WCOOP 2014: PhoenixAdler rises from ashes to win Sunday Warm-Up Special Edition and Event #64 ($215 NL, 8-Max)

The vultures were circling. Super-short-stacked PhoenixAdler was on life support during the final two tables of WCOOP Event #64, but somehow the Dutch player managed to survive long enough to advance to the final table. With eight remaining, PhoenixAdler was barely alive and last in chips when the final table was seated. The gaunt holdings among a table of mountain-sized stacks was not a deterrent. After all, PhoenixAdler's online moniker was a harbinger of good fortune. Like the legend of the phoenix and a bird rising up from its ashes, PhoenixAdler launched a remarkable come-from-behind victory and soared into the winner's circle to capture a WCOOP bracelet.

WCOOP Event #64 $215 NL (8-Max) also doubled as the Sunday Warm-Up Special Edition. This two-day bonanza of online poker attracted 8,589 runners. They created a prize pool worth $1,717,800.00, which blew away the initial $1M guarantee. The top 1,120 places paid out with $254,135.62 set aside to the eventual champion.

PokerStars Team Pros seeking a WCOOP bracelet in Event #64 included Daniel Negreanu, Theo Jorgensen, Jake Cody, Lex Veldhuis, Eugene Katchalov, Christophe De Meulder, ElkY, Marcin Horecki, Leo Fernandez, Matthias De Meulder, Raymond Wu, Andre Akkari, George Danzer, Vanessa Rousso, Johnny Lodden, Liv Boeree, Johnathan Duhamel, Vanessa Selbst and Jason Mercier. Team Online at their Sunday grind stations in Event #64 included xflixx, DaWarsaw, Pessagno, jenium, Jorj95, nkeyno, innerspy, Ike Haxton, and mement_mori.

Australia's godlikeroy was the sole member of Team Online to cash in Event #64 and he finished in 315th place. Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen min-cashed with a 1,054th place finish. Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki from Poland cashed in 935th place. Brazil's Andre Akkari cashed in 608th place. But ElkY went the deepest of the Team Pros with a cash in 217th place. Friend of PokerStars Natalie Hof advanced to Day 2 and finished in 68th place.

With nine remaining, action went hand-for-hand. Two of the smallest stacks rumbled. PhoenixAdler took 9♦9♣ into battle against jahhont's A♥6♦. jahhont flopped a Broadway draw but failed to get there on the river. As a result, PhoenixAdler won the pot with two pair and jahhont bowed out in 9th place. The final table was set for this 8-Max event.


WCOOP-64 Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: ihaterivers (7,464,524)
Seat 2: EspenasApart (15,821,114)
Seat 3: bvalex (5,630,069)
Seat 4: PhoenixAdler (10,947,897)
Seat 5: serip973 (11,650,587)
Seat 6: bg_atlanta (18,755,952)
Seat 7: MontyJACKk (5,587,274)
Seat 8: arman359 (10,032,583)

The final table commenced during Level 44 with blinds at 125K/250K and a 31,250 ante. Argentina's bg_atlanta was the leader with 18.7M, while PhoenixAdler was the shortest stack with 1M. The final table included a former SCOOP winner, bg_atlanta, who won an event in 2010.

MontyJACKk eliminated in 8th place

Two levels played out before we saw the first bustout at the final table. Short-stacked MontyJACKk open-shoved for 1,284,574 and serip973 called from the big blind. MontyJACKk was way ahead with Q♦Q♠ against serip973's 9♠4♣. However, serip973 flopped a flush to snap off Queens. The board finished up A♣J♣T♣9♦K♣. MontyJACKk actually rivered a straight but it was not good enough to stave off elimination. For eighth place, MontyJACKk took home $10,306.80.

EspenasApart took over the top spot with a 25.7M stack, followed by former chipleader bg_atlanta's 20.4M. The shorties were arman359 with 4.6M and bvalex with 4.1M.


With seven players left in the hunt for the bracelet, action was paused to discuss a deal. EspenasApart was on top with 22.5M, followed by bg_atlanta (14.9M), arman359 (11.9M), bvalex (11.8M), serip973 (10.1M), ihaterivers (8.9M), and PhoenixAdler (6.4M). The initial ICM numbers were floated, with $20,000 on the table to the champion, however the final seven were unable to agree on the right numbers. Play resumed without a deal.

arman359 eliminated in 7th place

Shortly after the deal negotiations fell apart, we saw another bustout. PhoenixAdler min-raised to 1M, arman359 re-raised to 2,445,550, PhoenixAdler four-bet shoved for 13,661,734, and arman359 called all-in for 8,220,282. PhoenixAdler was behind with 9♦9♥ against arman359's A♠A♣. Alas, PhoenixAdler flopped a set of nines to take the lead. The board finished up J♦9♣7♥8♠K♣. Pocket Aces were viciously cracked and armarman359 was knocked out in seventh place, which paid out $17,178.00.

bvalex eliminated in 6th place

EspenasApart min-raised to 1M, bvalex bombed it all-in for 8,712,776 with A♠T♣, and EspenasApart called with Q♦Q♠. The board ran out 9♦8♣4♦T♦K♥. bvalex turned a pair of tens, but failed to improve on the river. EspenasApart's pocket Queens held up. Russia's bvalex was knocked out in sixth place, which paid $34,356.00.

serip973 eliminated in 5th place

Two shorties rumbled and one went home. serip973 open-shoved for 5,406,033, bg_atlanta re-shoved for 5,630,463, and everyone bailed. Heads-up. bg_atlanta woke up with A♠A♥ and serip973 was in trouble with A♣4♣. The board finished up A♦6♥5♣8♠4♦. serip973 rivered two pair, but bg_atlanta flopped a set of Aces, which held up. Portugal's serip973 busted in fifth place, which paid out $68,712.00.

With four to go, EspenasApart was out in front with 31.6M, but PhoenixAdler was not far behind with 29.3M.

DEAL? NO, Part 2

Another discussion of a money chop occurred after two bustouts. With four remaining, EspenasApart was in first with 31.6M, followed by PhoenixAdler (29.3M), ihaterivers (13.1M), and bg_atlanta (11.6M). They had to leave $20,000 on the table to the eventual winner, but the ICM numbers were floated as follows: EspenasApart ($181,989.42), PhoenixAdler ($178,838.98), ihaterivers ($147,182.74), bg_atlanta ($142,690.98). PhoenixAdler rejected the terms of the ICM and wanted more money. But deal talks fell apart and play resumed without a money chop.

DEAL, Part 3? YES!

After money moved around the table for a level, action was paused to discuss another four-way deal. PhoenixAdler had seized the lead with 28.5M, followed by bg_atlanta (23.1M), ihaterivers (19.6M), and EspenasApart (14.5M). They had to leave $20,000 on the table to the eventual champion, but the ICM numbers were floated: PhoenixAdler ($175,676.51), bg_atlanta ($166,833.45), ihaterivers ($160,076.66), and EspenasApart ($148,115.50). Deal talks looked like they were about to fall apart for a third time, but the final four finally reached an agreeable deal. With a money chop secured, play resumed.

EspenasApart eliminated in 4th place

EspenasApart min-raised to 1.2M, bg_atlanta bumped it up to 2.7M, EspenasApart four-bet all-in for 14,467,834 with 5♠5♣, and bg_atlanta called with J♠J♣. The board ran out Q♥T♦9♦9♠7♣. bg_atlanta flopped an open-ended straight draw, but it never filled in. bg_atlanta did not need it because he won the pot with a better two pair (Jacks and nines vs. nines and fives). For fourth place, EspenasApart earned $148,115.50.

With three remaining, bg_atlanta was ahead with 38.4M, followed by PhoenixAdler's 28.4M and ihaterivers 19M.

ihaterivers eliminated in 3rd place

Three-handed action lasted a mere ten hands. bg_atlanta min-raised to 1.2M, ihaterivers bombed it all-in for 11,488,928, and bg_atlanta called. bg_atlanta was ahead with A♠K♠ versus ihaterivers' J♥T♦. The board finished up 8♠2♠2♥Q♦3♦. bg_atlanta flopped a flush draw but whiffed. Neither player improved, but bg_atlanta won the pot with Ace-high kicker. For third place, ihaterivers collected $160,076.66.

HEADS-UP: PhoenixAdler (Netherlands) vs. bg_atlanta (Argentina)
Seat 4: PhoenixAdler (35,509,866)
Seat 6: bg_atlanta (50,380,134)

With two to go, bg_atlanta was ahead 50M to 35M. Heads-up would last over 30 minutes.

PhoenixAdler took over the lead after dragging a pot worth 20M. PhoenixAdler tried to pull away, but bg_atlanta launched a counter-attack and nearly pulled even after winning five out of six pots. At that point, the stacks were nearly even 43M to 42M. But in seven hands, it would be all over after PhoenixAdler dragged five out of the last seven hands to finally deliver a knockout blow.

bg_atlanta eliminated in 2nd place; PhoenixAdler wins WCOOP bracelet

Going into the final hand, PhoenixAdler was ahead 55M to 30M. bg_atlanta opened to 2M and PhoenixAdler called. The flop was K♣9♠6♦. PhoenixAdler check-called a 2,040,000 bet from bg_atlanta. The 4♦ fell on the turn. PhoenixAdler checked, bg_atlanta fired out 3,998,400, PhoenixAdler check-raised to 8,496,800, and bg_atlanta called. The 2♣ spiked on the river. PhoenixAdler bet 21M and bg_atlanta called all-in for 17,358,949.

PhoenixAdler: K♦9♥
bg_atlanta: K♠6♥

Both players flopped two pair, but bg_atlanta's Kings and sixes were no match for PhoenixAdler's Kings and nines. PhoenixAdler won the pot and the tournament. In the process, PhoenixAdler denied bg_atlanta a second COOP title.

For a gritty and determined runner-up performance, Argentina's bg_atlanta collected $166,833.45.

Congrats to the newest WCOOP bracelet winner, PhoenixAdler from the Netherlands, who earned a $195,676.51 first-place pay day.

WCOOP-64 [Sunday Warm-Up SE]: $215 NL Hold'em [8-Max]
Entrants: 8,589
Prize Pool: $1,717,800.00
Places Paid: 1,120

1. PhoenixAdler (Netherlands) $195,676.51 **
2. bg_atlanta (Argentina) $166,833.45 **
3. ihaterivers (Canada) $160,076.66 **
4. EspenasApart (Norway) $148,115.50 **
5. serip973 (Portugal) $68,712.00
6. bvalex (Russia) $34,356.00
7. arman359 (Israel) $17,178.00
8. MontyJACKk (Czech Republic) $10,306.80

** Denotes a four-way deal

Head over to the World Championship of Online Poker homepage for stats, Leader Board information, and find out who won WCOOP Player of the Series.

Pauly McGuire is an author and freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in WCOOP