One could call it a marathon tournament. The Thesaurus also uses the words epic, lengthy, and long-winded, all of which apply to a two-day online poker tournament. But the sizable fields that many of these World Championship of Online Poker events attract require that kind of time to play out. And giving players a break to rest is essential for optimal play in a tournament that offers $3 million in guaranteed prize money and more than $469K to the winner.
Day 1 of Event 22 began on Sunday, September 12, as 5,799 players attended the $530 NLHE tournament. There was an overlay of more than $100K for the competitors who were able to make it to the money, which happened when the field was reduced to 765 players. Some of the happenings of the first 22 levels of play were chronicled here, and when it was all over for the night, only 209 players remained with chips, and skylarsash was the leader of them all with 1,243,349.
Day 2 began at 17:00pm ET on Monday at the beginning of Level 23 with blinds at 2,500/5,000 and a 625 ante. Of the three players left with PokerStars logos attached to their avatars, Team PokerStars Online's Diego "vgreen22" Brunelli was in 41st place coming into the day, and Team PokerStars Pro Veronica "Princesa" Dabul was close behind in 45th, while Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu was hanging on with a fair amount of chips
It didn't take long for Negreanu to lose some chips and finally make his exit in 176th place, just a little over 30 minutes into the afternoon. Dabul ran deeper, heading for the last dozen tables, and then things went terribly wrong; she departed the field in 65th place, which was worth $4,500.00.
Brunelli had a roller-coaster day at the tables. In the beginning, he took off and headed for the top ten, even reaching the top five on the leaderboard at one point, but a series of rough beats put him on the list of short stacks during the fifth hour of play. It was not long after that he got involved in a hand with 7cardspoker that played out as follows:
Brunelli was eliminated in 37th place with $5,940.00.
The final four tables eventually became three, but it took several hours to work toward the final table bubble. APowers1968 held the lead for the majority of that time, but eventually, AlwaysFelted doubled through sibis5 in a pot worth 9.7 million chips and catapulted into the chip lead, and PeoplsChamp1 doubled through stennn to jump into second place. As the field was reduced to 14 players, then 13, and 12, APowers1968 fell ever so slightly but did remain in the top five, but during the tenth hour of the day, he lost ground and fell into last place. Finally, he was eliminated in 11th place.
Hand-for-hand began at 3:00am ET, and it took about 20 minutes for an all-in and call. It happened when CASINOICE moved for his last 1,730,801 chips with 9♦9♣, and MISHELA easily called from the big blind with A♥A♦. The board blanked with K♥7♦2♥3♥J♥, and CASINOICE was gone in tenth place with $17,850.00.
More than ten hours of play finally brought nine players to the last table of the night, and action got underway just minutes into Level 41, with blinds at 70,000/140,000 and a 17,500 ante. The starting chip counts were shown as:
Seat 1: AlwaysFelted (11,915,385 in chips)
Seat 2: skylarsash (4,020,440 in chips)
Seat 3: kendog39 (7,893,139 in chips)
Seat 4: kevinnok (2,598,932 in chips)
Seat 5: totya0611 (6,685,572 in chips)
Seat 6: O-Totoro (3,675,178 in chips)
Seat 7: PeoplsChamp1 (12,957,596 in chips)
Seat 8: MISHELA (4,959,817 in chips)
Seat 9: 7cardspoker (3,283,941 in chips)
Suddenly, players were ready to move! The very first hand found skylarsash doubling through kendog39, the next hand allowed kevinnok to double through MISHELA, and six hands later was kendog39's turn to double through PeoplsChamp1. As compared to the slow pace leading up to the final table, things seemed to be turning around.
MISHELA wasn't able to recover from the hit at the start of the action and finally pushed all-in for 1,923,385 chips from the big blind. Skylarsash, who put in the initial raise, made the call with 9♣9♦, and the race was on when MISHELA revealed A♣K♠. The board was a rather uneventful showing of 6♥8♣3♠2♣Q♦, and the nines held up. MISHELA was the first to depart the final table, walking away with $24,000.00 for the ninth place finish.
Next up was 7cardspoker, who pushed 2,953,941 all-in preflop with J♥J♠, and original raiser kevinnok called with A♥K♣. The flop came T♠Q♥K♦ to give kevinnok the pair of kings, and the 8♣ on the turn and 7♣ on the river ended the sweat from the straight draws. 7cardspoker was eliminated in eighth place with $37,500.00.
Play then slowed tremendously for quite a few rounds of play and well past the first break of the table. But eventually, short-stacked O-Totoro doubled through totya0611 and left the latter in a position to want to move soon. It happened shortly thereafter when totya0611 got involved in a limped pot with kevinnok. The flop of 7♥2♠8♣ prompted a bet and call, but it was the 5♠ on the turn that brought a bet from kevinnok and all-in call from totya0611. Totya0611 showed 8♠4♣ for the pair of eights, and kevinnok turned over 9♣7♠ for the worse pair of sevens. But the 9♥ hit on the river to give kevinnok two pair, and totya0611 had to walk away with $67,500.00 for the seventh place finish.
Kendog39 was the next to put his tournament at risk, and he did it from the small blind with K♣Q♦ against the A♠7♠ of O-Totoro. The board came 7♦3♦3♠5♦9♠, and that more than enough to eliminate kendog39 in sixth place, for which he received $97,500.00.
Moments before the 12-hour break, O-Totoro and AlwaysFelted went into battle preflop, and raises and reraises led O-Totoro to push all-in for 8,447,558 chips with Q♥7♥. AlwaysFelted called with 9♦9♠. The flop produced 8♣4♦7♠ and a pair of sevens for O-Totoro, but the 5♣ turn and 2♥ river failed to bring the additional help needed. As the pot was pushed to AlwaysFelted, O-Totoro was bid adieu in fifth place, and the prize money of $127,500.00 was placed in his account.
As the final four returned from their 15-minute break, they all decided to take a look at some chip-chop numbers in order to discuss a potential deal. All seemed to be on board with the figures except skylarsash, so play resumed with no deal in place.
Speaking of skylarsash, the next all-in moment came when he moved all-in for 3,478,203 chips with K♠T♣. AlwaysFelted called with a dominating A♥K♥, and the board of Q♠4♥2♠Q♣9♥ did nothing to change the outcome. Skylarsash was eliminated in fourth place with $169,500.00.
The final three players almost immediately agreed to pause the tournament again, and upon receiving the chip-chop numbers, they all agreed. With an extra $60,000 reserved for the winner, the payouts were otherwise guaranteed as follows:
Seat 1: AlwaysFelted (23,155,215 in chips) = $352,830.47
Seat 4: kevinnok (7,298,158 in chips) = $280,698.50
Seat 7: PeoplsChamp1 (27,536,627 in chips) = $372,761.03
With those numbers swirling around in everyone's heads, play resumed.
Kevinnok put his stack at risk, and it paid off as he doubled through AlwaysFelted in the following hand:
With that, AlwaysFelted lost momentum quickly and ended up pushing all-in with A♥7♠ against the A♦Q♠ of kevinnok. The second round of their battle again found kevinnok ahead, and that didn't change as the 2♣7♥Q♣8♥6♣ board was produced. AlwaysFelted was, indeed, felted, and walked away with $352,830.47 for the third place finish.
Heads-up play then began with the following counts:
Seat 4: kevinnok (28,715,873 in chips)
Seat 7: PeoplsChamp1 (29,274,127 in chips)
Kevinnok wore his opponent down with sheer aggression and chipped up into a significant lead over PeoplsChamp1. With the latter relegated to more than a three-to-one chip deficit, the two got involved in a big hand. It started innocently enough with a flop of 4♠Q♥8♠, but when PeoplsChamp1 checked, kevinnok bet, and PeoplsChamp1 raised. Kevinnok responded with an all-in reraise, and PeoplsChamp1 called with K♠5♠ for the king-high flush draw. But kevinnok showed A♠T♠ for the nut-flush draw. The T♦ came on the turn to give kevinnok a pair of tens as well, and the 3♦ on the river ended the tournament. PeoplsChamp1 had to accept second place and $372,761.03.
Kevinnok won Event 22, and for two long days of tough tournament play, he was awarded $340,698.50 and a WCOOP bracelet. Congratulations!
2010 WCOOP Event 22 Final Results:
1st place: kevinnok ($340,698.50)*
2nd place: PeoplsChamp1 ($372,761.03)*
3rd place: AlwaysFelted ($352,830.47)*
4th place: skylarsash ($169,500.00)
5th place: O-Totoro ($127,500.00)
6th place: kendog39 ($97,500.00)
7th place: totya0611 ($67,500.00)
8th place: 7cardspoker ($37,500.00)
9th place: MISHELA ($24,000.00)
*Denotes a three-way chop agreement
The 2010 WCOOP is now underway with a total of 62 events and $50M in guarantees. The official WCOOP website has a plethora of information about the entire series, and PokerStars TV offers tournament highlights.