PokerStars held two of its biggest events in this year's World Championship of Online Poker on Saturday, with the first being Event #21, $5,200 H.O.R.S.E. This year, the event brought in 177 entrants, two more than last year, and generated a prize pool of $885,000. Mirroring the WSOP, the H.O.R.S.E event had the biggest entry fee of all the WCOOP events, and as such the caliber of players involved was extraordinary.
Andy McLeod, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Daniel 'KidPoker' Negreanu, Chris 'Money800' Moneymaker, Jon 'PearlJammer' Turner, Jimmy 'gobboboy' Fricke, Tom McEvoy, Hevad 'RaiNKhAN' Khan, James 'mig.com' Mackey, Lee 'LeeNelsonP' Nelson, Humberto 'HumbertoB' Brenes, Katja Thater, lilholdem954, Bill Chen, and Greg 'FossilMan' Raymer all tried their luck in the event. KidPoker and Money800 both went deep, falling just a few spots shy of the money.
It took nearly four hours to eliminate the first player from the event and almost nine hours for Noah 'Exclusive' Boeken to bust on the bubble. The final table was reached during the 7-Card Stud segment when 'crazyjanie,' the short stack at the table with only 93,981 left in chips, faced a completion bet by 'BOBALOB.' Crazyjanie raised with the showing against BOBALOB's and BOBALOB made the call. Fourth street brought the for BOBALOB and the for crazyjanie. Crazyjanie led out and BOBALOB called. Fifth street gave BOBALOB the and crazyjanie the , allowing crazyjanie to bet out and BOBALOB to raise. Crazyjanie made the call and paired up with the on sixth while BOBALOB hit the . crazyjanie checked the pair, then called a raise by BOBALOB. Crazyjanie check-called the river while BOBALOB showed for a queen-high flush and crazyjanie mucked. After being whittled down on that hand down to just a few thousand, crazyjanie was eliminated on the following hand.
The final table was made up of 'Cordelia,' 'ROXY24,' 'hairos,' BOBALOB (rumored to be one of the finalists at the '07 WSOP $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. championship), 'TwinkleStar,' 'BUS02,' 'svesken,' and 'tj_trail.' The first elimination came during the 7-Card Stud H/L segment, when TwinkleStar completed with the showing and BOBALOB raised. TwinkleStar called the raise, then called bets to fifth street when the board paired nines. BOBALOB, showing called to the river, where TwinkleStar bet all-in. Twinklestar showed for two pair, while BOBALOB made a higher two pair on the river with , eliminating TwinkleStar in eighth place.
The 7-Card Stud H/L segment brought about yet another bust out, when BUS02 saw a perfect opportunity to make a move. With the showing BUS02 was the bring in when BOBALOB completed the bet and hairos called. BUS02, facing two other players in a completed pot, decided to raise it up and both players called. Fourth street brought the for BUS02, while the other two opponents caught high. BOBALOB led out, was called by hairos, when BUS02 raised again. Both players again called and BUS02 caught the on fifth, appearing to have the flush locked up. BOBALOB led out again, with and BUS02 called, as did hairos. BOBALOB and hairos battled it out to seventh street, with BOBALOB showing for a pair of aces with an 8-7 low while hairos showed for a rivered straight flush. BUS02 mucked and was eliminated in seventh place.
ROXY24 was eliminated in sixth place during the Limit Hold 'Em segment, after raising preflop from the button. tj_trail reraised from the big blind and ROXY24 called. The flop came , which turned out to be an action flop after tj_trail led out, ROXY24 raised, and tj_trail reraised. ROXY24 called and the turn brought the . tj_trail led out again and ROXY24 called with her last remaining 19,889 in chips. ROXY24 turned over for middle pair and the flush draw, while tj_trail showed for a better flush draw and a straight draw. t_trail missed both the straight draw and the flush draw on the river, but paired his ace when the fell, eliminating ROXY24 from the event.
Just a few hands later, Cordelia raised from under the gun and was reraised by tj_trail. Cordelia called and the flop came . Cordelia check-raised tj_trail, who raised back and Cordelia called. The turn brought the , and Cordelia check-called to the river. The river brought the and again Cordelia check-called, and mucked after tj_trail showed for the nut flush. Cordelia was down to just a few thousand chips left and was eliminated in fifth place just a few hands later.
The next elimination came during the Omaha H/L segment, when BOBALOB, facing a raise and a reraise, shoved all-in for his remaining 52,314. With the betting capped pre-flop, both tj_trail and svesken called and saw a flop of . Svesken checked the flop, but tj_trail bet out and svesken folded, leaving BOBALOB heads up with against tj_trail's . Although BOBALOB had managed to spike a set of kings against tj_trail's pocket aces, tj_trails managed to flop the nut straight. With no low possible, BOBALOB was drawing for the board to pair, but was eliminated when it failed to do so.
After several bizarre hands during the Razz segment, tj_trail, short-stacked and a bit agitated by the way some of the hands had been played, completed with the showing against svesken's . Fourth street brought bricks for both players, but tj_trail was still seemingly ahead with a ten showing against svesken's jack. Both caught low on fifth, but svesken caught again on sixth to complete a 6-low, while tj_trail was drawing dead with a 10-low, and soon exited in third.
Going heads up, both svesken and hairos were almost dead even in chips, each holding roughly 900,000 and the stakes at 18,000/36,000. After just a few hands, the players were in a dead heat and decided to make a deal. Each of them received $176,921 and would continue to play for first place and the remaining $26,000, as well as the bracelet.
svesken was eventually whittled to under 200,000 with hairos well over 1.5 million chips. The final hand came during the 7-Card Stud H/L, when svesken completed with the as his door card against hairos's . hairos called and caught the while svesken landed the . svesken led out again and again hairos called. Fifth street brought the for hairos and the for svesken, which svesken again led out on but this time was raised by hairos. svesken made the call, putting himself all-in for his remaining 15,376 and showed while hairos turned over for a made straight and low, leaving svesken drawing dead to the river. svesken was eliminated in second place, making hairos the bracelet winner of Event #21 and the remaining $26,000.
*1. hairos - $202,921
*2. svesken - $176,921
3. tj_trail - $103,987.50
4. BOBALOB - $71,685
5. Cordelia - $55,755
6. ROXY24 - $41,595
7. BUS02 - $31,860
8. TwinkleStar - $22,567.50
* reflects two-way chop of remaining prize money, $26,000 to eventual winner