WCOOP 2015: Maicoshaa redeemed, Danzer 3rd in Event #66, $2,100 HORSE Championship

Even for the best of players, being heads-up for a WCOOP bracelet isn't the kind of situation that comes around too often. Miss out once and you never know if you'll find yourself with the chance to win one again, much less make it back in the same year. Russia's Maicoshaa did just that in the $2,100 HORSE Championship and then made the most of the opportunity, outlasting a tough final table that included Team PokerStars Pro's George Danzer to walk away with $58,290 and a first career COOP title.

The high buy-in and rotation of five limit games kept the field for Event #66 elite and intimate at 134 players, good for a $268,000 prize pool to be split among the top 24 players. They played 35 fifteen-minute levels on Day 1, cycling through the game rotation seven times and whittling the field down to 20 players at night's end.

Maicoshaa sat in third place overnight with 117,664 chips, behind only Narcisus90 (137,428) and 2002 WCOOP Limit Hold'em bracelet winner Christer "lennart" Johansson (127,579). Danzer sat further back in 13th place, while four-time WCOOP 2015 finalist Adamyid, Event #6 champ Matt "plattsburgh" Vengrin, past Super Tuesday and Sunday Million winner Georgios "GeoManousos" Sotiropoulos, and past SCOOP & WCOOP winner Stephen "stevie444" Chidwick held on to even shorter stacks.

Narcisus90, Adamyid, plattsburgh, and stevie444 would fall short of the final table, but the others held on through the 6K/12K/1,200 Razz round to face off with some other battle-tested competitors:

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Seat 1: Team PokerStars Pro George "GeorgeDanzer" Danzer (76,830 in chips)
Seat 2: ilushan (205,527 in chips)
Seat 3: Bernardo "bedias" Dias (92,180 in chips)
Seat 4: Maicoshaa (191,994 in chips)
Seat 5: DerRaeuber (224,537 in chips)
Seat 6: Christer "lennart" Johansson (246,928 in chips)
Seat 7: Georgios "GeoManousos" Sotiropoulos (80,262 in chips)
Seat 8: to0dey (221,742 in chips)

The table played through 8K/16K/1.6K Stud without any major shifts but things changed when the game changed to Stud Hi-Lo. lennart had the bring-in with the 3♠, and GeoManousos completed to 8K with the A♦ showing. George Danzer called with the 5♥, and ilushan, a finalist in Event #29, called with the 4♦. GeoManousos ended up all-in on fourth street, where Danzer paired with the 5♠, and the two-time WCOOP winner check-called ilushan's bets on fifth, sixth, and seventh streets, showing down (7♦ 3♦) 5♥ 5♠ 9♥ A♣ (2♥) to scoop 162K with a pair of fives and a 7-5-3-2-A low. ilushan mucked (x-x) 4♦ 6♦ A♥ 9♣ (x), and GeoManousos mucked (x-x) A♦ 7♣ K♥ J♦ (x) to leave in 8th place ($7,370).

Losing that pot left ilushan with 56K, and after folding on fifth street a few hands later the Russian player was left with just 6,065 chips as the game changed to 8K/16K Hold'em. After Bernardo "bedias" Dias doubled up on the first hand with T♦ T♥ against Maicoshaa's A♦ Q♥, ilushan was forced all-in from the big blind on the second. George Danzer played his J♣ J♦ conservatively from the small blind, check-calling Dias's bet on the 6♦ T♠ 4♥ flop and then checking down the Q♣ turn and J♥ river. Danzer's set of jacks beat Dias's pair of tens with K♠ T♥, and ilushan mucked and left the tournament in 7th place ($9380).

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Dias, the past Sunday Million and Super Tuesday winner appearing at his first WCOOP 2015 final table, was left with 82K there and mostly stayed out of the way for the rest of the hold'em round, saving 62K for the 10K/20K Omaha hi-lo round. He opened his final hand for 20K in the hijack seat with 42K left behind and called lennart's re-raise from the small blind, seeing the 3♥ 2♣ K♣ flop. The action went bet-raise-call, then a bet and a call all-in on the K♥ turn. lennart's Q♥ Q♦ 6♦ 3♠ for kings and queens was ahead for the high pot, but bedias's A♦ 7♣ 4♠ 2♥ was drawing to scoop both halves if he could hit a wheel straight on the river. Any low card would have saved half the pot for Dias, too, but the T♥ came instead, giving lennart a 135K-chip scoop and knocking Dias out in 6th place ($12,060).

Short-stack showdown

With Dias gone, Russia's to0dey, the SCOOP 2015 $2,100 Razz champion, became the short stack with 109K. Already a thin stack for flop games with four betting streets, it became thinner when the antes and extra betting street rolled back around with 10K/20K/2K Razz. to0dey was left with 59K after tangling with Danzer, who raised with the A♣ faceup on third after to0dey completed to 10K with the 2♠. to0dey check-called on fourth and fifth streets, checked sixth, and folded on seventh with (x-x) 2♠ 6♣ Q♣ 8♠ (x) showing to Danzer's (x-x) A♣ 6♦ Q♠ 4♣ (x).

That dropped further to 45K through bring-ins and antes before t0odey faced off with lennart. to0dey started with (4♠ 5♣) 3♥ 6♦ before going runner-runner-runner for two pair for a Q-6 low. Somehow lennart only made a K-Q low after starting with (8♥ 2♠) 5♥, and to0dey doubled to 90K. That number would dip and rise again as the game shifted to 12K/24K/2.4K Stud, remaining well behind lennart before the past WCOOP bracelet winner, appearing at his second final table of this series after Event #29, squared off with George Danzer.

to0dey brought in the hand in question with the 2♠, Danzer completed with (4♣ J♣) 4♠ for a split pair of fours, and lennart called with (8♠ 5♦) 5♠ for a split pair of fives. lennart made eights and fives with the 8♦ on fourth street and continued to bet through sixth before checking behind Danzer on seventh with a full board of (8♠ 5♦) 5♠ 8♦ 2♣ 9♣ (K♥). Danzer showed (4♣ J♣) 4♠ Q♥ K♠ A♠ (J♠) for jacks and fours, taking the 159K-chip pot to slide into second place.

lennart lost another pot a few hands later to DerRaeuber, missing both straight and flush draws and failing to even make a pair after starting with (K♠ Q♦) J♦. Left with 32K, he got it all-in on the next hand with a split pair of kings on third street. Maicoshaa came along with a three-card flush draw that turned into the real deal with a board of (J♠ 4♠) 5♠ T♠ 6♣ J♥ (Q♠). lennart's kings never improved further, and he departed in 5th place ($14,740).

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to0dey was still the short stack with four players left but managed to double to 168K behind a full house, sevens full of sixes, against Maicoshaa's fives and fours. That put the Russian neck-and-neck with George Danzer, while Maicoshaa still had the lead and DerRaeuber was still holding three times as many chips as either Danzer or to0dey. Danzer eventually edged back ahead as the game changed to 12K/24K/2.4K Stud Hi-Lo, leaving to0dey in need of a double-up once again.

The Russian got the opportunity shortly thereafter, bringing it in with (2♥ 7♥) 5♥ and calling Maicoshaa's completion to 10K to pick up the 4♥ on fourth street. to0dey led out there and then called bets on fifth and sixth before both players checked down seventh street. to0dey had improved mildly to a pair of deuces but had no low with (2♥ 7♥) 5♥ 4♥ T♣ 2♦ (J♦). Maicoshaa's (K♣ 3♠) A♥ 7♦ 7♣ 6♥ (J♥) also had no low, but it was good for the high pot with a pair of sevens. That left to0dey with 5,072 chips, barely enough to cover two antes, and two hands later the Russian player's run ended in 4th place ().

Danzin' for a third bracelet

George Danzer was now the short stack with just under 10 big bets and two opponents to work against:

Seat 1: Team PokerStars Pro George "GeorgeDanzer" Danzer (229,107 in chips)
Seat 4: Maicoshaa (699,524 in chips)
Seat 5: DerRaeuber (411,369 in chips)

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Danzer mostly stayed out of the way for the remainder of the Stud Hi-Lo round, waiting for the last hand of the level to scoop one 223K-chip pot against Maicoshaa with a runner-runner pair of aces on sixth and seventh streets to go along with the 6-5-4-3-A low he made on sixth. But when 16K/32K Hold'em came around he would drop back to 125K after calling a pre-flop raise and bets on the flop, turn, and river from DerRaeuber. The Austrian's T♥ 7♥ had gone from a steal before the 4♣ A♦ 6♠ flop to a stab on it, a pair of tens on the T♠ turn, and three of a kind on the T♦ river. Danzer dipped into his time bank before making that final call on the river but ended up mucking, giving DerRaeuber the 224K chips in the middle.

Danzer finished out the Hold'em round with a double to 195K, his A♦ T♥ holding up unimproved against DerRaeuber's A♣ 7♦ on an 8♦ 5♣ Q♣ Q♦ Q♠ board, but he couldn't maintain the momentum on 16K/32K Omaha Hi-Lo. Danzer dropped 48K raising on the button and calling Maicoshaa's small-blind three bet before folding to the Russian player's bet on the 9♥ K♥ T♣ flop. It was then his turn to three-bet from the big blind when Maicoshaa raised on the button, and though he check-called 16K on the 6♦ 2♣ 5♦ flop, he check-folded to Maicoshaa's bet on the 2♦ turn. Down to 35K, he would double up twice to end the level essentially where he began it.

The chase for a third WCOOP bracelet would end for Danzer during the 20K/40K/4K Razz round. He called DerRaeuber's bets on third and fourth with (A♦ 2♦) 9♦ Q♦ before making a Q-9 with the 3♦ on fifth and raising all-in. DerRaeuber called with (3♥ 5♣) 7♠ 8♥ K♦ for a K-7, then promptly caught the A♣ on sixth to make an 8-7 low. Danzer had drawn the 4♦ on sixth, so any five, six, seven, or eight would have won him the pot when DerRaeuber paired with the 7♣ on seventh street. But Danzer caught the Q♣, his 9-4 low couldn't beat DerRaeuber's 8-7, and the two-time WCOOP-winning Team PokerStars Pro was gone in 3rd place ($32,160).

Redemption song

Maicoshaa, earner of cashes in three different HORSE game WCOOP Championships during this series (14th in Event #18, 2nd after a heads-up deal in Event #32, and 7th in Event #54), was now within one spot of a bracelet for the second time in this WCOOP, while DerRaeuber was guaranteed at least a runner-up finish in just the Austrian player's second cash of the series:

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Seat 4: Maicoshaa (1,026,082 in chips)
Seat 5: DerRaeuber (313,918 in chips)

Maicoshaa had been in the lead when a deal was struck in Event #32, only to eventually finish second. DerRaeuber threatened to make this duel a repeat by drawing to within less than one small blind with three big pots early on, but Maicoshaa quickly turned around with a five-big-bet pot to get back to 792K, just over 245K ahead of DerRaeuber. It was a pattern that would repeat for several levels.

By the time the Razz round was complete, Maicoshaa was back to 1M chips. DerRaeuber began to claw back with a 408K-chip pot early in the 20K/40K/4K Stud round, with a split pair of queens holding through sixth street before becoming two pair on seventh. Maicoshaa's split pair of sixes would have won the pot otherwise, having become nines and sixes on the river, but instead DerRaeuber pulled back to within less than four big bets. But that progress all disappeared after Maicoshaa won 368K uncontested on the river with a (x-x) 4♥ 8♣ J♥ 9♥ (x) board when DerRaeuber mucked (x-x) 8♠ 6♣ A♦ Q♠ (x).

The see-saw trend continued at the start of the 25K/50K/5K Stud Hi-Lo round when DerRaeuber started with a split pair of jacks that turned into a flush after drawing four straight clubs, good for a double to 411K. But every time DerRaeuber began threatening to even the chip counts, Maicoshaa would win another pot to put DerRaeuber back on the ropes, and 25K/50K Limit Hold'em kicked off with Maicoshaa back to 1M chips once again.

DerRaeuber opened the final hand with a raise to 50K on the button, holding A♥ 4♠, and then called Maicoshaa's re-raise with K♥ 7♥ to see the 7♠ 4♥ 7♣ flop. The rest of DerRaeuber's 103K in chips went in there, the board ran out 9♣ Q♣, and Maicoshaa's trip sevens brought the WCOOP 2015 HORSE Championship to a close.

DerRaeuber's second cash of WCOOP 2015 was worth $41,540. And Maicoshaa, after having come so close just a week ago, held on for the bracelet and $58,290. Congratulations on making the second try count!

Event #66, $2,100 HORSE Championship
Entrants: 134
Prize pool: $268,000
Places paid: 24
1. Maicoshaa (Russia) $58,290
2. DerRaeuber (Austria) $41,540
3. Team PokerStars Pro George "GeorgeDanzer" Danzer (Austria) $32,160
4. to0dey (Russia) $22,780
5. Christer "lennart" Johansson (Sweden) $14,740
6. Bernardo "bedias" Dias (Brazil) $12,060
7. ilushan (Russia) $9,380
8. Georgios "GeoManousos" Sotiropoulos (Austria) $7,370

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Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in WCOOP