A high buy-in tournament with a sizeable six-figure first prize and a very important online poker title on the line is intense. Just ask the players who headed into Day 2 and continued on. For HaramPara and Aln_The_Kid, they overcame the odds, hit some cards at the right time, and made it to heads-up play. In the end, Aln_The_Kid won out, and the two days paid off with a $370K payday and the title of WCOOP champion.
With one week left in the 2012 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), this was one of the few chances for high stakes players to compete for a bracelet and title. Event 44 of the 65 total events offered a $2,100 buy-in and a significant $1.25 million guarantee for those who could afford it. And more people entered than ever anticipated, as the prize pool soared well past double the guarantee. It was going to be an exciting tournament, more so than the usual WCOOP event.
The first of two days of play was on Sunday, September 16, and after three hours of registration, the final numbers were:
Prize pool: $2,774,000
Paid players: 180
It was a long first day for many players, and not even 10 hours of hard work guaranteed a payoff. But the money bubble burst right around the 10.5-hour mark, and heiβtercamp was the first to grab cash for the day in the form of $3,606.20 for 180th place. Some recognizable names that followed to the virtual cashier cage were AJunglen7, vgreen22, iMsoLucky0, AMAK316, and BeL0WaB0Ve (who was in the process of winning the Bigger $109).
The night then ended after the 128th place elimination of NoraFlum, who just took down a WCOOP 2012 title over the weekend in Event 41.
The top 10 of Day 1 and the members of Team PokerStars still in contention were as follows:
1. hateraises (Canada) - 601,188
2. waaluigi (Canada) - 528,259 (recent Super Tuesday winner)
3. 3P3NIPA (Czech Republic) - 478,683
4. SlyderS1 (Hungary) - 454,716
5. torkolort1 (Norway) - 441,433
6. El_Diestrrro (Russia) - 365,803
7. Mortan23 (Faroe Islands) - 340,806
8. ekziter (Belarus) - 335,565 (2011 Super Tuesday winner)
9. Lateski (Finland) - 334,745
10. Mazak14 (Sweden) - 322,503
13. Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes (Costa Rica) - 294,317
62. Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst (Canada) - 139,162
67. Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree (UK) - 132,922
119. Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer (Germany) - 49,295
As planned, action resumed for the second day on September 17, and players started at the beginning of Level 21, with blinds at 1,500/3,000 and a 375 ante. There were 127 players going for the win.
Team Pro George Danzer wasn't long for the day, as he exited in 119th place for $4,715.00. A few hours into action, Team Pro Liv Boeree exited in 58th place with $6,935.00, and Vanessa Selbst followed in 42nd with $8,322.00. But Humberto Brenes continued on, staying on the top half of the leaderboard as the field thinned to five tables, then to four. But then he began to struggle, falling to the bottom of the group during three-table play.
Finally, the player known as Humberto B. took a stand. After AIn_The_Kid raised preflop, Brenes reraised all-in for 270,907 chips from the small blind. Shurgar reraised all-in, and AIn_The_Kid folded. Brenes showed 3♦3♠, but shurgar had K♥K♣, and nothing about the T♥4♥7♣6♠4♦ board changed anything. Team PokerStars Pro Humberto "Humberto B." Brenes finished in 21st place with $11,096.00.
Just before Brenes departed, waaluigi hit the rail in 23rd, leaving only one player from the starting top 10 still in action. And torkolort1 was doing quite well, sitting in first place when the tournament reduced three tables to two. Only 12 players remained one hour later, and it was soon after that when torkolort1 took some hits, courtesy of players like HaramPara. ASIAAN took over the lead, while torkolort1 was relegated to the bottom half of the counts.
Hand-for-hand play took the players to the eight-hour break of Day 2, and HaramPara took over the chip lead. But in no time at all, d0r1t0s took over after coming back from a short stack to climb all the way to the top. After more than one hour and 10 minutes of H4H play, YRWTHMELTHR moved all-in with K♣T♣, and HaramPara called with A♦Q♦. The board came 7♣A♠Q♥2♠5♠ to give HaramPara two pair. YRWTHMELTHR burst the bubble and finished in tenth place for $23,579.00.
Tasty final table begins with d0r1t0s in the lead
Level 35 ushered in the final table, with blinds of 20,000/40,000 and a 5,000 ante, not to mention these chip counts:
Seat 1: PIUlimeira (1,326,841 in chips)
Seat 2: 7sorryforyou (2,705,166 in chips)
Seat 3: HaramPara (4,068,617 in chips)
Seat 4: Aln_The_Kid (3,260,840 in chips)
Seat 5: shurgar (1,108,868 in chips)
Seat 6: ASIAAN (1,456,253 in chips)
Seat 7: torkolort1 (1,981,931 in chips)
Seat 8: d0r1t0s (4,406,265 in chips)
Seat 9: 4high20 (490,219 in chips)
It took only a few hands for d0r1t0s to lose ground, courtesy of a hand with PIUlimeira. That allowed HaramPara to take over the lead. HaramPara remained there through the nine-hour break, with d0r1t0s in second and Aln_The_Kid in a close third. All three players were over the 4 million mark.
As 7sorryforyou climbed the leaderboard, HaramPara put a stop to that by winning a 2.3 million chip pot. Meanwhile, 4high20 doubled through PIUlimeira, and d0r1t0s found a way back into the number one spot.
4high20 moved again soon after. The hand started with a raise from d0r1t0s, and 4high20 reraised all-in for little more than 1.3 million chips. D0r1t0s called with A♥Q♣, and 4high20 needed help with A♣J♦. The board brought no such help with 5♠6♦4♣4♦3♥, and 4high20 left the final table in ninth place with $28,849.60.
ASIAAN seeking second WCOOP title of the series
PIUlimeira doubled through Aln_The_Kid, and ASIAAN doubled through d0r1t0s.
Shurgar hoped for the same outcome and moved all-in from the small blind with 7♠7♣. Original raiser d0r1t0s called with Q♦J♠, and though the flop of 5♦9♦9♥ was harmless, the Q♠ hit on the turn to give d0r1t0s the better hand. The 6♥ on the river ended it for shurgar (SCOOP 2012 winner), who departed in eighth place with $52,706.00.
A few hands later, 7sorryforyou made a push with A♠J♠ from the big blind, but original raiser PIUlimeira in the small blind called with A♦Q♣. The flop of Q♦T♥7♠ gave 7sorryforyou the draw but the queens for PIUlimeira, and the 3♥ and 5♦ finished off the board without making the draw. That forced 7sorryforyou out in seventh place with $80,446.00.
ASIAAN then doubled again, this time through PIUlimeira. The latter then took 1.6 million back from the former in a subsequent hand. Torkolort1 doubled through d0r1t0s, but d0r1t0s kept the lead going into the 10-hour mark of the day (night, really). HaramPara was still in second, while ASIAAN was the shortest of the stacks. Just after the break, torkolort1 doubled through HaramPara.
Changes in the chip lead
Then PIUlimeira took a pot worth more than 1.7 million from d0r1t0s, putting the former in the lead. Aln_the_Kid took a pot worth nearly 2 million chips from d0r1t0s, and the former chip leader was losing a bit of crunch.
ASIAAN doubled through Aln_The_Kid, and the latter was on the way to the chip lead with the next big hand. It started with a raise from Aln_The_Kid and reraise from torkolort1 in the small blind. Aln_The_Kid responded with an all-in move, and torkolort1 called all-in for 2.1 million more with A♣K♠. Aln_The_Kid had A♥Q♥, but the flop helped with A♦J♥9♥ for the heart draw. The J♦ on the turn looked good for torkolort1, but the 6♥ on the river made that flush, leaving torkolort1 out in sixth place with $108,186.00.
D0r1t0s had retaken the lead, but hen PIUlimeira doubled through d0r1t0s in this key hand:
D0r1t0s doubled through ASIAAN to stay in the game, but that left ASIAAN short. The 538,665 chips went all-in on the next hand with K♦J♣, but Aln_The_Kid called with A♣8♦. Both players caught a pair on the 6♦J♥A♦7♠Q♣ board, but Aln_The_Kid's was better. ASIAAN (WCOOP 2012 winner) exited in fifth place with $135,926.00.
Final four attempt a deal, find success!
Those last four players paused the tournament to discuss the possibility of a deal, but one player immediately shut down the talks after numbers were provided. They ultimately kept chatting, though, and finally agreed to some numbers. With $25,000 extra set aside for the winner, the payouts would be as follows:
Seat 1: PIUlimeira (6,997,954 in chips) = $334,448.22
Seat 3: HaramPara (4,770,205 in chips) = $291,008.60
Seat 4: Aln_The_Kid (7,122,323 in chips) = $345,207.88
Seat 8: d0r1t0s (1,914,518 in chips) = $250,000.00
A few hands back from the break, d0r1t0s moved all-in with 2♥2♣, and Aln_The_Kid called with A♠K♥. The flop came K♣A♣T♦ to give Aln_The_Kid the distinct advantage with two pair. The Q♥ on the turn and 5♠ on the river ended the game for d0r1t0s, who took home $250,000.00 for fourth place.
Aln_The_Kid took a 2.1 million chip pot from PIUlimeira to solidify the growing lead and climb over 10 million chips. And then, HaramPara doubled through PIUlimeira in this dramatic fashion:
PIUlimeira pushed all-in for 546,361 on the next hand, and HaramPara called with A♥J♦, which dominated the J♠7♠ of PIUlimeira. The board came 3♦7♥A♣8♥K♣, and PIUlimeira had to leave in third place with $334,448.22.
Even stacks, $25K and title on the line
Seat 3: HaramPara (10,599,271 in chips)
Seat 4: Aln_The_Kid (10,205,729 in chips)
The first several rounds of play were cautious, but selective aggression had its place, and the two traded the chip lead for the first 10 minutes of the battle. HaramPara took the lead by a couple million chips, but Aln_The_Kid took that lead and ran away with it over the next 20 minutes. After more than 35 minutes of heads-up play, the two got into a hand that brought them a reraised flop of T♥3♣9♠. HaramPara bet, and a series of raises prompted Aln_The_Kid to move all-in. HaramPara called all-in for 2,421,595 chips with T♣5♣ and top pair, but Aln_The_Kid showed Q♣T♦ for that same pair but with a better kicker. The K♥ on the turn and 6♦ finished the hand and left HaramPara out in second place with $291,008.60.
Aln_The_Kid of the United Kingdom claimed the hard-fought title and $370,207.88 in cash for two long days of work. Congrats!
WCOOP 2012 Event 44 ($2,100 NLHE 2-Day) Results (reflects four-way deal):
1st place: Aln_the_Kid (UK) - $370,207.88*
2nd place: HaramPara (Germany) - $291,008.60*
3rd place: PIUlimeira (Brazil) - $334,448.22*
4th place: d0r1t0s (Canada) - $250,000.00*
5th place: ASIAAN (Netherlands) - $135,926.00
6th place: torkolort1 (Norway) - $108,186.00
7th place: 7sorryforyou (Israel) - $80,446.00
8th place: shurgar (UK) - $52,706.00
9th place: 4high20 (UK) - $28,849.60
Four players agreed to payouts with $25,000 set aside for the winner.
Paid players: 180
WCOOP runs through September 24 with a total of 65 tournaments, so there's plenty of time left to get in on the action. For all sorts of information, check out the WCOOP home page. And don't forget to tune in to WCOOP Radio for daily shows at 15:00 ET.
Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.