WCOOP 2017: Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov collects $197K for Event #6-H victory ($1,050 NLHE Prog. KO), Mateos fourth

Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov has made headlines here on the PokerStars Blog several times before, having won multiple Super Tuesdays and a couple of Sunday Millions while also winning a WCOOP in 2013 and a SCOOP in 2015.

The Russian whom we finally got a chance to meet in person at the PokerStars Championship Sochi series back in May has earned himself yet another title -- and another headline -- after topping a big field of 1,221 to win this year's WCOOP Event #6, a $1,050 "Progressive KO" NLHE event.

With 1,221 players entering that meant a prize pool totaling $1,221,000 (way over the $750K guarantee), with half going to the regular prize pool and half for bounties.

The payout schedule was mighty good to Vezhenkov, who won $97,389.47 for his first-place finish, but an incredible $100,514.32 more from his knockouts (!), the next closest total for bounties for anyone being just over $16K. That adds up to a $197,903.79 total win for the Russian!


Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov (from Sochi)

From that huge field it took one full day of poker plus four more hours for them to whittle down to just 18 players gathered around the last two tables. At that point Franco "rojorulez" Spitale was sitting with the chip lead with over 7.5 million, more than 1.5 million clear of a chase pack that included both Vezhenkov and Adrian "Amadi_017" Mateos.

Picasso 2 (18th) was the next out, earning $3,438.39 from the regular prize pool and another $2,250 in bounties. LuCasino777 (17th), thehushpuppy (16th), Schmaecker99 (15th), and Ferran789999 (14th) were then eliminated, each earning $4,466.42 plus bounties, with all but Ferran789999 -- who just won the Super Tuesday in late June -- picking up more than $5K worth for their knockouts.

Conor "1_conor_b_1" Beresford (13th) next went to the rail, followed by Chris "ImDaNuts" Oliver (12th) and earlier leader Franco "rojorulez" Spitale (11th). sleepnot was the short stack with 10 left and had to survive multiple all-ins before Miroslav "mican_ludi" Opojevlić (10th) was next knocked out, like the previous three eliminated players earning $5,794.07 with both Beresford and Opojevlić taking away more than twice that in bounties.

After more than six-and-a-half hours on Day 2 they were finally down to nine, with Mateos the new chip leader.


Seat 1: Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov (Russia) -- 7,853,904
Seat 2: PSMozak (Bulgaria) -- 4,783,737
Seat 3: Jâmes (Brazil) -- 10,556,580
Seat 4: Alen "lilachaa" Bilic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) -- 4,411,190
Seat 5: Adrian "Amadi_017" Mateos (United Kingdom) -- 14,140,594
Seat 6: Jussi "calvin7v" Nevanlinna (Finland) -- 7,789,322
Seat 7: elmerixx (Finland) -- 6,867,775
Seat 8: Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou (Cyprus) -- 2,305,206
Seat 9: sleepnot (Latvia) -- 2,341,692

About 45 minutes into the final table, a three-way hand saw Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou all in by the turn on a 8♥K♣2♦8♣ board holding 2♥2♠. Christoforou had a full house and two callers, making it appear as though a triple-up was about to come. But after the K♦ river Jâmes bet Jussi "calvin7v" Nevanlinna out of the pot, then turned over A♣K♥ for a better full house to knock Christoforou out in ninth.

Soon after that Mateos nearly lost his entire stack after Alen "lilachaa" Bilic's ace-queen cracked his pocket kings, but the young Spaniard with three WSOP bracelets and an EPT Grand Final Main Event title scraped back to get into contention and challenge for the lead again.

Meanwhile a short-stacked elmerixx wasn't as fortunate to crack kings after getting all in with 7♥7♦ versus PSMozak's K♣K♠, going out in eighth. Then it was Mateos collecting Jussi "calvin7v" Nevanlinna's bounty, sending the Finnish player out in seventh with A♠6♠ versus Nevanlinna's J♦J♠ after an ace fell among the community cards.


Jussi "calvin7v" Nevanlinna

Bilic's run good continued for a while, highlighted by another preflop all-in won with pocket tens versus PSMozak's pocket jacks when a ten came to save lilachaa. Soon, though, lilachaa was four-bet shoving with K♠Q♠, getting called by Mateos with A♠J♣, then watching a board come J♠2♦3♦8♥J♥ to give Mateos trips and stop Bilic in sixth.


Alen "lilachaa" Bilic

Mateos was a big stack again, but Vezhenkov had the chip lead, and the Russian would add more after knocking out sleepnot in fifth. The latter's run ended with a shove with A♣8♠ being called by Vezhenkov with 9♠9♣, and the nines held.

Mateos would lose a few chips thereafter, but still had a decent stack when he found himself all in preflop and in seemingly fine shape with A♥A♣ versus Vezhenkov's 6♦6♣. But the board came 2♣T♥6♠J♦Q♣ to give the chip leader a set, and Mateos had to settle for fourth.


Adrian "Amadi_017" Mateos

Jâmes was the next out, with Vezhenkov collecting yet another bounty. Reraising all in from the big blind with K♦7♥, Jâmes was called by Vezhenhov with 5♦5♣ and the lower pair held to send the tournament to heads-up between Vezhenkov and PSMozak, with Vezhenkov having a better than 2-to-1 chip lead to start.

The pair would battle for more than 45 minutes more, carrying Day 2 into its 13th hour of play. They'd circled back to veeea having about 40 million to PSMozak's just over 20 million when the latter min-raised from the button, Vezhenkov three-bet, PSMozak reraised back, Vezhenkov shoved and PSMozak called.

PSMozak had a slight edge with A♠J♣ against Vezhenkov's K♥Q♥, but a Q♦7♦6♥ flop swung the advantage to veeea. The T♥ turn and 2♣ river sealed it, and Vezhenkov had won.

Congratulations to Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov who not only won the lion's share of the regular prize pool, but more than doubled his takeaway thanks to amassing such a huge collection of bounties.

WCOOP-06-H: $1,050 NLHE (Progressive KO)
Entries: 1,221
Prize pool: $1,221,000 ($610,500 regular, $610,500 bounty)
Places paid:

1. Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov (Russia) $97,389.47 (+ $100,514.32 in bounties)
2. PSMozak (Bulgaria) $70,710.30 (+ $13,514.41 in bounties)
3. Jâmes (Brazil) $51,340.05 (+ $4,687.50 in bounties)
4. Adrian "Amadi_017" Mateos (United Kingdom) $37,275.97 (+ $16,164.07 in bounties)
5. sleepnot (Latvia) $27,064.68 (+ $3,937.50 in bounties)
6. Alen "lilachaa" Bilic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) $19,650.59 (+ $4,093.75 in bounties)
7. Jussi "calvin7v" Nevanlinna (Finland) $14,267.56 (+ $10,718.75 in bounties)
8. elmerixx (Finland) $10,359.14 (+ $3,562.50 in bounties)
9. Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou (Cyprus) $7,521.36 (+ $2,437.50 in bounties)

You can qualify for the WCOOP on PokerStars for as little as a few cents. What's stopping you? Start your campaign by opening a PokerStars account.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in WCOOP