WCOOP 2014: Paul "paulgees81" Volpe joins elite COOP company in Event #63 ($2,100 HORSE)
When we talk "COOPs" and compare some of the best online players in the world, you might mention guys like Shawn Buchanan, James Obst, Shaun Deeb, David Bach, Dan Kelly or George Danzer.
There's another name you can now mention in the same company and that is Paul "paulgees81" Volpe.
With nearly $3 million in live earnings and a WSOP bracelet to his name, Volpe has an impressive live poker record, but his online poker resume is just as fearsome. With almost $5 million in earnings, Volpe padded that today when he collected the win and over $66,000 in Event #63 of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker. In doing so, Volpe collected his first WCOOP crown, and along with previous wins in the SCOOP and Sunday Million, Volpe is now just one TCOOP victory away from being the first player in history to complete the PokerStars "Grand Slam" of online titles.
Entering the final days of the 2014 World Championship of Online Poker and one of the big buy-in events of the series drew a highly-talented field of the world's finest mixed game players. It was a $2,100 HORSE Event and the field of 173 players produced a $346,000 prize pool to smash the advertised guarantee.
Jason Mercier, George Danzer, Bertrand Grospellier, Eugene Katchalov and Naoya Kihara were out representing the red spade of Team PokerStars but they weren't the only sharks lurking in the field. Joseph Cheong, Justin Bonomo, Scott Clements, Mike Leah, Stephen Chidwick, Jon Turner, Mikal Blomlie, Shaun Deeb, Dan Kelly, Kevin McPhee, James Obst, Bryn Kenney and Victor Blom were just some of the pros who also took their place in today's field.
Only the top 24 players would finish in the money, and it was another big name pro who felt the bite of the money bubble. Sorel "zangbezan24" Mizzi was all in on fifth street in Razz and would've been confident of a double up with a strong six-low but Creatiff111 rivered a wheel to see Mizzi out in 25th place to miss out on the $4,325 min-cash.
Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang snuck into the money in 24th place ($4,325), as did Maria Ho (22nd - $4,325), Ami Barer (22nd - $4,325) and Luke Schwartz ( 11th - $7,785).
When former WCOOP winner vachette17 blinded out in ninth place, the final table of eight was set as follows:
Final Table Line Up
Seat 1: Paul "paulgees81" Volpe (676,649 in chips)
Seat 2: üä-qaypö.wsx (137,107 in chips)
Seat 3: Creatiff111 (48,288 in chips)
Seat 4: tRaMp$d0PrAy (224,959 in chips)
Seat 5: nilsef (144,737 in chips)
Seat 6: Fresh_oO_D (222,663 in chips)
Seat 7: octane190 (108,554 in chips)
Seat 8: Crazy Elior (167,043 in chips)
Paul "paulgees81" Volpe had a big chip lead entering the final table, and was well on his way to the third leg of the PokerStars "Grand Slam" of online championships.
First to go from the final table would be Russian Creatiff111.
Creatiff111 first lost a big pot after raising fifth street, calling on sixth and then folding on the river in Stud Hi-Lo against Crazy Elior. It was a fair hit to the stack and next hand, Creatiff111 was all in by fifth street against üä-qaypö.wsx. Creatiff111 was aiming low, starting with A-3-6 but ended up with just a pair of jacks as the board ran out 3♣A♣6♣K♥T♦J♦J♠. Similarly, üä-qaypö.wsx started off low with 7-4-A-6, but a final showing of 7♦4♠A♥6♦Q♣A♠Q♦ ended with two pair, aces and queens, to scoop the pot. Creatiff111 won a WCOOP event earlier this series, but couldn't make it two today, exiting the tournament in eighth place for $9,515 in prize money.
Crazy Elior collected another nice Stud Hi-Lo hand with a flush against tRaMp$d0PrAy who was left on the short stack. When Limit Holdem rolled around, tRaMp$d0PrAy and üä-qaypö.wsx got into a raising war that saw the action capped preflop. The two unpronounceables went at it with üä-qaypö.wsx firing bets all the way on the K♣7♦A♦5♥2♥ board and tRaMp$d0PrAy called it down, only to muck when üä-qaypö.wsx tabled A♠K♦ for top two pair.
That left tRaMp$d0PrAy crippled, and when the big blind rolled around, tRaMp$d0PrAy was forced all in with A♠3♠ against paulgees81's A♥7♠. The board of 6♣2♦K♥9♠4♠ brought no help to eliminate tRaMp$d0PrAy in seventh place for a $12,110 collect.
Play slowed a little during the Holdem round, until octane190 and paulgees81 decided to go to war on a flop of 3♠6♦2♠. paulgees81 continued to lead the betting through the 6♠ turn and 6♥ river which was understandable when he was called and showed down A♣6♣ for quads!
octane190 was left reeling and couldn't recover. The very next hand, with the game switching to Omaha Hi-Lo, octane190 would three-bet preflop before moving what was left all in on the flop of K♠8♦J♠. nilsef held 4♣8♣J♥A♣ for two pair which was ahead of octane190's A♥3♦6♠K♥ but the drama wasn't over quite yet. The K♦ fell on the turn to give octane190 trip kings and some life but the hope was short-lived as the J♦ landed on the river, improving nilsef to a winning full house. octane190 was left to depart in sixth place for $15,570 in prize money.
paulgees81 was still well in front with very little separating the other four players.
nilsef put a dent in üä-qaypö.wsx, flopping trip nines in Omaha Hi-Lo, and when üä-qaypö.wsx was forced to fold on the river in several more Omaha Hi-Lo hands, üä-qaypö.wsx was quickly onto the short stack.
üä-qaypö.wsx landed a double up with an Omaha Hi-Lo scoop holding two pair and a seven-low, but when the game switched to Razz, üä-qaypö.wsx was unable to find another double. The betting was capped on third street with üä-qaypö.wsx all in against Crazy Elior. üä-qaypö.wsx's board ran out 2♥T♥5♣J♠K♠4♥A♥ for a ten-low but Crazy Elior had that pipped with 6♣7♠2♣5♦9♠Q♠9♣ making a nine-low. üä-qaypö.wsx was a former TCOOP winner but couldn't add a second COOP title today, finishing in fifth place for $19,030.
Fresh_oO_D endured a bit of a rollercoaster ride on the final table. Fresh_oO_D won a few nice pots to look threatening but it all unravelled when play reached four-handed.
During the Seven-Card Stud round, Fresh_oO_D tried to pull off a river raise on a bluff, but nilsef made a strong call with just a single pair of aces. Fresh_oO_D then called down Crazy Elior in another Seven-Card Stud hand where there was betting on every street, but Fresh_oO_D was forced to muck when Crazy Elior showed rolled-up fives.
When Fresh_oO_D ran into paulgees81's ace-high flush and eight-low in Stud Hi-Lo, Fresh_oO_D was in a spot of trouble. Fresh_oO_D went for the double up in a hand of Stud Hi-Lo, moving all in by fifth street and ending up with a pair of aces on a board of 4♦J♣A♦3♠K♣7♠A♥. However that wasn't enough as Crazy Elior showed 2♣2♥3♣2♦A♣5♥7♦ for trip deuces and a seven-low to scoop and eliminate Fresh_oO_D in fourth place for $29,410.
nilsef was the short stack of the trio but set about changing that up, gaining full value on each street of Stud Hi-Lo with a king-high flush against Crazy Elior, before doing the same against paulgees81 with two pair.
paulgees81 wheeled in a nice pot with the wheel straight against Crazy Elior, to take both the high and low in Stud Hi-Lo, and increase his chip advantage. But when the game turned to Limit Holdem again it was nilsef's turn to surge.
nilsef chipped up with top pair against Crazy Elior's second pair, before taking a big pot with a river raise holding two pair against paulgees81.
Crazy Elior was in the danger zone and managed to find one double up with pocket aces against nilsef, but when nilsef caught a gutshot straight soon after, Crazy Elior was left crippled. Next hand Crazy Elior was all in for barely more than the big blind with 7♦6♥ against nilsef's A♣J♠. The board revealed 4♥T♦3♣A♦Q♠ which was no help for Crazy Elior who was eliminated in third place for a $41,520 score.
Heads-up Chip Counts
Seat 1: paulgees81 (855,044 in chips)
Seat 5: nilsef (874,956 in chips)
With the two players virtually even in chips, the clock was paused to look at a deal. They quickly and painlessly agreed to an even chop with $4,000 and the WCOOP title left in the middle to play for.
The game was still Limit Holdem and it was paulgees81 who skipped ahead with a couple of handy pots. nilsef fought back to even things up, but when paulgees81 won ten of fourteen consecutive hands, including a sizable pot with a turned straight, paulgees81's stack was back above seven figures.
When the game switched to Omaha Hi-Lo, the momentum continued for paulgees81.
paulgees81 rivered a straight to win a nice pot and followed that up with a full house next hand to get out to a two-to-one advantage.
One of the more significant pots of the heads-up contest would see raises on every street in Omaha Hi-Lo on a board of K♦6♦5♣3♠7♦. nilsef raised the river with J♦2♠3♦6♠ for a flush and seven-low, but was surprisingly beaten on both sides as paulgees81 called with Q♦7♠4♥2♦ for a better flush and six-low.
nilsef was in trouble but managed to stay tough and hang in there. nilsef recovered some chips but paulgees81 continued to win more than a fair share of pots to slowly grind down his opponent before the final hand unfolded.
The end came when the game turned to Razz and nilsef's last chips were all in by fifth street. nilsef ended with T♠3♣8♣A♥A♠K♠2♦ for a ten-low but it was paulgees81's A♣4♠7♣T♣6♠2♣6♦ which was good for a seven-low to claim the pot and victory!
The myseterious nilsef will have to be content with a post-deal total of $62,442.50 for second place as Paul "paulgees81" Volpe picks up his third major PokerStars online championship. Volpe adds $66,442.50 to his bankroll and, as we mentioned earlier, just requires a TCOOP title to become the first player in history to complete the PokerStars Grand Slam of online titles.
WCOOP-63: $2,100 HORSE - $200K Guaranteed
Prize Pool: $346,000
Places Paid: 24
1. Paul "paulgees81" Volpe (Canada) $66,442.50*
2. nilsef (Germany) $62,442.50*
3. Crazy Elior (United Kingdom) $41,520.00
4. Fresh_oO_D (Germany) $29,410.00
5. üä-qaypö.wsx (Austria) $19,030.00
6. octane190 (Canada) $15,570.00
7. tRaMp$d0PrAy (Mexico) $12,110.00
8. Creatiff111 (Russia) $9,515.00
* denotes even heads-up chop
The 2014 World Championship of Online Poker is nearing a conclusion with the Main Event kicking off tomorrow! Check out the WCOOP homepage for more details.
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.