WCOOP 2014: Jani "kiiski" Vilmunen wins his second WCOOP bracelet in Event #65 ($10,300 8-Game, High Roller)

The $10,300 8-Game High Roller event is typically the WCOOP's smallest field and arguably its most deadly. With two tables remaining, nearly every seat was filled by a familiar screen name and when the final table formed the odds were stacked in favor of crowning a repeat WCOOP champion. Sunday Million champion Rory "Mafews"Mathews was the only final table player going for his first WCOOP bracelet, the other five were all gunning for their second. Ultimately, it came down to two noble mixed-game warriors who just happen to be good friends-- Jani "kiiski" Vilmunen and Noah "Exclusive" Boeken. With their chip counts deadlocked, they elected to do an even chop of the remaining prize pool and after a forty-minute battle for the last $10,000, Vilmunen came away with the win and captured his second WCOOP bracelet.

The $10,300 High Roller 8-Game event drew 104 entries and more than doubled the $500k guarantee with a final prizepool of $1,040,000.00. 18 players earned a share of it with the champion taking home $270,400.00. Red Spade bannermen in the field included Jason Mercier, Eugene Katchalov, ElkY, George Danzer, Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara and Daniel Negreanu, who went out on the money bubble in 19th place.

Team Online's George "Jorj95" Lind III and Team Pro Theo Jorgensen were still in the hunt with two tables remaining. Jorgensen, however, had fallen on the short stack. With the betting limits up to 5,000/10,000 and the game 2-7 triple draw, Jorgensen opened for a raise and Andrey "Kroko-dill" Zaichenko called from the big blind. Kroko-dill drew three cards and Jorgensen took two. Kroko-dill check-called Jorgensen's 5,000 bet and discarded two on the second draw. Jorgensen drew one. Kroko-dill led out and Jorgensen called off his remaining 572 in chips. On the third draw Jorgensen stood pat and Kroko-dill drew one. Kroko-dill hit an 8-7-4-3-2 low and Jorgensen's T-9-6-3-2 went up in flames, ending his run in 11th place.


Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen, 11th place

George "Jorj95" Lind III followed Jorgensen to the rail a short time later. In limit hold'em, the action was folded to Lind in the small blind. He raised to 10,000, Matthew "MUSTAFABET" Ashton three-bet to 15,000, and Lind called. Lind check-raised the T♥9♠8♥ flop, MUSTAFABET reraised and Lind called. The rest of Lind's chips went in on the 9♦ turn and he revealed 8♣7♦ for two pair and an open-ended straight draw. However, MUSTAFABET had a better two pair and a better straight draw with J♠J♥. The river blanked out with the 3♠ and Lind was eliminated in ninth place, good for $33,800.00.


Team Online's George "Jorj95" Lind III, 9th place

Other notable cashes en route to the final table included Marco "NoraFlum" Johnson (18th), Benjamin "MagicDeal" Pollak, Cesar "Ce$ar$pa" Garcia (16th), Christian "CMoosepower" Elgstrøm (15th), Artem "roi kin23" Litvinov (14th), Alexandre "BiatchPeople" Luneau (12th), Bryn Kenney (10th), and Stevie "stevie444" Chidwick (8th).

Following Lind's elimination, it took another hour to reach the final table. Betting limits were up to 8,000/16,000 with seven players remaining. The game was Stud Hi/Lo when MUSTAFABET brought it in for 2,400 with the 6♦ and Iteopepe88 completed with the A♥ up. MUSTAFABET called. Iteopepe88 led out on fourth, MUSTAFABET raised, and Iteopepe88 called. Iteopepe88 bet his last 11,000 on fifth and MUSTAFABET looked him up.

MUSTAFABET (9♣7♣) 6♦9♠T♦T♣ (3♣)
Iteopepe88 (4♦7♠) A♥K♥2♠9♦ (4♠)

MUSTAFABET had a pair of nines for high and Iteopepe88 had four to a seven low when the money went in. Although MUSTAFABET improved to tens and nines on sixth street, Iteopepe88 missed his low and rivered a pair of fours, ending his run on the final table bubble.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: Alexey "LuckyGump" Makarov (51,322 in chips)
Seat 2: Rory "Mafews" Mathews (230,397 in chips)
Seat 3: Andrey "Kroko-dill" Zaichenko (202,450 in chips)
Seat 4: Noah "Exclusive" Boeken (485,821 in chips)
Seat 5: Matthew "MUSTAFABET" Ashton (266,098 in chips)
Seat 6: Jani "kiiski" Vilmunen (323,912 in chips)

LuckyGump eliminated in sixth place

This high roller final table was as stacked as they come. Five of our final six were already WCOOP bracelet winners, the U.K.'s Mafews the only challenger.

kiiski, 2009 WCOOP $2,100 PLO 6-Max
Kroko-dill, 2010 WCOOP, $215 PLO8 6-Max 1R1A
Exclusive 2011 WCOOP $320 Mixed Hold'em 6-Max
LuckyGump 2012 WCOOP, $320+R PLO 6-Max

Additionally, three of those five also hold SCOOP titles-- Kroko-dill, LuckyGump, and Exclusive.

LuckyGump was the shortest stack coming in to the final table and on Hand #7, he three-bet third street in a hand of Stud Hi/Lo, then committed the rest of his chips on fourth vs. MUSTAFABET.

LuckyGump (A♣6♥) 8♠4♦3♠T♣ (K♦)
MUSTAFABET (6♦5♣) 5♠2♦7♥A♥ (J♣)

LuckyGump made an 8-6 low on fifth street, but MUSTAFABET improved to a 7-6 low on sixth in addition to his pair of fives for high. LuckyGump unfortunately missed all his outs to both ends of the pot on the river and went out in sixth place ($46,800.00).

Mafews gutted in fifth

Five hands later, the game switched to no limit hold'em with 2,500/5,000 blinds, and MUSTAFABET opened for 11,111. With 209,000 behind, Mafews three-bet to 28,000 with A♦K♠ and MUSTAFABET called. Mafews hit top pair on the K♣7♣3♦ flop and led out for 28,000. MUSTAFABET called, and the 6♥ came on the turn. Mafews fired another 47,000 and MUSTAFABET called. Mafews moved all-in for his remaining 105,672 when the Q♥ rivered and MUSTAFABET called. MUSTAFABET rolled over 4♠5♠, having turned a seven-high straight, and sent Mafews to the rail in fifth place ($67,600.00).

MUSTAFABET out in fourth

MUSTAFABET took the chip lead with 653,067 and hung on to it for about forty minutes, However, MUSTAFABET gave up the chip lead when he folded to Kroko-dill's bet after the third draw in a 2-7 pot. Kroko-dill took the lead with just over half a million in chips and MUSTAFABET began a steady decline. Exclusive picked up a chunk of MUSTAFABET's stack in an Omaha Hi/Lo hand where MUSTAFABET called his flop and turn bets, but folded the river on a 4♠9♥T♦A♠4♥ board. A few hands later, Exclusive and MUSTAFABET locked horns again when MUSTAFABET raised preflop and Exclusive defended his big blind. Exclusive check-called the K♥8♣3♠ flop and check-called again when the 9♠ turned. Both players checked the 3♦ river and Exclusive turned up 4♥5♦6♠9♣ for nines and threes. MUSTAFABET mucked and was left with only 47,688 in chips.

MUSTAFABET three-bet all-in on the next deal and Exclusive called.

Exclusive 2♠6♠8♦9♥

Exclusive turned a jack-high straight on the K♦J♥T♦7♥8♣ board and with no low possible, he scooped the pot. MUSTAFABET's run at a second WCOOP bracelet came to an end in fourth place, his consolation prize a still-hefty $88,400.00.

Exclusive loses his grip

When three-handed play began, Exclusive was the chip leader with 915,000 while kiiski and Kroko-dill held 330,000 and 314,000 respectively. The two shorter stacks closed the gap significantly between themselves and Exclusive before the Omaha Hi/Lo round was up. Kroko-dill opened for 32,000 on the button, Exclusive three-bet, kiiski cold-called from the big blind and Kroko-dill called as well. Exclusive led out on the A♠Q♥8♦ flop, kiiski raised, and both Kroko-dill and Exclusive called. The turn was the 4♦ and Exclusive slowed down and checked. Kiiski bet 32,000 and both opponents called. Exclusive checked again when the J♣ rivered, kiiski checked, and Kroko-dill bet 32,000. Both players called and the cards went on their backs.

Kroko-dill 2♣3♠8♣K♠ (pair of eights, 8-4-3-2-A low)
kiiski A♣4♣9♣Q♣ (aces and queens)
Exclusive A♥2♥J♥K♣ (aces and jacks)

Kiiski won the high, Kroko-dill took the low, and Exclusive slipped to 683,000 in chips.

Kroko-dill takes third

Kiiski continued to rise, but Kroko-dill took a tumble when he got quartered in a 336,000 Omaha Hi/Lo pot. Both players made a 6-5-4-3-A low, but kiiski's fives full of threes beat out Kroko-dill's seven-high straight for high, and he was left with 178,000 in chips.

The game changed to Razz and Kroko-dill completed to 16,000 with the 2♥ up. Exclusive raised with the 6♦, Kroko-dill three-bet and Exclusive called. Kroko-dill led out on fourth street and Exclusive called, but Kroko-dill caught a queen on fifth while Exclusive showed three to an eight low. Exclusive bet, Kroko-dill raised all-in for 43,875, and Exclusive called.

Kroko-dill (3♥5♠) 2♥6♥Q♥Q♣ (K♣)
Exclusive (2♦4♥) 6♦4♠8♥6♣ (A♣)

Exclusive double-paired on sixth street vs. Kroko-dill's Q-6 low, but caught an ace on the river to finish with 8-6-4-2-A. Kroko-dill was eliminated in third place, banking $135,200.00 for his efforts.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 4: Exclusive (436,013 in chips)
Seat 6: kiiski (1,123,987 in chips)

Exclusive bottomed out at about 207,000 in chips before regaining his momentum. The Razz level was kind to Exclusive and he won four six-figure pots (three without a showdown) to bounce back to 732,000 in chips. A few hands later, their stacks were almost even and both players decided to pause the action and discuss a deal. Here's how they stacked up at the time:

Exclusive - 776,013
kiiski - 783,987

Exclusive and kiiski were on the same page regarding a chop and agreed to split all but $10,000 of the remaining prize money 50/50.

kiiski: its now same chips so 50/50, hes my friend
Exclusive: 50-50 keep 10 in the middle
kiiski: ok, 10 in the middle and lets go
Exclusive: so 10 middle chop the rest
Exclusive: and lets play
Exclusive: late here
Exclusive: hahaha

With $221,200.00 apiece locked up and $10,000 still on the table, cards went back in the air.

Kiiski pushed Exclusive down to 250,000 in chips, but over the next half hour Exclusive battled back and evened the counts once again. However, kiiski opened up a bit of a lead in a Stud Hi/Lo hand. Exclusive completed on third street, but kiiski made an open pair of fours on fourth and led out for 20,000. Exclusive called on fourth and again on fifth, but folded to kiiski's sixth street bet.

kiiski (X-X) 4♦4♥A♦6♣
Exclusive (X-X) T♣7♣8♦9♥

Exclusive fell to 584,000 after the hand and was down to 450,000 when the game turned to no-limit hold'em. Exclusive min-raised to 25,000 on the button, kiiski three-bet to 75,000 from the big blind and Exclusive came back over the top for 448,563. Kiiski snap-called with Q♥Q♠ and Exclusive turned over A♠6♣. Exclusive did not improve on the 7♥3♠J♣4♥2♦ board and kiiski clinched victory.

Congratulations to Jani "kiiski" Vilmunen on his second WCOOP bracelet! He banked $231,200.00 for the win, while runner-up Noah "Exclusive" Boeken earned $221,200.00 thanks to the heads-up deal.

WCOOP-65: $10,300 8-Game [Re-Entry, High roller]
Entrants: 104
Places paid: 18

1. Jani "kiiski" Vilmunen (Finland) $231,200.00*
2. Noah "Exclusive" Boeken (Netherlands) $221,200.00*
3. Andrey "Kroko-dill" Zaichenko (Russia) $135,200.00
4. Matthew "MUSTAFABET" Ashton (United Kingdom)
5. Rory "Mafews" Mathews (United Kingdom) $67,600.00
6. Alexey "LuckyGump" Makarov (Russia) $46,800.00

*= reflects the result of a heads-up deal that left $10,000 in play for the winner

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP