WCOOP 2016: Poleshchikov powers past Michael Chi "mczhang" Zhang in Event #27 ($215 NLHE [Deep Payouts, Sunday Warm-Up SE])

At at final table that sported two WSOP bracelet winners, a current top 10 GPI player, and veterans of half a dozen 'COOP final tables, an unknown finally had his chance to shine. Russia's Poleshchikov has made his fair share of final tables, including a runner-up finish in the Saturday Super-Knockout which earned him over $16,000, but he's never done so in a 'COOP event. Tonight he faced giants like David "dpeters17" Peters, who has amassed over $12.4 million in live earnings, including a WSOP bracelet win, and currently ranks #8 in the Global Poker Index. There was David "DonkCommitted" Miscikowski, also a WSOP bracelet winner, who has made WCOOP and SCOOP final tables. Ben "bennybunny18 Richardson has a list of MTT scores as long as your arm and was runner-up in the Sunday Warm-Up earlier this year. And there was Michael "mczhang" Chi Zhang, a U.K. grinder, who made a TCOOP final table this past January. Although Zhang proved most deft in the three-handed deal negotiations and walked away with the highest guaranteed share (despite being second in chips at the time), Poleshchikov got the best of him heads-up and captured his first WCOOP title.

This special edition of the Sunday Warm-Up drew 8,221 entries (5,860 players and 2,361 re-entries). The deep payout structure ensured that 25% of the field would walk away with some cash for their efforts, with 2,078 players earning a share of the $1,622.200.00 prize pool. First place? A cool $178,214.00.

Day 1 concluded after 27 levels of play, with 270 players advancing to Day 2. Event #17 champion Sebastian "Pauli elTopo" Pauli topped the overnight chip counts, but busted out in 35th place. It took close to seven hours to go from 270 players to ten, and the final table bubble burst in rather dramatic fashion. The blinds were up to 250,000/500,000 when the action folded to Sugammadex on the button. He open-shoved for 7.6 million with 2♥2♣ and turcooo reshoved right behind him for 9.75 million. DonkCommitted got out of the way in the big blind and turcooo revealed K♦K♣. Here's where it got a little nuts-- torcuooo's kings were snapped off on the 2♦4♥4♣ flop as Sugammadex made deuces full of fours. But the 4♦ turn rained on his parade as turcooo snatched the lead back with fours full of kings. Only quads could save Sugammadex, but the 7♠ river sent him home on the final table bubble.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: bennybunny18 (36,312,560 in chips)
Seat 2: kirdface (7,840,655 in chips)
Seat 3: mandza17 (19,541,615 in chips)
Seat 4: DonkCommited (16,601,789 in chips)
Seat 5: turcooo (18,160,448 in chips)
Seat 6: grinder1992 (15,567,253 in chips)
Seat 7: dpeters17 (4,828,879 in chips)
Seat 8: mczhang (19,797,928 in chips)
Seat 9: Poleshchikov (25,768,873 in chips)

Kirdface made the final table as the second-shortest stack, but pulled into the middle of the pack with 16.4 million when he doubled through grinder1992, his A♣Q♣ holding up against A♥J♥ in a preflop all-in. Newly minted WSOP bracelet winner David "dpeters17" Peters, however, was not as fortunate. Despite getting his last 4.4 million in with the best of it, A♦K♠ vs. DonkCommitted's A♥J♣, Peters went out in ninth place when DonkCommitted rivered a jack on the Q♣7♣6♠A♣J♠ board.

david_dpeters17_peters_wcoop.jpgDavid "dpeters17" Peters, pictured in victory at the EPT11 Malta High Roller

On the very next deal, the action folded around to grinder1992 in the small blind and he moved in for 7.48 million with 4♠6♠, but mczhang had enough to call with A♠8♥ in the big blind. Mczhang hit an ace on the flop and an eight on the river, his aces up sending grinder1992 to the rail in eighth place.

Bennybunny18 relinquished the chip lead to a surging Poleshchikov, but was still on a very comfortable 34.6 million when he picked up A♥K♥ on the button and opened for 1.33 million. Kirdface three-bet shoved for 14.1 million from the small blind and bennybunny18 called. Kirdface turned over T♦T♣ and made top set when the flop fell T♥8♠6♦. The 8♥ turn made him tens full, and although bennybunny18 rivered an ace-high flush with the 3♥ it was no good. Kirdface got a huge double-up to 29.3 million while bennybunny18 fell to 20.4 million.

Our other WSOP bracelet winner, David "DonkCommitted" Miscikowski, saw his WCOOP title run come to an end on a classic cooler. DonkCommitted three-bet Q♠Q♥ preflop, kirdface four-bet shoved for 32.9 million and DonkCommitted called off his remaining 13.2 million only to watch him turn over A♦A♥. An ace on the turn left him drawing dead and DonkCommitted exited in seventh place.

Turcooo was down to 4.37 million with the blinds up to 400,000/800,000 when he found 7♦8♦ in the big blind and decided to call kirdface's button shove. Kirdface only had 4♠6♣, but his brilliant run continued as he rivered a pair of sixes on the A♣9♦9♠K♠6♦ board to send turcooo home in sixth.

Early in the next level, kirdface led the remaining five with 60.4 million in chips, but mczhang was about to change that. With the blinds up to 500,000/1,000,000, mczhang opened for 2.18 million from UTG and Poleshchikov three-bet to 6,000,000 right behind him. Mczhang shoved for 30.8 million and Poleshchikov called, his A♠K♠ racing with Q♥Q♠. Mczhang's queens held up on the 7♠2♠2♣4♣7♣ board and he took the chip lead with 63.8 million.

Poleshchikov was left with only 17.7 million and opened the next hand for 2,000,000 from UTG. Mandza17 moved in for his last 5.76 million from the small blind and mczhang reshoved from the big blind. Poleshchikov called.

Poleshchikov K♦K♥
mandza17 A♠T♣
mczhang T♦T♠

Poleshchikov turned quad kings on the K♠7♣5♣K♣J♦ board and tripled to 41.6 million, mczhang fell to 46.1 million, and mandza17 was eliminated in fifth place.

Five hands later, the action folded to Poleskchikov in the small blind and he made a min-raise to 2,000,000. Bennybunny18 looked down at A♥7♠ and moved in for 19.1 million and Poleshchikov snap-called with K♥K♠. There was no love for bennybunny18 on the Q♣T♠2♦7♣4♠ board and the Aussie saw his run come to an end in fourth place.

Kirdface was back in the chip lead three-handed, but two hands after bennybunny18's elimination, he decided to get a little frisky on the river. Kirdface opened for 2,000,000 on the button, mczhang three-bet to 5.68 million and kirdface called. The flop fell A♥8♣4♣ and mczhang led out for 4,750,000. Kirdface called to see the turn, which landed the Q♥. Mczhang checked and kirdface checked behind. The river was the J♠ and mczhang checked again. Kirdface fired out 6,003,450 and mczhang looked him up with Q♣T♣ for a pair of queens. Kirdface only had K♣2♣ for ace-king high and mczhang raked in a 34.2 million-chip pot.

Moments later, the final three agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. Here's how they stacked up at the time:

Poleshchikov - 59,838,201
mczhang - 56,773,615
kirdface - 47,808,184

Mczhang let his opponents know before the numbers were calculated that he would be asking for more than his ICM share. The formula awarded Poleshchikov $123,772.16, mczhang $122,707.91 and kirdface $119,108.10 with 2% of the prize pool, $32,884.00, still on the table for the winner. Mczhang declared that he wanted at least $130,000 and asked both of his opponents to make up the $7,300 difference between them. Despite having more chips than mczhang, Poleshchikov quickly agreed to his proposal and kirdface soon followed suit.

Shortly after action resumed, kirdface picked up A♦J♦ and opened for 2,000,000 on the button. Mczhang three-bet to 5.7 million, kirdface four-bet to 13.4 million, mczhang moved all-in for 53.8 million and kirdface called all-in for 30.5 million. Mczhang's A♣7♣ was dominated, but he spiked a river seven on the 5♣4♦2♠9♠7♦ board to pair his kicker and send kirdface to the rail in third place.

michael_chi_mczhang_zhang.jpgMichael Chi "mczhang" Zhang at the 2015 UKIPT Bristol

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 8: mczhang (99,144,299 in chips)
Seat 9: Poleshchikov (65,275,701 in chips)

The chip counts had barely budged when mczhang opened for 2.18 million, Poleshchikov three-bet to 5,000,000 and mczhang called. The flop came down T♣2♣2♥ and Poleshchikov led out for 5,125,000. Mczhang called and they went to the turn, which fell the A♠. Poleshchikov fired another 10,250,000 and mczhang called. The river brought another ace, the A♥ and Poleshchikov made it 20,500,000 to go. Mczhang looked him up, only to muck at the sight of Poleshchikov's A♣9♣ for aces full of deuces. Poleshchikov took down the 82,000,000 pot and moved up to 106.7 million, leaving mczhang on 57.8 million.

The blinds were up to 600,000/1,200,000 when Poleshchikov dealt another blow. On a K♥4♦2♥ flop, Poleshchikov led out for 2,766,000, preflop raiser mczhang bumped it to 8,800,000, and Poleshchikov called. The turn brought the K♣ and Poleshchikov check-called another 12,600,000. The river was the 5♦ and Poleshchikov checked again. This time mczhang checked behind. Poleshchikov revealed K♠Q♦ for trips and moved up to 130.2 million, while mczhang slid to 34.1 million.

Two hands later, mczhang opened T♥T♦ for 2,616,000 and Poleshchikov called. Mczhang hit middle set on the A♣T♠6♦ flop and Poleshchikov checked. Mczhang bet 1,991,520 and Poleshchikov called. Then, when the 7♥ turned, Poleshchikov checked again, mczhang bet 6,600,000 and Poleshchikov raised to 13.2 million. Mczhang shoved and Poleshchikov snap-called with 8♥9♣, having turned a ten-high straight. Mczhang needed to pair the board or hit the case ten, but got the 2♠ instead, and Poleshchikov locked up his first WCOOP title.

Congratulations to Russia's Poleshchikov on joining the ranks of WCOOP champions! He banked $153,010.07 for the win, while Michael Chi "mczhang" Zhang earned $130,000.00 for his runner-up finish.

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WCOOP-27 ($215 NLHE [Deep Payouts, Sunday Warm-Up SE]) results
Total entries: 8,221 (5,860 entries, 2,361 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,644,200.00
Places paid: 2,078

1. Poleshchikov (Russia) $153,010.07*
2. Michael Chi "mczhang" Zhang (United Kingdom) $130,000.00*
3. kirdface (United Kingdom) $115,462.10*
4. Ben "bennybunny18" Richardson (Australia) $66,240.04
5. mandza17 (Croatia) $47,627.04
6. turcooo (Argentina) $34,244.24
7. David "DonkCommitted" Miscikowski (Costa Rica) $24,621.73
8. grinder1992 (Bulgaria) $17,703.10
9. David "dpeters17" Peters (Canada) $12,728.57

*denotes a three-way deal

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Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP