WCP Heat #5: Costa Rica vs. Scotland

Costa Rica Advances to WCP Finals

Steven McCorquodale (Team Scotland)

Steven McCorquodale, beyond having a fairly difficult last name to spell, is a pretty easy going guy. He'd be just as happy in a North Scotland cabin as on some island paradise. He's afraid of flying but doesn't shy away from the high-flying players at the poker table.

Manrique Quesada (Team Costa Rica)

Manrique Quesada is a sensitive guy. He's sentimentmal and seeks peace and love in his search for happiness. That's why it makes it so hard to accept that at the table he is a virtual snaggletoothed tiger willing to rip apart his opponent at the mere hint of a checkraise. Part of the burgeoning Costa Rica poker scene, this guy is just as sure to give you a hug as slowplay aces against your pocket kings. So, don't be fooled if you're sitting across the felt from him. He'll smile while eating you for lunch.


Team Costa Rica had been quietly talking about a curse. In the early matches it seemed Costa Rica would take Scotland in a walk. Somehow, the fates, cards, and team Scotland had conspired against them. Instead of slipping quietly into the finals, Costa Rica was scraping, clawing, and cursing their way up the ladder. One more match meant the difference beetween defending their WCP title and being relegated to a fight for third place.

The burden rested squarely on the shoulders of Manrique Quesada. In the fifth and final heat he faced Scotland's Steven McCorquodale.

The players battled even for nearly 20 hands before Manrique Quesada sprung out to a 2-1 chip lead, playing fearlessly against McCorquodale's bluffs. It looked as if Quesada would make short work of the Scotsman until he raised preflop with A2 and had to make a decision against an all-in bet from his opposition. He ended up calling McCorquodale's bet and found he was dominated by AQ. The hand doubled up the final representive of Team Scotland.

By hand #50, McCorquodale had battled his way back up to striking distance and shortly overtook his Costa Rican opponent.

In the bar, talk of the curse sprang back to life.

In a hand that showed Quesada's poise, he re-raised pre-flop with AT only to see McCorquodale push all-in. Quesada labored over his decision before finally laying down his hand. Later he would learn his opponent held KK.

Getting away from that hand allowed Quesada to chip away at McCorquodale's lead and get back close to even in chips. Event still, after again raising with A2, Quesada fell back in chips after folding to McCorquodale's all-in re-raise. Again, it was a good fold, as the Scotsman held A7.

By now, the match had gone longer than any other in the semi-finals as the players fought on and on. In fact, the match lasted so long, the crew had to take a bathroom break in the middle.

With the blinds now at 10,000/20,000 (and only 300,000 chips in play) both players had to make very clear decisions about which hands they would play.

The turning point was when Quesada finally picked up AKo. He put in a raise and McCorquodale came over the top all-in with JTs. Quesada insta-called, made his king on the flop, and doubled through.

In the end, it took a small bit of luck to seal the deal. Quesada pushed all-in wih K2 and McCorquodale called with A9. Quesada caught lucky and caught his king to push his team into the finals.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Cup of Poker