Poker Stars' fifth annual World Championship of Online Poker entered the stretch run on Wednesday with Event #13, the $300+$20 Short-Handed (six-player max) Pot-Limit Hold'em event. The usual qualifications applied: the tournament had a nice guarantee (in this case, $400,000), and the value of the guarantee far underestimated the actual prize pool --- in this case, $522,300. 1,741 players were on hand and the payouts ran 222 places deep.
For the second straight day, a long bubble battle defined the pace and balance of action, with several of the last seven players surviving all-in hands... and it turned out to have a major impact on the cash distribution. The victim of the grueling battle turned out to be well-known Stars player 'MazeOrBowie,' who at one time had held a sizable lead, but he mixed it up looking to jump ahead of a tight pack and suffered a string of lost pots. In the end he ended up as the short stack and lost a final race to Houston's 'dnKid,' who used the last of MazeOrBowie's chips to take a sizable lead to the final table.
dnKid had amassed almost $1,500,000 in chips, well ahead of 'spaceMe' in second place, with just under $1,100,000. The other four final-table players --- 'DeathsHead26,' 'Goodfella_84,' ,Tulkaz,' and the well-known 'Lenny' --- each had between $325,000 and $650,000 with which to work. The battle wore on for several dozen more hands, with Lenny and Tulkaz again surviving being pushed to the felt, and perhaps the fatigue, intensity and increasing payouts came into play. Shortly after concluding a break, the players agreed to chop over $250,000 of the remaining prize money (leaving the minimum requirement of $10,000 on the table), and each player assured himself of at least a $26,000 payday. Considering that MazeOrBowie took down just over $5,200 for his seventh-place bustout, the jump in prize money for each of the final six was considerable.
Predictably, the action loosened up with most of the money off the table, but it was still more than 20 hands until the first knockout occurred. It came just after spaceMe took down a huge $1.6 million pot, starting with A-4 and making an improbable six-high straight, and Lenny and Tulkaz, the two shortest remaining stacks, were both easily covered by dnKid, who also made the call. Tulkaz had A-J, Lenny showed 5-5, and dnKid offered K-9. The board came 8-3-3-2-3, missing everybody's holdings but keeping Lenny's pocket fives in front, completing the threes-over-fives full house. Lenny's triple-through sent Tulkaz to the rail, credited with the sixth-place finish.
Another 17 hands elapsed, and the play was a notch looser but still not loose --- only Lenny and dnKid took down pots over a half million chips during that span. Then Lenny notched his second final-table knockout, with Goodfella_84 the victim. Goodfella_84 made the pot-sized opening raise for more than half of his remaining $175,000, was re-raised enough to be set all-in (by Lenny) and made the call. Goodfella_84 held K-Q and Lenny showed A-9. The board came A-9-6-8-T, making Lenny two pair and taking down the pot. Goodfella_84, the shortest stack when the deal was made, still took down over $26,000 for the fifth-place showing.
They were down to three just a few hands later. This time spaceMe and the now short-stacked DeathsHead26 got the money in pre-flop, and DeathsHead26 was well ahead, with pocket jacks versus spaceMe's A-4 of diamonds. The flop came 8-3-2, giving spaceMe seven outs, and while a deuce on the turn didn't affect the outcome, the ace on the river did, making spaceMe's top pair and ending DeathsHead26's night (or morning) in fourth.
The knockout put spaceMe into the lead, but he dnKid hooked up a pivotal matchup only two hands later. dnKid made the opening pot-sized raise to $90,000, and spaceMe called; the flop came 3d-2h-7d, spaceMe checked, dnKid bet $150,000, spaceMe made the check-raise to $450,000 and dnKid made the call, with a third of dnKid's chips already in the pot. When the ten of hearts appeared on the turn, spaceMe bet $650,000, and dnKid re-raised all-in for $470,000 more. spaceMe folded, rather than making the call that would have left him with only $240,000. dnKid mucked his uncalled hand, so what he held went unseen.
The pot gave dnKid two-thirds of all the chips in play, and at that point it became a matter of sealing the deal. First to fall was Lenny, who a few hands later made an all-in call against spaceMe after a flop of T-T-4. Lenny held A-Q and gambled that his high cards were still on top, but the truth was anything but --- spaceMe had 4-4 for the made full boat. Lenny was dead to runner-runner help, which never came close; the turn was a nine, the river an eight, and Lenny had third-place honors.
dnKid had only a 3:2 margin when heads-up play began, but he claimed virtually every big hand the remainder of the way. Before the last hand, dnKid and spaceMe contested six pots over $200,000, and dnKid pulled in five of the six.
Still, the sixth of those hands, which spaceMe reeled in, was worth more than $600,000, and as the final cards were dealt, spaceMe had just over $1 million, dnKid over $3.3 million. With blinds of $20,000/$40,000, spaceMe made the initial raise to $120,000. dnKid re-raised to $360,000, spaceMe pushed all-in, and dnKid made the call. spaceMe showed A-9 of clubs, while dnKid had A-Q. But no Ferguson-over-Cloutier story was in the works --- the board arrived 3-6-5-J-4, dnKid's A-Q stood up unimproved, and the Event #13 title was his.
WCOOP – Event #13 - $320 Short-Handed (6 max) Pot-Limit Hold'em. Final Results.
*1st: ($87,560): dnKid
*2nd ($47,113): spaceMe
*3rd ($40,156): Lenny
*4th ($34,259): DeathsHead26
*5th ($26,780): Goodfella_84
*6th ($27,581): Tulkaz
* payouts based on six-way chop agreed to by all players at final table