WCOOP 2016: Dan "djk123" Kelly earns his fifth WCOOP title in Event #49 ($700 NLH Mix-Max)

When you've been around this long, it's not often you see a brand new tournament pop up on the WCOOP schedule. This weekend we ran the first WCOOP Mix-Max event and it utilized the phased tournaments format to run players through an event where they began at eight-handed tables, switched to six-handed in the middle, and finished off four-handed.

The tournament drew 722 players to pull up a little shy of the $500,000 guaranteed prize pool to put some free money on the line. The only way players could get a piece of that money was to make it into the Day 2 field. Poker pro Dan "djk123" Kelly was among several talented players who went deep in the new event and he outlasted the entire field to become the first player to capture five career WCOOP titles.

The first phase of the tournament was played on eight-handed tables. After 13 levels were complete, 204 players advanced to the second phase of the tournament. They played 12 more levels of six-handed poker and only 36 were sent on the overnight break.

The final phase of the tournament restarted on Day 2 and the nine full tables played four-handed. Everyone was already in the money and aiming for the $95,000 first place prize. shahter98 returned with a huge lead as his 806,855 stack was well clear of second place Tomatee's 491,401. They were joined by Kelly, Mark "AceSpades11" Radoja, and Pawel "sosickPL" Brzeski among other dangerous players.

2016 WCOOP-49 Day 2.jpg

Top ten returning stacks for Day 2

It took more than four hours to work those 36 players down to the final table bubble. Despite the short-handed format, the stacks were deep and the blinds had little impact on the amount of action. It was the elimination of Brzeski in 7th place that set up hand-for-hand action when the WCOOP 2011 Six-Max champion saw his A♣K♣ go down in flames to shahter98's K♠3♥.

It took another hour to lose another player while stacks continued to fluctuate all around. It was Day 2 starting leader shahter98's turn at the bottom of the counts when he moved all-in for just over ten big blinds with 2♠2♥ and Rossoneri23 called holding A♠9♦. The 9♠ came right on the flop and shahter98 couldn't find a saving deuce.

It was almost a double knockout on the final table bubble. On the other table, EzPaTuLa was all-in and at risk with 6♦6♠ against Tomatee's A♠7♣ but the Q♥T♥8♠6♣T♣ board gave him the stay-alive boat and the last five players took a seat at the final table

Kelly was leading most of the latter parts of the tournament and still on pace for his fifth WCOOP title and seventh COOP victory overall. Rossoneri12 slid past him at the start of the final table looking for his first. Kelly isn't the only player with past COOP success; pmahoney22 won a TCOOP title at the start of 2016, EzPaTuLa booked a SCOOP win a few months ago, and Tomatee made the WCOOP 2015 High Roller final table for a $178,000 payday.


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Seat 1: Rossoneri23 (2,244,078 in chips)
Seat 2: pmahoney22 (910,960 in chips)
Seat 3: Tomatee (1,117,246 in chips)
Seat 4: Dan "djk123" Kelly (2,109,228 in chips)
Seat 5: EzPaTuLa (838,488 in chips)

Blinds: 14,000/28,000 with

pmahoney22 doubles early

No one was short to start the final table, no one needed to make an immediate move. But that didn't stop pmahoney22 and Rossoneri23 from mixing it up on the seventh hand of the final table.

It was one of those things they call a "classic race" when Rossoneri23 tried for the knockout with J♥J♠ against pmahoney22's A♦K♥. The 6♠3♦2♠ flop changed little but pmahoney22 was set for his double after the A♠ turn. No miracle on the 7♥ river and 2.4 million chips swapped hands.

Seat 1: Rossoneri23 (1,025,118 in chips)
Seat 2: pmahoney22 (2,395,920 in chips)

Tomatee out quick, eliminated in 5th

Not wasting any time, Tomatee put his 1 million chip stack in the middle with a four-bet shove against Kelly and the move was quickly called. Kelly was dominating with T♦T♣ against 2♣2♦ and Tomatee was sent out as Kelly turned a set on the A♠K♠3♦T♥Q♠ board.

EzPaTuLa runs into the Kelly buzz saw, eliminated in 4th

EzPaTuLa was the next player to make a move, going the same route as Tomatee with a shove into a Dan Kelly raise. And the results were very similar.

Kelly called and once again tabled pocket tens, his T♥T♣ needed to dodge the A♥9♠ of EzPaTuLa. There was never a sweat as the virtual dealer spread the Q♥J♥2♠2♥6♠ board to push Kelly back into the lead and send the former SCOOP champ out in 4th place.

Seat 1: Rossoneri23 (988,496 in chips)
Seat 2: pmahoney22 (2,469,718 in chips)
Seat 4: djk123 (3,761,786 in chips)

Blinds: 20,000/40,000

Rossoneri23 falls short, eliminated in 3rd

The last three players settled in for a little grind and Kelly took advantage to push his lead even higher. He held more than half of the chips in play until pmahoney22 found a hand to the tournament heads up and close the stack gap.

Kelly opened the action to 120,000 from the button and Rossoneri23 shoved his small blind for 779,144. Not to be left, pmahoney22 moved all in over the top for 1.9 million to get a fold from Kelly.

pmahoney22: 9♦9♦
Rossoneri23: 9♥8♥

Rossoneri23 was in trouble and couldn't find his needed double as the board ran Q♦T♦3♠A♥7♣ to send him out in 3rd place.

Chop it up!

The two players quickly paused the tournament and summoned the host to run some numbers for chopping up the remaining prize pool. Kelly held a nice lead but pmahoney22 closed late to get a better cut of the money.

Heads up counts:
Dan "djk123" Kelly: 4,332,897
pmahoney22: 2,877,103

Chop deal:
Dan "djk123" Kelly: $78,102.30
pmahoney22: $74,397.70
Left for the winner: $10,000

They agreed to the numbers and the tournament was soon back underway.

Dan "djk123" Kelly locks up fifth WCOOP in Event #49

After Kelly and pmahoney22 made their deal, it didn't take long to settle the matter. pmahoney22 put a small dent in Kelly's chip lead but it was only a temporary setback.

Like many of the big pots in this deep stacked tournament, it took top hands to get the chips in the middle. pmahoney22 moved all-in for 1.67 million after Kelly min-raised his button and received a quick call.

Kelly was ahead with J♦J♥ against pmahoney22's A♥Q♣ and nothing came on the 8♦4♥4♠K♠2♠ board to change the outcome. Kelly pulled the final pot of the tournament and earned yet another PokerStars COOP title. pmahoney22 came one spot away from adding the second leg towards the Triple COOP but collected more than $74,000 for his efforts.

This WCOOP title sets Kelly apart from every other player on the planet. Until now he was tied with Shaun Deeb for the most titles in the series but now stands alone with his fifth WCOOP tournament victory. It was a great run by the two-time WSOP bracelet winner/seven-time COOP champion to win the first ever WCOOP Mix-Max event.

Dan_Kelly_ANZPT WCOOP.jpg

Dan "djk123" Kelly captures his fifth WCOOP title

WCOOP-49 ($700 NL Hold'em, Mix-Max) results
Entrants: 722
Total prize pool: $500,000
Places paid: 36

1. Dan "djk123" Kelly (Australia) $88,102.30*
2. pmahoney22 (Mexico) $74,397.70*
3. Rossoneri23 (India) $47,500.00
4. EzPaTuLa (Mexico) $32,500.00
5. Tomatee (Uruguay) $23,750.00
*Reflects the results of a heads-up deal that left $10,000 in play for the winner


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Al Rash
@PokerStars in WCOOP