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Event 19 got underway this past Sunday with the largest buy-in of any of the 2008 WCOOP events.  Sixty-four players paid up the $25,500, lured by the $1,600,000 guarantee, but only eight could place in the money and only one would walk away with the $560,000 first place prize.  Steven “stevesbets” Jacobs proved himself worthy and up to the task, taking down the first place prize and this year’s Heads-Up Championship braclet.

The High-Roller Heads-Up NL Hold’em tournament had quite the competitive line-up.  Team PokerStars Pros and renown online sharks littered the field: Daniel Negreanu, Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker, Hold_emNL, supernova9, and Empire2000 just to name a few.  No table was left without any great and interesting action ,as the field narrowed down to the final eight.

Here’s the starting line-up of those in the money:
Table 1: Vanessa “Lady Maverick” Rousso vs. zivziv
Table 2: PAW717 vs. stevesbets
Table 3: Victor Ramdin vs. Gavin Griffin
Table 4: brianm15 vs ElKY

More than two hours were needed to eliminate the next four players.  No one was going without a fight.  In the end, Vanessa “Lady Maverick” Rousso, Victor Ramdin, PAW717, and brianm15, all of the United States, had to settle for a cool $100,000.

The semifinals went quicker than expected.  Team PokerStars Pros Gavin Griffin and ElkY found themselves pitted against each other, as stevesbets and zivziv battled it out at the other table.

At the Team PokerStars Pros’ table, ElkY quickly established a 3-to-1 chip lead over Griffin after he hit trip Aces.  In not too much time, Griffin was ousted by ElkY.  Aces again came to ElkY’s favor, as his pocketed pair sent Griffin to collect a $160,000 fourth place prize.  It only took minutes for this table to come to an end.

Stevesbets and zivziv’s match lasted longer and saw an interesting battle for the chip lead.   Initially, zivziv took a 2-to-1 chip lead with a turned set of 2’s.  Stevesbets was back in action soon though.  He was able to double back up from 48,608 chips when he landed a two pair.  Then a rivered straight allowed stevesbets to double up once again.  Zivziv soon found himself down to just 12,204 chips.  After regaining another 1,200 chips, zivziv decided to shove preflop and test his luck.  With Qh-5c in hand, the board came 2h-Qs-Jd-Qd-8d.  Zivziv had landed trip queens, but stevesbets held Kd-3d, giving him the flush.  Zivziv was awarded $160,000 for his third place finish and efforts.

This left stevesbets up against ElkY at the final table.  Both players started out with 320,000 in chips and 320/640 blinds.  The speed of play here was amazingly fast – roughly 300 hands in about 90 minutes.

After 75 hands, ElkY took the first noticable lead with a two pair against stevesbets’ top pair.  ElkY’s lead was shortlived however.  Stevesbets was able to come back and build his stack to 490,240 chips, giving him a 3-to-1 chip lead.  Trying to apply the pressure, stevesbets pushed all-in with 5c-5d.  ElkY called, shoving his small stack, with Td-Ts.  The board fell 9d-3h-Ac-Jh-7h and ElkY was able to double up.  No sooner after evening out the chip distribution, ElkY again took a huge blow and fell to just 133,120.  ElkY mucked his cards after stevesbets revealed Qc-Tc with Ts-3s-5h-Qh-Td on the board for a full house.

The final hand of the tournament held just as much anticipation as all the others.  ElkY sat with 241,920 chips and stevesbets held the lead with 398,080.  First, stevesbets raised 19,200 preflop.  ElkY re-raised 236,800, to which stevesbets shot back a re-raise to move all-in.  ElkY called and each player showed their pocket pair.  ElkY held 3h-3c and stevesbets held 8s-8d.  The cards came Kh-5c-2c-7s-6s, leaving ElkY with a nice $320,000 for second place.  Stevesbets took the Event 19 title, WCOOP bracelet, and a $560,000.

Here’s the final results of Event 19 of the 2008 WCOOP:
1. stevesbets (United States) $560,000
2. Betrand “ElkY” Grospellier (France) $320,000
3. zivziv (Israel) $160,000
4. Gavin Griffin (United States) $160,000
5. Vanessa “Lady Maverick” Rousso (United States) $100,000
6. Victor Ramdin (United States) $100,000
7. PAW717 (United States) $100,000
8. brianm15 (Unites States) $100,000