Lesser tournament series take their time building to a crescendo, but that’s not how they do things at PokerStars. Only two events into the 2010 World Championship of Online Poker and we’ve already seen the completion of a $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller contest. WCOOP Event #2 was the first chance for the game’s top online talent to showcase their skills and make some serious money.
Every event of the WCOOP has a healthy guaranteed prize pool attached to it and Event #2 was no exception. In the end, PokerStars didn’t need to shell out any of the $2 million they had on stand by. The 313 entrants built up their own prize pool of $3.1 million, a huge sum that would be shared between just 45 people.
With such a high buy-in, it was no surprise to see a gaggle of pros on hand for Event #2. Among them were many PokerStars Team Pro players, looking to make good in their home online series. The PS sponsored sharks put in a good display, many finishing in the money. Chris Moneymaker bowed out in 24th place, just ahead of Jason Mercier in 28th and Anh Van Nguyen in 29th. Not all of the Team Pro members were so successful, with the likes of Barry Greenstein, ElkY, Vanessa Rousso, Humberto Brenes, and Daniel Negreanu all failing to turn a profit.
Undoubtedly the most successful PokerStars player was Ville Wahlbeck. The Finnish dynamo mounted a serious assault on Event #2 and only just fell short of taking home the top prize. He was pipped at the post by CrabMaki, known offline as Dave Shallow. The UK-based player has a smattering of live cashes to go with a stack of online tournament successes. His $605,655 score in WCOOP Event #2 will go a long way to cementing his reputation as one of the game’s top young players.
Going into the final table, the chip-counts were as follows:
Seat 1: pokerjamers — 209,275
Seat 2: Ville Wahlbeck — 476,130
Seat 3: sms9231 — 50,466
Seat 4: bmwmcoupe — 493,057
Seat 5: LooneyGerbil — 429,022
Seat 6: antesvante — 189,125
Seat 7: Also11 — 366,100
Seat 8: Vick Is God — 478,227
Seat 9: CrabMaki — 438,598
It didn’t take long for the first combatant to fall, antesvante gambling on a straight draw against the top pair of CrabMaki. A duo of ducks on the end was no help to ante, who exited Event #2 in 9th place. He was quickly followed by pokerjammers, who’s pocket nines could not best the K-K of Jean “bmwmcoupe” Talbot.
It’s never a good idea to get yourself all-in against a WSOP bracelet holder, but sms9231 did just that. The player otherwise known as Moshin Charania was all-in preflop with his A-Q and found himself in a straight coin flip against Ville Wahlbeck’s 9-9. The board completely missed both players, ending Charania’s tournament in 7th place.
Ville had tasted the blood of his opponents and was out for more. LooneyGerbil obliged by calling his turn all-in with Q-Q. Wahlbeck held Q-10 and the board read 6-A-J-9, leaving the 11-time WSOP casher needing a little help to complete his open ended straight draw. Once again the luck was with the Finn, who moved into the chip lead when a King fell on the river. Meanwhile Gerbil made his way home in 6th position.
The next knockout head-to-head was between Vick is God and Also11. With both players all-in, Vick’s pocket fives could find nothing on the board to better his opponent’s 10-10. Also11 didn’t have much time to celebrate his victory before he too was headed for the rail. CrabMaki came out of the woodwork and called the Also11’s all-in with pocket 4-4s. Also11 stood a good chance of taking down the pot with K-J off, but a board of nothing but rags sealed his fate.
That left Ville Wahlbeck, CrabMaki, and bmwmcoupe to contest the top three prize spots. A chop was briefly discussed, but the shortstack CrabMaki wasn’t happy with his cut and put a kibosh on the negotiations. It proved to be the correct choice, with bmwmcoupe unable to make it to the climactic heads-up showdown. A board of 6-2-4-6 looked innocuous enough to encourage an A-7 bluff from bmw against Ville Wahlberg. However, he’d chosen exactly the wrong moment to make a play as the Finn called and flipped over 6-4 for a turned full house.
Going into heads-up play the stacks were nearly even. Although Ville is a well known pro, CrabMaki is not short on confidence and bills himself as something of a heads up specialist. The final hand was a predictably tense affair, with both players committing chips right up until the final card. Ville called CrabMaki all the way down to the river and with the board reading 5s-Ad-6d-8d-2c, he put his tournament life on the line. The Finn flipped A-2 for a strong two-pair, but it wasn’t good enough to best the K-J diamond flush that CrabMaki completed on the turn. After almost 16 hours, Dave “CrabMaki” Shallow was confirmed as the 2010 WCOOP $10k High Roller Champion.
Final Table payouts were as follows:
1st: CrabMaki ($605,655)
2nd: Ville Wahlbeck ($453,850)
3rd: bmwmcoupe ($344,300)
4th: Also11 ($258,225)
5th: Vick Is God ($178,410)
6th: LooneyGerbil ($137,720)
7th: sms9231 ($106,420)
8th: pokerjamers ($75,120)
9th: antesvante ($54,775)