The Poker Stars World Championship of Online Poker
event No. 4, the no-limit hold'em match play tournament, was about as surprising and record breaking an event as Poker Stars could have hoped for. The first landmark was achieved when the tournament hit its maximum number of entries well before the tournament started.
With 2,048 participants, the match play event had twice as many players as last year's WCOOP
. That many players also meant the eventual winner had to emerge triumphant from 11 heads-up matches to claim the top $69,632 prize. It also meant that 256 players would claim a piece of the $409,600 prize pool, a prize pool that again managed to beat Poker Stars' original guaranteed pool of $300,000, after three successful matches.
The most interesting moments, appropriately enough, took place at the final table. As soon as spawng and k-knuts sat down for their 11th heads-up match, it was pointed out that they were from the same mid-sized Canadian city, Kelowna, British Columbia. An impressive feat for two Kelownans to reign supreme over 2,048 entrants from around the world.
The final table got even more exciting when spawng took the title to claim his second WCOOP
bracelet to become the first-ever two-time winner of the online tournament series.
Read on for a breakdown of the eliminations from the final eight heads-up matches, including one match that lasted just one minute and six seconds:
The first elimination came relatively quickly when Piquette raised all in on a flop of 7
and was called by his opponent, Beatiful Man. Piquette flipped up J
for top pair while Beatiful Man showed pocket sixes for a flopped set. The 9
came on the turn and the 7
on the river, giving Piquette trip sevens, but filling up a boat for Beatiful Man to eliminate Piquette in eighth.
In another quarterfinals match, Bettishldum min-raised preflop and was called by his opponent, YdotheyPLAY. The flop came Q
, prompting YdotheyPLAY to check. Bettishldum pushed all in for over three-and-a-half times the pot and was called by YdotheyPLAY. Bettishldum showed his likely beaten holecards, pocket threes. YdotheyPLAY turned over 10
for a slow-played straight to take the pot and eliminate Bettishldum from the tournament.
The second-to-last elimination of the quarterfinals had Purr Of Aces shove the last few chips of his very short stack in preflop against his opponent, k-knuts. K-knuts showed 6
and Purr Of Aces flipped Q
for a dominating hand and the lead. The flop put A
on the board, giving k-knuts an incredible lead with a pair and a flush draw. The turn was the 2
, leaving Purr Of Aces with only the two non-club queens as outs to win the hand. The river was the 4
to seal the deal and eliminate Purr Of Aces in sixth.
In the match between Sirens and spawng, both players decided in the chatbox to take a 25 percent stake in each other. This turned out to be a great deal for Sirens, who was knocked out when his two pair, jacks and threes, went against spawng's two pair, jacks and threes with a better kicker. Sirens was eliminated from the match, but had a vested interest in spawng going all the way.
Spawng showed Sirens that he didn't intend to let him down when he took out his next opponent, Beatiful Man, in a five-hand match that lasted just one minute and six seconds. After a raise and reraise on a flop of A
, Beatiful Man finally pushed all of his chips in the middle. Spawng called and showed A
for trip aces. Beatiful Man was beat when he flipped up 6
for two pair and would need to hit runners to stay alive. The turn and river, 2
, didn't improve Beatiful Man's hand, and he was eliminated in fourth.
Spawng had to wait and watch for almost an hour before the last elimination of the semifinals took place. YdotheyPLAY raised all in preflop and was called by her opponent k-knuts. K-knuts gave YdotheyPLAY the worst news she could get at that point when he flipped up pocket aces. YdotheyPLAY would have to play catchup with her K
. The flop turned bad news to good as it came K
, giving YdotheyPLAY top two pair. The turn reversed the mood once again when it paired the board with the 3
to give k-knuts a better two pair. The J
on the river sealed YdotheyPLAY's fate and she was sent to the rail in third.
Now it was spawng and k-knuts, the two Canadians from Kelowna and the one previous WCOOP
winner in their final heads-up match. Early in the match, the two decided to make a deal to split the money except for $10,000 and play for that and the coveted 14-karat gold WCOOP
bracelet. The match had lasted just over 20 minutes as the final hand was dealt. After a raise and a reraise preflop, spawng pushed all in on a flop of 9
, having k-knuts covered. K-knuts opted to call and showed 10
for top pair, while spawng flipped up pocket kings for the lead. The turn came out the K
to put the nail in k-knuts' coffin and the J
on the river gave the pot and the title to spawng.
Spawng took home $58,248 and the bracelet for his win, his second in as many years. His first bracelet was won in the 2005 WCOOP
Event No. 13, the pot-limit Omaha tournament. K-knuts took home a still-respectable $48,248 for his win after the final table deal.
The final standings are as follows:
spawng - $58,248
k-knuts - $48,248
YdotheyPLAY - $22,528
Beatiful Man - $22,528
Sirens - $11,264
Purr of Aces - $11,264
Bettishldum - $11,264
Piquette - $11,264