Connor “blanconegro” Drinan might be a good pick if you were looking for someone to back heading into the final weekend of the 2017 WCOOP on PokerStars. The American pro has been red-hot over the course of the series and made his second final table in two days by finishing sixth in WCOOP-69-H $1,050 FLHE today.
He’s up to 510 points on this year’s WCOOP leaderboard, which puts him in the top 10, and a big weekend could potentially push him over the top.
Of course you could go a different direction and back almost any Russian.
Russian players dominated the final table of WCOOP-69-H with three of the final seven players playing from the country.
In fact heads-up was an all-Russian affair with Mordnilap eventually getting past fellow countryman St1ckman to win $35,702 and a well-earned WCOOP title.
Despite Limit Hold’em’s reputation as a “slow” game, WCOOP-69-H took place in record time.
It took less than eight hours to get all the way to a final table of just seven players from the original 179 entries.
Interestingly St1ckman was the third player to bust in WCOOP-69-H but thanks to a re-entry he was able to make it all the way to the final table on his second bullet.
Andre Akkari, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Joe “subiime” Cheong were among the notable pros who busted without a sniff at the money.
Meanwhile anti-durrr, UhhMee and jama-dharma made into the money but fell short of the final table.
Switzerland’s JUSTGOFORBROKE ended up going just a bit too hard and finished on the final table bubble in eighth place for $5,605.
Seat 1: coman567 (Belarus) — 2,912,054
Seat 2: Connor “blanconegro” Drinan (Mexico) — 826,156
Seat 3: Naza114 (Netherlands) — 829,156
Seat 4: merla888 (Belgium) — 399,577
Seat 5: Perumov (Russia) — 597,808
Seat 6: Mordnilap (Russia) — 1,353483
Seat 7: St1ckman (Russia) — 1,844,028
At the time the final table was reached there was approximately 24 minutes left in Level 24 and coman567 was firmly in the lead with nearly 3 million chips.
Action was previously set to pause for the day at the expiration of Level 24 but thanks to the small number of players remaining the PokerStars host asked if players would like to play to a winner today and save the trouble of returning tomorrow.
Everyone instantly agreed (except for Connor Drinan initially, as he appeared to be AFK for a moment) and, after a 15 minute break, the final table game was once again afoot.
It actually took a long time to find the first elimination at the final table. It was a rapid-fire process getting to the final table but players seemed tentative initially and play went on for over and hour before Naza114 finally succumbed to the rail after getting all-in with A♣3♠ and getting snapped off by coman567 with A♠J♦.
Naza114 picked up $7,027 for coming in seventh place.
After Naza114 busted action slowed once again with short stacks blanconegro and Mordnilap finding double ups.
Finally Connor Drinan was crippled in a hand against coman567 where the Belarus-based player flopped a straight.
Drinan was left with just 55k chips and got it all-in on the next hand with A♠7♦ against merla888’s A♣K♣. He picked up $8,810 for coming in second.
Don’t feel too bad for Drinan as he won his second WCOOP title over the weekend for $37,999 in Event #62-H $530 PLO.
Action was starting to heat up by this point (as were the blinds) and short stack Perumov got the last of his chips in the middle with K♦J♥ against St1ckman’s A♦Q♠.
Perumov spiked a king on the turn only to have an ace hit on the river and end his tournament life. Perumov earned $11,655 for coming in fifth place.
Play slowed down once again at this point as the four remaining players jockeyed for position and traded the chip lead back and forth.
Former chip leader coman567 spiraled down the counts and was a short stack for a brief time, with just 335k chips, but managed to find a double up with ace-jack against Mordnilap’s queen-ten.
That seemed to set coman567 on fire and he went on a chip-collecting streak that saw him return to nearly 3m chips at one point.
It wasn’t to be for coman567, however, as he eventually hit the rail on a decidedly bad beat when he managed to turn a set of kings with K♣Q♥ only to have his opponent Mordnilap turn a full house with pocket sevens at the exact same time.
All the money went in the river and coman567 hit the rail in fourth place for $15,420.
Mordnilap was firmly in the driver’s seat with well over 5m chips after that hand and busted Belgian merla888 shortly thereafter.
merla888 invested the last of his 282k stack into a A♠A♥J♠ flop with pocket eights only to have Mordnilap make the easy call with A♦J♥.
Mordnilap rivered an ace to make quads just to rub more salt in the wound. merla888 picked up $20,399 for coming in third place.
merla888’s elmination paved the way for an all-Russian heads-up match but Mordnilap chip lead was starting to look pretty darn insurmountable.
Mordnilap: 7,105,702 chips
St1ckman: 1,914,298 chips
St1ckman put the pressure on Mordnilap early and attempted to make several comebacks but was never able to get much past 2 million chips.
Eventually Mordnilap simply wore down St1ckman to the point where the final hand proved to be slightly anti-climatic.
St1ckman was essentially blinded out with 8♠5♦ against Mordnilap’s 10♥2♥.
Mordnilap ended up turning a flush to eliminate his fellow Russian and close out the tournament.
Thanks to the lack of deals at the final table Mordnilap received the full $35,702 for first place and a shiny new WCOOP title.
Meanwhile St1ckman settled for $26,987 for coming in second place.
WCOOP-69-H: $1,050 Fixed Limit Hold’em (6-Max)
Prize pool: 179,000
Places paid: 23
1. Mordnilap (Russia) $35,702.52
2. St1ckman (Russia) $26,987.34
3. merla888 (Belgium) $20,399.68
4. coman567 (Belarus) $15,420.06
5. Perumov (Russia) $11,655.99
6. Connor “blanconegro” Drinan (Mexico) $8,810.73
7. Naza114 (Netherlands) $7,027.59