WCOOP 2015: antispeed methodically binks Prog-KO Event #38 ($1,050 NL, Thursday Thrill SE)

Lebanon's antispeed experienced an unusual tournament in WCOOP Event #38. Considering this was a Progressive Knockout event, antispeed made it all the way to the final table without knocking out a single opponent. Now, that feat is not exactly impossible, but it's certainly rare. That KO-drought would finally end with six players to go, but antispeed did not knock out another opponent until it got heads-up against big-stacked salaliitto. The deck was kind to antispeed, who overcame a 5 to 1 deficit and dragged two major pots with pocket Kings, including the final hand that helped deliver the fatal knockout blow. It was only the second KO bounty of the tournament, yet it was a doozy that helped propel antispeed into the winner's circle.

2015 WCOOP Event #38 $1,050 NL Progressive Super-Knockout (a.k.a. the Thursday Thrill SE) attracted a ravenous field of 1,748 runners. They created a total prize pool worth $1,748,00, which was evenly divided between KO bounties ($874,000) and the regular prize pool ($874,000). The progressive KO format meant that players would earn a bounty for busting an opponent, but they'd only bank half of that bounty while the other half got added to their own personal bounty. The more players you busted, the higher the price on your head.

The top 198 places paid out with $146,395.00 initially set aside to the eventual champion. Event #38 Day 1 ended with only 55 players remaining and Respect_Lt (Lithuiana) topped the leader board with a stack in excess of 1.3M (and the average stack was 317K). Finland's salaliitto sat second in chips with 901K. The legendary Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson (Mexico) advanced to Day 2 as third overall with a shade under 800K. If you don't know, cal42688 won 7 overall COOPs, including a solo WCOOP bracelet and 6 SCOOP titles.

WCOOP Event #31 - End Day 1 - Top 10 Chip Counts:
1. Respect_Lt (Lithuiana) - 1,131,148
2. salaliitto (Finland) - 901,319
3. cal42688 (Mexico) - 798,756
4. vindog03 (Great Britian) - 785,847
5. lennart (Sweden) - 607,064
6. paulwiter (Uruguay) - 604,490
7. MikeyGG3 (Canada) - 600,940
8. Sheeeeep (Germany) - 598,963

The festivities on Day 2 got off to a roaring start with an initial wave of bustouts (dozen eliminations in the first 15 minutes).

During Levels 34 and 35, Respect_Lt and salaliitto battled each other for the top position. With 36 remaining, salaliitto chipped up to 1.7M. At the end of Level 34, cal42688 got crippled and dead last in chips. He went into short-stacked ninja mode to stave off elimination, then went on a rush that propelled him to the middle of the pack. Just when cal42688 got back on track, distaster struck in a heck of a cooler in which cal42688 failed to double up with Q♥Q♠ against Anton720's A♥A♦. Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson was dunzo in 30th place and he'd have to wait another day to win his 8th COOP.

With 27 remaining on the final three tables, salaliitto raced by the 2M mark and opened nearly a 2-1 margin over the chase pack (led by Respect_Lt and vindog03 with 1.1M each).

With 18 to go on the final two tables, salaliitto retained the lead with 2.6M, and Respect_Lt holding firm in second with 1.9M.

With 13 left in the hunt, calo88 came out of nowhere to seize the lead. The 2.3M big stack was amassed inside of two hands including a timely double up to avoid elimination when calo88 came from behind with A♦Q♥ to crack Tunaru's Q♣Q♠. Meanwhile on the other table, kleath won a pair of pots with Big Slick to get within contention of the lead. After kleath picked off vindog03 in 13th place, kleath rocketed to 3.5M and opened up a sizable lead over calo88 in second place.

On the final table bubble, kleath edged closer toward 4M. One of the short stacks, Anton720, attempted to double up with K♣4♦ against markovitsus' 5♦5♠. That attempt came up short and Anton720 bubbled off the final table in tenth place. In addition to advancing to the final table, markovitsus earned a bounty worth $10,277.34 for knocking out Anton720. Meanwhile, markovitsus's own bounty was increased to $20,691.39.


WCOOP Event #38 - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: salaliitto (1,863,033)
Seat 2: markovitsus (1,332,904)
Seat 3: shibonimo (2,026,897)
Seat 4: calo88 (2,837,884)
Seat 5: Respect_Lt (3,107,596)
Seat 6: doofus86 (576,811)
Seat 7: antispeed (1,033,469)
Seat 8: kleath (3,649,006)
Seat 9: DannyN13 (1,052,400)

The final table commenced during Level 43 with blinds at 17.5K/35K and a 4,375 ante. Malta's kleath held steadfast in the top spot with 3.65M. The shortest stack remaining was Malta's doofus86 with 576K. With nine to go, the biggest bounty remaining belonged to markovitsus with $20,691.39.

The final table had several notable players including three COOP winners: Canada's shibonimo won a TCOOP in 2015, Malta's kleath won a SCOOP back in 2012, and Malta's doofus86 binked a SCOOP earlier this year.

Also at the final table were Danny "DannyN13" Noseworthy and markovitsus. Danny "DannyN13" Noseworthy has over $2M in career online earnings not to mention a win at a PCA side event in 2010. Lithuania's markovitsus final tabled the Thursday Thrill back in January and has over seven figures in career cashes. Lastly, Respect_Lt was seeking a first-ever COOP after coming close with a second place finish in a SCOOP Thursday Thrill version of this same event.

No one busted during the first thirty minutes at the final table. The new leader was calo88 with 3.1M. Biggest gainers: doofus86 doubled up to 1.3M, and antispeed who surged to 2.4M. Biggest losers: kleath slipped to 2.6M, and shibonimo was down to 844K.

NICOTINE AND GRAVY: shibonimo eliminated in 9th place

Canada's shibonimo never could get anything going at the final table. Short-stacked shibonimo made a final stand with pocket tens but lost a race... calo88 min-raised 80,000, shibonimo bombed it all-in for 834,678 with T♣T♠, and calo88 called with A♣Q♠. An Ace on the flop sunk shibonimo's hopes of doubling up. The board ran out A♥J♣8♥4♣4♦ and calo88 won the pot with Aces up. Also, calo88 picked up a bounty worth $4,298.82 for busting shibonimo and their own bounty jumped to $18,697.24. For ninth place, shibonimo earned $9,002.20.

MIXED BIZNESS: markovitsus eliminated in 8th place

Classic confrontation. Queens vs. Big Slick. The lovely ladies prevailed... salaliitto opened to 90,000, markovitsus shoved for 802,542 with A♥K♦, and salaliitto called with Q♦Q♠. The board finished up J♠8♥5♠8♦T♠. Queens held up for salaliitto, who won the pot and collected a bounty worth $10,345.70 for busting markovitsus (as salaliitto's own bounty increased to $29,470.67). Lithuania's markovitsus was knocked out in eighth place, which paid out $16,606.00.

With seven remaining, calo88 led with 3.9M, followed by Respect_Lt's 3.2M. The shortest stack left belonged to DannyN13 with 1.1M.

PEACHES AND CREAM: kleath eliminated in 7th place

Short-stacked kleath was the next player to bid farewell. At least kleath went out on a monster draw... kleath shoved for 514,894 with T♣8♣ and salaliitto called with A♣7♥. It could not have beena better flop for kleath, who picked up an open-ended straight flush draw. The board finished up 9♣7♣2♥4♣5♣. Although kleath turned a flush, salaliitto rivered a four-flush to win the pot with an Ace-high flush against kleath's ten-high flush. Malta's kleath was knocked out in seventh place, which paid out $25,346.00. For picking off kleath, salaliitto collected a bounty worth $5,177.73, whereas salaliitto's own bounty increased to $34,648.40.

With six to go, salaliitto led with 5.7M followed by calo88 (4.5M), antispeed (2.6M), Respect_Lt (2M), doofus86 (1.7M), and DannyN13 (837K).

HOLLYWOOD FREAKS: DannyN13 eliminated in 6th place

Amazing to think that after almost two days, antispeed had not busted a single players yet got as far as the final six players. That drought finally ended... antispeed min-raised to 140,000, DannyN13 bombed it all-in for 738,798 with K♦Q♦, and antispeed called with A♥9♦. The board ran out J♥6♦5♥6♣4♦. Neither player improved, but antispeed dragged the pot with an Ace kicker. DannyN13 was knocked out in sixth place, which paid out $34,086.00.

A jubilant antispeed finally earned the first bounty of the tournament and responded in kind: "BOUNTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY FINALLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!" That bounty was worth $3,173.83 and antispeed's own bounty jumped from $500 to $3,673.82.

With five remaining... salaliitto still was in the top slot with 6.8M, followed by antispeed (3M), doofus86 (2.8M), calo88 (2.5M), and Respect_Lt (2.2M). Alas, Respect_Lt would go from last to first in a short amount of time.

calo88 eliminated in 5th place

Going into the largest pot of the tournament... Respect_Lt held the lead with 5.5M and salaliitto was second with 3.4M... salaliitto min-raised to 140,000, calo88 bombed it all-in for 1,993,367, Respect_Lt shoved all-in for 5,508,253, and salaliitto called all-in for 3,284,963. Three-handed. Two players all-in.

salaliitto: A♥A♠
Respect_Lt: Q♠Q♣
calo88: A♣T♣

The board finished up K♣7♠2♦J♦7♦ and salaliitto's pocket Aces held up to win the side pot and the main pot. Argentina's calo88 never improved and busted out in fifth place, which paid out $42,826.00.

For busting calo88, salaliitto won a bounty worth $9,348.62. Meanwhile, salaliitto's own bounty increased to $43,997.02.

With four to go... salaliitto was back in the lead with 8.9M, followed by doofus86 (3.8M), antispeed (2.6M), and Respect_Lt (2M).

DEBRA: Respect_Lt eliminated in 4th place

The dreaded Ace-Jack vs. Ace-Queen.... salaliitto min-raised to 160,000, Respect_Lt moved all-in for 1,977,675 with A♣J♦, and salaliitto called with A♥Q♠. The board finished up 7♥7♣4♠2♦5♦. Neither player improved, but salaliitto won with an Ace-Queen-kicker. Respect_Lt was dunzo in fourth place, which paid out $59,432.00.

For picking off Respect_Lt, salaliitto earned a bounty worth $5,906.25, and their own bounty was bumped up to $49,903.26

With three remaining... salaliitto led with 7.5M, followed by doofus86 (6.2M), and antispeed (3.6M).

PRESSURE ZONE: doofus86 eliminated in 3rd place

The only thing worse that running Ace-Jack into Ace-Queen... is running Ace-Queen into Ace-King. That sad tale happened when... doofus86 opened to 215,000, salaliitto re-raised to 584,900 doofus86 shoved for 3,113,490 with A♦Q♥, and salaliitto called with A♥K♥. The board ran out T♦9♠3♥J♣J♥. Neither player improved, but salaliitto won the pot with an Ace-King kicker. For a third-place finish, doofus86 earned $80,845.00.

And the rich got richer... salaliitto picked up another bounty; this one was worth $1,500. Meanwhile, salaliitto's own bounty jumped to $51,403.26.

HEADS-UP: salaliitto (Finland) vs. antispeed (Lebanon)
Seat 1: salaliitto (14,231,839)
Seat 7: antispeed (3,248,161)

With two left, salaliitto was closing in on a 5-1 edge.

Early into the heads-up fracas, antispeed doubled up in an 11.1M pot when K♦K♠ held up against salaliitto's A♣7♣. The board finished up 9♣6♦5♦4♦K♣ and salaliitto whiffed on a straight draw against a set of Kings. That decisive pot thrust antispeed into the lead 11.1M to 6.3M. Only 16 hands later, and it would be all over.

MILK AND HONEY: salaliitto eliminated in 2nd place; antispeed wins WCOOP Event #31!

Talk about ending on an all out blitz... antispeed won nine out of the last ten pots en route to victory. Going into the final hand, salaliitto held 3.8M against antispeed's 13.6M.

All the money went in before the flop... antispeed min-raised to 240,000, salaliitto re-raised to 664,700, antispeed four-bet to 11,223,344, and salaliitto called all-in for 3,187,662. Yes, antispeed woke up with K♥K♦ a second time during heads-up. Meanwhile, salaliitto made a final stand with A♦J♠. The board ran out 6♠5♣2♠2♦9♦ and antispeed won the pot with two pair -- Kings and deuces. Unfortunately, salaliitto was unable to snap off pocket Kings. For busting salaliitto, antispeed earned a bounty of $25,701.63 and antispeed's own bounty increased to $29,375.45.

Finland's salaliitto was knocked out in second place, which paid out $107,065.00.

Congrats to Lebanon's antispeed for winning WCOOP event #38 and earning a first-place payout of$146,395.00.

WCOOP-38: $1,050 NL Hold'em (Progressive Super-Knockout, Thursday Thrill SE)
Entrants: 1,748
Prize Pool: $1,748,00 (Regular prize pool: $874,000; Bounty prize pool: $874,000)
Places Paid: 198

1. antispeed (Lebanon) $146,395.00 + $29,375.45 bounties
2. salaliitto (Finland) $107,065.00 + $51,403.26 bounties
3. doofus86 (Malta) $80,845.00 + $3,000 bounties
4. Respect_Lt (Lithuania) $59,432.00 + $11,812.49 bounties
5. calo88 (Argentina) $42,826.00 + $18,697.24 bounties
6. Danny "DannyN13" Noseworthy (Canada) $34,086.00 + $6,347.65 bounties
7. kleath (Malta) $25,346.00 + $10,355.46 bounties
8. markovitsus (Estonia) $16,606.00 + $20,691.39 bounties
9. shibonimo (Canada) $9,002.20 + $8,597.64 bounties

Visit the WCOOP home page for a schedule of remaining events. Also, take a peek at who is in contention for Player of the Series.

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Pauly McGuire is an author and freelance contributor to PokerStars.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in WCOOP