There are a dizzying number of tournaments in this year’s World Championship of Online Poker. Just over half way through the entire series, we’ve just seen the completion of Event #32. The only wrinkle in this tournament’s standard format was the limitation of 6 players per table, otherwise it was the standard No Limit Texas Hold’em we all know and love.
By the time the 1957 entrants where all eagerly waiting for the tournament to begin, the $300k guarantee had been obliterated. The final prize pool stood at $587,100 – approaching double the amount PokerStars had predicted. That means that 252 separate people would share a slice of the money. They’d be in it for the long haul however, with the tournament taking over 16 hours to complete.
There were only three members of Team PokerStars Pro who managed to stick it out, with a 28th place finish for former Main Event champion Greg Raymer the most noteworthy. Both Noah Boeken and Richard Toth also made a profit, finishing in 185th and 188th respectively. Among those recognizable names who didn’t fare so well were John Duthie, Victoria Coren, Pat Pezzin, Joe Hachem, J.P. Kelly, Chris Moneymaker, and nanonoko.
The final table chip counts were as follows:
Seat 1: sporic13 (2,002,214)
Seat 2: Dardan0s (321,532)
Seat 3: JACKPOT786 (2,249,689)
Seat 4: Bry23 (2,698,407)
Seat 5: 26071985 (1,063,798)
Seat 6: kinheim (1,449,360)
With Dardan0s trailing so far behind, it was always going to be a case of double up or go home. He made his stand with a pair of nines and waited patiently for a caller. What he got was another raise, with sporic13 adding some more chips to the pot, who was then raised once again by JACKPOT786. Dardan0s was licking his lips at the prospect of a triple up until JACKPOT flipped over pocket 10s to spoil the party. The flop held no miracle nines and Dardan0s was out 6th place.
The next player to fall was kinheim, who pushed his few remaining chips into the middle with K-3. sporic13 was once again keen to get in on the action, calling with A-T. It was all quiet on the flop, until a 10 fell on the river to seal the deal for sporic13 and send kinheim home in 5th.
It was then the turn of JACKPOT786 and 26071985 to create a climactic pot. After a series of raises and re-raises, JACKPOT786 saw his all-in preflop bet called by 26071985. The many numbered gentleman held A-T, dominating JACKPOT786’s A-7 suited. The flop missed both players and the chance of a split pot, forcing JACKPOT to withdraw in 4th place.
At this point, the remaining trio paused the clock and convened for a discussion about chopping the prize pool. After a short discussion, the shortstack Bry23 decided that he would have more luck playing on without a deal and the players returned to the felt. It would take more than two hours for the three to become two, with chip stacks fluctuating back and forth throughout. At one point, the chips had evened out between the three competitors and another deal discussion broke out. This time it was 26071985 who refused to agree to the terms, demanding that both players give him $2k from their share. Although Bry23 and sporic13 offered $1k each, 26071985 would not relent and play continued with the prize structure untouched.
Eventually, the blinds dictated that someone was going to bust. In the end it was sporic13, who called 26071985’s all-in preflop push with A-7. 26071985 was trailing marginally with K-T, but found a King on the turn to put him through to the heads-up contest.
With that near double up at his back, 26071985 had a major chip advantage. Bry23 fought valiantly, but was unable to claw back the deficit. Thirty minutes after heads-up play began, the final hand took place. All the chips in the tournament went into the middle on a coin flip – 26071985 holding 9-9 and Bry23 clutching A-K. The flop came J-8-3-T-4 to end Bry’s dreams of a WCOOP bracelet and confirm 26071985 as the Event #32 champion.