Day 15 of the 2011 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker brought one of the most anticipated events of the entire series. The $10,000 High Roller Heads-Up event crowned a champion late Sunday evening as heads-up specialist Ankush "pistons87" Mandavia bested a field of 32 elite players to win his first WCOOP bracelet and a prize of $119,000. The other winner on Sunday was Sweden's "bajskorven87," who collected more than $95,000 by winning the $500 Heads-Up event.
PokerStars WCOOP 38 - $500 No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Two-Day ($350K Guaranteed)
Day 2 of the $500 No-Limit Hold'em Heads-Up event began with 32 of the original 765 players competing for a first-place prize of $95,625. Among the notables still in contention were Grayson "gray31" Ramage, Andras "probirs" Nemeth, Torsten “jektiss” Brinkmann, Nick "caecilius" Petrangelo, and Team PokerStars pro Chad "ChadBrownPRO" Brown.
Brown was looking to improve on an eighth-place result in Event #33, but his run ended on the very first hand of Day 2. With the blinds at 25/50, Brown opened with a min-raise and Russia's "06E3b9HAaa" three-bet to 300. Brown put in a fourth bet to 1,300, and "06E3b9HAaa" moved all-in for the starting stack of 7,500. Brown called with , which was in a race against , but the board brought no help to the PokerStars pro and he exited with $3,060.
Three of the aforementioned notables advance to the Elite 8, but none found any success from that point on. Grayson Ramage was the first to bow out when his pocket eights were run down by the pocket threes of Sweden's "bajskorven87." Nick Petrangelo had a chance to take a commanding lead in his match against Russia's "yakimaki," but his top pair, top kicker finished second-best when "yakimaki" made a flush after all the chips went in on the flop.
In the last quarterfinal match to end, Torsten Brinkmann lost to fellow German "0PIGGYBANK" when he moved his short stack in preflop with and couldn't improve against . That set up the semifinal round with all four players guaranteed at least $26,775.
"bajskorven87" defeats " mtvdeuem"
Sweden's "bajskorven87" broke out to an early lead and was able to put the Slovenian away after 77 hands. On the final hand of the match, "mtvdeuem" raised to 150 (blinds 30/60) and then called a three-bet from "bajskorven87." The flop brought and "bajskorven87" fired a bet of 525, which was called quickly by "mtvdeuem." The hit the turn and "mtvdeuem" called a bet again, this time for 1,125. On the river, the Swede moved all-in and "mtvdeuem" called with for top pair, but he was out-kicked by "bajskorven87's" .
"0PIGGYBANK" defeats "yakimaki"
A lengthy heads-up match ended after more than 250 hands with Germany's "0PIGGYBANK" advancing to the championship round. The German leaned on his counterpart toward the end of the match and finished him off on a flop of . "Yakimaki" got his remaining chips in with , but he was out-kicked by the of "0PIGGYBANK," who secured the win when the board filled out with the and .
"bajskorven87" defeats "0PIGGYBANK"
The final match of the tournament had a casual feel as the two players engaged in friendly conversation while playing for $95,625 and the WCOOP bracelet. That changed, however, when "bajskorven87" won a massive pot to take a commanding lead. With the blinds at 50/100, the two players saw a coordinated flop of . "Bajskorven87" check-called a bet of 200 and then checked again on the turn. "0PIGGYBANK" bet 400, and "bajskorven87" check-raised to 1,125. His opponent called and the fell on the river, putting four to a straight on the board. "bajskorven87" bet 2,150 and got a call from "0PIGGYBANK," who mucked when his opponent revealed for a full house.
"Bajskorven87" increased his lead even further over the next level and then finally ended the tournament on the 120th hand of the match. "0PIGGYBANK" called a preflop raise and then checked on the flop. The action moved quickly from there: "bajskorven87" bet 240, "0PIGGYBANK" raised to 480, "bajskorven87" three-bet to 1,000, and "0PIGGYBANK" moved all-in for 3,020. "Bajskorven87" called with for the ace-high flush draw and two over cards, and "0PIGGYBANK" showed for a straight-flush draw. "Bajskorven87" was a 2-1 favorite with ace-high and that was all he needed as the turn and river secured the title and $95,625 for the Swede. "0PIGGYBANK" collected $49,725 for his runner-up finish.
|2||Martin ""0PIGGYBANK"" Finger||$49,725|
|5||Torsten “jektiss” Brinkmann||$12,240|
|6||Nick "caecilius" Petrangelo||$12,240|
|7||Grayson "gray31" Ramage||$12,240|
Notable Finishes: Andras "probirs" Nemeth (10th - $4,590), Elio "smokrokflock" Fox (15th - $4,590)
PokerStars WCOOP 40 - $200 No-Limit Hold'em Two-Day ($1M Guaranteed)
Only 57 of the 8,332 entrants advanced to Day 2 of the $200 No-Limit Hold'em event on Sunday, but a handful of well-known pros returned on Monday to play for a top prize of $250,000. Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen and Sandra Naujoks were both in great shape entering the day; Naujoks was among the leaders in the final levels of Day 1 and was 13th in chips heading into Day 2.
Other notables in contention were Ryan "Daut44" Daut, Artem "FaNjkEEE" Kobylynskyi, and Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah, who already won a WCOOP event this year. Here's a look at the 10 top stacks when play resumed at 1000 EST (1500 BST) on Monday:
|3||Artem "FaNjkEEE" Kobylynskyi||3,210,705|
PokerStars WCOOP 41 - $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Heads-Up ($150K Guaranteed)
Always a given to attract big names, the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Heads-Up drew a field of 32 players. Last year's version boasted a $25,000 buy-in and was won by "RaiseOnce,"; however, he was not in the field to defend his title, meaning a new champion would emerge. Among those that participated but exited quickly were 2009 champion Jonathan “Iftarii” Jaffe, Dan "djk123" Kelly, Jonathan Duhamel, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Ben "Ben86" Tollerene, Shawn "buck21" Buchanan, and Brian "$tinger 88" Hastings.
Four players made the money, and left among the final eight players were Team PokerStars Pros Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu and John Duthie.
*(players begin each match with 10,000)
Rachid "SkaiWalkurrr" Ben Cherif defeats John Duthie
Rachid "SkaiWalkurrr" Ben Cherif jumped to a huge lead and took it down at the 25/50 level. Ben Cherif opened to 125 and John Duthie called to see the flop come down . Duthie check-raised Ben Cherif's bet of 175 to 350, but saw Ben Cherif re-pop it to 935. Duthie called and immediately shoved for 2,124 when the hit the turn. Ben Cherif called and tabled , leading Duthie's . The river brought the , locking up a final four spot for Ben Cherif.
"akut" defeats "Fishenzon"
Also advancing in the 25/50 level of the match was "akut." On the button, "Fishenzon" min-raised to 100 and "akut" called to see a flop fall. A check-raise was on "akut's" mind, making it 500 after "Fishenzon" bet 150. However, "Fishenzon" came back over the top to 1,500. "Akut" then moved all-in, getting "Fishenzon" to call all-in for another 3,200 with . It was bad news for "Fishenzon" as "akut" tabled an unbeatable to advance to the money.
Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu defeats "26071985"
Negreanu took it down at the 30/60 level. With about a 2:1 chip lead, he opened to 180. "26071985" called and a flop hit the board. It was checked to Negreanu and he made a continuation bet of 300, but was raised to 876 by "26071985." A call from Negreanu landed the on the turn. "26071985" checked again, prompting Negreanu to fire 1,660 at the pot. "26071985" then moved all-in for 5,582 and Negreanu called immediately with . He had "26071985's" drawing thin and held through the river to guarantee himself a seat in the final four.
Ankush "pistons87" Mandavia defeats Maxim Lykov
Trailing for much of the match, Ankush "pistons87" Mandavia went on a heater to take the lead and win the match in four hands. At 40/80, Mandavia min-raised to 160, only to see Maxim Lykov pop it to 320. A call from Mandavia delivered a flop of to the board. Lykov's bet of 450 was called by Mandavia, landing the on the turn. A check from Lykov resulted in Mandavia betting 600. Lykov called and checked when the hit the river. Mandavia bet enough to cover Lykov's stack. The Russian Pro called all-in and tabled for two pair, but was beat the entire way as Mandavia revealed for Broadway to round out the final four.
Ankush "pistons87" Mandavia defeats Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu
At 30/60, Negreanu opened to 150. Mandavia made it 420 to play, Negreanu called, and a flop appeared. Keeping up the heat, Mandavia bet 480. Negreanu called and when the hit the turn, Mandavia bet 1,680. Again Negreanu called, but was faced with a huge decision when Mandavia shoved the river. Negreanu tanked for a little while and ultimately called all-in for 5,589 with . He was dead on the turn as Mandavia tabled for a straight to advance to the championship match.
"akut" defeats Rachid "SkaiWalkurrr" Ben Cherif
In a match that lasted more than two hours, "akut" outlasted Ben Cherif. On the final hand with blinds at 50/100, Ben Cherif min-raised to 200 and "akut" shoved with the dominating stack. Ben Cherif called all-in for 1,795 with , racing with the of "akut." The flop offered little help to Ben Cherif, but the turn did give him a flush draw. The river sealed the deal for "akut," however, setting the stage for the championship match.
Ankush "pistons87" Mandavia defeats "akut"
A deal was worked out between "akut" and Mandavia, guaranteeing each $105,000 and leaving $14,000 to be played for.
About an hour into the match, Mandavia found a huge double-up to grab the chip lead. With the blinds and antes at 30/60, Mandavia min-raised to 120 on the button, "Akut" popped it to 408, Mandavia called, and the flop came down . A bet of 595 came from "akut," but Mandavia raised to 1,375. After a few moments, "akut" called to see the turn. A check from "akut" resulted in a bet of 2,780 from Mandavia, but "akut" decided to shove with the bigger stack. Mandavia called all-in with for two pair with a flush draw and needed to dodge a club as "akut" tabled . The river improved Mandavia to a flush and give him a 3:1 chip lead.
Twenty-one hands later, Mandavia closed it out. After "akut" min-raised to 120 on the button, Mandavia shoved with the bigger stack. With 1,640 total, "akut" called all-in with and had Mandavia's dominated. However, the board ran out to clinch the victory for Mandavia. For his effort, he earned $119,000 and the WCOOP bracelet.
|*1||Ankush "pistons87" Mandavia||$119,000|
|3||Rachid "SkaiWalkurrr" Ben Cherif||$48,000|
|4||Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu||$48,000|
*denotes heads-up deal
PokerStars WCOOP 42 - $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Two-Day ($1.5M Guaranteed)
After 22 levels of play on Day 1, Event #42, the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Two-Day, is left with just 111 players from the starting field of 2,207. Leading the way with 1,370,184 is "po77a." Currently in second place is Nick "agriffrod" Mitchell, the victor in our hand of the day.
The blinds and antes were at the 600/1,200/150 level. Under the gun, "rockstar2" opened to 2,699 and was called by Mitchell on the button. Mick "BIGMICKG" Graydon called from the big blind, too, leading to a flop. Graydon checked it to "rockstar2" who bet 3,999. Only Mitchell called to see the turn card where "rockstar2" bet 10,800. Again Mitchell called, landing the river card. A bet of 13,200 came from "rockstar2," but Mitchell popped it enough to cover his opponent. Instantly, "rockstar2" called all-in for for 34,770 total with for aces full. Mitchell, though, held for quads.
Here are the top ten chip counts heading into Day 2:
|2||Nick "agriffrod" Mitchell||933,090|
|4||Matthias "mattidm" De Meulder||698,497|
|9||Anh Van "Vandiesel" Nguyen||572,866|
|10||Mick "BIGMICKG" Graydon||564,452|
Also still alive in the tournament are Brian "$tinger 88" Hastings, Ryan "Daut44" Daut, Tom "hitthehole" Middleton, Adam "squee451" Sherman, Dylan "ImaLucSac" Linde, Jared "jvengrin" Vengrin, Jamie "pokerjamers" Armstrong, Dave "SexSeen" Sands, Andre "aakkari" Akkari, and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier.
We will be providing in-depth daily recaps of all WCOOP final tables, so be sure to keep it here at PokerNews to stay up to date on all of the exciting action as it occurs.