WCOOP 2014: Jean-Pascal "hopezACE" Savard snares Event #40 title ($1,050 NLHE 6-Max.)

With a $1,050 buy-in and the game being six-handed no-limit hold'em, Event #40 was destined to attract an elite group of short-handed specialists. Indeed many of the game's top talent turned out to create one of the more difficult-to-top fields of this year's WCOOP series, and after two lengthy days of play Jean-Pascal "hopezACE" Savard of Canada managed to outlast a tough final table including Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin heads-up to win the title and a big $193,630 prize.

Day 1

There were 1,156 players altogether forming that tough field, thereby building a prize pool of $1,156,000 that comfortably exceeded the tourney's $750K guarantee. From that field the first 1,000 elminated would miss the cash while the other 156 would split the prize money.

Among the many notables making deep runs was Team PokerStars Pro Eugene "E. Katchalov" Katchalov who would last all of the way to a 44th-place finish ($3,468). Others making it even further though not making the second day of play included Thayer "THAY3R" Rasmussen (41st, $3,930.40), Roman "RomeOpro" Romanovskyi (38th, $3,930.40), Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis (37th, $3,930.40), Heinz "zhivago2" Kamutzki (32nd, $4,855.20), Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit (25th, $5,780), and Arūnas "BalticMoose" Sapitavičius (24th, $5,780).

By the time they reached the end of Level 30 and play was paused for the night, just 22 players were left with David "Mrdawwe" Sonelin leading all with a stack approaching 900,000. Here's how the top 10 appeared overnight:

1. David "Mrdawwe" Sonelin (Sweden) -- 891,379
2. ESTRATEGA 18 (Uruguay) -- 811,307
3. Timothy "Tim0thee" Adams (Canada) -- 677,289
4. Ariel "ArielBahia" Celestino (Brazil) -- 589,512
5. Jozinho6 (Austria) -- 588,398
6. PokerI)eviL (Canada) -- 529,567
7. Anton "ekziter" Astapau (Belarus) -- 517,735
8. Johan "busto_soon" van Til (Netherlands) -- 517,685
9. Tommy "TMoney0209" Miller (Canada) -- 433,884
10. Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin (Mexico) -- 397,364

Also returning on Sunday to below average stacks would be Jean-Pascal "hopezACE" Savard (in 13th position), Tobias "PokerNoob999" Reinkemeier (16th), Ryan "RJules12" Julius (18th), Dan "djk123" Kelly (19th), Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro (20th), Daniel "DanielT999" Tighe (21st), and Felipe "LiMa171" Lima (22nd).

Day 2

During the first hour of play seven players were eliminated while Jean-Pascal "hopezACE" Savard climbed the leaderboard to grab the chip lead by the first break.

Dan "djk123" Kelly (22nd), Tobias "PokerNoob999" Reinkemeier (21st), dhutt (20th), and Jozinho6 (19th) were the first four to fall, each earning $7,282.80. They were followed by Tommy "TMoney0209" Miller (18th), ifghassan (17th), and PokerI)eviL (16th), each of whom took away $9,710.40.

Over the next half-hour Anton "ekziter" Astapau (15th), wex_69 (14th), and Daniel "DanielT999" Tighe (13th) each hit the rail, also earning $9,710.40 apiece. Ryan "RJules12" Julius (12th, $14,450) was the only other knockout during the day's second hour, and with 11 left David "Mrdawwe" Sonelin had regained the lead with a stack approaching 2 million.

Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro (11th) and Felipe "LiMa171" Lima (10th) were next out, each earning $14,450. Then pezler06 (ninth), Ariel "ArielBahia" Celestino (eighth), and ESTRATEGA 18 (seventh) were successively eliminated, picking up $20,230 cashes apiece.

With David "Mrdawwe" Sonelin still setting the pace with more than 2.6 million, the final table was underway.


Seat 1: Johan "busto_soon" van Til (Netherlands) -- 1,322,637
Seat 2: Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin (Mexico) -- 544,546
Seat 3: Jean-Pascal "hopezACE" Savard (Canada) -- 2,028,959
Seat 4: Timothy "Tim0thee" Adams (Canada) -- 1,266,616
Seat 5: David "Mrdawwe" Sonelin (Sweden) -- 2,634,345
Seat 6: Andrey VNIIM (Russia) -- 872,897

Andrey VNIIM vanquished in sixth

With the blinds still just 8,000/16,000 to start the final table -- meaning the average stack was 90 big blinds deep -- it wasn't surprising to see it take a while before the next elimination.

In fact more than an hour would pass during which the final six battled on. Then once the blinds were up to 12,500/25,000, a hand arose that saw Timothy "Tim0thee" Adams open with a raise to 50,000 from early position, then Andrey VNIIM reraise all in for 373,761 from the button. Johan "busto_soon" van Til then called the reraise from the small blind, and when it folded back to Adams he released his hand.

Andrey VNIIM turned over K♠Q♠ and was looking for help versus van Til's T♣T♦. But the board rolled out J♣4♥2♣7♦3♦, and Andrey VNIIM's run had ended in sixth.

Mrdawwe downed in fifth

Play continued with Johan "busto_soon" van Til having taken over the top spot in the counts. An hour later there were still five left, with Jean-Pascal "hopezACE" Savard having nudged in front with van Til, Timothy "Tim0thee" Adams, and Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin not too far off the lead.

Meanwhile David "Mrdawwe" Sonelin had become the short stack among them as the blinds moved up to 20,000/40,000. Then after Timothy "Tim0thee" Adams raised to 80,000 from under the gun, Sonelin reraise-pushed all in with his last 579,913 and after the others folded, Adams called.

Tim0thee: A♣K♦
Mrdawwe: A♠Q♣

The board came nine-high -- 4♣3♣9♣4♥7♠ -- and Sonelin was out in fifth.


David "Mrdawwe" Sonelin

busto_soon busts in fourth

They'd gotten almost all of the way through another hour before the field was at last reduced to three.

That happened once the blinds had moved up to 25,000/50,000, and after Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin raised to 100,000, Jean-Pascal "hopezACE" Savard three-bet to 234,750 from a seat over, Johan "busto_soon" van Til shoved all in for 1,012,943, Griffin reshoved over the top, and Savard folded.

Griffin showed A♠Q♠ and had the preflop edge over van Til's A♥J♥. The community cards came 2♦6♣A♣K♦K♥, giving both two pair but Griffin the better kicker, and van Til was out in fourth.


Johan "busto_soon" van Til

Tim0thee taken out in third

The final three players soon paused the tournament to discuss a possible deal, at which point Jean-Pascal "hopezACE" Savard was leading with 4,495,114, Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin was next with 2,810,341, and Timothy "Tim0thee" Adams was third with 1,364,545.

The negotiations began even before "chip chop" and "ICM"-based numbers were presented, leaving $15,000 on the table in each case. However after several minutes of discussion no agreement could be reached and play was resumed.

A bit later Adams had been chipped down just less than 750,000, then a hand came up that saw Griffin limp in from the button for 60,000, Adams ship from the big blind for 710,945, and Griffin call.

Tim0thee showed A♠8♣ and was hoping the hand would hold versus theASHMAN103's K♦J♦. The flop came 7♦7♥9♥ followed by the A♦ turn, giving Adams two pair while Griffin had picked up a flush draw. Then came the river -- the T♦ -- filling the flush for Griffin and sending Adams railward in third.

hopezACE hangs on, defeats theASHMAN103

There was no deal talk as heads-up play began with Jean-Pascal "hopezACE" Savard enjoying almost a 3-to-1 chip lead to start with 6,306,559 to Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin's 2,363,441.

Fifteen minutes later Griffin's stack had shrunk to less than 1 million, but Griffin managed to double up after his A♥6♦ held following a preflop all-in versus Savard's Q♦9♣.

About 15 minutes after that Griffin would double again after getting all of his stack in after a 7♦5♠5♥ flop versus Savard's K♦K♠ when Griffin was holding Q♣5♣. The trips held, and by the day's seven-hour break Savard had just over 5.9 million to Griffin's 2.75 million. Griffin was looking for a WCOOP win to go with the SCOOP title he picked up last year.


Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin

Once play started back, the blinds had increased again to 40,000/80,000 when Griffin opened with a 2x raise to 160,000 from the button, then Savard three-bet to 380,345 in response. Griffin came back with an all-in push for 2,578,384 total, and Savard called.

hopezACE: A♥J♠
theASHMAN103: A♣7♦

Both had aces with Savard's kicker in front, and after the T♣5♥J♥ flop paired that jack Savard had an even more commanding lead. The turn then brought the 6♣, making the river 2♥ no matter and giving Savard the title.

Congratulations to Jean-Pascal "hopezACE" Savard for beating one of the tougher WCOOP fields to earn the victory and a handsome $193K-plus score -- the biggest of his career.

WCOOP 2014: Event #40 ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em, 6-Max.)
Entries: 1,156

Prize pool: $1,156,000.00
Places paid: 156

1. Jean-Pascal "hopezACE" Savard (Canada) -- $193,630.00
2. Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin (Mexico) -- $144,500.00
3. Timothy "Tim0thee" Adams (Canada) -- $109,820.00
4. Johan "busto_soon" van Til (Netherlands) -- $75,140.00
5. David "Mrdawwe" Sonelin (Sweden) -- $49,245.60
6. Andrey VNIIM (Russia) -- $34,680.00

There's still another action-packed week of WCOOP left to go. Check the WCOOP homepage for the full remaining schedule of events.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP