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Online Poker: TheV0id Wins PokerStars WCOOP Main Event

Team PokerStars Member Vanessa 'Lady Maverick' Rousso Finishes in Third Place

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The 2007 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is now over. After 23 huge events with combined prize pools of more than $24 million and more than 40,000 total entries, just 23 players can claim to have won one of the coveted gold WCOOP bracelets.

And only one player can claim both a bracelet and more than $1 million - the winner of the main event. The main event lasted for almost 22 hours to become one of the longest (if not the longest) tournament in PokerStars history. It would also become the largest prize pool in PokerStars history and the first-ever $1 million-plus tournament payday for the site.

Read on below to see how the main event went down as well as to see how events No. 19-22 panned out.


Event No. 23 - $2,600 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event

The main event of the 2007 PokerStars WCOOP went well beyond expectations. The no-limit hold'em event, which concluded the 23-event series, had a buy-in of $2,500 (with $100 entry fee) and a $5 million-guaranteed prize pool. The event had 2,998 entrants, which meant that the tournament had almost $2.5 million more in the prize pool than guaranteed, at $7,495,000. That prize pool offered a first-place prize of almost $1.4 million if the final table went without a chop. (Last year's WCOOP main event also had a first-place prize of more than $1 million, but the prize money was chopped, and eventual winner J.C. "area23JC" Tran actually earned a little less than $700,000.)

A huge number of notable players made it deep into the tournament, including Scott "BigRiskky" Clements (12th, for $41,223), Marco "NoraFlum" Johnson (14th, for $41,223), James "jcamby33" Campbell (22nd, for $32,229), Haralabos "coltranedog" Voulgaris (33rd, for $24,734), and Bernard "Dogger9" Lee (41st, for $24,734), just to name a few.

Vanessa 'LadyMaverick' Rousso When it got down to the final table, a member of Team PokerStars was still alive with Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso. She initially sat with $2.5 million as the table's short stack. Mpg1000 was the chip leader at the time, with an overwhelming $18.8 million compared to ka$ino's second-place stack of just $8.9 million.

In the first elimination hand, Fischer80 got all in preflop with pocket jacks and was called by ka$ino, who held pocket kings. The flop was mixed news when it came K-Q-10, giving ka$ino a set of kings to further his lead, but leaving Fischer80 with an open-end straight draw. Fischer80 missed his draw, however, and was out in ninth place ($59,960).

Before the next elimination hand, both LadyMaverick and ka$ino began to vacuum up chips. LadyMaverick was no longer on the danger zone and ka$ino had succeeded in taking over the chip lead from mpg1000.

Mao15 was the next to go when he open-pushed all in with pocket eights. TheV0id called with a dominating pocket kings and proceeded to take mao15 out in eighth place, for $103,431.

LadyMaverick's rollercoaster chip stack then dipped back down, but she managed to survive through another elimination hand. E-Daddie got all in preflop holding a dominated A-Q versus HelmetSky's big slick. The A-K held up and E-Daddie collected $163,391 for seventh place.

The next time a dominated ace got all in preflop versus a dominating opponent, the result would not be the same. Nitbuster called all in preflop with A-Q and was likely happy to see TheV0id's A-J. Happy, that is, until the board brought a jack to reverse the domination. Nitbuster failed to catch up and was sent to the rail with $232,345 in sixth place.

An unexpected preflop raise-fest resulted in mpg1000 all in with a considerably big stack versus the chip leader, ka$ino. Ka$ino showed A-K and mpg1000 held a dominated K-Q. Ka$ino avoided a four-flush, which would have given mpg1000 the hand, and took his opponent out in fifth place ($307,295).

HelmetSky was railward-bound next when he got all in preflop with pocket queens in a classic race versus TheV0id's A-K. An ace on the turn gave the hand to TheV0id, and HelmetSky left the table in fourth place with $382,245.

LadyMaverick showed that she was a tenacious survivor during this final table, but she could not survive into heads-up play. She slow-played a flopped two pair to the river, which put out a third spade. She finally made her move here, only to find her all in called by ka$ino, who held 9 2 for a flush. She was eliminated in third place ($463,941).

It was now heads up, and ka$ino held a huge chip lead with nearly 75 percent of the chips in play. The heads-up match lasted for quite a while, and TheV0id initially closed the chip-gap in a two-pair-versus-higher-two-pair hand that left both players with around $30 million in chips. The two players' stacks peaked and dipped numerous times before getting back to even again, and the two players decided to save $150,000 from the first-place prize for second place, making the new payouts $1,228,331 for first place and $850,783 for second place.

The tournament had now beaten out event No. 5 (which lasted 20.5 hours) as possibly the longest PokerStars tournament of all time, having been running for 22 hours. The two-way deal also ensured that the first-place finisher would receive the largest tournament payout in PokerStars history, the site's first payout of more than $1 million. The two players were still relatively close in chips before the final hand, with TheV0id holding a small lead.

TheV0id raised preflop, ka$ino reraised, TheV0id pushed all in, and ka$ino called instantly and showed A K. TheV0id was in trouble with a dominated K Q. The flop came J 10 3, keeping ka$ino in the lead, but giving TheV0id some hope with an open-end straight draw (minus ka$ino's ace). The turn paired the board but the river was the 9, completing TheV0id's straight giving him the hand. TheV0id closed out the tournament to become a millionaire and the proud owner of a shiny gold WCOOP bracelet.

The final hand of the 2007 WCOOP main event, TheV0id rivers a straight to eliminate ka$ino

The final results were:
  1. TheV0id - $1,228,330.50 *
  2. ka$ino - $850,782.50 *
  3. Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso - $463,940.50
  4. HelmetSky - $382,245
  5. mpg1000 - $307,295
  6. nitbuster - $232,345
  7. E-Daddie - $163,391
  8. mao15 - $103,431
  9. Fischer80 - $59,960
* Payout reflects a two-way save of $150,000 for second place (meaning $150,000 was taken from whoever finished first for the second-place finisher).


Event No. 22 - $1,050 Limit Hold'em

High-stakes limit hold'em players rejoiced when the $1,000 buy-in (with $50 entry fee) limit hold'em tournament for the WCOOP first got underway on Saturday night. The $200,000-guaranteed prize pool turned into an actual prize pool of more than triple that, $616,000, when 616 limit players opted to put their money where their mouths were.

Scott 'emptyseat88' Fischman Of those 616 entrants, only 90 would walk away richer than they were before. Among those who cashed deep in the event but failed to make the final table were Noah "Exclusive" Boeken (11th, for $4,004), Terry "Asiandude77" Eischens (13th, for $4,004), James "mig.com" Mackey (24th, for $3,080), and Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso (25th, for $3,080), who has been showing her online poker chops lately by also finishing deep in the WCOOP main event (read above).

Mike "Sowerss" Sowers was the chip leader when the final table began and he was accompanied by notable pros Scott "emptyseat88" Fischman and Joe "BUTCH ACIDY" Cassidy and prominent Internet player Matt "plattsburgh" Vengrin. When it got down to threehanded play, Sowerss and plattsburgh were still in the running, along with jumper17 (Austrian pro Markus Golser).

Plattsburgh made his exit from the table when he got all in preflop with Q J and wound up in a race versus jumper17's pocket sevens. The sevens held up and plattsburgh earned $56,056 for third place.

Jumper17 had a slight chip lead going into heads-up play, but it was close enough that the two players decided to do a by-the-chips chop. Jumper17 was guaranteed $109,000 and Sowerss secured himself $102,000. Per the PokerStars chopping rules, $18,000 was left on the line for the eventual winner.

The heads-up battle lasted an hour and forty minutes before a victor was crowned, with the chip lead swapping hands numerous times over the course of the match. Sowerss had the lead and the winning hand in the final hand of the tournament when he made a straight to best jumper17's mid-pair. Sowerss collected the extra $18,000 to put his total winnings at $120,185. He also earned a gold WCOOP bracelet for his win, a prize for which he expressed great interest in obtaining.

The final results were:
  1. Mike "Sowerss" Sowers - $120,184.95 *
  2. Markus "jumper17" Golser - $108,967.05 *
  3. Matt "plattsburgh" Vengrin - $56,056
  4. drbk2 - $43,120
  5. Scott "emptyseat88" Fischman - $35,112
  6. DEVIRUS - $27,720
  7. Joe "BUTCH ACIDY" Cassidy - $20,328
  8. Hansa.no - $13,552
  9. der Falk - $8,008
* Payout reflects a two way by-the-chips chop with $18,000 going to the eventual winner, per the PokerStars chopping rules.


Event No. 21 - $5,200 H.O.R.S.E.

The H.O.R.S.E. event in the WCOOP was comparable to the H.O.R.S.E. event of the World Series of Poker in that it had a $5,000 buy-in - astronomical by Internet poker tournament buy-in standards and the largest buy-in tournament in the WCOOP by double that of its next-closest competitor (that of the main event). The high buy-in would ensure a small but (theoretically) very skilled field of players looking to prove their worth in the five different poker variants of H.O.R.S.E.: hold'em, Omaha, razz, seven-card stud, and seven-card stud eight-or-better.

Nick 'TheTakeover' Schulman The tournament, held on Saturday, had a guaranteed prize pool of $500,000 but actually generated a prize pool of $885,000 when 177 entrants bought in. Only 24 places paid in the event, and some notable players who finished in the money included Nick "TheTakeover" Schulman (14th, for $14,603), "Andy McLEOD" (15th, for $14,603; currently No. 4 in the Card Player Online Player of the Year standings), Gary "p10ker" Jones (17th, for $7,611), Iftarii (19th, for $7,611), and TheActionKid (21st, for $7,611).

Hairos was the chip leader when it got down to the final table, and he was still leading in chips when it was down to threehanded play. He had $772,000 in chips compared to svesken in second place with $589,000 and tj_trail in third with $409,000.

Tj_trail eventually made his way from the table in a razz round when he found himself all in with a 10-low versus the 6-low of svesken. He pocketed $103,988 for third place.

Svesken broke into $1 million chips with that elimination hand and was leading versus hairos' $714,000. The two stacks then evened out relatively quickly and the two players decided to chop up the prize pool evenly, with $26,000 remaining on the line for the eventual winner, per the PokerStars chopping rules.

Hairos had started the final table as the chip leader, and he aimed to finish it that way when he plugged away to regain the lead and eventually snuff out svesken. Hairos collected the extra $26,000 to put his total winnings at $202,921. He also earned a gold WCOOP bracelet for his trouble.

The final results were:
  1. hairos - $202,921 *
  2. svesken - $176,921 *
  3. tj_trail - $103,987.50
  4. BOBALOB - $71,685
  5. Cordelia - $55,755
  6. ROXY24 - $41,595
  7. BUS02 - $31,860
  8. TwinkleStar - $22,567.50
* Payout reflects a two-way even chop with $26,000 left on the table for the eventual winner, per the PokerStars chopping rules.


Event No. 20 - $530 No-Limit Hold'em Triple Shootout

The no-limit hold'em shootout is the tournament of choice for single-table sit-and-go enthusiasts. To win a triple shootout, you must win three single-table tournaments in a row, a very respectable task, indeed. Event No. 20 of the WCOOP, a $500 buy-in (with $30 entry fee) no-limit hold'em triple shootout, was held on Friday and had 729 entrants, enough to fill 81 tables for the first round of single-table tournament action. The tournament had a prize pool of $364,500.

Dario Minieri The winners of the first tables were guaranteed at least $1,640 for their accomplishments. A few notable table-winners (among many) included James "mig.com" Mackey, Scott "emptyseat88" Fischman, Eric "thanksb" Froehlich, Scott "stpauli111" Hall (who did an exclusive interview for CardPlayer.com on Sunday, which can be read here), Dario "Dariominieri" Minieri, Aaron "AaronBeen" Been, and Matt "All_in_at420" Stout.

When it got down to the final table, the remaining nine players had assured themselves at least $3,645 for defeating their second final table in a row and were gunning for as much as $76,545 for first place. "Dumping"KGB, a prominent Internet player and an early chip leader at this final table, eventually fizzled out and busted in fourth place when his A-10 failed to improve fersus Zock'n'Rock's pocket queens. He earned $27,048 for fourth place.

Play was now threehanded, and Zock'n'Rock (who has made numerous final tables in OPOY-qualified events) had a good-sized chip lead versus Adam "AJunglen7"Junglen (a previous winner of the PokerStars Sunday Million in July this year) and lyerly_ a notable player in his own right.

AJunglen7 eventually slipped into third place and his all-in push with A-9 was called by lyerly_, who held pocket tens. The tens held up and AJunglen7 made $36,450 for third place.

Zock'n'Rock had a more than 3-2 chip lead over lyerly_ going into heads-up play. Lyerly_ managed to pull into the lead, but he then experienced an Internet poker player's worst nightmare when his Internet connection went out with tens of thousands of dollars on the line. Zock'n'Rock did the respectable thing and asked the tournament staff to pause the tournament to await lyerly_'s return, which is something that he was not obligated to do. With so much money on the line, he could have quickly stolen blind after blind from lyerly_ until lyerly_ busted out of the tournament, but he chose the honorable path.

That choice may have earned him more respect, but it certainly didn't earn him more money. Lyerly_ held pocket sevens and called when Zock'n'Rock pushed all in with 6-3. The sevens held up and Lyerly_ won the event, $76,545, and a gold WCOOP bracelet.

The final results were:
  1. lyerly_ - $76,545
  2. Zock'n'Rock - $51,050
  3. Adam "AJunglen7" Junglen - $36,450
  4. "Dumping"KGB - $27,337.50
  5. pannipha - $20,047.50
  6. Danny "THE__D__RY" Ryan - $14,580
  7. Nutedawg - $10,206
  8. adotlee - $6,561
  9. Cobra234 - $3,645


Event No. 19 - $530 Pot-Limit Omaha

The $300,000-guaranteed $500 buy-in (with $30 entry fee) pot-limit Omaha event of the WCOOP, held on Friday, found 1,046 entrants to build a prize pool of $523,000. Those entrants were vying for a first-place prize of $112,445. Prominent Internet player iacog4 (aka kice32) made it deep in the tournament before eventually busting in 18th place, earning $3,400.

When it got down to the final table, buck21 was the chip leader with and Taknapotin (currently in 10th place on the OPOY leader board) was very close behind in second. Taknapotin wouldn't last too long, however, as he was the first player to be eliminated from the tournament after losing two huge pots. He earned $6,015 for ninth place.

Buck21 was still aline when it got down to head-up play. He had a more than 2-1 chip advantage versus Gu Minda, but after Gu Minda succeeded in closing a large portion of that gap, he decided to allow dealmaking discussions. Buck21 left those discussions guaranteed $81,262 and Gu Minda secured $77,053. There was still $16,000 on the line for the eventual winner, per the PokerStars chopping rules.

Buck21 then managed to regain his chip lead. In the final hand, he turned a Broadway straight when Gu Minda had turned an unfortunate two pair. Gu Minda got all of his chips in the pot and buck21 called and raked in the final pot when the river put out a blank. Buck21 snagged the extra money to put his total winnings at $97,262. He also snagged the gold WCOOP bracelet for his win.

The final results were:
  1. buck21 - $97,262 *
  2. Gu Minda - $77,053 *
  3. muzzu - $41,840
  4. tralaira - $33,472
  5. Danny "cpfactor" Smith - $26,934.50
  6. villepn - $20,397
  7. Egar1m - $15,167
  8. Niiiv - $10,460
  9. Taknapotin - $6,014.50
* Payout reflects a two-way deal made at the final table with $16,000 left on the table for the eventual winner, per the PokerStars chopping rules.


For recaps of the previous events in the series, please follow these links:

Events No. 1-5
Event No. 6
Event No. 7
Event No. 8
Event No. 9
Events No. 10-14
Event No. 15
Event No. 16
Event No. 17
Event No. 18

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