Back when Chris Moneymaker was still an accountant, Joe Hachem was a chiropractor, and the World Series of Poker still fit in Benny's Bullpen, the WCOOP was born. There were only nine events, the Main Event buy-in was $1,000, and most of this year's field was still in middle school. Nine years later, well... it's a different world. Put it this way-- tonight's second-place finisher took home more than the combined prize pool of the 2002 WCOOP across all events.
Like the Cole Porter song says, times have changed.
Someone would come away from the 2011 WCOOP Main Event a new millionaire. And with 176 players still in contention after a full day of play, it was still anyone's game. That anyone turned out to be Thomas "Kallllle" Pedersen, a young Dane who broke free from the middle of the pack to put a stranglehold on the chip lead. After entering the final table with a giant lead, Kallllle put on a dominating performance, knocking out six of his eight opponents en route to a seven-figure score and his first WCOOP bracelet.
Following a 12-hour break, Day 2 commenced with each of the 176 remaining players guaranteed at least $13,422.75 for their efforts. The vast majority of the $8,135,000 prize pool was still up for grabs, with $1,464,300 set aside for first place.
Au revoir, ElkY
Of the four Team PokerStars Pros who advanced to Day 2, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier arrived with the shortest stack. Half an hour into play, the action folded around to the Frenchman on the button and he moved all-in for his last 12.5 big blinds with Q♠9♦. Log1c007 was quick to reshove from the small blind, folding out takechip in the big. Although ElkY picked up a straight draw on the J♠8♦3♥ flop, log1c007's A♠T♦ held up, the board double-pairing threes and jacks to end ElkY's run in 135th place. ElkY would later make an appearance at the final table, albeit as its host.
Gboro780 gutted, 2FLY2TILT wins Player of the Series
Only one man could separate Joel Adam "2FLY2TILT" Gordon from first place on the 2011 WCOOP Tournament Leader Board. Steve "gboro780" Gross would dethrone Gordon if he finished second or better in the Main Event, but his tournament came to an end quite early on Day 2. Gross three-bet shoved for his last 17 big blinds with pocket queens, but lost the race to frshman067's A♠K♦ to bust in 122nd place and lock up Player of the Series honors for Gordon. What does he earn for this sparkling achievement? How about more than $40,000 in tournament prize packages including an EPT Season 8 Grand Final package, a 2012 PCA package, and a SCOOP Main Event ticket. The trophy isn't bad-looking either. And the chip set is pretty snazzy too.
Team Pros fall, Petersen last red spade standing
Matthias De Muelder bowed out in 110th, and Johnny Lodden busted in 102nd place when his pocket jacks couldn't hold against A♠K♠, leaving Eugene Katchalov as the last Team PokerStars Pro in the Main Event. Katchalov, who earlier in the day finished runner-up in the $10,300 High Roller 8-Game event, went out in disappointing fashion, getting his money in with pocket kings on a J♦9♥3♦ flop against Runninggreat's A♦J♠. The turn blanked with the 5♣, but Runninggreat proved true to his name on the river, catching the A♠ to eliminate Katchalov in 66th place.
Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen had a red spade placed next to his name only a couple of weeks ago and more than proved his mettle in this year's WCOOP with eight cashes and a final table appearance in Event #24 ($320 Stud). He also won the unofficial Team Online last-longer, grinding his way to a 52nd place finish. Petersen called WhySoSrsSon's four-bet shove holding A♣K♣ only to run right into A♦A♥. The A♠7♠7♦ flop sealed up the hand and Petersen departed with a $22,788 payday.
Chan, Stern sunk on the river
With two WCOOP and one SCOOP title already on his C.V., Terrence "Unassigned" Chan knows something about making final tables. Unfortunately for the poker pro and budding MMA fighter, he got extremely unlucky when his opponent rivered a set of eights against Chan's top pair to eliminate him in 36th place.
2 Months 2 Million star Dani "supernova9" Stern also saw his Main Event run come to an end via a devastating river card. Stern had a successful start to Day 2, moving into the chip lead within the first two levels of play and remained near the top of the pack for most of the day. When he picked up A♦K♦, Stern's three-bet successfully induced a shove from the aggressive Vojta_R. Stern quickly called and was do doubt delighted to be up against 7♥9♥, but the board cruelly ran out 2♣4♥Q♣J♥K♥, Vojta_R rivering a flush to eliminate Stern in 13th place.
The rise of Kallllle
With three tables remaining, Kallllle was just another guy with 45 big blinds, an average stack looking to go bigger. After picking up pocket tens in this hand against table big stack shuriken555, his stack climbed over the million-chip mark:
Fifteen minutes later, he moved up to 2.4 million after turning an ace-high flush and value-betting it to perfection, pilfering shuriken555's stack even further. 2.6 million became 3.78 when his A♣J♠ rivered two pair after getting his money in against kwil20's A♦K♠ on a A♥T♥9♣ flop. Soon thereafter, Kallllle picked up pocket aces and check-shoved on a king-high flop, Rekrampas making the call with A♣K♠. The overpair held, and Rekrampas went out in 18th place while Kallllle moved up to 4.7 million.
By the time the field was thinned to 11, Kallllle was comforatbly in the chip lead with 5.3 million What a better time to flop quad tens?
Already up to 7.7 million, Kallllle picked up his largest pot yet when he eliminated huiiiiiiiiii in 11th place. All the money went in preflop, Kallllle six-bet shoving with A♥Q♠ and huiiiiiiiiii calling off his remaining 2.26 million with pocket tens. Kallllle whiffed the flop but turned an ace, his chip count rocketing up to 10.7 million as the final table bubble loomed.
LoneHixx eliminated in 10th, final table set
LoneHixx had a bit less than 20 big blinds when he picked up pocket nines and three-bet shoved over Vojta_R's 120,000 opening min-raise. Vojta_R quickly called with pocket queens, leaving LoneHixx with less than a 20% chance of survival. Indeed the queens held up, the board running out J♥J♠3♣K♠6♥ to eliminate LoneHixx in tenth place and send the remaining nine players to the final table, each of them now guaranteed more than $81,000 for their two days of work.
Kallllle still held a dominant lead with more than double the chips of second-place Vojta_R as the final table got underway:
Seat 1: Vojta_R (5,011,956 in chips)
Seat 2: dan82mur (2,658,423 in chips)
Seat 3: BackDoorovic (4,495,888 in chips)
Seat 4: Kallllle (11,178,222 in chips)
Seat 5: OU THE NICK (2,154,581 in chips)
Seat 6: VadziMoney (1,422,861 in chips)
Seat 7: WhySoSrsSon (3,039,785 in chips)
Seat 8: jle90 (1,353,647 in chips)
Seat 9: goleafsgoeh (1,224,637 in chips)
Kallllle crushes souls, KOs dan82mur and OU THE NICK
Fifteen minutes in, dan82mur opened for a min-raise to 160,000 and Kallllle came over the top, three-betting to 354,678. Dan82mur decided to go with his A♣T♦ and shoved for 2.22 million total, Kallllle making the call with A♠K♠. Dan82mur's dominated hand did not improve, and Kallllle claimed his first scalp of the final table, sending dan82mur home in ninth place with an $81,350 score.
Short-stacked since there were 20 players remaining, goleafsgoeh was almost the next player out the door, open-shoving with A♣2♠ and getting a call from Vojta_R with A♠J♦. The Q♥8♠3♣ flop was no help for our Canadian friend, but the 2♦ hit the turn to pair his kicker. The river was the 7♥ and goleafsgoeh staved off elimination and raked in the 2.05 million pot. Instead, OU THE NICK was the next to go after getting the rest of his stack in the middle preflop with K♦Q♣ against Kallllle's pocket nines. An eight-high board gave the 3.8 million pot to Kallllle, and OU THE NICK had to settle for eighth place. That was good enough for a six-figure payday, $122,025 zooming its way into his Stars account.
On the very next deal, Vojta_R opened for 166,666 and VadziMoney three-bet to 311,777 on the button. WhySoSrsSon folded the small blind and jle90 cold four-bet from the big blind, moving all-in for 1,346,147. Vojta_R said no thanks, but VadziMoney happily called with pocket aces. Jle90's pocket tens picked up an open-ended straight draw on the turn when the board read 8♣2♠9♣J♠, but he couldn't get there on the river, the J♦ falling to send him home in seventh place.
With six players remaining, Kallllle controlled more than half the chips in play with 16.4 million. VadziMoney was in second with 4.46 million, followed by Vojta_R (3.62 million), BackDoorovic (3.02 million), WhySoSrsSon (3.01 million) and goleafsgoeh (2.03 million).
Deal me in
Kallllle the wrecking ball's next victim was WhySoSrsSon, who four-bet shoved preflop with pocket jacks only to run into Kallllle's pocket kings. WhySoSrsSon found no help on the board and exited in sixth place, his slice of the pie totaling $222,085.50. His elimination inspired the five remaining players to broach the subject of a deal, Kallllle's stack towering over his four opponents at nearly 18.9 million.
The action was paused for nearly an hour as the quintet hammered out what was more or less an ICM chop, leaving $100,000 and the WCOOP bracelet on the table for the eventual winner. Here's a look at the chip counts when the action was paused, along with the payouts they negotiated:
Kallllle (18,829,721) - $1,160,018.50
VadziMoney (4,764,979) - $750,000
Vojta_R (3,792,043) - $710,000
BackDoorovic (3,092,983) - $650,000
goleafsgoeh (2,060,274) - $560,000
VadziMoney out in fifth, BackDoorovic busts in fourth
When the action resumed, BackDoorovic almost immediately doubled through Kallllle, his A♠2♠ catching an ace on the turn against Kallllle's pocket nines. A few orbits later it was goleafsgoeh's turn to double, his pocket tens holding up against Kallllle's pocket sevens to take him up to 4 million in chips. Goleafsgoeh kept his foot on the gas and called a preflop four-bet from Kallllle, only to shove over his continuation bet on the K♠T♥8♠ flop. Kallllle conceded the pot and goleafsgoeh moved up to 6.2 million. Unfortunately for him, most of those chips ended up in Vojta_R's stack when goleafsgoeh lost an 8.9 million chip coinflip, his A♦Q♣ falling to 9♦9♣.
VadziMoney, however, was the next to fall. Kallllle opened for 200,000 from UTG, VadziMoney three-bet to 420,000 and Kallllle came back over the top, moving all-in for 11.5 million. VadziMoney made the call, his T♣T♦ a strong favorite over Kallllle's A♣5♣. The Q♥9♥2♥ flop looked good. So did the 4♦ on the turn. But this is Kallllle we're talking about. And when you're in the middle of a run like his, it's practically a given that the A♥ will hit the river. VadziMoney bowed out in fifth place, his $750,000 payday the second-largest share of the Main Event prize pool thanks to the five-handed deal.
Four minutes later, BackDoorovic opened for 200,000 and was met with a 423,467 three-bet from Kallllle. BackDoorovic called and they saw a J♠T♦8♦ flop. BackDoorovic checked, Kallllle bet 657,432, and BackDoorovic raised to 1.4 million. Kallllle took a few seconds to think before pushing all-in for 15.2 million and BackDoorovic, perhaps informed by Kallllle's light shove against VadziMoney, made the call with K♠J♦ for top pair. This time, however, Kallllle had the goods, turning over A♠A♦. The 7♦ turned and the Q♦ rivered, Kallllle making an ace-high flush to eliminate BackDoorovic in fourth place.
Goleafsgoeh eliminated in third place
Goleafsgoeh was truly the short-stack ninja of the tournament, maneuvering his way to a top three finish when it looked like he might not even clear the final 18. With the blinds up to 50,000/100,000 and 1.56 million remaining, goleafsgoeh four-bet shoved preflop with A♦Q♥, but got a call from Vojta_R, who turned up A♠K♣. Goleafsgoeh couldn't pull out one last miracle despite turning an open-ended straight draw, the board running out T♥J♦3♣9♥9♠ to end his run in third place. It was a brilliant series for goleafsgoeh, who won a bracelet in Event #27 ($320 Badugi) and made nine cashes totaling over $589,000 to finish in 8th place on the WCOOP TLB.
Kallllle closes it out
Kallllle took almost a 2 to 1 chip lead into heads-up play:
Seat 1: Vojta_R (11,141,617 in chips)
Seat 4: Kallllle (21,398,383 in chips)
With over 100 big blinds in his stack, Vojta_R could afford to take his time against Kallllle. Small-ball was the name of the game and after twenty minutes of play, the counts had hardly moved. Kallllle got things rolling again when he five-bet preflop and got Vojta_R to fold, then picked up a 4.5 million pot when his T♦4♥ flopped top pair and turned two pair. Kallllle's stack climbed to 25.4 million, and this hand widened the gap even further. After flopping top pair, Kallllle let Vojta_R do his bidding for him, check-calling every post-flop street:
Five minutes later, all the chips were in the middle. Vojta_R opened for a min-raise to 280,000, Kallllle three-bet to 698,765, and Vojta_R shoved for his remaining 3.53 million. Kallllle made the call with A♠T♥ and Vojta_R turned up pocket threes. It was all but over when Kallllle hit top pair on the T♠9♥2♦ flop, leaving Vojta_R drawing only to two outs. The turn was the 5♦ and the river was one pip too many, the 4♥ falling to give Kallllle the hand, the pot, the WCOOP Main Event title, and $1,260,018.50 in earnings. For his runner-up finish, Vojta_R collected $710,000.
After 23 days, 62 events, and more than $47 million in prize money distributed, that is all she wrote for the 2011 WCOOP. From all of us at the PokerStars Blog, a hearty congratulations to all of this year's bracelet winners, and our hats go off to Kallllle for putting on a clinic in power poker at the Main Event final table.
Only seven months until SCOOP! Get those grind cribs ready.
2011 WCOOP Main Event ($5,200 NLHE) results
1. Thomas "Kallllle" Pedersen (Denmark) $1,260,018.50*
2. Vojta "Vojta_R" Ruzicka (Czech Republic) $710,000.00*
3. Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah (Canada) $560,000.00*
4. BackDoorovic (Sweden) $650,000.00*
5. VadziMoney (Belarus) $750,000.00*
6. WhySoSrsSon (United Kingdom) $222,085.50
7. jle90 (Mexico) $162,700.50
8. OU THE NICK (Germany) $122,025.00
9. dan82mur (Romania) $81,350.00