The opening Sunday of the World Championships of Online Poker saw all but one event carry into Monday, with big guarantees bringing massive fields to the virtual felt that needed an overnight break a necessity. When that break was over though, there was millions up for grabs. $1,354,200 still needed to be awarded in one of the biggest events of the weekend, with 6,771 players coming together to get a piece of the seven-figure guaranteed Event #2: $215 NL Hold’em [6-Max, Sunday Warm-Up SE], $1,000,000 GTD.
Not a bad prize pool for a warm-up and it wasn’t a bad start to WCOOP for Connor “blanconegro” Drinan. He won the first WCOOP title of the series in the lone event that didn’t need two days to complete, while also notching a 725th place in the ‘Sunday Warm-Up’ for $556.
Drinan might have had a better week than most but plenty weren’t complaining about how they opened their WCOOP accounts. 833 players cashed in the opening ‘Sunday Warm-Up’ event, including PokerStars Team Pro George Danzer. The German was bounced in 195th place, for just under $1,100 and will hope to keep the pedal to the medal through the end of the summer, after winning his forth World Series of Poker bracelet in June.
While Danzer added to his bracelet haul this summer, there was only one player heading through the home stretch of Event #2 that had a chance to add to their COOP legacy. That was tua133, who came up big in 2012 to win over $42,000 along with his first SCOOP title.
tual33 headed into the final two tables near the middle of the pack and when the dust settled to bring the six-handed final table together, he was still there. Looking up at the top three chip leaders, with Two of those three players boasting the most experience at the final table. Jayshoshefat brought with him over $300,000 in online tournament winnings, while pablotenisis was back at another COOP final table, after finishing 6th in SCOOP’s $10,000 Main Event in May.
That run was good for over $336,000 and while no one at the Event #2 final table was going to walk away with that kind of payday, there was still over $500,000 to fight for.
Event #2 – Final Table Chip Counts
Seat 1: valitopkr – 9,547,884
Seat 2: pablotenisis – 29,682,574
Seat 3: Jayshosefat – 30,092,501
Seat 4: mashenska86 – 33,917,369
Seat 5: tua133 – 19,606,252
Seat 6: ImRichAreU? – 12,573,420
The final table came together in Level 44, with the blinds sitting at 250K/500K with a 62.5K ante. That meant that while the top half of the leaderboard could enjoy some deep stacked play, valitopkr and ImRichAreU? were teetering on either side of 20 big blinds. It was no surprise that those two were then at the center of the action after the first final table break.
TWO VERY DIFFERENT STRATEGIES: valitopkr mixing and moving up
Through the first twenty or so final table hands, there was, as there always is, a feeling out process. Players try to figure out where they sit on the food chain but after two days of play, it didn’t look like valitopkr needed much time to get confortable.
Despite coming back from break as the only player below 10,000,000, he was quickly playing double that amount, thanks to some early victories. Most of those wins were small but then he and tua133 got involved in a pot early in Level 45.
valitopkr opened the hijack to 1,320,000, after the blinds had made the jump to 300K/600K with a 75K ante. tual133 defended the big blind and then check-called a bet of 1,200,000 on the K♦8♦7♥ flop.
The 10♣ fell on the turn and both players checked, leading tua133 to lead the J♥ river card for 2,237,000. After some thought, valitopkr became the first player at the final table to put himself at risk but it was only for a few seconds. That’s because tua133 immediately folded to the 12,000,000 chip shove.
tua133 was left below the 9,000,000 chip mark, joining ImRichAreU? at the bottom of the leaderboard, where ImRichAreU? seemed content working a short stack. While his other short-stacked counterpart got right into the action, ImRichAreU? has had the majority of his action involve his mouse hovering around the FOLD button.
HOW RICH?: ImRichAreU? falls in 6th, pablotenisis takes control
A few hands after valitopkr completed his climb over the 20,000,000 chip mark, the other short stack when this Event #2 final table came together, ImRichAreU? had a chance to move up and over that number as well. That chance came through a different strategy, instead of mixing it up and winning a few smaller pots, ImRichAreU? went Route 1.
pablotenisis opened to 1,200,000 from under the gun and after some folds, ImRichAreU? three-bet shoved for 12,362,000 from the small blind. The big folded and pablotenisis snap called, looking to score the knockout with Q♦Q♥ to the short stack’s J♦J♣.
He did, as the board ran out clean for the superior pocket pair, 9♦9♠4♣A♣7♦. When the dust settled, ImRichAreU? was taking home $22,494 for his 6th place finish and pablotenisis was sitting behind a chip leading 46,000,000.
TRIPLE-DOUBLE: tua133 triples, then doubles
After a series of small loses, tual133 was quickly in the danger zone with just a few big blinds. In one of the first hands of Level 46, with the blinds again jumping to 400K/800K with a 100K ante, tau133 moved all-in from the blinds and was called in two spots.
Jayshosefat opened the action to 1,600,000 from the cutoff and tua133 shoved for 1,881,000 from the small blind. valitopkr called in the big, with Jayshosefat coming along as well. The K♠9♠7♥J♥K♥ board was checked down, with tau133 winning the over 6,100,000 chip pot with Q♥10♣.
That got the United Kingdom’s last Event #2 competitor close to the ten big blind mark and while he hovered near that number for a few orbits, his patience finally paid off. He found another double to get back up near the chip average, with that action getting picked up with pablotenisis opening to 1,600,000 from under the gun.
The table folded to tua133, who moved all-in for 7,356,000 from the small blind. The big folded and pablotenisis quickly called, trying to record his second final table knockout. He had to wait though, as his K♥9♥ couldn’t find the right river to crack tau133’s A♥A♦ on the 10♣2♠2♥10♥5♣ runout.
COMEBACK CLIPPED: valitopkr coolered, comeback cut short in 5th
When this Event #2 final table came together, it looked like the short stacked valitopkr was a serious threat. The Uruguayan quickly doubled his stack and made his way up the leaderboard, before learning the harsh realities of tournament poker.
valitopkr battled to claw his way back into contention but then one hand coolered him out the door in 5th place, with pablotenisis adding to his final table hit list in the process. That action was picked up with pablotenisis opening to 1,600,000 from under the gun and after some folds, valitopkr defended his big blind.
He checked the K♠8♣4♠ flop, only to see pablotenisis continue for 1,200,000. After some thought, valitopkr check-shoved for 11,007,000, a move that was quickly called by his Mexican opponent.
pablotenisis tabled K♣4♣ and was way ahead of valitopkr’s 8♦4♦. The shorter stack needed a near miracle to stay alive but one didn’t come, as the 6♣ fell on the turn and the J♣ completed the board and pablotenisis’ flush.
valitopkr earned $34,553 for his final table run and pablotenisis was behind a substantial chip leading stack, with nearly 73,000,000 of the 130,000,000 in play.
NOT GOING QUIETLY: tua133 doubles again, stacks getting shorter
This entire ‘Sunday Warm-Up’ event has boasted a very deep structure but when four players, out of over 6,500, are left, those fortunate players won’t have that deep stacked luxury.
tua133 hasn’t had that luxury in recent memory and even after a triple and double through the last two levels, he entered Level 47 below the fifteen big blind mark.
Eventually, he was even shorter and after the cutoff and button folded, he moved all-in from the small blind for 12,287,000. pablotenisis, who was in the big blind, snap called and needed to hold to score another final table knockout.
He tabled A♠9♦ and was ahead of his opponent’s K♠4♠. That was, until the river, as the board ran out Q♥3♥3♣3♦K♣, with tua133 not going anywhere just yet after scoring another double.
When the dust settled, he was still behind just 25,000,000, while pablotenisis took his first real hit at this final table to fall to 56,000,000.
FLIPPING THE LEADER: mashenka86 flips better to take chip lead
For the better part of the last few levels, pablotenisis has controlled the Event #2 final table chip lead but that honor now sits with mashenka86. The German just won a massive flip, with his pocket pair holding to take control of an over 45,000,000 chip pot and the chip lead with four players still remaining.
Action was picked up with pablotenisis opening to 2,000,000 from the button, with blinds at 500K/1M and a 125K ante. The small blind folded and after some thought, mashenka86 three-bet shoved from the big for 21,512,000.
It was a little less than 40% of pablotenisis’ stack and after some thought, he called to put his opponent at risk. mashenka86 tabled 7♥7♠ and needed to hold against A♦Q♥.
He did, as the board ran out K♥9♠5♦5♠6♠. After the hand, some deals were discussed among the remaining players but no figures were agreed upon.
DEAL DECIDED: Four-way chop, $9K and the title up for grabs
After some more deliberation and not much change on the Event #2 leaderboard, the remaining four players took another break to discuss a potential deal.
Eventually, they ran the ICM numbers and after some slight alterations, a deal was officially made. pablotenisis would take home $123,053, mashenka earned $122,899, Jayshosefat won $99,949 and tua133, as the shortest stack, earned $97,341.
The WCOOP bracelet and $9,000 was left up top for the eventual champion.
LOOK AT THOSE NUMBERS AGAIN?: Jayshosefat doubles right after deal
Once deals at PokerStars final tables are made, they are confirmed and then locked in. While Jayshosefat was the driver of the majority of the Event #2 final table chop talk, and clearly happy with his take of the prize pool, he likely would have wished his big double came before those negotiations.
That’s because a few hands after the deal was confirmed, Jayshosefat doubled in a blind versus blind encounter. The table folded to the small blind, where the Australian moved all-in for 23,520,000.
mashenka86, who was in the big blind, snap called and he needed to hit to score the knockout. He held A♥4♠ to his opponent’s 6♦6♠ and the pocket pair was good at the end, as the board ran out 3♣3♦2♥Q♦K♣.
When the dust settled, Jayshosefat was working just under 48,000,000, good for the chip lead and pole position to claim his first WCOOP title.
ONE-TWO PUNCH: Jayshosefat takes two hits to bust 4th
After taking control of the chip lead, it was going to be interesting to see how Jayshosefat used that advantage. He had yet to be at the top of the leaderboard and even when he did get there, it was a short trip up the mountain.
A few hands later, he was on the rail one spot from the podium, with his first hit coming against his final table enemy. pablotenisis opened to 2,400,000 from the button, after blinds had increased to 600K/1.2M with a 150K ante.
Jayshosefat then three-bet to 6,874,000 from the small blind, only to see mashenka86 four-bet shove from the big. The opener got out of the way and the Australian called, needing to have his A♥2♦ hit to best his opponent’s A♠J♠.
It didn’t, as the board ran out 10♣7♥6♦J♥7♦, confirming mashenka86’s double, while also moving him back to the top of the leaderboard. His advantage was even more substantial when he sent Jayshosefat out in 4th a few moments later.
That action was picked up with Jayshosefat opening to 2,400,000 from under the gun and mashenka86 three-betting to 5,323,000 from the button. The blinds folded and after some thought, Jayshosefat four-bet shoved for 32,832,000.
His opponent immediately called and the short stack was in big trouble, as he held K♥J♦ to mashenka86’s K♣K♠. The board ran out clean for the pocket pair and Jayshosefat hit the rail.
DOWN TO TWO: tua133’s short stacked run ends in 3rd
tua133 was the only player at this Event #2 final table that has tasted COOP victory before and on another day, he could have been adding to his 2012 win. Today though, he was constantly hampered by a short stack and eventually was all-in midway through the period.
His shove came from the small blind and weighed in at 22,842,000, with tau133 moving all-in after he initially limped in the small. pablotenisis raised to 3,000,000 and then called the shove, looking to score another knockout with A♦8♥.
The short stack held 9♦9♣ and had to dodge three immediate outs, something he couldn’t do. The board ran out A♣6♥3♣2♦J♥ and tua133’s 3rd place elimination was confirmed.
He earned just over $97,000 as part of the final table chop and while the remaining two players had already locked up six-figure scores, they were still competing for the Event #2 WCOOP title and $9,000.
When heads up play began, mashenka86 held 79,007,000 to pablotenisis’ 56,412,000, giving the German a slight advantage.
THAT WAS QUICK: pablotenisis cuts opponent down to a few bigs
On the third hand of heads up play, the biggest pot of the tournament played out. When the dust settled, the Event #2 title was more or less already getting packaged and prepared to be shipped to Mexico, because pablotenisis had left his opponent with just a few big blinds.
Action was picked up with pablotenisis opening to 4,000,000 from the button and then calling a 12,000,000 chip three-bet from mashenka86. The pre flop three-bettor led the 10♣8♠5♦ flop for 9,250,000 and pablotenisis called to see the 7♣ fall on the turn.
mashenka86 then thought for a few moments, before betting 48,000,000, enough to put his opponent all-in and at risk. It was then pablotenisis’ turn to take a quick trip to the tank and when he came out, he clicked the CALL button and was in a good spot. He held 8♦6♦ for middle pair and and open-ended straight draw, while mashenka86 had A♠9♥.
With only 7,075,000 left behind after he was called, mashenka86 was more or less playing for his tournament life as well. His tournament life didn’t look like it was going to last much longer after the 9♠ completed the board to give pablotenisis a winning straight, as mashenka86 was left with close to five bigs.
NOT SO FAST: Back to back to back doubles
When you are left with close to five big blinds, no matter what the stage of the tournament, players usually need the perfect storm to come together for them to get back into contention. mashenka86 might have thought he was in the middle of perfection after getting crippled, as he scored three straight doubles to get back to a workable stack.
The first hand saw mashenka86’s K♣8♥ hold against his opponent’s 8♦4♦, with pablotenisis calling a 4,000,000 chip shove with the blinds at 800K/1.6M with a 200K ante.
A few hands later, mashenka86 was all-in again, this time for 6,551,000. pablotenisis called and needed his 10♠9♣ to hit against the German’s A♣7♣. It didn’t, as mashenka86 was the only one who hit on the 7♥7♠5♦K♠A♠ runout.
While mashenka86 was ahead the first two times he moved all-in, he was way behind on the third attempt. The third time was still the charm though, as the short stack spiked a set with 9♥9♦ to best pablotenisis’ Q♥Q♦.
The chips got all-in pre flop again, with the K♠J♠3♣7♥9♠ runout waiting until the very end to keep this heads up battle alive. When the dust settled, mashenka86 was still short stacked but with a comfortable 35,000,000 to work with.
GAME, SET, MATCH: pablotenisis makes good on COOP final table return, wins WCOOP-2 $215 ‘Sunday Warm-Up’ for $132,053
After the triple-double for mashenka86, it was a back and forth affair for a few rotations of the button. Then, the chips got all-in again and this time, pablotenisis would not be denied.
Action was picked up with mashenka86 completing the blind from the button and after some thought, pablotenisis moved all-in from the big blind. His opponent quickly called and with just over 55,500,000 chips in the middle, mashenka86 had to fade just three immediate outs to get himself back in serious contention.
He held 6♠6♦ and was up against pablotenisis’ A♣5♦. The pocket pair didn’t even make it past the flop though, as the short stack was more or less dead after the A♦A♠5♥ flop fell.
The 7♣ and 3♣ completed the board and mashenka86’s attempted comeback was thwarted. He’d make $122,899 for his runner-up finish, while pablotenisis will earn $132,053 for the victory.
The win is good for his first COOP title but after final tabling May’s $10,000 SCOOP Main Event, there may be more Pablo throughout the rest of the PokerStars Blog’s WCOOP coverage.
WCOOP-2 ($215 NL Hold’em) results
Total prize pool:$1,354,200
1. pablotenisis (Mexico) $132,053*
2. mashenka86 (Germany) $122,899.77*
3. tua133 (United Kingdom) $97,341.14*
4. Jayshosefat (Australia) $99,949.18*
5. valitopkr (Uruguay) $34,553.36
6. ImRichAreU? (United Kingdom) $22,494.20
The first Warm-Up is in the books but the World Championship of Online Poker is just getting started. Find schedules, results and updates from the entire series on the WCOOP website.
Will O’Connor is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.