WCOOP 2015: V7JCV21 wins outright for $260K in Event #4, $215 NLHE (Sunday Million SE)

The Sunday Million is already one of the biggest tournaments in poker, drawing thousands of players and awarding bankroll-busting prizes every week. The only thing better is a special edition during one of the COOP series, and with the start of WCOOP 2015 that means this week's tourney was bound to be massive from the beginning. It's events like these that can create career-defining wins, and the United Kingdom's V7JCV21 scored exactly that after bringing the chip lead to the final table and riding out some tough competition to claim a first career WCOOP title.

A total field of 8,673 players showed up yesterday to play this Sunday Million Special Edition, a jump of more than 3,200 from last week's installment that awarded $158,000 to first place. That beat the $1.5 million guarantee for a total prize pool of $1,734,600, with 1,170 places paid and $260,193.87 set aside for the winner. By the time they finished the 10K/20K/2.5K level there were just 119 left, led by MarcosBubu of the U.K. with 2,204,488 chips.

Team Pro and COOP dynamo Jason Mercier was still in the hunt, though in 98th place with 340,169 chips he had his work cut out for him when Day 2 began at 2:30 p.m. ET. Mercier doubled up to 537K early with pocket nines against M1ndre4der's A-7. But his next attempt to build the stack didn't work out. Holding just under 20 big blinds, he min-raised in the cutoff with A♠ J♣ and called when bb23 re-raised all-in from the big blind. Mercer called but couldn't outrun bb23's pocket kings, and he bowed out in 103rd place ($1,491.75). Day 1 chip leader MarcosBubu suffered a similar fate, bowing out in 52nd place ($2,948.82).

After almost six hours of poker the blinds and antes had reached 200K/400K/50K and these nine players are all that remained:

Seat 1: paul_peaches (11,131,668 in chips)
Seat 2: komarolo22 (6,055,994 in chips)
Seat 3: papatudin (13,964,260 in chips)
Seat 4: Masta_shadow (5,494,828 in chips)
Seat 5: I JEFF I (10,260,916 in chips)
Seat 6: V7JCV21 (19,130,231 in chips)
Seat 7: nmafra7 (6,283,671 in chips)
Seat 8: NoTilit (9,986,244 in chips)
Seat 9: thesilbysays (4,422,188 in chips)

WCOOP-04 2015 ft.jpg

The big stacks had a mathematical advantage, but in practice the early going belonged to the underdogs. Half the table was holding on to 15 big blinds or less, so there was plenty of action from the beginning. The bulk of it resulted in raise-and-take-it pots, but when there was a showdown between a desperate player and a comfortable one, the short stack won. Masta_shadow, last seen finishing as runner-up in a 2015 TCOOP event, was one of the beneficiaries. nmafra7 and 2014 SCOOP runner-up I JEFF I doubled their stacks, too.

After 25 minutes of short stack survival, two nearly even stacks collided when paul_peaches ran 7♥ 7♠ into Masta_shadow's J♦ J♥. No help from the board left paul_peaches with only 235K, just enough to post the ante three times. paul_peaches did just that and survived on the last one, going runner-runner for two pair with 5♣ 4♦ to beat Masta_shadow's flopped top pair with A♣ Q♣.

While paul_peaches was holding on, two more similar stacks ran into each other with strong starting hands. NoTilit opened all-in with A♦ J♣ and had komarolo22, who called with A♥ K♠, covered by just 27,750 chips. Neither hand improved, komarolo22 won the 13.8M-chip pot, and suddenly the table had two players with chips stacks worth less than one small blind.
NoTilit survived the next hand with 9♠ 5♥ against nmafra7's A♦ K♣ to get back to 250K, but amazingly, the Lithuanian player would manage to climb the ladder not one but two spots. The next hand kicked off with an all-in raise to 4.4M in early position by thesilbysays, who held K♣ Q♣. paul_peaches had been anted all-in with 9♦ 4♣, and both players faced an uphill climb when V7JCV21 came in from the small blind with Q♦ Q♠. Neither was able to make it, the 4♥ 6♦ 5♦ A♠ T♣ board gave V7JCV21 the 10.1M-chip pot, and both paul_peaches (9th place, $13,443.15) and thesilbysays (8th, $19947.90) left the tournament.

That sent the final table to its first break, and NoTilit was all-in from the big blind with T♠ 2♦ on the first hand back. V7JCV21 raised all-in on the button and got heads-up with A♥ 5♠ when nmafra7 folded in the big blind. Neither hand improved when the board came 4♣ K♥ 9♠ 8♠ 6♠, and NoTilit's string of artful dodges came to an end in 7th place ($34,692).

What about Jeff?

With that consolidation, the leaderboard looked very different than before and had no clear leader:

Seat 2: komarolo22 (13,116,988 in chips)
Seat 3: papatudin (5,426,760 in chips)
Seat 4: Masta_shadow (21,686,526 in chips)
Seat 5: I JEFF I (18,437,352 in chips)
Seat 6: V7JCV21 (17,307,032 in chips)
Seat 7: nmafra7 (10,755,342 in chips)

WCOOP-04 2015 ft six-handed.jpg

And with 300K/600K/75K blinds and antes, it was time to shake up the order or collect a payday. komarolo22 managed the latter four hands later, four-betting all-in with A♦ K♥ after opening for the minimum raise and being three-bet in the small blind by I JEFF I, who had J♦ J♥. An ace on the flop gave komarolo22 the 27.1M-chip pot and the chip lead.

That left I JEFF I with less than 10 big blinds, and then one of those funny twists of poker happened three hands later. I JEFF I picked up J♦ J♠ again and doubled through V7JCV21, who held A♥ K♥. After a stretch of pots won before the flop, I JEFF I won the next significant one, worth 11M, with an all-in five-bet out of the big blind after komarolo22's minimum raise and four-bet. With that, I JEFF I moved up to 18.4M, within less than one ante of where six-handed play had begun.

The buffer served I JEFF I well when a race with K♣ Q♦ against V7JCV21's J♥ J♠ ended with V7JCV21 doubling up. I JEFF I had 5.9M, just two big blinds ahead of papatudin, who took a stab at doubling up under the gun with A♦ 8♠ and topped V7JCV21's K♥ Q♠ to climb to 8.5M, and then followed by splitting another all-in pot with komarolo22 when both players showed A-Q. I JEFF I had the chance to steal with A♣ 3♠ when the action folded around to the cutoff on the next hand and took it, jamming for 6M, and got action from V7JCV21, who held T♦ T♠. No help showed up on the 8♦ Q♣ J♥ 9♦ K♠ board, and I JEFF I's harried final table run came to an end in 6th place ($52,038).

nmafra7's stack had been dwindling throughout the preceding stretch and reached its final table starting level, so K♣ Q♠ was attractive enough to open all-in from the cutoff. komarolo22 called with A♥ J♥ but missed out on the pot when a queen spiked on the river. The 12.8M won there, along with 10.1M with a diamond flush two hands later, boosted nmafra7 to 18.1M and out of immediate danger.

papatudin had no luxuries with just 6M chips and stole two straight pots, a perfect setup to get action when the Brazilian picked up A♣ A♥ three hands later. Masta_shadow obligingly called with A♦ J♦ and picked up a straight draw on the flop, but the board read K♦ 9♦ 7♠ 9♥ 3♥ by the river to double papatudin's stack to 21.2M. Three hands later Masta_shadow would try to re-steal with A♠ 6♥ in the big blind when komarolo22 opened on the button, but the Uruguayan player called with 7♣ 7♥. The pair held up and Masta_shadow slipped away in 5th place ($69,384).

Rising to the top

The start of four-handed play saw 500K/1M/125K blinds and antes kick in and komarolo22 in a favorable, if not dominant, position:

Seat 2: komarolo22 (33,874,418 in chips)
Seat 3: papatudin (19,707,040 in chips)
Seat 6: V7JCV21 (17,397,858 in chips)
Seat 7: nmafra7 (15,750,684 in chips)

WCOOP-04 2015 ft four-handed.jpg

The Uruguayan extended that advantage by taking down eight of the next 10 pots through sheer aggression, climbing to 49.4M while everyone else had between 10M and 15.6M. Then nmafra7 picked up K♦ K♠, shoved under the gun, and papatudin called in the small blind A♥ Q♣. An ace on the turn of the 5♥ T♦ J♠ A♦ 3♦ sank the cowboys, and nmafra7 departed in 4th place ($87,423.84).

Play was cautious enough three-handed that aside from an early split pot between komarolo22 and papatudin, it took 37 hands to see a hand go past the flop. papatudin won that one with a bet of 3.3M into 13M, and another 10 hands went by without a showdown before the Brazilian open-shoved from the small blind with A♠ 3♥ and V7JCV21 put the tournament on the line, calling with 5♦ 5♥. The pair held up when the board came 3♣ 6♥ 9♣ 7♥ K♥, and suddenly V7JCV21 was in front of the competition by 15 big blinds.

Two hands later that advantage grew when V7JCV21 opened for the minimum on the button with A♦ T♦ and papatudin jammed with K♦ 2♦ in the big blind. V7JCV21 made a pair of tens on the turn of the 9♦ 7♥ 7♦ T♠ 4♠ board, more than enough to win the 34.1M-chip pot and knock papatudin out in 3rd place ($130,095).

WCOOP-04 2015 ft hu.jpg

That gave V7JCV21 63.4M chips to komarolo22's 23.3M as heads-up play began. komarolo22 made a fight out of it, stretching the duel to 27 hands, and pulled to within 14 big blinds before the turning point. V7JCV21 open-limped on the button and called komarolo22's minimum raise to 2.4M to see the 2♣ 2♦ 3♥ flop. V7JCV21 called 2.1M there, both players checked the 6♣ turn, and then V7JCV21 called again when komarolo22 bet 5.4M on the river. The Uruguayan showed 7♠ 6♠ for two pair, sixes and treys, but V7JCV21 won the pot with 9♦ 3♦ for nines and treys.

komarolo22 wasn't destitute with 20.3M chips, but V7JCV21 kept up the pressure and eventually called with K♦ J♣ in the big blind when komarolo22 opened all-in for 12.8M on the button with Q♥ 2♥. A jack on the flop and another on the turn of the J♠ 6♠ A♠ J♥ 9♥ flop sealed komarolo22's fate, and the tournament came to an end.

komarolo22 earned $190,806 for second place, a very healthy score this early in the WCOOP schedule. Any finish at this final table would have been a new personal best for V7JCV21, but the $260,193.87 win set the new standard by quite a margin over an $8,134 score back in July of this year. If V7JCV21 didn't already have plans to play the entire series, they might have started to develop thanks to a newly flush bankroll. Congratulations to both players on their big paydays!

WCOOP 2015: Event #4, $215 No-Limit Hold'em (Sunday Million SE)
Entrants: 8,673
Prize pool: $1,734,600
Places paid: 1,170
1. V7JCV21 (United Kingdom) $260,193.87
2. komarolo22 (Uruguay) $190,806
3. papatudin (Brazil) $130,095
4. nmafra7 (Australia) $87,423.84
5. Masta_shadow (Netherlands) $69,384
6. I JEFF I (Austria) $52,038
7. NoTilit (Lithuania) $34,692
8. thesilbysays (Canada) $19,947.90
9. paul_peaches (Australia) $13,443.15

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in WCOOP