It’s the type of thing that could make a brick and mortar casino operator go sleepless. To sleep would mean to dream, and to dream would mean to have nightmares about that million dollar guaranteed tournament looming on the horizon. Maybe there was a day when PokerStars might have cringed a bit bout a million dollar guarantee. However, as we reached the halfway point in the World Championship of Online Poker, the guarantees of the seven previous events (save one that was capped for logisitcal purposes) lay in broken little pieces all over the virtual card room floor.
So, it was little surprise (but still really neat) to see the WCOOP Event #8 $1 million guarantee get shredded on Sunday, when 1790 people signed up to create a $1,790,000 prize pool. Every one of the top four prizes had six digits. Count’em. Six.
And as if the ruins of the guarantee weren’t enough to talk about, the man with the chip lead had quite a story himself. VikingVII had pillaged and plundered his way from–get this–a Frequent Player Point freeroll to the biggest event yet in the World Championship of Online Poker.
I don’t care how you spell it folks, that is just one sweeeet parlay, regardless of how he would eventually finish up. How did he finish? Well, read on, friends.
Here’s what the final table looked at when the final nine sat down to dance:
Seat 1: DJ16097 (Delray Beach, CA) $395,617
Seat 2: Dewana (Madison Heights, MI) $383,118
Seat 3: jerrod (Avon, CT) $720,720
Seat 4: animalmother (Las Vegas, NV) $722,962
Seat 5: Illuminee (Borlange, Sweden) $415,298
Seat 6: ayaz (Houston, TX) $283,510
Seat 7: ElkY (Seoul, Korea) $293,761
Seat 8: VikingVII (Petaluma, CA) $1,178,582
Seat 9: bILiaRds (Tucson, AZ) $81,432
Behind the eight ball
BILiaRds, he of the hard to type screen name, was no stranger to the WCOOP money. He cashed in Event #1 and had battled his way all the way to the final table of the only bigger event. On the short stack, he needed to find a hand pretty quickly. He decided AQ would do. Unfortunately for him, Illuminee held pocket kings at the same time. Ugly timing, to be sure. BILiaRds would never find an ace, and just to rub some Morton’s in it, a king fell on the river. BILiaRds was out in ninth place cashing for (the following is not a mis-print) $24,523.
It’s all just a game
Who is that in the seven seat? He looks like a combination between a modern day super hero and the Terminator’s long, lost son. He, in fact, is ElkY, one of the most famous pro-gamers in the world. Like poker and Magic: The Gathering, the young and talented players of the biggest and baddest video games can make some serious dough playing video games for a living. That’s what ElkY, a native of France now living in Korea, does. ElkY won PokerStars.com’s first Pro-Gamer Challenge back in January, a single table tournament for the top gamers in the world. Now, ElkY is proving his talents in the video game world are translating to poker.
I hear the train a comin’
VikingVII was on the fast train to Somewhere. The problem was that no one knew exactly if Somewhere was in Bust Out County or Victory Parrish. After losing a big hand with KQ vs. ayaz’s Ax (there was both an ace and king on the flop), VikingVII came back and threw a wicked beat on Dewana. VikingVII came in for a standard raise pre-flop and got a call from Dewana. On a flop of QT5, VikingVII then check-raised Dewana all-in. Dewana called, showing AQ, a perfect hand for the flop. Well, not really. VikingVII was better. He showed QT for a floppped two-pair. The perfect flop sent Dewana to the rail in seventh place and an extra $53,700.
Ayaz really didn’t like the way things were going with VikingVII. Although words were never spoken, it was clear in the pre-flop battles that ayaz intended to take a big piece out of VikingVII. In the meantime, though, other folks had some work to do. Among them was Iluminee, who doubled up in a battle of the blinds when he flopped two pair against animalmother’s flush draw. The loss hurt animalmother (a man who almost certainly took his name from the character in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket). He fell shortly thereafter in another battle of the blinds when jerrod raised all-in with KJ from the small blind and and animal mother called with 67. Animalmother left in sixth place for $71,600.
What’s he going to do with all that cash? In his words, “Put it with the rest of my money.” Animalmother, known in the poker world as Ed Hill, has been playing professionally for 30 years and uses poker as his only source of income. Just another day at work, huh?
Animalmother, aka Ed Hill
DJ16097 had been quiet (wait for it…). Too quiet. Surely to goodness and mercy, he had something up his sleeve. With five players remaining, he dropped it into the passing gear, picking up five straight pots and the chip lead without ever having to show down a hand. Finally, Illuminee put the kabosh on DJ16097’s wholesale table slaughter, by doubling up in a 66 vs. A9 race. Now, with stack of chips, Illuminee was ready to play. And what better hand to play than pocket rockets?
Well, apparently, the better hand was 23. In a battle of the blinds, Illuminee decided to limp in with his aces and ayaz raised. Iluminee called. On a 3d9d5c flop, Illuminee bet out and ayaz raised…all-in. Illuminee called and saw he was ahead.
It lasted all of one second. Another three fell on the turn and crippled Illuminee. He was out almost immeediately after that hand when his A4 ran into VikingVII’s A8 and the board couldn’t conjure a split pot. Illuminee left in fifth place and $91,290.
There are no bad cards, only bad flops
The ugliest flop of the night came at jerrod’s expense. He came in for a raise and got callers in both blinds. The flop came out 2h8h5c and VikingVII put out a small bet. The other blind folded and jerrod pushed all in with A8. He’d flopped top pair, top kicker. He quickly learned he was all but done. VikingVII had flopped a set of deuces. Jerrod didn’t catch his miracle runner runner and was out in fourth place and $112,770.
Down to three, the remaining players worked out a fairly quick deal based on chip percentage. They played for a good while without too much big action. Finally, ayaz got AT in aganst DJ16097’s pair of tens. The match-up was too much and ayaz left a well-played game in third place and $238,493 for his efforts.
DJ16097 had finally done what few were able to do before. He had opened up a big chip-lead on VikingVII. Some folks were already reay to hand the bracelet to DJ16097 when VikingVII caught a miracle and reversed the current. All in with AT vs. AK, VikingVII caught a ten to double through. That piece of luck was what he needed to get him to the final hand, where he saw a flop of 7d2h9s and got all his chips in the middle with Q9. DJ16097, who was down 2-1, decided to go with his two overcards, an ace and queen. He didn’t improve and VikingVII, the freeroll king, took home the bracelet and $316,638.
WCOOP Event #8 Final Table Results
1. VikingVII (Petaluma, CA) $316,638.00
2. DJ16097(Delray Beach, CA) $223,519.00
3. ayaz (Houston, TX) $238,493.00
4. jerrod (Avon, CT) $112,770.00
5. Illuminee (Borlange, Sweden) $91,290.00
6. animalmother (Las Vegas, NV) $71,600.00
7. Dewana (Madison Heights, MI) $53,700.00
8. ElkY (Seoul, Korea) $37,232.00
9. bILiaRds (Tucson, AZ) $24,523.00
Click here for a full list of cash winners.