WCOOP 2012: Victory rings loud and clear for Umumba in Event #17 ($320 NLHE 10-minute levels)

wcoop.pngIn poker, we tell a lot of stories. The game thrives on them. We recount bad beats, detail come-from-behind victories, explain our reasoning on every street and marvel at gutsy bluffs. We watch chip leaders become short stacks, and short stacks become champions. We thirst for our own poker stories to end on that life-changing note and constantly wonder when that moment will arrive. When he sat down and registered for Event #17, Umumba couldn't have had any idea that a simple coinflip, an AK vs. QQ matchup grinders see multiple times a day, would be the hand to set him on the path to victory. Umumba's story could have ended on that coinflip, but instead it truly began, as he set off on a run toward a WCOOP bracelet.

With 10-minute levels, Event #17 straddled the line between regular and turbo speed, going from 2,372 entrants to a winner in eight hours and 19 minutes. The $400,000 guarantee was easily eclipsed, the prize pool swelling to $711,600. 306 players earned a share of it, with the top spot set to pay out $113,856.00. Team Pros Jason Mercier, Vicky Coren, Eugene Katchalov, ElkY, Vanessa Selbst, Vanessa Rousso, Pius Heinz, and Daniel Negreanu were among the 25 Red Spades that entered the fray, but only Johnny Lodden managed to cash, busting out in 202nd place.

Hand-for-hand play on the final table bubble took hardly any time at all. Dealt K♠Q♠, Mattssons opened for a min-raise to 70,000, then called eddymaksoud's 353,000 shove. Eddymaksoud's K♥T♥ was dominated and did not improve, ending his run in tenth place.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: Se7enTr3y (2,753,999 in chips)
Seat 2: Mattssons (2,188,990 in chips)
Seat 3: Umumba (1,440,158 in chips)
Seat 4: mindgamer (2,441,338 in chips)
Seat 5: Slayer_pol (570,451 in chips)
Seat 6: hitemup27 (675,390 in chips)
Seat 7: Mr Right 00 (734,583 in chips)
Seat 8: MAFFIP (436,547 in chips)
Seat 9: ajaxfsite (618,544 in chips)

Se7enTr3y draws first blood,Slayer_pol escapes the short stack

No stranger to the final table of a PokerStars major, Se7enTr3y scored the first knockout at the final table. Holding A♣Q♥, he opened for 80,000 and called hitemup27's 745,000 three-bet shove from the big blind. Hitemup27's K♥Q♠ flopped an open-ended straight draw, but didn't get there, exiting with $6,404.40 for ninth place.

As Se7enTr3y moved into the chip lead, Slayer_pol saw the action fold around to mindgamer in the small blind. Mindgamer open-shoved for 1.9 million and Slayer_pol committed his last 11 big blinds with A♠2♣. Mindgamer turned up Q♦7♦ and did not improve on the T♠9♣2♦K♣5d] board, doubling Slayer_pol to 1.1 million.

Mindgamer hits the gas

Undeterred, mindgamer opened for a min-raise to 100,000 a few hands later. This time Mr Right 00 was the three-bet shover and mindgamer quickly called with A♠J♥. Although Mr Right 00's T♠T♣ held up through the turn, mindgamer rivered an ace to send him home in eighth place.

Down to five big blinds, MAFFIP hit a lucky river card to double up, his 8♣9♣ making a flush against mindgamer's A♦Q♥. Mindgamer, however, kept his foot firmly on the accelerator and opened A♦8♥ for a 100,000 raise. Micro-stacked Ajaxfsite finally found a hand worthy of a shove in K♦K♠ and mindgamer called an additional 108,000. Following a 9♠4♣T♦ flop, mindgamer hit the 7♦ and the J♥ to make a jack-high straight, busting ajaxfsite in brutal fashion. For seventh place, ajaxfsite earned $17,790

Umumba's crucial coinflip

Once micro-stacked himself, MAFFIP managed another double-up when his pocket sixes held against Umumba's A♣6♠. With a little over 20BB left, Umumba was no doubt relieved to find Q♣Q♠ and opened for 120,000. Se7enTr3y made a small three-bet to 264,475 and Umumba moved in for 1.3 million. Se7enTr3y called with A♣K♦, but did not improve on the 9♦7♦7♠7♣J♦ board. While Se7enTr3y retained the chip lead despite the loss, Umumba moved into second place with 2.7 million.

Mattssons mauls MAFFIP, Slayer_pol shanks mindgamer

MAFFIP's luck ran out at last when he moved in for his last four big blinds with 6♥6♣ on the button and ran headlong into Mattssons' A♥A♦. No miracles this time and MAFFIP exited in sixth place, earning $24,906.

Slayer_pol was still under a million in chips with the blinds up to 40,000/80,000. It looked like it might be the end for him when he shoved his A♠5♠ into Mattssons' A♣T♥, but a five hit the river to double him up to 1.6 million. Slayer_pol put nearly all those chips at risk a few hands later, when mindgamer moved all-in for 1.48 million from the small blind and he called with A♣T♠ in the big. This time, the dominating hand held up and mindgamer hit the rail in fifth place, collecting $32,022.

Mattssons says "no deal"

Shortly after reaching four-handed play, our quartet agreed to pause the action and discuss a deal. Mattssons wasn't pleased with either the ICM numbers or the chip chop figures, and wouldn't agree to a deal that awarded him less than $65,000. Se7enTr3y and Umumba attempted to reason with him, but Mattssons wouldn't budge and cards went back in the air.

Mattssons' confidence ended up paying off almost immediately. Se7enTr3y opened for 160,000 on the button and Mattssons moved in for his remaining 1.32 million with Q♠Q♥. Se7enTr3y called with A♥5♥ and hit top pair on the A♦Q♣4♦ flop, but it wasn't enough. Mattssons hit a set of queens and rivered queens full of aces to double up to 2.8 million. Se7enTr3y, however, wasn't without those chips for long as he snagged them back two hands later, doubling through Slayer_pol with A♦7♣ vs. Q♠J♦.

Press pause...again

Stack sizes had changed enough for the final four to agree to pause the action and run numbers again. With only a slight adjustment to round up Se7enTr3y and Slayer_pol's shares to an even $70k, everyone agreed to an ICM chop that left $8,000 in play for the winner. Having ground his way up to the chip lead after a game-changing double-up, Umumba locked up the largest share of the prize pool at over $83k.

Little more than an orbit after action resumed, a preflop raising war broke out between Umumba and Mattssons. It ended with Mattssons all-in with J♥J♠ against Umumba's 7♥7♦. But instead of a double-up for Mattssons, this story had a different ending:

Although Mattssons went out in fourth place, his shrewd deal-making left him with the second-largest share of the prize pool at $73,265.22-- over $15,000 more than he'd have earned in the first chip-chop deal.

From there, it was all Umumba. Moments later, he took out Se7enTr3y in third place, his Q♣J♥ outkicking Se7enTr3y's J♠7♣ on a jack-high board. A cool $70,000 awaits in Se7enTr3y's PokerStars account.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 3: Umumba (8,919,466 in chips)
Seat 5: Slayer_pol (2,940,534 in chips)

Umumba had Slayer_pol outchipped 3 to 1 to start and the stacks barely moved in the first 36 hands of heads-up play. But on the 37th, everything went in before the flop, Umumba needing to survive one more coinflip before the WCOOP bracelet was in his hands. Umumba's A♠T♥ hit a ten on the flop against Slayer_pol's pocket sixes and turned the nut flush to send all the chips his way:

Congratulations to Umumba on his WCOOP title and $90,659.14 score! For his runner-up finish, Slayer_pol earned $70,000.

PokerStars 2012 WCOOP Event #17 ($320 NLHE 10-Min levels) results

Players: 2,372
Prizepool: $711,600
Places paid: 306

1. Umumba (Germany) $90,659.14*
2. Slayer_pol (Poland) $70,000.00*
3. Se7enTr3y (United Kingdom) $70,000.00*
4. Mattssons (Sweden) $73,265.22*
5. mindgamer (Austria) $32,022.00
6. MAFFIP (Netherlands) $24,906.00
7. ajaxfsite (Netherlands) $17,790.00
8. Mr Right 00 (Estonia) $12,097.20
9. hitemup27 (Canada) $6,404.40

*= reflects the results of a four-way deal that left $8,000 in play for the winner

If you haven't tuned in to WCOOP Radio yet, you're really missing out. Joe Stapleton and Matt Broughton are on the air every night at 21:00 CET through September 25, not only entertaining special guests and being the funny gents they are, but giving away heaps of prizes, including tournament tickets, step tickets, and goodies from the PokerStars VIP store. Click over to PokerStars Radio to listen live or catch up on what you've missed.

Kristin Bihr is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP