WCOOP 2016: Mike "SirWatts" Watson adds a WCOOP title to his resume in Event #74 ($10,300 Eight-Game Championship)

Poker doesn't get much harder than this.

Around 80 of the world's best players plunked down $10,300 to battle each other in eight different games. It took one day for the list of contenders to get down to 12. Then it took another to get down to one. The field was riddled with mixed-game specialists and Team PokerStars Pros like George Danzer, Felipe Mojave Ramos, Jason Mercier and Jason Somerville, but Mike "SirWatts" Watson outlasted them all.


Mike Watson

Watson has millions of dollars in online tournament earnings and two SCOOP titles. Now Watson gets to add a WCOOP title to his long and profitable list of achievements. Watson's newest title came with a $280,238.52 payday, the largest chunk of the $1.2 million prize pool.

Only 11 players made the money in this event and an elite pack of six made it to the final table.

The final table


Seat 1: MUSTAFABET - 274,234
Seat 2: Lrslzk - 247,677
Seat 3: SirWatts - 370,636
Seat 4: cal42688 - 551,915
Seat 5: Sauce123 - 795,280
Seat 6: Iteopepe88 - 160,258

The final table started with a fresh round of Stud and our short-stack got even shorter early on.

About half of Iteopepe88's stack went to Mike "SirWatts" Watson after Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky brought it in with a 6♠. Limits were 10,000/20,000 and Iteopepe88 raised with a 7♠. Watson re-raised with a K♣, Sulsky folded and Iteopepe88 called.

Iteopepe88: (X)(X)/7♠8♦Q♣5♣/(X)
Watson: (X)(X)/K♣J♥8♥J♠/(X)

Watson bet all the way down and Iteopepe88 threw in a raise on fifth street. Iteopepe88 called again on sixth, but folded to a bet on the river.

The hand put Watson up to 518,636 while Iteopepe88 dropped to 72,258.

Iteopepe88 kept dropping and the game switched to Stud Hi/Lo. Calvin "cal42688" Anderson brought it in with a 3♠ and Sulsky raised with a 5♣. Iteopepe88 re-raised with an 8♣ and Sulsky threw in another bet after Anderson folded. Iteopepe88 moved all-in and Sulsky called.

Iteopepe88: (K♣)(6♣)/8♣J♦J♠T♠/(Q♥)
Sulsky: (5♦)(A♥)/5♣5♠K♦6♦/(Q♣)

There was no low hand and Iteopepe88's pair of jacks wasn't enough to beat Sulsky's trio of fives. Iteopepe88 won $70,635.72 for finishing 6th while Sulsky's lead grew to 771,038.

Down goes Kelopuro

Sami Kelopuro is no stranger to COOP victories and high-stakes online tournaments, but victory didn't come for him in Event #74.

Kelopuro dipped after Iteopepe88's elimination, but managed to double up a few times in hands of Razz and Stud. Kelopuro was still short though and lost the rest of his chips in one of the final hands of Stud.

Kelopuro brought it in with a 3♦ and Matthew "MUSTAFABET" Ashton raised with a Q♥. Kelopuro re-raised, MUSTAFABET called and the rest of Kelopuro's chips went in on fourth street.

Ashton: (T♠)(5♥)/Q♥K♥J♥J♣/(A♦)
Kelopuro: (9♦)(5♦/3♦3♠7♠6♦/(T♥)

Kelopuro's pair of 3s wasn't enough to beat Ashton's broadway straight and Kelopuro was out in 5th. Kelopuro won $93,051.84 for the finish while Ashton chipped up to 1.3 million.

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Sami Kelopuro

Anderson sauced

There was one more hand of Stud after Kelopuro's elimination and then the game switched to Stud Hi/Lo. Anderson brought it in with a 5♥ six hands into the round and Sulsky raised with an A♣. Ashton re-raised with a T♥ and Anderson four-bet. Sulsky called and Ashton threw in another raise. Both players called and the rest of Anderson's chips went in on fourth street.

Sulsky: (X)(X)/A♣9♥6♦7♥/(X)
Ashton: (X)(X)/T♥9♣3♠J♣/(X)
Anderson: (X)(X)/5♥2♣5♦J♦/(X)

Sulsky check-called a bet on fifth and both players checked on sixth street. Sulsky bet on the river and Ashton called and mucked after Sulsky turned over 4♦3♦T♣ for 6-5-4-3-A low and a 3-7 straight for the high pot.

Sulsky chipped up to 750,470 while Ashton dropped to 848,058 and Anderson was left with 0. Anderson did get a $122,581.68 payday for finishing 4th though.


Calvin Anderson

No-Limit bluffing

Players started three-handed play fairly even in chips, but Ashton lost a large chunk after he doubled up Watson on a failed bluff.

Blinds were 16,000/32,000 and Ashton called from the small blind. Watson checked his option and the flop came 9♦9♣8♣.

Watson bet 32,000 when checked to and Ashton raised to 97,440. Watson called and a K♦ came on the turn. Ashton bet 159,897, Watson called and a T♠ completed the board. Ashton moved all-in with 7♠5♣ and Watson quickly called with Q♣J♣.

Watson doubled up to 1.1 million while Ashton dropped to 305,026.

Then Watson took the rest of Ashton's chips a few hands later. The game switched to Pot-Limit Omaha and Watson raised to 48,000 from the button. Ashton called from the big blind and a K♠4♥8♥ flop hit the board.

Watson bet 64,000 and Ashton raised to 296,000. Watson moved all-in and Ashton called.

Ashton: K♣8♣5♠2♥
Watson: 4♦4♣3♦3♥

Watson had Ashton's two pairs beat with a set of fours and the T♠ on the turn and Q♣ on the river did nothing to change that.

Ashton was eliminated in 3rd place and won $161,482.80 while Watson started the heads-up match with the lead.


Matthew Ashton


Watson - 1,445,762
Sulsky - 954,238

The Canadian duo played through the rest of the round of PLO without stacks changing much, but then 2-7 triple draw came in to shake things up.

Sulsky briefly took the lead, but then Watson started dealing some low blows. Limits were 40,000/80,000 and Sulsky raised from the button. Watson called and both players drew two cards.

Sulsky bet when checked to and then called Watson's raise. Watson stood pat and Sulsky took one. Watson bet, Sulsky raised and drew another card after Watson called. Watson showed 9♥6♣5♠4♣3♠ and took down the pot after Sulsky mucked. The hand left Sulsky with 382,558 while Watson chipped up to 1.4 million.

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Watson kept nipping away at Sulsky and then dealt the final blow a few minutes later. Watson raised from the button and Sulsky three-bet. Watson called and drew three cards while Sulsky took two.

Player bet and raised until Sulsky was all-in. Both players drew one and then patted on the final draw. Sulsky showed 9♥8♦4♠3♦2♥, but Watson had him beat with 8♣7♦5♠3♣2♠.

Sulsky won $212,729.16 for the 2nd place finish while Watson won another WCOOP title and $280,238.52.

WCOOP-74 ($10,300 Eight-Game Championship) results
Entrants: 120
Total prize pool: $1,200,000.00
Places paid: 11

1. Mike "SirWatts" Watson (Canada) $280,238.52
2. Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky (Canada) $212,729.16
3. Matthew "MUSTAFABET" Ashton (United Kingdom) $161,482.80
4. Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (Mexico) $122,581.68
5. Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro (Finland) $93,051.84
6. Iteopepe88 (Hungary) $70,635.72

Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Alex Villegas
@PokerStars in WCOOP