WCOOP 2012: Falco234 fights for Event 7 win ($215 Triple Stud)

Logo - WCOOP.pngA poker tournament is never over until that last card is dealt. Falco234 had to be glad for that. Shipwish looked like the easy winner for quite a few hours, that was until the final table showed Falco234 as a true force. An eventual 1.5-hour heads-up match saw two players fight to the finish, and Falco234 did ultimately defeat shipwish to earn a well-deserved victory.


Triple Stud will not attract the kinds of crowds that turn out for a No Limit Hold'em tournament. It usually won't stand up to a Pot Limit Omaha tournament, either. But Stud stands on its own as a game with a fairly loyal following, not to mention newer players who see the benefit to learning a plethora of poker games. Combine Limit Stud, Limit Razz, and Stud High/Low, and you have a unique setting for a WCOOP event.

It also doesn't hurt to offer a $50K guarantee for a $215 Triple Stud tournament. And that WCOOP title is a lure as well. But not many people will put up $215 for a game they don't enjoy, so consider the crowd in Event 7 as one that appreciates the Triple Stud options and structure.

Players were afforded 180 minutes to get in on the action, and the final registration numbers were as follows:

Players: 640
Prize pool: $128,000
Paid players: 80

Players had to outlast a majority of the field and work their way through more than five hours of tournament play (if they registered at the start) to get to the money. It was no easy feat. Among those who had to depart just short of the payout portion of the tournament was Team Online's Shane "shaniac" Schleger, who left in 89th place. Roi kin23 was the bubble player, out in 81st place, and 1donertasche was the first to cash for $364.80.

Two Team PokerStars Pros made it into the money. Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier lasted until 49th place, for which he was awarded $448, and the last Team Pro standing was Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero (pictured below), who took home $640 for his 39th place finish.

Jose Barbero 2.JPG

The end of the eighth hour reduced the field from three tables to two after holding at 19 players for quite some time, as play was tense and cautious. But with two tables remaining, players were more anxious to make moves. Short stacks were risking it all and finding themselves on the virtual rail. Play slowed again at 12 players. Throughout it all, though, shipwish maintained a healthy lead over all competitors. That lead only grew as sonnor1707 left in 11th place and Skilled G headed out in tenth.

Hand-for-hand play saw shipwish climb over 1 million chips, and only two other players - Fred_Brink and Falco234 - were even over 500K chips. The shorter stacks battled for their tournament lives until ImaLuckSac finally made a move. The hand went down with shipwish, whose final hand of 4♠A♦7♣K♦J♠8♣7♠ beat the A♥7♦6♥A♠9♦9♣Q♣ of ImaLuckSac. The latter was eliminated in ninth place with $1,600.00.

Shipwish dominates

The final table of the tournament started at the 9.5-hour mark in a Limit Razz round. Level 26 offered blinds of 16,000/32,000 and a 3,200 ante for the players with these chip stacks:

Seat 1: Ponga80 (235,866 in chips)
Seat 2: shipwish (1,207,031 in chips)
Seat 3: feliX Groni (179,612 in chips)
Seat 4: Bimbostix (158,744 in chips)
Seat 5: Ryokan (357,056 in chips)
Seat 6: Fred_Brink (492,449 in chips)
Seat 7: Rabscuttle (115,416 in chips)
Seat 8: Falco234 (453,826 in chips)

WCOOP-12-Event7 FT.JPG

Bimbostix wasted no time and rather quickly doubled through Falco234. Ryokan took a 412K chip pot from Fred_Brink, which helped chip the latter down to the lower half of the leaderboard. Shipwish stayed firmly in the lead, but Ryokan and Bimbostix were the biggest climbers of the first few rounds of play.

About 20 minutes into the final table action, in Stud High/Low, Fred_Brink, Rabscuttle, and Bimbostix got into a hand, but Fred_Brink folded after fourth street. Bimbostix showed 7♠8♠ and Rabscuttle A♦K♠. They both checked fifth street with an 8♥ for Bimbostix and 4♣ for Rabscuttle, but then Bimbostix bet the 6♥ on sixth. Rabscuttle called all-in with Q♣ showing. The final hands were:

Bimbostix - A♣3♣7♠8♠8♥6♥9♠
Rabscuttle - 2♦4♠A♦K♠4♣Q♣3♥

Bimbostix made the best high and the only low, and Rabscuttle was the first to leave the table, taking home $1,920.00 for eighth place.

FeliX Groni was the next short-stacked player at risk. The hand of Stud High/Low started with capped betting between feliX Groni and sihpwish, and the remainder of feliX Groni's chips went in on fourth street. Shipwish easily called and ended up with 2♠3♦A♦Q♦2♥4♣2♣, and those deuces best the A♣7♥4♥8♥J♣K♣K♥ of feliX Groni. The latter departed in seventh place with $2,880.00.

Playing for second place?

Shipwish had climbed over the 1.5 million mark, while only two competitors were above 500K chips. Ryokan and Bimbostix took their places early in the final table and continued to hold their spots.

Ponga80 was one of the short stacks and pushed that 70K all-in on third street against Fred_Brink, still in Stud High/Low. Ponga80 ended up with 6♣2♦5♦Q♥6♥K♠T♦, but Fred_Brink had three aces with his A♠4♠5♠K♦A♥A♦6♠ hand. With no qualifying low, Ponga80 had to leave in sixth place with $4,480.00.

Shipwish fights to keep the lead

Falco234 doubled through shipwish, which took the latter down to little more than 1.3 million. Ryokan climbed above 800K, and Fred_Brink took over third place, relegating Bimbostix to one of the shorter stacks of the five players. Then Fred_Brink went up against shipwish in a big hand awarded the 332,500 pot to Fred_Brink. Shipwish took another hit down to little less than 1.2 million. And when Falco234 doubled through shipwish again, the latter had less than 1 million and barely a lead over Ryokan.

Falco234 rode some momentum and got involved with short-stacked Bimbostix. The two players bet and called all the way to the river in the Stud hand, at which point Falco234 showed 3♠3♣4♥A♠ and bet. Bimbostix called all-in with J♣A♥T♣8♠ showing, then turned over 9♦A♣4♠ to go with it for the pair of aces. Falco234 revealed Q♥Q♣5♠ for two pair, and with no low, Bimbostix was out in fifth place with $6,400.00.

Fred_Brink suffered from a continuing loss of chips during four-handed play in Stud and finally risked it all on fifth street of a hand with shipwish. Fred_Brink was then on the line with 4♠A♦6♣3♠2♦K♥Q♦, while shipwish showed a pair with 3♣2♣J♣8♠K♠3♦5♣. Fred_Brink, winner of a 2011 WCOOP title, departed in fourth place with $9,600.00

Turning the tables

The initial lead of shipwish made it seem as though no one else could penetrate that first place zone, but the unlikely comeback player Falco234 was making a run for it. Ryokan was still fighting as well.

Seat 2: shipwish (1,668,227 in chips)
Seat 5: Ryokan (548,741 in chips)
Seat 8: Falco234 (983,032 in chips)

Falco234 quickly climbed and nearly evened stacks with shipwish, and Falco234 then took the lead. Meanwhile, Ryokan suffered and eventually dipped below 100K. A double through Falco234 in Razz helped, and another double-up on the very next hand through Falco234 gave Ryokan more than 300K to work with.

Falco234 took most of those chips back from Ryokan, though, and left the latter with less than 50K. Those chips went all-in on the next hand in Razz against shipwish. Ryokan was dealt J♠4♦9♥4♥Q♣T♥3♣, but shipwish beat that low with 8♥Q♦5♦5♣6♠A♦9♦. Ryokan took $12,928.00 for the third place finish.

Falco234 leads shipwish to start heads-up

Seat 2: shipwish (1,255,691 in chips)
Seat 8: Falco234 (1,944,309 in chips)

As the two players were figuring out how to pause the tournament for a 10-minute break, shipwish took that opportunity to chip up and take a slight lead. But 30 minutes into the match, the two got into a pot worth more than 1.3 million chips in Stud High/Low, and that went to Falco234 with a full house.

Falco234 had control of the match for quite awhile, but a Stud round brought shipwish the hands necessary to get back into the lead. Suddenly, shipwish seemed to have new life, taking pots worth 920K and 820K and chipping Falco234 down to less than 500K chips. Falco234 did double up in the Razz round with a 6-5-4-2-A low, but shipwish kept pushing.

More than an hour passed since the start of the heads-up match. Still in Razz, Falco234 was down below 500K again but doubled with a 7-6-4-3-2 low. But at the tournament's 12-hour break, the stacks were nearly even, with shipwish holding only a slight lead.

As the match approached the 1.5-hour mark, Falco234 won a pot worth more than 1.6 million chips and proceeded to simply take over. Shipwish fell to approximately 250K and did double up once, but got involved a few hands later in Stud. It started with a J♦ for shipwish and A♥ for Falco234, and Falco234 raised, shipwish called. Falco234 bet J♠ on fourth street, and shipwish called with 8♣. When Falco234 bet the 6♠ on fifth, shipwish called all-in with 7♣. The final hand for shipwish was 4♦A♠J♦8♣7♣K♣6♣, but Falco234 had A♣2♥A♥J♠6♠9♠4♥. Shipwish had to accept second place and $17,600.00.

Falco234, who took third place in a 2011 WCOOP, finally took that WCOOP title, along with $24,064.00 in cash. Congrats!

WCOOP 2012 Event 7 ($215 Triple Stud) Results:

1st place: Falco234 (Austria) - $24,064.00
2nd place: shipwish (China) - $17,600.00
3rd place: Ryokan (Ireland) - $12,928.00
4th place: Fred_Brink (Denmark) - $9,600.00
5th place: Bimbostix (United Kingdom) - $6,400.00
6th place: Ponga80 (Canada) - $4,480.00
7th place: feliX Groni (Germany) - $2,880.00
8th place: Rabscuttle (Thailand) - $1,920.00

Entrants: 640
Paid players: 80

We've only just begun! WCOOP runs through September 24 with a total of 65 tournaments. For all sorts of information, check out the WCOOP home page. And don't forget to tune in to WCOOP Radio for daily shows at 15:00 ET.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in WCOOP