Micro-Stakes Grinder Marat "maratik" Sharafutdinov Wins PokerStars WCOOP Main Event

WCOOP Main Event

A field of 1,825 took part in the PokerStars 2012 World Championship of Online Poker Main Event, and following 20 levels on Day 1, only 245 remained with a chance to emerge victorious in online poker's premier event. Nearly 14 hours after players returned to the virtual felt, Marat "maratik" Sharafutdinov from Russia outlasted the field to capture the bracelet, as well as $1,000,907.26. According to statistic site Sharkscope.com, Sharafutdinov is a micro-stakes game grinder with more than 27,000 sit-n-go's/multitable tournaments under his belt (with an average stake of less than $3). In addition, Sharafutdinov earned a seat in the Main Event by satelliting in through a turbo-FPP game. Parlaying that into a seven-figure score is a rags to riches story for the ages (credit to Rick Dacey of the PokerStarsBlog)

Among those who finished shy of the final table were Victor "Puropoker123" Lemos (10th - $57,587.50), Kyle "KJulius10" Julius (15th - $48,362.50), Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (20th - $33,762.50), Francis "The Lag rat" Anderson (24th - $33,762.50), Niklas "ragen70" Heinecker (25th - $33,762.50), and Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thurman (34th - $29,200).

Here is how the final table stacked up:

1Marat "maratik" Sharafutdinov1,935,189
3Mike "munchenHB" Telker11,907,089
4Phil "takechip" D'Auteuil3,783,516
5Ryan "TheCart3r" Carter1,894,230
7sly caveat941,302

Departing in ninth place was "mitdadu." Down to less than five big blinds at the 50,000/100,000/12,500 level, "mitdadu" moved all in from under the gun plus two for 476,948. Ryan "TheCart3r" Carter successfully iso-shoved from the small blind and tabled AJ, leading "mitdadu's" A10. The board rolled out K74A6 to end "mitdadu's" Main Event.

Phil "takechip" D'Auteuil busted shortly thereafter. After "Kakalala" opened to 200,005 from middle position, D'Auteuil shoved from the small blind. Ryan Carter called all in for 2,298,678 from the big blind, "Kakalala" folded, and Carter revealed KK. D'Auteuil was well behind with AJ and was crippled to less than a small blind when the board fell AK610K, which gave Carter quads. D'Auteuil was eliminated in the following hand.

"Kakalala" began the final table second in chips, but after doubling up "sly caveat" and losing a sizable pot to chip leader Mike "munchenHB" Telker, "Kakalala" was in dire straits. With the blinds and antes at 60,000/120,000/15,000, Telker opened to 312,440 under the gun. "Kakalala" shoved on the button for 1,743,770 and was met with an immediate call from Telker. "Kakalala" held a slight advantage with 99 against Telker's AQ, but the board ran out Q103108 to give Telker queens and tens to send "Kakalala" to the rail in seventh place.

After Sharafutdinov scored a second double-up at the final table (the second coming through Mike Telker), the remaining six players agreed to look at numbers for a deal. After nearly an hour of talking, a deal was agreed upon, paying each the following.

Mike "munchenHB" Telker$1,000,584.34
Marat "maratik" Sharafutdinov$900,907.26
Ryan "TheCart3r" Carter$662,516.39
sly caveat$601,884.39

The sticking point was Telker wanting to be guaranteed a seven-figure score and after much back-and-forth debate, "maratik" and "FOO-92" gave up about $22,000 and $30,000, respectively, to reach a unanimous agreement. With $100,000 and the prestige of winning the WCOOP Main Event still on the line, though, there was still plenty to play for.

On the third hand after play resumed (blinds and antes at 70,000/140,000/17,500), "sly caveat" opened to 292,600 on the button. From the small blind, "maratik" three-bet to 445,200. "FOO-92" then four-bet shoved for 2,652,320, chasing out "sly caveat." A call from "maratik" revealed JJ, dominating the 55 held by "FOO-92." The board fell A739K, spelling the end for "FOO-92."

It took about 45 minutes for the next elimination to occur. At the 80,000/160,000/20,000 level, "sly caveat" raised to 334,400 from the cutoff. Ryan "TheCart3r" Carter called from the big blind to see a J62 flop. Carter put in a check-raise to 865,000 following "sly caveat's" bet of 342,800. A call from "sly caveat" landed the 9 turn where Carter bet 1,123,456. An all-in raise came from "sly caveat," resulting in an all-in call from Carter for 3,486,782 ("sly caveat" had him covered by less than two big blinds). Carter showed J7 for top pair and was ahead of "sly caveat's" AQ. The 8 river changed nothing and "sly caveat's" tournament came to an end two hands later.

Day 1 chip leader Mike "munchenHB" Telker held the lead for a good part of Day 2 but bowed out in fourth place. He raised to 334,330 on the button, and Ryan Carter called from the small blind. A J96 flop appeared and Carter checked to Telker, who bet 589,330. Carter just about clicked it back to 1,234,567, Telker called, and the A hit the turn. A bet of 1,866,000 from Carter was called by Telker, resulting in the 6 river. Carter then moved all in for 7,452,618. Telker had him covered by less than two antes and called with KJ. Carter, though, showed 66 for quads (again) and took a commanding chip lead. Telker busted two hands later.

"Jossel2008" bid adieu five hands later, also falling to Ryan Carter. On the button, Carter minraised to 320,000. "Jossel2008" called from the small blind and following an 853 flop, "Jossel2008" check-called 430,000 to see the 3 turn. Both checked through to the 9 river where "Jossel2008" bet 894,400. Carter raised all in, "Jossel2008" called all in for another 3,892,540, and Carter won the pot with K9. "Jossel2008's" J9 was second best, resulting in a third-place finish.

The chip counts to start heads-up play were as follows:

Carter: 29,861,560
"maratik:" 6,638,440

On the 11th hand of heads-up play, all the chips found their way to the middle. "Maratik" minraised on the button to 320,000 and Carter popped it to 800,000 from the big blind. A call from "maratik" delivered a K108 flop. Carter fired 656,000, "maratik" clicked it back to 1,312,000, and Carter called. The 2 turn was checked by both players, landing the Q river. Carter bet 2,132,000 and called "maratik's" all-in raise of 5,038,440.

Carter: KK
"maratik:" QJ

Carter's flopped set fell to "maratik's" flush and from there, "maratik" seized control of the match and took about a 5:1 lead before the chips got in again at 100,000/200,000/25,000. Carter three-bet shoved from the big blind for 6,637,120 with 33. A call from "maratik" J10 put Carter at risk and it wasn't looking good following the J62 flop. The 9 turn left Carter with just two outs to survive and sure enough, the 3 popped off on the river to score Carter a double up.

Five hands later Carter was all in again after min-raising to 400,000 on the button. From the big blind, "maratik" three-bet to 700,000. A call from Carter delivered a QJ3 flop. A bet of 1,014,999 came from "maratik," Carter called, and the 3 hit the turn. Another bet came from "maratik," this one for 3,827,997. Carter shoved for 11,734,241, "maratik" called, and it was bad news for Carter.

Carter: J4
Sharafutdinov: AA

Carter, who needed another two-outer to stay alive, came up empty as the 4 river gave him an inferior two pair to his opponent. Carter's valiant performance gave him a runner-up finish, while Sharafutdinov triumphed in online poker's most prestigious tournament for $1,000,907.26.

*1Marat "maratik" Sharafutdinov$1,000,907.26
*2Ryan "TheCart3r" Carter$662,516.39
*4Mike "munchenHB" Telker$1,000,584.34
*5sly caveat$601,884.39
8Phil "takechip" D'Auteuil$136,875

*denotes six-handed deal

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