Playing out in the shadow of tonight’s WCOOP Main Event was another big two-day tourney, Event #64, a $215 buy-in eight-handed no-limit hold’em affair that ended up attracting a huge field of 9,678 entrants and creating its own whopping prize pool of $1,935,600 (well over the $1.5m guarantee). Following two tough days of play it was Kai Sheng “Mrp1neApple” Yang of Taiwan taking the title following a four-way chop, earning a first prize of $208,682.58 after surviving an especially gritty final table.
Here’s the story of how Mrp1neApple prevailed.
Day 1: From 9,678 to 114
Once the money bubble burst on Day 1 there were still a number of red-spade sporting players among the 1,280 who cashed, a few of whom would fall over the next couple of hours, including Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer (1,242nd, $348.40), Dale “Daleroxxu” Philip of Team Online (940th, $425.83), and Team PokerStars Pros Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (908th, $425.83) and Andre “aakkari” Akkari (681st, $503.25).
A little later with the field having shrunk below 500 players, it was SEED1_CUB@#1 taking the lead and flirting with the 1 million-chip mark as the tournament moved into its ninth hour.
SEED1_CUB@#1 slipped back to the pack, though, as Team Online member Mikhail “innerpsy” Shalamov surged in front for a short while only to see Tom “hitthehole” Middleton cruise past everyone to become the first player actually to move up over 1 million, building up a stack of about 1.25 million with 350 players left.
Middleton, of course, was looking to end September on another high after starting the month with a victory in the inaugural Main Event of Season 10 of the European Poker Tour where he topped a field of 1,234 players in Barcelona.
Middleton remained in the top spot while a couple more Team PokerStars Pros hit the rail as Vanessa Selbst was knocked out in 269th ($812.95) and Henrique “Henrique.P” Pinho was eliminated in 255th ($832.30).
As the night wound down Middleton slipped back closer to the average. He’d end the night with more than 1 million, but there’d be 36 other players ahead of him in the counts, with FunkyJunkie leading all with just over 2.5 million.
A total of 114 players survived to Monday’s second day, with the top 10 as follows:
1. FunkyJunkie (United Kingdom) — 2,518,247
2. Kai Sheng “Mrp1neApple” Yang (Taiwan) — 2,417,437
3. TAYLORMOB12 (Canada) — 2,391,061
4. Alift24 (Romania) — 2,181,228
5. sup-sport777 (Poland) — 1,988,249
6. PSMozak (Bulgaria) — 1,881,011
7. Jonathan “ballallday12” Hilton (Costa Rica) — 1,873,785
8. Jon “PearlJammer” Turner (Mexico) — 1,822,658
9. kiosken (Denmark) — 1,767,914
10. Sbux Warrior (Brazil) — 1,744,716
Day 2: From 114 to 1
The first hour of Day 2 saw 40 eliminations as well as a lot of change at the top of the leaderboard as FunkyJunkie fell out of the top 20 while sup-sport777, Alift24, and serbie moved up into the top spots. Then right after the first break it was Tom “hitthehole” Middleton again leaping back out in front with a stack of nearly 4.6 million as the field shrunk below 70 players.
By the two-hour break Middleton was in third position behind leader AnastasijaG and sup-sport777 with just 47 players left. An hour after that the field had been cut down to less than 30, with Kai Sheng “Mrp1neApple” Yang and SunDancerSVK having pushed ahead as the only players with more than 10 million chips.
The afternoon marched on and eventually they were down to the final 16 players gathered around the final two eight-handed tables, with SunDancerSVK having pushed in front while widening the gap with the rest of the field.
They were nearly through the fifth hour of play on Day 2 by the time the next eight players fell, with SunDancerSVK still maintaining the lead as Kai Sheng “Mrp1neApple” Yang and Tim “hitthehole” Middleton both closed in on the top spot. crazypap (16th), Reepa666 (15th), snazzy333 (14th), and PSMozak (13th) each earned $7,258.50 for their finishes, while ludovi333 (12th), PA3 2345 (11th), hm10 (10th), and spydex (9th) took away $8,710.20 apiece.
The final table was underway.
Seat 1: therealpg99 (Switzerland) — 2,048,142
Seat 2: Jonathan “ballallday12” Hilton (Costa Rica) — 14,238,674
Seat 3: Kai Sheng “Mrp1neApple” Yang (Taiwan) — 19,855,668
Seat 4: serbie (Canada) — 2,246,374
Seat 5: SunDancerSVK (Slovakia) — 22,807,716
Seat 6: dmac1324 (Canada) — 3,971,808
Seat 7: Tom “hitthehole” Middleton (United Kingdom) — 18,717,191
Seat 8: ROMDOM82 (Mexico) — 12,894,427
It only took a few minutes for the first final table elimination to arrive. With the blinds at 125k/250k, the table’s short stack serbie open-raised all in 2,133,874 from middle position and got one caller from ROMDOM82 from the small blind.
serbie had pushed with 3♠3♥, but alas had encountered the A♣A♠ of ROMDOM82. The flop came 4♣10♦8♠, then the A♥ turn removed any further doubt about the hand and serbie was out in eighth.
Next to go was dmac1324 in seventh. With the blinds 150k/300k, dmac1324 pushed all in for 1,979,916 from middle position with 9♥8♥, was called by Jonathan “ballallday12” Hilton who had been dealt 9♣9♠ in the big blind, and after the community cards came 4♣A♦8♦K♣10♣ and they were down to six.
Soon thereafter therealpg99 min-raised to 600,000 from early position, then Jonathan “ballallday12” Hilton three-bet to 1,414,144 from a seat over. It folded back around to therealpg99 who reraised to 2,228,288, Hilton shoved his big stack of nearly 20 million total, and therealpg99 called with the 6,244,348 remaining.
It was a big pot, and while ballallday12 had a decent hand with 10♦10♣ he’d need help against the A♣A♠ of the at-risk therealpg99.
The flop then came an intriguing A♦Q♦6♦, giving therealpg99 a set of aces but also a flush draw for Hilton. The turn was the K♦, filling Hilton’s flush and leaving therealpg99 hoping for the board to pair. But the river was the J♠, and the realpg99 was out in sixth.
Play continued, with Jonathan “ballallday12” Hilton leading the final five with a little over 26.3 million and Tom “hitthehole” Middleton becoming the short stack with about 12.3 million.
Then with the blinds at 200k/400k, SunDancerSVK raised to 800,000 from the small blind and Middleton called from the big blind. The flop came 8♠6♦K♠ and when SunDancerSVK bet 950,000, Middleton called. The turn brought the 3♥ and a check from SunDancerSVK, in response to which hitthehole bet 2 million. SunDancerSVK then check-raised to 4.8 million and Middleton called.
The river was the 5♠. SunDancerSVK had about 7.88 million left and bet it all, and Middleton called with the 5,724,391 he had left. SunDancerSVK showed 7♠6♠ for a rivered flush, better than straight Middleton had made on fifth street with 9♠7♣, and hitthehole was out in fifth. Still a nice finish for Middleton, who after winning the EPT Barcelona Main Event made a second WCOOP final table after finishing ninth in Event #30 ($1,050 NLHE).
The final four continued a short while then paused the tournament to discuss a possible deal. At that point, all four were relatively close in chips with SunDancerSVK in front with 26,962,107, Mrp1neApple close behind with 26,045,106, ballallday12 third with 23,381,815, and ROMDOM82 fourth with 20,390,972.
ICM figures were produced — leaving $30,000 for which to play — and after just a short bit of thought all four agreed to the terms.
Play proceeded, with SunDancerSVK slipping back to become the short stack as the blinds increased to 300k/600k. Then a hand arose in which SunDancerSVK open-pushed for 5,130,262 from the button and got one caller in ROMDOM82 from the small blind. SunDancerSVK had J♥9♣ and two live cards against ROMDOM82’s 3♣3♥, but the board came 6♠A♥K♥10♠2♣ and SunDancerSVK’s run ended in fourth.
That made an incredible 15 cashes for SunDancerSVK and three final tables, good enough for third in the WCOOP Player of the Series race with only the Main Event left to go!
The trio played through the day’s seven-hour mark, then a big hand arose between Jonathan “ballallday12” Hilton and Kai Sheng “Mrp1neApple” Yang that saw the latter calling an all-in river shove on a ten-high board and turning over K♠K♥ to ballallday12’s J♥J♠, thus catapulting Mrp1neApple up close to 53 million and knocking ballallday12 back down to about 11.2 million.
Not long after that Hilton had slipped further to less than 10 million as the blinds crept up to 400k/800k. That’s when ROMDOM82 opened with a raise to 1.6 million from the button, getting a call from Kai Sheng “Mrp1neApple” Yang in the big blind. The flop came 6♥5♦10♦, Yang checked, ROMDOM82 bet 1,521,000, then Yang check-raised to 3.2 million and ROMDOM82 called.
The turn was the 5♥. Mrp1neApple checked again, and this time when ROMDOM82 bet 4,478,890, Yang just called.
The river brought the A♠ and one more check from Yang. ROMDOM82 proceeded to push all in with the 16,839,591 left behind and Yang called instantly. ROMDOM82 had A♥K♥ for aces and fives, but had to be dismayed to see Mrp1neApple’s 5♠5♣ for quads!
Having cashed for a fifth time in this year’s WCOOP, ROMDOM82 was out. Just two remained.
Hilton had to be elated to have made it to heads-up after sitting with the super-short stack with three left. However, thanks the four-way chop there finishing second or third made no difference as there was just the $30,000 left to go to the winner — plus, of course, the coveted WCOOP bracelet.
ballallday12 had but 9,029,569 to start the heads-up duel, which meant Mrp1neApple had a better than 9-to-1 advantage with 87,750,431. Eleven hands later the stacks were roughly still the same when the final hand took place.
It began with Yang min-raising to 1.6 million from the button and Hilton calling. Both checked the 6♥8♣7♣ flop, then ballallday12 led for 1.2 million after the 8♦ fell on the turn. Mrp1neApple responded by pushing all in, and Hilton called with his remaining chips.
Hilton was drawing with both a flush draw and an open-ended straight draw, but he needed to improve to beat Yang’s ace-high. The river brought the 7♠ to put a second pair on board, and with his ace kicker Mrp1neApple was the champ.
Congratulations to Kai Sheng “Mrp1neApple” Yang for defeating a huge field to earn a first ever WCOOP bracelet and earn a better than $200K score. That’s the second WCOOP title in three days for Taiwan after joe1224’s win in Event #59 ($215 NL Omaha Hi/Lo).
PokerStars 2013 WCOOP Event #64 ($215 NLHE 8-max.) results (*reflects four-way deal)
Prize pool: $1,935,600.00
Places paid: 1,280
1. Kai Sheng “Mrp1neApple” Yang (Taiwan) — $208,682.58*
2. Jonathan “ballallday12” Hilton (Costa Rica) — $173,881.30*
3. ROMDOM82 (Mexico) — $167,894.90*
4. SunDancerSVK (Slovakia) — $180,235.18*
5. Tom “hitthehole” Middleton (United Kingdom) — $72,585.00
6. therealpg99 (Switzerland) — $33,873.00
7. dmac1324 (Canada) — $18,775.32
8. serbie (Canada) — $11,613.60
Almost all of the results are in for the 66-event 2013 World Championship of Online Poker, with just the Main Event left to finish up later tonight. Check the WCOOP information page for full results of the entire series.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.