WCOOP 2017: Graftekkel kicks aside the field in Event #20 (NLHE 3-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom) victory

Not all World Championship of Online Poker events tout past -COOP and live event champions. Sure, a majority of the time the likes of Shaun Deeb, Calvin Anderson, or one of the PokerStars Pros with the big red spade next to their name will highlight a series event final table. Event #20's $530 buy-in 3-Max, Progressive KO, Turbo, ZOOM structure would open up the field a bit. Instead of getting reads on other players over the course of several hours, 1,039 players were spun constantly over three hours until the ZOOM portion of the tourney ended.

From the final 18, Graftekkel would emerge as the winner after a two-way deal with MLS20. The newly crowned WCOOP champ took away a total of $92,859.38 (nearly half of it from bounties).

Before the circus tent of the ZOOM structure unveiled our final 18, players such as João Mathias "joaoMathias" Baumgarten (20th place - $3,733.64) and Sunday Warm-up champ Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen (27th place - $5,858.64) would fall a tad short of the final table. And if you are wondering why Chris walked away with more money this evening, being more aggressive pays well here as Hunichen's paycheck was fattened by over $3K worth of bounties.

As the final six tables of three came up from the cloak of the ZOOM structure, MLS20, on a second bullet, would hold the chip-lead. But, as such with turbo and short-handed tournaments, the lead would flop around like a freshly caught smallmouth bass for a bit.

We shall see if this event follows a similar script to last year when venced0r quickly cut a three-way deal with drivemynuts and Taroxus, then took away the title and over $51K in under 20 minutes. The aforementioned champion did not come back to defend the title leaving 1,039 players (and a prize pool enhancing 519 re-entries) to vie for $62,359.27 up top (plus a little bounty money on the side).

Call it the "un-luck" of the draw but after MLS20 knocked out both opponents in the same hand, the chip-leader was placed with number two (Graftekkel) and three (rofllocktree) in chips and was forced to tighten up a tad versus running over the table.

Down to two tables Graftekkel would be kicked to a different table yet held the number two chip position as MLS20 held twice as many chips as rofllocktree and meiko87 who was unfortunate enough to draw the chip-leader's table.

Graftekkel made the most of the move taking out Garrin4e for heaps and taking the chip-lead before the hourly break, leaving five players remaining. After fifth place SitPro2011 took a seat, Graftekkel picked up a notable railbird in Joep "Pappe_Ruk" van den Bijgaart. Joep was only able to throw some exclamation points into the chat box before Graftekkel knocked-out meiko87 in fourth place starting up the final table below:


WCOOP Event20-2017.jpg

Seat 1: MLS20 (24916765 in chips, $9,824.18 bounty)
Seat 2: rofllocktree (11935573 in chips, $7,921.86 bounty)
Seat 3: Graftekkel (41047662 in chips, $12,832.46 bounty)

Unlike last year the threesome was not eager to check the make-a-deal box and lacked the urgency to finish and spend their new found riches. They decided to play for a few minutes before MLS20 and rofllocktree would tangle. After a raise by MLS20 and call by rofllocktree, rofllocktree would call a flop bet and nearly doubled that bet after MLS20 checked on the turn. MLS20 called and with the board reading Q♦ 9♠ 8♣ 4♣ 6♠ MLS20 checked again as rofllocktree shoved, causing MLS20 to tanked a bit before calling with second pair K♦9♦. It was the correct call as rofllocktree was pushing a busted inside straight draw J♣K♥ taking away $20,786.13 plus $7,671.87 in third place.

wcoop-pokerstars-2017_Event20.jpg

After the next hand the players took a pause to discuss chopping up the remaining funds minus $7,790 for the champ. MLS20 announced a 50/50 chop or nothing else as Graftekkel took some time to ponder holding a nearly five million chip advantage (41.3 million to 36.5 million) with blinds at 200K/400K ante 50K.

The one-minute pause by Graftekkel stretched to a hockey period before MLS20 backed down from the demanded 50/50 split and quickly took the deal listed below:

Graftekkel: $45,869.31
MLS20: $44,702.57

As mentioned, the speed of the final table this year was a contrast to last year's victory by venced0r. Nearly an hour into heads-up play, Graftekkel finally whittled MLS20 down a nearly four to one lead. Graftekkel would take the offensive in the entire final hand, raising pre-flop, betting the flop, betting the turn, and finally shoving on the river with board showing 2♣ K♦ T♥ 3♦ 7♦. MLS20 had a reason to call down holding a flopped top pair K♥J♣ and did so. But, Graftekkel's hand steadily improved with each card on the board, flourishing to a flush Q♦8♦ thus claiming the Event #20 title and $92,859.38!

WCOOP-20-H: $530 NLHE [3-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, ZOOM]
Entries: 1,039 (519 re-entries)
Prize pool: $389,500 (+ $389,500 in bounties)
Places paid: 185
1. Graftekkel (Netherlands) $53,659.31 + $39,200.07 in bounties*
2. MLS20 (Austria) $44,702.57 + $13,535.14*
3. rofllocktree (Malta) $20,786.13 + $7,671.87
* Denotes two-way deal


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David Aydt
@PokerStars in WCOOP