Something happened to me during the last half of this year’s WSOP.
I had a little bit of a wake-up call in Vegas where I was in the middle of playing several long days in a row, drinking a lot of coffee and generally not paying too much attention to my health. Then one day in the middle of a tournament I felt a little weird. I realized I was feeling sweaty and my heart rate went up. So I said okay, that’s enough, and I started getting on the treadmill every morning and kept at it all of the way to the end.
Now that I’m back in London I’m running outdoors almost every day, as the weather’s been great — just a few miles per day, gradually building back up. There is also a weekly soccer game here with PokerStars employees on a rented pitch which has been a ton of fun and great exercise, too.
I never really focused too much on exercise before, but now I’ve gotten into a routine where it feels weird to go a day without some sort of physical activity. I’ll get that restless feeling if I’m not running or playing some kind of sport, and I’m really enjoying getting out and staying active.
It’s probably not a coincidence, either, that I’ve had some poker success lately, too. I had a win in the Sunday six-max and the cash games online are going quite well, too. I’m not the first to notice that being physically fit can translate to better concentration and performance at the tables.
In other words, no matter how I run in WCOOP, I know one thing — I’m going to keep up my “run good” when away from the tables, for sure.
Matthias de Meulder is a member of Team PokerStars Pro
Flopping the nuts is great; however, a lot of players really struggle with getting the most value out of the hand. Questions arise as to whether it’s better to smooth-call an opponent’s raise or should we re-raise instead?
In this new edition of Poker Bites at PokerSchoolOnline we hear the thoughts of Ike Haxton, Felix Schneiders and Tyler Frost from Team Online on a hand played recently by Tyler in a 200NL full ring cash game.
He’s dealt a marginal hand holding King, Jack of hearts so let’s see how the hand plays out.
So, Tyler hit the Royal Flush, we don’t see that every day! However, the most important aspect we need to learn from this hand is whether or not we got the most value from it? Would you have played it differently? It certainly leaves us with a lot to chew on.
For more Poker Bite videos from the Pros visit PokerSchoolOnline and register today for free.
So far so good for WCOOP 2014. In two weeks you might say it has delivered on what it promised–some familiar and some not familiar winners, but the best of online poker on display at each day. Oh and Russians. There have been six Russian champions so far, more than any other nation, just as we *ahem* predicted.
Alright, that might have drawn some obvious conclusion, but could we really have expected what we’ve seen in the past even days? Repeat winners, several of them actually, and two players who scored double WCOOP wins just days apart.
The first of those came for Scott “Aggro Santos” Margereson who, fresh off a win in Event #18 ($320 NLHE Turbo Zoom) topped that with a win in Event #22 three days later (Sunday Warm-Up Special Edition), adding $202,000 to the $106,861 he’d already collected.
“I’m not sure the reality has set in for me yet,” said Margereson. “I didn’t even plan on playing that much of WCOOP but now I think I have to play pretty much every event to try and lock up the leader board.”
This turned out to be a similar theme among winners, including Assad91. He equalled Margereson’s double in Event #28 ($320 Mixed hold’em) (LINK) and promptly set about shoring up his lead in the Player of the Year leader board. It’s as though the idea of being Player of the Year never even crossed their minds until they found themselves catapulted into contention.
Elsewhere there were wins for players who you kind of just assumed had already earned a first WCOOP title. Players like Sami Kelopuro.
Kelopuro, who plays as the familiar Lars Luzak (Lrslzk) online, had two SCOOP titles to his name (including the Main Event in 2011) but had yet to secure WCOOP gold. He put that right in Event #20 with a display of complete domination at the final table, where he saw off six players. And, like a lot of great players, he absolved himself of much of the credit.
“To be honest, knocking out so many players was partly just being lucky and running good – as it always is when you go deep in any tournament.”
In a similar position to Kelopuro was David Baker. Baker is one of those players who seems to win whatever he chooses–two WSOP bracelets so far and you suspect whatever he chose on the EPT if he cared to travel so far to play it. But up until this week a WCOOP title eluded him. It came in Event #33 ($320 8-Game), earning him $34,909.
To do so he had to fend off another player in great form right now, and seemingly always in great form come to think of it, Mikal “mikal12345″ Blomlie.
Blomlie, a former WCOOP Player of the Year from 2012, missed out in the Baker final but bagged his third career WCOOP title. Somehow with Blomlie you get the impression that he makes his way through any tournament with his feet up, on the table, fearless to everything that comes his way.
“I always get motivated and work harder if things are not going my way,” he said. “I can also play most of the games both live and online. So if I’m running bad at one place I can change game or place and get a ‘fresh’ start.”
As far as tournaments go though it was the $10,300 NLHE High Roller that stole the show. With a field of 365 it amassed a prize pool of $3650,000, easily the biggest of the Championship so far.
It also ensured that the winner–vicenfish, from Portugal–would top the list of highest earners, with a first prize of $637,436.88. In fact so big was the event that second placed Ankush “pistons87″ Mandavia went second on the earnings list having secured a $585,313.12 payday (his biggest career cash), with third Mustapha “lasagnaaammm” Kanit behind them, with $392,375. Read the full High Roller report here.
That’s the half way stage gone. But there’s still plenty of action left to come, with 30 more events concluding with the $5,200 Main Event on Sunday September 28, with a guaranteed prize pool of $10,000,000.
For all the details you’ll ever need about tournaments, satellites, statistics and the leader board, go to the WCOOP website. For full coverage of each final table there’s the WCOOP page on the PokerStars Blog
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.
No tournament series ever transpires without a few key moments that stick in the memory and define the championship. It can be one of many things: a quote, a single hand, or just a name. Then there are those players who stand out for their remarkable performances. Such as Scott “Aggro Santos” Margereson, who earlier this week became the first player to win two titles during WCOOP 2014.
Perhaps it says something about those of us on the rail that it takes two WCOOP wins to get our attention, as if winning the first wasn’t a monumental achievement enough. But while we instinctively know that one title is close to impossible, two takes on an almost supernatural quality–thousands of opponents brushed aside with apparent ease, and all in the space of three days.
It may be too early to say that Margereson’s two wins will be the thing we remember most when we look back on WCOOP 2014 (at the time of publication another player had just scored their second title), but it will certainly be one of them. We were all witness to a rare achievement by a player at the start of their poker career.
We spoke to Margereson about his incredible week, one which had an understandable effect of shock on the 21-year-old from Chesterfield, who only a few years ago was sacked from his job washing dishes in a restaurant. It turns out that was probably a good day, leading him to pursue his love of poker. As he put it himself “I haven’t looked back.”
Q. Two wins in a handful of days. Do you have a “can’t lose” feeling at the moment? Should you now just be playing everything you possibly can?!
A. Thanks, I’m extremely happy with both results but I’m not sure the reality has set in for me yet. I didn’t even plan on playing that much of WCOOP but now I think I have to play pretty much every event to try and lock up the leader board.
Q. Can you talk a little about the two wins? How did each tournament play out for you? What were the high points and low points?
A. The first win was a lot more swingy, as it was a turbo. I went into the final table I think second of nine? Quickly gained the chip lead, but then was on the losing end of kings vs. aces which was a low point at the final table, and I think with six left I was in sixth place. I remember being pretty mad at the time, which is understandable as it was one of the biggest final tables I had made in my career. From then a few players made some ICM mistakes to allow me to jump up a couple of spots. I then won a few all-ins and got really lucky to come out winning the event.
The second WCOOP was more smooth sailing. I remember being short around the bubble, and then doubled up a couple of times one way or another after it burst and finished day one coming back with roughly 25 big blinds. As day two started I lost a couple of pots and was down to 15 big blinds straight away, but managed to double up and then cooler another player to double up again, and I was back in it.
From then on I just held in every all-in pot, and was also able to get steals through a lot of the time as most the players were inexperienced at being in this position and were just folding too much.
The final table started badly for me, as I lost half my stack before any bust-outs, meaning that now I had to sit tight and wait for other players to bust. It started to get shorter and shorter stacked and I inevitably coolered come AA vs AK to win a decent sized pot and give me the chip lead, and with the short stacks around this put me in a great position and luckily I was able to close it out.
Q. Can you describe the feeling you got with the first bracelet and how that compared with the second?
A. The feeling of winning the first bracelet was great. I was overjoyed that I had finally got that six figure score, and also leading up to that I was having a bad year in MTTs, so it was a confidence boost as well for me. After winning the second I didn’t really feel much, it just didn’t feel like real life. Twelve hours later its beginning to sink in. I’m just really fortunate to have somehow managed to win two bracelets in one series, particularly in NL hold’em.
Q. For your first win you had a pretty active final table – taking the lead after knocking out two players, then dropping down to the short stack before rallying to win – albeit after nearly losing the heads-up. Is that an accurate description? What was it like to play such a volatile final table?
A. The description is pretty accurate, when you’re at a final table of a turbo you just have to accept that the variance is really high, and whatever happens happens. Even if you’re short in a turbo you’re still not out of the tournament.
Q. You were second in chips for the first final, and chip leader for the second, but they appeared to be two completely different experiences. Is that an accurate way to describe it?
A. Yes the experiences were totally different. I felt much more relaxed at the second final table, as after winning the first event anything was a bonus, and also because the stacks were deeper which suits my game a lot more than when the stacks are shallow.
Q. You must have felt pretty confident heads-up with such a big lead. Is it easy to lose concentration in those spots, or are you still so zoned in until the job is done?
A. I actually feel like having a commanding chip lead going into a heads-up adds pressure slightly. After the deal was made I had received a lot of messages from friends congratulating me, and I kind of lost my focus at the start of the match. It took one of them to tell me to focus as there was still 20k left to play for to really zone in again.
Q. You’re now top of the WCOOP leader board. Will you now be paying close attention to that is it is something you don’t really think about as a player?
A. I think at this point after winning two events almost halfway through the series and being top of the leader board, it would be a huge mistake to not go for the win in it. So you’ll be seeing me in some games which I’m pretty bad at!
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.
Two years ago this week, Jerry “hummylun” Wong was one of eleven players remaining in the WCOOP Main Event and one card away from a double-up that would put him on a 104 big-blind stack. Holding pocket aces against pocket sixes, he was a 95.5% favorite; all he had to dodge were two outs. One million dollars in equity evaporated in an instant when a six hit the river and Wong made a devastating exit, just short of the final table. Remarkably, Wong finished 13th in the WCOOP Main the next year, but that first bracelet was still just out of reach. Wong may not ever get that million in Sklansky bucks back, but tonight he earned a well-deserved victory and finally joined the ranks of WCOOP champions with a win in Event #29 ($320 Limit Badugi).
276 players entered the lone Badugi event of the 2014 WCOOP, their $320 buyins combining to create a, $82,800.00 prize pool. 40 places were paid with first place set to earn $16,146.00. The Red Spade Army had five bannermen in the field: Caio Pessagno, Marcin Horecki, George Danzer, Matthias “Mati312″ Brandner, and Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara. Unfortunately none of them finished in the money. Other notable cashes included Daniel “DazzleO” Ospino (32nd), Greg “DuckU” Hobson (26th), WCOOP TLB contender Mr Negreanu (20th), David “WhooooKidd” Baker (17th), James “Andy McLEOD” Obst (14th), and four-time WCOOP bracelet winner Dan “djk123″ Kelly (13th).
When play went hand for hand on the final table bubble, nine players remained and the betting limits were up to 5,000/10,000. Gieras opened for a raise to 10,000 and H.Oussalé moved all-in for 11,695 from the small blind. RolldUpTrips called from the big and gieras called, making it three ways to the first draw. H.Oussalé stood pat, while RolldUpTrips and gieras each discarded one. RolldUpTrips led out for 5,000 and gieras folded, leaving him heads-up with H.Oussalé. Both players stood pat on the second and third draws. H.Oussalé turned up a 9-8-4-2 badugi, but RolldUpTrips outpipped him with a 9-7-3-2. H.Oussalé hit the rail in ninth place and the final table was set.
Final table chip counts
Seat 1: RolldUpTrips (140,686 in chips)
Seat 2: hummylun (335,415 in chips)
Seat 3: gieras (196,709 in chips)
Seat 4: octane190 (180,384 in chips)
Seat 5: tRaMp$d0PrAy (331,330 in chips)
Seat 6: Pekka3 (49,754 in chips)
Seat 7: adkaf (100,312 in chips)
Seat 8: ihsan89 (45,410 in chips)
ihsan89 exits in eighth place
Ihsan89 chipped up to 80,000 in the early going, but lost half his stack when he rapped pat then bet out on the second draw, only to fold to gieras’s 24,000 raise. Another second-draw fold to adkaf a few hands later left ihsan89 on only 13,000 in chips. Down to only 4,910, ihsan89 moved in on the button, RolldUpTrips raised from the small blind and hummylun called from the big. RolldUpTrips stood pat while hummylun and ihsan89 both drew two. RolldUpTrips led out for 6,000 and hummylun called. On the second draw, RolldUpTrips was pat and both his opponents drew one. Again, RolldUp trips fired out, but hummylun folded to his 12,000 bet. RolldUpTrips rapped pat again on the third draw and ihsan89 drew one card. Ihsan89 missed, revealing a three-card 6-5-3. RolldUpTrips turned over a J-9-8-6 Badugi and sent ihsan89 to the rail in eighth place ($2,070.00).
Adkaf lost a significant chunk of his stack when he doubled up Pekka3. Adkaf stood pat three times with J-T-8-4 Badugi, but Pekka3 made a 9-3-2-A Badugi on the second draw and doubled to 111,500.
Holding 77,500 behind, adkaf three-bet to 21,000 before the first draw and UTG raiser gieras called. Both players drew one card. Gieras bet 7,000 and adkaf called. Gieras and adkaf took another card apiece on the second draw and gieras led out for 14,000. Adkaf called. Gieras was pat on the third draw and adkaf again discarded one. Gieras led out, adkaf raised to 28,000, gieras three-bet to 42,000 and adkaf called off his remaining 7,500 with an 8-6-5-2 Badugi. Unfortunately for him, gieras rolled over a 6-5-2-A Badugi and adkaf was out in seventh place ($2,484.00).
RolldUpTrips fell to 73,500 in chips when he drew one three times and called down tRaMp$dPrAy’s bets on each street. TRaMp$d0PrAy’s J-7-3-A Badugi was good and RolldUpTrips mucked. RollUpTrips couldn’t get any traction after that and with 17,600 remaining, he opened for a raise to 14,000. Gieras called from the small blind and drew one card while RolldUpTrips took two. Gieras bet 7,000 and RolldUpTrips called all-in for 3,600. On the second and third draws, gieras discarded one and RolldUpTrips drew two. While gieras made a J-8-5-4 Badugi, RolldUpTrips showed down a three-card 7-5-2 and ended his run in sixth place ($3,312.00).
Pekka3 picked off
Eight hands later, tRaMp$d0PrAy opened for 14,000 and Pekka3 reraised to 21,000 from the small blind. TRaMp$d0PrAy called and drew two while Pekka3 drew one. Pekka3 led out for 7,000, tRaMp$d0PrAy raised, and the chips kept flying into the pot until the betting was capped at 28,000 apiece and Pekka3 was all-in. Both players took one card on the second and third draws and both whiffed on their Badugis; Pekka turned over a three-card 9-2-A, but it was no match for tRaMp$d0PrAy’s three-card 4-3-2. For fifth place, Pekka3 took home $4,554.00.
gieras gutted in fourth
With the betting limits up to 8,000/16,000, hummylun opened, gieras raised and hummylun capped the betting at 32,000. Gieras called and drew won while hummylun stood pat. Hummylun led out for 8,000 and gieras called off his remaining 1,863 in chips. Gieras discarded one on the second draw and one on the third while hummylun remained pat with his K-Q-9-2 Badugi. Gieras missed his draw and turned up a three-card 8-2-A, sealing his fourth-place elimination ($6,624.00).
octane190 gasses out
When play turned three-handed, tRaMp$d0PrAy led the way with 649,000, hummylun was second with 437,000 and octane190 was the short stack with 294,000.
Octane190 slipped to 191,000 in a three-way pot vs. tRaMp$d0PrAy and hummylun. Octane190 drew two, two and one, but fell to tRaMp$d0PrAy’s 9-6-3-A Badugi. Hummylun peeled another 100k off octane190’s stack when a raising war broke out after the second draw. Hummylun led out, octane190 raised, hummylun three-bet and octane190 called. While hummylun stood pat, octane190 drew one, but folded to hummylun’s 16,000 bet.
Down to 41,768, octane190 called hummylun’s small blind rase and drew two cards. Hummylun also drew two, then led out for 10,000. Octane190 called. Both players took two on the second draw and again, hummylun fired. Octane190 called all-in for 11,768 and drew two more cards. Hummylun discarded one and turned over a three-card 3-2-A. However, octane190 had also missed, and finished with a three-card 6-4-A. For third place, octane190 picked up $9,108.00.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 2: hummylun (660,162 in chips)
Seat 5: tRaMp$d0PrAy (719,838 in chips)
Hummylun chipped away at tRaMp$d0PrAy’s stack and took a slight chip lead when he made a T-6-5-A Badugi on the first draw and got three streets of value. The two kept this match relatively even until tRaMp$d0PrAy went on a rush and won 12 out of 17 hands. He zoomed up to 1.06 million, but hummylun went back to work and steadily whittled him back down. Back up to 606,000 vs tRaMp$d0PrAy’s 774,000, hummylun made a 9-8-7-4 Badugi on the first draw and raised tRaMp$d0PrAy’s lead bet. TRaMp$d0PrAy called and drew one while hummylun stood pat. Hummylun led out again, tRaMp$d0PrAy raised and hummylun called. Both players were pat on the third draw and hummylun check-called another 24,000 to see tRaMp$d0PrAy’s T-8-6-4 Badugi.
Hummylun climbed to 1.3 million in chips and pushed tRaMp$d0PrAy down to 71,000, but he doubled up with a K-Q-4-3 Badugi vs. hummylun’s three-card 9-4-A. Six hands later, hummylun opened for 28,000, tRaMp$d0PrAy raised and hummylun capped it at 56,000. TRaMp$d0PrAy called and drew now while hummylun stood pat. TRaMp$d0PrAy bet his last 8,676 and hummylun quickly called. Hummylun remained pat on the second and third draws while tRaMp$d0PrAy drew one each time. Unfortunately, tRaMp$d0PrAy missed and finished with 4-2-A, while hummylun turned up a K-Q-9-2 Badugi for the win!
Congratulations to Jerry “hummylun” Wong on his first WCOOP title! He banked $16,146 for the win, while runner-up tRaMp$d0PrAy earned $12,006.00.
WCOOP-29: $320 Limit Badugi
Places paid: 40
1. Jerry “hummylun” Wong (Canada) $16,146.00
2. tRaMp$d0PrAy (Mexico) $12,006.00
3. octane190 (Canada) $9,108.00
4. gieras (Poland) $6,624.00
5. Pekka3 (Sweden) $4,554.00
6. RolldUpTrips (Mexico) $3,312.00
7. adkaf (Slovakia) $2,484.00
8. ihsan89 (Germany) $2,070.00
Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.
Sometimes a username becomes something more than just log-in. It becomes a catchword that means a lot more.
Take “Lrslzk” for instance. On screen it looks like a rushed username, created to relieve the owner from thinking of something more meaningful. It could easily have been “plkilfk” or “trtipoi”, the first keys your fingers land on.
But a while ago Lrslzk began winning so often that his username had to be spoken out loud, as well as just read. So the crumped Lrslzk was stretched out with the help of a few vowels, becoming “lars-lu-zack”, quickly entering the poker lexicon.
It would be used often, and still is. Such as now, this weekend after Event #20 of WCOOP, won by Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro*.
Kelopuro already has previous when it comes to ‘COOPs. Winless he was in WCOOP until this weekend perhaps, but he had two SCOOP titles to his name, including the SCOOP 2011 Main Event. He has other stand out performances also, including a Super High Roller appearance in which he made “that fold”, making what seems like an impossible lay down.
But this weekend it was a more aggressive demonstration of his talents. Arriving at the final fourth in chips he would go on to eliminate six of his eight opponents, which historically has proven a pretty good way to win big. Read the full report of Kelopuro’s win to see for yourself.
Elsewhere there were other highlights, including a third WCOOP win for Mikal “mikal12345″ Blomlie.
The Norwegian Blomlie, who was WCOOP Player of the Year in 2012, topped a field of 7,801 to win Event #19, including a final table that featured Timothy Weygang” English, who Blomlie would defeat heads-up to earn a chopped top payout of $109,566.28
We’re now just short of a third of the way through the WCOOP 2014 schedule, with 21 winners so far (there will be 66). There are new events set to start today, as well as the second day of play in three events that began yesterday, with details below.
WCOOP 2014: Event #22 (Sunday Warm-Up Special Edition) $215 NL Hold’em
Prize pool: $1,627,800
Places paid: 1,080
1. Senyorita_K – 2,394,011
2. Danny179 – 2,289,315
3. elmelogno4 – 2,269,682
4. GaryT20 – 2,065,545
5. Dodgers plus – 1,845,638
6. Marwetz – 1,798,485
7. BBR123 – 1,716,450
8. Panohanska — 1,588,323
9. IL BRUTTOO – 1,509,090
10. AAngelODeath – 1,487,120
Beyond the top ten Team Online’s Mickey “mement_mori” Petersen remains in the field with 661,665 chips, good for 54th place. Natalie Hof will also return for Day 2 with 90,431 chips.
WCOOP 2014: Event #23 $10,300 NL Hold’em (8-Max, Re-Entry, High Roller) Entrants: 365
Prize pool: $3,650,000
Places paid: 48
1. T-Macha – 529,852
2. pistons87 – 319,601
3. WCG|Rider – 302,691
4. vicenfish – 294,873
5. WushuTM – 226,549
6. CaLLitARUSH – 219,473
7. lasagnaaammm – 204,792
8. Sauce123 – 200,407
9. OLD TIME GIN – 196,389
10. TryToExploit – 184,972
WCOOP 2014: Event #24 $700 NL Hold’em
Prize pool: $2,272,305
Places paid: 432
1. jenbizzle — 692790
2. yurasov1990 — 636402
3. madalain — 553990
4. talitay — 514941
5. KKremate — 461110
6. AK87 — 436858
7. rh300487 — 412545
8. zangbezan24 — 396483
9. Pollopopeye — 393904
10. SHIPP ITT — 391531
Also returning for the final day are Team PokerStars Pros Johnny Lodden with 215169 chips and Liv Boeree with 30,337 chips. Team Online’s Grzegorz “DaWaraw” Mikielewicz will also be back, returning to a stack of 114,911.
Here’s a look at some of the big stories from the weekend.
Ryan “gutshtallin” Welch on winning his first WCOOP bracelet
WCOOP 2014: akuza84 annihilates hi and low in Event #21 ($320 PLO H/L 6-Max)
Paul Findlay wins UKIPT Series 6 London!
Here are all the results from the PokerStars weekend majors from September 14, 2014.
*Okay, Kelopuro has also played under the more readable “Lars Luzak”.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.
4.05pm: Break time!
A hard-fought four levels are in the bag and the players have stampeded out of the card room to avail themselves of the Hippodrome’s multitudinous facilities. We’ll be back in twenty minutes to resume on level five. See you then!
4.02pm: Exciting exiting
Poker these days is an aggressively played game. Twenty thousand chips is no guarantee you’ll survive the early stages, as the following eliminated players have found out. Good game.
Alexander R Johnson
3.48pm: Winter(bottom) is coming
Patrick Winterbottom looks to be enjoying the early stages of the tournament – maintaining his stack over the opening levels. He just won a medium pot without showdown to push him into profit:
The opening of the hand saw Winterbottom raise to 575 preflop and pick up two callers.
His 1,500 continuation bet on the K♣3♠4♦ board thinned the field further – his opposition reduced to a single combatant before an additional 3,000 barrel on the Q♣ saw even this resistance evaporate – his opponent folding to leave Winterbottom up to 21,500.
3.35pm: Ante-s up!
The introduction of the antes is often a big catalyst for action – those extra chips sweetening the pot in the middle just enough to entice players to fight that bit more fiercely for their ownership.
We could see some blind scuffles breaking out over the next level. Keep ‘em peeled poker fans.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200-25
3.22pm: Early fallers
Some players will be in this for the long haul – others however have failed to make it to the first break.
Here’s some of those who have stumbled over the early hurdles:
Nicholas George Stylianou
Bad luck guys, enjoy your newly-liberated Saturday!
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150
3.05pm: Bank of Sweden
Craig Sweden has lost a few of those chips he made earlier, although he feels like he still has a claim to those lost chips.
“They’re just on loan,” Sweden told his tablemate.
“Any interest or interest free?” his opponent jested back.
“Of course there’s bloody interest!” Sweden thundered, enjoying the early banter at the table.
2.54pm: Mitchell chips up in Ernest
2010 Irish Open winner James Mitchell has had a bright start, picking up a decent pot versus Ernest Jakub Waczkow – without showdown.
Mitchell began the hand opening to 300 preflop, Waczkow calling from the blinds.
The board fell Q♦6♦5♥
Check, 600 from Mitchell, call from Waczkow.
The turned 3♥ saw Mitchell fire a second barrel of 1,100 when his opponent checked – only for Waczkow to spring into action, violently throwing out four 1,000 chips in a suprise check-raise.
Mitchell looked unperturbed, considering a few moments before re-popping to 10,000 himself. Waczkow looked unhappy at this development – rubbing his head several times before surrendering the pot.
Waczkow down to 15,000, Mitchell up to 25,000…
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
2.35pm: Trifonova goes supernova
The brightest stars burn for the shortest time they say. That being the case the star of Madlena Dimitrova Trifonova must be positively incandescent as she has busted out in the opening level.
We joined her exit hand with her having moved all-in on the river of a K♣Q♠K♦9♠T♥ board, holding T♣J♣ for the straight. Her enthusiasm for her hand however was dampened when Craig Sweden made a snap-call – showing her pocket kings for quads.
“Ooohhh,” gushed the table at this stellar holding.
“Very nice,” the polite Trifonova offered as she collected her things and left.
Meanwhile, Sweden is up to a chip-leading 40,000 in level one.
2.26pm: The naming of the shrew-dies
Some of the better-known players to have thrown their hat into the ring today include Full Tilt Poker Ambassador Martins Adeniya – winner of the previous UKIPT Series event, pundit and well-known face on the UK poker scene Carlo Citrone and two-time UKIPT winner Duncan McLellan, a handful for anyone unlucky enough to share his table.
2.16pm: Tournament wizardry
Demand to play this event is high and the poker room is packed with eager players. Despite this however the tournament director Luca has somehow managed to create space around the tables that didn’t exist yesterday. We doff our hat to his mad logistic skills.
2.05pm: Cards in the air
We’re off! Good luck one and all.
1.55pm: Welcome to the Hippodrome – UKIPT Series 6 Day 1B
Yesterday, The Hippodrome Casino saw 163 players arrive to contend the UKIPT Series 6 title, and after 12 lightning-fast levels, this number had been whittled down to just 48 contenders in quicksmart fashion.
Darren Murphy was the man who found himself atop the pile once the sun had set on Day 1A, his 220,300 setting him well apart from his closest contenders.
Click here to see how the rest of the field was arrayed.
Today, for day 1B we expect an even bigger field to be crammed into the playing arena and this opens up the exciting possibilities of even more big pots, shocking developments and general poker drama to play out here in London.
The players will be allocated a generous 20,000 chips to start with but with the blinds set to rise every half hour, that huge stack dwindles faster than you’d think. The last four levels yesterday saw hordes of players streaming to the rail in the latter stages and there’s no reason not to expect a similar maelstrom as today reaches its denouement.
Play is scheduled to start at 2.00pm, we’re close to cards being in the air. All the major developments will be detailed for you here in the blog, but don’t forget to check our twitter (follow @ukipt) and the PokerStars facebook page for further information about how the day is progressing.
Good luck to all the players, it’s going to be an interesting day ahead!
PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT Series 6 – London:Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Neil Stoddart.
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Few poker variants today are as well-known yet little-played as five-card Draw. For those who master it there’s still plenty of money to be won, not to mention gold bracelets during WCOOP. Event #7 came down to one player who had already won a SCOOP watch and a career-high tournament score playing Draw, and another who specializes in the game but had never had a chance to become a COOP champion in it.
The tournament kicked off at 11 a.m. ET today and by the time late registration closed at 2 p.m. it had drawn a field of 433 players. The top 60 finishers all earned a share of the $86,600 prize pool, with $16,757.10 set aside for the winner. It took just under 10 hours for the field to narrow down to the final six players, who sat down to duke it out over the bracelet with blinds and antes at 4K/8K/2K:
Seat 1: micumina (433,875 in chips)
Seat 2: Ce$ar$pa (104,746 in chips)
Seat 3: jon011 (351,684 in chips)
Seat 4: scuel1975 (676,450 in chips)
Seat 5: pimenta7 (285,053 in chips)
Seat 6: ghost crab (313,192 in chips)
There was plenty of Draw cred in the top half of the final table chip counts. Chip leader scuel1975 of Argentina is something of a Draw specialist, with dozens of wins and even more final table cashes in both no-limit and pot-limit varieties of the game. And third-place player Jon011 from Estonia was looking for a second COOP bracelet in no-limit draw, to follow up on a $22,800 heads-up win over Team Online’s George “Jorj95″ Lind in the $1,050 NL Draw tourney during SCOOP 2013.
At the other end of the leaderboard, Ce$ar$pa of the United Kingdom entered the final table with the shortest stack of anybody and watched the blinds and antes take half of it away before a good enough starting hand came around on Hand #11. The U.K. player moved in for 43K on the button and was called by scuel1975 in the big blind. Both players drew three cards, and Ce$ar$pa earned the double-up to 106K with 2♠ 8♥ Q♥ K♦ Q♠ against scuel1975’s K♠ A♦ 9♠ T♣ T♥.
Two consecutive wins an orbit later boosted Ce$ar$pa’s stack upwards of 240K, but by the time Hand #32 arrived the player from the U.K. was down to 84K and opened the action all-in from middle position. scuel1975 shoved for 777K to isolate and succeeded, then drew two cards. Ce$ar$pa took three cards and showed 6♣ A♣ A♥ 5♣ 9♠ for a pair of aces, but scuel1975’s trip tens with 2♣ T♦ T♣ T♠ 8♥ took the 198K-chip pot. That made Ce$ar$pa the first player to exit the table, finishing in 6th place ($2,944.40).
After 23 minutes of play the table had finally been reduced to five. The next elimination would only take half as long to come around, and it did so as the largest hand of the 6K/12K/3K level. ghost crab opened the action with a raise to 25K on the button. Romania’s micumina re-raised that to 60K in the small blind before jon011 moved all-in for 239K in the big blind. ghost crab folded, but micumina called with the tournament on the line. Both players drew just one card, and jon011 showed down 3♦ K♣ 7♦ K♠ 7♠ for two pair, kings and sevens. micumina had been one card away with a flush but didn’t get there with T♥ A♠ 8♥ K♥ 4♥, eliminating the Romanian player in 5th place ($4,589.80).
The long haul
Four-handed play began with the chips as equitably distributed as they would be for the rest of the tournament:
Seat 3: jon011 (469,238 in chips)
Seat 4: scuel1975 (732,167 in chips)
Seat 5: pimenta7 (431,303 in chips)
Seat 6: ghost crab (532,292 in chips)
scuel1975 applied continuous pressure and chipped up to 939K over the rest of the hour, while jon011 and ghost crab made small gains and Brazil’s pimenta7 trended steadily downward. By 10:16 p.m. ET the Brazilian was down to 148K and moved all-in from the button before the draw. ghost crab called in the small blind and both players drew one card; each showed down two pair, but ghost crab’s 3♣ 3♦ K♥ 2♦ 2♠ couldn’t top 5♣ 4♥ 5♥ 2♣ 4♦ and pimenta7 doubled to 325K. ghost crab was able to get all those lost chips back over the next few orbits, though, and pimenta7 was left with less than 10 big blinds on the 8K/16K/4K level.
At 10:17 p.m. ET, scuel1975 opened for 32K on the button and pimenta7 moved all-in for 125K from the small blind. ghost crab gave up the big blind and scuel1975 called, then drew two cards. pimenta7 also drew two cards, showing down J♣ K♣ J♦ 4♦ Q♣ for a pair of jacks. scuel1975 had that beaten with K♥ 7♣ K♠ K♦ 2♠ for trip kings, knocking pimenta7 out in 4th place ($6,408.40).
An Argentinian-Estonian-Russian standoff
scuel1975 now had an even larger lead than the Argentinian player had opened the final table with:
Seat 3: jon011 (568,559 in chips)
Seat 4: scuel1975 (1,258,115 in chips)
Seat 6: ghost crab (338,326 in chips)
There were few significant pots as all three players were stacked deep enough to play small and wait for an opening. scuel1975 had a chance to knock ghost crab out on the 10K/20K/5K level after being dealt jacks and tens and drawing one card, but ghost crab’s 2♥ 8♦ 2♠ 2♣ A♠ after drawing two was good for the 385K-chip pot.
The first major shift in play came on the 12.5K/25K level when 11 of 13 hands went to ghost crab, including pots worth 331K (with a jack-high flush), 223K (nines and sevens), and 286K (kings and eights). That took the Russian player up to 1.34M as the third break of the final table began, ahead of jon011’s 470K and scuel1975’s 353K and in full possession of the initiative.
But things eventually shifted back, starting at 11:12 p.m. ET when scuel1975 raised to 50K on the button and ghost crab called in the small blind. Both players discarded three, then ghost crab check-called a bet of 150K. The Russian player mucked when scuel1975 turned up 8♦ T♥ T♣ T♦ 7♦ for trip tens, good for the 443K-chip pot.
ghost crab took down the next four pots in a row to climb back over 1.2M, and then scuel1975 and jon011 finally ran into one another in a big pot before the draw on the second hand of the 15K/30K/7.5K level. jon011 opened the betting with a raise to 60K before scuel1975 moved all-in for 332K. jon011 called and both players drew three cards apiece. jon011 turned over K♦ 3♦ T♥ K♠ J♣ for a pair of kings. scuel1975 showed the other two kings but had two queens to match, winning the 717K-chip pot with K♣ 9♦ Q♦ Q♣ K♥.
That left jon011 with 205K, or just under seven big blinds, but the next major action came six hands later between the two big stacks. scuel1975 opened in the small blind for 60K and then called ghost crab’s re-raise to 120K. The Argentinian player discarded one card and then led out for 131K. ghost crab, who had drawn two cards, raised that to 270K with 3♦ 2♠ 6♦ 7♦ Q♦ for queen-high, but the bluff went south when scuel1975 tabled A♠ 2♦ A♦ 2♣ 8♠ for aces up. That gave scuel1975 the 802K in the middle and the chip lead with 1.27M.
jon011, meanwhile, was down to 70K. The Estonian and past SCOOP Draw champ survived all-in on the next hand after discarding four and coming up with a pair of kings to top the pair of tens ghost crab had been dealt before the draw. Two hands later, the same two players were dealt pairs before the draw and failed to improve after discarding three each. But this time ghost crab had T♣ 3♥ 8♠ Q♥ 8♦ for eights against jon011’s 2♣ 8♥ K♥ 2♥ A♥ for deuces, sending jon011 to the rail in 3rd place ($9,309.50).
Heads-up for the bracelet
After 12 hours and 17 minutes of poker, these two players were the only ones left:
Seat 4: scuel1975 (1,279,706 in chips)
Seat 6: ghost crab (885,294 in chips)
The duo split the first six pots heads-up before scuel1975 limped on the button and called ghost crab’s raise to 90K in the big blind. ghost crab discarded just one, while scuel1975 drew three. ghost crab led for 90K after the draw but folded when scuel1975 tripled that bet, giving scuel1975 the 375K chips in the middle. On the next hand, the Argentinian took down a 315K-chip pot uncontested after playing the role of three-bettor from the big blind, discarding three, and continuing the action after the draw.
That sequence gave scuel1975 1.6M chips to ghost crab’s 555K, and scuel1975 stayed on the attack, whittling the Russian’s stack to 300K before ghost crab called an all-in before the draw with a pair of kings. scuel1975 also drew three cards and ended up with Q♥ 9♠ T♥ 8♦ K♣ for king-high, giving ghost crab a double to 600K.
scuel1975 stayed on the offensive, and 15 hands later ghost crab was calling all-in for just 180K. The Russian had a great chance to double, discarding just two and showing Q♦ Q♣ 8♥ 7♦ Q♠ for three of a kind. scuel1975 drew one card and hit, showing J♥ 6♥ 3♥ A♥ 2♥ for the ace-high heart flush. That was good for the 436K-chip pot, and after 35 hands in 10 minutes of heads-up poker, the tournament came to a close.
Twelve and a half hours after starting the tournament, ghost crab had walked away the runner-up with a $12,427.10, the largest score of the Russian player’s tournament career here at PokerStars by nearly $4,700. And scuel1975, the Argentinian Draw specialist with so many past wins and final table cashes, earned a career-best $16,757.10 prize, and the prestige of a WCOOP bracelet. Congratulations to both players on their big days at the Draw table!
WCOOP 2014: Event #7, $215 No-Limit 5-Card Draw
$86,600 prize pool
60 places paid
1st place: scuel1975 (Argentina) $16,757.10
2nd place: ghost crab (Russia) $12,427.10
3rd place: jon011 (Estonia) $9,309.50
4th place: pimenta7 (Brazil) $6,408.40
5th place: micumina (Romania) $4,589.80
6th place: Ce$ar$pa (United Kingdom) $2,944.40
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.
You hear that? No, not that. That’s my kid breaking things. The other thing. Yes, that. That is the sound of the World Championship of Online Poker. It’s just a little more than two weeks away.
There will be 66 final tables this year, and we’re looking forward to all of them. So, today we thought we would psych ourselves up with a little blast from the past.
Today, we’re having a look back at the 2011 WCOOP $2,100 HORSE event. The final table was insane, featuring the likes of Bryn Kenney, Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko, Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, A1Jags, p3rc4, Operga, turataika, and mitdadu.
If you remember the event, you might remember how it turned out. If you don’t remember it, you can read this wrap up from the tournament.
Or, if you want to go in fresh with no spoilers, here’s the final table show form PokerStars.tv.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging