WCOOP 2012: No keeping up with Kodalite in Event #18 ($109 NLHE)

wcoop.pngWinning a tournament often comes down to playing your rush. A rush of good hands, a rush of good flops, or even a rush of confidence can be the difference between a middling finish and a win. Tonight, no one knows that better than Kodalite, who charged out to a commanding chip lead during six-handed play and never had to look back. Patience may have got Kodalite to the final table, but a burst of well-timed aggression put him in pole position to capture his first WCOOP bracelet and a six-figure score.

$750,000 guarantee be damned, Event #18 came thisclose to a million-dollar prize pool, its 9,959 players taking the final number up to $995,900. 1,260 places were paid with first place set to earn $146,501.68. More than 30 members of Team Pro and Team Online gave it a go, including Jason Mercier, Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen, Matthias De Meulder, Vanessa Selbst, Lex Veldhuis, Leo Fernandez, Fatima De Melo, Jonathan Duhamel, George "Jorj95" Lind III, Randy "nanonoko" Lew, Shane "shaniac" Schleger, and Liv Boeree. Daniel Negreanu finally made his first cash of the WCOOP, finshing 997th, and was joined in the money by Celina Lin (706th), Andre Coimbra (119th), Christophe De Meulder, and a man with more at stake than perhaps anyone else in the tournament.

If you've been listening to WCOOP Radio, you already know that ElkY has a substantial prop bet with fellow Team Pro Eugene Katchalov. Based on their WCOOP performance, it involves the potential for either of them bicycling from Nice to the EPT San Remo, learning the other's native language, running a marathon, and knocking out 1,000 push-ups in 12 hours. With his victory in Event #14 ($215 Stud Hi/Lo), Katchalov took a commanding lead in the bet, but ElkY did his best to try and close the margin today. ElkY built a big stack-- his T♦T♣ flopping a set and rivering quads against A♦Q♣ certainly helped-- but saw his run come to an end in 55th place.

So, this bicycle. Does it have a luggage rack?

Over 13 hours after cards went in the air, ten players remained. 205522 spent most of hand-for-hand play bobbing and weaving on the short stack to stay alive. His goose was nearly cooked when he got his money in with A♦6♥ against Vladimir237's A♣8♦, but rivered a six to survive. A short time later, two players ended up shipping it in on the same hand. Wihile Xading's A♦9♦ hit a J♠T♠6♥8♦7♣ board to make a jack-high straight against marwan24's pocket sevens, 205522's pocket nines went up in flames when uR.Silver's A♠Q♠ flopped an ace. 205522 exited in tenth place and the final table was set:


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: mora7777 (8,464,859 in chips)
Seat 2: Xading (5,591,556 in chips)
Seat 3: marwan24 (1,964,429 in chips)
Seat 4: Flush098765 (6,241,177 in chips)
Seat 5: GordonStr222 (1,809,464 in chips)
Seat 6: Vladimir237 (7,363,168 in chips)
Seat 7: uR.Sliver (5,289,077 in chips)
Seat 8: Ulett_23 (6,115,598 in chips)
Seat 9: Kodalite (6,955,672 in chips)

Chip leader, short stack exit early

With the blinds up to 70,000/140,000, GordonStr222 was looking for a spot to double up and made his move with K♦J♦ in the hijack. Kodalite called the 1.4 million shove with 6♦6♥ in the big blind, and although GordonStr222 found a king on the flop, Kodalite binked a six on the turn to make a set. For ninth place, GordonStr222 took home $7,718.22.

GordonStr222's exit left marwan24 on the short stack, but he scored an early double-up, his A♣K♦ holding against Kodalit's A♠J♥ to take him up to 3.8 million. UR. Silver was also fortunate in the early going. He got his money in with A♥J♠ on a J♣9♠4♣ flop only to watch mora7777 turn over J♥4♦ for top and bottom pair. The 8♠ on the turn was no help, but uR.Silver spiked the A♣ on the river to wrest away the 8 million-chip pot. Mora7777 got some of those chips back from uR.Silver, doubling up with Q♦Q♥ vs. 8♣8♦, but went out in brutal fashion a few minutes later. All in preflop withA♠Q♦ against Xading's A♣Q♥, mora7777 saw the board run out all clubs to make Xading the nut flush. The chipleader entering the final table, mora7777 was suddenly on the rail in eighth place, earning $10,954.90.

Kodalite klimbs

As the final table entered its second level, Xading held the chip lead with 11.1 million. Kodalite had chipped up slightly, going from 6.9 million to 8.3 million, and managed to dethrone Xading by picking off a multi-street bluff:

The blinds now up to 100,000/200,000, marwan24 three-bet shoved for 3.2 million with 8♥8♦ on the button and UTG raiser uR.Silver called with A♥Q♥. This time the coin fell with uR.Silver, a queen hitting the flop to send marwan24 to the rail in seventh place. Following his elimination, Vladimir237 broached the subject of a potential deal, but his opponents weren't quite ready to go there yet.

During six-handed play, Kodalite went on a tear, winning 10 of 11 pots to chip up from 12 million to 18.5 million. Xading made an attempt to end Kodalite's streak, three-bet shoving for 3.9 million with 9♣9♦, but Kodalite snap-called with J♠J♥, ending Xading's run in sixth place. Xading collected $29,877 for his finish while Kodalite took a commanding lead with 22.7 million in chips.

$75K or bust

With five players remaining, there was Kodalite...and there was everyone else. UR.Silver and Vladimir237 were essentially tied for second in chips with 7.6 million apiece, while Flush098765 and Ulett_23 held 6.8 million and 4.9 million respectively. Remarkably, everyone agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. When the chip chop numbers rolled out, everyone but Flush098765 agreed to the deal, the German seeking a $75,000 payday rather than the $65,000 he was offered. Although Kodalite and uR.Silver agreed to give up a combined $7,000, it wasn't enough for Flush098765 and cards went back in the air.

Silver surge

Not long after action resumed, Vladimir237 got his stack in against uR.Silver on a 7♠5♦3♠ flop. Vladimir237 turned over 9♦7♣ for top pair, only to be just outkicked by uR.Silver's T♦7♦. Vladimir237 did not improve and hit the rail in fifth place, earning $39,836.00. With that 9.7 million pot, uR.Silver moved up to a solid second in chips with 17.2 million behind Kodalite's 23 million.

Pass the ICM calculator

After Ulett_23 lost a substantial pot to Kodalite, his second pair falling to a rivered straight, both he and Flush098765 were sitting on stacks of 2.9 million apiece with the blinds up to 125,000/250,000. Since no deal was in place, there was a massive pay jump in play-- more than $25,000 separating fourth place from third. Ulett_23 was the first to blink, shoving for 2.87 million with 7♥7♣ when the action was folded to him in the small blind. Kodalite called with K♥8♦ in the big, and hit a king on the flop to send Ulett_23 home in fourth place with $49,795.

Flush098765 shoved on the next hand with K♣6♣ and hit two pair on the flop to double through uR.Silver, but he couldn't hang onto those chips for long. Holding 7♦8♦, he open-shoved 4.5 million on the button and Kodalite looked him up with K♦J♦ in the big blind. Once again, a king hit the flop for Kodalite, and Flush098765 was out in third place.

"Flush098765 got his 75k! ;)" noted final table host Richard "Tzen1" Veenman. With his third-place earnings totaling $74,692.50, Flush098765 ended up with exactly what he wanted from the first round of deal discussions.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 7: uR.Sliver (13,302,678 in chips)
Seat 9: Kodalite (36,492,322 in chips)

Kodalite and uR.Silver immediately agreed to pause the action and look at some numbers. They quickly agreed to a chip chop that guaranteed Kodalite $125,000 and uR.Silver $113,000, with $15,000 still in play for the winner.

Once action resumed, the stacks barely budged at all, Kodalite chipping up slightly, before a 24 million pot decided it all:

Kudos to Kodalite on a dominating performance! In addition to his first WCOOP bracelet, he banked $140,186.66, while runner-up uR.Silver collected $113,374.27.

2012 WCOOP Event #18 ($109 NLHE) results

Players: 9,959
Prizepool: $995,900
Places paid: 1,260

1. Kodalite (Norway) $140,186.66*
2. uR.Silver (Russia) $113,374.27*
3. Flush098765 (Germany) $74,692.50
4. Ulett_23 (Canada) $49,795.00
5. Vladimir237 (Germany) $39,836.00
6. Xading (Russia) $29,877.00
7. marwan24 (Canada) $19,918.00
8. mora7777 (Mexico) $10,954.90
9. GordonStr222 (Honduras) $7,718.22

*= reflects the result of a heads-up deal that left $15,000 in play for the winner

Don't forget to tune in to WCOOP Radio, every night at 21:00 CET through September 25. Hosts Joe Stapleton and Matt Broughton are giving away prizes during every episode, including tournament tickets, step tickets, and goodies from the PokerStars VIP store. Click over to PokerStars Radio to listen live or download the shows you've missed.

Kristin Bihr is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP