WCOOP 2016: bencb789 wins $1.1M, CrownUpGuy 2nd in Event #28 ($102,000 NLHE, 8-Max, Super High-Roller)

Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz is no stranger to high-pressure WCOOP situations. The winner of the 2014 WCOOP Main Event and finalist in last year's WCOOP Super High-Roller tourney found himself playing the role of wrecking ball this afternoon at the final table of Event #28, the $102,000 Super High-Roller event. With a second seven-figure WCOOP victory dangling just a few spots away, he took out all half of the Day 2 finalists to improve on his sixth-place finish from last year and enter three-handed play with the chip lead. But within minutes Sweden's bencb789 had reeled off two quick wins, including a big call on the river of the final hand, to slip past Holz and earn the win and $1.1 million.

So many chips for bencb789

This year's WCOOP Super High-Roller doubled down on last year's event, upping the buy-in from $51,000 to $102,000. For that, players received 30,000 starting chips, 30-minute levels, and an optional single re-entry. With 17 levels of play scheduled on Day 1, a second day of play after that, and only three spots paying out at the end of it all, the competition was set to be fierce.

Jason Mercier, Trueteller, raidalot, and OtB_RedBaron - the first four players to lose their stacks on Day 1 - all took advantage of the opportunity to re-enter the tournament. Unfortunately for them, none was able to turn the second chance into a seat at the table when Day 2 began. Mercier and Trueteller went out in 18th and 17th, respectively, while raidalot busted in 11th and OtB_RedBaron lasted until eighth.

Last year's Super High-Roller champ, Ben "Ben86" Tollerene, lasted until 13th place. The first day of play ended after 17 levels of play with Bryn Kenney out in seventh and all three money spots still up for grabs.

After an overnight pause, Day 2 began at 12:30 p.m. ET with these six players shooting for the biggest prize of WCOOP 2016 so far:

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Seat 2: bencb789 (117,681 in chips)
Seat 3: fish2013 (130,175 in chips)
Seat 4: Igor "lechuckpoker" Kurganov (85,058 in chips)
Seat 5: Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz (163,382 in chips)
Seat 6: Isaac "philivey2694" Haxton (168,345 in chips)
Seat 7: salfshb (175,359 in chips)

salfshb was the chip leader, but with 1,500/3,000/450 blinds and antes in play, everybody had a relatively healthy stack to put to work if they found themselves in a good spot. And while good spots weren't hard to come by, getting a pre-flop favorite to hold up through five streets would prove to be an issue for several players.

Pocket aces in particular turned out to be bad news early on Day 2. Just a few minutes after the first break ended, fish2013 picked up A♦ A♠ on the button and opted to flat-call after bencb789 opened for 7,500 in the cutoff. 2014 WCOOP Main Event champ Fedor Holz came along in the big blind and checked the Q♠ K♥ 6♣ flop; bencb789 bet 8,811 into the 26,700-chip pot, both fish2013 and Holz called, and the turn was the 2♠. The first two players checked again, fish2013 bet 21,784 into 53,133, and this time only Holz called. He checked the 2♥ river, then raised all-in after fish2013 bet out. fish2013 called and showed the pocket aces, but they couldn't beat Holz's K♣ 2♣, eliminating fish2013 in sixth.

Nearly a half-hour later, bencb789 picked up aces under the gun, limped in, and re-raised all-in to isolate after Isaac "philivey2694" Haxton raised and salfshb jammed for 69,951 behind him. Haxton got out of the way, leaving bencb789's A♣ A♠ heads-up with salfshb's Q♣ Q♠. The river of the 9♥ T♣ J♦ 3♦ K♠ board delivered a straight and salfshb was saved, chipping up to 173K.

If salfshb was now out of the hot seat, Igor "lechuckpoker" Kurganov was in it. With just a touch over 70,000 chips, the 1,800/3,600 blinds rolling back around, and big stack Fedor Holz to the left, even flopping top pair wasn't enough to keep Kurganov in the game. He limped from the small blind with Q♣ J♦ and 68,519 chips behind, then called Holz's raise to 10,600 to see the 8♠ 2♥ J♠ flop. Kurganov check-called 12,000 there and then another 49,519 to end up all-in with a pair of jacks and 84.1-percent equity against Holz's 9♥ 5♣. But the 7♠ made a jack-high straight for Holz, giving him the pot and sending Kurganov to the rail in fifth.

Igor Kurganov

No cash for Igor Kurganov today in fifth

Fedor Holz finished up his demolition of the Day 2 non-cashers about 20 minutes later. With chips to burn and Isaac Haxton short-stacked in the big blind, Holz jammed with 5♦ 3♦ in the small blind. Haxton woke up with T♣ T♥, called all-in for 90,225, then caught top set on the 8♠ T♦ 6♦ flop. The 4♠ on the turn opened up straight draws, but it was Holz's diamond draw that came in on the J♦ river. He dragged the 182,790-chip pot and Haxton left without a payday in fourth.

Isaac Haxton

Isaac Haxton narrowly misses a Super High-Roller cash

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The three players who would divide the prize pool between themselves were now the only ones left:

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Seat 2: bencb789 (152,585 in chips)
Seat 5: Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz (481,033 in chips)
Seat 7: salfshb (206,382 in chips)

All three remaining players were looking to follow up on big scores in major PokerStars tournaments. bencb789 earned more than $243K for a SCOOP 2014 victory. salfshb scored $111K winning the Sunday Warm-Up in 2012. And Fedor Holz was looking for his second million-dollar score on PokerStars, to follow up on the $1.3 million he earned as the winner of the 2014 WCOOP Main Event.

Fedor Holz's 114-big-blind chip stack allowed him to liberally attack small pots in the early going of three-handed play, but instead of pressuring the two shorter stacks, he ended up bleeding off about 100,000 to bencb789 after folding or losing at showdown in a series of small pots. That wasn't enough to lose Holz the lead, but it did shrink it to about 10 big blinds.

The lead wouldn't officially change hands until another pre-flop favorite went down in flames. salfshb opened the action with a min-raise on the button, holding A♣ K♦, then moved all-in for 163,282 chips after bencb789 re-raised in the small blind. bencb789 called with A♦ Q♠ and just 25.9-percent equity, but the 6♠ Q♣ 4♠ flop left salfshb with a back-door straight draw and three clean outs to stay alive in the tournament. The J♦ on the turn kept the straight draw alive, but the 6♣ river couldn't bring it home and salfshb left in third.

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That put bencb789 in the lead with 475,241 chips to Holz's 364,759. With so much money on the line - the scheduled jump from second to first was $560,000 - the two immediately agreed to look at the numbers. A chip-chop deal left $56,000 on the table, and after a five-minute break they returned to stacks separated by just five big blinds.

As it turned out, the match would be short-lived. Holz opened the final hand on the button for 12,624 and bencb789 called, bringing a 2♠ 6♣ K♦ flop. bencb789 check-called 13,450 there and another 63,446 on the 4♣ turn before checking a final time on the T♣ river. Holz went into the time bank before eventually moving all-in for 316,035, putting the decision back to bencb789. After thinking it over, bencb789 called with 27,270 chips left behind and K♠ 4♠ for two pair, kings and fours. That was good for the pot - Holz had been bluffing with A♣ 3♠, and his tournament ended in second.

Fedor Holz

Fedor Holz, WCOOP Super High-Roller runner-up

Fedor Holz came up short of the win, but with his second-place share of the deal he earned his second seven-figure WCOOP cash in the last two years. Meanwhile bencb789, in addition to more than $1.1 million, earned a WCOOP title to go along with his past SCOOP win, leaving him a single TCOOP victory away from becoming a Triple COOP winner. Congratulations to both players on outlasting a very tough field for these big scores!

WCOOP 2016: Event #28, $102,000 NL Hold'em (8-Max, Super High-Roller)
Entrants: 28 (24 entries, 4 re-entries)
Prize pool: $2,800,000
Places paid: 3

1. bencb789 (Sweden) $1,172,360.60*
2. Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz (Austria) $1,067,639.40*
3. salfshb (United Kingdom) $560,000
* - denotes results of a heads-up deal

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in WCOOP