As the 2011 World Championship of Online Poker came to an end, there were several events on the schedule that allowed players their last chances at the WCOOP gold bracelets. Sure, there was the $5,200 Main Event, and there was a $10,300 8-Game High Roller tournament, but there were nearly 10,000 people interested in playing the last low buy-in NLHE of the series.
That brought us to Event 60, a $200 + $15 NLHE event. There was nothing particularly fancy about it – no short-handed tables, no knockout or shootout components. But there was one big perk for the tournament, and that was the impressive $1.25 million guarantee. Besides a bracelet up for grabs and a title to be proud of for years to come, there was to be hundreds of thousands of dollars awaiting that winner. Who didn’t want a piece of that?
Well, the final numbers showed that quite a few players wanted in on the action, and that pushed the prize pool well over the guarantee.
Prize pool: $1,932,800.00
Paid players: 1,260
Play was fast and furious for the first hours, and it was just past the seven-hour mark that the money bubble burst. That allowed players remaining at tables to be guaranteed a $347.90 payout.
There were quite a few members of the PokerStars team of players in the money, though some of them cashed out early. Team PokerStars Pro Toni Judet left in 1230th place, and Sandra Naujoks followed in 1208th. Newly signed Team Pro Ana Marquez was out in 1172nd, and Jonathan Duhamel was close behind in 1168th. Team PokerStars Online’s Mathew “chipstar1” Didlick finished in 1075th place, followed by Team Pro Liv Boeree in 1044th, George “gkap13” Kapalas in 883rd, Jose “nachobarbero” Barbero in 851st, Jude “j.thaddeus” Ainsworth in 623rd, Matthias “mattidm” de Meulder in 542nd, Lex Veldhuis in 415th, JP Kelly in 328th, Team Online’s Jorge “twin-caracas” Arias in 312th, and Team Pro Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu in 183rd.
Action moved along toward the end of Level 33. With 72 players left in the field – exactly nine at each of the remaining eight tables – play was paused for the day.
The last Team PokerStars Pro standing was Victor Ramdin, sitting near the middle of the pack in 41st place with 843,468 chips. And the top ten on the leaderboard were as follows:
1st – PikkuHUMPPA (5,040,213)
2nd – The_Stat (4,978,730)
3rd – yarik1903 (3,695,220)
4th – All_in_at420 (3,220,424)
5th – luigy666 (3,194,835)
6th – X-Front (4,160,134)
7th – ministerborg (2,807,771)
8th – Mergen (2,757,323)
9th – csacsi111 (2,565,234)
10th – Flyboys007 (2,480,666)
Level 34 kicked off the second day of play at 10:00 ET with blinds at 17,500/35,000 and a 4,375 ante. More than 10 players exited in the first 30 minutes of play.
It was soon after that Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin took his last stand. He moved all-in for 458,761 chips preflop holding J♥9♥, but thegwtg called from the big blind with A♥K♠. The board came 10♣4♣6♠Q♠4♠, and the ace-high played with the pair of fours on the board to eliminate Ramdin in 56th place, which paid $2,995.84.
At break time after the first hour of play, only 44 players remained at five tables. The end of the second hour found only 27 players remaining, and 1WHALEN1 was atop the leaderboard with more than 8.5 million chips. Mergen was in second, and yarik1903 and X-Front were in neck-and-neck for third place.
A half hour later, only two tables were left in play, and yarik1903 had leapt to the top of the leaderboard with over 12 million chips. DeRp0kErGuRu jumped into second, and Veg 101 took third.
Over the next hour, several eliminations took place to head toward the final table. In the process, some players who started the day in the top ten on the leaderboard, such as PikkuHUMPPA and Mergen, busted from the tournament. Scorpion0999 exited in 12th place, and the elimination of ministerborg in 11th initiated hand-for-hand action.
On the very first hand of that, tikitten moved all-in preflop with K♠6♣, and DeRp0kErGuRu called from the big blind with A♠A♥. The rockets held up to the 4♦7♦J♥10♣2♠ board and eliminated tikitten in tenth place with $10,243.84.
1WHALEN1 swims to final table with chip lead
Action at the final table began toward the end of Level 43, with blinds at 100,000/200,000 and a 25,000 ante. The players’ starting stacks were as follows:
Seat 1: X-Front (9,164,935 in chips)
Seat 2: The_Stat (6,842,252 in chips)
Seat 3: DeRp0kErGuRu (10,040,976 in chips)
Seat 4: yarik1903 (15,974,839 in chips)
Seat 5: Veg 101 (8,570,524 in chips)
Seat 6: Zanjong (18,250,976 in chips)
Seat 7: tormos (4,021,132 in chips)
Seat 8: Flyboys007 (2,329,454 in chips)
Seat 9: 1WHALEN1 (21,444,912 in chips)
Flyboys007 started the table as its shortest stack and lost ground in the first round. Flyboys007 then moved all-in preflop with K♦K♣, a solid hand with which to do so. Veg 101 was the original raiser and called with A♠4♠, and the amazing flop of A♣3♦4♣ gave Veg 101 the two pair. The 5♣ on the turn and 7♠ on the river ended the tournament for Flyboys007, who won $14,979.20 for the ninth place finish.
Veg 101 not only climbed with the first elimination of the final table but then proceeded to double through Zanjong to climb into second place on the leaderboard. The_Stat then doubled through 1WHALEN1 in a pot worth more than 20 million to jump into the chip lead, and short-stacked tormos doubled through 1WHALEN1 to stay alive.
X-Front had taken a significant pot – worth almost 12 million chips – from DeRp0kErGuRu earlier in the action, and the latter never fully recovered. DeRp0kErGuRu pushed all-in preflop from the small blind with 5,706,971 chips, and original raiser Veg 101 called with 8♥8♦. DeRp0kErGuRu showed A♦K♦, and the race was on. It didn’t last long, however, as the board came 10♦J♣9♣3♣2♣, leaving the pocket pair in control DeRp)kErGuRu exited in eighth place with $21,260.80.
Zanjong wasn’t able to recover from the aforementioned Veg 101 double-up. Zanjong finally moved all-in preflop with K♥9♥, and X-Front called from the big blind with A♠7♦. The board produced Q♥Q♦6♦3♥10♠, and the ace kicker played with the flopped queens. Zanjong was eliminated in seventh place with $38,656.00.
Yarik1903 makes big leap
Yarik1903 waited for the right time to move and went up against 1WHALEN1 in this hand:
Yarik1903 then took over the chip lead by a decent margin, and 1WHALEN1 was relegated to the lower half of the chip counts.
Tormos doubled through Veg 101, which left the latter as the short stack as five hours of Day 2 was clocked. X-Front then moved up the leaderboard and battled yarik1903 for the top spot.
Veg 101 had less than 6.5 million and moved it all-in from the big blind with A♣2♥. Original raiser X-Front called with K♦Q♦, and though the flop of 10♣6♥10♥ didn’t change much, the Q♥ on the turn gave X-Front two pair. The 3♣ on the river ended it for Veg 101, who took home $57,984.00 for sixth place.
Tormos heats up
Tormos and 1WHALEN1 got involved in a battle of the blinds, and 1WHALEN1 moved all-in with 5♠2♦. Tormos had his opponent covered – though not by much – and called with Q♠Q♣. The queens easily held up to the 8♥K♠6♦10♥7♠ board, and 1WHALEN1 was harpooned in fifth place with $77,312.00.
The_Stat was also prepared to move all-in and did so from early position. Tormos reraised all-in to isolate from the small blind, which worked. The_Stat was at risk with A♠8♥, and tormos showed 10♥10♠. The flop of J♥2♣8♣ gave hope to The_Stat with the pair of eights, but the 10♣ gave tormos the set of tens. The 9♦ on the river ended it for The_Stat, who departed in fourth place with $96,640.00.
The final three players paused the tournament to discuss a potential deal, but there was no agreement to be made. Play resumed with X-Front in front of the chip counts, tormos in second, and yarik1903 in third.
Yarik1903 took a sizeable pot from X-Front to climb into first position, and tormos maintained second of the three. But X-Front then took this pot from yarik1903:
Yarik1903 got involved in the very next hand with tormos, and yarik1903 ultimately reraised all-in preflop with 10♦10♣. Tormos called with A♣9♦, and though the flop and turn of 7♥2♥Q♦Q♥ left yarik1903 in the lead, the A♥ on the river gave tormos the better two pair. Yarik1903 left in third place with $144,960.00.
Serious battle for serious cash
The final two players prepared for their match with these starting counts:
Seat 1: X-Front (42,709,747 in chips)
Seat 7: tormos (53,930,253 in chips)
It only took a few hands before X-Front was willing to risk it all, and the move paid off:
Tormos had work to do and managed a double-up with A-K versus Q-J. Eventually, tormos climbed over 40 million chips, but X-Front got aggressive and took more than 20 million of that back.
Finally, tormos pushed all-in for nearly 13 million holding K♦K♠, but X-Front called with A♣A♠. The board of 4♦5♦9♣5♠5♣ gave both players full houses, but aces full of fives won, leaving tormos out in second place with $207,776.00.
Netherlands’ X-Front won the tournament and a WCOOP bracelet and $284,319.29 to go with the title. Congrats!
WCOOP Event 60 ($215 NLHE) Results:
1st place: X-Front ($284,319.29)
2nd place: tormos ($207,776.00)
3rd place: yarik1903 ($144,960.00)
4th place: The_Stat ($96,640.00)
5th place: 1WHALEN1 ($77,312.00)
6th place: Veg 101 ($57,984.00)
7th place: Zanjong ($38,656.00)
8th place: DeRp0kErGuRu ($21,260.80)
9th place: Flyboys007 ($14,979.20)