WCOOP 2017: jeffzhang888 denies Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann second title, wins #38-H ($215 NLHE, 6-Max)

We're approaching the midpoint of the 2017 World Championship of Online Poker at PokerStars, which means stars of the first week-and-a-half of tournaments are starting to reappear occasionally at final tables of subsequent events.

Take Event #38-H, a $215 buy-in, six-handed no-limit hold'em tournament that saw a number of familiar names make it deep from the 2,141-entry field, among them Ben "jenbizzle" Jones and Paul "Fold Machiii" Dando of the U.K. and Brazil's Thiago "Sr.FireoNe" Carvalho.

Meanwhile holding a chip lead to begin heads-up play was another familiar username and avatar, that belonging to Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann playing from Austria. Hartmann already won one tournament this series -- Event #5-H, a $215 pot-limit Omaha event -- and was on the verge of seizing a second.

Alas for Hartmann, the cards went the other way during heads-up play this time, with jeffzhang888 of China earning the victory and a handsome $64,024.25 first prize.


The big field meant a $428,200 prize pool (way over the $250K guarantee), with the top 251 finishers dividing the winnings. Just 52 made it through Day 1 -- one for every card in the deck -- with omgsammjesus the one virtually bagging the overnight chip lead.

They'd been playing just over three hours on Friday by the time the field had been carved further down to just 12 players, by which point omgsammjesus had slipped to fall in 17th ($2,490.23). With two tables left fourty14 was leading with close to 16.3 million, about 3 million ahead of nearest challenger balsareny88.

VICTOR TXR1 (12th) next hit the rail, earning $2,994.74, followed by Vico$carpini (11th) and Burstein1 (10th) who picked up $3,601.46 apiece. Nuno "nmafra7" Mafra (ninth) next went out with MECMAR_I (eighth) exiting after that and both carrying off $5,104.70.

The remaining seven were reseated around a single table, just one knockout shy of the official final table, and on the first hand Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann wrestled the chip lead away from balsareny88, then soon chipped up over 20 million.

It took a while, but eventually fourty14 fell in seventh after reraise-shoving all in with queen-ten and getting looked up by Ben "jenbizzle" Jones who'd picked up aces. They were down to six, with jeffzhang888 having taken over first position, having moved well in front with more than 32 million.


Seat 1: Paul "Fold Machiii" Dando (United Kingdom) -- 9,173,218
Seat 2: balsareny88 (Malta) -- 17,582,779
Seat 3: Ben "jenbizzle" Jones (United Kingdom) -- 22,505,749
Seat 5: jeffzhang888 (China) -- 32,346,472
Seat 6: Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann (Austria) -- 15,010,200
Seat 7: Thiago "Sr.FireoNe" Carvalho (Brazil) -- 10,431,582

The final six played another 45 minutes together before a short-stacked Paul "Fold Machiii" Dando jammed from early position for nearly 5 million (just over seven big blinds) with Q♥J♦ and was called by Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann in the big blind with 8♦8♥. The board came 5♣5♠A♥7♥3♣, and Dando was out in sixth.

About 20 minutes after that chip leader jeffzhang888 opened from under the gun then watched Thiago "Sr.FireoNe" Carvalho push for almost 12.3 million -- about 15 BBs then -- and jeffzhang888 called. Carvalho had a pair with 7♣7♠ but had run into jeffzhang888's A♦A♠, and when the board brought no help Carvalho was done in fifth.

That pot meant jeffzhang888 had more than half the chips in play with four left, but about 15 minutes later Hartmann had chipped up to close the gap between the pair.

That's when a hand arose that saw jeffzhang888 raise from the button and both blinds call -- Hartmann (SB) and balsareny88 (BB). The flop came K♣4♠J♠, and it checked to jeffzhang888 who continued and both of the others stuck around. The T♠ turn then brought a leading bet from Hartmann, with balsareny88 calling and jeffzhang888 stepping aside.

The 3♥ river completed the board, and Hartmann shoved all in, earning a call from balsareny88 committing a final 6.23 million after already having spent about that much on previous streets. balsareny88 had K♠3♣ for two pair, but Hartmann had turned the nuts with A♠8♠ and knocked out balsereny88 in fourth.

Now Hartmann was the chip leader, and two hands later would add still more to his stack after knocking out Ben "jenbizzle" Jones in third -- another nice 'COOP finish for Jones who won a SCOOP event back in 2014.

That hand started innocuously with a min-raise to 2 million by Jones from the button and a call from Hartmann in the big blind. The flop came 4♠K♠3♥, Hartmann checked, Jones bet, Hartmann check-raised, then Jones shoved for 23.1 million and Hartmann called.

Jones had A♥5♠ for a gutshot to a wheel while Hartmann had flopped top pair with K♥9♦. The 8♣ turn and 7♠ didn't work for Jones, and he departed in third place.

Those two knockouts meant Hartmann had a better than 2-to-1 chip lead to start heads-up play with 73,960,320 to jeffzhang888's 33,089,680.


Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann

Things changed dramatically, however, on the very first hand of heads-up play when they got it all in preflop with Hartmann holding K♦K♣ and jeffzhang888 A♠2♣. The board was kind to jeffzhang888, bringing two aces to make trips, and just like that jeffzhang888 was the one with the big chip advantage.

They'd battle almost another half-hour, carrying the tournament into the day's eighth hour play with jeffzhang888 continuing to build on the lead.

Then with the blinds at 600K/1.2M, Hartmann had about 16.3 million to start a hand when he min-raised from the button, jeffzhang888 reraised all in, and Hartmann called right away.

jeffzhang888: A♣A♥
Hartmann: A♠K♥

It was aces again for jeffzhang888 at the final table, and Hartmann was in dire straits to survive. The board came an uneventful 6♣3♠9♠2♥2♦, meaning it was over by the turn -- jeffzhang888 had won.

Congratulations to jeffzhang888 for outlasting a big field and tough final table to earn a bit $64K first prize and WCOOP title.

WCOOP-38-H: $215 NLHE (6-Max)
Entries: 2,141
Prize pool: $428,200
Places paid: 251

1. jeffzhang888 (China) $64,024.25
2. Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann (Austria) $44,609.36
3. Ben "jenbizzle" Jones (United Kingdom) $31,082.56
4. balsareny88 (Malta) $21,657.45
5. Thiago "Sr.FireoNe" Carvalho (Brazil) $15,090.28
6. Paul "Fold Machiii" Dando (United Kingdom) $10,514.49

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