WCOOP 2013: Pluck of the Irish - gavonater and BIGMICK G secure one-two in Event #47 ($320 NLHE 3xChance)
It was a final table that started with talk of a drink or two, and will no doubt end in the same way. Not to get all stereotypical when it comes to Irish poker players, but when the talk is of celebrating Arthur's Day, there's really no way around the subject of the black stuff.
To those unfamiliar with the custom, Arthur's Day refers to the festivals held around the world to celebrate Arthur Guinness -- yes that Guinness -- creator of the iconic stout which will celebrate its 258th year on Thursday. So Event #47 runner-up Mick "BIGMICK G" Graydon wasn't joking when he suggested an Irish 1-2-3 would make for the perfect early celebration.
Graydon would never get the 1-2-3 he predicted, but he did get a 1-2, finishing second to eventual winner Gavin "gavonater" O'Rourke in what would end in a brief but brilliant heads-up clash.
But before the celebrating, the background, which started with a final table line-up like this.
Seat 1. o23oSyD - 1,295,985
Seat 2. bEatNicK"OG" - 1,672,497
Seat 3. Marc "14alono14" McDonnell - 538,965
Seat 4. Gavin "gavonater" O'Rourke - 2,900,417
Seat 5. FaNjkEEE - 1,032,495
Seat 6. Mick "BIGMICK G" Graydon - 1,213,778
Seat 7. CaptainSmile - 1,197,524
Seat 8. Srxakgirona - 403,758
Seat 9. Weygang - 3,462,706
Things get under way
Weygang led, quietly, choosing to pick his moments during the course of the final rather than speculate too much. He was up against the three Irishman of gavonater, 14alono14 and BIGMICK G, whose disbelief at their joint good fortune continued when 14alono14 first doubled through o23oSyD with queens against jacks, then again with the same hands against gavonater.
That would keep the Irishmen in clover for a while as o23oSyD became the first faller, out in ninth when he ran sevens into Weygang's nines. Two minutes later Srxakgirona followed in eighth, his brief appearance ending on an open shove with jack-seven. bEatNicK"OG" called with ace-eight and made trip eights on the flop.
Then the Irish re-engaged. First BIGMICK G did his stack wonders with a 2.5 million pot against bEatNicK"OG".
gavonater came out swinging, sending CaptainSmile to the rail in seventh place - pocket fives against deuces. That sent gavonater up to around 3.3 million, although none of this shifted Weygang from his chip leader perch.
Finding life difficult up against the luck of the Irish, bEatNicK"OG" found himself out in sixth place then he shoved with ace-queen, only for 14alono14 to call with pocket aces. bEatNicK"OG" got a queen on the turn, but needed one more on the river. It didn't come.
Just as it seemed Weygang was going to sit the rest of the final out, he came to life in a hand that would extend his advantage.
The lead would switch between Weygang and gavonater while BIGMICK G moved up and 14alono14 down. It would be a decline that became terminal for 14alono14, leaving in fifth place when he open shoved with ace-three of diamonds, only for BIGMICK G to turn over ace-king. The 1-2-3 plan was now in pieces, and at the Irishman's making.
But while that story was at an end, the drama seemed to be ramped up when gavonater and Weygang clashed in a hand that produced an unlikely outcome.
Suddenly gavonater was up to more than 6.7 million and his principle rival up to now had been eliminated - the kind of thing worth of a smiley in the chat box and a comforting deal discussion. The remaining three did just that, finding an ICM option that suited each of them, and playing on.
From that point through to the conclusion did not take long at all.
Despite a spirited fight back FaNjkEEE would depart in third place. He'd three-bet pre-flop, the checked when that landed jack high before check raising all-in on the turn. gavonater called with seven-nine, good for a set, while FaNjkEEE flipped up king-queen. A nine on the river made gavonater a full house. FaNjkEEE's house on the other hand was now empty.
BIGMICK G - 5,135,446
gavonater - 8,779,554
gavonater had the lead and would take down the bracelet in the space of one hand. And it was some hand, complete with suspense, a time bank, and a last fade to black as gavonater took the lot.
The aces were no good for BIGMICK G, whose sterling performance was worth $105,389.19 as runner up. gavonater, however, takes the spoils, $117,708.03, and can start the Arthur's Day celebrations a day early. Congratulations to him on a great victory.
WCOOP 2013: Event #47, $320 NL Hold'em (3x Chance)
2,018 entrants, 765 re-buys
$834,900 total prize pool ($500,000 guaranteed)
270 places paid
1st place. Gavin "gavonater" O'Rourke (Ireland) - $117,708.03*
2nd place. Mick "BIGMICKG" Graydon (Ireland) - $105,389.19*
3rd place. FaNjkEEE (Ukraine) - $85,816.58*
4th place. weygang (Australia) - $53,558.83
5th place. Marc "14alonso14" McDonnell (Ireland) - $37,570.50
6th place. bEatNicK"OG" (Canada) - $29,221.50
7th place. CaptainSmile (Norway) - $20,872.50
8th place. srxakgirona (United Kingdom) - $14,610.75
9th place. o23oSyD (Germany) - $8,349.00
*denotes three way deal.
There are still events left to compete in with plenty of prize money left up for grabs.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.