What a wild three weeks it has been for the 2014 World Championship of Online Poker, with an incredible $61,934,886 won over the course of 66 events. And with the $5,200 Main Event sporting a $10 million guarantee, it was no surprise to see many of poker's best battling it out with several making deep runs at the seven-figure first prize. After battling through two long days and an especially talented final table, Austria's Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz walked away with a massive $1.3 million first prize and the WCOOP Main Event victory following a six-handed final table deal.
The final nine alone featured numerous stars, including Yuri "theNERDguy" Martins, Elior "Crazy Elior" Sion, Faraz "The-Toilet 0" Jaka, Dylan "Pokerl)eviL" Hortin, and the swingy Swede Viktor "Isildur1" Blom. And as the report below shows, there were many other representatives of poker's elite among those Holz topped for the win.
A total of 2,142 entered the event, building a prize pool of $10,710,000 that bested that guarantee and originally scheduled a $1,820,700 reward for the winner before that six-way chop evened the payouts at the end. Here's the story of CrownUpGuy's two-day odyssey that ended with his claim upon online poker's most coveted title.
Day 1: From 2,142 to 271
The field had already swelled to 1,000 players as the first hands were dealt at 14:30 ET on Sunday. But with five full hours of late registration and satellites continuing to run into the early evening, the total number of entrants -- and the prize pool -- was certain to grow considerably.
Quick KO for KidPoker
"Today is gonna be a fun day of #WCOOP action with the $10k 8-Game and the $5k main event!" tweeted Team PokerStars Pro Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu before play began. "Looking forward to a LONG day."
Alas for Negreanu, while he'd earn a 19th-place finish in Event #65 (the $10,300 8-Game Mix) to finish just shy of the cash there, as far as the Main Event was concerned his day would be over in a flash.
They'd played just over half an hour with Negreanu still sitting with just over 18,000, a little under the starting stack fo 20,000. That's when a hand arose that saw Negreanu open with a min-raise to 100 from early position, Randal "RandALLin" Flowers call from a couple of seats over, then rh300487 three-bet to 425 from the cutoff and both Negreanu and Flowers call.
The flop came 6♣8♠9♣, prompting a leading bet of 750 from Negreanu. Flowers made it 2,550 to go, and after rh300487 stepped aside, Negreanu reraised back to 5,900 total and Flowers called. The A♠ then fell on the turn, and after Negreanu shoved for his last 11,796, Flowers called once more.
Negreanu showed 9♠9♥ for a flopped set, but Flowers had 7♣5♣ for a straight, and after the K♥ river Kid Poker was one of the very first to fall.
Fast start for Fair; Cody collecting
Another player named Negreanu would be among the early eliminations on Sunday as well -- Alan "Mr Negreanu" Gold of the United Kingdom who came into this 66th and last event of the WCOOP with the Player of the Series lead. After getting knocked out during the afternoon, Gold would have to sweat the finishes of his nearest challengers, including Assad91 who with an 18th-place finish or better could pass Gold at the finish line (more on that below).
As play moved later into the afternoon, Flowers continued the momentum he earned from that knockout to chip up further and assume the top spot in the counts. Meanwhile Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody likewise enjoyed a fast start early to find a spot inside the top 10 as players continued to late register.
Cody would maintain an above average stack as play moved into the fourth hour of Day 1, during which the number of players registered moved up over 2,000 to ensure the $10 million guarantee would be met. Meanwhile the new chip leader was a familiar name -- Ryan "toetagU" Fair, winner of the 2010 SCOOP Main Event (High).
Field continues to shrink
At last they reached the five-hour mark and the close of late registration, with the final tally of 2,142 entrants making for that monstrous prize pool of $10,710,000 to be divided among the top 270 finishers.
At that point several hundred had already followed Negreanu to the rail, and an hour later just under 1,400 were still left with 99NvrLosez leading the way and Team Online member Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara sitting just outside top 20.
Skipping ahead to the tournament's 10-and-a-half-hour mark, they were down to less than 450 players with Hattnaf, HonestPete, and BriDge2PaiN the new leaders and Team Online's Alex "Kanu7" Millar then sporting the highest-ranked red spade with a top 30 stack.
The bubble that lasted 12 hours
Day 1 was scheduled to come to a close at the end of Level 22. As players pushed through the last half-hour level of the night the field shrunk to less than 300, then before the end arrived they'd reached hand-for-hand play as just 271 players battled at the 31 remaining tables.
By then Viking8844 and Damian "pampa27" Salas had pushed into the top spots, both nudging up over the 600,000-chip mark. And that's where play concluded, just a single elimination away from the bursting of the money bubble!
Here's a look at the overnight top 10:
1. Viking8844 (Israel) -- 613,924
2. Damian "pampa27" Salas (Argentina) -- 610,340
3. Alexander "AlexKP" Petersen (Denmark) -- 576,763
4. Demonic16 (United Kingdom) -- 556,264
5. dickler1 (United Kingdom) -- 524,759
6. Yuri "theNERDguy" Martins (Brazil) -- 487,609
7. Marko "drjovaside" Jovović (Bosnia and Herzegovina) -- 472,155
8. Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou (Cyprus) -- 453,059
9. neckbr4ke (Germany) -- 447,547
10. 444446 (Lebanon) -- 439,647
Among the Team PokerStars Pros, Matthias "mattidm" de Meulder (in 48th position), Jake "jakecody" Cody (in 80th), and Andre "aakkari" Akkari (in 228th) remained with chips, while Team Online was represented by Alex "Kanu7" Millar (in 131st) and Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara (in 234th).
Day 2: From 271 to 1
Stout out, bubble bursts
With less than 44,000 to start Day 2, Kihara was one of the short stacks although his intentions -- like everyone else still alive -- was not to be the 271st finisher. "I made day2 of WCOOP main event!" Kihara tweeted to his followers. "We are still hand for hand, but I have 10bb stack. I never bubble unless I get monster at the first hand."
There were a few dozen other players in Kihara's same position (or worse) to start the day, and as it happened it would only take a single hand for Matt "All_in_at420" Stout to become the unfortunate player to land one spot out of the money.
"Welp just busted on the stone bubble of the #WCOOP Main Event on the first hand back of day 2, JJ-AK," Stout tweeted to his followers, adding an appropriate hashtag -- "#sigh."
Grippo grabs lead, then Blom bursts ahead
Soon after that Alex "Kanu7" Millar (262nd) and Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara (245th) were eliminated, both joining the group of min-cashers taking away $12,316.50. By the half-hour mark the field had already been cut down to almost 200, with 2012 SCOOP Main Event (High) winner Nick "GripDsNutz" Grippo having catapulted to the top of the leaderboard.
Play continued with the field further winnowing, with Assad91 one of those knocked out in 145th for a $14,994 cash. That left the Norweigian still shy of catching Alan "Mr Negreanu" Gold who pending the final offical tally appears to have locked up the WCOOP Player of the Series.
After just two hours of play for the day the field had already shrunk to 120 players with yet another former SCOOP Main Event (High) champ having risen to the top of the counts -- none other than 2013 winner Viktor "Isildur1" Blom.
De Meulder down, Cody crushed
The field was whittled down under a 100 players, with Ryan "toetagU" Fair briefly reclaiming the chip lead.
Soon two Team PokerStars Pros found themselves at the same table, and after a min-raise by Andre Akkari from under the gun, his teammate Matthias de Meulder reraise-shoved his last 14 big blinds from the button and Akkari called right away.
De Meulder had K♦Q♥ and Akkari A♦K♣, and when the board brought no help for de Meulder he was out in 91st ($19,813.50).
A short while later the other remaining Team PokerStars Pro, Jake Cody, open-raised his short stack all in and ended up being called in two spots. Ultimately Cody's A♦9♦ couldn't outrun either Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz's J♦J♥ or CherryOnT0p's K♥K♣, and Cody was out in 59th ($24,097.50).
Down to 18, Pokerl)evil pushes in front
By the time they reached the six-and-a-half-hour break for Day 2, just 27 players remained around the final three tables, with Nick "GripDsNutz" Grippo (33rd, $33,201) among the eliminated. Viktor "Isildur1" Blom was back on top again with just over 4.8 million, well ahead of flaszeczka in second position with about 3.36 million. And Andre "aakkari" Akkari was still there and hanging on as well in the bottom third with a below average stack of just over 600,000.
Before long nine more had fallen -- EzPaTuLa (27th), RibyJl9R (26th), Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou (25th), Jordan "Jymaster11" Young (24th), Jason "TheMasterJ33" DeWitt (23rd), Hiren "hustla16" Patel (22nd), Marko "drjovaside" Jovović (20th), and dickler1 (19th) -- each of whom earned $38,556 for their finishes.
While Isildur1 had slipped back to the middle of the back and Akkari continued to nurse a short stack, Dylan "Pokerl)evil" Hortin had assumed the top spot in the counts.
Finding a final table
Ryan "toetagU" Fair's run next ended in 18th, followed by diemaus36o in 17th. Then Akkari open-raised all in with his last eight BBs from the button with K♦J♠, got called by benislovas in the big blind with 4♠4♣, and after the board brought no help for the Brazilian he hit the rail in 16th, like the previous two knocked out players earning $44,982.
donvito1st (15th), flaszeczka (14th), and Sunday Million 7th Anniversary Special winner Andrius "benislovas" Bielskis (13th) were the next out, each taking away $54,621 for their finishes.
Victor "Isildur1" Blom then lost a big preflop all-in with pocket jacks against Crazy Elior's pocket kings to drop to last in the counts. After that Event #53 winner Francisco "chiconogue" Nogueira (12th), Jeremy "EndlessJ" Menard (11th), and start-of-day-2 leader Viking8844 (10th) were the next three to fall, taking away $65,331 apiece.
With Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz the new chip leader with more than 12 million and Viktor "Isildur1" Blom the short stack, the final table was underway.
Seat 1: 19Dan86 (United Kingdom) -- 7,735,672
Seat 2: Yuri "theNERDguy" Martins (Brazil) -- 2,476,920
Seat 3: neckbr4ke (Germany) -- 6,194,753
Seat 4: Faraz "The-Toilet 0" Jaka (Poland) -- 3,105,327
Seat 5: Dylan "Pokerl)eviL" Hortin (Canada) -- 4,286,399
Seat 6: Viktor "Isildur1" Blom (United Kingdom) -- 1,284,346
Seat 7: Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz (Austria) -- 12,627,617
Seat 8: Elior "Crazy Elior" Sion (United Kingdom) -- 3,122,846
Seat 9: MaltLiquor40 (Canada) -- 2,006,120
Isildur1 fizzles in ninth
It was shortly after midnight and just a few hands into the final table when the next knockout occurred.
With the blinds 50,000/100,000, the action folded to Viktor "Isildur1" Blom in the middle position who open-pushed all in for 1,059,346. Elior "Crazy Elior" Sion called the shove from a couple of seats over, and when everyone else folded their cards were revealed.
Blom had T♦9♦ while Sion turned over A♦K♦. The board ran out 3♦6♦4♣3♣J♥, and with no improvement to his hand Blom hit the rail in ninth.
MaltLiquor40 drained in eighth
On the very next hand, MaltLiquor40 open-raised all in for 1,768,620 from the cutoff seat, then watched as Yuri "theNERDguy" Martins reraised all in from the small blind to isolate.
MaltLiquor40 had 9♥9♣ but was behind the J♠J♦ of Martins, and five cards later -- 7♦4♥6♥6♣K♠ -- MaltLiquor40 was done in eighth.
Pokerl)eviL bedevilled in seventh
It would take another 40 minutes for another to fall, during which stretch the blinds moved up to 70,000/140,000.
A hand arose in which Elior "Crazy Elior" Sion open-raised to 280,500 from early position, then neckbr4ke three-bet to 575,125 from the button. Faraz "The-Toilet 0" Jaka folded the small blind, then Dylan "Pokerl)eviL" Hortin shoved all in from the big blind for 1,270,072. Sion then reshoved, forcing a fold from neckbr4ke.
Crazy Elior: T♠T♣
Hortin had the big preflop edge, but the flop came 7♦T♦5♦ to give Crazy Elior the lead with a set of tens. Hortin still had a flush draw, but the turn was the 5♠ to fill up Crazy Elior and eliminate flush outs. The river was the 9♣, and Hortin was out in seventh.
A six-way chop, then 19Dan86 86'd in sixth
The final six played on a short while, then stopped the proceedings to talk about a possible deal. Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz still led with about 12.97 million, Faraz "The-Toilet 0" Jaka was next with almost 8.92 million, Elior "Crazy Elior" Sion third with about 5.95 million, 19Dan86 fourth with just over 5.76 million, Yuri "theNERDguy" Martins fifth with about 4.94 million, and neckbr4ke last with almost 4.29 million.
Both "ICM"-based figures and "chip chop" numbers were presented, leaving a whopping $200,000 aside for which to play in each case. The discussion went on for more than 45 minutes, with the group finally coming to an agreement upon figures based on the "ICM" with the two leaders successfully negotiating for a little more from the bottom two stacks.
With $200K and the Main Event bracelet still up for grabs, play continued, and not long afterwards 19Dan86 would lose a big preflop all-in versus Yuri "theNERDguy" Martins when the latter's Q♣Q♦ held up against 19Dan86's A♦K♥.
Not long after the blinds were 70,000/140,000 when 19Dan86 open-pushed for 2,448,310 from the button with A♠7♠, got called by neckbr4ke in the big blind with A♥Q♣, and the board came K♣4♠2♣J♥3♥ to knock 19Dan86 out in sixth.
The-Toilet 0 flushed in fifth
They continued on into the 80,000/160,000 level, and as Day 2 approached the end of its 12th hour it was Faraz "The-Toilet 0" Jaka opening for 320,000 from the cutoff, then Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz reraised to 724,400 from the button. It folded to Yuri "theNERDguy" Martins who made it 1,499,999 to go from the big blind. Jaka responded with another reraise to 2,732,721, Holz folded, Martins shoved and Jaka called with 5,142,395 he had behind.
The-Toilet 0: 9♣9♥
Jaka's pocket pair was pipped by the tens of Martins, and five cards later -- 2♠4♣K♥Q♥Q♣ -- he was on the rail in fifth, although had claimed a cool $945,000 thanks to the deal.
Crazy Elior crashes in fourth
About 10 minutes later Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz made a min-raise to 320,000 from UTG, then Elior "Crazy Elior" Sion reraise-pushed for 1,985,443 from the button. The blinds folded and Holz called, turning over K♦Q♦ while Sion had A♦J♣.
The 4♠7♠K♥ flop paired Holz's king to swing the advantage, then the Q♣ made two pair for him while giving Sion hopes of hitting a river ten to make Broadway. But the fifth street brought the 2♥, and Crazy Elior was done in fourth.
neckbr4ke knocked out in third
They moved into the day's 13th hour, and eventually Yuri "theNERDguy" Martins moved out in front with more than 24.2 million, with neckbr4ke next with about 13.5 million and Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz third with right at 5.3 million.
However, Holz soon managed to double through Martins after turning a flush versus Martins's top pair and straight draw, then quickly added more to even the stacks before retaking the chip lead.
Then with the blinds at 125,000/250,000, neckbr4ke raised to 500,000 from the button, Holz reraised to 1,333,337 from the small blind, neckbr4ke pushed all in for 6,415,074 total, and Holz called.
neckbr4ke had J♣J♦ and was hoping the pair would hold against Holz's A♣K♦. But the flop came 5♦A♠Q♠ to give CrownUpGuy a pair of aces. The T♠ turn did provide gutshot possibilities for neckbr4ke, but the river was the 2♦ and neckbr4ke's run ended in third.
Two guys left, one leaves as champ as CrownUpGuy ousts theNERDguy
With that hand Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz would have about a 2-to-1 chip lead to begin heads-up play with 27,956,040 to Yuri "theNERDguy" Martins's 14,883,960.
They'd play a dozen hands during which Holz chipped up further to 32.6 million to Martins's almost 10.1 million, then after more than 13 hours of play on Day 2 the event's final hand at last arrived.
It began with a min-raise to 600,000 from the button by Holz and a call from Martins. The flop came 8♣T♦4♦ and both players checked. The turn then brought the J♦, and when Martins led for 750,000, Holz called.
The river was the T♠. This time theNERDguy led for 1.8 million. CrownUpGuy responded by pushing all in and Martins called with with 6,975,049 he had left.
Martins had 4♣4♥ for a full house, fours full of tens. But Holz revealed T♥T♣ for quad tens -- an appropriately big hand to win the big pot and big first prize.
Congratulations to CrownUpGuy who by adding the extra $200,000 post-deal walked away with $1.3 million for winning this year's WCOOP Main Event.
Kudos as well to of the other players involved in that six-way deal and to all of the others making deep runs through a tough tourney field to close another historic WCOOP series.
WCOOP 2014: Event #66 ($5,200 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event)
Prize pool: $10,710,000.00
Places paid: 270
1. Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz (Austria) -- $1,300,000.00*
2. Yuri "theNERDguy" Martins (Brazil) -- $708,251.21*
3. neckbr4ke (Germany) -- $651,430.61*
4. Elior "Crazy Elior" Sion (United Kingdom) -- $780,227.66*
5. Faraz "The-Toilet 0" Jaka (Poland) -- $945,000.00*
6. 19Dan86 (United Kingdom) -- $769,813.52*
7. Dylan "Pokerl)eviL" Hortin (Canada) -- $214,200.00
8. MaltLiquor40 (Canada) -- $160,650.00
9. Viktor "Isildur1" Blom (United Kingdom) -- $107,100.00
*= reflects the results of a six-way deal that left $200,000 in play for the winner
Thanks for following our coverage all series long of the 2014 World Championship of Online Poker. Read reports on all 66 events here on the PokerStars blog, and see the WCOOP homepage for results and other statistics from the three-week long series.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.