The big big one — the $5,200 buy-in no-limit hold’em Main Event — was grabbing the lion’s share of the poker world’s attention on Sunday. Meanwhile, another pretty big one on the online poker calendar rolled along right beside it. Or should we say, high-rolled — the $10,300 buy-in 8-game mix event.
Seventy players, including many of poker’s elite, came out for this one, thus creating an even $700,000 prize pool. That easily eclipsed the event’s $500K guarantee. Scheduled to go two days if necessary, it looked possible from the outset that things might be settled sometime Sunday night. However, if players were to reach the end of Level 44 without a winner having been determined, the schedule was for those remaining to come back on Monday at noon ET to finish things out.
Only the top nine finishers would be getting paid, with the victor scheduled to earn a nifty $210,000. Play rotated through eight games — limit 2-7 triple draw, limit hold’em, Omaha H/L, razz, stud, stud H/L, no-limit hold’em, and pot-limit Omaha — with players spending 15 minutes on each.
Fast starts, fast exits
There were but 31 players gathered around six tables when the first hands of limit 2-7 triple draw were dealt at noon ET on Sunday, but with three hours’ worth of late registration the field was guaranteed to grow.
Indeed, by the two-hour break the field had more than doubled to 64 participants, although by then two players — xcr2244 and hotmark777 — had already seen their 10,000-chip starting stacks dissolve to nothing, thus making them Event #61’s first casualties.
Just a few more would pony up the required stack of high society (plus three hundy) during the following hour to bring that total number of entrants to 70. Meanwhile, three familiar names on PokerStars’ leaderboards — Brian “$tinger” Hastings, kirbynator, Kevin “ImaLuckSac” MacPhee, and Event #37 ($109 8-game) winner Dan “djk123” Kelly — had all suffered early knockouts, too, leaving just 65 to continue the bracelet battle.
At that early stage, Maria “Femmeonfelt”Ho had jumped out to the lead, followed by Paul “paulgees81” Volpe, and Event #4 ($320 PLO) winner bratpack1979.
As the fourth hour began, Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier had slipped to short-stacked status, and soon was felled in 63rd-place by ParkerKane in a hand of seven-card stud.
About an hour later ElkY’s teammate Theo Jorgensen lost most of his stack to Shawn “buck21” Buchanan in a pot-limit Omaha hand, then alex987 took the rest soon after to send Jorgensen out in 56th place.
Others felted as the field was trimmed to 50 included Andrey “Kroko-dill” Zaichenko, Dylan “ImaLucSac” Lynde, Ozenc “ozenc” Demir, lb6121, and Niki “RealAndyBeal” Jedlicka.
They were followed by Shawn “buck21” Buchanan (50th), Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko (49th), Steve “gboro780” Gross (47th), and Scott “BigRiskky” Clements (46th). It wasn’t such a bad day for Clements, though, after having finished runner-up in Event #58 ($530 PLO heads-up) earlier on Sunday.
“Getting intense now”
It was around that point that Team PokerStars Pro Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu tweeted he was “still in the 10k 8game and made a comeback. Getting intense now.” Indeed, early on Negreanu had fallen to the bottom of the counts, but with 45 left he had battled back to an average stack.
Meanwhile the carnage continued, a group including Team Pros Jonathan Duhamel (44th) and Event #26 winner ($320 mixed HE) Noah “Exclusive” Boeken (40th), Mike “SirWatts” Watson (39th), and Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez (37th).
By the the six-hour break the starting field had been cut exactly in half as just 35 remained. James “Andy McLEOD” Obst led the way with 43,830, followed closely by Femmeonfelt (43,320), and Event #17 ($215 2-7 NL) winner Brryann (40,483).
Soon after players returned Chad Brown of Team PokerStars found himself having to commit the rest of his short stack by fourth street versus two opponents in a hand of stud hi/lo, and failing to draw a winner found himself out in 34th place.
Others eliminated during the next hour included Event #59 winner ($2,100 H.O.R.S.E.) p3rc4 (33rd), e1mdopp (31st), and ChopChopChop (30th). Obst had a rough hour as well, sinking quickly from his leader status to the bottom of the counts and finally out in 29th. And Shaun Deeb followed shortly thereafter in 28th.
A few minutes later it was Team PokerStars Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg all in with his short stack before the flop in a limit hold’em hand versus Bryn Kenney. Ruthenberg had but 5♥2♦ and Kenney K♥J♦. The flop paired Kenney’s jack, Ruthenberg couldn’t catch up, and Ruthenberg was out in 25th.
The final four tables
They were down to just four six-handed tables, with TheHood, Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck, and Femmeonfelt the leaders, each with more than 60,000 chips.
After knocking out Ruthenberg, Kenney would himself be eliminated next in 24th, followed by Jared “Harrington10” Bleznick (23rd) and Paul “paulgees81” Volpe (22nd).
They neared the next break, just before which skalexjung got into a razz battle with Team Online member and WCOOP superstar Anders “Donald” Berg. All in by sixth street, skalexjung ultimately ended with  / [Q][J] / [A] for a jack while Berg finished with [T] / [Q][A] /  for a winning nine, sending skalexjung out in 19th.
18 left, just nine cash
After eight hours of play, 18 players remained, half of whom would be cashing and half doomed to have spent the better part of their Sunday losing $10,300. At that point, Wahlbeck led with 86,658, with Femmeonfelt still up there with 83,040, and Matt “Hoss_TBF” Hawrilenko in third with 69,097.
Soon bratpack1979 was knocked out in 18th, followed by Alexander “joiso” Kostritsyn in 17th, the latter falling victim to Ostrov in a stud hand. Two-time LAPT winner Jose “Nacho” Barbero of Team PokerStars Argentina was next to go in 16th, also unable to make it through the stud round after Hawrilenko claimed the last of his stack.
Then vovtroy — with the blinds 400/800 in the no-limit hold’em round — shoved all in from UTG for 7,114 and got one caller in Team Pro Eugene Katchalov in the small blind. vovtroy had 9♦8♦ and was hoping to catch something of use versus Katchalov’s A♦9♣. But the board brought no help for vovtroy and he was out in 15th.
Pat Pezzin of Team PokerStars Canada was the next victim, also in the NLHE round. After his fellow Canadian teammate Negreanu min-raised to 1,600 from UTG, Pezzin reraise-shoved all in for 10,912 from one seat over, and when it folded back Negreanu called, typing “glgl” as he did.
Pezzin had the advantage with A♥Q♦ to KidPoker’s A♣9♥. But the flop came 4♣5♠9♠, pairing Negreanu. The turn and river brought no help to Pezzin, and they were down to 13.
Soon after Alexey “LuckyGump” Makarov tested his luck by reraise-shoving his last 15,776 with A♥7♠ and getting one caller in roi kin23 who held A♦Q♦. The better hand held this time, and Makarov was gone in 13th.
They reached the nine-hour break, with roi kin23 leading the final 12 with 106,603, followed by Ostrov with 91,176 and Femmeonfelt with 70,760.
The 2-7 triple draw round commenced, and soon Event #31 winner ($320 8-game) Vingtcent lost the last of his stack to “Donald” Berg after unfortunately drawing to a six-high straight versus Berg’s A♦8♥7♣6♥2♠. Then Jon “PearlJammer” Turner jammed the last of his chips following the third draw versus Ostrov. Turner held 8♥7♣5♥3♣2♦, but Ostrov had him beat with 8♠6♥5♦4♣3♥. Just 10 were left — the money bubble — and the tourney went hand-for-hand.
With 10 left, no less than four of those were members of Team PokerStars — Negreanu (3rd), Berg (4th), Katchalov (8th), and Wahlbeck (10th). Meanwhile, all were chasing the two Russians, Ostrov and roi kin23.
Unfortunately for Wahlbeck, the Finnish pro would be the bubble boy after falling to roi kin23 in a limit hold’em hand. After calling roi kin23’s preflop raise, Wahlbeck traded bets following a Q♣6♦10♣ flop to go all in with 10♦9♣ versus roi kin23’s Q♦8♦. The turn was the 6♠ and river the A♣, and roi kin23’s queens and sixes were best.
In the Money
Not long after Wahlbeck’s elimination, Matt “Hoss_TBF” Hawrilenko was the first to cash, his elimination coming in fairly excruciating fashion.
With the stakes 2,000/4,000, Hoss_TBF was down to 8,697 when he opened with a raise from the cutoff, then Brryann three-bet from the button. It folded back and Hawrilenko capped it, and Brryann called. The flop came 10♠4♦8♠. Hoss_TBF pushed his last chips in, and Brryann called.
Hawrilenko had 10♦10♥ for a set of tens, while Brryann had but A♣J♠. But the turn was the 7♣ and river the 9♥, giving Brryann a runner-runner straight and sending Hawrilenko out in ninth.
The game switched to Omaha Hi/Lo (stakes 2,500/5,000), and Ostrov soon was opening with a raise from UTG. TheHood made it three bets from one seat over, it folded back to Ostrov who reraised again, and TheHood called with the 2,044 he had left.
TheHood showed A♠J♦6♣2♣ and Ostrov Q♠9♦4♦3♠. The board came 10♣Q♦J♠7♣7♣, and Ostrov’s two pair beat those of TheHood who was eliminated in eighth.
Not long after that, Team Online member Anders “Donald” Berg called a preflop raise from Ostrov, then saw the flop come K♣4♠2♦. Berg check-called another bet, then the turn brought the A♠. At that point Berg pushed his last 3,350 forward and Ostrov called.
“Donald” had J♦9♣7♦3♠ for a pair of sevens and a seven-low, but Ostrov had a wheel with his 9♠5♠5♦3♥. The river was the 7♣, and Berg was out.
Just six remained!
Seat 1: Ostrov — 269,157
Seat 2: Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov — 70,246
Seat 3: Maria “Femmeonfelt” Ho — 48,310
Seat 4: Brryann — 74,761
Seat 5: roi kin23 — 163,051
Seat 6: Team PokerStars Pro Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu — 74,475
From 6 to 2
They soon reached the 10-hour break, before which point chip leader Ostrov grabbed a chunk from Negreanu in a razz hand to make him the short stack with just over 40,000.
Negreanu soon collected those chips back from Ostrov in another razz hand, but as they moved into the stud round Ostrov’s pushed back up over 320,000 while all five of his opponents hovered below the 100,000-chip mark. Indeed, by the time they’d reached stud hi/lo (stakes 3,000/6,000), Ostrov was up to 374,857 — over half the chips in play — while everyone else sat with between 6-12 big bets.
Everyone managed to hang on for the next 15 minutes, though, meaning all were still with chips when the game switched to no-limit hold’em (blinds 1,000/2,000, ante 250).
Immediately Katchalov survived an all-in with pocket nines versus Ostrov’s A♣5♥, the money going in on a 8♣7♣6♦ flop that Katchalov managed to fade.
On the next hand, Femmeonfelt open-shoved 10,760 from early position and got two callers — Brryann from one seat over and Ostrov from the big blind. Both checked down the K♥Q♣J♥6♣A♠ board. Ostrov showed Q♦9♦ for queens and Femmeonfelt K♠3♠ for kings, but Brryann had them both beat with A♥J♦ for two pair, sending Femmeonfelt out in sixth place.
Following the 11-hour break the game was pot-limit Omaha (1,000/2,000). Negreanu, down to 33,289, limped in from UTG, then Ostrov raised to 8,000 from one seat over. It folded back to KidPoker who called, and the pair saw the flop come 2♣10♣5♠. Negreanu bet 19,000, Ostrov raised, and KidPoker called with the 6,289 he had left.
A club flush draw for Negreanu versus Ostrov’s top pair of tens. The turn was the 2♠ and river the 8♦, and Ostrov’s hand held.
“Good luck everyone,” typed Negreanu from the rail, having been ousted in fifth place. “Absolutely incredible WCOOP,” answered Schelger, referring to the fact that his finish here marked KidPoker’s 15th cash of the series!
Once in the 2-7 triple draw round, roi kin23 evaded elimination in a tense hand with Katchalov, ultimately drawing a 9♣7♥6♥4♥2♥ to the Ukrainian’s J♣8♠7♠4♠3♦. It was still a very unbalanced table, however, with Ostrov up over 460,000 and roi kin23, Katchalov, and Brryann all sitting between 70,000-80,000.
Next came limit hold’em (stakes 5,000/10,000), and Brryann was the super-short stack with just 17,735. Then Ostrov raised from the button, Katchalov three-bet from the small blind, and Brryann reraised all in, getting calls from both opponents. The flop came 10♠6♦K♥, and both Katchalov and Ostrov checked. Katchalov then bet the 5♥ turn, getting a fold from Ostrov.
Katchalov had 9♥9♠, but Brryann had A♠A♣. Then came the river — the 9♦! — giving Katchalov a set and cruelly sending Brryann out in fourth.
Three-handed play began with Ostrov still way out in front with 432,087, Katchalov next with 175,117, and roi kin23 hanging in with 92,796.
Soon, however, roi kin23 would lose the bulk of those chips, and had tumbled back to just 10,296 when — the game still LHE — he open-raised from the small blind and Ostrov called from the big. The flop came 2♠J♠K♠ and roi kin23 put the rest in, and Ostrov quickly called.
roi kin23 had Q♠9♣ and was ahead of Ostrov’s 4♠3♠, though only precariously so. The turn was the 2♣ and roi kin23 was still okay, but the 4♥ on the river paired Ostrov, knocking roi kin23 out in third.
Ostrov vs. Katchalov
Heads-up play began with Ostrov comfortably in front with 519,883 to Katchalov’s 180,117. They soon moved into Omaha H/L (Level 43), where the stakes were 6,000/12,000. The pair battled on through the 12-hour break with Katchalov gradually chipping up.
Then came a sequence of pots in which Katchalov claimed either half, three-quarters, or a full scoop, and suddenly the Team PokerStars Pro had pulled close to even before falling back a bit as they began razz (1,000/1,800/6,000/12,000).
A few hands into razz Katchalov had crept back close to Ostrov, then after drawing a [A] nudged out into the lead with 354,517 to Ostrov’s 345,483. Katchalov kept up the pressure, at one point moving up over 470,000 before slipping back to just under 400,000.
Finally the razz round concluded, meaning the two would have to wait another 11-and-a-half hours or so to sort out who would be claiming the coveted High Roller 8-game bracelet. The overnight counts:
E. Katchalov — 396,517
Ostrov — 303,483
The dawn of a new day. Both players wanted to continue playing when action was paused at the end of Day 1, but they had to wait to finish out the heads-up duel. The re-start would last around 43 minutes and fewer than 160 hands.
The two began the re-start with Katchalov holding an approximate 93,000 chip lead. Play resumed with a round of Seven Card Stud (Level 45) with betting limits set at (8,000/16,000). Katchalov won seven out of the first 11 hands and his stack surged over a half a million, while Ostrov’s stack slipped under the 200,000 mark.
Ostrov was on the ropes, but Katchalov failed to deliver the knock out blow. At his lowest point, Ostrov trailed Katchalov 6-1 in chips before he dug in and mounted a comeback. During the remainder of Stud, Ostrov banged away at small pots to give himself some breathing room. When the game switched to Stud Hi/Lo, Ostrov won a decisive hand with two pair against Katchalov’s pair of Queens, that got him back to his Day 2 starting stack. Any gains Katchalov advanced early on Day 2 were quickly wiped out.
Katchalov was not about to give up so easily. He launched his own counter-attack in Stud Hi/Lo and scooped a pot with 5♥6♣8♠9♠7♣A♥K♣. His 8-7-6-5-A secured the low end of the pot, while his 9-high straight picked up the high end. Katchalov strengthen his lead to a 2-1 advantage (470,917 to 229,083).
The resilient Ostrov fought back and won a pot with two pair, Deuces and Sevens, to get within striking distance of the lead. Ostrov broke through to the other side when he won another pot with two pair, holding 3♦K♦K♣Q♥5♣A♣A♦ for Aces and Kings, which propelled him into the chip lead — 413,883 to 286,117.
The game switched to NL (2,500/5,000 blinds and 625 ante) and Katchalov found himself the hunted. He narrowly avoided an elimination when he doubled up with 10♣10♦ against Ostrov’s K♦4♣. Ostrov even picked up a gutshot on the turn, but Katchalov dodged that bullet to stay alive.
Ostrov’s lead was cut to around 72,000, but he won 14 of next 21 hands to extend his lead to over 5-1, including dragging a sizable pot with 8♠3♠ for a full boat, Fives full of Eights.
On the final hand, Ostrov min-raised to 10,000, Katchalov shoved all-in for his entire stack of 122,734, and Ostrov called. Ostrov was ahead with A♦8♣ against Katchalov’s K♦Q♥. Katchalov improved his hand to a pair of Kings on a flop of K♠J♠3♥. The A♠ spiked on the turn and Ostrov regained the lead, but Katchalov picked up a couple of more outs with a Broadway gutshot draw. The 4♣ bricked on the river and Katchalov’s run had come to an end. The Team PokerStars Pro finished in second place and won $140,000 for his runner-up performance.
You can view the final hand in the replayer…
Ostrov took down a WCOOP title and collected $210,000 for winning the $10K 8-game High Roller event. Congrats to Ostrov for mastering a difficult field of some of the premier mixed-game players in the world.
WCOOP Event #61 ($10,300 8-game High Roller) Results:
1st place: Ostrov ($210,000)
2nd: Team PokerStars Pro E. Katchalov ($140,000)
3rd: roi kin23 ($105,000)
4th: Brryann ($70,000)
5th: Team PokerStars Pro Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu ($52,500)
6th: Maria “Femmeonfelt” Ho ($38,500)
7th: Team Online member Anders “Donald” Berg ($28,000)
8th: TheHood ($28,000)
9th: Hoss_TBF ($28,000)
The 2011 WCOOP is nearing its conclusion, but check out the WCOOP leader board page to see which players dominated this year’s series.