On paper, the final table for WCOOP Event #62-H $530 PLO8 looked dangerous. After all, it featured a trio of WCOOP winners including Connor ‘blanconegro’ Drinan, Richard ‘CHUFTY’ Ashby, and Alex987. But for Drinan, an American online poker exile and regular on the global high-stakes tournament scene, the final table seemed rather tame compared to the shark-infested waters on the high-roller circuit. Drinan shipped a High Roller in Barcelona on the EPT13, and he was runner-up at the PCA $50K High Roller in the Bahamas two years ago. He banked over $11 million in live tournaments, with the bulk of his earnings in highfalutin affairs.
Playing under the moniker ‘blanconegro’, Drinan had previously won a WCOOP title and he came into Event #62-H seeking another crown. Drinan and Sweden’s Simon ‘C. Darwin2’ Mattsson were nearly even when heads-up began. The two slugged it out for nearly 100 minutes. They were still mostly even for the majority of their bout, before Drinan pulled away in the 95th minute. A mini-rush thrust him into the lead and he never looked back. He promptly put away his opponent. C. Darwin2 failed to evolve into the winner’s circle and settled on a runner-up’s consolation prize. Connor ‘blanconegro’ Drinan collected a second career WCOOP to add to his growing list of accolades.
2017 WCOOP Event #62-H $530 PLO8 (8-Max) attracted 424 total entries, with 286 original runners plus 138 re-entries. The prize pool was $212,000. Only the top 55 places paid out with nearly $38K set aside to the champ.
Day 1 ended with 26 players remaining and bokkie87 in front with 1.8M. On Day 2, with two tables remaining, C.Darwin led the final 16 with a 3.1M stack. Fellow Swede jerry_only was second overall with 2.1M. Bjorn ‘bokkie87’ Verbakel was seeking a Triple COOP. The Dutch player won a TCOOP and SCOOP, but never a WCOOP. Alas, bokkie87 busted in 12th place and his Triple COOP quest abruptly ended. Brazil’s bedias, who once won the Sunday Million, busted in 11th place.
With ten remaining, C.Darwin2 closed in on 5M. Action went hand-for-hand on the final table bubble. aloe_AV1 made a final stand with A♠Q♠J♦3♠, but whiffed a Broadway straight draw and a nut flush draw against sprocketsAA’s A♦8♦7♥5♥. sprocketsAA won the pot with two pair and aloe_AV1 bubbled off the final table in tenth place.
WCOOP Event #62-H – Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: sprocketsAA (2,108,099)
Seat 2: RedPh0enix (1,661,675)
Seat 3: C. Darwin2 (4,964,269)
Seat 4: DEN$-lomobot (1,393,908)
Seat 5: jerry_only (2,306,334)
Seat 6: blanconegro (4,926,849)
Seat 7: alex987 (1,252,884)
Seat 8: Slavik_Krs (700,662)
Seat 9: CHUFTY (1,885,320)
The final table commenced during Level 35 with the blinds at 35K/70K. C. Darwin2 and blanconegro battled for the top spot with 4.9M each, while Austria’s Slavik_Krs struggled with the smallest stack remaining and only stack below 1M.
Chip leader Simon ‘C. Darwin2’ Mattsson won 2 SCOOPs, and RedPh0enix won a SCOOP in 2016, but this final table featured a trio of WCOOP winners: Alex987, CHUFTY, and blanconegro. Would one of them pick up another title? Or would a first-timer ship this event? British pro Richard ‘CHUFTY’ Ashby won a WCOOP in 2010. That same year, he won his first WSOP bracelet in Las Vegas. Russia’s Alex987 won a WCOOP last year in Badugi.
American online exile Conor ‘blanconegro’ Drinan is a regular on the high roller circuit. He took down a high roller last year at the EPT13 in Barcelona. He won his first WCOOP last year. He has too many COOP final tables to count, and even took second in the Sunday Million. His biggest online score to date was the final table of the 2017 SCOOP Main Event where he finished in sixth place, yet still walked away with a $250K score.
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RUBIN AND CHERISE: alex987 eliminated in 9th place
Action flop. All the money went in on the board of J♠5♦4♣, when blanconegro fired out 635,600, alex987 bombed it all-in for 1,023,984, and blanconegro called.
alex987 got it all-in with an open-ended straight draw. The turn was the J♦ and blanconegro turned trips. The river was the 4♠. Without a qualifying low, blanconegro won the pot with trip Jacks. alex987 missed a draw and became the first player to bust at the final table. Russia’s alex987 was picked off in ninth place, which paid out $3,847.54.
DEEP ELEM BLUES: Slavik_Krs eliminated in 8th place
Big stack vs. small stack. And the rich got richer. All the money went in on the flop of K♥8♥7♣. blanconegro bet out and Slavik_Krs shoved for the final 507,093.
blanconegro led with two pair versus a straight draw. The turn was the Q♣ and the river was the K♦. Slavik_Krs missed a draw, while blanconegro rivered a boat. Without a qualifying low hand, blanconegro won the pot with a full house. Two pair were no good for Slavik_Krs. Poland’s Slavik_Krs was knocked out in eighth place, which paid out $4,762.21.
After sending two players to the virtual rail, blanconegro held a commanding lead with over 8M.
LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON: jerry_only eliminated in 7th place
Flush over flush. Short-stacked jerry_only went up against red-hot blanconegro. jerry_only hoped to double up, but instead was escorted out. All the money went in on the flop of K♥10♦5♦. jerry_only got it all-in for 1,622,400 against blanconegro.
The turn was the 9♠ and 9♦. Both players rivered a flush, but jerry_only lost to the nuts. Without any qualifying low hand, blanconegro won the pot with a better flush. jerry_only busted in seventh place, which paid out $6,407.10.
PALM SUNDAY: sprocketsAA eliminated in 6th place
Aces no good for sprocketsAA. Cue the Alanis Morissette. The money went in on the flop of Q♣3♣3♥. sprocketsAA was down to 907K going into this hand, and had moved all-in for 567,437. C. Darwin2 called with the nut flush draw.
C. Darwin2: A♣J♠6♥5♣
sprocketsAA led with two pair — Aces and treys. The turn was the 8♣ and C. Darwin2 evolved to a flush. The river was the K♠. Without a qualifying low, C. Darwin2 won the pot with an Ace-high flush. Aces up were no good for sprocketsAA, who was knocked out in sixth place, which paid out $8,620.15.
CATS UNDER THE STARS: RedPh0enix eliminated in 5th place
Another nut flush for C. Darwin2. RedPh0enix four-bet shoved for 2,007,006 and C. Darwin2 called.
C. Darwin2: A♠K♠10♣3♠
The board ran out Q♠4♣4♠2♠4♦. C. Darwin2 turned the nut flush. Without a qualifying low, C. Darwin2 won the pot with an Ace-high flush. RedPh0enix was dunzo in fifth place, which paid out $11,597.60.
With four left in the hunt, C. Darwin2 led with 11.5M.
RHAPSODY IN RED: CHUFTY eliminated in 4th place
Short-stacked CHUFTY picked a spot, but failed to double up against blanconegro’s Aces. CHUFTY moved all-in for 1,649,640.
The board finished up K♦Q♣3♥4♥9♥. blanconegro caught running hearts for a nut flush. Without a qualifying low, blanconegro won the pot with an Ace-high flush. CHUFTY’s two pair were no good. For a fourth-place finish, CHUFTY took home $15,603.47. With three to go, C. Darwin2 led with 11M.
RAIN: DEN$-lomobot eliminated in 3rd place
Short-stacked DEN$-lomobot was down to 2.7M. As per usual, all the money went in on the flop. The board read 7♠7♣3♣
The flop got hit by blanconegro. Big time. The turn was the J♦ and the river was the 9♦. blanconegro flopped trips and turned a full house. There was no qualifying low. Two pair failed to do anything for DEN$-lomobot. Russia’s DEN$-lomobot hit the bricks in third place, which paid out $20,992.98.
HEADS-UP: blanconegro (Mexico) vs. C. Darwin2 (Sweden)
Seat 3: C. Darwin2 (10,321,089)
Seat 6: blanconegro (10,878,911)
Nearly even with two to go. Both were playing in the $25K High Roller, but both busted before late reg ended. They both hoped this match would end quick so they could allocate the winnings toward a second bullet in the 25K. Little did either know heads-up would last much longer than anyone anticipated.
When heads-up passed the one-hour mark, C. Darwin2 held a slight edge 11M to 10M. Overall, the two slugged it out for approximately 100 minutes. Toward the ninety minute mark, blanconegro made his move. He won six consecutive pots to seize a 14.8M to 6.3M lead. He never looked back. Fifteen hands later, it would be all over.
DOWN HOME: C. Darwin2 eliminated in 2nd place; blanconegro wins Event #62-H!
Going into the final hand, C. Darwin2 was on the ropes and trailed 18.4M to 2.7M. All the money went in on the flop of A♦Q♣9♣. C. Darwin2 flopped two pair, but blanconegro flopped a Broadway gutter draw and a flush draw.
C. Darwin2: A♣9♦7♥5♥
The turn was K♠ and the river was the J♥. Without a qualifying low hand, blanconegro rivered the Broadway straight to win the pot and the tournament.
Sweden’s C. Darwin2 earned a second-place payout worth $28,244.06.
Congrats to blanconegro for winning his second WCOOP title! First place in Event #62-H paid out $37,999.85.
WCOOP-62-H: $530 PLO8 [8-Max]
Prize pool: $212,000
Places paid: 55
1. Connor ‘blanconegro’ Drinan (Mexico) $37,999.85
2. Simon ‘C. Darwin2’ Mattsson (Sweden) $28,244.06
3. DEN$-lomobot (Russia) $20,992.98
4. Richard ‘CHUFTY’ Ashby (U.K.) $15,603.47
5. RedPh0enix (Russia) $11,597.60
6. sprocketsAA (Mexico) $8,620.15
7. jerry_only (Sweden) $6,407.10
8. Slavik_Krs (Austria) $4,762.21
9. alex987 (Russia) $3,847.54
Visit the 2017 WCOOP homepage for all your WCOOP needs including a schedule of remaining events.
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Pauly McGuire is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog. His new novel will debut in early 2018.