WCOOP 2014: Sergey 'gipsy74' Rybachenko binks Event #56 ($530+R NL) and denies Mike "Sowerss" Sowers a second WCOOP bracelet

The heads-up match-up was something out of a gripping John le Carré spy novel about the Cold War with the stalwart Russian Sergey 'gipsy74' Rybachenko trying to outwit the young gun from North America Mike 'Sowerss' Sowers. This particular battle was not for global domination or nuclear annihilation, rather, a bracelet was at stake for the victor in WCOOP Event #56. Sowers was no stranger to the COOP champion's circle with a SCOOP title in 2012 and a WCOOP win in 2007. Meanwhile, Rybachenko was trying to finally bink a major title after making deep runs in numerous COOP events. Alas, in a rather quick heads-up confrontation Rybachenko thwarted Sowers' shot at a second WCOOP bracelet (and third COOP crown). Instead, Sergey 'gipsy74' Rybachenko backdoored a win in Event #56 as the Russian secured himself a first-ever WCOOP bracelet.

WCOOP Event #56 $530+R NL attracted 757 runners. They contributed 535 re-buys and 595 add-ons, which boosted the prize pool to $943,500.00. Only the top 99 places paid out, with $173,132.25 originally set aside to the champion.

PokerStars Team Pros taking a shot at WCOOP crown included Eugene Katchalov, Matthias De Meulder, George Danzer, Jason Mercier, Liv Boeree, Vanessa Rousso. Team Online members nkeyno and Ike Haxton were at their grind stations trying to win themselves a WCOOP bracelet.

A couple of familiar faces cashed. PokerStars Team Pro George Danzer cashed in 71st place, which was good for $2,736.15. PokerStars Team Pros Liv Boeree's deep run came to a halt when she was knocked out in 41st. Liv Boeree four-bet shoved with A♥Q♦ and LOL_U_91 called with T♣T♦. Liv Boeree lost the race and she busted in 41st place, which paid out $3,585.30.

The legendary Rodrigo "caprioli" Saprioli, who is a 3-time SCOOP champion from Brazil, bubbled off the final table in tenth place when his Q♣Q♦ were outflopped by artavaz777's A♦6♥. caprioli had his queens ravished by trip sixes. After caprioli's elimination, the final table was set.


WCOOP-56 Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: Sowerss (1,310,872)
Seat 2: artavaz777 (2,633,316)
Seat 3: serb2127 (426,733)
Seat 4: Agentul05 (397,763)
Seat 5: LOL_U_91 (1,523,046)
Seat 6: anthonyff (407,886)
Seat 7: BBOY3110 (900,755)
Seat 8: gipsy74 (1,193,680)
Seat 9: Shankar825 (2,128,449)

The final table commenced during Level 33 with blinds at 15K/30K and a 3,750 ante. Russia's artavaz777 sat atop the big stack with 2.7M, while Agentul05 clung onto the short stack with 397K. The final table featured 2-time COOP champion Sowerss, who won a WCOOP all the way back in 2007 and a SCOOP in 2012.

serb2127 eliminated in 9th place

We saw the first exit in Level 34. One of the shorties serb2127 bombed it all-in for 414,858 with A♣T♣, and LOL_U_91 called from the big blind with A♠Q♦. The board ran out Q♥5♥5♦6♦7♠. LOL_U_91 flopped two pair, which held up. Canada's serb2127 became the first player to exit the final table. Ninth place paid out $12,265.50.

Agentul05 eliminated in 8th place

Short-stacked Agentul05 made a final stand by shoving all-in from the button for
229,638, and artavaz777 called from the big blind. Agentul05 was flipping with 2♠2♥ versus artavaz777's A♥8♠. Agentul05 was ahead all the way until the fateful river when the board ran out 9♦K♣5♦ 3♣8♣. For eighth-place performance, Agentul05 collected $20,757.00.

With seven remaining, artavaz777 was ahead with 3.3M and anthonyff was on life support with 274K.

anthonyff eliminated in 7th place

Big stack vs. lil stack: artavaz777 min-raised to 800,000, short-stacked anthonyff shoved for 378,332, and artavaz777 called. anthonyff led with A♣6♠ against artavaz777's 8♠7♠. Alas, the board ran out 8♦6♣5♥Q♠K♦. artavaz777 flopped top pair and a straight draw, but won the pot with a pair of eights. anthonyff was knocked out in seventh place, which paid out $30,192.00.

With six to go, artavaz777 was neck-and-neck with Sowerss for the lead with 2.4M. BBOY3110 was the new shorty with 325K.

LOL_U_91 eliminated in 6th place

Shankar825 kicked off the fracas with a min-raise to 80,000, artavaz777 flat-called, LOL_U_91 re-raised to 260,000, Shankar825 re-raised all-in for 2,021,798, artavaz777 folded, and LOL_U_91 called all-in for 821,691. Heads-up.

LOL_U_91: Q♠Q♣
Shankar825: A♥K♥

Ah, one of those classic confrontations: Big Slick versus Pocket Ladies. The board finished up K♣J♦2♣4♠T♦. Big Slick prevailed. The King on the flop snapped off LOL_U_91's pocket Queens. LOL_U_91 busted in sixth place, which paid out $39,627.00.

With five left in the hunt, Shankar825 was the new leader with 3.2M, followed by gipsy74 (2.6M), artavaz777 (2.3M), BBOY3110 (1.6M), and Sowerss (1.1M).

artavaz777 eliminated in 5th place

Sowerss min-raised to 100,000, and both artavaz777 and BBOY3110 called from the blinds. The flop was A♠9♣9♦ and everyone checked. The Q♦ fell on the turn. artavaz777 fired out 165,625, BBOY3110 folded, and Sowerss called. The A♦ spiked on the river. artavaz777 checked, Sowerss moved all-in for 831,875 and artavaz777 called all-in for 563,763.

Sowerss: A♣9♠
artavaz777: Q♠6♣

Sowerss flopped a full house but rivered a better boat -- Aces full of nines. artavaz777 turned two pair, which was not good enough to stave off elimination. Russia's artavaz777 was knocked out in fifth place, which paid out $49,062.00.

With four to go, gipsy74 seized the lead with 4.8M and BBOY3110 brought up the rear with 1.3M.

Shankar825 eliminated in 4th place

Battle of the blinds. Short-stacked Shankar825 in the small blind shoved for 346,036 with K♥Q♦, and Sowerss called with A♠4♣ from the big blind. The board finished up 9♠9♥2♠9♦7♥. Neither player improved, yet Sowerss dragged the pot with an Ace-high kicker. Shankar825 was knocked out in fourth place, which paid out $70,290.75.

With three remaining, gipsy74 was out in front with more than 6M, while Sowerss and BBOY3110 averaged approximately 2.5M each.


Action was paused to discuss a deal. gipsy74 held the majority of chips in play with 6.2M, followed by BBOY3110 (2.4M), and Sowerss (2.2M). The deal numbers wee floated with $12,000 left on the table to the eventual winner: gipsy74 ($149,538.94), BBOY3110 ($115,263.80), and Sowerss ($113,334.51). Everyone quickly agreed on the numbers and play resumed.

BBOY3110 eliminated in 3rd place

Didn't take long before someone hit the rail after the deal was signed, sealed and delivered. Sowerss min-raised to 100,000, BBOY3110 shipped it for 2,669,382, and is all-in gipsy74 re-shipped for 3,357,270, Sowerss bailed and got out of the way of the showdown. BBOY3110 took 5♥5♠ into battle against gipsy74's 7♣7♦. The board finished up K♠J♦4♠A♦3♠ and gipsy74's pocket sevens held up. BBOY3110's pocket fives were no good. BBOY3110 busted in third place, which paid out $11,5263.80.

HEADS-UP: Sowerss (Canada) vs. gipsy74 (Russia)
Seat 1: Sowerss (4,777,098)
Seat 8: gipsy74 (6,145,402)

With two remaining, gipsy74 held the slight edge over Sowerss. Alas, their match-up would not last more than 14 hands. After Sowerss won the first hand, gips74 took down 10 out of the final 13 hands en route to a victory.

Sowerss eliminated in 2nd place; Gipsy74 wins WCOOP bracelet

On the final hand... Sowerss opened to 120,000 and gipsy74 called. The flop was J♦T♠2♦, and gipsy74 check-called a 87,500 bet from Sowerss. The 3♥ fell on the turn, and gipsy74 check-called a 200,000 bet from Sowerss. The 8♥ spiked on the river. gipsy74 checked, Sowerss fired out 480,000, gipsy74 moved all-in for 6,212,500, and Sowerss called all-in for 3,400,000.

gipsy74: Q♥9♥
Sowerss: A♣J♣

Sowerss flopped top pair, which never improved beyond that. gipsy74 flopped an open-ended straight draw and got there on the river to drag the pot and bink the tournament.

After a stellar runner-up performance, Sowerss earned $113,334.51 for second place.

Congrats to gipsy74. The Russian earned a first-place payday worth $161,538.94, in addition to a cool WCOOP bracelet.

WCOOP-56: $530+R NL Hold'em
Entrants: 757 (535 re-buys, 595 add-ons)
Prize Pool: $943,500.00
Places Paid: 99

1. Sergey 'gipsy74' Rybachenko $161,538.94 **
2. Mike 'Sowerss' Sowers (Canada) $113,334.51 **
3. BBOY3110 (Costa Rica) $115,263.80 **
4. Shankar825 (Canada) $70,290.75
5. artavaz777 (Russia) $49,062.00
6. LOL_U_91 (Belgium) $39,637.00
7. anthonyff (United Kingdom) $30,192.00
8. Agentul05 (Romania) $20,757.00
9. serb2127 (Canada) $12,265.50

** Denotes a deal among the final three

Head over to the World Championship of Online Poker homepage to view a schedule of remaining events. Plus, find out who is at the top of the WCOOP Leader Board and who is in contention for Player of the Series.

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

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in WCOOP