WCOOP 2013: CaptainSmile grinning ear-to-ear with Courchevel victory in Event #8

CaptainSmile joined a small, yet elite group of Courchevel World Champions after the Norwegian player came from behind at the final table to bink WCOOP Event #8 $215 PL Courchevel H/L.

Poker is always evolving. In the late 1800s, Five-card draw was the gambling poison of choice for cowboys and gold prospectors on the American frontier. At the turn of the 20th Century, Five-card stud stood out as the most popular form of poker, before it was passed over in favor of Seven-card stud. By the end of the century, poker migrated to the virtual world and Texas Hold'em became the king. That reign was short-lived until a generation of action junkies got a taste of the addictive nature and exhilarating mega-swings of Pot-limit Omaha.

But what will be the next big thing? Online poker is always evolving and Courchevel is slowly gaining popularity. As legend has it, locals in a remote town in the Alps called Courchevel played a derivative of Omaha that included five hole cards and a single community card dealt out. Leave it to a bunch of ski bums to revolutionize poker and tweak Omaha by cranking up the action a notch.

But is Courchevel just a fad, like swing dancing and Tae Bo? Or will it catch on and become an international sensation?

WCOOP Event #8 was not just any Courchevel. This event catered to pot-limit hi/lo enthusiasts. Event #8 $215 PL Courchevel H/L attracted 745 runners. The prize pool was $149,000, which almost tripled the $50K Guarantee. The top 96 places paid out.

Team PokerStars Pros taking a shot at a WCOOP title included George Danzer, Eugene Katchalov, George Danzer, Liv Boeree, Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby, and Marcin Horecki. Online Team Pros grinding in this Courchevel event included nkeyno, mement_mori, talonchick, and Shaniac.

Team Pro George Danzer, one of the few grinders chasing an elusive "Triple COOP", attempted a deep run, but he fizzled out in 128th place and missed the money.


Notables who cashed in this event included Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov (50th place) and Team Online nkeyno (11th place).

Approaching the money bubble, Katchalov hovered in the top 5 in chips. However, the pack swallowed up Katchalov before he ran out of gas in 50th place. Katchalov out flopped Aces and bombed it all-in with a set of fives holding Q♠8♠6♣5♥5♦, but wogfir rivered a flush with A♣A♥K♦6♦2♣. Katchalov did not have a qualifying low, so wogfir scooped the pot with Ace-high flush and an 8-6-5-2-A low. Katchalov hit the rail in 50th place, which paid out $484.25.

With two tables to go nkeyno was third in chips with 381K, trailing leader onmybicycle's 657K. However, nkeyno hit the skids and lost a significant amount of his stack in a cooler. His King-high flush lost to _Kristibrud_'s nut flush. As a result he slipped to 10th (out of 12) in chips. He did not last much longer after that crushing blow.

Team Online Pro nkeyno busted in 11th place. Short-stacked and running out of options, nkeyno made a final stand. On a flop of J♥5♥2♥, hinuttaja checked, nkeyno moved all-in for 29,546, and hinuttaja called. Both players flopped a flush, but nkeyno was in deep trouble with Q♥Q♣J♠T♠T♥ and a smaller flush versus hinuttaja's nut flush and A♥Q♦T♦3♣. The turn was the K♦, and the river was the A♠. Without a qualifying low, hinuttaja won the pot with and an Ace-high flush. Team Online's nkeyno collected $1,788.00 for an eleventh-place finish.


Poland's 1maniak bubbled off the final table in ninth place. The board ran out A♣Q♥6♦4♣5♥. 1maniak could only muster up trip fours with A♠K♥J♦4♥4♠. Meanwhile. hinuttaja scooped with A♦Q♦7♠5♦3♥ (for a seven-high straight) and a 6-5-4-3-A low. The final table of eight was set.


2013 WCOOP Event #8 - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: psholka (572,444)
Seat 2: hinuttaja (1,065,771)
Seat 3: ocwiejka (214,842)
Seat 4: krzysiusts24 (186,176)
Seat 5: onmybicycle (756,412)
Seat 6: MondSpieler (143,923)
Seat 7: _Kristibrud_ (183,144)
Seat 8: CaptainSmile (602,288)

The final table commenced during Level 29 with blinds at 8K/16K. Finland's hinuttaja held the lead with over 1 million. MondSpieler was the shortstack with approximately 144K.

_Kristibrud_ eliminated in 8th place

The short-stacked Swede was the first to bid adieu to the final table. The T♥ was the door card pre-flop. _Kristibrud_ opened to 56,000, CaptainSmile bumped it up to 192,000, and _Kristibrud_ called all-in for 1,7,144.

_Kristibrud_: A♦A♣K♥9♥6♣
CaptainSmile: J♠T♠T♣6♥2♠

_Kristibrud_'s Aces were in trouble, because CaptainSmile was ahead with a set of tens. The board ran out T♥7♠3♥K♣Q♦. _Kristibrud_'s Aces did not improve. Without a qualifying low, CaptainSmile dragged the pot with a set of tens. For an eight-place finish _Kristibrud_ earned $2,235.00.

MondSpieler eliminated in 7th place

With the A♣ showing as the door card, short-stacked MondSpieler open-shoved for 34,923. ocwiejka accepted the challenge and called.

ocwiejka: A♦K♦3♥3♠2♦
MondSpieler: A♥T♦8♠4♦2♠

The board ran out A♣K♠Q♦A♠T♣ and neither player held a qualifying low. Both players had a full house, but MondSpieler Aces full of tens could not beat ocwiejka's Aces full of Kings. MondSpieler bounced in seventh place, which paid out $3,352.50.

With six to go, hinuttaja held the lead with approximately 1.4 million, and krzysiusts24 brought up the rear with 143K.

krzysiusts24: eliminated in 6th place

Another short stack bit the dust. With the 9♦ showing as the door card, hinuttaja opened with a raise to 50,000, ocwiejka flatted, krzysiusts24 shoved for 128,176, and both hinuttaja and ocwiejka called for 78,176. The flop was 9♦6♦5♥. hinuttaja fired out 220,000 and ocwiejka called. The A♥ on the turn slowed down the action and both players checked. The 7♦ on the river induced hinuttaja to check, but ocwiejka bet 712,186, and hinuttaja folded. It was heads-up.

ocwiejka: A♦K♥Q♣7♣4♦
krzysiusts24: A♠K♦9♠9♣5♠

ocwiejka scooped the pot with an Ace-high flush and a 7-6-5-4-A low. Alas, krzysiusts24 flopped a set of nines but failed to improve and did not have a qualifying low. Poland's krzysiusts24 was knocked out in sixth place, which paid $5,215.00.

With five remaining, ocwiejka emerged as the new chip leader with a 1.5 million stack, while CaptainSmile  held onto the short stack with 184K.

psholka eliminated in 5th place

Another short stack met their fate. The door card was 4♥... psholka min-raised to 40,000 and ocwiejka called. On a flop of 5♥5♦4♥... ocwiejka checked, psholka bet 60,000, ocwiejka slyly check-raised 270,000, psholka shoved for 448,649, and ocwiejka called.

ocwiejka: 7♦6♣5♣3♥2♥
psholka: A♥J♦7♣4♣4♠

The turn was the 3♠, and the J♥ fell on the river. ocwiejka turned a full boat -- fives full of treys -- and he scooped the pot with a stronger full house and a 6-5-4-3-2 low. Although psholka was ahead on the flop after flopping fours full of fives, the turn sunk his hopes. The 7-5-4-3-A low was also not good enough to split the pot. ocwiejka scooped. Russia's psholka busted in fifth place, which paid out $7,450.00.

With four to go, ocwiejka increased the lead to over 2 million. CaptainSmile was in the basement with 276K.

hinuttaja eliminated in 4th place

Another short stack got exterminated by ocwiejka. The door card was the 8♣... hinuttaja raised to 75,000 and ocwiejka called from the big blind. The flop was 8♣7♣6♥. hinuttaja bet 150,000, ocwiejka bumped it up to 300,000, and hinuttaja called all-in for 13,410 more.

hinuttaja: K♠8♥7♦4♥2♣
ocwiejka: A♦K♦9♣5♦3♥

The turn was the 4♠ and the river was the 5♥. Both players filled in a straight, but ocwiejka scooped once again with a nine-high straight and a 6-5-4-3-A low. hinuttaja lost with an Eight-high straight and a 7-6-5-4-2 low. Finland's hinuttaja hit the virtual rail in fourth place and took home $11,175.00.

With three to go, ocwiejka retained the lead but slipped to 1.7 million. CaptainSmile was making a run and jumped into second with 1.1 million, while onmybicycle  was not that far behind with 877K.

ocwiejka eliminated in 3rd place

For the majority of the final table, ocwiejka steamrolled the competition. No one dared to stand in ocwiejka's way. However, when action dwindled down to three-handed, ocwiejka's domination quickly ended. CatainSmile gained momentum which coincided with ocwiejka coughing up the lead, before unexpectedly busting out in third place.

The door card was the T♠. CaptainSmile bumped it up to 50,249 and ocwiejka called. The flop was T♠K♠T♥. CaptainSmile bet 50,000, ocwiejka raised to 250,498, CaptainSmile bumped it up to 700,000, ocwiejka shoved all-in for 700,737, and CaptainSmile called the extra 737.

CaptainSmile: K♣T♣8♠5♥5♠
ocwiejka: A♣Q♠T♦9♥4♦

Although ocwiejka flopped trip tens, CaptainSmile was smiling after flopping a full house. The turn was the 2♦ and the river was the 8♦. Without a qualifying low, CaptainSmile won the pot with a full boat -- tens full of kings. Poland's ocwiejka busted in third place, which paid out $14,900.00.

HEADS-UP: onmybicycle (Netherlands) vs. CaptainSmile (Norway)

Seat 5: onmybicycle (1,955,236)
Seat 8: CaptainSmile (1,769,764)

With two to go, CaptainSmile trailed onmybicycle by only 185K. With stacks almost even, the two opted to make a deal and chop up the remaining prize pool. An agreement was quickly reached. CaptainSmile locked up $23,333.51 while onmybicycle secured $23,718.99. They left $1,000 on the table and the eventual champion would also be awarded a coveted WCOOP champion's bracelet.

onmybicycle eliminated in 2nd place; CaptainSmile wins WCOOP Event #8

The final two played only 17 hands before a winner was declared. Before the final hand, CaptainSmile had won 7 out of the previous 10 hands and extended his stack to over 2 million.

On the final hand... The A♣ was the door card. CaptainSmile min-raised to 60,000, onmybicycle three-bet to 180,000, and CaptainSmile called. The flop was A♣Q♣7♥. onmybicycle fired out  210,000 and CaptainSmile called. The turn was the 6♣. onmybicycle bet 720,000, CaptainSmile bombed it all-in for 1,664,764, and onmybicycle called all-in for 560,236.

onmybicycle: A♦K♦K♣5♠3♥
CaptainSmile: 7♠6♠3♠3♦2♠

CaptainSmile turned two pair and was ahead of onmybicycle's pair of Aces. The river was the 9♦. onmybicycle's Aces did not improve and a 7-6-5-3-A low was not good enough to split the pot. CaptainSmile scooped with two pair -- sevens and sixes -- and a low of 7-6-3-2-A.

For a gutsy runner-up performance, onmybicycle took home $23,718.99.

Norway's CaptainSmile won the tournament, which paid out $24,333.51. As the newest Courchevel champion, CaptainSmile also won a slick WCOOP champion's bracelet.

2013 WCOOP Event #8 $215 PL Courchevel H/L - Final Table Results:

Entrants: 745
Prize Pool: $149,000
Payouts: 96

1. CaptainSmile (Norway) - $24,333.51**
2. onmybicycle (Netherlands) - $23,718.99**
3. ocwiejka (Poland) - $14,900.00
4. hinuttaja (Finland) - $11,175.00
5. psholka (Russia) - $7,450.00
6. krzysiusts24 (Poland) - $5,215.50
7.  MondSpieler (Netherlands) - $3,352.50
8. _Kristibrud_ (Sweden) - $2,235.00

** denotes a two-way deal

Visit the WCOOP homepage for the remaining schedule of events. Also, check out the leader board and find out who is the front runner for Player of the Series.

Pauly McGuire is an author and freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in WCOOP