No frills. No complications. Event 26 simply brought no-limit hold'em action with a reasonable buy-in for the poker-playing masses. It was simple, straight-forward, and still as exciting as any WCOOP tournament can get.
But that plain, ordinary NLHE tournament boasted of a $1 million guarantee. And that brought 9,795 players to the tables, pushing the prize pool to nearly twice that guarantee; the final tally was $1,959,000. Suddenly, it was no longer a run-of-the-mill tournament.
Out of the massive field, the last 1,440 players standing received at least the $313.44 payout. In that group of individuals who cashed were a number of Team PokerStars Pros: Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (1439th), Alex Kravchenko (1257th), Luis Medina (1216th), Jan Heitmann (1009th), Alexandre Gomes (805th), Emad Tahtouh (754th), JC Alvarado (598th), William Thorson (573rd), George Danzer (541st), and Humberto Brenes (410th).
The tournament reached its last two tables as the event approached its 15-hour mark, and nearly an hour later, hand-for-hand play found the tenth place finisher. RJules12 did the honors, and UhhMee left with $9,795 for tenth place, courtesy of the following hand:
In the middle of Level 42, with blinds at 60,000/120,000 and a 15,000 ante, the final table was then established as follows:
Seat 1: ole6 (2,602,554 in chips)
Seat 2: dunkmaster50 (8,977,303 in chips)
Seat 3: jimenezzzz (3,390,253 in chips)
Seat 4: Holmesy1978 (5,099,088 in chips)
Seat 5: candy1203 (2,648,386 in chips)
Seat 6: equinespy (4,268,457 in chips)
Seat 7: PepaG (7,121,501 in chips)
Seat 8: RJules12 (7,159,911 in chips)
Seat 9: lelijk22 (7,707,547 in chips)
With players barely settled at the table, a number of the players expressed an interest in seeing chip-chop numbers, and all agreed. After their first break, the action was paused. Team PokerStars Pro Steve Paul-Ambrose hosted the deal talks, and once the numbers came out, there was one player in particular who was unhappy with the numbers. Thus, after a lengthy break, the cards were back in the air.
It didn't take long for short-stacked candy1203 to find a spot to get the chips in, and it happened with A♠ K♥. Holmesy1978 went along for the ride from the big blind with pocket tens. The flop brought T♣ 4♥ A♦, which gave candy1203 hope with the pair of aces but also gave Holmesy1978 the set of tens. The 3♠ on the turn and J♥ on the river ended any hopes, and candy1203 was eliminated in ninth place with $13,321.20.
The next short-stack was also fairly eager to move and did so preflop with pocket queens. PepaG was the caller with A♣ K♣, and the two watched the board bring A♦ 6♥ 6♣ 2♣ 7♥ to end the tournament for ole6, who took home $19,590 for the eighth place finish.
Some time passed before the next all-in moment, which was brought to us by jimenezzzz. After the all-in move, lelijk22 called with pocket aces, which completely dominated the A♣ K♥ of jimenezzzz. The board brought hope on the 2♠ K♠ 8♠ flop, but the 7♠ turn and J♦ river allowed the aces to hold up. The seventh place finish and corresponding $39,180 cash prize went to jimenezzzz.
PepaG had a rough few rounds, as equinespy doubled through him. But PepaG came back to double through dunkmaster50 to stay alive. Still a relative short stack, though, PepaG moved again, this time with A♣ J♦. But there in the big blind was dunkmaster50 holding A♥ K♠. The board blanked with 5♣ Q♥ 4♣ 2♦ 8♣, and PepaG was ousted in sixth place with $58,770.
The two chip leaders - lelijk22 and dunkmaster50 - battled back and forth several times. The pots were significant, though each won enough of them to keep up with the other. lelijk22 did jump into the chip lead at one point, but the two held nearly 80 percent of the chips in play.
Holmesy1978 knew it was time to move after getting involved with dunkmaster50 to see a 5♦ K♣ 2♠ flop. Holmesy1978 bet, dunkmaster50 check-raised, and Holmesy1978 pushed all-in with pocket tens. But dunkmaster50 called with K♦ 8♦, and that hand only improved with the last two cards - 5♣ and K♥. The full house knocked Holmesy1978 out of the event in fifth place with $78,360.
RJules12 was on somewhat of a roller coaster after having come to the table as one of the bigger stacks. Now facing two monster stacks, he made some moves, one resulting in a double-up through lelijk22, but the other resulting in the doubling up of equinespy. Relegated to the same somewhat short stack, RJules12 made another attempt. The all-in move was actually made by lelijk22 after an initial raise by RJules12, who called all-in with K♣ J♣. lelijk22 showed pocket tens, and they held as the cards rolled out Q♦ 6♠ 7♦ 6♦ 4♠. RJules12 was eliminated in fourth place with $97,950.
The three remaining players asked to stop the game to see chip-chop numbers, and when that happened, those numbers were quickly dismissed, and play resumed. Nothing to see there.
A bit later, the perpetually short-stacked equinespy finally made the all-in move from the big blind and was called by lelijk22. equinespy showed A♦ J♥, and lelijk22 flipped over pocket tens. The board came J♠ 4♣ 8♠ T♠ 2♦, giving lelijk22 the set of tens and sending equinespy out of the tournament in third place with $141,048.
Heads-up play then began with the following chip counts:
Seat 2: dunkmaster50 (16777400 in chips)
Seat 9: lelijk22 (32197600 in chips)
The battle found dunkmaster50 with one opportunity to pick up chips, but lelijk22 put the heavy pressure on his opponent and chipped away consistently at dunkmaster50. In the end, it came down to one final hand:
The J♣ T♦ of dunkmaster50 did find two jacks on the turn of the 8♥ 9♣ J♠ T♣ 2♥ board, but lelijk22's pocket eights turned into a set. dunkmaster50 was eliminated in second place with $199,818, while lelijk22 took the WCOOP title, bracelet, and $274,260 in prize money.
2009 WCOOP Event 26 Results:
1st place: lelijk22 ($274,260.00)
2nd place: dunkmaster50 ($199,818.00)
3rd place: equinespy ($141,048.00)
4th place: RJules12 ($97,950.00)
5th place: Holmesy1978 ($79,360.00)
6th place: PepaG ($58,770.00)
7th place: jimenezzzz ($39,180.00)
8th place: ole6 ($19,590.00)
9th place: candy1203 ($13,321.20)
The 2009 WCOOP is speeding past the halfway point, 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.