The fifth annual World Championship of Online Poker, hosted by Poker Stars, continued on Thursday with Event #6, a $200+15 No-Limit Hold'em tournament with re-buys and add-ons available. A huge field was expected and the turnout did not disappoint, as 2,081 entrants were onboard when the cards were dealt. 2,503 re-buys and 1,337 add-ons swelled the prize pool for this one well past its million-dollar guarantee, with the final total adding up to $1,184.200. 270 players made the cash, the final nine each guaranteed a five-figure payday and first place scheduled to receive a whopping $221,445.40. Site host Lee Jones reported that one player made 34 total buy-ins, but failed to cash.
Virginia's 'thanksB' led the way to the final table, having amassed over $4.5 million in chips, with 'aStupidDream' in second, at about $3 million. aStupidDream doubled through just off the final table in the biggest hand of the tourney at that time, and he also notched the first final-table knockout, sending 'agissilaos' to the rail in 9th. agissilaos, one of three players short-stacked with less than $500,000 in chips as the blinds reached $20,000/$40,000, pushed all-in holding pocket tens, and aStupidDream made the isolation re-raise holding A-K. The knockout occurred, but in the roundabout way --- the flop came 3-2-J, the turn was a five, and a four on the river gave aStupidDream the wheel straight. It turned out to be only the first of many crazy hands at a wild final table.
'austinlewis,' who started the table sixth in chips, doubled up two hands later by winning an A-K vs. 3-3 race when the needed ace fell on the turn; the hand put austinlewis over $2 million and in the hunt. And not long after that, leader thanksB sent 'GammonMorten' to the rail on the tournament's largest pot to that point; at over $3.8 million, it moved thanksB over $6.3 million and gave him more than a 2:1 advantage over his nearest rival, aStupidDream. On this hand, the money went all-in after a 6s-Ac-5c flop. GammonMorten held 8-7 of clubs for a huge drawing hand, while, with the thanksB had A-6 for top two pair. The king of clubs on the turn made GammonMorten's straight and left thanksB with four outs, and one of those arrived on the river, in the form of a full house-making ace of hearts.
Seven-handed play was the longest no-elimination stretch of this tourney, but it wasn't quiet by any means. On several occasions shorter stacks survived double-throughs, and each of the three shortest stacks managed to climb back to a million or more in chips. thanksB bled many of those chips away, as did 'bad_beat_bud,' who had lost the earlier race to austinlewis. At one point the seven were clearly four and three: thanksB, aStupidDream and austinlewis, hovered around $4 million in chips, while bad_beat_bud, 'jukeboxlo,' 'Faar1' and 'Oli G' battled at a much lower level, around or just above a million chips each. astupid was the first one to take the lead from thanksB, then followed by austinelewis, though the lead see-sawed between the three over an extended series of major pots.
One hand after thanksB had reassumed the lead from austinlewis after winning a $2 million pot, bad_beat_bud sent jukeboxlo out in seventh. With the blinds at $30,000/$60,000, jukeboxlo pushed from the button for $650,000, holding K-Q, and bad_beat_bud called from the big blind with 9-9. The flop was 8-10-Q, putting jukeboxlo ahead, but a six on the turn offered extra outs for a straight, and a rivered jack made the straight for bad_beat_bud and ended jukeboxlo's run.
At this point, Faar1 was the remaining short stack, and he folded away half his remaining chips against bad_beat_bud, who had come over the top with a reraise that would've put Faar1 all-in. Faar1 may have regretted turning down the 3.5:1 odds on the very next hand, when he pushed all-in from the button with a modest K-6. aStupidDreamhad to risk not much more to make the call, holding 10-8 of clubs, and ended up making the club flush.
Iceland's Oli G may have been the most conservative of the final nine players, and that landed him in fifth place. Shortly after a hand where austinlewis doubled through aStupidDream, winning a huge pot of more than $5 million (and taking the lead), Oli G made a push from the cutoff for his last $1.1 million in chips, the blinds at $40,000/$80,000. In the small blind, austinlewis made the call for a fifth of his chips, holding A-4, but Oli G was caught making the steal, and had only 9-8. The board came K-5-3-7-Q with four diamonds the first four cards, and the diamond ace was the one austinlewis held. It pushed him over $6.3 million, and opened up a lead of more than two million over thanksB. Wild, yes, but the wildest hands were still to come.
Not long after four-handed play began, a key hand arose between leader austinlewis ($6.4 million) and second place thanksB ($4.1 million). austinlewis made a 3x raise from the button, to $240,000. thanksB, in the small blind, reraised to $720,000, the big blind (aStupidDream) folded, and austinlewis called. The flop read 7c-Jh-3d; thanksB made a half-pot bet of $800,000, and austinlewis called. A probably harmless two of hearts turned, thanksB pushed for his remaining $2.5 million, and austinlewis again made the call. thanksB's hole cards were K-J of clubs, making top pair, and austinlewis showed pocket eights, trailing since the flop and now dead to two outs. The river? One of the two --- the eight of clubs. thanksB was out in fourth, and austinlewis had over $10 million in chips and a commanding lead over the remaining two challengers.
No lead was safe, it seemed. Within only a few minutes, it went from all-but-over to a virtual three-way tie. First, bad_beat_bud doubled through austinlewis after flopping a set of sevens, and then aStupidDream managed to get most of his chips into the pot, being called by austinlewis, when both players made a pair of kings, but aStupidPlayer's nine kicker played, whereas austinlewis's deuce kicker didn't.
bad_beat_bud's demise came after he lost most of his chips to austinlewis in a hand where austinlewis successfully trapped bad_beat_bud's paired ace with a flopped set of threes. bad_beat_bud managed one double-through, but pushed a suited A-5 into a wall --- austinlewis's pocket kings. No ace fell, nor two fives, nor the needed flush cards, and bad_beat_bud became the third-place finisher.
austinlewis began heads-up play with a 5:1 advantage over aStupidDream ($12.7 to $2.8 million), but aStupidDream picked off a big bluff attempt --- austinlewis had already run two successful naked bluffs at the final table, and flashed the proof --- and aStupidDream began to claw back into the match. aStupidDream doubled through to more than $5 million, only a 1:2 deficit and back in the match, and at that point the two players requested time to discuss a deal. Both players were warm to the idea, and they quickly agreed on the numbers produced by Stars' chip-count formula, which also left $20,000 and the winner's bracelet to play for.
If you think that one last improbable river card ended the battle, you're right. On the last hand, with aStupidDream having climbed even closer, all the money went in after a two-club, K-J-8 flop, though the club flush turned out to not be in play. austinlewis turned up K-10 for a respectable top pair, but aStupidDream displayed K-J, making top two pair and leaving austinlewis dead to runner-runner help. Runners indeed --- the turn was a seven, the river a straight-filling nine, and austinlewis claimed just under $200,000 and the championship.
WCOOP – Event #6 - $215 No-Limit Hold'em w/ Re-buys. Final Results.
*1st: ($199,509): austinlewis
*2nd ($156,936): aStupidDream
3rd ($78,157,20): bad_beat_bud
4th ($63,354.70): thanksB
5th ($52,696.90): Oli G
6th ($40,854.90): Faar1
7th ($29,605): jukeboxlo
8th ($23,447.16): GammonMorten
9th ($14,210.40): agissilaos
*Final dollar totals based on two-way deal for remaining prize money