It was only fitting that the richest online tournament series of all time finished off with the richest online tournament prize pool of all time. There have been few online events, if any, that were more anticipated than the WCOOP 2008 Main Event, a $5,200 No Limit Holdem event. With $10 Million guaranteed, the best and the brightest came out from all over the world in search of a massive million-dollar payday. The event even eclipsed its guarantee, which surprised quite a few people due to the size of the buy-in. 2,185 players started, creating a final prize pool of $10,925,000. One of our very own FlopTurnRiver.com members, gabe (known as gp333 on PokerStars), went quite deep. He busted just short of the money in 344th place (324 people cashed). The players who were lucky enough to make it through Day 1 played a 12-hour day on Sunday and then started up again at 4:30 PM on Monday. The final 60 players re-drew for seats and started what would become a very memorable day for quite a few of the players still involved.
Countless notable players fell by the wayside in their quest for the final table. Alex Kostritsyn (otherwise known as “august35”) came into the day as a substantial chip leader, but finished in 23rd for $22,942.50, which must have been quite the disappointment. ElkY continued his terrific 2008 WCOOP, cashing in his 7th tournament, but ultimately falling short in 21st for $22,942.50 as well. Christian Harder aka “charder30” was the final table bubble boy, busting out in 10th for $87,400.
After the dust settled, nine players remained. Two known tournament pros, AJKHoosier1 and ckingusc, were among the remaining players when the final table was created. Here were the starting stacks:
1. Liberace – 13,111,107 chips
2. Markush13 – 11,433,207 chips
3. ckingusc – 8,056,086 chips
4. ShoesRDurrty – 6,547,232 chips
5. klslcz – 4,828,175 chips
6. AJKHoosier1 – 3,700,250 chips
7. BOLLPOKER – 3,310,739 chips
8. Sumpas – 2,959,856 chips
9. kovi99 – 561,348 chips
With the blinds all the way up to 65,000/130,000 with a 13,000 ante, it was clear that kovi99 was in a great deal of trouble. Unable to overcome the uphill odds, kovi99 finished in 9th place for $121,267.50 after getting it all in on a king high flop with AJ against Markush13’s K7s.
The next elimination would take no time at all, as BOLLPOKER found himself down to 1.3 million and pushed with pocket threes. He was called by ckingusc, who held AQ. The 59J flop was a good one for BOLLPOKER, but the king of hearts on the turn opened up another door for ckingusc. Sure enough, the river produced a ten, giving ckingusc the nuts, and BOLLPOKER was eliminated in 8th place for $196,650.
Klslcz would be the next to exit, and did so in a disgusting fashion. With the blinds up to 80,000/160,000 with a 16,000 ante, klslcz made it 420,000 to go under the gun. Everyone folded, except Markush13 who reraised to 1,300,999, and klslcz called. The flop came down Q99, rainbow. Markush13 bet 1,899,999, which was met by an all-in shove by klslcz for nearly 3 million more. Markush13 snap-called with pocket kings, but was dismayed to see that klslcz had pocket aces. The turn was the 8 of clubs, whittling away Markush13’s odds. However, the miracle king arrived on the river, and klslcz was the victim of a huge bad beat, finishing in 7th place for $305,900.
The hits kept coming at this final table. Ckingusc raised 404,000 preflop and was called by liberace in the cut-off. Sumpas decided to squeeze and moved all-in for over 4.7 million, and ckingusc folded. Liberace, however, called with AK, and he dominated Sumpas’s AQ. The TT3 flop opened up some chop outs, but the 8 and J on the turn were no good, as Sumpas departed in 6th place for $415,150.
At this point, the final five players began to talk about chopping. The chip chop initially gave AJKHoosier1 $672,542, but AJKHoosier1 managed to convince the other players to increase his cash amount, and he went on to lock up $782,542. Here were the chop numbers, with $200,000 on the side for the winner.
1. liberace – $1,375,249
2. ckingusc – $1,065,432
3. Markush13 – $961,718
4. ShoesRDurrty – $801,153
5. AJKHoosier1 – $782,542
Despite the money being chopped five ways, both liberace and ckingusc were able to guarantee themselves million dollar paydays. With that, the cards were back up in the air (or back on the screen, I suppose), as there was still the matter of $200,000 and a WCOOP bracelet to take care of. Soon after the chop, AJKHoosier1 got it in good with 77 against the 22 of ShoesRDurrty, crippling ShoesRDurrty in the process. ShoesRDurrty couldn’t come back, as he got it in shortly after with 33 against ckingusc’s QQ, and he finished in 5th place, banking a cool $801,153.
Markush13 would be the next to bust, doing so in the biggest pot of the tournament thus far. The blinds were up to 100,000/200,000 with a 20,000 ante. Liberace made it 600,000 to go, and he was reraised to 1.8 million by Markush13. Liberace called and the flop came Q99 with two spades. Both players checked. The turn was the 6 of diamonds, which prompted Markush13 to bet 2.33 million. Liberace called. The river was the 7 of hearts, and Markush13 moved in for his remaining 9.31 million in chips. Liberace called, much to Markush13’s dismay, as Markush13 only had AT for the bluff. Liberace held the 8T of hearts, good for the rivered straight, and Markush13 was out in 4th place for $961,718.
After Markush13 busted, things began to go downhill for AJKHoosier1. First he doubled up ckingusc, and then he was finally eliminated by ckingusc. AJKHoosier1 got it all in with A7 against ckingusc’s pocket nines, but he couldn’t hit his 3-outer. He finished in 3rd place for $782,542.
As heads-up began, ckingusc was down 20 million to liberace’s 34.5 million. However, it didn’t take long for ckingusc to strike. With the blinds up to 125,000/250,000 with a 25,000 ante, liberace made it 500,000 to go from the button. Ckingusc called for the extra 250,000, and the flop came 837 with two diamonds. Ckingusc checked, and liberace bet 1,000,000. Ckingusc reraised to 3,000,000, liberace pushed, and ckingusc to called all-in for his remaining 16,933,621. Ckingusc had KJ of diamonds, good for overcards and the flush draw, and liberace held Q7 for middle pair. If you are wondering, ckingusc was the small favorite on this flop. Ckingusc’s lead got a lot bigger on the turn when the king of clubs came out, and then a diamond came on the river, completing ckingusc’s flush. Ckingusc doubled up to nearly 41 million, leaving liberace with 14 million.
The finale would come just two minutes later. Ckingusc raised to 600,000 from the button, and liberace reraised to 1,500,000. Ckingusc came over the top, putting liberace all-in for his final 13 million. Liberace made the call with KJ of diamonds, which was in relatively good shape against ckingusc’s A8 of clubs. The flop came AKT rainbow. The four of clubs came on the turn, which was bad news for liberace. The 9 of diamonds on the river finished it off, making ckingusc the winner of the 2008 WCOOP Main Event! Ckingusc outlasted a stacked field, came in as a short stack on Day 2, and came back to win it all for a $1,265,432 payday. He also, of course, won a WCOOP bracelet. Don’t feel too bad for liberace, though – he actually took him the biggest cash of $1,375,249.
Here were the final payouts from the WCOOP Main Event’s final table:
1. ckingusc -$1,265,432
2. Liberace – $1,375,249
3. AJKHoosier1 – $782,542
4. Markush13 – $961,718
5. ShoesRDurrty – $801,153
6. Sumpas – $415,150
7. klslcz – $305,900
8. BOLLPOKER – $196,650
9. kovi99 – $121,267