WCOOP 2016: Brian "brianm15" England stages a stunning comeback, wins his second WCOOP title in Event #14 ($215 NL Hold'em [Big Antes])

Brian "brianm15" England had to feel good about making the final table of this event as the chip leader. With WCOOP and SCOOP titles already under his belt, he had experience on his side as well as the ammunition to work with. Jonathan "OMGjonyctt" Concepcion probably felt a similar sense of confidence. In addition to the WCOOP title he won back in 2013, Concepcion won the Super Tuesday twice in 2015 and scored a third-place finish as well in the prestigious weekly. However, once the short stacks were out of the way and the true war of attrition began, OMGjonyctt leapt into the lead and brianm15 began a long slide backwards. By the time play was three-handed, brianm15 was down to 20 big blinds, and if not for RovoDice's unbridled aggression playing jacks preflop, it could easily have been brianm15 on the rail in third place. Instead, brianm15 went into his heads-up battle with OMGjonyctt at an 8.8 to 1 chip deficit. He kept his cool, scored a clutch double-up with a heaven-sent river queen, and steadily climbed back into contention. After winning three key pots without a showdown, brianm15 reclaimed the chip lead and toppled OMGjonyctt heads-up, his stunning comeback yielding him a second career WCOOP title.

brian_brianm15_england_lapt7panama.jpgBrian "brianm15" England, pictured at LAPT7 Panama

The Big Antes format drew 2,684 entries-- 1,771 players making 913 re-entries-- and the prize pool topped out at $536,800.00. 332 places were paid, with $78,382.71 set aside for the champion.

The first day of play ended after 23 levels and 139 runners advanced to Day 2. Among them was Shaun Deeb, who welcomed his second child early this morning while winning his record-tying fourth WCOOP title. Deeb made another deep run here, but was eliminated just shy of the final table in 11th place when his A♠7♦ fell to Romans "RovoDice" Voitovs's pocket jacks.

The blinds were up to 25,000/50,000 on the final table bubble when brianm15 opened for 111,000 and engantil three-bet to 300,000. The action folded to joaoMathias in the big blind, who moved all-in for 875,464. Brianm15 gave up his hand, but engantil called, revealing 9♣9♦. JoaoMathias had him crushed with J♦J♥, but as fate would have it, the flop came down 9♥8♥6♣, making engantil a set. JoaoMathias got no help on the K♥ turn or the 3♦ river, and went out in tenth place, sending us to the final table.

2016_WCOOP_Ev14_FT.jpg

Final table chip counts

Seat 1: RovoDice (6,020,679 in chips)
Seat 2: OMGjonyctt (4,991,218 in chips)
Seat 3: AussieXXX (2,862,146 in chips)
Seat 4: GM_VALTER (2,642,665 in chips)
Seat 5: zeruka (430,932 in chips)
Seat 6: SLAYA69!! (541,752 in chips)
Seat 7: Sir$aajola (346,704 in chips)
Seat 8: engantil (2,455,394 in chips)
Seat 9: brianm15 (6,548,510 in chips)

Three short stacks with less than ten big blinds limped onto the final table, but each of them doubled up in the early going to prolong their stay. SLAYA69!!'s K♥J♦ flopped kings and jacks vs. brianm15's Q♦T♦, and on the next hand, zeruka's K♦T♦ spiked a king on the river to sink OMGjonyctt's A♥9♠. Then, with half of his 140,000 chips committed in the big blind, Sir$aajola's 5♦T♦ rivered a pair of fives vs. GM_VALTER's K♦8♦ on a A♣Q♥2♦Q♦5♣ board. Although Sir$aajola's situation remained most precarious, it was zeruka who made the first exit. GM_VALTER open-shoved for 2.53 million from the big blind and zeruka quickly called off his remaining 457,228 with A♦Q♠. GM_VALTER turned over 6♣T♠. The flop brought zeruka an ace... but a six and a ten came with it as it fell A♣T♦6♠, making GM_VALTER bottom two pair. Zeruka needed an ace or a queen, but got the 5♦ and the 7♥ instead, bringing his run to a close in ninth place.

Seven hands later, more than half of SLAYA69!!'s stack was eaten up by the big blind as brianm15 opened for 193,200. SLAYA69!! called all-in, his Q♦5♣ dominated by brianm15's A♣Q♠. Brianm15 caught an ace on the flop and his hand held up to send SLAYA69!! to the rail in eighth place. Only four hands after that, Sir$aajola open-shoved for 403,316 and OMGjonyctt called from the big blind. Sir$aajola had the preflop advantage with his 6♥6♣ up against K♥5♠, but OMGjonyctt made kings full by the turn on the K♣Q♦Q♠K♠9♦ board, sending Sir$aajola home in seventh place.

Although brianm15 brought the chip lead to the final table, he relinquished it six-handed when OMGjonyctt flopped a set of jacks against GM_VALTER and raked in a 2.8 million-chip pot. Brianm15 temporarily regained the top spot when AussieXXX three-bet shoved for 1.18 million with A♠J♥. Brianm15 called with K♥K♣ and made sixes full of kings on the 6♠6♦3♥6♥9♣ board, ending AussieXXX's run in sixth place.

Brianm15 moved back up to 8.15 million, but doubled up GM_VALTER when he four-bet shoved with A♥5♥ and GM_VALTER called with A♣Q♦. Brianm15 fell to 5.6 million as GM_VALTER doubled to 5.3 million, but GM_VALTER soon gave up those chips to RovoDice when his 8♣T♥ flopped a full house against his pocket fives. GM_VALTER fell to less than 2 million in chips and decided to make his last stand when he picked up 4♥4♠ in the big blind. The action folded to OMGjonyctt in the small blind, who open-shoved and GM_VALTER called. OMGjonyctt turned over K♠Q♣ and flopped a king, sending GM_VALTER home in fifth place.

rafael_GM_VALTER_Moraes_WCOOP.jpgRafael "GM_VALTER" Moraes, pictured at the EPT12 Monaco

When play turned four-handed, OMGjonyctt had a substantial chip lead, holding 13.8 million while his three opponents' stacks ranged from 4.2-4.5 million apiece. Brianm15 was the first to make some headway in this situation by doubling through OMGjonyctt when his pocket eights held up against pocket sevens. OMGjonyctt slipped to 9.6 million in chips, while brianm15 moved into second place with 8.8 million. Engantil, however, was not as fortunate, and three-bet shoved his last 1.63 million, only to run K♥J♦ into brianm15's Q♣Q♠. Brianm15 hit a set of queens on the flop and engantil went out in fourth place.

RovoDice was ready to discuss a three-handed deal, but before everyone could agree, a preflop raising war broke out. OMGjonyctt opened for 277,200, brianm15 called, and RovoDice three-bet to 1,111,111. OMGjonyctt folded, but brianm15 came back over the top for all 9.63 million of his chips. RovoDice called, his A♣J♥ dominating brinam15's A♠T♦. RovoDice paired his jack on the Q♣J♦9♥4♥6♦ board and doubled to 11.6 million, while brianm15 fell to 4 million. Suddenly, RovoDice had a lot less interest in making a deal.

Brianm15's stack slid all the way down to 1.9 million before he limped the small blind with K♦K♣ and induced a shove from RovoDice with K♥5♦. Brianm15 doubled to 3.86 million as RovoDice held steady in second place. However, another wild preflop raising war ended with all of RovoDice's chips at risk. Brianm15 opened for 291,200, RovoDice three-bet to 755,555, and OMGjonyctt cold four-bet to 1,997,865, Brianm15 got out of the way, but RovoDice pulled the trigger and moved all-in for 8.27 million. OMGjonyctt called, his A♥K♣ up against J♥J♠. RovoDice was in a race for his tournament life, but lost it as a king hit the flop. The board finished out K♥4♥2♣7♠9♦ and RovoDice made a shocking departure in third place, leaving OMGjonyctt and brianm15 heads-up for their second WCOOP titles.

jonathan_omgjonyctt_concepcion_wcoop.jpgJonathan "OMGjonyctt" Concepcion

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 2: OMGjonyctt (24,106,986 in chips)
Seat 9: brianm15 (2,733,014 in chips)

Brianm15 was squarely on the ropes to start this heads-up match, as OMGjonyctt sported an 8.8 to 1 chip advantage. However, with the blinds at 70,000/140,000, brianm15 still had just shy of 20BB. After winning a few sets of blinds, brianm15 picked up Q♠T♥ and three-bet shoved for 3.07 million, only to have OMGjonyctt snap-call with A♣K♥. It was all but over for brianm15 on the turn, the board reading 5♦4♣3♥5♥, but the Q♦ saved his tournament life on the river and doubled his stack to 6.21 million.

Brianm15 seized the momentum and kept grinding. Following a stretch where he won 6 out of 7 pots to move up to 8.2 million, brianm15 three-bet preflop and saw a K♥Q♠4♥ flop from out of position. Both players checked, and brianm15 fired 913,872 when the 2♠ turned. OMGjonyctt called. The river was the 2♦ and brianm15 made it 2,111,954 to go. OMGjonyctt gave up his hand and brianm15 raked in the pot, his chip count now topping 10 million.

Two hands later, another hand followed the very same pattern-- a preflop three-bet from brianm15, check-check on the Q♠6♦4♥ flop, and a lead bet when the 3♣ turned. OMGjonyctt called the turn bet, but folded when brianm15 made it another 2.74 million to go on the J♣ river. And just like that, the chip counts were virtually even. Two more hands passed before brianm15 check-called the flop and turn and check-raised the river on a 9♦7♥4♣A♦5♦ board. Again, OMGjonyctt folded, and brianm15 moved into the chip lead with 18 million.

Brianm15 had his opponent down to 5.2 million, when OMGjonyctt limped in on the button for 200,000. Brianm15 moved all-in for 21.6 million and OMGjonyctt called.

brianm15 Q♣9♣
OMGjonyctt A♥4♣

Brianm15 flopped a pair of queens, the board running out K♥Q♦2♣8♣9♠ to lock up the win.

Congratulations to Brian "brianm15" England on an incredible comeback to capture his second WCOOP title! He banked $78,382.71 for the win, while runner-up Jonathan "OMGjonyctt" Concepcion earned $56,356.96.

WCOOP-14 ($215 NL Hold'em [Big Antes]) results
Total entries: 2,684 (1,771 entries, 913 re-entries)
Prize pool: $536,800.00
Places paid: 332

1. Brian "brianm15" England (Costa Rica) $78,382.71
2. Jonathan "OMGjonyctt" Concepcion (United Kingdom) $56,356.96
3. Romans "RovoDice" Voitovs (Latvia) $40,521.15
4. engantil (Germany) $29,135.08
5. Rafael "GM_VALTER" Moraes (Brazil) $20,948.35
6. AussieXXX (Australia) $15,062.07
7. Sir$aajola (Finland) $10,829.72
8. SLAYA69!! (Canada) $7,786.65
9. Nodar "zeruka" Nakaidze (Georgia) $5,598.66

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Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP