The last few WCOOP titles of 2017 are being claimed today and tomorrow — the final opportunities for those who haven’t done so already to capture one.
In Event #77-H, a $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold’em event given the “Sunday Kickoff Special Edition” appellation, there were 1,238 hopefuls taking part with an idea of claiming one of those coveted titles. But in the end OverTheTop43 — who already achieved one first-place finish this series — denied them all, securing a second WCOOP title of 2017 and third ‘COOP title overall.
OverTheTop43 earned a huge $193,318.63 for the feat, one that punctuated two long days of poker and a fairly epic heads-up battle. The red spade brigade was represented at this final table, too, as Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari finished seventh.
That big field meant the prize pool totaled $1,238,000, well over twice the event’s $500K guarantee. The top 161 got paid, with the money bubble bursting during the evening portion of Sunday’s first day of play.
Just 98 made it through Day 1, with the one and only Mustapha “lasagnaaammm” Kanit — winner of the 2015 Spring Championship of Online Poker Main Event (“High”) (among many other live and online events) — way out in front with overnight chip lead.
Among the others still in the hunt and well above the average was Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari in sixth position, and the Brazilian was up early and ready to rumble when play resumed early Monday morning.
Será que mais alguém mete samba no último volume as 9 da manhã?
— andre akkari (@aakkari) September 25, 2017
For non-Portuguese speakers, the question is “I wonder if anybody else put samba at full volume the 9 A.M.?”
After an hour on Day 2 a third of the returners were gone, with Kanit still well in front and Akkari still on the front page of the leaderboard. Two hours later just 37 remainined, with Kanit having slipped to second position in the counts while B4NKR0LL3R, onlymtt748, then OvertheTop43 took turns leading. Akkari was still there, too, a little below the average in 20th position.
Two hours more and Kanit and Akkari were both on short stacks with 23 remaining and Victor “vitinhorrn15” Pedote out in front. Alas for Kanit, he’d soon be out in 23rd ($7,235.86) when his ace-king couldn’t outrun OvertheTop43’s pocket jacks.
Soon they were down to 18, with Akkari back up above the average and his fellow Brazilian Pedote still leading. QuadVQuadMe (18th) next fell, earning $7,235.86. Then JohnyK91 (17th), Sr.Rouquinho (16th), IMS DURNK (15th), and ZeelandBoy (14th) were successively eliminated, each earning $9,208.61.
Ben “1Don’tStop1” Heath (13th), iamivar (12th), Adrianobf (11th), and finally vip25459 (10th) next went out to earn $11,719.27 apiece.
With MonsieurRask — winner of a $1,050 NLHE WCOOP event one year ago — the new chip leader with more than 13 million and Akkari one of three Brazilians among the final nine, the final table was underway.
Seat 1: Am4ranth (Poland) — 4,733,522
Seat 2: OverTheTop43 (Austria) — 6,256,676
Seat 3: Team PokerStars Pro Andre “aakkari” Akkari (Brazil) — 7,419,880
Seat 4: Victor “vitinhorrn15” Pedote (Brazil) — 2,573,607
Seat 5: blackaces93 (Poland) — 7,399,186
Seat 6: Rodrigo “digopapel” Semeghini (Brazil) — 9,376,981
Seat 7: onlymtt748 (China) — 8,946,008
Seat 8: Gandalf MR (United Kingdom) — 1,815,820
Seat 9: MonsieurRask (United Kingdom) — 13,378,320
Less than an orbit in, vitinhorrn15 min-raised from middle position, then Gandalf MR three-bet shoved for 1.34 million total from the small blind. It folded back to vitinhorrn15 who called with 10♣10♠. Gandalf MR had A♣K♠, and an eight-high board brought no improvement to knock Gandalf MR out in ninth.
It took almost exactly two hours more for the knockout to come, during which time MonsieurRask went from being the biggest stack at the table to the shortest.
All those chips went in the middle preflop from under the gun when MonsieurRask open-shoved for 1.81 million (about nine big blinds) with A♥K♥ and was called by OverTheTop43 who had 8♣8♠. The board brought no aces, kings, or other favorable combinations for the at-risk player and MonsieurRask took eighth.
It wasn’t long after that when Akkari found himself down to about 3.1 million or just over 12 big blinds), and when given the chance decided to open-shove from the small blind with A♦9♠ only to get looked up by Victor “vitinhorrn15” Pedote sitting next door with A♣10♥.
The flop came 6♦10♦3♠ to pair Pedote’s kicker, then the 9♦ turn paired Akkari’s to give him the slimmest of hopes. But the river was the 7♥ and the samba music was over. Akkari was out in seventh, with lots of “gg”‘s filling the chat box as he departed.
They were nearing the end of the day’s 10th hour of poker when onlymtt748 open-jammed from early position for almost 3.6 million (about 12 BBs) with A♠J♣ and got called by blackaces93 waiting in the big blind with Q♦Q♠. The 2♥2♠6♠10♦10♥ board kept the queens in front, and onlymtt748 was out in sixth — another nice finish after taking runner-up in Event #33-H ($530 PLO, 4-max.).
They reached the next top-of-the-hour break, then soon after blackaces93 min-raised from the cutoff, Am4ranth jammed from the small blind for almost 5.2 million (not quite 9 BBs), and blackaces93 called. Am4ranth had a pair with 7♣7♥, but blackaces93 had better with 10♣10♦, and a six-high board didn’t improve Am4ranth who finished fifth.
About 10 minutes later the blinds were up to 175,000/375,000 when Victor “vitinhorrn15” Pedote min-raised from the button, Rodrigo “digopapel” Semeghini three-bet all in for almost 8.3 million from the big blind, and Pedote called, turning over A♥K♠ to Semeghini’s A♣Q♣. Five cards later — 5♣J♦5♥10♦8♠ — they were down to three.
Seven hands after that the blinds were the same when blackaces93 open-pushed from the button for almost 5.4 million with 2♠2♥ and Pedote chose to call from the big blind with A♣9♣, The 4♣4♥J♣ flop was safe for blackaces93, but the 10♣ turn filled a flush for Pedote. A few river outs could still save the day for blackaces93, but the 3♣ on fifth street meant a third-place finish.
OverTheTop43 had a slight chip edge to start heads-up play with 31,911,857 to Pedote’s 29,988,143 (a little over 45 BBs vs. not quite 43 BBs).
The deal topic came up briefly, but OverTheTop43 — who as noted won a SCOOP title in a $1,050 NLHE event in 2013 and a WCOOP title this year in Event #22-H ($530 NLHE) — said “let’s play a bit first” and that’s just what they did.
They played “a bit” all right. Almost two-and-a-half hours, to be exact (!).
OverTheTop43 built up an advantage early in heads-up play and maintained it much of the way, though Victor “vitinhorrn15” Pedote did scrape back to enjoy the lead for a time.
At the two-hour mark of their heads-up duel they were almost exactly even, at which point there was some talk of a possible even split of the remaining prize money (leaving a little for which to play). But no deal was struck and the pair played on, with OverTheTop43 eventually building up over 46.7 million to Pedote’s 15.1 million.
That’s when OverTheTop43 min-raised to 1.4 million, Pedote called, and the pair saw a flop come J♣2♠9♥. Pedote check-called a continuation bet of 981,750 from OverTheTop43, then checked again after the 6♥ turn. OverTheTop43 bet 2,863,100 this time, and Pedote called once more.
The river brought the 6♣ and one last check from Pedote. OverTheTop43 shoved this time, and Pedote chose to call and commit his last almost 9.8 million.
Pedote turned over J♦4♦ for jacks and sixes, but OverTheTop43 had the overpair with K♠K♥ to make a better two-pair hand, and it was over — OverTheTop43 had done it again!
Congratulations to OverTheTop43 for coming out on top of the huge Event #77-H field to win a second WCOOP title of the series and a third ‘COOP title overall. Kudos also to Victor “vitinhorrn15” Pedote and blackaces93 for making the top three and like OverTheTop43 recording six-figure scores.
WCOOP-77-H: $1,050 NLHE (Sunday Kickoff SE)
Prize pool: $1,238,000
Places paid: 161
1. OverTheTop43 (Austria) $193,318.63
2. Victor “vitinhorrn15” Pedote (Brazil) $140,342.65
3. blackaces93 (Poland) $101,884.30
4. Rodrigo “digopapel” Semeghini (Brazil) $73,964.80
5. Am4ranth (Poland) $53,696.02
6. onlymtt748 (China) $38,981.52
7. Team PokerStars Pro Andre “aakkari” Akkari (Brazil) $28,299.31
8. MonsieurRask (United Kingdom) $20,544.36
9. Gandalf MR (United Kingdom) $14,914.55
You can qualify for the WCOOP on PokerStars for as little as a few cents. What’s stopping you? Start your campaign by opening a PokerStars account.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.