For thousands of online tourney grinders, Sunday afternoon means one thing -- no-limit hold'em. So it was fitting for the first WCOOP event of the day to be a familiar one, the $215 buy-in NLHE event. One knew something was different this Sunday, however, when the number of total entrants cruised past the 10,000-player mark during late registration, finally settling at 11,131. That $1 million guarantee? Crushed, as the final prize pool amounted to a whopping $2,226,200, with the player finishing on top scheduled to receive a little over $300,000.
It took six hours and 45 minutes for the cash bubble to burst, as the top 1,620 finishers got paid. Among those making the money were a handful of the 30 or so members of Team PokerStars who took seats in Event #9, including Johnny Lodden (1585th), Barry "barryg1" Greenstein (1532nd), Henrique Pinho (1367th), Chris Moneymaker (1304th), Steve Paul-Ambrose (1180th), Andre Akkari (822nd), and Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan (505th).
Khan, incidentally, was doing well over in the two-day Event #11, where he finished up Day 1 eighth in chips. The best showing of the group, however, was made by Team PokerStars Portugal pro Nuno Coelho, who finished 234th, earning $1,024.06.
Team PokerStars Portugal pro Nuno Coelho
With 200 players still with chips, the leaders continued to hover around the one million-chip mark. shipshipit had moved back in front, followed by Kid Nebraska, stumblehere, SoulMaster7, and Jymaster11. ChopSueyy -- winner of 2009 WCOOP Event #1 ($215 6-max. No-Limit Hold'em) -- was still alive, too, but would finally go out in 141st.
After having played nearly 12 hours, just 100 remained, at which point DITONY10's name was first with almost 1.84 million, followed by SoulMaster7 with 1.71 million, and Iftarii with 1.62 million. An hour later, 50 were left, headed by torment111 with more than 4 million.
At the 15-hour mark, the tourney had made it to the final two tables, with sierra4u the leader with more than 7.5 million and torment111 right behind with 6.85 million. The average chip stack with 18 players left was just over 3 million; meanwhile, the blinds at that point were 25,000/50,000 (with 6,250 antes), meaning the average stack had 60 big blinds. In other words, those hoping to make the final table and perhaps take this one down still likely had a long way to go.
It would take another hour-and-a-half before torment111 was eliminated in 11th. The final table bubble proved tough to burst as well, as it would be nearly another hour before sierra4u would finally be knocked out in 10th in a hand against ternoplayer. Finally, as dawn was breaking on the east coast of the United States, the final table for Event #9 was set:
Seat 1: SoulMaster7 -- 1,922,764
SoulMaster7 entered the final table as the short stack. After a few orbits came a hand in which the table folded around to SoulMaster7 who limped in from the small blind. ternoplayer then raised 3x to 480,000, prompting SoulMaster7 quickly to shove all in for 1,800,264. ternoplayer just as quickly called. SoulMaster7 had [Qh][Qd], but ternoplayer had [Kc][Ks]. The board came [7c][Ah][9h][2d][Td], and SoulMaster was out in ninth.
It would be over a half-hour later before the next elimination came. With the blinds 100,000/200,000, maxisou opened with a raise to 550,000 from the cutoff, and masterpice reraised all in for 2,854,830 from the button. The blinds folded, and maxisou made the call, showing [Kh][Ks] to masterpice's [As][Tc]. The kings held, as the community cards came [Qc][3c][Jd][9h][2s], and masterpice was out in eighth. That hand put maxisou in the chip lead with nearly 12 million, trailed closely by ternoplayer.
The battle continued, then after another half-hour came a big hand between ternoplayer and graybone. graybone open-raised all in for 4,304,753 and was quickly called by ternoplayer. graybone had just [Js][Qs] to fight with against ternoplayer's pocket rockets. But all turned out okay for graybone. Take a look:
In the next big preflop confrontation, akilam77's stack of 7-plus million would almost entirely be transferred over to ternoplayer after akilam77's pocket jacks lost a race versus ternoplayer's ace-queen. Down to just 230,764, akilam77 put it all in with [Ac][Td] and again ternoplayer was his opponent with [8s][Ah]. The flop came [6d][7c][8h], giving ternoplayer the edge, and after the [Kd] turn and [5c] river, akilam77 was out in sixth.
By this point, the blinds had finally caught up to the shorter stacks, and all-in shoves were being made just about every hand, though most went uncalled. Another five-minute break arrived, marking 20 hours of play. When the final five returned, micha88 asked if the others were interested in discussing a chop, but got no response. maxisou continued to push out ahead of the pack, increasing to more than 26 million. ternoplayer was next with 14.8 million, and the other three all hovered around 4-5 million.
The blinds had grown to a gawdy 250,000/500,000 when maxisou raised from the cutoff to 1.25 million, then graybone -- who'd chipped up a bit -- reraised all in for 9,232,564. It folded back to maxisou who thought a bit, then called, turning over [Qs][Qd]. graybone showed [Qh][Ks]. The board came [6s][2h][8d][4d][9d], and graybone was gone in fifth.
Shortly after that, maxisou was eliminating another opponent in r&g2007. maxisou had again put in a preflop raise, and r&g2007 pushed all in for 2,811,861. maxisou called with [9c][9h], while r&g2007 held [Ad][8d]. The board went [Kh][Qc][6h][2h][3h], giving maxisou the heart flush and knocking out r&g2007 in fourth.
About ten hands later, ternoplayer open-pushed all in for 6,086,516 from the small blind, and micha88 called from the big with all 5,538,449 chips. ternoplayer showed [6c][Kd] and micha88 [Ac][9h]. The flop came [Kh][7h][Ts], giving ternoplayer kings. The turn was the [4d] and the river the [9s], and micha88 typed "sigh" while hitting the rail in third.
When heads-up began, maxisou had a significant chip advantage with 43,339,535 to ternoplayer's 12,315,465. ternoplayer won several pots early on, though, and had taken the lead when the final hand of the tourney took place.
maxisou opened with a raise to 1.5 million from the small blind/button, and ternoplayer called from the big blind. The flop came [5h][Js][Qs]. ternoplayer checked, maxisou bet 1.6 million, then ternoplayer check-raised to 4 million. maxisou pushed all in for 17,636,570 total, and ternoplayer called. maxisou showed [Jc][8h] for jacks, but ternoplayer had him with [Kc][Qd] for queens. The turn brought the [8d], giving maxisou two pair and the advantage. But the river was the [Kd], stealing the hand back for ternoplayer.
Congratulations to turnoplayer, Event #9 champion! We're only a few hours away from more WCOOP action. Check out the WCOOP page for start times for the bracelet events as well as satellites.