argentina) -- 22,634,338
Seat 3: EspBju (Norway) -- 11,348,610
Seat 4: TEENageTuRtL (Argentina) -- 6,871,517
Seat 5: flysohigh87 (Germany) -- 10,700,368
Seat 6: Phantom4444 (Russia) -- 8,175,837

They'd been playing about five hours on Day 2 when the final table began, and it would take another 45 minutes before the first final table elimination occurred.

With the blinds having ballooned to 200,000/400,000, it folded around to TEENageTuRtL who open-pushed from the small blind and flysohigh87 called all-in with the 2,125,767 left after posting. TEENageTuRtL had T♠T♣ and flysohigh87 A♠8♣, and when the board came 6♥2♥3♥J♣7♣ flysohigh87 was out in sixth.

Not long after that hand the blinds were 250,000/500,000 when Phantom4444 open-raised all in for 7,631,837 from the small blind and moyerboide quickly called from the big blind. Phantom4444 had K♣5♥ and moyerboide 7♣7♦, and five cards later -- T♠Q♥Q♣Q♠A♥ -- Phantom4444 was eliminated in fifth.

Soon they reached the six-hour break of Day 2, with moyerboide the new leader with more than 23.6 million, TEENageTuRtL next with almost 19.9 million, ezepoker90 third with about 17.6 million, and EspBju last with just under 12.1 million.

The final four played a few more hands, then agreed to pause proceedings in order to discuss the possibility of carving up of the remaining prize money among them. However the "chip chop" numbers (leaving $20K for which to play) didn't please all, and play soon resumed.

They'd battle for almost an hour more, the chips being pushed back and forth until ezepoker90 was back in front with about 27.1 million, EspBju next with almost 18.3 million, moyerboide third with just over 15 million, and TEENageTuRtL fourth with about 12.7 million. That's when they paused things once more, again to talk about a possible deal.

This time all were amenable, and a deal was reached. With $20K still on the table -- not to mention the WCOOP bracelet -- the cards went back in the air. And it didn't take long for the next to fall.

With the blinds up to 400,000/800,000, it folded to EspBju in the small blind who raised to 1.6 million, then TEENageTuRtL pushed all in for 12,648,623 and EspBju quickly called.

EspBju: A♣A♦
TEENageTuRtL: A♠Q♦

The board came 9♣K♦4♣3♠6♠, and they were down to three.

Just a half-dozen hands later EspBju was raising 3x to 2.4 million from the button, then moyerboide shoved for 13,331,464 from the small blind. ezepoker90 got out, and EspBju hesitated just a moment before calling.

It was A♣T♥ for EspBju and A♦Q♣ for moyerboide. Alas for moyerboide, the board brought not just one ten, but three, coming T♣Q♦4♦T♠T♦ to give EspBju quads and send moyerboide out in third.

RSS readers click through to see replay

Heads-up play began with EspBju out in front with 47,464,339 to ezepoker90's 25,755,661. EspBju would increase the lead to start, then ezepoker90 grabbed it by doubling up with 9♠9♦ against EspBju's A♣Q♣.

EspBju would retake the advantage, however, and chip up further before another big hand arose in which betting after a Q♠[10d]9♥ flop saw ezepoker90 all in. EspBju had Q♦2♣ for queens, but ezepoker90 had flopped two pair with Q♣9♦, and when the hand held up ezepoker90 was up over 61 million to while EspBju had tumbled to less than 12 million.

EspBju would chip up over the next few hands to nearly 18 million. Then with the blinds at 500k/1m, EspBju raised to 3 million from the button and ezepoker90 called. The flop came 3♦8♥K♥. ezepoker90 checked, EspBju shoved for 14,822,356, and ezepoker90 called.

ezepoker90 had top pair with K♣T♠ while EspBju had ace-high with A♥5♦. The turn was the 9♠ and river the T♣, and the first WCOOP bracelet of 2012 went to ezepoker90!

RSS readers click through to see replay

Congratulations to ezepoker90 for topping a huge field of 7,322 to claim the WCOOP bracelet and more than $184K!

WCOOP Event #1 ($215 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Max) Results (*reflects a four-way deal):
1st: ezepoker90 (Argentina) -- $184,388.82*
2nd: EspBju (Norway) -- $132,213.12*
3rd: moyerboide (Mexico) -- $120,415.59*
4th: TEENageTuRtL (Argentina) -- $112,135.95*
5th: Phantom4444 (Russia) -- $36,610
6th: flysohigh (Germany) -- $21,966

Entrants: 7,322
Places paid: 960

One down, 64 to go! Check the WCOOP site for information about all of the remaining events (plus satellites). And don't forget to tune in for WCOOP Radio every day at 15:00 ET for interviews, giveaways, and other poker-related shenanigans.

Martin Harris is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP