WCOOP 2016: Winter is here, Sean "Nolez7" Winter wins Event #66 for $228K ($2,100 NLHE, Progressive KO, Thursday Thrill SE)

Last tweet from the World Championship of Online Poker Event #66 champ two days ago asked "how do you beat nits?". Not too many nits at the final table after over 24 hours of play across two days in this $2,100 Progressive Knockout Thursday Thrill special edition. Sean "Nolez7" Winter managed to outlast 982 players while collecting $161,275.53 from the regular prize pool and another $67,657.70 in bounties.

Read on below for Winter's road to Event #66 victory.

Sean Winter_WCOOP66_Champ.jpg

Sean "Nolez7" Winter - Event #66 Champion $228,933.23

Much like Event #19, players would work their way through a tough Day One and still not make the money. A possibility of playing for over 12 hours, taking a nap (or the true grinders playing around-the-clock), playing Day Two for 20 minutes, and go back to bed with only bounty money was a reality for xel_magic0x, Graftekkel, and Team PokerStars Pro Felipe "Mojave" Ramos as the remaining 107 players locked up an additional $2,957.65 on top of their bounty plundering.

WCOOP Event66-2016DAYONE.jpg

Fast forwarding to the hand before the sixth hourly break, a double knock-out of Sunday Warm-Up and WCOOP2012 Event #5 champ RenRad 01 ($5,974.37 + $5,937.50 in bounties) and FourSixFour ($5,974.37 + $5,000.00) would cut this tournament of 983 players down to the final two tables.

A quick glance near the top of the chip counts showed Spring Championship of Online Poker 2015 Event #39-M champ Bluf_To_Much in excellent shape of grabbing a WCOOP title. If you have been following the tournament series, Bluf_To_Much has already made two final tables in Event #19 and #39. Mix that with 11 other cashes and Bluf_To_Much has a chance to cut into Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez's commanding lead for the Player of the Series title which is bolstered by three final tables, a win in Event #43, and coming in 18th, 16th, and 11th place in three consecutive tournaments (Event #62-#64).

Another player with a SCOOP and Sunday Warm-Up title, Michael "Skämmes" Tureniec, was also above-average in chips as his sizable near $14K bounty would attest. Antoine "A. Saout" Saout finished third in the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2009 and made a deep run this year as well, will be looking to notch his first -COOP victory.

FoxyLisa nearly took down SCOOP Event #5-H this year but ended up with a runner-up check worth $106K. Unfortunately, the deep run here would conclude before the final table in 15th place taking away $7,552.19 + $7,218.15 in bounties.

A quarter of the way through the seventh hour of play two-time SCOOP champ (including a victory this year in Event #50-M) ex6tenceLV would collect $9,851.13 + $15,875.00 in 12th place getting closer to the final table.

Five minutes later hand-for-hand play would start after RigasDinamo, who just finished up the final table in Event #65 (earning $12K in ninth place), nearing missed another exiting in 11th place. A few minutes later with the blinds up to 6K/12K ante 1.5K, Turbo Championship of Online Poker 2016 Event #33 winner was trying to will a short-stack by shoving from the small blind for 185,490 chips. Chip leader Nolez7 was happy to challenge holding 4♣K♣. Aramesko's 6♣A♥ would not reach the end of the board safely K♦ 3♦ 9♦ 4♥ 7♠ starting up the final table below:

WCOOP Event66FinalTable-2016.jpg

Seat 1: NEED100KFAST (1271736 in chips)
Seat 2: Michael "Skämmes" Tureniec (407734 in chips)
Seat 3: thehushpuppy (1191247 in chips)
Seat 4: Bluf_To_Much (1590232 in chips)
Seat 5: Sean "Nolez7" Winter (1885158 in chips)
Seat 6: Antoine "A. Saout" Saout (980788 in chips)
Seat 7: Michael Chi "mczhang" Zhang (180948 in chips)
Seat 8: kukuchacha11 (1791732 in chips)
Seat 9: Emilohlsson (530425 in chips)

One player out or another on life-support? Near the end of the first hour final table play with the blinds up to 7K/14K ante 1.7K two players with nearly equal stacks, but needing a double-up soon, would push all-in pre-flop. Tureniec would raise to 35K from middle position as Zhang, who took away $130K as the runner-up in Event #27, shoved for 371,844 with big slick A♠K♦. Tureniec made the call with jacks J♠J♥ and watched them safely maneuver the 3♥ 3♣ Q♦ 9♦ 6♥ board, ending Zhang's run in ninth place ($13,439.47 + $10,265.62).

Tureniec's dance would not last much longer as a few minutes into the eighth hour of play Michael would catch a stroke of bad luck. With the blinds holding after a min-raise and three-bet to 84K pre-flop, Tureniec and kukuchacha11 would reach the turn with the board reading A♦ 7♥ 5♣ 4♣. After check-calling the flop, kukuchacha11 would check-raise all-in for 1.39 million. Michael would call all-in for less holding A♣K♦ but was drawing dead against kukuchacha11's flopped set 7♣7♠. Michael "Skämmes" Tureniec earned $18,335.01 + $22,710.93 in eighth place.

Six hands back from the ninth hourly break with the blinds moving up to 9K/18K ante 2,250 Antoine "A. Saout" Saout tried improve on a short-stack with a shove for 310,072. Around to NEED100KFAST in the cutoff who politely called with pocket aces A♣A♠. No one got the urge to re-shove as Saout turned over pocket eights 8♦8♣. Two kings but no eights appeared on the 4♦ K♦ T♠ 6♦ K♠ board as Saout grabbed $25,013.81 + $18,593.74 in seventh place.


Antoine "A.Saout" Saout - seventh place $25,013.81 + $18,593.74

Heading into the tenth hour of play with the blinds moving up to 10.5K/21K ante 2,625 NEED100KFAST would min-raise from the hijack seat as thehushpuppy pushed all-in for slightly under 600K. Holding 2.6 million, NEED100KFAST would make the call with K♦J♦ and start a tad behind thehushpuppy's Q♦A♠. The flopped ace looked good for thehushpuppy, but a pair of jacks on the turn and river 4♣ A♣ T♦ J♥ J♠ would fry thehushpuppy in sixth place ($34,125.43 + $21,921.87).

Five-handed play would last through one hour and then twenty minutes into the next. With the blinds starting to get the attention of the players at 15K/30K ante 3,750 kukuchacha11 would find a pair of fours 4♣4♥ on the button and shoved for a shade under 500K. Emilohlsson, also nursing a shorter stack, would re-shove for 860K holding A♦T♠. Chip leader NEED100KFAST decided not to join as Emilohlsson's ace-ten notched two pair 9♦ A♥ Q♥ T♥ 5♦ eliminating kukuchacha11 in fifth place ($46,556.05 + $15,855.46).

Looked like another hour would clear without someone increasing their bounty amount but right before the 12th hourly break Bluf_To_Much and Sean "Nolez7" Winter would fight over a 2.2 million chip pot. With the blinds moving up to 18K/36K ante 4.5K, Bluf_To_Much would raise from the cutoff as Winter called. Bluf_To_Much would bet both the flop and turn as Winter called. After the ace on the river J♦ 9♦ 9♣ 3♠ A♦ Bluf_To_Much would back off and checked as Winter shoved for 2.86 million. After hitting two pair A♠J♥ Bluf_To_Much made the call to see Winter's slow played trips 9♥8♥. Bluf_To_Much got $63,514.77 + $19,718.75 plus some needed Player of Series points in fourth place.

With the blinds holding, the next elimination was not an hour away as Winter min-raised from the button. Emilohlsson three-bet to 257,800 from the small blind as NEED100KFAST was one player away from making the namesake true by shoving for 3.42 million. Sean would fold but Emilohlsson did not and called all-in for 1.1 million holding pocket eights 8♥8♣. It would take over 24 hours but NEED100KFAST would get that 100K (and more) after K♠A♥ flopped an ace A♣ 9♦ 5♥ Q♥ 3♥ ending Emilohlsson's night in third place ($86,650.76 + $26,208.98).

Seat 1: NEED100KFAST (4872055 in chips)
Seat 5: Nolez7 (4957945 in chips)

Immediately NEED100KFAST proposed an even chop but Winter wanted to gamble with each player still holding over 100 BBs there was plenty of room for play. But, quickly NEED100KFAST would have Winter scrambling after taking down the first six out of seven hands.

Five minutes later NEED100KFAST held nearly a 3:1 chip lead when all the money went in after a 8♥4♠T♠ flop. NEED100KFAST showed a pair of eights 8♣9♠ which was behind Winter's top pair T♦A♥. But, an eight on the turn 8♠ had Winter down to one card and $161K from the normal prize pool. A ten on the river T♥ meant would all observing would be reaching for some caffeine as play continued.

NEED100KFAST would knock Winter down again this time to 1.83 million but again he found another double-up after fading NEED100KFAST's flush draw. Then, three hands later Winter struck again after NEED100KFAST tried to shove a turned flush draw and top pair held up for Winter to take the chip lead 5.8 million to 3.9 million.

Four minutes later Winter would end things. With the blinds up to 24K/48K ante 6K, NEED100KFAST kept up the fast pace with a three-bet to 375K as Winter made the call. After the 8♣7♠3♦ flop NEED100KFAST bet 320K as Winter went on the offensive and shoved for 6.2 million. NEED100KFAST made an interesting call with Q♠6♠ as Winter flipped up middle pair 7♥T♥. No queen or running spades on the turn A♦ nor river 7♣ and Sean "Nolez7" Winter became the WCOOP 2016 Event #66 champ earning a total of $228,933.23!

WCOOP-66 ($2,100 NL Hold'em Progressive KO 50%, Thursday Thrill Special Edition) results

Entries: 983
Regular prize pool: $983,000.00
Bounty prize pool: $983,000.00
Places paid: 107

1. Sean "Nolez7" Winter (Romania) $161,275.53 + $67,657.70 in bounties
2. NEED100KFAST (Sweden) $118,214.30 + $50,221.66
3. Emilohlsson (Sweden) $86,650.76 + $26,208.98
4. Bluf_To_Much (Moldova) $63,514.77 + $19,718.75
5. kukuchacha11 (Canada) $46,556.05 + $15,855.46
6. thehushpuppy (United Kingdom) $34,125.43 + $21,921.87
7. Antoine "A. Saout" Saout (United Kingdom) $25,013.81 + $18,593.74
8. Michael "Skämmes" Tureniec (Sweden) $18,335.01 + $22,710.93
9. Michael Chi "mczhang" Zhang (United Kingdom) $13,439.47 + $10,265.62

The WCOOP Main Event is around the corner, do you want to be a part of it? Click here to get a PokerStars account.

David Aydt
@PokerStars in 2016