In light of the 21+ hour tournament that was Event 24, let's take a moment to hail the greatness that is the two-day tournament. For players, it allows them to plan their poker tournament schedule, not to mention non-poker activities and obligations, while managing to allow them to sleep on a normal-as-it-gets schedule. Players can also stay alert and on their game during both days of play, should they make it that far in the event.
Tournament hosts and poker bloggers also appreciate the two-day events, as the WCOOP schedule is a heavy one, and a cut-off time for the first day of a tournament allows us to maintain some semblance of sanity. (Insert your own jokes about us here, but be nice...)
Thus, PokerStars delivered the second of three two-day tournaments with Event 28. With a $3 million guarantee on the line, it was no surprise to see a field of 3,268 players, all willing to pony up the $1,050 buy-in for a shot at it. And that registration number boosted the prize pool to $3,268,000 to be distributed according to the finishes of the final 495 players. And the top prizes for the final tablists were determined to be as follows:
1st place: $513,076.00
2nd place: $382,356.00
3rd place: $269,610.00
4th place: $187,910.00
5th place: $138,890.00
6th place: $106,210.00
7th place: $73,530.00
8th place: $40,850.00
9th place: $26,144.00
In the midst of the crowds of players, there was a solid contingent representing Team PokerStars. That list of players included names like Chris Moneymaker, Victor Ramdin, William Thorson, Hevad Khan, Andre Akkari, Bill Chen, Dennis Phillips, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, George Danzer, Humberto Brenes, Ivan Demidov, Joe Hachem, Katja Thater, Lee Nelson, and Veronica Dabul. Sadly, though, they were in the category of early Day 1 casualties.
Making it deep in the field, however, were Vicky Coren and JC Alvarado, both of whom finished just outside the money. But several made it past that bubble and cashed - Marcel Luske finished in 461st place, Jason Mercier left in 441st, Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck was out in 434th, and Darus Suharto took leave of the tables in 275th place.
That left one. Ylon Schwartz was still plugging away as the tournament hit its last level of the night, and despite a below-average chip stack, he was able to take enough small pots to stay alive. As the night became to come to a close, this double-up kept him in the game:
The roller coaster continued, however, as it only took a few hands for Ylon to get involved again, and when BIFIKO was able to double through him, he was left with less than 40K in chips. Two hands later, Ylon pushed all-in with pocket nines, and mezvinsm called with K♠ 6♦. The competitors watched the board produce 4♣ K♦ Q♦ T♥ 3♣, which eliminated Ylon in 186th place, which was good for a $2,941.20 cash.
Meanwhile, there was a serious battle going on for the top spots on the leaderboard, though for much of the last few levels, keufcoen and Andy McLEOD had the two top positions in a lock, and they were the only players in the field over the million-chip mark. But that changed in Level 22.
James "Andy McLEOD" Obst fell directly out of second place and out of the top ten with the following hand in the last level of the night:
That put padjes in the position of chip leader and relegated keufcoen to second and having to fight to regain his top spot, which he was not able to do before play ended. And slowly and steadily, donnysack crept into the over-million-chips club to end the night there.
Play stopped at the end of Level 22, and the game was paused and set to resume at 5:00pm ET on Monday, September 14, little more than 11 hours later. Players would start at the beginning of Level 23 with blinds 2,500/5,000 and a 625 ante, with 176 players still in the running and the average chip stack sitting at 278,522.
2009 WCOOP Event 28 Top Ten Chip Counts:
1. padjes (1,171,050)
2. keufcoen (1,154,576)
3. donnysack (1,035,908)
4. Adolfina2 (849,918)
5. reilly11014 (811,481)
6. No1Ono1Oho! (707,886)
7. Tonimonntana (671,189)
8. runslikerubs (648,604)
9. Trigonzo (621,809)
10. im2tight (621,244)
The 2009 WCOOP is well underway, but one last week remains. Check the newly launched WCOOP website for all of the information, but don't forget to check the list of tournaments and the satellites that offer entries for as little as $1. And PokerStars.TV will have tips from the pros and exciting developments as the series progresses.