The second of three 2-day events at the 2009 WCOOP came to a conclusion yesterday. These mammoth tournaments combine the speed of internet play with a big stack of chips, allowing the best players to flex their poker-skills against the backdrop of a slow structure. Event #28 attracted in 3268 runners willing to put up the $1050 buy-in. The cumulative total just tipped past the $3 million guarantee, building a total prize pool of $3,268,000.
The event took over 30 hours to complete, spread over two separate days. The room for maneuver allowed in these events is bound to attract in the cream of the Team PokerStars Pro crop. The pros know that this kind of structure gives them the best chance to leverage their skill advantage. Well known pros who failed to make it past Day 1 included Chris Moneymaker, Hevad Khan, Dennis Phillips, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Humberto Brenes, Ivan Demidov, and Joe Hachem. The number of pros who made the money was surprisingly small, with Ylon Schwartz (185th) the top sponsored finisher. Accompanying him to the virtual cage were Marcel Luske (461st) and Jason Mercier (441st).
The event was hosted by little known semi-pro player Nuno Coelho. The Portuguese has made a name for himself at events in his home country, although is yet to make a big splash on the world stage. He spends some of his time working as a successful lawyer, but now finds himself devoting much of his day to perfecting his poker game. His most high profile outing came when he represented Portugal in the 2007 PokerStars World Cup of Poker in Barcelona. His motto is one which will ring true with many live and online experts – ‘Play the player, not the cards’.
As the lengthy two-day stretch approached its climax there were just two players remaining. Unsyatisfied was pitting his 18 million stack against the 30 million chips held by his opponent, GAKingChaser. The action was relatively calm for much of the contest, with a few big pots dictating the eventual outcome.
One pivotal confrontation came when Unsyatisfied put in a 320k preflop raise, only to see GAKing bump it up to 1 million. Following the quick call, a surprising K-K-K flop found the board. GAKing came out firing with a 1 million bet and Unsyatisfied responded by raising to 2.5 million. The pot began to build as GAKing made the call, followed by a less thrilling 9 on the turn. A check from GAKing prompted a large 6 million bet from Unsyatisfied. Once again GAKing was not to be outdone and pushed his whole stack into the pot – easily covering Unsyatisfied’s remaining chips. In the end he needed little time to make up his mind, gleefully pushing his final chips in to reveal the case King with a Jack kicker. Despite being called and raised all the way, GAKing had been running a stone cold bluff with 6-5 suited. A meaningless 6 on the river completed the formalities and saw a near exact swap in fortunes. Unsyatisfied now up to around 30 million, while GAKing languished on 16 million.
As the tournament crept into the early hours of the morning the pair began to discuss the possibility of a chop. They elected not to stop play while they negotiated, a decision which GAKing may love to regret. When the deal was floated, Unsyatisfied held a more than 2-1 chip advantage and was understandably unsatisfied with his cut of the prize money. Things were moving closer to a final decision when, just as Unsyatisfied was deliberating GAKing’s latest offer, the tournament came to an end in a flash.
GAKing started things off with a raise to 400k. Unsyatisfied ramped up the action with a 1.4 million re-raise, to which GAKing responded with a 3.8 million re-re-raise. Unsyatisfied then put GAKing to a decision by committing his whole stack, with the short stack eventually electing to make the call. With deal talks on hold GAKing found himself hopelessly dominated with his tournament life on the line – his 9-9 languishing behind the J-J of Unsyatisfied. The outcome was practically decided with the first card after the board ran out J-3-8-K-A. Event #28 champion Unsyatisfied picks up a coveted WCOOP bracelet along with a $513,076 in prize money. GAKingChaser picks up a very healthy $382,256 for his second place finish. Tournament host Nune Coelho was on hand to congratulate both players on their gargantuan two-day effort.
Final Table payouts were:
1st place: Unsyatisfied ($513,076.00)
2nd place: GAKingchaser ($382,356.00)
3rd place: Visionary129 ($269,610.00)
4th place: reilly11014 ($187,910.00)
5th place: runslikerubs ($138,890.00)
6th place: goin4br0ke ($106,210.00)
7th place: johnnyv5000 ($73,530.00)
8th place: thepractice ($40,850.00)
9th place: Ginsash ($26,144.00)