September 30, 2006 10:44 PM
There's an excitement that builds toward the zenith of any poker series. In my trips around the world to various poker tournaments, I've noticed the early rushes of excitement, the calm plodding through the middle of the series, and then finally, a mad rush of adrenaline that leads everyone to the big event.
PokerStars WCOOP Event #15 was among the fastest-moving tournaments of all in this year's World Championship of Online Poker. In a series in which final tables routinely began in the early morning hours, the Pot-Limit Omaha event had reached the final table and eliminated its first player before the midnight hour on the American east coast.
The final table included many familiar faces, including the mug of one famous Costa Rican, Team PokerStars' Humberto Brenes.
Click image for full version
Seat 1: MailMan99 (237043 in chips)
Seat 2: Humberto B. (246053 in chips)
Seat 3: trollguttn (277492 in chips)
Seat 4: DONKAFIDE (278190 in chips)
Seat 5: starsky (167176 in chips)
Seat 6: HaffaHaffa (351709 in chips)
Seat 7: LuckyLady519 (224392 in chips)
Seat 8: Trabelsi (306993 in chips)
Seat 9: KILLER ACE (78452 in chips)
I met LuckyLady519 in the Bahamas earlier this year after he became the first person to win the PokerStars World Championship of Battleship Poker. He played a tough and fantastic game to get to the final table. His time there, however, would be short. From the big blind, LuckyLady519 called a raise from Humberto Brenes, LuckyLady519 saw a flop of 3s-9s-Qh. With As6c8sJc, the nut spade draw and a queen-high gutshot straight draw, LuckyLady519 check-raised Brenes all-in. Brenes called for 83,000 more with a pair of queens. The single pair held up and LuckyLady519 left in ninth place, earning $6,502.50.
DONKAFIDE was the next to go. Trollguttn came in for a raise and DONKAFIDE called with AsKc4cJs. When the flop came down 2s-4h-7s, trollguttn bet out and DONKAFIDE raised all in with his pair of fours and nut flush draw. Trollguttn called. The turn was an ace, giving DONKAFIDE two pair, but the river was a three. Trollguttn held 6sAh3c5c and made the seven-high straight on the river. DONKAFIDE left in eighth place, taking home $9,970.50.
At first it would look like Humberto Brenes wouldn't last to see the end of the final table. He was hurt badly when his rivered ace-high flush was bested by Trabelsi's full house. Brenes was left with fewer than 100,000 chips. While he could've titled off the rest of chips, he remained tenacious, and managed to hold on while others busted out. KILLER ACE ended up taking the seventh place after getting all-in pre-flop with 4dKc8dKh. Trabelsi, holding 8hQh5cJs, ended up making a flush on the turn to bust KILLER ACE and hand him a $13,872.00 payday.
Brenes began to storm back after winning a huge pot against trollguttn. Trollguttn had flopped two pair, but Brenes flopped the nut straight and it held up. Just a couple of minutes later, Brenes flopped a set and made a full house against Trabelsi and doubled up again. Suddenly, the Costa Rican shark looked like he could make a run for the title.
The players went on to fight for another twenty minutes before MailMan99 found himself very low on chips and moved all-in with 5c3dKdKc. His good hand didn't hold up when Trabelsi's Td6d8h5h made two pair. MailMan99 finished in sixth place for $17,990.25.
Soon thereafter, starsky sat in the big blind. Four of his five opponents limped in and saw a flop of Th8hTs . Starsky flopped the heart flush draw bet out, and then called all-in. Trabelsi held a ten, Starsky missed his heart, and the final table had its fifth place finisher. Starsky made $22,325.25.
Humberto Brenes' move up through the chip count ranks would soon be eclipsed by Trabelsi's efforts. First, Trabelsi crippled HaffaHaffa after turning a full house to crack HaffaHaffa's aces. Then, Trabelsi knocked off trollguttn with a set of jacks versus a pair of fives. HaffaHaffa finished in fourth place for $27,093.75. Trollguttn finished in third place for $36,847.50.
Those eliminations pitted the player from Finland against the Team PokerStars' member from Costa Rica. it would only take ten minutes and one huge hand to finish the match. On a flop of Js-7c-8s, the players went to war, eventually getting all the money in. Brenes held 6d6sAsKd for a pair of sixes with the nut flush draw. Trabelsi held Jd9dTc6h for the flopped straight. Brenes didn't improve and finished runner-up in Event #15 for $58,089.00. Trabelsi, the man from Finland, took home the Event #15 gold bracelet and an impressive $93,852.75.
A full list of money winners can be found on the PokerStars WCOOP Event #15 results page. Final table results can be found below.
PokerStars WCOOP Event #15 Final Table Results
1. Trabelsi (Finland) $93,852.75
2. Humberto B. (Costa Rica) $58,089.00
3. trollguttn (Norway) $36,847.50
4. HaffaHaffa (Sweden) $27,093.75
5. starsky (United Kingdom) $22,325.25
6. MailMan99 (Sweden) $17,990.25
7. KILLER ACE (France) $13,872.00
8. DONKAFIDE (United States) $9,970.50
9. LuckyLady519 (United States) $6,502.50