Pros light up weekend WCOOP, manage to hold own

Vanessa Rousso
Vanessa Rousso put up a good performance in the WCOOP this weekend.

The unstoppable juggernaut that is the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker kept rolling this weekend at PokerStars, with three events crowning champions and a fourth setting the stage for a Day 2 finale today.

Event 17

A total of 960 runners turned up to contest the bracelet Saturday in Event 17, $530 Pot-Limit Hold'em (six-max), building a prize pool of $480,000. That topped the Victor Ramdin fell short in the quarterfinals against teammate Gavin Griffin, the same round where Vanessa Rousso fell short against zivziv.

In the semifinals, Griffin would be outdone in a short match by teammate Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. After opening a 3-1 chip lead over his fellow pro, ElkY would finish Griffin off with A-A against 9-8, which flopped top pair and was strong enough for Griffin to get his chips in the middle.

The other semifinal match saw stevesbets and zivziv play a much longer match. zivziv jumped out to quick lead when he turned a set of deuces against stevesbets' K-K, but he would eventually fall behind and find himself with just about $13k left in his stack.

He moved all-in with Q 5 and flopped top pair, but stevesbets would win the hand when his Kd-3d went runner-runner for a flush to send him to the final.

ElkY jumped out to the early lead before surrendering it to stevesbets and then pulling back to even again. Then came the big hand of the match; in a pot worth $389,600, stevesbets showed down Q-T for a full house on the T 3 5 Q T board, while ElkY mucked his hand after check-calling his opponent's bets the whole way.

The final hand of the incredible 300 played in the hour-and-a-half battle saw stevesbets triumph when his pocket eights held up against ElkY's pocket threes, giving stevesbets the win and a whole lot of cash.

Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier
Gavin "GavinGriffin" Griffin
Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso
Victor Ramdin

Event 20

Sunday also saw the start of the $1,050 NLHE event, which was planned as a two-day tournament from the beginning. The guarantee of $3 million was crushed when 3,467 players turned up to have their shot at one of the biggest paydays of the entire WCOOP, building a final prize pool of $3,467,000.

By 11:40 p.m. the money bubble had burst, and within 15 minutes over 100 players had already busted out to claim their cash. Four and a half hours later play would finish for the day, with four PokerStars players - Joe Hachem, Maria Mayrinck, Andre Akkari, Noah Boeken - cashing but falling short of Day 2.

The performance of Humberto Brenes was one of the day's biggest stories. On two different occasions he had to find the right card on the river to stay alive, and both times he got his wish. Those helpful cards, along with plenty of patience, saw the Shark through to Day 2 with a big stack in front of him.

Brenes' fellow PokerStars pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, fresh on the heels of his runner-up finish in the $25,000 heads-up NLHE event, also played stellar poker throughout the course of Event 20. He survived the killing fields - and a short stack just after the money bubble - to make it to Day 2, albeit with a stack of just 16 big blinds.

The 43 remaining players will get back to work at 4:30 p.m. EDT today with blinds at $25,000/$50,000 and antes of $2,500. These players will have the big stacks when play resumes:

  1. I'am_Sound, 3,073,340
  2. BJKing, 2,851,329
  3. QuasiFiction, 2,839,907
  4. diatty, 2,494,279
  5. Humberto "Humberto B." Brenes, 2,285,850
  6. VuaXiTo, 2,217,819
  7. Ryan45, 2,020,589
  8. JSchnett, 1,971,915
  9. Numbass, 1,914,718
  10. golfsoc, 1,826,196

There's still a full week of play left in this year's WCOOP, and your entry is just a click away at PokerStars. Whether you play or not, be sure to catch up on all the action with our recap here at tomorrow.

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