WCOOP 2013: paphiti prevails in Event #45, wins $480K ($2,100 NLHE)

This year's WCOOP is big -- really big -- with guarantees getting crushed all over and six-figure scores becoming a matter of routine. And in a big series, Event #45 presented one of the bigger events on the schedule, a two-day $2,100 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney with a massive $2 million guarantee. Unsurprisingly, lots of big names came out for such a big event, and in the end winner paphiti of the United Kingdom outlasted them all to take one of the more difficult-to-earn WCOOP watches this year.

paphiti's takeaway? Oh, it was big, too. As in $480,101.70 big. And with Bryn "BrynKenney" Kenney taking second and Chad "lilholdem954" Batista third in the event, those were just two of the many top online players paphiti had to overcome to earn that prize.

Here's the story of paphiti's big win.

Day 1

We'll use the word "big" once more to refer to the field in this one -- 1,437 entrants -- who together built a prize pool of $2,874,000 to be divided by the top 180 finishers.

A little over seven hours into Day 1 close to two-thirds of that big field had hit the rail as just 500 players remained, with Miguel "miguel18" Almeida, elmerixx, and 2pairof2 leading the counts. A couple of hours after they were approaching just 300 players left, with Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier having climbed into the top 10.

They were nearing the end of the 20 half-hour levels scheduled for the day when the money bubble burst and 180 players remained, and after 16 players fell each cashing for a little under $4,000 Day 1 concluded.

With 164 players still alive it was Finland's bustoville out in front with a stack of nearly 500,000, almost 100,000 ahead of nearest foe kimokh of Lebanon. Here's how the top 10 looked overnight:

1. bustoville (Finland) -- 494,607
2. kimokh (Lebanon) -- 396,074
3. Johan "busto_soon" Van Til (Netherlands) -- 359,270
4. schmette (Austria) -- 350,021
5. Legadzo (United Kingdom) -- 345,891
6. omalos (Sweden) -- 298,656
7. Anjeyyy (Ukraine) -- 287,825
8. jknack10 (Canada) -- 285,560
9. Igor "lechuckpoker" Kurganov (United Kingdom) -- 280,732
10. elmelogno4 (Uruguay) -- 279,272

Grospellier continued to maintain an above average stack to secure a spot inside the top 40 at night's end, with his Team PokerStars Pro teammate Johnny Lodden passing him to end the night in 17th position with nearly a quarter million chips.

Another Team PokerStars Pro still alive with a below average stack was Lex Veldhuis, with Team Online member Randy "nanonoko" Lew also still in.

Day 2

The day started badly for "ElkY" who after just a few hands found himself felted after finding himself all in before the flop with [10d][10c] against a shorter-stacked opponent's 8♣8♥, then watching an eight flop to bring an abrupt end to his run in 163rd place ($3,879.90).

A little later a short-stacked Lex Veldhuis failed to improve with 7♦6♦ versus KevBoyStar's A♠Q♦, and he followed his fellow Team PokerStars Pro to the rail in 129th ($4,598.40).

Meanwhile Lodden fared much better during the early going on Monday. After an hour-and-a-half the field had been carved down under 100 players, with the Norwegian pro having assumed the top spot in the counts.

As the tourney marched forward, many familiar usernames followed Grospellier and Veldhuis to the rail, among them Ignat "0human0" Liviu (96th, $5,748), AJacejackAJ (91st, $5,748), Event #11 winner Tha Giggy (90th, $6,035.40), Igor "lechuckpoker" Kurganov (89th, $6,035.40), Kevin "KevBoyStar" Stani (88th, $6,035.40), Faraz "The-Toilet 0" Jaka (82nd, $6,035.40), Randal "RandAllin" Flowers (78th, $6,322.80), Johan "busto_soon" Van Til (71st, $6,610.20), Marc-Andre "FrenchDawg" Ladouceur (67th, $6,610.20), RaiseOnce (57th, $7,185), Craig "mcc3991" McCorkell (48th, $7,759.80), Keven "Stammdogg" Stammen (38th, $8,622), and Ana Marquez (37th, $8,622).

With 36 left Lodden was still in front with elmelogno4 and Chad "lilholdem954" Batista close on his heels. Team Online member Randy "nanonoko" Lew, however, had slipped to nearly last in the counts.

Lew would hang on all of the way through the next pay jump, however, while Chris "Genius28" Lee (36th), Kenny "SpaceyFCB" Hallaert (33rd), Tom "7tHEcROw7" MacDonald (31st), and Steven "Zugwat" Silverman (29th) were among those earning $10,059 cashes.

Finally Lew would be all in with Q♥Q♦ versus Anjeyyy's 8♦8♣, but an eight flopped and another came on the river to give Lew's opponent quads, knocking nanonoko out in 27th ($11,496).


Team Online member Randy "nanonoko" Lew

They were down to 18 as they neared the six-hour mark of the day, with 2012 SCOOP Main Event champ Nick "GripDsNutz" Grippo (22nd) and Jordan "Jymaster11" Young (19th) among those earning $11,496 for their efforts.

elmelogno4 and Chad "lilholdem954" Batista were still battling for the top spot then while Lodden had slipped to below average status. Mike "Tîmex" McDonald (18th), Alex "BiatchPeople" Luneau (17th), and analtmezer (16th) each earned $13,795.20. WOT24 (15th) and jknack10 (14th) went out next, with Lodden finally hitting the rail next with all three taking away $19,112.

Lodden's last hand saw him taking a stack of almost 15 big blinds against the new chip leader, Bryn "BrynKenney" Kenney, in a blind-vs.-blind preflop confrontation. Lodden had 7♣7♠ and Kenney A♣4♠, and afer the 6♦J♠2♦ flop Lodden appeared in shape to double up and survive. But the next two streets came 3♠ and then 5♣ to give Kenney a straight and end the Norwegian's run in 13th.


Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden

It would take almost another hour for three more to fall, with HealTheWorld (12th), elmelogno4 (11th), and forhayley (10th) all earning $24,429 for nearly making the final table.

With Kenney still leading, the final table was underway.


Seat 1: Anjeyyy (Ukraine) -- 738,487
Seat 2: Chad "lilholdem954" Batista -- 1,991,209
Seat 3: omalos (Sweden) -- 2,524,626
Seat 4: paphiti (United Kingdom) -- 2,872,053
Seat 5: BOOOMMMM (Germany) -- 2,405,334
Seat 6: Shankar825 (Canada) -- 2,298,563
Seat 7: mickyray2010 (United Kingdom) -- 1,413,820
Seat 8: Bryn "BrynKenney" Kenney (Canada) -- 6,099,630
Seat 9: Purakzoli (Hungary) -- 1,211,278

Purakzoli put out in ninth

With the average stack nearly 2.4 million and the blinds still just 20,000/40,000, it would take nearly an hour for the first final tablist to fall, with Purakzoli ultimately going out in ninth.

They'd moved up a level to where the blinds were 25,000/50,000, and Bryn Kenney -- still leading although back down around 3.5 million with Anjeyyy, Shankar825, and paphiti all closing in -- raised to 100,000 from the cutoff seat. Purakzoli then shoved for 781,278 total from the button, and when the blinds folded, Kenney called.

Purakzoli had 9♥9♦ and was hoping the pair would hold against Kenney's A♣Q♦, but the flop came A♦K♥T♥ to give Kenny aces. The turn was the K♣ and river the Q♥, and Purakzoli was out.

mickyray2010 meets end in eighth

Kenney would claim the next knockout as well about 10 minutes later. The blinds had moved up to 30,000/60,000, and after mickyray2010 opened for 2x with a raise to 120,000 from middle position, Kenney called from a seat over as did both omalos (small blind) and paphiti (big blind).

The flop came 3♠A♦7♥, it checked the mickyray2010 who bet 120,000, and only Kenney called. The turn brought the J♠ and an all-in push for 1,021,320 from mickyray2010 which Kenney also called.

mickyray2010 showed J♦T♦ for jacks, but Kenney had A♥Q♥ for aces, and after the 8♥ river mickyray2010 was out in eighth.

Anjeyyy all in, ousted in seventh

Nearly one more hour elapsed, and with the blinds up to 50,000/100,000 it was Shankar825 raising to 220,000 from the button, then Anjeyyy reraising all in for 1,956,710 from the big blind. Shankar825 quickly called, turning over A♥K♥, and Anjeyyy needed help with A♣8♦.

The community cards came 7♦3♦T♠J♠6♠, and Anjeyyy was eliminated in seventh.

BOOOMMMM busted in sixth

Not long after paphiti opened for 200,000 from the button, then BOOOMMMM pushed from the small blind for 813,616 and when it folded back paphiti called.

paphiti: 9♣9♦

The prospects were good for BOOOMMMM, but the 9♠8♣3♥ flop suddenly dimmed those hopes by giving paphiti a leading set. The turn was the 2♠ and river the 4♣, and BOOOMMMM was out in sixth for a third final table in this year's WCOOP after taking seventh in Event #17 ($215 NL 2-7 Draw) and eighth in Event #30 ($1,050 NLHE).

omalos ousted in fifth

They were nearing a break coming at the 10-and-a-half-hour mark of Day 2 when Chad "lilholdem954" Batista opened with a min-raise to 200,000 from under the gun, then omalos reraised all in from a seat over for 1,333,848. paphiti called the reraise from the button, and when it folded back to Batista he stepped aside.

omalos showed K♥Q♥ while paphiti had A♠9♠, and when the board rolled out eight-high -- 7♣3♣6♣8♠3♠ -- omalos hit the rail in fifth.

Shankar825 shut down in fourth

With that hand paphiti took the lead to the break with about 8.28 million, just ahead of Bryn Kenney's 7.23 million. Batista meanwhile was in third position with just under 3.16 million and Shankar825 was fourth with a little less than 2.88 million.

Shortly after play resumed, paphiti was opening for 200,000 from the button, then Shankar825 shoved for 2,060,320 from the small blind. It folded back and paphiti called to show A♥Q♣ to Shankar825's J♦J♥.

The first four community cards were hearts -- 4♥K♥6♥8♥ -- giving both players flushes but paphiti the unbeatable nuts, thus making the set-making J♣ on the river no use to Shankar825 who cashed in fourth.

Batista bounced in third

The final trio battled a short while longer with paphiti well ahead with over 12.2 million and Kenney and Batista close to even with stacks hovering under 5 million.

Then with the blinds at 60,000/120,000, lilholdem954 raised to 240,000 from the button and it folded to Kenney in the big blind who three-bet to 549,631. "gl cutie" typed Batista before reraising all in for 4,585,712 and Kenney called leaving himself just a little behind.

Batista had A♠Q♠ and Kenney K♠K♦. The board brought no improvement for lilholdem954, coming T♥3♣9♥8♥3♦, and they were down to two.

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paphiti KOs Kenney, takes title

Heads-up began with paphiti having the lead with 12,173,723 to Kenney's 9,381,277, but the latter swiftly began chipping up to even the counts then eventually push out to a better than 2-to-1 chip lead.

Kenney looked prime perhaps to claim a WCOOP bracelet to go along with the SCOOP watch he won back in 2010.


Bryn Kenney

But alas for Kenney, this title would elude him thanks largely to two decisive hands against paphiti.

First, with the blinds at 60,000/120,000 a hand arose that saw paphiti open for 290,000 from the button and Kenney call, and the pair watch the flop come 8♦T♦4♥. Kenney checked, paphiti bet 360,000, Kenney raised to 937,812, and paphiti called.

The turn brought the J♠ and another check from Kenney, and paphiti again bet, this time 2.52 million. Kenney responded with an all-in shove, and paphiti called with the 3,272,317 left behind.

Kenney showed A♠T♣ for tens, but paphiti had flopped two pair with 8♣4♦. The river was the 6♦, and suddenly the stacks had been virtually exchanged with paphiti now the one with a 2-to-1 advantage.

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Eight hands later the stacks hadn't changed much when paphiti raised 2x to 120,000 from the button and Kenney called, then the flop came 5♥T♦6♣. Kenney checked, paphiti bet 360,000, Kenney check-raised to 948,216, and paphiti called. Kenney then led for 1,297,468 following the 6♠ falling on fourth street, and paphiti called once more.

The river was the 8♥. This time Kenney shoved all in for 4,431,245 and paphiti called right away. Kenney had A♥T♥ again -- and had flopped top pair of tens again. But paphiti showed K♦6♦, having turned trips, and the title went to paphiti.

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Congratulations to paphiti for topping a star-studded field to claim the second-largest first prize so far in this year's WCOOP after the $533,200 won by MauriceSch in Event #23, the $10,300 NLHE High Roller!

Talk about a big win!

PokerStars 2013 WCOOP Event #45 ($2,100 NLHE) results

Players: 1,437
Prize pool: $2,874,000.00
Places paid: 180

1. paphiti (United Kingdom) -- $480,101.70
2. Bryn "BrynKenney" Kenney (Canada) -- $350,628.00
3. Chad "lilholdem954" Batista (Mexico) -- $264,408.00
4. Shankar825 (Canada) -- $195,432.00
5. omalos (Sweden) -- $140.826.00
6. BOOOMMMM (Germany) -- $112,086.00
7. Anjeyyy (Ukraine) -- $83,346.00
8. mickyray2010 (United Kingdom) -- $54,606.00
9. Purakzoli (Hungary) -- $29,889.60

There are still many events left in this last week of the 2013 World Championship of Online Poker. Check the WCOOP information page for full details of what's left.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP