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It seems like only yesterday that the 2010 World Championship of Online Poker got underway, but PokerStars has already forged their way as far as Event #14 – a $200 + $50 + $15 6-max No Limit Hold’em Knockout tournament. Of the $250 buy-in, $50 was placed as a bounty on the head of each player. If you’re eliminated, your executioner takes the cash.

That incentive made for a breakneck first section, with only 6 hours needed to reach the 420 paid places. From there it was all about splitting up the $665,000 prize pool and collecting as many $50 bounties as you could. The assembled 3325 entrants easily blasted through the $400k guarantee PokerStars had laid on for Event #14, once again demonstrating the growing popularity of the WCOOP.

Among that number were a selection of PokerStars Team Pros. Considering their supposed skill advantage, the collected pros put it in a fairly disappointing performance. Only three managed to cash and no one broke into the top 100. The successful sponsored players were Henrique Pinho (120), Martha Herrara (234) and Diego Brunelli (377). Among their less competent brethren were Jason Mercier, ElkY, Humberto Brenes, Tom McEvoy, David Williams, Barry Greenstein, Greg Raymer, and Chris Moneymaker. However, the knockout format means that any of those players could have ended the night with a profit.

Off in the distance at the final table, the chipstacks looked like this:

Seat 1: a365551 (5,489,386)
Seat 2: knecht_poker (3,049,264)
Seat 3: Mrazeg (3,263,561)
Seat 4: VM47 (888,422)
Seat 5: LazersNUTS (810,131)
Seat 6: SCAINS2 (3,124,236)

Every player at the final table had their moment, but the real star of the show was knecht_poker. The Ohio based pro, real name Kyle Knecht, has almost $280,000 in live and online tournament earnings and quickly made his presence known at the final table. He quickly leaped into an early chip lead and continued to feature in many of the table’s most important pots.

The first player to hit the rail was VM47, who shoved his final few chips in with nothing more than 7-4. SCAINS called with pocket rockets and that was all she wrote. Only two hands later, LazersNUTS and Knecht were all-in preflop, holding A-10 suited and A-A respectively. Once again the board failed to help crack the best hand in poker. LazersNUTS finished his night in 5th place. At this point, Kyle Knecht had over 50% of the chips in play.

Although he came into the final table as the comfortable chip leader, a365551 had found the early stages difficult going. But he still presented a dangerous opponent, as Mrazege found when he attempted to re-raise him preflop. a365551 called and both players saw a Jc-Ts-8c flop. Mrazege continued his aggression with a bet and a365551 kept up his obstinance by moving all-in. A call from Mrazege meant both players flipped their cards, with his K-K against a365551’s surprising 2c-4c. A 3c on the turn was all a365551 needed to complete his raggy flush and put Mrazege out in 4th.

SCAINS2 was another big stack who found it hard to maintain his status. a365551 had a hand in his demise, picking off around 3.8 million with a better kicker in a top-pair duel. The final blow was dealt shortly after by kinect_poker, who needed some help to push his K-Q over the finish line against SCAINS2’s A-8. A King on the river completed the hand with a flourish and ended SCAINS2’s tournament in 3rd place.

The chip stacks were relatively close going into heads up, but Kinect quickly displayed all of the drive and tenacity that scored him three cashes at this year’s WSOP. The one-on-one contest lasted only 15 hands. The very last pot featured a365551 pushing all-in against Kinect’s pocket 8’s, with the case eight on the flop all but sealing the victory. A blank turn and river ended the contest and the tournament, leaving Kyle Kinect to collect his $104,737.50 first place prize.

Final table payouts were as follows:

1. knecht_poker – $104,737.50
2. a365551 – $76,475
3. SCAINS2 – $55,860
4. Mrazeg – $36,242
5. LazersNUTS – $23,155.30
6. VM47 – $11,803.75