We’re into the homestretch for the 2016 World Championship of Online Poker and more “Championship” events are beginning to hit the schedule. Players rolled into the weekend with access to some big tournaments with tough crowds.
Event 43 had one the smaller $1,050 event fields but it was a talented group of players trying to earn a Triple Draw 2-7 WCOOP Championship. It created a stacked final table that was responsible for 19 past COOP titles, with nine belonging to Shaun Deeb and another three for Triple COOPer Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez. When the dust settled, it was Gonzalez taking home his second WCOOP title for his fourth COOP victory overall.
The tournament drew 121 players and each had a single re-entry option if their stack hit the felt. There were 23 additional entries in the event via that route, combining for 144 total, to create a prize pool worth $144,000. The last 14 players would earn a piece with the next WCOOP champ set to bank more than $30,000.
There were still 31 players remaining when the tournament clock was paused for an overnight break after Level 18, meaning there was still a lot of work to do on Day 2 before they reached the money. The six tables were full of top notch names including Calvin “cal42688” Anderson, Leo Fernandez, and poker stud Jason Mercier.
Day 2 did not start out well for Mercier as the five-time WSOP champ (and seven-time COOP winner) went from a top five stack to bottom five stack in less than 30 minutes. He made it to the last four tables when WCOOP 2016 winner/Triple COOP contender Andrey “Kroko-dill” Zaichenko went out in 25th, but 24th place was the best he could do.
Even without Mercier, it was still an impressive gang of players getting close to the money bubble. Anderson won his ninth COOP title during the Spring Championship of Online Poker, breaking a tie with Deeb for the most COOP titles. But it didn’t take long for Deeb to catch up when he won his ninth title last week in the $1,050 5-Card Draw Championship.
There were also two Triple COOP players still around. James Andy MCLEOD” Obst put TCOOP, SCOOP, and WCOOP titles together back in 2014 and Gonzalez became the fourth player with Triple COOP honors this past spring during the SCOOP series.
Anderson dropped out in 19th place to leave three tables remaining and they settled in for a long haul before reaching the money bubble. It took more than 90 minutes for the next player to drop out, the bonus of limit betting, and Empire2000 was quickly followed by two SCOOP and double WCOOP champ Mike “goleafsgoeh” Leah in 17th. Obst was the next big name eliminated and his 16th place exit put them into hand-for-hand mode.
Unlike recent action, the money bubble was burst after two quick hands. WCOOP 2015 8-Game Champion krakukra was stuck with a micro-stack, doubled up on the first hand, but was sent out by Mikal “Mikal12345” Blomlie when his 8♥7♥6♠4♦2♠ topped krakukra’s big draw 5♥4♠3♣2♣ and his last draw produced the 10♠.
Blomlie’s good fortune ran out late and he lost two pots with quality hands, the last when his 8-7 lost to the #2 of Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro to put them on the last bubble. One more elimination before they set up the final table, which happened when Deeb sent out former SCOOP runner-up Chris “Apotheosis92” Kruk in 7th place.
Five of the six remaining player already captured COOP titles, the only one without a championship was LAPT winner and Team Pokerstars member Leo Fernandez. As talented a field as you can expect to find in the best games. In addition to Fernandez, Gonzalez, Deeb, and Kelopuro in the final six, marroca5 owns both SCOOP and WCOOP titles while droseff earned his sole COOP title during this series last year in the $215 Triple Draw 2-7 event.
Seat 1: Leo Fernandez (428,850 in chips)
Seat 2: marroca5 (781,460 in chips)
Seat 3: Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez (353,400 in chips)
Seat 4: Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb (336,220 in chips)
Seat 5: Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro (510,250 in chips)
Seat 6: droseff (469,820 in chips)
LeoFernandez is the first to exit, eliminated in 6th
PokerStars team member Leo Fernandez had his eyes set on a WCOOP title to match his tablemates and began the final table firmly in the middle of the pack. But after more than an hour of casual grinding, he dropped under 125,000 and had to take a shot.
He put in a third bet after Kelopuro opened the action and they each discarded two on the first draw. Kelopuro check/called another small bet then drew two and Fernandez took one more. Another check/call from Kelpuro, for a big bet this time, and Fernandez was left with 22,500 behind.
Kelopuro drew two more and Fernandez drew his last card of the tournament. The best Fernandez could find was 10♠8♦7♠4♠2♠ while Kelopuro’s two-card draw finished nicely with 8♣5♥4♦3♣2♣ to knock Fernandez out short of the title.
marroca5 misses COOP number three, eliminated in 5th
marroca5 was the next player to see their count drop low after the slow grind of the limit game and found a hand worth raising up early. He then called a third bet from Gonzalez and they each drew two.
marroca5 bet out and the raise of Gonzalez was enough to put him all in with two draw to come. They each discarded one on the second draw and marroca5 stood pat on the third. Gonzalez drew one more card and it was good one, the number one 7♣5♣3♥4♣2♠ to easily best the J♦9♥8♦3♣2♥ of marroca5.
No double digit COOPs for shaundeeb, eliminated in 4th
It took a while to heat up the action at the final table but it picked up after marroca5 was sent out. Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb was the new short stack courtesy of marroca5 hitting the rail when he called an open from droseff.
droseff drew three cards, Deeb drew two, and droseff called a bet from Deeb. The nine-time COOP champ liked what he saw and stood pat before droseff drew two more. Another tap of the virtual felt for Deeb, droseff discarded one more, and Deeb tabled 9♠8♥7♣6♦3♣. A fine hand but he was pipped a bit by droseff’s 9♣6♥4♠3♠2♠ to send the popular pro out in 4th place.
Lrslzk fails the comeback, eliminated in 3rd
Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro was left looking up at Gonzalez and droseff, their two big stacks dwarfing the two-timer’s number when he called a raise in the big blind from droseff.
Kelopuro drew three, droseff drew two, and Kelopuro bet out as first to act. droseff called and discarded two more cards while Kelopuro settled for one more. It was another bet from Kelopuro, a call from droseff, and they each drew a single card.
Kelopuro only had one small bet remaining and put it in the middle with 10♣8♦6♦5♦2♣. droseff called with the much better 8♠7♣4♦3♦2♦ to take the pot and deny Kelopuro a third COOP title.
Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez picks up a fourth COOP in Event 43
Seat 3: Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez (1,503,510 in chips)
Seat 6: droseff (1,376,490 in chips)
Triple COOPer Gonzalez began heads-up play with a small chip lead, extended it briefly until droseff pulled it back, then stormed ahead for the final run. The two of them went at each other for more than an hour until Gonzalez had an advantage droseff could not overcome.
Gonzalez chipped away at droseff until he was forced to put all his chips in the middle with a big draw. Each threw away one card on the first draw and Gonzalez stood pat on the last two. droseff continued to draw one but could only pair his hand to finish his tournament with 8♦8♥6♦4♥2♣.
Even if droseff hit his draw, he was still dead when Gonzalez drew #2 early and tabled 7♠6♣4♠3♥2♥ to close out the tournament. It was another great fun for Gonzalez as he added a fourth COOP title to go along with his previous TCOOP, SCOOP, and WCOOP victories.
WCOOP-43 ($1,050 Triple Draw 2-7 Championship) results
Entrants: 121 (23 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $144,000
Places paid: 14
1. Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez (Uruguay) $30,981.06
2. droseff (Bulgaria) $23,576.28
3. Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro (Finland) $17,941.33
4. Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb (Mexico) $13,653.20
5. marroca5 (Colombia) $10,389.96
6. LeoFernandez (Argentina) $7,906.68