Any mixed game requires players to change strategy and mindset with each level. In Event 14, there were only two games - no-limit and limit hold'em - but they alternated every ten minutes, so players had to be quick on their feet (hands?) and able to change gears continuously. But with that challenge came excitement, which was the reason for the stellar turnout and ultimate abandonment of the guarantee.
The 1,563-player field that resulted from the $320 Mixed Hold'em offering pushed the prize pool up to $468,900, well past the original $300,000 guarantee established by PokerStars. And in the field were numerous Team Pros, including names like Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Noah Boeken, Gavin Griffin, Tony Hachem, Vanessa Rousso, Johnny Lodden, Andre Akkari, Marcin Horecki, Maria Mayrinck, and Jose Ignacio. But despite their efforts, none made it past the money bubble and into the final 228-spot payment arena.
However, there were three Team PokerStars Pros who did make it well past that bubble. Henrique Pinho of Portugal made it deep in the tournament, ultimately finishing in 43rd place. But moving forward were two representatives of the German team. George Danzer, who has already performed well in the WCOOP and started it off with a 71st place finish out of a 8,538-player field in Event 1, exited this event in 29th place with a $2,110.06 payout. But the last pro standing was a fellow German and long-time pro, Katja Thater.
Thater pushed forward in the event until her short stack got the best of her. From the small blind, she took a stand in a limit hand with pocket fours and was all-in post-flop, but her opponent made top pair on the flop:
Thater finished the tournament in a respectable 23rd place and was awarded $2,696.18 for the effort.
The remaining players aimed for the final table, and it was finally in sight when two tables remained at the 11-hour mark. But it took well over an hour to see six more players eliminated, and one of them eventually was LosChief, who just missed out on a second WCOOP final table with a tenth place finish after making it to fourth place in Event 1. A short time later, it was mirri who bubbled the final table when A♣ 4♥ couldn't improve against the pocket jacks of SBRounder that made a set on the turn for good measure. mirri left in seventh place with $7,033.51.
The final table was set in Level 64 - no-limit hold'em - with blinds of 10,000/20,000 and a 2,500 ante, with players seated as follows:
Seat 1: viti45 (1,135,255 in chips)
Seat 2: SBRounder (1,114,320 in chips)
Seat 3: drgonzo10978 (2,028,156 in chips)
Seat 4: yadio (660,853 in chips)
Seat 5: dangdokodang (1,980,453 in chips)
Seat 6: DonkCommited (895,963 in chips)
Only a few hands into the action, a large hand developed that saw a good deal of preflop raising end in SBRounder all-in with pocket eights but viti45 making the call with pocket jacks. The two watched the board produce T♣ 5♦ T♥ 7♦ A♣, and SBRounder was quickly ousted in sixth place, which was worth $11,066.05.
The next to be at risk was viti45, who slowly saw his stack dwindle since the start of the final table. The hand began with viti45 and drgonzo10978 involved to see a 5♠ A♣ 9♠ flop, after which viti45 bet, drgonzo10978 raised, and viti45 called all-in. drgonzo10978 showed A♥ T♣ for top pair, and viti45 flipped over A♠ J♦ for that same pair with the better kicker. The 2♥ on the turn was safe, but drgonzo10978 caught the T♦ on the river to grab two pair and eliminate viti45 in fifth place with $18,756.01.
The final four played on for a bit, took a break to see chip-chop numbers which were quickly nixed, and resumed the game. Soon after, dangdokodang was able to double-up with a full house over the straight of drgonzo10978 that went down like this:
The former chip leader was unable to recover and was reduced to being the short stack. drgonzo10978 got involved with yadio in a limit hold'em hand with betting capped before the K♦ 9♠ K♥. More betting led to drgonzo10978 being able to move all-in with A♠ 5♦ and only the flopped kings, but yadio showed pocket kings for quads. The irrelevant turn and river were the 4♠ and J♣, and drgonzo10978 was out in fourth place with $28,134.01.
DonkCommited had been relegated to a stack of less than 400K and decided to move all-in preflop with A♥ K♠, and dangdokodang called with A♦ 4♠. The board came down 9♦ 5♠ 4♦ A♠ T♥, and dangdokodang hit two pair to send DonkCommited out in third place with $42,201.01.
Heads-up play commenced with the following stacks:
Seat 4: yadio (2,727,340 in chips)
Seat 5: dangdokodang (5,087,660 in chips)
Only three hands into it, the duo decided to see chip-chop numbers again. Within moments a deal was reached with dangdokodang agreeing to $64,727.38 and yadio $60,564.64, with the consideration that $6,000 extra would be reserved for the eventual winner.
The two played on but yadio was unable to make any headway against dangdokodang. Toward the end of the match, yadio doubled up once but was quickly back down to just over 200K in chips. yadio immediately pushed it all-in with J♠ 5♥, but dangdokodang just happened to wake up with pocket kings with which to make the call. The board came down T♠ 8♦ T♣ 7♠ A♠, and yadio was eliminated in second place with $60,564.64.
dangdokodang became the latest WCOOP champion, claiming $70,727.38 and the gold bracelet for the hard-fought victory.
2009 WCOOP Event 14 Results:
1st place: dangdokodang ($70,727.38)*
2nd place: yadio ($60,564.64)*
3rd place: DonkCommited ($42,201.01)
4th place: drgonzo10978 ($28,134.01)
5th place: viti45 ($18,756.01)
6th place: SBRounder ($11,066.05)
*numbers based on a chop agreement between final two players
The 2009 WCOOP is well underway, but many tournaments and millions more dollars are available for players. Check the newly launched WCOOP website for all of the information, including the list of tournaments and corresponding satellites that offer entries for as little as $1. And PokerStars.TV, as always, will have tips from the pros and tournament replays as the WCOOP progresses.