WCOOP 2016: 'thx4urm0n3y' goes wire-to-wire to win Event #51 ($1,050 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Ultra-Deep], $500,000 GTD)

There is so much variance in tournament poker that even if a player comes into a final table with a decent chip lead, nothing is guaranteed. While everything usually can and does happen at a final table, this one might have been a foregone conclusion, as thx4urm0n3y came in on top and road a wire-to-wire finish to claim the Event #51 $1,050 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Ultra-Deep] $500,000 GTD title.

The Ultra-Deep structure of Event #51 meant a long grind for the 869 runners, of which close to two dozen came back for Day 2 on Monday morning. While pablotenisis, who won the opening 'Sunday Warm-Up' event of this WCOOP series two weeks ago, experienced a case of the Monday's six players did not. They were able to navigate their way through that Day 2 field, with the final table coming together a few hours after the AM restart.

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The $500,000 GTD final half-dozen

Event #51 - Final Table Chip Counts
Seat 1: Steve 'mcnallyville' McNally - 3,509,946
Seat 2: carpediem200 - 5,310,792
Seat 3: U_2GOOD4_M3 - 13,299,663
Seat 4: thx4urm0n3y - 14,798441
Seat 5: Johannes 'Greenstone25' korsar - 3,229,960
Seat 6: Skilled G - 3,301,198

Canada's thx4urm0n3y came into the final frame with close to a third of the total chips in play, with U_2GOOD4_M3 within touching distance and counting for another 30% of the chips. That meant that the rest of the table, despite the 'Ultra-Deep' structure, were going to have their work cut out if they wanted to make a comeback on the chip leaders.

Based on their tournament resumes, the short stacks had what it would take to do just that. The United Kingdom's carpediem200 boasted over $2,000,000 in career earnings, including a runner-up finsih in a SCOOP event in a 'Turbo' event three years ago.

Steve 'mcnallyville' McNally notched a 3rd place finish in a $1,000 SCOOP event in 2013, good for a $150,000 score. That's the best finish of his illustrious online poker career, where he's amassed over $5,000,000 in tournament winnings.

The South American based Skilled G has nearly $1,000,000 in online earnings, including two six-figure scores from WCOOP events in 2011. Last but not least, is the most successful of the group, Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar. The Swede has amassed over $8,000,000 in online earnings, including a FCOOP win in 2013 for nearly $160,000.

Safe to say, the chip leaders wouldn't see these experienced short stacks go away quietly and after a short break, the final table began with the blinds at 50K/100K with a 12.5K ante.

ONE DOUBLES, ONE DOESN'T: Greenstone25's jacks hold, mcnallyville falls first

Coming into this final table, Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar was the most experienced player remaining and a few hands after play resumed, he was all-in for his tournament life.

Korsar's 3,000,000 chips got in the middle after he called a four-bet from chip leader thx4urm0n3y. The big stack held A♥6♥ and even though he flopped the nut flush draw, he couldn't best Korsar's J♥J♠, meaning the Swede was doubling up.

A few hands later, another short stack attempted to double but failed. Steve 'mcnallyville' McNally check-shoved the turn for just under 2,250,000 against carpediem200 and he called with J♥9♥ on a board of K♣9♠4♠J♣.

McNally held T♣8♣ and while he had outs heading to the river, the K♥ was not one of them. carpediem200's two pair held and he was scoring the knockout, dispatching McNally in 6th place for a $20,809 score.

TWO-OUTER PROLONGS, TWO FALL: Skilled G hits river, two more short stacks fall

The action didn't slow down after the first final table elimination, as carpediem200 had a chance to score another knockout. With the blinds going up, Skilled G three-bet shoved for just over 3,000,000, after thx4urm0n3y opened in late position.

carpediem200 called and thx4urm0n3y folded, leaving Skilled G drawing thin with T♥T♦. carpediem200 held A♦A♣ and the superior pocket pair held until the river, as the board ran out 9♦6♣2♥J♥T♣.

The two-outer saved Skilled G for now but his and Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar's fate were decided in a matter of the next few hands. Korsar was the first to go, after he check-shoved the J♠9♣8♠ flop for 4,300,000 into U_2GOOD4_M3's continuation bet.

The Taiwanese player called and he needed his flopped straight, with T♥7♦, to hold against Korsar's A♠4♠. The flush did not come in on the turn or river and Korsar was eliminated in 5th place for $30,617.

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Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar, out 5th

A few hands later, Skilled G was bounced before the podium, after the short stack three-bet shoved from the big blind in a blind versus blind encounter. The shove was for 3,000,000 and thx4urm0n3y quickly called to try to score his first final table knockout with K♥J♣.

He'd have to hit to do so, as his opponent held A♥3♦. There was no waiting for the big stack, as he had Skilled G drawing nearly dead after the K♠K♦5♠ flop. The turn brought the Q♣ and Skilled G was eliminated after the river meaninglessly fell, for $45,050.

DOWN TO TWO, DEAD EVEN: carpediem200 falls in 3rd, even stacks heads up

While the short stacks might have come into this final table as some of the most experienced grinders out of the remaining six players, the advantage thx4urm0n3y and U_2GOOD4_M3 had at the top could not be overtaken.

Eventually, carpediem200 was all-in and at risk with a short stack, with his A♣Q♦ falling to U_2GOOD4_M3's A♠3♠ on a A♦7♠4♠T♥8♠ runout. The chips got all-in pre flop with carpediem200 shoved the button and U_2GOOD4_M3 found a flush on the river to score his second final table knockout.

carpediem200 earned $66,285 for his 3rd place finish and after that elimination, the remaining two players began their heads up battle nearly dead even in chips.

CHOP IT UP: Splitting the prize pool, playing for $17K

After nearly a half hour of heads up play, where no major hands or swings developed, the remaining two players began talking about a potential chop. thx4urm0n3y and U_2GOOD4_M3 were each around the 22,000,000 chip mark and had been for the last few orbits, leading both to agree to an even chop of the prize pool.

The Canadian and Taiwanese player agreed to take $111,826 each, leaving $17,000 and the Event #51 WCOOP title up for grabs. They resumed play with the blinds at 100K/200K with a 25K ante.

BENDING AND BOUNCING BACK: thx4urm0n3y drops, then doubles to take chip lead

After the deal, it was U_2GOOD4_M3 who had the best of it heads up, picking up a handful of small pots to inch further and further away from thx4urm0n3y. The biggest advantage he had was close to a 3:1 lead but after thx4urm0n3y found a double, he then sat with close to 75% of the remaining chips.

That hand was picked up with thx4urm0n3y three-betting to 1,280,000 pre flop, with U_2GOOD4_M3 calling on the button. The Canadian led the Q♥T♠2♥ flop for 987,000, only to see his opponent raise to 2,400,000.

thx4urm0n3y then re-raised, to 6,400,000 and U_2GOOD4_M3 quickly put himself all-in. thx4urm0n3y called for just under 14,400,000 effective and he needed to hit to stay alive, with J♥8♥ to the big stack's K♠Q♦.

With both flush and straight draws, thx4urm0n3y was more or less flipping on the flop and even though he picked up some equity on the turn, pairing up with the 8♠, he was still behind. He wasn't after the river though, as the J♣ gave him two pair and the victory.

When the dust settled, thx4urm0n3y was playing just over 31,000,000, well ahead of U_2GOOD4_M3's 12,100,000 chip stack.

WIRE TO WIRE WIN: thx4urm0n3y makes final table chip lead work, never gives it up to win WCOOP #51 for $129,206

After briefly losing the chip lead and then doubling to regain it, thx4urm0n3y applied an immense deal of pressure to make sure that U2 would never get the chip lead back. The Taiwan grinder treaded water with a nearly 2:1 chip disadvantage for the better part of a level but after thx4urm0n3y pushed him below the 10,000,000 chip threshold, there was no coming back.

thx4urm0n3y continued to lean on his opponent, slowly pushing him lower and lower until he finally scored the knockout blow. Over the course of that leaning process, U2 saw himself bottom out near the 2,500,000 chip mark.

The final hand of Event #51 saw that short stack get in on the K♦Q♠T♠ flop, with U2 check-shoving for 2,377,000 after thx4urm0n3y continued for 240,000. thx4urm0n3y called and needed to hold to win the title, as he tabled K♥T♦.

U2 was drawing thin with K♣3♦ and after the 2♥ fell on the turn, he was more or less dead. The J♦ confirmed his runner-up elimination and while he'll be upset not to claim his first WCOOP victory, he won't be complaining about a career-best $111,826 score.

thx4urm0n3y takes a little more, as negotiated in the heads up chop. He'll earn $129,206 for the win, his first in any PokerStars COOP event.

WCOOP-51 ($1,050 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Ultra-Deep], $500,000 GTD) results
Entrants:
869
Total prize pool: $869,000
Places paid: 101

1. thx4urm0n3y (Canada) *129,206.49
2. U_2GOOD4_M3 (Taiwan) *$111,826
3. carpediem200 (United Kingdom) $66,285.23
4. Skilled G (Argentina) $45,050.00
5. Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar (Sweden) $30,617.82
6. Steve 'mcnallyville' McNally (Mexico) $20,809.07

Will O'Connor is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars blog.

Will O'Connor
@PokerStars in WCOOP