WCOOP 2012: Mission accomplished: anguila wins Event 9 ($265 PLO Knockout)
The life of a professional poker player involves many near-misses and titles that are just out of reach. Event 9's final table was made up of several players who had close calls with WCOOP victory or experienced SCOOP greatness but wanted WCOOP, too. It was a true battle amongst the pros, and anguila came out on top. After an eighth place in a 2011 WCOOP, anguila now knows the feeling of the WCOOP winner's circle.
Knockout tournaments are fun. Players can win money with every knockout of another player. Eliminate an opponent and win $50, which means a person could win their buy-in back in no time, if everything in the universe aligns. However, going after those eliminations can put a player in position to lose a coin flip, and that means the tournament is over. No more bounties. No first place prize. No WCOOP title. So, caution is needed despite the wild abandon inspired by knockout bounties.
Action began at the very different hour of 6:00 ET, giving players in different time zones a chance to play when it's convenient. The $150K guarantee was set up to entice players, but the resulting prize pool blew that number away. After 180 minutes of registration, the final numbers were as follows:
Prize pool: $235,200
Bounty pool: $58,800
Paid players: 153
The money bubble burst after approximately six hours of play, and that left players guaranteed $352.80 as the minimum payout going forward. ActionFreak of Greece was the first to head to that virtual cashier cage.
Of the members of the various PokerStars teams of players, Team Pro Eugene Katchalov was the first of three to cash, taking home $423.36 for the 124th place finish. Team Online's Roy "GodlikeRoy" Bhasin went deep and cashed in 60th place with $635.04, and Team Pro George Danzer of Germany (pictured below) continued on until he was eliminated in 22nd place for $987.84.
By the time the tournament reached the final two tables around the 10-hour mark, payouts exceeded $1K. But the final table was where they all wanted to be, and the first place prize of $40,595.52 was more than a little enticing. Play was predictably slow.
As the 11-hour point of the event approached, the 11th place elimination of nussunlussun initiated hand-for-hand play. It took about 20 minutes to burst that bubble, and it happened when Kinch18 pushed all-in preflop with 9♣J♠J♥K♣. Kanipallo8 called with A♠A♥2♦9♦, and the board of A♣6♥8♠5♦8♣ made that into a full house. Kinch18 left in tenth place with $2,093.28.
KingOfThe$ea and anguila lead star-filled table
The final table got underway in Level 30 with blinds of 10,000/20,000 and these player starting stacks:
Seat 1: SONGJOY (174,538 in chips)
Seat 2: kanipallo8 (689,272 in chips)
Seat 3: anguila (1,063,179 in chips)
Seat 4: majava44 (539,291 in chips)
Seat 5: The Cooker (533,066 in chips)
Seat 6: Nakkehai (401,825 in chips)
Seat 7: KingOfThe$ea (1,126,329 in chips)
Seat 8: gboro780 (465,864 in chips)
Seat 9: triantafill (886,636 in chips)
This was a table filled with online poker stars. They may not be Team Online pro players, but most of them have had some significant online success. Gboro780 may have been the best known of the group, and one of his many accomplishments was a 2011 WCOOP victory. Two players - triantafill and The Cooker - garnered 2012 SCOOP wins earlier this year. And two players came close to WCOOP titles in 2011; anguila finished 8th in a tournament, and SONGJOY finished 12th in a different event. That meant most of them were familiar with this spot, and a couple of them had something to prove by avenging their close calls in the past. Needless to say, everyone at this table wanted this title.
SONGJOY started with a short stack but doubled through triantafill to stay in play. But a short time later, SONGJOY made another move. It came from the button after a raise from Nakkehai in early position. SONGJOY reraiesd all-in for 186,576 chips, and Nakkehai called with 6♥9♣9♥8♣. SONGJOY showed K♥A♦K♣T♠, but the board of 8♠2♠2♦3♣9♦ gave Nakkehai a full house. SONGJOY was out in ninth place with $2,587.20.
Majava44 got involved a few hands later. It began with an UTG raise from KingOfThe$ea and reraise from majava44. KingOfThe$ea called to see the 7♠J♥4♠ flop. KingOfThe$ea bet, and majava44 called all-in with 2♠T♥A♣A♦. KingOfThe$ea showed J♣9♦T♣Q♦ and only improved on the J♠ turn. The river of K♦ ended the tournament for majava44, who took home $4,586.40 for eighth place.
The Cooker doubled through gboro780 in a battle of the two shortest stacks, while anguila took a significant pot from KingOfThe$ea in a battle of the big stacks.
As it turned out, gboro780 couldn't recover from the hit from The Cooker. His last 114,548 went all-in preflop with 3♥K♣4♠K♦, and triantafill was there with Q♠8♣A♠6♣. The pair of kings was good as the Q♣T♣J♥ came on the flop, but the draws were too big to ignore. The 2♦ on the turn changed nothing, but the 9♣ on the river gave triantafill the club flush, eliminating gboro780 in seventh place with $6,938.40.
Anguila took a pot worth more than 1.3 million chips from triantafill, and the two battled again a few hands later. The preflop raises led to triantafill calling all-in for 139,937 chips with 9♥K♦T♣8♦, and anguila showed J♥3♣Q♥Q♣. The board of A♥2♣A♠4♥2♦ brought a pair of aces to go with anguila's queens, and triantafill had to leave in sixth place with $9,290.40.
Two hands later, anguila was involved in another raising war, this time with Nakkehai. The latter did call all-in with 9♦A♠T♥8♠, and anguila showed A♦9♥3♦K♠. But the board came 9♣6♦K♥9♠K♦ to give angiula the full house. Nakkehai departed in fifth place with $11,642.40.
Without much delay, another all-in situation arose when anguila raised, The Cooker reraised, and KingOfThe$ea came over the top all-in for 769,220 chips. Anguila got out of the way, and The Cooker called with 9♣A♣Q♥A♠. KingOfThe$ea was on the line with Q♣Q♦5♥5♣, but the board of 8♣4♦K♥8♠2♣ brought a pair of eights to go with The Cooker's aces. KingOfThe$ea hit the virtual rail in fourth place with $16,369.92.
Anguila leads final three
Anguila stayed strong from the beginning to this point, and kanipallo8 and The Cooker made solid moves at the right times to make it this far.
Seat 2: kanipallo8 (1,137,922 in chips)
Seat 3: anguila (2,968,726 in chips)
Seat 5: The Cooker (1,773,352 in chips)
The Cooker suffered some setbacks and lost ground quickly. The Cooker then doubled through anguila with a flush to climb over 900K. The two tangled again a short time later, and the flush prevailed once more:
Kanipallo8 was on the shortest of the three stacks and made a decision to move all-in with 8♣9♦K♣A♠. Anguila challenged with J♦7♠A♥A♣, and the board of J♥Q♥4♠9♥7♠ gave anguila two pair. Kanipallo8 had to leave in third place with $22,344.00.
Two players want that elusive WCOOP title
The final two players standing in Event 9 started their heads-up match with these stacks:
Seat 3: anguila (4,308,592 in chips)
Seat 5: The Cooker (1,571,408 in chips)
The Cooker lost ground but managed this double-up to stay in action:
But The Cooker had to make another move and did it a short time later. The hand started with a raise from The Cooker and call from anguila to see a Q♦J♥J♦ flop. Both players checked, and the T♦ on the turn prompted a bet from anguila and call from The Cooker. The K♣ came on the river, and anguila bet again. The Cooker raised, and anguila reraised. The Cooker called all-in with 6♦K♥K♠Q♠ for the full house, but anguila had 9♦9♣8♦4♥ for the turned straight flush. The Cooker could not add a WCOOP title to his mantle with the SCOOP win, but second place was worth $29,400.00 in cash.
Anguila of Portugal finally grabbed that elusive WCOOP title and $40,595.52 to go with it. Congrats!
WCOOP 2012 Event 9 ($265 PLO Knockout) Results:
1st place: anguila (Portugal) - $40,595.52
2nd place: The Cooker (Canada) - $29,400.00
3rd place: kanipallo8 (Finland) - $22,344.00
4th place: KingOfThe$ea (Thailand) - $16,369.92
5th place: Nakkehai (Norway) - $11,642.40
6th place: triantafill (Greece) - $9,290.40
7th place: gboro780 (Canada) - $6,938.40
8th place: majava44 (Finland) - $4,586.40
9th place: SONGJOY (South Africa) - $2,587.20
Paid players: 153
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.
Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.