WCOOP 2016: prosvk prospers with $31k win in Event #18 ($320 NL Hold'em [Heads-Up])

Any grizzled poker veteran will tell you it takes dealing a bad beat and surviving a bad beat to win a tournament. This was certainly true today as Slovakia's prosvk made his way through nine heads-up matches before capturing his first WCOOP title. In the quarterfinals, he got lucky to spike a turn king vs. SCOOP champion Gonzaga "Zagazaur" Briga's pocket queens. Then, in the semis, he took pocket kings up against CHD17's pocket nines-- both players flopped sets, but CHD17 hit a one-outer on the river to double up with quads. Prosvk, however, was able to regroup and recover and put CHD17 away to advance to the final match vs. heads-up specialist Arturs "IKSecret" Kurnajevs. Prosvk and IKSecret immediately made a deal and split all but $4,000 of the remaining prize pool and it didn't take long for prosvk to emerge victorious and capture his first WCOOP title.

The first heads-up events of the 2016 WCOOP drew 624 runners, resulting in a small overlay in the $200,000 guaranteed prize pool. The top 64 spots were paid with $36,264.00 set aside for the champion.

Play was paused at the end of Day 1 with 32 players remaining. Notable Day 2 cashes included Team Online's Felix "xflixx" Schneiders (26th), four-time SCOOP champion James "Andy McLEOD" Obst (21st), and Team Pro Chris "Money800" Moneymaker (14th).

Day 2 commenced at 10am ET on Saturday and it took two and a half hours of play to reduce the field from 32 players to our eight quarterfinalists.

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THE QUARTERFINALS (ROUND OF 8)

CHD17 def. incamuffa

CHD17 took only 13 minutes to put away incamuffa. The chip counts had barely budged and the blinds were only 60/120 when a preflop raising war ended with all the chips in the middle. CHD17 opened for 288 on the button, incamuffa three-bet to 988, CHD17 four-bet to 2,340, incamuffa shipped and CHD17 called, his A♥K♥ up against two red sevens. CHD17 flopped a king on the K♦T♣3♥6♠3♦ board and locked up a seat in the semifinals.

prosvk def. Zagazaur

The lead swung back and forth between these two several times in the early going, but their chip counts were even again late in Level 3 (80/160). However, Zagazaur scored big when he called a preflop three-bet with Q♦T♠ and flopped a Broadway straight. Prosvk, holding K♦Q♥ for the royal flush draw, led out on every street of the A♥K♥J♥A♠7♦ board and Zagazaur called him down. The 9,240 pot took Zagazaur up to 14,521 in chips, while prosvk was left with 5,479. Then, with the blinds up to 100/200, Zagazaur called prosvk's preflop shove, his Q♦Q♣ up against K♦J♥. The 9♠7♠3♣ flop kept Zagazaur in the lead, but prosvk spiked a king on the turn and doubled to 7,758. On the next hand, prosvk made two pair and evened the chip counts, and three hands after that, he turned a six-high straight to take a 3 to 1 chip lead.

Four hands later, both players limped in and saw a Q♥6♣4♠ flop. Zagazaur check-called 300 on the flop, and both players checked the 5♦ turn. But when the 9♠ appeared on the river, Zagazaur check-raised all-in and prosvk called. Zagazaur turned over 3♥4♦ for only a pair of fours and prosvk punched his ticket to the semis with Q♠9♣ for top two pair.

IKSecret def. beginner27

IKSecret and beginner27 were still close to even in chips by Level 5 (120/240) when IKSecret ran a multi-street bluff that didn't work out too well for him. Both players limped in to see an A♥8♣5♦ flop. Beginner27 checked, IKSecret bet 336 with Q♣2♠ and beginner27 called. The turn brought the 3♠ and again beginner27 checked. IKSecret fired another 1,152 and beginner27 came along. The river was the 6♠ and beginner27 checked a third time. IKSecret shoved for 9,130 and beginner27 called all-in for 7,414. Beginner27 turned over A♦9♥ and doubled to 18,284, leaving IKSecret on only 1,716.

IKSecret, however, doubled up on the next hand when his A♣7♦ held up against K♣J♣. Two hands later, IKSecret doubled again with 9♦9♣ vs. A♣6♣, and six hands after that, IKSecret moved back into the chip lead with 12,528 when his pocket threes held up against A♣Q♦.

Less than five minutes later, beginner27 opened for 528 on the button and IKSecret called. IKSecret check-called a 591-chip bet on the K♦T♦7♣ flop and check-called another 1,833 when the 8♥ turned. The river was the 3♠ and IKSecret checked a third time. Beginner27 shoved and IKSecret called. IKSecret's pair of tens with 9♠T♣ was good against beginner27's A♠9♣ for ace-high and he advanced to the round of four.

Mr.Bittar def. HandOfBl00d

Mr.Bittar and HandOfBl00d traded small pots for the first four levels before HandOfBl00d turned trip eights against Mr.Bittar's jacks and eights to move out to 14,650 in chips. Mr.Bittar slid all the way to 3,695, but rebounded in a three-bet pot where the flop fell 5♣4♣2♦. Mr.Bittar flopped a six-high straight with 3♠6♠ and HandOfBl00d led into him for 525. Mr.Bittar smooth-called. The turn was the A♠ and HandOfBl00d checked. Mr.Bittar slyly checked behind and saw the river fall the 3♦. HandOfBl00d shoved right into him with only K♠Q♣ and Mr.Bittar snap-called, his straight good for a double to 7,390.

Two hands later, Mr.Bittar took the chip lead thanks to a fortuitous river card. After opening for a button min-raise to 480, Mr.Bittar made a 360-chip continuation bet on the J♥6♣2♠ flop with Q♦9♦. HandOfBl00d called. The 4♥ turned and HandOfBl00d checked to Mr.Bittar, who checked behind. The river, however, brought the Q♠, and HandOfBl00d passed to Mr.Bittar, who bet 1,099 with top pair. HandOfBl00d called and mucked at the sight of Mr.Bittar's queens.

Mr.Bittar moved up to 10,173 on that hand and steadily chipped up to 16,080 by the time the blinds rose to 160/320. With 3,920 remaining, HandOfBl00d open-shoved on the button with K♦9♣ and Mr.Bittar called with K♠J♠. What a board this was-- the T♣9♥9♠ turned HandOfBl00d's dominated hand into trip nines, but the 8♦ turn and Q♦ river were the running cards Mr.Bittar needed to make a king-high straight. HandOfBl00d departed in fifth place and the final four were set.

THE SEMIFINALS (ROUND OF 4)

prosvk def. CHD17

Prosvk struck first in this heads-up battle. Holding 8♦9♣, he checked behind on the J♣4♦4♣ flop only to have the 7♥ turn give him a gutshot straight draw. CHD17 bet 210 and prosvk decided to call. The T♠ river was prosvk's gin card, making him a jack-high straight. CHD17 bet 673, prosvk raised to 1,980 and CHD17 called to see the bad news. Prosvk moved up to 12,765, leaving CHD17 on 7,235.

It could have been all over for CHD17 in the next level. Holding 9♥9♣, CHD17 four-bet shoved for 6,665 preflop and prosvk called with K♥K♦. Even more of a gut punch than running nines into kings was the flop, which fell K♠9♦3♦, making both players sets. The 3♠ turn improved prosvk to kings full, but CHD17 miraculously caught his one-outer on the river as the 9♠ landed, making him quads! CHD17 doubled to 13,330 and prosvk tumbled to 6,670.

Prosvk went back to the grind and worked his stack back up to nearly even with CHD17 when he picked up A♥A♠ and opened for a min-raise to 320. CHD17 three-bet, prosvk four-bet, CHD16 shoved, and prosvk called. CHD17 turned up Q♦Q♠, but there were no miracles for his underpair this time, as the board ran out K♠7♠7♣6♥8♣. Prosvk doubled to 18,908, cripping CHD17 to 1,092.

Although CHD17 was able to double up one more time when his A♠T♦ flopped an ace against prosvk's pocket jacks, three hands later, prosvk finished him off. CHD17 limped in on the button, prosvk made it 700 to go and CHD17 called. Both players checked the J♠5♣2♦ flop and when the 9♥ turned. prosvk led out for 700. CHD17 called. The river was the 8♥ and prosvk bet 5,600. CHD17 called off his remaining 1,768, but his 8♣9♣ for nines and eights couldn't stand up to prosvk's J♣5♠ for jacks and fives.

IKSecret def. Mr.Bittar

IKSecret took a slight chip lead in Level 3 (80/160) when his Q♦4♠ flopped a pair of queens and made aces and queens on the turn. IKSecret check-called Mr.Bittar's flop and turn bets before checking down the river and winning the 2,840 pot at showdown to move up to 11,675. Shortly thereafter, IKSecret hit a stretch where he won nine pots in a row, taking his stack up to 13,393. That's when IKSecret opened for a standard min-raise to 320 and Mr.Bittar three-bet to 1,097. IKSecret called and they saw an A♦8♥7♣ flop. Mr.Bittar led out for 765 and IKSecret called. When the T♣ turned, Mr.Bittar slowed down and checked, IKSecret bet 1,200 and Mr.Bittar called. The river was the 8♠ and both players checked. Mr.Bittar turned over J♥J♠, but IKSecret's A♣3♣ took down the 6,124 pot with a pair of aces.

A few hands later, IKSecret picked up K♣T♦ and three-bet preflop to 720. Mr.Bittar called and the flop fell T♣3♠2♣, making IKSecret top pair. IKSecret led out for 480, Mr.Bittar moved all-in for 3,343 and IKSecret called. Mr.Bittar also held top pair, but was in kicker trouble with 9♦T♥. The turn and river blanked out with the 4♦ and the J♦ and IKSecret locked up his place in the finals, ending Mr.Bittar's run in third place.

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THE FINALS: IKSecret vs. prosvk

Just as the final match began, IKSecret and prosvk decided to pause the action and make an even chop. They agreed to take shares of $27,670.00 apiece and play for the required $4,000.

Cards went back in the air and during Level 2 (60/120), prosvk opened A♦J♦ for 300 and IKSecret called. The T♦9♦8♣ flop gave prosvk straight and flush draws, and when IKSecret led out for 420, prosvk raised to 1,440. IKSecret called and they went to the turn, which fell the 7♣, making prosvk a jack-high straight. IKSecret checked, prosvk bet 870 and IKSecret called. The river was the 3♦, improving prosvk further to an ace-high flush. IKSecret checked, prosvk moved all-in for 6,575 and IKSecret called. IKSecret turned over K♦J♠, also having turned a jack-high straight, but prosvk doubled to 18,370 with his flush, leaving IKSecret on only 1,630.

Three hands later, IKSecret open-shoved for 1,510 with K♣2♣ and prosvk called with A♥T♣. Although IKSecret flopped kings and fours, prosvk caught an ace on the turn, the board running out K♥4♥4♣A♠5♥ to lock up the win.

Congratulations to prosvk on joining the ranks of WCOOP champions! He banked $31,670.00 for the win, while runner-up IKSecret scored $27,670.00.

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WCOOP-18 ($320 NL Hold'em [Heads-Up]) results
Total entries: 624
Prize pool: $200,000.00
Places paid: 64

1. prosvk (Slovakia) $31,670.00*
2. Arturs "IKSecret" Kurnajevs (Latvia) $27,670.00*
3. Diego "Mr.Bittar" Bittar (Brazil) $11,538.00
4. CHD17 (Canada) $11,538.00
5. HandOfBl00d (Russia) $6,428.00
6. beginner27 (United Kingdom) $6,428.00
7. Gonzaga "Zagazaur" Briga (Czech Republic) $6,428.00
8. incamuffa (Malta) $6,428.00

*denotes a heads-up deal

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Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP