WCOOP 2017: Epic Thiago Wks. comeback worth $134K in Event #49-H ($215 NLHE PKO, Sunday Warm-Up SE)

"do you want even chop?"

Thiago Wks. made the offer but Sw33ney, in the lead by about five big blinds, never responded. That was fine - after scraping through the early stages of Day 2 and then playing second fiddle for most of the final table, the Brazilian wanted more anyway. That desire for more had sustained Thiago Wks. after starting the day with a chip stack worth well below the average. It had thwarted a potential three-handed deal with tens of thousands of dollars in equity on the line. Now it fueled a dominant 28-minute run that ended in WCOOP glory.

Day 1 of Event #49-H, the third Sunday Warm-Up Special Edition of WCOOP 2017, ended with 153 players still in action. Among them were Team Pro's Andre Akkari, in 18th place when play resumed, and Team Online's Fintan "easywithaces" Hand, sitting in fourth. Both ended up bowing out before the final, Akkari in 35th place and easywithaces in 19th.

Meanwhile, things were looking up for Thiago Wks. The Brazilian had scraped through most of Day 2 before taking over the chip lead midway through and holding it until the bubble of the final table, when the United Kingdom's Sw33ney, who had begun Day 2 as leader, once again stepped out front. That would be a theme for the final, which kicked off after five and a half hours with this lineup:


Seat 1: cocojamb0 (33,325,603 in chips, $10,683.71 bounty)
Seat 2: blue1084 (48,577,329 in chips, $2,903.11 bounty)
Seat 3: poly101010 (40,388,952 in chips, $7,924.98 bounty)
Seat 4: Joseph Dir (16,330,350 in chips, $4,966.77 bounty)
Seat 5: [Ro]Cristy (17,462,336 in chips, $1,080.46 bounty)
Seat 6: Sw33ney (56,095,106 in chips, $6,073.42 bounty)
Seat 7: Thiago Wks. (46,834,994 in chips, $1,1397.64 bounty)
Seat 8: stvorka (4,650,836 in chips, $861.71 bounty)
Seat 9: alexxt7 (44,134,494 in chips, $2,356.24 bounty)

poly101010 came to the table with a healthy mid-range stack but surged forward on the first hand. After calling past SCOOP/Super Tuesday/Sunday Warm-Up finalist cocojamb0's button min-raise with T♥ 5♥ in the big blind, poly101010 made top two pair on the T♠ 5♣ 2♦ flop. A check-raise there and then leading bets on the 2♥ turn and 9♦ got max value out of cocojamb0 to the tune of 35.8 million chips, boosting poly101010's stack to a 58.7 million - good enough for a slim lead over Sw33ney as the 4:55 p.m. ET break approached.

Things didn't go nearly as well for stvorka after the break. The Slovakian player had 9♦ 9♠ in middle position and was the first of three callers after Sw33ney raised small to 1.4 million chips. Sw33ney checked the 2♥ 8♣ 8♠ flop and stvorka moved all-in for 12 million; the other two callers folded but Sw33ney, holding A♠ 8♦ for trips, called. The 3♠ turn and Q♦ river sealed stvorka's fate in ninth.

Joseph Dir hit the rail in eighth place minutes later after re-raising with 7♦ 7♥ and failing to hit a two-outer against original raiser and past Sunday Million runner-up blue1084's K♥ K♣. The win boosted blue1084's stack over 58 million chips, but a loss with A♠ J♦ three hands later to the all-in cocojamb0's 7♥ 7s] dropped blue1084 back to 44.5 million.

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Sw33ney moved back into the lead a few hands later after taking on Thiago Wks. out of position with K♠ K♥ and winning the 42.9-million-chip pot with fours full of kings. Then cocojamb0 claimed a second bounty an orbit later, spiking a queen on the turn with A♠ Q♦ to top [Ro]Cristy's 5♠ 5♣ and knock the Romanian player out in seventh.

That closed out the first full hour of final-table play. Almost half of the next hour passed, with Sw33ney picking off lots of small pots to continue solidifying the lead, before Thiago Wks. earned the biggest bounty at the table. cocojamb0, who had held the lead for much of the early stretches of Day 2 and built up a bounty worth more than $11,000 in the process, defended the big blind all-in for 38.9 million chips with Q♣ Q♥ against a Sw33ney raise and a Thiago Wks. re-raise. Sw33ney opted out but Thiago Wks. called with A♦ K♦, spiked a king on the turn, and sent cocojamb0 packing in sixth.


Sw33ney's stock, meanwhile, continued to rise. Even when A♦ K♦ didn't connect with the 2♥ J♦ 7♥ 5♦ T♣ board, Sw33ney won a 76.5-million chip pot at showdown with against poly101010, the pre-flop button raiser and re-re-raiser who mucked. Even after a loss with A♠ T♦ to the all-in blue1084's A♥ K♥, Sw33ney's stack was still worth 82 big blinds. poly101010 didn't fare so well - the player from Macedonia got in ahead of blue1084's K♣ Q♥ with A♦ 3♦ a few minutes later but exited in fifth place after the Q♦ hit the flop.

Hitting a Broadway straight just before the end of the second hour moved blue1084 ahead of Thiago Wks. as the table went on break again. The picture only became more muddled when alexxt7 jammed with Q♦ J♣ and made a queen-high straight to beat blue1084's A♦ 8♦, leaving the bottom three stacks within just six blinds of one another. All the while Sw33ney continued to pick off small pots uncontested, moving over 178 million chips - 24 big blinds more than the other three players combined. It wasn't until a half-hour later, when Thiago Wks.'s K♦ K♠ held up all-in against blue1084's A♠ K♥, that things began to clear up at all. blue1084 got in good for a few big blinds with K♠ 8♠ a few hands later but Sw33ney claimed another bounty, hitting a pair of deuces with Q♣ 2♦ to bust blue1084 in fourth.

The three remaining players - Sw33ney with more than half the chips in play, and Thiago Wks. with a smaller edge over alexxt7 - then agreed to talk over a potential deal. For 15 minutes they tried to hammer out their differences, but it couldn't be done: Thiago Wks. held firm asking for more than ICM, alexxt7 would only agree to ICM, and Sw33ney wanted extra value for having by far the most chips.

So they resumed play and within minutes the situation resolved itself. Thiago Wks. limped from the small blind with K♦ 8♠ and called alexxt7's big-blind re-raise to 6.4 million, bringing the 8♣ Q♦ 2♥ flop. Thiago Wks. check-called 6.6 million there and then all-in for 43.4 million after making two pair on the K♣ turn. alexxt7, who had open-shoved with K♥ 9♠ for a pair of kings, left in third after the 7♦ fell on the river.


That 113-million-chip pot left Thiago Wks. within five big blinds of the lead, so the Brazilian offered an even chop. Even if Sw33ney had been inclined to deal, the offer would probably have been off the table after the first hand of heads-up play. Thiago Wks. min-raised to 6 million chips on the button with 4♣ 2♣ and promptly made three of a kind on the T♠ 4♥ 4♠ flop. Sw33ney check-called 3.8 million there, 14.2 million on the A♥ turn, and another 41.2 million on the K♥ river, only to muck when Thiago Wks. turned over trips.

That 131-million-chip pot put Thiago Wks. ahead by 39 big blinds. Winning seven of the next 10 pots expanded that margin to 87 big blinds and left Sw33ney in real danger of a a quick flameout. The former leader fought back, first doubling up with T♦ 8♦ against A♥ 2♠ and then doubling again over the course of the next 17 hands through simply taking away small pots through aggression. But it wasn't enough. In the end Sw33ney put it all on the line for less than 10 big blinds with 3♣ 3♠; Thiago Wks.'s Q♠ T♣ made a pair of queens on the flop to close out an epic comeback.

With bounties, Thiago Wks.'s final reward for an epic comeback was worth almost double what anybody else earned from this tournament. Congratulations to Thiago Wks. for pulling off a very impressive comeback!

WCOOP-49-H: $215 No Limit Hold'em [Progressive KO, Sunday Warm-Up SE] results
Entries: 6,156
Prize pool: $1,231,200 ($615,600 regular, $615,600 bounty)
Places paid: 755

1. Thiago Wks. (Brazil) $87,487.13 + $47,454.25 in bounties
2. Sw33ney (United Kingdom) $61,860.28 + $11,078.78
3. alexxt7 (Romania) $43,741.82 + $2,256.25
4. blue1084 (Canada) $30,930.20 + $9,249.01
5. poly101010 (F.Y.R.O.M.) $21,870.97 + $7,825.02
6. cocojamb0 (Bulgaria) $15,465.16 + $11,124.01
7. [Ro]Cristy (Romania) $10,935.57 + $980.47
8. Joseph Dir (Venezuela) $7,732.61 + $4,866.77
9. stvorka (Slovakia) $5,467.75 + $761.72

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in WCOOP