Some might call it a turbo tournament, because despite the 20-minute levels, antes were introduced at the very first level and continued to escalate throughout the event. The title of the event even noted that it was a no-limit hold’em tournament with “big antes.” With a little extra incentive for players to act on more hands and be aggressive, the tournament looked to be an exciting one from the start.
The $215 buy-in and $500,000 guarantee brought 3,650 players to the tables, which pushed the prize pool to $730,000. With payments guaranteed for the last 540 players standing, the tournament pressed on through Wednesday, September 16 until the final table neared in the early morning hours (for East Coast players in the U.S.) of the following day.
Throughout the tournament, many of the names players recognize as Team PokerStars Pros came and went from the field. Those who didn’t make it through to the money spots included playesr like Jason Mercier, Gavin Griffin, George Danzer, Chad Brown, Vanessa Rousso, Dennis Phillips, Noah Boeken, and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. Closer to the money were Chris Moneymaker (767th place), Juan Macieras (642nd place), and Ylon Schwartz (640th place).
But it was everyone’s favorite Costa Rican, Humberto Brenes, who sailed into the money and ultimately finished in 239th place for a $474.50 payday. Just a little something for the “chark” to chew on while he gears up for his next WCOOP event.
It was actually more than 13 hours into the tournament when the final table was in sight, and throughout the playdown, Koln4ever was the steadiest of the bunch, maintaining a solid first place position on the leaderboard throughout with more than 4 million chips. Finally, with hand-for-hand action in play at the 14.5-hour mark of the event, it was 2outs 1river who pushed against Shark 00100 and lost to bubble the final table. 2outs 1river received $4,380 for the tenth place finish:
In the middle of Level 38, with blinds at 25,000/50,000 and a 10,000 ante, the final table was set to begin as follows:
Seat 1: 72good (1,935,503 in chips)
Seat 2: PokerProGG (2,185,321 in chips)
Seat 3: Raoeoiku (866,555 in chips)
Seat 4: JUNFI (247,593 in chips)
Seat 5: Artiecat (859,772 in chips)
Seat 6: vara33 (3,227,438 in chips)
Seat 7: Koln4ever (4,886,063 in chips)
Seat 8: Shark 00100 (1,115,769 in chips)
Seat 9: joeppiej (2,925,986 in chips)
After a quick 5-minute break, the action was everywhere. First, after an initial raise by vara33 and reraise by PokerProGG, JUNFI called all-in from the small blind. vara33 got out of the way, and PokerProGG turned over pocket kings, which trumped the pocket queens of JUNFI. The board blanked with J♦ 6♦ A♦ 7♣ 4♥, and JUNFI was gone quickly in ninth place with a $5,840 cash prize.
On the very next hand, there was more action. 72good and Koln4ever got involved to see a 10♠ 6♣ A♣ flop, and a bet and a call led to the 3♦ turn card. Koln4ever moved all-in, and 72good called all-in for his tournament life with A♥ K♦ for top pair. But Koln4ever showed A♦ K♦ for top pair with the best kicker. The 10♣ on the river changed nothing, and 72good was ousted in eighth place with $9,125.
And without much delay, another player was at risk. Artiecat pushed all-in for his last 502,772 chips, and Shark 00100 called from the big blind holding pocket nines. Artiecat turned over A♣ 8♠ and needed to hit some cards. But it was Shark 00100 who hit on the 9♠ 2♥ 5♦ 10♦ 10♠ board with a full house, knocking Artiecat out of the tournament in seventh place with $16,425.
As play slowed a bit, there were still a few players with less-than-desirable chip stacks. One of them was Raoeoiku, who moved all-in after an initial raise from PokerProGG. The latter called the all-in with pocket sevens, which dominated the pocket fives of Raoeoiku, and the board of 4♦ 8♣ K♥ 3♥ 7♠ changed nothing. Raoeoiku was eliminated in sixth place with $23,725.
And then play slowed a lot. With the exception of the occasional double-up, such as joeppiej staying alive courtesy of Shark 00100, the event ran well into its fifteenth hour before another exit was to be found.
It happened when joeppiej put the short stack on the line with A♥ K♥ and was called by Koln4ever and his K♦ J♦. The board brought a jack on the 6♣ J♣ 2♠ to give Koln4ever the lead, and the 9♣ turn and Q♥ river ended the tournament for joeppiej in fifth place with $31,025.
Eventually, Shark 00100 was the short stack again and moved all-in from the small blind with pocket sevens. vara33 reraised all-in to isolate, which worked, with pocket eights. The dealer gave them 2♦ A♥ 8♣ 2♠ K♠, and that ended the tournament for Shark 00100 in fourth place, which was worth $41,975.
The final three players decided to take a moment to discuss a chip-chop deal, and when Team PokerStars Pro Tom McEvoy, serving as the game’s host, came back with the numbers, they agreed, with the caveat that $10,000 be left aside for the eventual winner. The players accepted the following payouts:
Almost immediately upon returning to action, the following hand changed vara33’s status at the table, courtesy of PokerProGG:
And soon after, vara33 got involved with Koln4ever on a 8♣ 3♦ 7♦ Q♣ A♠ board. vara33 pushed all-in with K♣ 10♣, but Koln4ever won the hand by calling with K♦ Q♦ and the pair of queens. vara33 was eliminated in third place with $83,779.11.
Heads-up action then began with the following chip counts:
Seat 2: PokerProGG (1,910,279 in chips)
Seat 7: Koln4ever (16,339,721 in chips)
It took only 12 hands. PokerProGG had been unable to gain ground and finally made the push preflop with A♥ K♣. It was up against the pocket threes of Koln4ever, and the race was on as the board came 8♠ Q♣ 2♣ 6♦ 10♠. The pair held up and gave PokerProGG the second place finish, along with the agreed-upon amount of $68,183.19.
The original chip leader came through and ended the tournament in first place, which was worth $108,282,70 in prize money, along with a WCOOP bracelet and trip to the Bahamas in January – at the time of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure – for the awards ceremony. Congratulations!
2009 WCOOP Event 34 Results:
1st place: Koln4ever ($108,282.70)
2nd place: PokerProGG ($68,183.19)
3rd place: vara33 ($83,779.11)
4th place: Shark 00100 ($41,975.00)
5th place: joeppiej($31,025.00)
6th place: Raoeoiku ($23,725.00)
7th place: Artiecat ($16,425.00)
8th place: 72good ($9,125.00)
9th place: JUNFI ($5,840.00)
The 2009 WCOOP is heading into its last days, but many tournaments and millions more dollars are available for players. Check the newly launched WCOOP website for all of the information, including the list of tournaments and corresponding satellites that offer entries for as little as $1. And PokerStars.TV, as always, will have tips from the pros and tournament replays as the WCOOP progresses.