WCOOP 2016: marcasa makes the money, takes down Event #62 ($530+R NLHE)

Opportunities to win -COOP titles don't come along every day. When marcasa last had a chance, in the TCOOP Main Event this past January, the turbo structure and late stage of the tournament meant the result was largely out of marcasa's control. The fourth-place finish for marcasa there was worth more than $155K, but a -COOP title still eluded the player from the Netherlands. Today an opportunity with more room to play presented itself, and marcasa - with help from one touch of good fortune in the early going - joined the -COOP champions' club with a WCOOP title.

A total of 366 players paid $530 each to enter Event #62, a no-limit hold'em tournament with a $300K guarantee. Two hours of unlimited 5,000-chip rebuys and a single 7,500-chip add-on at the end of the rebuy period helped to boost the prize pool further, with 345 re-buys and 289 add-ons bringing it to a total of $502,500. After six more hours of play, Day 1 ended after 20 levels of play with just 24 players remaining, led by UncleAnte9 with 512,415 chips. That leading stack was worth 102 big blinds, well ahead of PolecatRider's 360K and farmjim's 358K in second and third, respectively.

Ole "wizowizo" Schemion, who won his second Super Tuesday title last month, was at the other end of the spectrum, sitting in 20th place with 161K, just ahead of fellow short stack and multiple -COOP winner Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah in 22nd. Play resumed on Day 2 at 10:00 a.m. ET, and Leah bowed out early in 20th place. Schemion, on the other hand, turned things around in characteristic style, amassing a big enough stack to hold the chip lead as the final table began.

Seat 1: UncleAnte9 (1,026,192 in chips)
Seat 2: Mads "madsamot" Amot (375,084 in chips)
Seat 3: farmjim (566,367 in chips)
Seat 4: PolecatRider (913,796 in chips) -
Seat 5: Ole "wizowizo" Schemion (1,222,703 in chips)
Seat 6: hawiwi (175,388 in chips)
Seat 7: Frederik "Fred_Brink" Jensen (607,612 in chips)
Seat 8: marcasa (492,376 in chips)
Seat 9: Felix "ZhipOHoy" Stephensen (342,982 in chips)

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EPT8 Madrid champion Frederik "Fred_Brink" Jensen has enjoyed a pretty good year here at PokerStars - he finished third in yesterday's WCOOP 2016 Razz Championship, final-tabled the Super Tuesday in February, and finished as a TCOOP runner-up in January. His run at this final would be short-lived, though. On just the fourth hand he re-raised early-position opener and WCOOP 2015 finalist PolecatRider, then fired when checked to on both the 3♥ K♣ 7♥ flop and 3♣ turn. With 554K in the middle, Jensen checked behind on the 7♣ river and mucked when PolecatRider showed A♥ K♦ for the winner. That left Jensen with 333K, or nearly 28 big blinds, which he used as leverage five hands later to re-raise all-in from the big blind with K♦ Q♦ over the top of UncleAnte9's 35K-chip opening raise. UncleAnte9 called with the dominating A♣ K♣, dodged a flush draw, and picked up an unnecessary pair of aces to win the 673K-chip pot on a 4♥ 7♦ J♦ 3♠ A♥ board. With that, Jensen left in ninth.

Early exit for Jensen

Frederik Jensen, out in ninth

After a couple of mostly uneventful orbits, PolecatRider scored the second knockout as well. This time the German player opened in middle position with 9♥ 9♠ for just a little over the minimum, calling when SCOOP 2015 & 2016 runner-up Felix "ZhipOHoy" Stephensen jammed from the small blind with A♠ J♦. The Q♦ 6♠ 2♣ T♠ 8♠ board was danger-free for PolecatRider, and ZhipOHoy was gone in eighth.

Despite coming to the final table as the shortest stack, Lebanon's hawiwi had already climbed two pay rungs thanks to timely double-ups, first with A♥ T♥ against Ole Schemion's J♠ T♣ and then again with A♣ J♦ against farmjim's 8♣ 8♦. A third pay jump for hawiwi arrived 11 hands after that second double-up when Super Tuesday champ, Sunday Warm-Up winner, and WCOOP 2016 Marathon event finalist Mads "madsamot" Amot moved all-in on the button with 6♠ 6♥ over the top of UncleAnte9's opening raise with A♥ J♦. UncleAnte9 made the call, picked up an ace on the turn of the 3♥ 9♣ K♠ A♦ 9♠ board, and won the 791K-chip pot to eliminate Amot in seventh.

SCOOP 2014 finalist farmjim was the next to go, though not immediately. The player from the U.K., holding 203K in chips after Amot's departure, made a desperate raise with A♥ 3♦ and survived a run-in with PolecatRider's A♣ Q♦ when the board delivered one ace and three tens to give both players tens full of aces. Then 6♣ 6♠ held up after Ole Schemion opened with T♠ 8♠ and called getting 2.5-to-1 pot odds, giving farmjim a small boost to 286K.

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After marcasa caught a six on the flop to survive all-in with 6♦ 6♥ against Schemion's pocket eights, farmjim was dealt T♣ T♥ on the button and moved all-in over the top of an opening raise from UncleAnte9. PolecatRider called in the small blind with A♦ T♦, driving UncleAnte9 out of the hand, and then caught an ace on the turn of the 3♣ K♠ 6♣ A♣ 4♠ board. The tens bested, farmjim bowed out in sixth.

hawiwi (with 298K) and Ole Schemion (with 493K) were the short stacks now, with the 10K/20K blinds and 2.5K antes set to advance to 12K/24K/3K within a few hands. Both players would find their way to the rail within a seven-hand span courtesy of opponents holding pocket pairs. Schemion was the first out despite winning a 473K-chip pot from UncleAnte9 with a flush to chip up over 826K. Sitting in the big blind five hands after that with A♠ Q♣, he moved all-in for 740K over the top of UncleAnte9's 52K-chip button opener. UncleAnte9 called with 6♣ 6♦ and 1.18M left behind, the 9♠ 4♣ 5♠ 4♠ T♥ board brought three spades instead of four, and Ole "wizowizo" Schemion bowed out in fifth.

Fifth place for Schemion

Ole Schemion, out in fifth

hawiwi's number was finally up seven hands later. The player from Lebanon opened all-in for 450K on the button with A♦ 9♥ and had the misfortune to be isolated by marcasa, who held K♦ K♥ in the small blind. The 8♠ 9♣ K♣ J♥ 7♠ board gave hawiwi a pair of nines, but that couldn't beat the kings and hawiwi left in fourth.

UncleAnte9 had more chips at 3.08M than both PolecatRider (1.38M) and marcasa (1.25M) combined as three-handed play began. Brief discussion of a deal popped up, but marcasa said nothing so play continued and led to two key pots for the player from the Netherlands. The first saw marcasa open on the button for 55K, followed by UncleAnte9 re-raising to 172K in the small blind and PolecatRider making it four bets for 385K in the big blind. marcasa jammed for 1.53M, good enough to claim a 953K-chip pot uncontested. Three hands later, marcasa again opened on the button, this time for 53K, with K♥ K♣. UncleAnte9 called in the small blind, and PolecatRider re-raised to 195K in the big blind with A♠ Q♠. marcasa put in the fourth bet for 338K and then called after UncleAnte9 folded and PolecatRider jammed. The kings held up on the J♠ J♣ 2♥ 2♣ 4♣ board, and PolecatRider exited in third.

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The heads-up portion of the tournament featured two players with plenty of past success at PokerStars. In just 2016, marcasa had already managed to make the final tables of two TCOOP events and the Sunday Million. And UncleAnte9's runner-up finish in the Sunday Warm-Up earlier this year followed a Sunday Million final in 2013 and final table appearances during SCOOP 2014 & 2015. They would trade pots for close to 20 minutes, but marcasa won the two that mattered most.

UncleAnte9 opened the first key pot for 70K on the button with, bringing a call from marcasa in the big blind and a 9♦ A♥ 3♠ flop, which both players checked. marcasa checked again on the A♦ turn, then raised to 181K after UncleAnte9 bet 56K. UncleAnte9 called, and the T♣ came on the river. This time marcasa led for 308K into the 510K-chip pot, and after dwelling in the time bank for a few moments, UncleAnte9 made the call - and mucked when marcasa showed T♦ 4♦ for two pair, aces and tens.

That left UncleAnte9 with 2.04M chips, most of which the player from Canada still held onto when the last hand began. marcasa opened it for 64K on the button and UncleAnte9 called with J♣ 8♠ in the big blind, bringing a T♦ Q♠ 5♠ flop. UncleAnte9 checked, then raised to 252K after marcasa bet 70K. marcasa called there, and then again after UncleAnte9 led for 342K on the 2♠ turn, to see the K♥ hit the river. UncleAnte9 jammed for 1.1M on the bluff, and marcasa called after a stay in the time bank, showing down a pair of kings to win the pot and the tournament.

Congratulations to marcasa on the big breakthrough, and to UncleAnte9 for yet another strong performance at a major PokerStars final table!

WCOOP 2016: Event #62, $530+R No-Limit Hold'em
Entrants: 366 (345 re-buys, 289 add-ons)
Prize pool: $502,500
Places paid: 47

1. marcasa (Netherlands) $91,540.33
2. UncleAnte9 (Canada) $67,834.38
3. PolecatRider (Germany) $50,267.58
4. hawiwi (Lebanon) $37,250.02
5. Ole "wizowizo" Schemion (Germany) $27,603.53
6. farmjim (United Kingdom) $20,455.16
7. Mads "madsamot" Amot (Norway) $15,157.96
8. Felix "ZhipOHoy" Stephensen (United Kingdom) $11,232.63
9. Frederik "Fred_Brink" Jensen (Denmark) $8,323.76

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in WCOOP