WCOOP 2016: Kozir caps comeback to claim Event #40 title ($320 NLHE, 8-Max)

With three players left in Event #40 of the 2016 World Championship of Online Poker, a deal was made to ensure the final trio each big portions of the remaining prize pool. At the time Brazil's Pablo "pabritz" Brito Silva had the big chip lead and appeared on the verge of taking the title, but he'd slip to fall in third.

Then it was Ifold2ndnuts of the Netherlands who had the chip edge for most of the more than hour's worth of heads-up play, similarly appearing as though the win was in reach. But Ifold2ndnuts would lose the lead, and after losing the last hand Ifold2ndnuts came one spot shy to finish runner-up.

That left Kozir of tiny Belarus the victor, having come back from short-stacked status to win the WCOOP title and a $61,380 payday. Meanwhile Ifold2ndnuts took away another $52,255.96 and Silva $62,000 even following the heads-up deal.


A total of 1,730 players took part in the two-day, $320 buy-in eight-handed no-limit hold'em event, together building a prize pool of $519,000 that more than doubled the $250K guarantee. The top 215 players made the money, with the bubble bursting in the evening of the first day of play.

When Day 1 was finished there were still 107 players remaining from the starting field, with LetsFlipIt (408,273) leading the way followed by olegator1992 (384,392), byfon (380,999), Andy_Pavlen (373,847), and Kevin "J4d3dr4g0n" Andriamahefa (366,354).

There were a couple of red spades still in the mix as well with Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier sitting above the average in 27th position (227,318), and Kevin "KevinM987" Martin of Team PokerStars Pro Online on a short stack in 85th (77,458).
Alas for Martin, his Day 2 would be a short one as he was ousted in 82nd ($1,114.96) after losing his stack in a hand versus Thegrandape.

They day began better for Mercier, though, and after four hours of play on Day 2 he was still there and above the average in fifth position while Pablo "pabritz" Brito Silva was the new leader with more than 2.42 million -- nearly 1 million ahead of anyone else. Meanwhile of the top five to start the day, only Andy_Pavlen was still kicking with a little more than the average.

Soon there were just two eight-handed tables left, with Silva still the pace-setter. JACKPOT786 next went out in 16th, earning $2,900.58, followed by DENV3UR (15th), alberto ka (14th), camerofelix (13th), and finally Mercier (12th), with those four taking $4,034.08 from the prize pool.

Mercier's final hand saw his A♠Q♦ fail to improve versus Andy_Pavlen's T♦T♠. It represented the second straight day Mercier had made the final two tables of a WCOOP after taking 13th in Event #37 ($215 NLHE).

prusakowski (11th) next fell followed by rmntaw4ever (10th), with those two earning $5,610.64 apiece. Then as they approached the day's six-hour mark, Marsellk went out in ninth for $7,803.32, and the final table was set.


Seat 1: G A W (Romania) -- 1,096,194 
Seat 2: Andy_Pavlen (Ukraine) -- 1,619,032 
Seat 3: cedrick89 (Canada) -- 903,307 
Seat 4: Ifold2ndnuts (Netherlands) -- 4,669,748 
Seat 5: Thegrandape (Bolivia) -- 1,057,659 
Seat 6: Kozir (Belarus) -- 2,800,718 
Seat 7: elementx8 (Australia) -- 1,143,582 
Seat 8: Pablo "pabritz" Brito Silva (Brazil) -- 4,009,760 

About 15 minutes into the final table, the blinds were 25,000/50,000 when pabritz opened for 112,500 from the button, then G A W jammed for 530,944 from the small blind. It folded back to pabritz who called and turned over K♠K♥, well ahead of G A W's 8♦8♣. The board came 9♥4♥T♦4♦4♣, and G A W was on the rail in eighth.

A little later the blinds were up to 30,000/60,000 when Ifold2ndnuts opened for 122,400 from early position, Thegrandape three-bet all-in for 958,409 from the next seat over, then everyone else folded back to Ifold2ndnuts who called.

Ifold2ndnuts turned over A♣Q♣ while Thegrandape had K♦K♠, meaning the latter was well in front with five cards to go. But those five cards came 5♣3♣2♠4♦2♥ to give Ifold2ndnuts a wheel and send Thegrandape railward in seventh -- a sixth cash for Thegrandape during the series.

Twenty minutes later it folded around to Pablo "pabritz" Brito Silva in the small blind who while sitting behind a chip-leading stack raised big, and Andy_Pavlen called all-in for 737,882 (about 10-and-a-half big blinds). Silva had 7♥6♠ and Andy_Pavlen A♠T♣, with the 6♦4♥4♣ flop hitting Silva's hand to put him in front. The turn was the Q♣ and river the 9♦, and Andy_Pavlen was eliminated in sixth.

They crossed the seven-hour mark of Day 2, and shortly after Silva min-raised to 160,000 from under the gun and it folded to elementx8 who called in the big blind. The flop came T♣3♥9♣, elementx8 checked, Silva shoved, and elementx8 called with the 849,632 left.

elementx8 had 5♣3♣ for a pair of treys plus a club flush draw while Silva had two overcards and a gutshot with K♠J♠. The turn then brought the K♥ to give Silva a better pair, and after the T♦ river elementx8 was out in fifth.

A bit later it was cedrick89 open-pushing from under the gun for 1,308,914 (about 13 BBs), and after Ifold2ndnuts reraised all-in from the button the blinds got out of the way. cedrick89 had an ace with A♣3♠, but Ifold2ndnuts had a better one with A♦K♠. The K♥7♦9♣ flop made things worse for cedrick89, and by the time the 4♣ turn landed cedrick89 was drawing dead and telling the others "gg," having been ousted in fourth.

One hand later they paused the tournament to talk about that aforementioned deal. As noted, by then Silva was still in front and enjoying a big lead with nearly 9.6 million while Ifold2ndnuts had about 4.03 million and Kozir just under 3.675 million. 

Both "ICM"-based and "chip chop" numbers were produced -- leaving $10,380 for which to play in both cases -- and after a bit of negotiating to find some middle ground between the two an agreement was reached and a deal was made.

Soon cards were back in the air, and the trio battled onward to the next break by which point Ifold2ndnuts had moved in front and Silva had become the short stack. 

They all lasted another half-hour, but finally it was Silva pushing all-in with his last 1,445,209 from the small blind (about 10 BBs' worth) with 9♠8♣, Ifold2ndnuts calling with A♦7♣ from the big blind, and after a 6♣2♦T♠4♠4♣ runout Silva going out in third.

Ifold2ndnuts had the chip edge to begin heads-up play with 9,385,324 to Kozir's 7,914,676. Kosir did manage to close the gap and take a slight lead briefly, but Ifold2ndnuts built back up again. 

Over the next hour Kozir survived multiple all-ins, then scraped back to edge in front once more. Ifold2ndnuts surged ahead once more, but then Kozir won a big preflop all-in with A♠9♠ versus Ifold2ndnuts's A♣2♥, and a short while after that was up to about 11.4 million to the almost 5.9 million of Ifold2ndnuts when the final hand took place.

The blinds had ballooned to 120,000/240,000, and after Ifold2ndnuts limped in from the button, Kozir raised to 960,000. That's when Ifold2ndnuts shoved all-in for 5,865,698 total, and Kozir called.

Kozir: A♠A♣
Ifold2ndnuts: 3♥3♠

Bad news for Ifold2ndnuts whose small pair was dominated by the best hand in hold'em. The flop came K♥5♥8♦ and the turn the 4♥, giving Ifold2ndnuts flush hopes. But the river was the 2♠ and it was all over -- Kozir had won it the extra $10,380 and the WCOOP title.

Congratulations to Kozir for completing the comeback to top a big WCOOP field and claim the victory, and kudos as well to Ifold2ndnuts and Pablo "pabritz" Brito Silva for making it to that final table deal and ensuring themselves handsome paydays for their $320 investments.

WCOOP-40 ($320 NL Hold'em, 8-Max) results
Total Entries: 1,730
Prize pool: $519,000 
Places paid: 215

1. Kozir (Belarus) $61,380.00*
2. Ifold2ndnuts (Netherlands) $52,255.96* 
3. Pablo "pabritz" Brito Silva (Brazil) $62,000*
4. cedrick89 (Canada) $29,197.43
5. elementx8 (Australia) $20,993.18
6. Andy_Pavlen (Ukraine) $15,094.28
7. Thegrandape (Bolivia) $10,852.91
8. G A W (Romania) $7,803.32
*denotes three-way deal.

There's another big weekend of WCOOP action coming up, followed by a whole week's worth more of events. See the WCOOP site for a look at the rest of the schedule. 

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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP