WCOOP 2015: wiisssppppaa quietly wins the "small matter" of $275,850 in E#26
It started with a tweet...
It seems like it was a good Sunday for Andy 'wiisssppppaa' Taylor - a British online pro with more than $1M in online tournament earnings. On Monday he celebrated a successful day by returning to play in Event#26 of the WCOOP 2015 - a $700 special edition of the Sunday Million. He entered the day 92nd of a remaining 256, and sent out a tweet to his followers letting them know.
Won the turbo MD yest for 14k & a few other deep runs along with 92/256 WCOOP milly back ina few hrs playing for the small matter off $356k— wiisssppppaa (@lllmurphlll) September 14, 2015
So on Tuesday, it was somewhat odd to see that wiisssppppaa hadn't tweeted at all.
You see, he'd made the final table of 9 in this event - which had 3,418 entries and a prize pool of $2,272,970. But there was no word from Taylor on Twitter of this achievement. I assumed wiisssppppaa was just quiet by name, quiet by nature. He simply sat down at his computer on Tuesday evening and went to work.
And then he went and won it. His first WCOOP title, and biggest online score to date in the staggering $275,850.02 first place prize (following a four-way deal). Well wiisssppppaa, if you won't give yourself a shout out - we'll do it for you.
The final table
Seat 1: ham1l_I0n (Ukraine) 4,709,670
Seat 2: Thor 'osten' Hansen (Norway) 3,972,325
Seat 3: Andy 'wiisssppppaa' Taylor (United Kingdom) 2,562,273
Seat 4: nemesis278 (Russia) 5,486,853
Seat 5: Keith 'Kungfumonk' Johnson (United Kingdom) 1,553,483
Seat 6: ModzillaPL (Canada) 5,028,414
Seat 7: flopped6810 (Canada) 2,832,943
Seat 8: asq201 (Australia) 3,792,176
Seat 9: ratboy x (Canada) 4,241,863
This was a strong line-up. Canada's ModzillaPL had more than $1.3m in tournament winnings, and was no stranger to massive final tables after finishing 7th in the 9th anniversary Sunday Million $9m guaranteed in March 2015 for $336,550. We also had two other players based in Canada: flopped6810 is an accomplished player with a Sunday Warm Up win under his belt, while ratboy x has more than half a million in winnings.
Our chipleader coming into this event was Russia's nemesis278, whose biggest tournament score came from a win in the Sunday Storm for $29k in June 2014, while Keith 'Kungfumonk' Johnson is a well-respected British high-stakes player who took down the inaugural Eureka Poker Tour title for €58,400 back in 2011 and won the €2k IPT High Roller in March of this year for €144,500.
Then we had ham1l_I0n from the Ukraine, a regular at the $100/$200 6-max cash tables on PokerStars, and asq201 from Australia. But arguably the player we were most happy to see at this final table was Thor 'osten' Hansen - a legendary player considered the "Godfather of Norwegian poker". Not only does Hansen have a WCOOP title, he's also living an incredible and inspirational life - check out this heart-warming interview with Sarah Herring at EPT11 Barcelona in 2014 and you'll see what I mean.
Cards in the air
It was a dream start for wiisssppppaa. Having entered the final nine with the second lowest chip stack, he immediately doubled up and shot into second place. With the blinds at 50,000/100,000/12,500, ham1l_I0n min-opened and Thor 'osten' Hansen three-bet to 862,500. The hefty raise didn't scare wiisssppppaa though, who four-bet jammed all in for 2,549,773 total. The rest of the players folded as did the original raiser, leaving osten to make the call.
The flop fell 7♣3♠2♥ - not much help to the player at risk. The turn, however, was a big help - the 8♣ meant any club, ace or king would secure the double up for wiisssppppaa. The 3♣ on the river completed his flush and he was now sitting pretty.
Shortly after we lost our first player. Keith 'Kungfumonk' Johnson came into the final table with the shallowest stack and had to get busy early. With a stack of just under 15 big blinds he opened to 200,000, and it folded around to nemesis278 in the big blind who made the call. The flop came J♦A♥6♥ which nemesis278 checked over to the original raiser, who put out a continuation bet of 240,000. Now nemesis278 shoved and Johnson snap called. He was in front with the Q♥A♦ but he'd need to hold against his opponent's K♥J♥. The 8♦ on the turn was safe, but the river proved deadly; the J♣ gave nemesis278 trips and the Kungfumonk couldn't live to fight another day. Johnson's consolation prize for 9th? $18,183.76.
The action never stops
The next player to have his tournament on the line was Norway's Thor 'osten' Hansen, who doubled up with J♣J♠ against ModzillaPL's A♠Q♣, then picked up another 700k pot shortly after to get himself right back in it.
Flopped6810 wouldn't be so lucky. With the blinds now 60,000/120,000/15,000, ham1l_Ion made it 240,000 and the action folded to flopped6810 in the big blind who shoved for 2,076,891 and was called. It was A♠T♠ for flopped6810, and he'd need help against his opponent's K♠A♦ - but it wasn't to be. The board ran out J♠K♦5♣5♥9♠ and the Canadian won $29,548.61 for his 8th place finish.
Having picked up some steam not too long prior, the legend that is Thor 'osten' Hansen would leave this tournament in 7th. The blinds had gone up again and asq201 min-opened only to see osten shove for 2,628,104. He called and the cards were revealed: Q♠A♣ for osten against the J♥J♠ of asq201. It was a race we'd already seen tonight and on that occasion osten won the flip, but he couldn't do it twice. No ace or queen on the board meant the "Godfather of Norwegian poker" became our 7th place finisher - good for $52,278.31.
We were down to six players. In just one hand we'd be down to four.
Double elimination? Let's make a deal
Poker can be a cruel game. Try taking a look at the image below and telling us otherwise.
The blinds were 80,000/160,000/20,000 and ModzillaPL made it 352,000 to play. ratboy x called, and nemesis278 bumped the price of poker up to 1,024,000. Now ModzillaPL shoved enough to put both players all-in, and ratboy x called (for 3,926,444) as did nemesis278 (for 4,349,606). Nemesis278 had the hand he'd been waiting for - A♠A♥, while ratboy x had the second best holding with K♣K♠, and trailing them all was the original raiser with Q♦Q♠. ratboy x faced guaranteed elimination unless a king peeled off, while ModzillaPL would lose more than half his stack.
As you can see from the image above, lady luck shone on ModzillaPL in this one. Unlucky nemesis278, but we hope you enjoy the $97,737.71 for 5th. Ratboy x, who had less chips at the beginning of the hand, was our 6th place finisher and won $75,008.01.
And how did the other players react at this? Well, the instant pay jump up two spots was very welcome indeed.
"Cooler town" said asq201, while wiisssppppaa simply said "Like!"
The 4 remaining players agreed to view ICM chop numbers, and were presented with the following amounts.
$30,000 was left to play for the winner. The players seemed to be on the verge of agreeing, before the shortest stack ham1l_I0n said "$188,000 and I agree" - which was not met well by wiisssppppaa who replied "Good luck with that". It was a feeling MozillaPL, the monster chip leader, shared - but asq201 said he was willing to give up the roughly $16,000 to secure the deal. He did, and the deal was done. The cards were back in the virtual air.
ham1l_I0n and asq201 double, then one of them busts
Having just locked up $188,000, the short stack got a much-needed double up through second shortest, when in a blind versus blind hand ham1l_I0n won with pocket aces against asq201's ace jack.
The pain was short lived as asq201 then doubled up himself through the chip leader. Asq201 moved all-in for 3,043,241 under the gun and was called by ModzillaPL in the big blind, who was way ahead with A♥Q♦ against 5♦A♠. The flop was favourable to asq201 though, and the eventual board of T♠5♥3♦3♣6♥ secured the win.
The player shortest going into the deal would be the first to exit after it. ham1l_I0n shoved for his last 1,796,006 with Q♥8♣ only to run into the pocket rockets of wiisssppppaa, and that was all she wrote - we were down to three.
The two big stacks seemed to be running away with it at first, but asq201 staged quite a comeback, managing to get his stack above 6,000,000. Then, with the blinds at 100,000/200,000/25,000 he had his breakthrough.
Wiisssppppaa raised to 450000, ModzillaPL folded and asq201 three-bet to 996,000. After the Brit made the call, we saw a flop of T♠Q♠Q♥ which caused asq201 to continue his aggression with a 675,000 bet. Now wiisssppppaa elected to raise 925,000 more to 1,600,000 only for asq201 to shove for 5,635,205 which was called.
Both players had flopped huge, but the full house of asq201 was way ahead. Only the king or eight of spades could win it for wiisssppppaa - meaning the A♠ turn and A♦ river were no good. A big pot shipped to asq201 and wiisssppppaa was down to just over 3 million.
But this is poker, and anything can happen...
Wiisssppppaa's first double up came when his 4♠4♦ held up against ModzillaPL's A♠Q♠. Then he did it again four hands later, when his J♦Q♠ outflopped ModzillaPL's 7♣7♦. Back up to almost 14,000,000, the momentum was truly on the Brit's side, but asq201 wasn't being shy about putting chips in the middle either. The player who gave up $16,000 earlier became an even bigger chipleader when he took down an almost 6,000,000 pot by flopping a flush and checking it all the way against wiisssppppaa. But in the very next hand the Brit doubled up again when his 5♥5♦ held up against the A♦K♦ of asq201.
Exhausting this poker business isn't it?
Well, there was no rest for the wicked as we soon had our third place finisher. ModzillaPL had been chipleader for much of the final table, but with a few flips having gone against him, he found himself all-in on a board of 3♦K♥2♠8♦ with 5♦6♦ chasing either a diamond or a four against asq201's set of threes. The A♥ on the river changed nothing though, and the player who locked up the most money in this tournament was gone, taking his $278,109.54 and hitting the rail.
The chip stacks were fairly even throughout the heads-up battle, until one massive hand swung the tournament in the Brit's direction. Wiisssppppaa opened the button to 675,000 (with blinds at 150,000/300,000/37,500) and faced a three-bet from asq201 to 1,200,000. After calling, the flop fell K♠3♦9♠ and asq201 continued for 1,237,500, which again was called. Now asq201 opted to check, leading to a bet of 3,465,000 from wiisssppppaa. Asq201 called and the river was the 6♥, and he checked it once more. Wiisssppppaa took his time and shoved for 11,936,412 with 11,880,000 in the middle. Asq201 went deep into the tank and eventually folded.
"I think I folded the best hand," asq201 wrote in the chat.
"I think you did too," came the response.
And three hands later it was over. A pre-flop betting war led to an all confrontation between wiisssppppaa's 9♣9♥ and dominating chipstack against asq201's A♣J♠. The flop of 4♣K♠9♠ practically sealed our second place finisher's fate, but the 2♠ on the turn provided some hope for a flush. The A♥ was not the suit he was looking for though, and the Brit took this one down for his first WCOOP title and biggest online score to date.
A big shout out to Andy 'wiisssppppaa' Taylor - winner of Event#26.
WCOOP-26: $700 NLHE [Sunday Million SE] $1.5M Guaranteed
Prize pool: $2,272,970
Places paid: 432
1. Andy 'wiisssppppaa' Taylor (United Kingdom) $275,850.02*
2. asq201 (Australia) $202,233.81*
3. ModzillaPL (Canada) $278,109.54*
4. ham1l_I0n (Ukraine) $188,000*
5. nemesis278 (Russia) $97,737.71
6. ratboy x (Canada) $75,008.01
7. Thor 'osten' Hansen (Norway) $52,278.31
8. flopped6810 (Canada) $29,548.61
9. Keith 'Kungfumonk' Johnson (United Kingdom) $18,183.76
*indicates prize money after a four-way deal was made
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Jack Stanton is a professional journalist and a freelance writer for PokerStars.