WCOOP 2016: G's zee wins another WCOOP title, James "Andy McLEOD" Obst 2nd in Event #80 ($700 NLHE, 1R1A)

Shyam "G's zee" Srinivasan knows how to turn in a memorable performance. When he won his first WCOOP event in 2014, he started as a short stack but pulled off an incredible comeback to find himself heads-up with an enormous chip lead, then closed the match out in just nine hands. Tonight he entered the table tied for the lead with James "Andy McLEOD" Obst, found himself out-chipped when the two ended up heads-up, and then navigated a tricky two-and-a-half-hour match with the five-time COOP winner to pick up his second career WCOOP victory.

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Event #80 champion Shyam "G's zee" Srinivasan

Event #80, a $700 no-limit hold'em tournament with one optional re-buy and one add-on available to all, kicked off at 10 a.m. yesterday and drew a field of 474. They combined for 241 re-buys and 148 add-ons after the re-buy period concluded, building a total prize pool of $575,621, and began the long road to naming one of the final champions of WCOOP 2016.

Deividas K from Lithuania ended Day 1 with the largest stack of the remaining 70 players in the field. Fifteen of them missed out on the money on Day 2, with the other 55 collecting at least $3,267.57 for their efforts. After nearly six and a half hours of poker, the lineup of what would prove to be almost as long of a final table was set:

Seat 1: BillLewinsky (324,065 in chips)
Seat 2: nyc_bullets (440,456 in chips)
Seat 3: FYYDNZAA (554,270 in chips)
Seat 4: James "Andy McLEOD" Obst (1,829,367 in chips)
Seat 5: ManciaTheOne (913,161 in chips)
Seat 6: Gustavo "gremistaAK" Pinto (218,139 in chips)
Seat 7: Guntis "poker@luffyD" Aleskins (1,091,883 in chips)
Seat 8: Shyam "G's zee" Srinivasan (1,830,820 in chips)
Seat 9: NEWFlat (1,427,839 in chips)

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The first two knockouts arrived within the first 20 minutes, both times when pocket tens were in play. Brazil's Gustavo "gremistaAK" Pinto picked up T♣ T♠ in the cutoff on the 12th hand and moved all-in for 200K over the top of BillLewinsky's under-the-gun 46K-chip opener. BillLewinsky called with Q♦ Q♠, which held up on the 2♠ 4♣ 8♣ 5♦ 6♥ to bust past Super Tuesday runner-up Pinto in ninth.

Gustavo Pinto

Ninth-place finisher Gustavo Pinto

The blinds moved up to 12.5K/25K/3125 and another 11 hands went by - just one advancing as far as the flop - before Chile's ManciaTheOne opened the betting in early position for 50K with T♣ T♦. Past WCOOP and Sunday Million runner-up Guntis "poker@luffyD" Alestins was to ManciaTheOne's left and re-raised to 152K, then called with A♦ K♣ when ManciaTheOne jammed for 692K. The J♥ 5♠ A♠ 6♥ 6♠ board gave poker@luffyD a pair of aces and the 1.44M-chip pot, and ManciaTheOne left in eighth.

Only eight more hands passed before another coin-flip situation busted a short stack. Shyam Srinivasan was second to act with 5♦ 5♠ and opened for 52K before becoming the only caller when three-time COOP finalist shoved for 256K. G's zee improved to a full house on the Q♣ 2♦ 4♦ 5♣ 2♠, but nyc_bullets's A♠ K♥ didn't improve, knocking the player from Canada out in seventh.


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The hourly break sent the blinds and antes upward again a few minutes later, this time to 15K/30K/3750. Fifteen minutes of post-break play passed without another knockout, but past Super Tuesday champ and Sunday Million finalist NEWFlat picked up a million-chip pot without showdown after raising under the gun and calling poker@luffyD's small-blind re-raise. poker@luffyD check-raised the 5♥ A♦ 4♦ flop but bailed after NEWFlat called that bet and then bet again on the T♣ turn.

Two hands later pocket tens figured into yet another knockout. Shyam Srinivasan was holding them on the button and called after past Sunday Warm-Up finalist FYYDNZAA opened the betting under the gun by moving all-in for 325K. FYYDNZAA had K♣ K♠ and looked set to double up with the board reading 3♠ 5♦ 2♣ 3♣ after the turn, but the T♠ landed on the river to give Srinivasan a set. That topped FYYDNZAA's kings, and the player from China left in sixth.

James "Andy McLEOD" Obst hadn't been particularly active so far, but he picked up tens and grabbed a 618K-chip pot from NEWFlat, raising the minimum before the flop and getting two streets of value before checking behind NEWFlat's A♦ K♥ on the river of the 7♠ 3♣ 2♦ J♦ 9♠ board. After about a dozen hands, NEWFlat got most of those chips back and scored the next knockout. NEWFlat had J♣ J♥, which held up against - you guessed it - T♦ T♥. Four-time Super Tuesday finalist BillLewinsky was the unfortunate holder of the tens, which didn't catch up on the 3♦ 7♦ A♠ 9♦ 2♥ board, eliminating the Dutch player in fifth.

The next 35 minutes weren't kind to NEWFlat's stack. After picking up a few small pots early, three losses in four hands, all without showdown, dropped NEWFlat's stack to 806K. The very next hand saw NEWFlat pick up pocket jacks again and open for 74K on the button, a bet called only by poker@luffyD in the big blind. poker@luffyD's 7♠ 5♠ hit gold on the 9♠ 8♥ 6♣ flop, and his check-raise got NEWFlat to move all-in for 727K. poker@luffyD called, the straight held up after the Q♥ turn and A♦ river, and NEWFlat departed in fourth.

That left just these three familiar faces to battle it out for one of WCOOP 2016's last available titles:

Seat 4: James "Andy McLEOD" Obst (2,420,103 in chips)
Seat 7: Guntis "poker@luffyD" Aleskins (2,847,581 in chips)
Seat 8: Shyam "G's zee" Srinivasan (3,362,316 in chips)

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Already the owner of five COOP titles and the runner-up in Event #57 of this series, James "Andy McLEOD" Obst was the short stack at the table, though at 69 big blinds his stack wasn't in any immediate danger. But after dropping a 1.5M-chip pot to Shyam Srinivasan after calling his overbet of the pot on the river - Srinivasan's A♣ T♣ had made the nut flush with the K♣ on fifth street - Obst was down to 1.25M and feeling a bit more pressure. Four hands later he played A♣ Q♦ for a 266K-chip three-bet from the small blind, then moved all-in when the action rotated back to originial raiser Srinivasan and he re-raised. Srinivasan called with Q♣ Q♥ and 3.1M chips behind, and Obst won the 3.4M-chip pot to take the chip lead with a pair of aces once the board ran out K♦ 6♦ 9♠.

Obst picked off a three-barrel bluff by poker@luffyD to move over 4.1M chips, then spent the next 40 hands picking off small pots with Srinivasan while Aleskins looked for an opening to stay ahead of the 25K/50K/6250 blinds and antes. The Latvian player fired three barrels' worth of bluff with 7♣ 5♦ after the flop came 8♣ 9♣ 8♦, but Obst had flopped trip eights with 8♥ 6♦ and called them all to take down a 1M-chip pot.

poker@luffyD continued to slide from there, finally moving in from the small blind for 439K with A♣ J♣ after Obst opened the betting on the button for 115K with K♦ Q♠. Obst paired on the flop and never looked back, winning the 948K-chip pot with a pair of queens to knock poker@luffyD out in third.

Guntis Aleskins

Guntis Aleskins, gone in third

Though Obst had a 6.2M-to-2.4M lead, the heads-up match proved to be as hard-fought as you would expect from two past WCOOP champions with long resumes of tournament success. It marked Srinivasan's 10th cash of the series and his first heads-up appearance in two final tables, while Obst's 17 cash of WCOOP 2016 was also the second time in the last week he had found himself heads-up for his sixth career COOP title.

Obst won the bulk of the early pots but Srinivasan doubled up twice while against the wall, first after calling with A♥ 7♥ when Obst shoved with T♦ 8♦, and then with A♠ 4♠ and four-betting all-in and catching a four on the flop to beat Obst's A♦ Q♥. That got Srinivasan back to 3.7M chips. Four hands later he won an 897K-chip pot, calling Obst's three-bet before the 6♥ T♣ 3♥ flop and then betting when Obst checked. That moved Srinivasan to within 180K of the lead as the hourly break began and the blinds and antes moved up to 40K/80K/10K.

James Obst

No surprise seeing James Obst heads-up for a COOP title, is it?

Obst moved back ahead a few hands after they returned, five-betting all-in before the flop to back Srinivasan off the 2.3M-chip pot. Then Obst opened the next hand for 180K on the button with A♦ Q♥, Srinivasan shoved with 5♣ 5♠ for about one ante less than 3M in chips, and Obst called. He caught top pair but found himself looking for some help from the deck when Srinivasan made a set on the Q♣ 5♥ 2♥ flop. The 3♥ kept hope alive for Obst with flush and gutshot straight draws, but the 3♦ river delivered the 6M-chip pot to Srinivasan.

That gave Srinivasan a bit of momentum, but Obst rattled off 15 wins in the span of 22 hands and finally doubled up to 3.1M with A♣ J♥ against Srinivasan's A♦ T♠. Another 15 hands after that, Obst won back-to-back pots worth 1.9M and 1.5M to reclaim an eight-big-blind lead. As the second break of the heads-up match approached, Srinivasan took that back when he called a 666K-chip three-bet with J♥ T♠ on the button, flopped top pair, and called Obst's semi-bluffs with an open-ended straight draw on the turn and river to win the second-largest pot of the tournament so far at 4.9M chips.

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It was clear as the third hour of heads-up play approached that it was going to take a quick swing of fortune to knock either of of these competitors out. The only question was who would benefit - and the answer was Shyam Srinivasan. He doubled up to 6.9M just before the scheduled third break of this match, jamming with 2♥ 2♠ after Obst limped on the button with A♣ 4♣. Obst called but got no help from the 9♦ K♣ 3♠ 7♠ K♠ board, dropping his stack to 1.6M chips.

They chose to skip the break, four hands later Obst shoved with A♣ 6♥ after Srinivasan opened for 295K on the button with Q♦ J♦. Srinivasan fell well behind on the K♥ K♦ A♥ flop but picked up a Broadway straight draw, and after the blank 9♣ hit the turn, the T♠ on the river made the straight for Srinivasan to bring an epic heads-up match to its conclusion.

Congratulations are in order for both players. After two full days of poker and two hours and 37 minutes spent battling heads-up with one of the more successful players in PokerStars tournament history, Shyam "G's zee" Srinivasan earned his second career WCOOP title and a bit more than $100K. James "Andy McLEOD" Obst was denied a second WCOOP title of his own for the second time in this series, but the strength of his performance (and his $76K prize) should be plenty of consolation.

WCOOP 2016: Event #80, $700 No-Limit Hold'em (1R1A)
Entrants: 474 (241 re-buys, 148 add-ons)
Prize pool: $575,621
Places paid: 55

1. Shyam "G's zee" Srinivasan (Canada) $102,747.49
2. James "Andy McLEOD" Obst (Australia) $76,000.56
3. Guntis "poker@luffyD" Aleskins (Latvia) $56,216.47
4. NEWFlat (Russia) $41,582.51
5. BillLewinsky (Netherlands) $30,757.96
6. FYYDNZAA (China) $22,751.13
7. nyc_bullets (Canada) $16,828.68
8. ManciaTheOne (Chile) $12,447.91
9. Gustavo "gremistaAK" Pinto (Brazil) $9,207.51


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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in WCOOP