A staggeringly elite field of the world's best no-limit hold'em players spent their Sunday glued to their screens for the WCOOP's High Roller Heads-Up NLHE event. Carrying a buy-in larger than the WSOP Main Event and the EPT Grand Final, this event saw 36 players put up $25,500 each for a shot at the title, creating a $900,000 prize pool. Eight players were paid with the champion set to earn $315,000.
Many of Team PokerStars Pro's finest competed in this event including Katja Thater, Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Bertrand Grospellier, Chris Moneymaker, and Peter Eastgate, who cashed in eighth place.
The quarterfinal round featured the following matches:
Adonis112 vs. Peter Eastgate
Sifosis vs. skilled_sox
zangbezan24 vs. joiso
Iftarii vs. mistakooll
Adonis112 defeated Peter Eastgate in the space of 23 hands, their chip stacks nearly even when the money went in on the turn with the board reading 9♥7♥4♥6♠. Adonis112 turned up T♥8♠ for a ten-high straight, crushing Eastgate's top two pair with 9♣7♦. No help on the river for Eastgate, and he ended his run in eighth place for $56,250.
Sifosis was able to put away skilled_sox in only 15 minutes, the game-changing pot coming when skilled_sox attempted a three-barrel bluff and Sifosis called him down with fourth pair. Ultimately their stacks went in on a coinflip, Sifosis' A♥K♥ outrunning skilled_sox's 9♠9♥ to punch his ticket into the semifinals.
Zangbezan24 jumped out to an early lead over joiso and never had to look back. Joiso could not recover, the last of his chips going in on a T♥4♠3♦A♠ board with 3♠6♠ for a pair of threes and a flush draw. Zangbezan24 had top pair with A♣K♠ and locked up the match as the 7♣ hit the river.
It took well over ninety minutes of play for Iftarii to defeat mistakooll. Though Iftarii sprung out to a 3 to 1 chip lead during the first level, mistakool was able to double up with A♣A♦ vs Iftarii's J♦J♥, rendering their stacks even again. However, Iftarii was able to pull ahead of his opponent once again, the last of mistakooll's chips going in before the flop. It was a classic race situation, mistakooll's A♣K♣ up against Iftarii's J♥J♣. Iftarii's jacks held, earning him a spot in the semis.
With four players remaining, the semifinal round saw Sifosis taking on zangbezan24 while Iftarii had to contend with Adonis112.
Zangbezan24 was able to take down the first pot of significant size in his semi-final match with Sifosis, but subsequently saw his stack erode a bit, falling from 160,000 to 97,000. Zangbezan24 was able to pull himself back into the lead after doubling up with A♠K♠ against Sifosis' T♠T♥ then pulled himself further into the lead after making aces up against Sifosis' queens up. Holding 263,000 in chips to to Sifosis' 57,000 after that hand, it appeared that zangbezan24 had seized control of the match. He proceeded to keep the pots small as the match went on, but Sifosis was able to reclaim many of his lost chips in this hand, where an apparent river bluff from zangbezan24 went awry:
The two resumed trading small pots for the next half hour before the game-changing hand unfolded. Zangbezan24 called Sifosis' opening raise, then checked the 6♠4♠3♠ flop. Sifosis bet 3,200 and zangbezan24 made the call. The turn came the 9♣ and zangbezan24 checked again, Sifosis firing out 7,200. Zangbezan24 calld and they went to the river, with fell the 2♣. This time, zangbezan24 led out, making it 19,200 to go. Sifosis put in a huge raise, making it 76,800 total and zangbezan24 made the call. Sifosis had flopped a six-high straight flush with 2♠5♠ and earned the 181,000 pot for it.
From there, zangbezan24's stack began a long, steady decline that ended with his moving his last 24,000 chips in on a flop of 8♦7♠2♥. Sifosis called and showed 2♣2♠ for a set of deuces, while zangbezan24 was in dire shape with 8♣4♣. The turn was the 6♦, the river was the 9♣ and Sifosis advanced to the final round while zangbezan24 collected $90,000 for his fourth-place finish.
Iftarii's battle with Adonis112 was long-fought, clocking in at nearly ninety minutes. Adonis112 crept out to a 2 to 1 chip lead early on, but Iftarii was able to nearly reverse things in a hand where he flopped middle pair, turned trips, and rivered a full house, getting a crafty check-raise in on the river to take down a 137,000 pot. From there, Iftarii steadily increased his stack, at one point taking down 16 consecutive pots to take him up to 265,000 while Adonis112 was left with 55,000. Iftarii was able to retain control of the match from there on out, keeping the pots small and never allowing Adonis112 to get back over 100,000 in chips.
On the final hand of their match, Adonis112 limp-caled a raise to 3,840 from Iftarii and they saw a flop of 6♣3♠2♠. Iftarii led out for another 3,850, Adonis112 moved all in for 88,100, and Iftarii made the call, showing 8♦8♥ for the overpair while Adonis112 revealed A♣6♦ for top pair, top kicker. The turn was the K♥, the river was the 7♦ and Iftari notched the win, moving on to the finals. For his third place finish, Adonis112 took home $90,000.
This left Iftarii to battle it out with Sifosis in the final round. These two players knew each other and congratulated each other on getting this far as the cards went in the air.
Iftarii said, "sifosis"
Iftarii said, "so glad to be playing a friend in finals"
Sifosis said, "Hi bud :)"
Sifosis said, "Great job"
Iftarii said, "u2"
Sifosis hopped out to a 2.4 to 1 chip lead within the first ten minutes of play, but Iftarii was able to quickly turn things around. After opening for 3,200 from the button, Sifosis raised to 9,600 and Iftari made the call. Sifosis check-called a 11,250 bet from Iftari on the A♣Q♦8♠ flop, then check-called another 24,700 when the 4♣ hit the turn. The river was the 2♠ and Sifosis checked one final time, inviting a bet of 41,000 from Iftarii. Sifosis called, but couldn't beat Iftarii's A♠7♦ for top pair.
A few minutes later, Iftarii took over the chip lead. Iftarii raised to 3,200, Sifosis three-bet to 9,600 and Iftari made the call. Sifosis fired out 9,600 on the J♥6♦3♣ flop and Iftarii smooth-called. The turn came the T♣ and Sifosis slowed down and checked. Iftarii bet 19,000 a nd Sifosis made the call. The river fell the 7♣ and Sifosis checked again. Iftari bet 52,600 and Sifosis called. Iftarii revealed J♠7♠ for a rivered two pair and took down the 181,000 pot to take his stack up to 361,000.
The two kept the pots small for the most part, Sifosis climbing back into the lead before Iftarii made the call of the match when Sifosis attempted a check-raise bluff on the river. Check it out on the replayer:
There was no stopping Iftarii after that hand. He went on to win the next six pots in a row including a cooler of a final hand. With the blinds at 960-1,920, Iftarii opened for 3,840 and Sifosis made the call. The flop came down J♠T♦5♣, Sifosis checking the action to Iftarii, who bet 5,760. Sifosis raised to 15,360 and Iftarii fired back with a three-bet to 30,000. Sifosis wasn't going to stop there, making it 103,680 to go before Iftarii min-raised to 177,360. At this point it was clear all the chips were going in, and Sifosis moved all in for 240,390, Iftarii making the call. It was two pair for Sifosis with J♦5♦ and a set of fives for Iftarii, the turn and river falling the 3♠ and the A♦ to give the pot, the match, and the WCOOP title to Iftarii. For besting one of the WCOOP's most elite fields, Iftarii earned $315,000, while runner-up Sifosis collected $180,000.
WCOOP Event #27 ($25,500 Heads-Up NLHE) Results
1. Iftarii $315,000
2. Sifosis $180,000
3. Adonis112 $90,000
4. Sorel "zangbezan24" Mizzi $90,000
5. mistakooll $56,250
6. joiso $56,250
7. skilled_sox $56,250
8. Peter Eastgate $56,250
Watch WCOOP 2009: Event 27 - $25,500 NL Hold'em [Heads-Up] on PokerStars.tv
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