WCOOP 2015: Victory for Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard, stops Mike Leah short of 2nd win in wk.; Lodden 5th (Event #34, $320 NLHE 6-Max, Opt. Re-Entry)

It looked for a while like a WCOOP bracelet would be going to a red-spade sporter this afternoon, as Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden had the chip lead late in Event #34, a $320 buy-in no-limit hold'em affair with optional re-entry.

Then it appeared Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah might be earning his second WCOOP bracelet this week -- and third overall -- as he led to start the final table and was ahead during heads-up play.

But in the end it was Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard playing from Malta outlasting Lodden in fifth and Leah in second to earn the bracelet and a handsome $95,256 first prize.


Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard

There were 1,481 players taking part in this one, and with 535 re-entries taken the total prize pool added up to $604,800 -- over three times the $200K guarantee. When play concluded on Day 1 just 30 players remained, with Canada's Christopher "UncleAnte9" Lockhart the frontrunner among them and Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden in second position.

Also standing out near the top of the leaderboard at night's end were Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah in fourth position, fresh off winning Event #27 ($215 PLO 6-Max Progressive Super-KO) on Monday, and European Poker Tour founder John "Blessed" Duthie who took runner-up in this year's kickoff Event #1 ($109 NLHE).

Here's how the top of the leaderboard looked to begin Day 2:

1. Christopher "UncleAnte9" Lockhart (Canada) -- 738,949
2. Team PokerStars Pro Johnny "johnnylodden" Lodden (Norway) -- 651,906
3. LearnToFlyy (United Kingdom) -- 610,071
4. Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah (Canada) -- 584,505
5. gregor7878 (Poland) -- 565,654
6. Marko "Kuconi" Bošković (Serbia) -- 555,380
7. 10Badboy10 (Russia) -- 551,826
8. Be@trixKiddo (Canada) -- 513,176
9. Nelisschuif7 (Malta) -- 467,564
10. John "Blessed" Duthie (United Kingdom) -- 423,313

It would take almost two hours for the 30 returners to play down to 12, with Christopher "UncleAnte9" Lockhart (who finished 18th) and John "Blessed" Duthie (knocked out in 16th) among those hitting the rail along the way. By then Lodden had moved into the top spot, with Leah still among the top five.

Over the next 15 minutes hdjgkfkgsdl (12th), Nelisschuif7 (11th), and João "Naza114" Vieira (10th) were all eliminated, picking up $6,048 apiece.


João "Naza114" Vieira

toril274 (ninth) and Noah "dirty.brasil" Vaillancourt (eighth) followed, then Mike Leah won a big hand to knockout Be@trixKiddo (seventh), with those three each taking away $9,072.

On the strength of that big pot, it was "goleafsgoeh" out in front as the final table began.


Seat 1: Team PokerStars Pro Johnny "johnnylodden" Lodden (Norway) -- 1,727,421
Seat 2: Gleb "psyhoagromor" Kovtunov (Ukraine) -- 1,190,668
Seat 3: Keep2p34Ch" (Morocco) -- 869,576
Seat 4: Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah (Canada) -- 3,636,563
Seat 5: pellompogos (Cyprus) -- 1,484,883
Seat 6: Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard (Malta) -- 1,170,889

The final six wished each other good luck, with Lodden chiming in "hopefully the most lucky wins!"

A little less than a half-hour into the final table, the blinds were 17,500/35,000 when it folded around to pellompogos in the small blind who shoved all in for just under 400,000, and Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard called from the big.

pellompogos had Q♠8♦ and was in need of help versus Kerignard's K♠Q♣. The board didn't provide any, however, coming 2♠3♠5♥J♥J♦, and pellompogos was done in sixth.

About 20 minutes after that, Lodden had slipped down to about 620,000 (about 15-and-a-half big blinds) to become fifth of five, and after watching leader Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah open from the minimum from the cutoff, Lodden shoved from the small blind and Leah called.

Lodden had 6♠6♦ while Leah held A♠T♣, and the A♣2♥9♦ flop swiftly had Lodden searching for one of the two remaining sixes to survive. Alas for the Norwegian, the turn was the J♥ and river the Q♠, giving Leah the pot and Lodden a fifth-place finish.


Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden

Less than five minutes later Keep2p34Ch" was the one shoving all in from under the gun for just under 680,000 (about 17 BBs) and getting called by Gleb "psyhoagromor" Kovtunov from the big blind. Keep2p34Ch" had 9♥9♣ but Kovtunov had woken up with Q♠Q♣, and five cards later -- T♠6♣A♥3♦4♠ -- they were down to three.

The fourth-place finish marked another nice score for Keep2p34Ch" who just won the Super Tuesday a couple of months ago and chatted with PokerStars Blog about it afterwards.

The final three battled onward, then just after the day's four-hour mark came another knockout.

Lean was leading with just over 5.36 million, Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard was next with about 3.71 million, and Gleb "psyhoagromor" Kovtunov had become the short stack with just a touch under 1 million even.

Kerignard opened with a just-over-2x rise to 105,000 from the small blind, Kovtunov shoved from the big blind, and Kerignard called in a flash. Kovtunov had K♣9♠ but Kerignard had him crushed with A♥A♣, and after the board rolled out 2♣5♣9♦8♠J♠ Kovtunov was out in third.

That's a seventh cash during this year's WCOOP for Kovtunov. He's following up a strong WCOOP last year on PokerStars, too, when he earned a bracelet (and a big $242K payday) in a $1,050 NLHE event.

Here we were again, watching Leah for the second time this week battling heads-up for a WCOOP bracelet. Earlier this week Leah had been behind to start heads-up play, but today he enjoyed a slight lead with a little less than 5.36 million to Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard's 4.72 million.


Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah

On just the fourth hand between the pair -- while Kerignard was asking about a possible deal and Leah was declining -- the Canadian won a 4.3 million-plus chip pot to move up over 7.8 million versus his opponent's less than 2.3 million.

Kerignard gradually fought back, however, and about 20 minutes later had edged in front of Leah to claim the advantage. Fifteen minutes after that Kerignard was up over 8.95 million to Leah's 1.12 million when the following hand took place.

The blinds were 40,000/80,000, and Leah opened by raising to 160,000 from the button. Kerignard responded with an all-in push, and Leah called with what he had left, turning over A♣K♦ and seeing he was ahead of Kerignard's A♥7♠.

But the flop came 5♦7♥4♣, hitting Kerignard's kicker to put the player from Malta in the lead. The turn was the 9♣ and river the 6♣, and Leah had come one spot shy of a second bracelet of the series and third overall as Kerignard had won.


Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard

Congratulations to Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard for topping a big field and tough final table to earn the hardware in Event #34.

WCOOP-34: $320 NL Hold'em (6-Max, Optional Re-Entry)
Entries: 2,016 (1,481 entries, 535 re-entries)

Prize pool: $604,800

Places paid: 252

1. Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard (Malta) $95,256.00
2. Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah (Canada) $71,064.00
3. Gleb "psyhoagromor" Kovtunov (Ukraine)
4. Keep2p34Ch" (Morocco) $34,776.00
5. Team PokerStars Pro Johnny "johnnylodden" Lodden (Norway) $23,708.16
6. pellompogos (Cyprus) $13,547.52

We're only today crossing the midway point of the 70-event World Championship of Online Poker. Visit the WCOOP page for a complete (and instantly updated) list of results so far, the Player of the Series Leader Board, and a full schedule of what's still to come.

Haven't gotten a PokerStars account yet? Join the world's biggest site now.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP