The second day of the 2009 World Championship of Online Poker brought the biggest annual online tournament to a close and a new ultimate champion to the world of online poker. After 45 events and the distribution of more than $50 million in prizes, the WCOOP was over and Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko was its Main Event winner.
The $5,000 + $200 NLHE Main Event began on Sunday, September 20 with a $10 million guarantee, and when registration closed with 2,144 entrants, the prize pool soared even higher and landed at $10,720,000. Payment would be issued to the top 306 players in the tournament, but the top two finishers were set to become millionaires with first place awarding an astounding $1,715,200. Incredible figures for what would turn into an incredibly exciting tournament.
Team PokerStars Pro was out in full force for the Main Event, even bringing players like tennis legend Boris Becker and television actor Jason Alexander to the felt. Though the vast majority of them were eliminated before the money bubble hit, Katja Thater eked her way through and finished in 305th place. Baseball star Orel Hershiser ran deep in the tournament and finished in a respectable 217th place, and the last team member standing – Jan Heitmann of Germany – sat at or near the top of the leaderboard for the better part of Day 1. Some hits near the end of the day, however, relegated him to 47th place when play ended for the night.
Day 1 did end with 178 players remaining and Jason “TheMasterJ33” Dewitt in the lead. Those players returned on Day 2 to start play at the beginning of Level 23 with blinds at 2,500/5,000 and a 625 ante.
The aforementioned Jan Heitmann left the field not long after play resumed on Day 2, after having lost some significant pots and finally getting involved with 8♠ 3♠ against the A♦ 10♦ of troyones, and the board was clear in its decision – 10♣ A♠ 2♥ Q♥ 2♦. Heitmann was eliminated in 141st place with $13,936 for the effort.
The story at the beginning of the day was the Day 1 chipleader. Dewitt was also competing in the World Poker Tour Borgata Open Main Event in Atlantic City, and after working with the tournament staff there to allow him a computer area next to the tournament room, he played both tournaments. But TheMasterJ33 was hurt by an early double-up by philivey2694, and Dewitt finally got all of his chips in with Q♠ J♠ on a J♥ 2♥ 2♣ board. But philivey was there with pocket kings and the call. The board didn’t help Dewitt, and he was gone in 87th place with $17,152.
As play progressed throughout Day 2, a number of well-known online players departed the field, including Scott “dorinvandy” Dorin in 61st place, Layne “reloadthis” Flack in 55th, Derek “derek8” Lerner in 35th, Isaac “philivey2694” Haxton in 31st, and Hunter “HEMIpowerSWT” Frey in 21st.
When the field reached only ten players, there were several double-ups that delayed the discovery of the nine finalists, but eventually, one of those attempts failed. It happened when slammedfire, the shortest stack at Table 4, moved all-in preflop with A♦ 10♠. But Jovial Gent happened to wake up with pocket aces in the big blind, made the call, and stood up to the 5♥ Q♥ J♥ 7♠ A♥ board. That eliminated slammedfire in tenth place, which was worth $75,040.
The final table of the Main Event was then established as follows:
Seat 1: reddeevil (4,222,220 in chips)
Seat 2: Mudvaynes (700,486 in chips)
Seat 3: Jovial Gent (10,616,564 in chips)
Seat 4: djk123 (12,160,610 in chips)
Seat 5: Udon Wannit (4,549,346 in chips)
Seat 6: Chong94 (3,857,482 in chips)
Seat 7: Xaston (2,150,576 in chips)
Seat 8: PeachyMer (3,617,956 in chips)
Seat 9: Supa4real (1,004,760 in chips)
In the midst of Level 38, with blinds at 40,000/80,000 and a 10,000 ante, the final nine moved right into action. Daniel “djk123” Kelly held on to the lead, though Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko was not far behind. The rest of the players had some catch-up work to do to stay in contention.
The extreme short-stack was blinded down even further in the first round of play, but Mudvaynes finally doubled up courtesy of Jovial Gent.
After some cautious play over the next few rounds, it was PeachyMer who was severely hurt by the following double-up of Udon Wannit:
PeachyMer chipped up a bit but finally put the final 501,988 chips into play with A♦ 7♠. It was djk123 who called with the dominant A♠ K♦, and the board came K♥ 6♥ 7♣ 3♥ 9♦ to eliminate PeachyMer in ninth place with $96,480.
Only a few hands later, short-stacked Supa4real made the all-in move with pocket tens, but Chong94 came along with pocket jacks. The flop of 7♦ 8♣ 9♠ brought outs for Supa4real, but the 3♥ turn and 7♠ river didn’t cooperate. Supa4real was eliminated in eighth place with $182,240.
The players took a scheduled five-minute break, and upon their return, the action was non-stop. The very first hand found Mudvaynes pushing all-in with 10♦ 9♦ and djk123 calling with Q♠ 10♥. The board came 2♥ K♦ 3♠ 7♠ A♣, and djk123’s better starting hand held up to eliminate Mudvaynes in seventh place with $268,000.
The very next hand found djk123 and Chong94 in a preflop raising war that ended with Chong94 all-in holding A♥ J♣. djk123 showed 7♣ 6♣, and the board amazingly came 5♣ 3♠ 4♦ 6♦ 10♥ to give djk123 the flopped flush. Chong94 received $375,200 for sixth place.
Only four hands later, Xaston tangled with Jovial Gent and UdonWannit preflop. When the 9♣ 10♥ 3♣ appeared, Jovial Gent led out with a 357,000 bet, and Xaston raised all-in for his last 3,266,430. Jovial Gent called with K♣ 10♣, and Xaston showed A♦ 9♦ for middle pair. But the flush came for Jovial Gent when the 8♣ hit on the turn, and the 4♣ on the river changed nothing. Xaston was eliminated in fifth place with $482,400.
Four-handed play began with djk123 maintaining the chip lead but Jovial Gent in a close second.
Seat 1: reddeevil (2,929,720 in chips)
Seat 3: Jovial Gent (15,693,264 in chips)
Seat 4: djk123 (17,498,822 in chips)
Seat 5: Udon Wannit (6,758,194 in chips)
After the flurry of eliminations, small ball poker went into effect, and small pots that rarely saw flops were common. Eventually, reddeevil was able to double through djk123 with A-J against pocket fours when a jack hit on the flop, though reddeevil remained the short stack of the tournament. But not for long, as reddeevil proceeded to double again on the following hand:
Two hands later, djk123 and Jovial Gent got into a raising war that led to djk123 pushing all-in for 10,276,231 with pocket tens. Jovial Gent called with pocket kings, and the flop was on his side with J♥ K♥ 4♠ for the set. The 3♦ turn and Q♣ river ended the tournament for Daniel “djk123” Kelly, who took away $643,200 for his performance.
Moreover, the tournament administrator informed Kelly that he solidified his place in the 2009 WCOOP by winning the Player of the Series award. For that, he will be flown to the Bahamas for the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, where he will receive his two 2009 WCOOP bracelets, Player of the Series trophy, and entry to the PCA Main Event. Congratulations to Mr. Kelly for his phenomenal 2009 WCOOP accomplishments!
In the hands that followed, Udon Wannit took a 6 million-chip pot from reddeevil, relegating the latter to the short stack once again. Then reddeevil tangled with Jovial Gent on a board that started with a 2♠ 5♥ K♥ flop. A reddeevil bet and Jovial Gent call led to the 8♦ turn, at which point, Jovial Gent initiated the betting. reddeevil check-raised all-in with 9♥ 6♥ and the flush and straight draws, but Jovial Gent called with K♦ 8♣ and the top two pair. The river card was dramatic, as the 8♥ gave reddeevil the flush but gave Jovial Gent the full house. That sent reddeevil out in third place with $933,712.
Heads-up action then began with the following counts:
Seat 3: Jovial Gent (33,194,866 in chips)
Seat 5: Udon Wannit (9,685,134 in chips)
It didn’t take long. Udon Wannit only lost ground as the hands were played out. Finally, the two got involved in one final hand. Udon Wannit made the initial raise, and Jovial Gent called to see the 6♠ K♣ 8♥ flop. The cards prompted Udon Wannit to bet, Jovial Gent to check-raise, and Udon Wannit to reraise all-in for 5,828,466. Jovial Gent called with K♦ 6♦ and the flopped two pair, while Udon Wannit showed only 6♣ 5♣ for middle pair. The 3♠ came on the turn and the 4♣ river card finished it. Udon Wannit ended the tournament in second place with an outstanding $1,286,400 reward.
Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko became the 2009 WCOOP Main Event champion, with $1,715,200 in prize money, a WCOOP gold bracelet, and a trip to the Bahamas to revel in the phenomenal accomplishment.
Congratulations to all of the 2009 WCOOP champions, including Daniel “djk123” Kelly for winning the Player of the Series award and Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko for claiming the Main Event championship title!
2009 WCOOP $5,200 NLHE Main Event Results:
1st place: Jovial Gent ($1,715,200.00)
2nd place: Udon Wannit ($1,286,400.00)
3rd place: reddeevil ($933,712.00)
4th place: djk123 ($643,200.00)
5th place: Xaston ($482,400.00)
6th place: Chong94 ($375,200.00)
7th place: Mudvaynes ($268,000.00)
8th place: Supa4real ($182,240.00)
9th place: PeachyMer ($96,480.00)