WCOOP 2016: Handful, 'aDrENalin710' wins Event #36 ($1,050 PL Omaha Hi/Lo Championship [8-Max], $200,000 GTD) for $63K and his fifth COOP title
The great thing about the World Championship of Online Poker, or any PokerStars tournament series, is that there is something for everyone. There are a wide variety of games and stakes offered and even if players are unable to pony up the money for some of the bigger buy-in events, there are plenty of ways to satellite in to still be part of the action.
With an almost countless number of offerings, WCOOP events tend to vary in size and difficulty, with the fields getting thinner the higher you climb. This week, one of he biggest events, based on it's four-figure buy-in, was Event #36 ($1,050 PL Omaha Hi/Lo Championship [8-Max], $200,000 GTD).
With a bigger buy-in, a massive field wasn't expected but another WCOOP guarantee was crushed, as 377 players built up a $377,000 prize pool. In the end, 41 of those players would turn a profit, with just under $69,000 going to the eventual champion.
The world's best all took their seats, including PokerStars Team Pros George Danzer, Chris Moneymaker, Felipe Ramos and Andre Akkari, who colored the leaderboard red. Unfortunately, none could make it to Day 2, as the first day of play concluded with just over 65 players returning for Wednesday's finale. Those players still had to fight their way to the money and a few hours after the restart, they had.
There was then the rush down to the final two tables, a race that saw plenty of recognizable names fall. Ryan 'PROTENTIALmn' Laplante finishing in 27th place and Mike 'SirWatts' Watson bowing out in 24th, with each earning $3,532 for their runs. Jason 'TeamWhispy' Helder, who won the PokerStars Sunday Million in 2012, made the pay jump with a 21st place finish, along with PokerStars Team Pro Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, who went out 19th and was the last standing Red Spade.
While those players couldn't navigate their way to the final two tables, plenty of other big names did. Unfortunately for Stephen 'stevie444' Chidwick, his Event #36 run fell short of a final table, as he was bounced in 12th. Russia's Zapahzamazki and his $1,000,000 in online tournament results couldn't make the final frame either, as he fell in 10th, before Robin 'robinho' Ylitalo bubbled the eight-handed final table.
Event #36 - Final Table Chip Counts
Seat 1. byniolek - 426,024
Seat 2. SixthSenSe19 - 590,194
Seat 3. alex987 - 552,284
Seat 4. Jani 'kiiski' Vilmun - 1,951,059
Seat 5. iamthestig11 - 774,408
Seat 6. aDrENalin710 - 1,587,857
Seat 7. Dani 'supernova9' Stern - 1,070,013
Seat 8. Joao Mathias 'joaoMathias' Baumgarten - 588,161
The final table chip lead sat with double WCOOP winner Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen, who caught some late head to lead the final eight with just shy of 2,000,000. The Fin wasn't alone at the top though, as four-time COOP champion aDrENalin710 was just under 1,600,000.
Dani 'supernova9' Stern rounded out the top-three with just over 1,000,000. That trifecta might have headlined the final table but there was another player looking to add to his COOP legacy, as Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez was looking to claim his fifth title.
He was near the bottom of the leaderboard though, working just over a half-million, along with Brazil's Joao Mathias Baumgarten, who competes on virtual felt under his own name.
The rest of the final table was looking to lay claim to their biggest career score in Event #36 and play began, eight-handed, in Level 27 with the blinds at 16K/32K.
BIG STACKS BATTLING: Vilmunen chops;then quarters Stern
With some sizable pay jumps at the Event #36 final table, all eyes might have started on the shorter stacked players. It was the other end of the leaderboard that was active early though, as Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen played two sizable pots to open the final frame.
The first, saw Vilmunen open to 94,000 from the cutoff after the blinds had increased to 20K/40K. aDrENalin710 and Dani 'supernova9' Stern called in the blinds, before checking the J♦9♦8♠ flop.
Vilmunen continued for 114,000 and aDrENalin710 called, with Stern folding to send two players to the turn. The 5♥ fell, bringing a lead bet of 209,000 from aDrENalin710. Vilmunen put in a pot-sized raise to 1,137,000 and aDrENalin710 shoved for just over 200,000 more.
The Fin quickly called and while both players had flopped straights, aDrENalin710 was freerolling with a superior low draw. He held A♠Q♥T♦2♦, while Vilmunen tabled Q♦T♠3♥2♣. Unfortunately for aDrENalin710, his low draw counted for naught after the 2♥ completed the board, meaning the Russian and Vilmunen chopped it up.
A few hands later, Vilmunen was at it again, tangling with Stern in another big pot. That hand was picked up with Vilmunen opening to 86,000 from under the gun and Stern calling in the hijack.
The rest of the table folded and Vilmunen gave up his pre flop advantage, checking the 8♥6♥3♣ flop. Stern then bet 116,000, only to see his opponent check-raise to 580,000. After some thought, Stern responded with another raise, moving all-in for 868,000.
Vilmunen quickly called and while both players had the nut low, kiiski had a 56.3% to scoop with A♣J♠4♥2♥. Stern held A♦Q♣8♣2♠, which meant he had a pair to go with his low.
Stern improved to two pair on the turn, as the Q♦ fell but top two weren't good after the 5♣ gave Vilmunen a straight on the river. When the dust settled, Dani 'supernova9' Stern only received a quarter of the nearly 2,000,000 chip pot, dropping him to his lowest standing in recent memory.
On the other end of the spectrum, Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen was behind just under 2,500,000, good for more than 1,000,000 more than his nearest competitor.
BRAZIL DOESN'T SURVIVE: joaoMathias falls in 8th after others stay alive
After the big hands that played out between the big stacks, the bottom half of the leaderboard jumped into action. That might have been out of necessity though, as a handful of players were teetering near or just over the ten big blind mark.
Dani 'supernova9' Stern was one of them and a few hands after he was quartered by Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen, he got his chips in again against the Fin. That hand was picked up with Vilmunen opening to 86,000 from the cutoff and Stern defending his big blind to see the T♠7♥2♠ flop.
Both players checked to bring the K♥ on the turn and after Stern led for a pot-sized 192,000 chip bet, Vilmunen raised to put Stern all-in. He called and was in bad shape, holding Q♠Q♣7♠5♥ to the chip leader's A♣K♦6♦3♦.
Stern only had a 27.5% chance to stay alive but he did, as the 5♠ completed the board and his flush to lock up half the pot.
A few hands later, some of the unknown players got involved, with iamthestig11 opening to 90,000 from the hijack. The tabled folded to byniolek, who defended his big blind to see the 8♥7♦5♥ flop.
byniolek checked and iamthestig11 bet 160,000, only to see his opponent check-shove for 477,000. The Australian called and held A♠K♥Q♠2♥, good for the same low as byniolek, who held A♥9♥3♣2♦.
The Austrian held the nut-flush draw though and he hit on the turn, as the J♥ and 4♠ completed the board to award byniolek three-quarters. That moved him up near 900,000, while iamthestig11 was cut down to just under 400,000.
Joao Mathias 'joaoMathias' Baumgarten had been relatively quiet through the early going and that meant that he was clicking the FOLD button more than anything. Eventually, he was left with only a handful of big blinds and while he was able to secure one double, he couldn't get a second to get himself back into contention.
He doubled through four-time COOP champion aDrENalin710, after the Brazilian opened to 140,000 from early position. aDrENalin710 raised in the big blind to put joaoMathias at risk and he called for an additional 22,000 with A♦Q♠J♣5♠.
Baumgarten had a slight pre flop advantage over aDrENalin710's Q♣Q♥5♣5♥ and after the 8♣9♠7♣J♦J♥ runout, the Brazlian was awarded a full double. Four hands later, the short stack was at risk again and this time, he wasn't as fortunate.
That hand was picked up with joaoMathias opening to 175,000 from the hijack and after a fold, Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez three-bet shoved for 507,000 from the button. The blinds folded and Baumgarten called all-in for an extra 90,000.
While he had a pair, with K♦K♠8♥4♠, he wasn't the equity favorite before the flop. Gonzalez held A♥7♥3♦2♣ and had a slight, 52.7%, advantage to scoop.
Gonzalez did just that, taking the entire 605,000 chip pot after the board ran out 6♥5♦2♠A♦[10h] to move him dangerously close to the 1,000,000 chip mark for the first time.
Joao Mathias Baumgarten bowed out in 8th place, good for a $8,454 score and another Brazilian appearance at a WCOOP final table.
MORE SURVIVAL: Doubles, chops and quarters
With the blinds and antes making the jump to 25K/50K heading into Level 29, the pressure intensified on the short stacks. Those short stacks didn't want to go quietly though, as a few stayed alive, with some even finding full doubles.
The first to do so was iamthestig11, as he three-bet shoved from the big blind for 324,000 after alex987 opened the button to 100,000. The Russian called and it was more or less a flip pre flop, with iamthestig11 holding A♦J♥[10d]5♠ to his opponent's A♥7♦6♠3♥.
iamthestig11 held a slight advantage pre flop and that advantage materialized into a double, after the board ran out 9♣8♣7♥K♦Q♠. With no low on board, the Australian's rivered straight scooped the pot and moved him up near 700,000.
alex987 was left below a half-million but he stayed out of the action as Dani 'supernova9' Stern attempted to claw his way back to the top of the leaderboard. Stern had a chance against Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez midway through the level, after Gonzalez opened to 100,000 from middle position.
Stern called out of the big blind and then shoved the K♣J♥9♣ flop for 222,000. Gonzalez quickly called and with both players holding top-two, it looked like the pot was destined to be split.
Stern tabled K♥J♠4♣4♠ and Gonzalez turned over A♠K♠J♦2♦, with each taking their bets back after the 2♥ and 3♠ completed the board. While that hand didn't jumpstart Stern, the next pot he was involved in did in a big way.
After getting quartered earlier by Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen, Stern did the same to byniolek. That hand was picked up with Stern opening the button to 175,000 and after some thought, the Austrian three-bet to 575,0000 from the small.
The big stack had Stern well covered and after the big blind folded, Stern committed his final 134,000 to put himself at risk. He was behind with A♦5♣3♦3♠ to byniolek's A♥A♠8♦5♦ but after the board ran out 7♠2♦2♣6♦3♥, he was saved by the river to scoop the pot.
The double shot Stern back to a workable 700,000 chip stack but he and the other short stacks weren't out of the woods just yet...
RUSSIAN WAR: aDrENalin710 sends alex987 out in 7th
There were two Russians at this Event #36 final table and while one, aDrENalin710 was looking for his fifth COOP title, the other was hoping this would be his breakthrough victory. Alas, experience won out in the Russian War, as aDrENalin710 sent alex987 to the rail in 7th place.
That hand was picked up with alex987 opening off his short stack to 175,000 from the cutoff and after some folds, aDrENalin710 put in a raise to 550,000 from the big blind. It was enough to put his countryman at risk and alex987 called for an additional 269,000.
alex987 was a slight underdog pre flop, holding A♦J♣3♥2♥ to aDrENalin710's A♣K♥9♥2♣ and after the Q♦Q♠4♣K♣8♦ runout, his elimination was confirmed. alex987 earned $11,403 for his final table run and when the dust settled, aDrENalin710 was behind just under 1,600,000.
STERN SCOOPED: Dani 'supernova9' Stern eliminated in 6th place
While he was able to avoid elimination a few times since getting short, Dani 'supernova9' Stern was never able to get the full double he needed to get back into contention. Eventually, he was behind close to ten big blinds and those chips went to Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen, the player that started Stern's early final table fall.
That hand was picked up with Vilmunen opening to 107,000 from the hijack and after some folds, Stern three-bet to 372,000 from the small blind. With only 79,000 behind, he was committing himself to the hand and after Vilmunen clicked it back, Stern called looking to double.
He couldn't though, as Stern's A♦7♥5♦3♦ couldn't connect on the Q♦J♠9♥8♣[10s] runout, with Vilmunen's A♣8♥6♠2♣ scooping the pot with a pair of eights.
Stern will take home $15,380 for his Event #36 final table run and while he has yet to claim a COOP title, Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen moved over 3,000,000 with that victory. That gave him more than double his closest opponent, Russia's aDrENalin710, and put the Fin in pole position earn a third WCOOP title.
DOWN THEN UP: byniolek gets quartered, then scoops
The only player with more COOP titles at this final table than Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen was aDrENalin710 and almost immediately after the Fin moved over 3,000,000, aDrENalin710 tried his best to get there as well.
He took a sizable portion of byniolek's chips to do so, quartering the Austrian with A♥A♠7♣2♣ against A♣Q♠J♣2♥ on a Q♦7♠4♠6♥K♦ board. The chips got all-in on the turn, with each holding the nut-low but aDrENalin710's aces won him 75% of the over 2,700,000 chip pot.
While byniolek was cut down to just under 700,000, he wasn't worried and he was even more comfortable after doubling through chip leader Jani Vilmunen. That pot was picked up a few hands later, with byniolek opening to 175,000 from the button.
Vilmunen defended his big blind to see the K♦9♣6♠ flop and after he led for a pot-sized 375,000, byniolek shoved for 622,000 total. Vilmunen called and he was ahead with K♠6♦4♦3♠ to his opponent's A♥K♥7♠2♣.
His advantage held through the J♣ turn card but after the 7♦ completed the board, byniolek had improved to a superior two pair to scoop the 1,600,000 chip pot.
FINAL FOUR: Gonzalez dispatches iamthestig11 in 5th place
Despite being one of the more experienced players, both live and online, at this final table, Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez had been relatively quiet through the early going. With five players remaining though, he perked up to score his first knockout and to move over the seven-figure mark for the first time in recent memory.
Action was picked up with Gonzalez opening to 120,000 from the button and after a fold, iamthestig11 three-bet to 385,000 from the big blind. The Australian had just 63,000 behind, so Gonzalez clicked it back and iamthestig11 called to put himself at risk.
Gonzalez held A♠6♣5♠2♠ and while he had a slight disadvantage to his opponent's A♥Q♦T♠3♠ pre flop, after the turn, he was a more or less lock. That's because the board ran out 9♦8♠3♦7♣Q♣, with a turned straight and nut-low good to scoop the pot and score the knockout.
When the dust settled, iamthestig11 was taking home $20,745 and Gonzalez was stacking up close to 1,300,000.
BIGGEST SCOOP YET: aDrENalin710 scoops byniolek to eliminate Austria in 4th
After a stretch where the short stacks dictated much of the action and quickly found themselves sent to the rails, the remaining four players were well stacked. That meant that there could have been a much slower pace but instead, the biggest pot of the tournament played out, with aDrENalin710 scooping byniolek to eliminate the Austrian in 4th place.
That hand was picked up with aDrENalin710 opening to 100,000 from the button and after some thought, byniolek three-bet to 350,000 from the small blind. The big folded and aDrENalin710 responded with a four-bet to 1,100,000.
byniolek had 945,000 left behind and after another trip to the tank, he shoved, with aDrENalin710 snap calling an additional 195,000 to put his opponent at risk. The Russian was in good shape pre flop, holding A♥A♣J♥3♥ to byniolek's A♠8♦5♣2♥ but after the 9♠5♦2♣ flop, the shorter stack had improved to two pair.
Two pair was only good for a second though, as the 4♦ quickly fell on the turn to give aDrENalin710 the wheel. The K♠ completed the board and confirmed the scoop for the Russian, leaving byniolek heading to the rail to collect his $27,981 4th place score.
When the dust settled, aDrENalin710 was behind just over 4,000,000 and as the first player to eclipse that threshold, he controlled well over half the chips in play.
SOME TALKS, ONE BIG SCOOP: No three-way deal, Vilmunen scoops Gonzalez
When play was six-handed, with the stacks all relatively on the short side, a few players hit the chat box trying to stir up some chop talks. Everyone wasn't on board and aDrENalin710 brought it up again once play got three-handed.
This time, it was Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez who put the early squash on the negotiations, quickly replying, "Let's play."
Play they did and it was Gonzalez who took the first hit three-handed, as Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen scooped the Uruguayan to drop him near 750,000.
Action was picked up Vilmunen opening to 120,000 after the blinds had increased to 30K/60K. Gonzalez defended his big blind to see the T♥7♥6♠ flop, a board he checked to the pre flop aggressor.
Vilmunen bet 120,000 and Gonzalez quickly called, with both players checking after the 7♠ paired the board on the turn. Gonzalez checked for a third time after the 4♣ fell on the river and after Vilmunen bet a pot-sized 510,000, he called only to be shown A♦T♣4♥2♥.
Two pair and the nut-low was good to take the entire pot and Gonzalez was suddenly cut down to just over ten big blinds.
QUARTERED, THEN DONE: Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez takes bronze
After getting scooped by Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen, Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez was clearly the short stack at the Event #36 final table. The Uruguayan treaded water for a bit but a few hands later, he was getting quartered and then scooped to fall in 3rd place.
The first hand played out against aDrENalin710, with the Russian opening to 180,000 from the small blind and Gonzalez calling in the big. aDrENalin710 led the J♠7♠6♥ flop for 360,000 and after some thought, Gonzalez shoved for 555,000 total.
aDrENalin710 put in the necessary chips to call and was behind, holding A♦T♦T♥3♣ to Gonzalez's A♠T♠8♦3♥. While Gonzalez held a slight advantage on the flop by the time the 2♥ and 4♣ completed the board, he was left with the 25% icon next to his cards, as both players held the same low but aDrENalin710's pair of tens was good enough for the high.
That dropped Gonzalez down below 400,000 and in the very next hand, those chips got in the middle against Vilmunen. That hand was picked up with Gonzalez opening to 180,000 from the small blind and Vilmunen called in the big.
After the 7♠6♠4♠ flop fell, Gonzalez shoved for 187,000 and Vilmunen called, with the Fin holding a 60% advantage with 8♦6♦3♣2♥. Gonzalez held 9♠8♥4♠2♦ and after the 7♦ paired the board on the turn and the Q♣ fell on the river, the Uruguayan was eliminated in 3rd place.
The triple-COOP winner just missed out on another WCOOP title but still earned $37,740 for his podium finish. Heads up play for the Event #36 ($1,050 PL Omaha Hi/Lo Championship [8-Max], $200,000 GTD) began in the middle of Level 30, with both players more or less dead even around the 3,700,000 chip mark.
CHOP IT UP, LITERALLY: Heads up deal, each guaranteed over $55K
After the elimination of Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez in 3rd place, the remaining two players battled for a few minutes before taking a quick break to discuss some numbers. aDrENalin710 and Jani 'Kiiski' Vilmunen each had very similar stacks, with the Russian holding a slight advantage at the time of the negotiations.
In the end, the two players elected to an ICM chop, with each guaranteeing themselves just over $55,000. While each player already has multiple COOP titles to their name, with aDrENalin710 claiming four such wins in his career to Vilmunen's two, each were certainly looking to close out another major PokerStars event after agreeing to a deal.
FIRST BLOOD: aDrENalin710 cuts first
After the heads up deal, a few hands played out that didn't bring on much action but then the first meaningful hand of this heads up battle played out. When the dust settled, aDrENalin710 was drawing first blood, forcing a fold on the river to take the pot and a sizable chip lead.
Action was picked up with Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen opening to 120,000 from the button and aDrENalin710 defending his big blind to see the T♦6♦6♣ flop. The Russian check-called 120,000 and after the 2♥ fell on the turn, he checked for a second time.
Vilmunen bet 240,000 but was quickly raised, as aDrENalin710 bumped it to 1,200,000. Vilmunen called, leaving himself just under 1,600,000 behind and he was put to a test for those chips after aDrENalin710 shoved the J♥ river.
Eventually, Vilmunen folded, conceding the pot to his Russian opponent, who suddenly had a 4:1 chip advantage.
DEEPER CUT: aDrENalin710 cripples Vilmunen
While the first portion, and a few later portions if we are being honest, were all Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen, the Fin's run didn't carry over into heads up play. First, he was quickly cut down to lose control of the chip lead and then, a few hands later, he was dropped to under ten big blinds.
Action was picked up with Vilmunen opening to 180,000 from the button and aDrENalin710 calling in the big. Both players checked the Q♠5♣2♠ flop and after the J♣ fell on the turn, aDrENalin710 led for 259,000.
After some thought, Vilmunen raised to 1,137,000, leaving himself just over 500,000 behind. aDrENalin710 didn't go anywhere though, calling to see the 4♣ complete the board. Both players quickly checked and while aDrENalin710 could only muster A♥K♠Q♦T♥, for top pair of queens, it was enough to win the entire pot.
Vilmunen mucked and when the dust settled, he was left near a half-million and in the preverbal danger zone.
HANDFUL: aDrENalin710 wins Event #36 for $63,780 and his fifth career COOP title
After getting cut down to a sub-ten big blind stack, it was going to be a long road back for Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen if he wanted to contend for a third COOP title. Unfortunately for the Fin, aDrENalin710 was not to be denied, as he didn't give Vilmunen a chance to even dream of a comeback, scoring the final knockout a few hands after crippling his opponent.
That hand was picked up with Vilmunen limping the button and then calling the 180,000 chip raise from aDrENalin710, who was in the big blind. The Russian then led the A♥6♥3♦ flop for a pot-sized 360,000, which was enough to put Vilmunen all-in.
The Fin called and needed to hit to stay alive, as he held Q♥J♦9♦7♥ against aDrENalin710's A♠Q♦5♣4♣. The 3♣ brought aDrENalin710 closer to a fifth COOP title on the turn and the handful of titles was confirmed on the end, as the 7♠ meant he scooped the pot with a straight and low.
As per the heads up deal, Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen earned $55,782 for his runner-up finish, while aDrENalin710 will take home $63,780 for his Event #36 victory. This is good for the Russian's fifth career COOP title, putting him into elite company. Less than ten players have ever won five or more COOP titles, including Shaun Deeb, Cal 'Cal42688' Anderson and PokerStars Team Pros George Danzer and Jason Mercier.
WCOOP-36 ($1,050 PL Omaha Hi/Lo Championship [8-Max], $200,000 GTD) results
Entrants: 377 (275 entries, 102 re-entries)
Total Prize Pool:$377,000
1. aDrENalin710 (Russia) - *$63,780.33
2. Jani 'kiiski' Vilmunen (Finland) - *$55,782.02
3. Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez (Uruguay) - $37,740.64
4. byniolek (Austria) - $27,981.31
5. iamthestig11 (Australia) - $20,725.63
6. Dani 'supernova9' Stern (Canada) - $15,380.99
7. alex987 (Russia) - $11,403.64
8. Joao Mathias 'joaoMathias' Baumgarten (Brazil) - $8,454.79
Will O'Connor is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.