Yesterday the biggest tournament day of the week saw the biggest buy-in of this year’s WCOOP: the $25,000+$500 No Limit Hold’em High Roller Heads-Up event. 31 entries meant that the tournament barely made its $750,000 guaranteed prize pool, and the players were competing for a 1st place prize of $348,750. A total of four people were scheduled to make the money.
A buy-in as high as $25k usually creates a small field full of elite players, and this tournament was no exception. Huge online superstars that you might recognize include Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond, Issac “philivey2694” Haxton, Dan “djk123” Kelly, and Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo. There were a total of four PokerStars Pros in the field, as well: Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Jason Mercier, Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu, and Barry “barryg1” Greenstein. Another player worth noting is Oliver “Adonis112” Busquet, also known as livb112 on Full Tilt Poker. He has won over $2 million online playing heads-up SNGs, so he was a heavy favorite to win even in such a stacked field.
RunThisTable, also known as LuckyChewy or Andrew Lichtenberger, was the lucky winner of the first round bye. Most of the PokerStars Pros did not last very long, with Greenstein and Negreanu both exiting after their first match. Grospellier did the best of the group, finishing 5th and just missing the money.
When the field was down to four, we had SkaiWalkurrr versus IMALLIN723 and RaiseOnce versus 0Human0.
It appears that SkaiWalkurr plays just the huge MTTs on PokerStars along with a bit of high stakes cash. He has a whopping average tournament buy-in of $460 and has made over $230k playing cash games on the site.
IMALLIN723 is an unknown with no MTT results on PokerStars. He is, however, up $184k in cash games.
RaiseOnce is another player that appears to show up on PokerStars only for the huge buy-ins. In fact, it is rumored that he is Phil Ivey, although this cannot be confirmed nor denied at this point. It would seem to make sense, however. He has played just nine tournaments on PokerStars since September 2008: two $1k events, two $5k events, four $10k events, and this $25k. He is up $14k in cash games on PokerStars and plays extremely high.
0Human0 has played over 305 tournaments on PokerStars at an average buy-in of $490. He has made over $1 million playing cash games.
Now that we’ve met our final four players, let’s take a look at some hands during the matches.
In our match with SkaiWalkurrr and IMALLIN723, SkaiWalkurrr built up a nice 3-1 chip lead at one point. He lost it, however, when IMALLIN723 managed to flop a set versus his top pair in a 3-bet pot. All the money went in on the flop and IMALLIN723 won an almost 200bb pot:
That hand wasn’t enough to win it for IMALLIN723, however. Despite the deep stacks, the match lasted just another 14 hands before the two players got it all-in preflop:
IMALLIN723 lost the flip and was eliminated in 4th place for $116,250. SkaiWalkurrr advanced to the final round, ready to compete against the player that emerged victorious in the other pairing.
SkaiWalkurrr waited for a very long time as the other match went on for literally hours. At one point RaiseOnce had 0Human0 down to 1,680 chips at 25/50, but 0Human0 wouldn’t give up the last of his chips. In fact, he nearly evened the stacks in a 4-bet pot where the money went in on the flop:
0Human0 could not build on this double up, however, and again his stack got whittled down over time. During his last hand, he had a 50bb stack and called a raise with QTo. He check/raised the flop, and then bet/called all-in on the turn with a straight draw:
Finally the match was over and RaiseOnce could meet the waiting SkaiWalkurr for the title. Considering how long RaiseOnce’s previous match had gone, it is slightly surprising that the championship match only lasted 37 minutes. RaiseOnce jumped out to an early lead after calling a 3-bet preflop, calling two streets, and then jamming on the river:
SkaiWalkurrr went all the way down to 3,410 chips before calling all-in preflop and taking a big flip:
Then, just 13 hands later, an epic cooler occurred. SkaiWalkurrr had gotten back to almost even in chips and looked down to see AA. He raised, 4-bet, and then even 6-bet pushed preflop, and RaiseOnce was down to a 2-outer as he flipped over QQ. This cooler turned into a huge suck out, however:
SkaiWalkurrr was left to curse his bad luck as he busted in 2nd place for $193,750. Congratulations to RaiseOnce for winning the bracelet and $348,750! Please see below for a list of everyone that cashed.
Don’t forget that WCOOP wraps up later this week. If you were thinking of getting into the action, be sure to make a PokerStars download as soon as possible so that you can take advantage of the remaining guaranteed prize pools. FTR will, of course, be covering the remaining events, so also come back to Poker News for more WCOOP summaries.
1 – RaiseOnce – $348,750
2 – SkaiWalkurrr – $193,750
3 – 0Human0 – $116,250
4 – IMALLIN723 – $116,250