WCOOP 2016: Chinese domination as tgc88070202 claims Event #46 ($320 No Limit Holdem)

There has been much discussion in recent years about the growth of the game of poker in Asia, and more specifically, the unchartered waters of China. The recent Macau Poker Cup drew record-breaking fields to consolidate that notion, but while the live poker scene in China is clearly growing, we have yet to see that translated into the online poker world. Well, perhaps until now.

Today's WCOOP offering was dominated by the Chinese players with five finishing inside the top 20, three on the final table, and a heads-up clash of two Chinese players that saw tgc88070202 crush his opponent in just three heads-up hands to claim the $52,524.61 top prize.

It was Event #46 of the 2016 World Championship of Online Poker -- a $320 No Limit Holdem Event that offered a guaranteed $150,000 prize pool. However that figure was more than doubled with the $322,800 prize pool to be shared among the top 134 place finishers.

Aditya Agarwal, Randy Lew, Jason Mercier, Jaime Staples and Kevin Martin were representing Team PokerStars but they fell short of the money, as did Graftekkel who unfortunately bubbled in 135th place.

With a minimum payout of $783.27, the remaining players duked it out until the end of Level 29 which signalled the end of the first day of play. 58 players remained in contention with Chinese players ViTaMin_F22 and xalwen filling the top two spots on the chip counts.

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That's a spot the two Chinese players would maintain for the majority of day two in their quest for a WCOOP final table.

Approaching the final table, xalwen caught a remarkable flush with T♠3♠ after limping under the gun, to crack an opponent's set of queens to soar into the chip lead. Then, when Vanness88 ran ace-ten into xalwen's ace-jack on the final table bubble, Vanness88 was eliminated in tenth place and our final table of nine was formed:

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Final Table Line up
Seat 1: haag13 (228,910 in chips)
Seat 2: Kaggis (2,254,526 in chips)
Seat 3: xalwen (3,072,497 in chips)
Seat 4: i need sheet (1,099,401 in chips)
Seat 5: vincelis (680,075 in chips)
Seat 6: x--SoSick--x (562,220 in chips)
Seat 7: tgc88070202 (256,692 in chips)
Seat 8: ViTaMin_F22 (2,108,683 in chips)
Seat 9: Kroko-dill (496,996 in chips)

The stacks at the start of the final table would see several big stacks and quite a few shorties under pressure from the blinds of 12k/24k/3k.

haag13 was under ten big blinds but pocket kings against pocket threes on the second hand of the final table appeared to help haag13 back on track with a much-needed double up. However the comeback was short lived.

Moments later, haag13 would find Q♦Q♥ and was pretty thrilled to get the chips in preflop against x--SoSick--x's J♥J♠. That was until the board was spread 4♠J♣3♥T♦T♥ to give x--SoSick--x a winning full house that left haag13 hung out to dry in ninth place for $4,377 in prize money.

Two hands later and Kroko-dill would also join the rail. It was another devastating suck out as Kroko-dill moved all in preflop with A♣A♠ against tgc88070202's K♥K♠. Kroko-dill looked set for the double but the board of J♦2♣5♠K♦Q♠ was another cruel one as Kroko-dill departed in eighth place for $5,971.34.

i need sheet landed a big double up through the chip leader, xalwen, before the biggest pot of the final table so far would see the elimination of x--SoSick--x.

With a preflop raise from tgc88070202, three players would see a flop of Q♣8♣5♣. Action checked to tgc88070202 who made a continuation bet. xalwen folded but x--SoSick--x put in a check-raise. tgc88070202 responded by moving all in and x--SoSick--x was quick to call with 8♦8♠ for middle set. However tgc88070202 tabled A♣T♣ for the stone-cold nuts! x--SoSick--x would need the board to pair but the K♥ turn and T♥ river were bricks for yet another unlucky elimination. x--SoSick--x had to be content with $8,146.47 for seventh place.

vincelis was on the short stack and unable to mount a comeback after yet another massive cooler. vincelis three-bet shoved preflop with A♣K♦ but the timing was unfortunate as Kaggis made the call and showed K♠K♣. The board fell 2♥K♥J♦A♥J♠ which gave Kaggis a set of kings to eliminate vincelis in sixth place for $11,113.93.

The chips were fairly evenly spread around the table as the five remaining players entered a gruelling war of attrition.

There was some brief discussion as the players entertained the idea of a deal. There were some language barriers among the three Chinese players while it appeared that Norwegian Kaggis was happy to play on.

Over the next hour, there were very few big pots of note before the deadlock was finally broken with the elimination of xalwen. Facing an under-the-gun raise from ViTaMin_F22, xalwen three-bet shoved all in with K♥Q♥. It folded back to ViTaMin_F22 who made the call with 5♥5♠ and the race was on. xalwen caught a break with the 8♣7♠Q♦ flop pairing the queen to take the lead, however the nature of this final table had been nothing but cruelty, and that continued when the 4♥ turn and 6♦ river completed the board. ViTaMin_F22 finished with a straight and that was too much for xalwen who was left to pick up $15,162.33 for fifth place.

With the elimination of one of the Chinese players, the four remaining combatants finally agreed to pause the clock to look at a potential deal. The chips were pretty even and ICM numbers were presented but chip leader tgc88070202 wanted a figure almost $3,000 more than offered. i need sheet wasn't budging and with that, the cards were quickly back in the air.

i need sheet was shuffled back to the short stack, before a battle of the blinds led to his downfall. i need sheet completed from the small blind and tgc88070202 checked in the big blind to see a flop of J♠3♥3♠. i need sheet tossed out a bet but tgc88070202 came back with a raise. i need sheet was a non-believer and moved all in with 2♣2♥ for an underpair but tgc88070202 had the goods with T♥3♣ for a big blind special. The turn was the K♠ while the T♣ river was the overkill full house for tgc88070202 for the knockout blow. The run of i need sheet was brought to an end in fourth place for $20,685.41.

With play now three-handed, the clock was again paused to look at a deal. It was a familiar scenario with the ICM numbers presented and tgc88070202 trying to squeeze more out of his opponents. Again no one would give up a red cent, and play was quick to resume.

Kaggis was now the one under pressure as the short stack. Kaggis looked down at 6♦6♥ and decided to limp from the small blind. The aggressive tgc88070202 was in the big blind and he decided to move all in. With a stack over 30 big blinds, Kaggis had a big decision and eventually a call was made, only to discover the pair of sixes notched by tgc88070202's 7♠7♥. The flop was an interesting 3♥5♥4♦ as suddenly the players were cheering for each other to spike a set with a straight draw on board. The turn was the 8♠ and river the K♦ to leave Kaggis to collect $28,220.33 for third place.

Heads-up Chip Counts
Seat 7: tgc88070202 (7,564,832 in chips)
Seat 8: ViTaMin_F22 (3,195,168 in chips)

For the third time in as many eliminations, play was again paused to discuss a deal. With more than a two-to-one chip lead, tgc88070202 was again in a position of strength and ViTaMin_F22 was quick to offer an additional $700 on top of the ICM numbers. That was enough to draw a reluctant "I agree" from tgc88070202 but then ViTaMin_F22 strangely backtracked from his offer. ViTaMin_F22 suddenly wanted the $700 back and another $300 on top for a $1,000 swing but that was enough for negotiations to break down for the third time on this final table. Game on!

Getting greedy proved to be a fatal mistake for ViTaMin_F22 as the tournament was all over just two hands later.

After a raise from tgc88070202 preflop, and a checked flop of 9♣4♣5♦, action picked up when the 4♦ paired the board on the turn. ViTaMin_F22 led out with a bet before tgc88070202 raised. ViTaMin_F22 moved all in and tgc88070202 made the call! It was 7♥6♠ for ViTaMin_F22 who would need to hit an open-ended straight draw to get past tgc88070202's A♥4♠ for trip fours. The river brought the 7♠ and it was all over just like that!

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ViTaMin_F22 picked up a healthy $38,499.93 in prize money as China go one-two with tgc88070202 picking up the WCOOP victory and a collect of $52,524.61. Congratulations!

WCOOP-46: $320 NL Holdem - $150,000 Guaranteed
Entrants: 1,076
Prize Pool: $322,800
Places Paid: 134

1. tgc88070202 (China) $52,524.61
2. ViTaMin_F22 (China) $38,499.93
3. Kaggis (Norway) $28,220.33
4. i need sheet (Canada) $20,685.41
5. xalwen (China) $15,162.33
6. vincelis (Lithuania) $11,113.93
7. x--SoSick--x (Germany) $8,146.47
8. Kroko-dill (Russia) $5,971.34
9. haag13 (Mexico) $4,377.00

The 2016 World Championship of Online Poker is the world's most prestigious online poker tournament festival with over $50,000,000 in prize money guaranteed! Check out the WCOOP home page for the full schedule of events.

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Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Heath
@PokerStars in 2016