Buy-in. Re-buy. Add-on. As with the popular "Sunday Cubed" tourneys on PokerStars, the WCOOP version of the format gives players three bullets -- if they desire to use them -- only with a larger price to load up on that ammo.
A total of 831 players joined the fun for Event #55, among them Team PokerStars Online member Andrew "foucault82" Brokos, who shared his excitement via Twitter just as play began. "THIS is the event that I final tabled last year," he tweeted. "Two times!"
Indeed, Brokos finished third in this same event last fall, landing him a better than six-figure score. And by "Two times!" the 53rd-place finisher in this summer's WSOP Main Event meant a variation on the standard "one time" refrain with which we are all familiar.
After buying in for $530, players started with 7,500 chips. Brokos and his fellow competitors would combine to re-buy 562 times and purchase 515 add-ons, each giving them 7,500 more chips for another $500. As a result, the prize pool ultimately totaled $954,000, easily exceeding the event's $600K guarantee. The top 108 finishers would divide up that loot, with $172,674 reserved for the winner.
By the time the two-hour rebuy period had concluded, squee451, 1-ronnyr3, and Sphinkx87 had risen to the top of the counts, each hovering around 60,000. Almost two hours later there were 500 players left, at which point NoMorePoka led the way with more than 100,000, with xalkidas and ramondemon77 his closest competitors.
After six hours they were down to 194 left. Speedpokah was in first with just over 300,000, followed by de bluffer with about 258,000 and timoros with just over 216,000.
At that point Shane "shaniac" Schleger of Team Online was on the front page of the leaderboard in fifth place, hoping to match his performance in this year's Event #34 ($320 2-7 Triple Draw) in which he claimed the bracelet.
Several others from Team PokerStars were still alive as well, including Brokos with a below-average stack. He'd add some chips over the next hour-and-a-half, but Se7enTr3y would knock him out shy of the money in 138th, which meant no "two times" for foucault82.
Just before the eight-hour mark the bubble burst, and by the time the break arrived just 101 players were left. tuk-tuk17 led them all with more than 460,000, with NCompetition his closest competition with just over 330,000.
By then just four representatives of Team PokerStars remained with chips: Schleger (57th), Ana Marquez of Team PokerStars Spain (65th), friend of Team PokerStars Pierre "Zoutechamp" Neuville (75th), and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier of Team PokerStars U.K. (91st). However, of that quartet Schelger would be the first to go. All in with pocket jacks against DYBYDX's A♠3♣, an ace flopped and shaniac was soon out in 95th place ($2,098.80).
Not long after that Marquez would get her stack all in versus gavonator following a flop of T♣J♠7♦. Marquez held J♥7♥ for two pair, but gavonator had flopped better with J♦T♠. No help for Marquez came thereafter, sending her out in 69th place ($2,671.20).
About nine-and-a-half hours in there were 50 players left, with triantafill, respect82, and Arnie_D leading the way. "ElkY" Grospellier would fall in short order, running A♠K♣ into de bluffer's K♥K♦ to be knocked out in 47th place ($3,148.20).
By the 11-hour mark they were down to 28, with Lilla London out front with about 1.18 million. The only other player with more than a million was Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez in second with nearly 1.07 million. A familiar name on the WCOOP leaderboards, Gonzalez in fact took this same break over in Event #57 -- the $215 no-limit Omaha Hi/Lo event -- while also sitting in second place (with 34 left)!
Play continued, and soon they were down to just two nine-handed tables. Neuville had become short-stacked, and a hand arose in which he called Lilla London's preflop reraise, then shoved a 9♣T♠J♣ flop. Lilla London called with K♠K♣, but Neuville turned over K♥Q♠ for the flopped straight. The hand held, and Neuville had doubled back to survive with just 18 players left.
Lilla London would slide further, then after running pocket sevens into Davjey's pocket tens would be knocked out in 15th ($8,395.20). Soon they'd made the 12-hour break, and just 14 remained, with "SixthSenSe" Gonzalez now in front with almost 2.1 million, Dajvey next with 1.91 million, and de bluffer third with 1.63 million. (Gonzalez was still alive in over Event #57, too, where he was in ninth with 10 players left.)
After the break, DYBYDX went out in 14th ($8,395.20) after his A♣K♦ failed versus Se7enTr3y's 6♥6♠. Then Dajvey used pocket jacks to wipe out grazniesu4ki in 13th (also $8,395.20), the latter pairing his queen on the turn with A♦Q♦ but Dajvey rivering a straight.
A little while later it was Pierre "Zoutechamp" Neuville knocking out xalkidas in 12th ($10,303.20) when the Friend of PokerStars' 9♠9♥ held versusd xalkidas' A♥J♣. Then AceSpades11 open-shoved with K♥8♣, was called by fabstinho who held A♣J♣, and the better hand held, sending AceSpades11 railward in 11th ($10,303.20).
Hand-for-hand play commenced on the two five-handed tables, and several minutes passed with no eliminations. Then, just before the 13-hour break, Brryann found himself all in with K♦J♠ versus fabstinho's A♥T♦. The flop came 9♥K♠T♠, giving both players pairs but Brryann the better one. Then the J♦ turn improved Brryann to two pair. But the A♦ on the river gave fabstinho a better two pair, sending Brryann -- winner of this year's WCOOP #17 ($215 2-7 NL Draw) -- out in 10th ($10,303.20).
They were down to nine.
Seat 1: Se7enTr3y -- 953,696
Seat 2: HR_Dub -- 2,216,686
Seat 3: Arnie_D -- 1,697,328
Seat 4: Friend of Team PokerStars Pierre "Zoutechamp" Neuville -- 1,333,423
Seat 5: respect82 -- 657,454
Seat 6: de bluffer -- 1,704,143
Seat 7: Dajvey -- 2,269,119
Seat 8: SixthSenSe19 -- 1,033,203
Seat 9: fabstinho -- 2,444,948
fabistinho, Dajvey, and HR_Dub were out in front as the final table began, with respect82 the short stack. And Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez was starting his second simultaneous WCOOP final table of the night as he was still alive over in Event #57 with just six players left!
It would take awhile before the first final table knockout. The blinds were 20,000/40,000 and respect82 was still the short stack when he opened with a raise to 88,888 from middle position. It folded to fabstinho in the big blind who reraised to 198,765. respect82 then made it 520,000 to go, fabistinho reraised over the top, and respect82 called with the 358,078 left behind.
respect82 showed A♥Q♠ and fabstinho 9♦9♠. The flop came 5♦3♦9♥, giving fabstinho a set and two cards later respect82 was out in ninth.
Not long after the blinds were the same when SixthSenSe was the one raising to 88,888 from middle position. It folded to Arnie_D who made it 200,000 from the small blind, then "Zoutechamp" Neville reraised all in for 966,410 from the big blind. SixthSenSe19 got out, but Arnie_D called with his remaining 686,243 chips.
Arnie_D had Q♥Q♦, but had run into Zoutechamp's A♦A♣. The board came 8♥6♦A♠, giving Neville a set of aces. The 6♠ improved him to a full house, making the Q♣ on the river no matter and sending Arnie_D out in eighth.
A little while later the blinds had moved up to 25,000/50,000 when SixthSense19 again opened, this time to 111,119 from late position. Once more the blinds woke up with hands, with Se7enTr3y reraising all in to 845,571 from the SB, HR_Dub reshoving over the top for more than 2.55 million, and SixthSenSe19 stepping aside.
Se7enTr3y had A♣5♦ and HR_Dub K♦K♣, and when the flop came an eye-popping K♠J♥K♥, it was already over for Se7enTr3y who soon hit the rail in seventh.
The remaining six players played on through the 14-hour break, with HR_Dub well out in front with more than 4.32 million, his nearest foe Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez with a little over 2.1 million. Gonzalez was still alive over in Event #57, though would soon be ousted in fourth place. (Read all about SixthSenSe19's run in Event #57 here.)
Meanwhile, de bluffer was the new short stack with less than 880,000, and with the blinds up to 30,000/60,000 de bluffer open-shoved his stack from the small blind with A♦4♦ and got called by Dajvey in the big blind holding K♦T♦. The flop was okay for de bluffer, coming J♣8♦7♣. But the T♥ turn paired Dajvey, and after the 2♠ river de bluffer was gone in sixth.
Finally Gonzalez's dual-final-table runs would come to an end, but not after a bit of misfortune for SixthSenSe19. After he opened with a minimum-raise to 120,000 from the button, leader HR_Dub reraised to 330,000 from the big blind. Gonzalez reraised back to 633,319, HR_Dub shoved all in, and SixthSenSe19 called to commit his entire stack of 1,736,465.
Gonzalez had HR_Dub dominated with A♥K♥ versus the latter's A♠J♣. The flop came 8♣Q♦4♠ and SixthSenSe19 still led. But the turn was the J♦, putting HR_Dub in front. The river was the 3♣, and SixthSense19 had a fifth-place finish to go with the fourth he'd registered over in Event #57.
Next it was fabstinho min-raising to 120,000 from under the gun. Pierre "Zoutechamp" Neuville reraised all in from the small blind to 1,242,605, Dajvey folded in the big blind, and fabstinho called. Neuville had A♦K♣ and was hoping to catch versus fabstinho's J♣J♥. But the board came T♣6♠Q♥3♠3♥ and the Friend of PokerStars was out in fourth.
HR_Dub continued to build his lead with three left, eventually moving up over 8.8 million to fabstinho's 4.35 million and Dajvey's 1.1 million.
The blinds then moved up to 40,000/80,000, and HR_Dub opened a hand with a min-raise to 160,000 from the button. Dajvey responded with an all-in push from the small blind for 1,099,058, fabstinho stepped aside, and HR_Dub called.
The race was on. The flop came 6♦7♦8♥ -- a set for HR_Dub, but hopes for a straight for Dajvey. But the turn was the J♥ and river the K♠, and Dajvey was gone in third.
Heads-up play began with HR_Dub way out in front with 10,048,468 to fabstinho's 4,261,532. fabstinho would battle for nearly 15 minutes, during which time HR_Dub would gradually chip away at his opponent's stack, knocking fabstinho back down close to 2 million.
Then, with the blinds at 50,000/100,000, fabstinho raised to 200,000 from the small blind/button, HR_Dub shoved, and fabstinho called, showing T♠T♦ to HR_Dub's A♠3♠. The A♦2♥Q♥ flop paired HR_Dub once, then the 3♦ paired him again. The river then came the K♥, and finally, after 14 hours and 46 minutes, a winner had been determined.
Congratulations to HR_Dub for claiming the Event #55 for Canada and a payday of better than $172,000. And congrats also to Fabrizio "SixthSense19" Gonzalez for making two WCOOP final tables in a single night!
WCOOP Event #55 ($530 No-Limit Hold'em 1R1A) Results:
1st place: HR_Dub ($172,674)
2nd: fabstinho ($124,020)
3rd: Dajvey ($93,015)
4th: Friend of Team PokerStars Pierre "Zoutechamp" Neuville ($69,642)
5th: SixthSenSe19 ($49,131)
6th: de bluffer ($39,591)
7th: Se7enTr3y ($30,051)
8th: Arnie_D ($21,083.40)
9th: respect82 ($12,211.20)
Still one more wild weekend of WCOOPin' left to go, including the big $10,300 8-game (Event #61) and the $5,200 Main Event (Event #62). For the full skinny regarding schedule and satellites, check the WCOOP site.