WCOOP 2013: Near miss for George Danzer as ZIMMY86 earns WCOOP gold in Event #40 ($1,050 NLHE 8-Max)

You're supposed to be able to look around and spot the weak spot at the table. But in the case of event 40 of the 2013 WCOOP, that old adage might not have applied.

Such was the scenario tonight when a final eight set forth on what would be lengthy final table. At its head was the presumably mohawked George Danzer, the Team Pro familiar with the spotlight end of a big show like this. Alongside him though was a cast of opponents whose wrists hung heavy with the weight of 'COOP bling.

It would nearly be a third WCOOP bracelet for Danzer. The German would have gone all the way had it not been for the rock solid expertise of eventual winner Zimmy86, who proved more than an equal match for Danzer, laying down a performance that relied on determination, grit and the odd card here and there. Combined it was an effort worth $182,856.62.

It had all looked so different when the final kicked off after nearly three hours of play on the second day.

One likes to think that Danzer approaches online tournaments in much the same way as live ones, in the full Danzer battle dress of beard, scarf and a Mohawk.

The Danzer Mohawk

Regardless whether he dresses like this or, like everyone else, plays in his pyjamas when online, his plan was the same - to dominate. And as play stretched on he never really dropped from the top two. It looked like it was Danzer's day.

By evening he was still leading the final table, and by some distance. Here's how they lined up:

Seat 1. Zimmy86 - 1,126,150
Seat 2. Moumaife84 - 754,014
Seat 3. Joao Bauer - 876,641
Seat 4. GeorgeDanzer - 1,923,601
Seat 5. Anguila - 1,125,250
Seat 6. OshriAK - 1,469,438
Seat 7. Byoon - 1,125,409
Seat 8. Grizzlypower - 636,497

Soon enough Danzer was up to 2.7 million, showing a pair of aces to undo Byoon's pocket tens. It would be Danzer's last act for nearly ten agonizing minutes as the Danzer icon, with all its stars and livery, flashed "disconnected".

wcoop 40 pic.jpg
The final table begins

What happens when a player loses their internet connection at such a critical stage? Do these super calm, stoic professionals suddenly unravel as they frantically wiggle cables, or turn everything off so as to turn it all on again? Do they go to pieces, reliant only on a spouse, girlfriend or parent to take control of the situation and restore the connection after a lengthy call to an automated call center? We will never know. But for Danzer it meant getting the back-up working. So, like a survivalist out in the woods, living with a petrol generator and ten thousand tins of baked beans, Danzer got things working again. Not a generator exactly, just 3G roaming - he was back online, but with roaming fees to think about, he'd now need to finish third to break even.

Byoon was sympathetic. "all good now?" he said, an act of good grace from a player who was on the verge of elimination, taking eighth place shortly after Danzer's return, his queen-ten no match for Anguila's ace-king.

Grizzlypower would follow a few minutes later, sending his chips to Joao Bauer when his ace-ten was out-kicked by Joao Bauer's ace-queen.

All the while Zimmy86 was doubling up and building his stack. Moumaife84 could not do the same to his chances, departing in sixth place when Zimmy86 caught a king on the flop. That moved Zimmy86 past two million chips, still behind Danzer but rapidly closing the gap.

After the break, that gap was closed.

Danzer would get the lead back, but it was short lived. Zimmy86 sent OshriAK to the rail in fifth place, finding Kings to see off the Israeli who had shoved with ace-six. Joao Bauer, now reduced to short stack status, also soon shoved, finding pocket eights. But this time it was Anguila who found the pocket kings. Joao Bauer, a former WCOOP winner himself, was on the rail in fourth.

Immediately, and without word in the chat box, play paused so as to allow discussion of a deal. It was swiftly agreed to with zero fuss, and play restarted in the usual way, with Zimmy86 extending his lead. But Danzer fought back, so too Anguila, who suddenly found himself vaulted into the lead.

By now order had collapsed, descending into a kind of Catch the Pigeon farce, the slippery bird replaced by an equally slick chip lead.

Danzer built a spirited redoubt around a stack of 3.4 million which was good for a while until Zimmy86 snatched back the advantage with a three million chip pot against Anguila, his nines full of threes forcing Anguila to muck.

Anguila, another finalist looking for a second chunk of WCOOP gold, now faced the prospect of elimination, his stack whittled away to six figures. A series of unanswered shoves passed before he got a response - this time shoving with ace-three off-suit, which Zimmy86 called with king-nine of hearts. The nine on the flop and king on the river saw to it that he and Danzer would face off for the bracelet.

Zimmy86 - 6,267,013
Danzer - 2,897,987

Danzer threw all he could at Zimmy86, to no avail. His fate was practically sealed when a big pot brewed, one which sent Zimmy86 into the tank on the river.

Danzer would double up soon after but not by enough to cause a wobble in the Zimmy86 drive. Danzer soon shoved again and Zimmy86 called to earn his first WCOOP bracelet, something that will go nicely with a Sunday Million title earned back in 2011.

Congratulations to Zimmy86 on a well-earned victory. Commiserations to George Danzer who nearly made it a third. The full results are below:

WCOOP 2013: Event #40, $1,050 NL Hold'em (8-Max)
1,210 entrants
$1,210,000 total prize pool ($500K Guaranteed)
152 places paid

1st place. Zimmy86 (United Kingdom) - $182,856.62
2nd place. GeorgeDanzer (Austria) - $156,648.47
3rd place. anguila (United Kingdom) - $156,594.91
4th place. joao bauer (Brazil) - $89,661.00
5th place. OshriAK (Israel) - $60,500.00
6th place. moumaife84 (Denmark) - $36,300.00
7th place. Grizzlypower (Germany) - $24,200.00
8th place. byoon (Canada) - $15,125.00

There's something to interest any poker player in this year's WCOOP, and with week left to play there is still plenty up for grabs.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in WCOOP