WCOOP 2014: Brian "brianm15" England collects Event #25 title, $68K ($215 NLHE, 4-Max.)

Event #25 of this year's WCOOP offered short-handed specialists a chance at a tourney's worth of four-handed poker, with the $215 buy-in no-limit hold'em affair attracting a healthy-sized field of 2,219 action seekers showing up to challenge for the latest WCOOP title. After two days' worth of hard-fought play it was Brian "brianm15" England playing from Costa Rica who emerged as the champion, earning a nice first prize of $68,558.92 for his achievement.

Day 1

With 2,219 taking part that meant a prize pool of $443,800, easily besting the event's $300K guarantee, with the top 280 finishers splitting the winnings.

The first day of play saw that big field work all of the way down to just 15 players gathered around the final four tables.

Among those making deep runs on Monday was Team Online member Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara who found himself still alive during the final hour of play. Finally, however, Kihara had to commit a short stack with 7♥7♣ and unfortunately ran into the J♥J♣ of Arnie_D, and after no improvement came from the community cards Kihara was eliminated in 32nd place for a $1,868.39 cash.

When play was paused for the night, Brian "brianm15" England had built a sizable lead on the remaining players, having pushed up over 2.41 million -- more than twice the stack of nearest challneger Michael "Stella948" Kanaan. Here's how the final 15 looked chip-wise overnight:

1. Brian "brianm15" England (Costa Rica) -- 2,418,817
2. Michael "Stella948" Kanaan (Australia) -- 1,191,498
3. AMTstyle (Russia) -- 1,035,367
4. wudsikurdukk (Germany) -- 938,829
5. RealCrapDad (Denmark) -- 655,974
6. EnisMarch (United Kingdom) -- 643,863
7. Arnie_D (United Kingdom) -- 588,771
8. avr0ra (Russia) -- 579,967
9. FV17com (Germany) -- 560,365
10. oleginna (Israel) -- 553,263
11. wvoron81 (Russia) -- 545,993
12. sincinaty118 (Ireland) -- 453,141
13. Assad91 (Norway) -- 410,264
14. omyg0t (Netherlands) -- 262,677
15. 23noraB (Austria) -- 256,211

Day 2

Within the first 10 minutes of the start of play on Tuesday, Assad91 (15th), oleginna (14th), and omyg0t (13th) had all lost their remaining stacks to cash for $3,008.96 apiece. Twenty minutes after that they were already down to eight players, with sincinaty118 (12th), EnisMarch (11th), Arnie_D (10th), and 23noraB (ninth) all having hit the rail to earn $4,047.45 each.

Brian "brianm15" England remained the big chip leader as the first hour of Day 2 continued. wvoron81 (eighth) and FV17com (seventh) were next eliminated, then the tournament was played hand-for-hand at two three-handed tables for more than an hour before AMTstyle was at last elminated in sixth, like the previous two players knocked out earning $5,938.04 for the effort.

With play crossing into the third hour of Day 2 and England still holding onto the chip lead, the final five were assembled around a final table.


Seat 1: Brian "brianm15" England (Costa Rica) -- 2,813,158
Seat 2: RealCrapDad (Denmark) -- 1,439,014
Seat 3: wudsikurdukk (Germany) -- 2,678,180
Seat 4: avr0ra (Russia) -- 2,085,242
Seat 5: Michael "Stella948" Kanaan (Australia) -- 2,079,406

avr0ra vanquished in fifth

About 15 minutes later the blinds were 17,500/35,000 when wudsikurdukk limped in from the cutoff seat, then avr0ra three-bet to 105,000 from the button. The blinds folded, then wudsikurdukk reraised to 365,000. At that avr0ra pushed all in for 1,848,992, and wudsikurdukk was there with a call.

avr0ra showed A♣K♥ but would need help to beat wudsikurdukk's K♣K♠. The flop came J♣Q♣7♣, providing both a flush draw and a gutshot to Broadway to avr0ra. But neither the J♦ turn nor 6♠ river filled those draws, and avr0ra was done in fifth.

RealCrapDad run out in fourth

About 15 more minutes passed, then after the blinds had moved up to 20,000/40,000 RealCrapDad opened with a min-raise to 80,000 from under the gun and got one caller in Brian "brianm15" England from the big blind.

The flop came 7♥5♣6♥. England checked, RealCrapDad continued for 80,000, England check-raised to 191,200, RealCrapDad shoved for 671,239 total, and England called.

brianm15: 9♠7♣
RealCrapDad: J♦8♦

England had top pair and a gutshot draw while RealCrapDad had an open-ended straight draw and a live jack. The turn was the 6♣ and river the A♠, and RealCrapDad was out in fourth.

wudsikurdukk waylaid in third

They reached the day's three-hour break with England having widened his lead by chipping up close to 5.9 million while Michael "Stella948" Kanaan hovered just under 3.1 million and wudsikurdukk sat at just over 2.1 million.

On the first hand after play resumed, the blinds were 25,000/50,000 when Brian "brianm15" England limped in from the small blind and wudsikurdukk checked from the big blind. The flop came 7♣3♦5♠, drawing a bet of 59,375 from England. wudsikurdukk raised to 150,000 even, England reraised to 424,200, wudsikurdukk went all in for 2,068,015, and England called.

wudsikurdukk had 6♣6♥ for a pair and a straight draw while England had flopped two pair with his 7♠3♣. The turn was the T♠ and river the 7♥, improving England to a full house and ending wudsikurdukk's run in third.

Quads bring brianm15 victory, Stella948 settles for second

Brian "brianm15" England enjoyed the big chip lead to begin heads-up play with 8,019,234 to Michael "Stella948" Kanaan's 3,075,766. England won the first four hands to add a few more to his stack, then on the fifth hand between them Kanaan earned a big double-up to close the gap considerably after his A♦K♥ held up in a preflop all-in versus England's A♠T♥.


Michael "Stella948" Kanaan

Just three hands after that another big confrontation occurred, and alas for Kanaan the outcome wasn't as fortunate for him.

With the blinds still 25,000/50,000, Kanaan opened with a min-raise from the button to 100,000, England called, and the pair saw a flop come K♠6♦T♥. Both players checked, then the T♦ fell on the turn. England checked again, Kanaan bet 110,000, and England check-raised to 339,000. Kanaan responded with another raise to 672,525, England raised yet again to 1,322,500, and Kanaan called, the pot having grown to over 2.85 million.

The river brought a third ten to the board, the T♣, and after England pushed his stack all in Kanaan called with the 3,103,482 he had left.

Kanaan showed A♥5♣, hoping for his ace kicker to play. But England turned over A♣T♠ for quad tens and claimed the last of the chips and the title.

Congratulations to Brian "brianm15" England for topping more than 2,200 opponents to win Event #25 and add a WCOOP win to the SCOOP title he already owns.


Brian "brianm15" England

WCOOP 2014: Event #25 ($215 No-Limit Hold'em, 4-Max.)
Entries: 2,219
Prize pool: $443,800.00
Places paid: 280

1. Brian "brianm15" England (Costa Rica) -- $68,558.92
2. Michael "Stella948" Kanaan (Australia) -- $41,774.89
3. wudsikurdukk (Germany) -- $24,218.16
4. RealCrapDad (Denmark) -- $14,729.72
5. avr0ra (Russia) -- $9,430.75

The WCOOP is in full swing, with a Player of the Series race starting to heat up in earnest and still more than half of the events left to go. Check the WCOOP homepage for information regarding all of the remaining events.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP