Although the 22 WCOOP preliminary events were exciting in their own way, everybody knew that it was all leading up to one heck of a main event.
The day, and it was a long one, did not disappoint. Nearly 3,000 players signed up on Sunday to play in the main event with close to $7.5 million in prize money up for grabs. The players continued the marathon contest well into Monday and when the final table had been settled it was none other than PokerStars' own Vanessa Rousso who was sitting in seat one as the LadyMaverick.
Alas it was not to be for the sunglasses-wearing female poker phenom and it came down to a battle of attrition between the final table's two chip leaders - TheV0id and ka$ino. TheV0id proved victorious and had a record $1.2 million plunked into his PokerStars account.
It's worth noting that Greg Raymer, who busted out 234th, made some very interesting comments at his table. He got into a heated discussion with a number of players regarding the WPT and "DN," who we are assuming is his PokerStars teammate Daniel Negreanu. Raymer, who plays online as Fossilman, called WPT organizers "crooks" and said they had the worst final table structure in the business. Then a random railbird asked Raymer a question. Here is a transcript of the conversation:
jburn812 [observer]: hey greg how do you feel about DN calling you all idiots for your bashing of the WPT
FossilMan [Commentator]: his statement was the idiotic one
jburn812 [observer]: why do you feel that way
FossilMan [Commentator]: because all of his reasons were wrong, and silly
Despite the Raymer controversy the WCOOP main event would have to be considered an overwhelming success. Here's how the final table played out:
The first players to clash were TheV0id and E-Daddie. E-Daddie came in for a raise to $520,000 and TheV0id raised him back $1.17 million. E-Daddie re-raised and TheV0id in return pushed all-in. E-Daddie called and showed pocket queens against TheV0id's pocket 10s. The ladies held up and E-Daddie got an early double-up.
Mpg1000 would be the first player to hit the rail after he got it all-in with pocket jacks versus ka$ino's pocket kings. The flop came K♠ Q♣ T♣ giving ka$ino a set of kings but also giving Mpg1000 an open-ended straight draw. Mpg1000 hit neither an ace nor a nine and was eliminated in ninth place earning $59,960.
Rousso was suddenly the short stack and figured it was time to make a move. Fortunately you feel a lot better making those moves when you are dealt aces on the button. Mpg1000 put her all-in with pocket sevens and Rousso insta-called. The LadyMaverick hit another ace on the flop and that was all she needed to double her stack to $4 million.
TheV0id gave Mao15 the boot when they got it all-in pre-flop with pocket kings versus pocket eights. TheVoid was fortunate to have the kings, which held up, and eliminated Mao in eighth place. Mao earned a $103,431 payday for his efforts.
Although E-Daddie had been kicking around since winning that important hand versus TheV0id during the early stages he couldn't escape from HelmetSky. The players got all-in with E-Daddie holding A-Q to HelmetSky's A-K. The A-K held up just fine and E-Daddie had to settle for seventh place and $163,931.
Nitbuster couldn't survive a fairly bad beat. TheV0id pushed all-in with A♠ J♣ and Nitbuster called with A♠ Q♠. There was a jack on the flop and the rest was history. Nitbuster finished sixth for $232,345.
Things were getting serious as the money just kept getting better. Mpg1000 got all-in against ka$ino with KQ against ka$ino's AK. The big slick held up and Mpg1000 finished fifth for $307,295.
A few minutes after that hand HelmetSky got all-in versus TheV0id. HelmetSky flipped over QQ against TheV0id's AK and it was off to the races. An ace fell on the turn and HelmetSky couldn't find a queen on the river, which meant game over. HelmetSky had to be happy with fourth place and $382,235.
The LadyMaverick did a fantastic job of dodging bullets all day long but it was finally time for her to make an exit. After calling a raise from ka$ino in the big blind Rousso managed to flop two pair with 6♣ 3♣. She check-called the flop and a second spade hit on the turn and both players checked. A third spade fell on the river and Rousso bet out. ka$ino re-raised her all-in and Rousso called. Ka$ino flipped over 9♠ 2♠ for the flush and Rousso finished third for $463,940. Not bad for the well-known PokerStars pro.
The marathon day of poker was drawing to a close and no one could have been more tired than ka$ino and TheV0id who had earned the right to play each other heads-up.
The heads-up battle was a long-drawn-out affair with neither player willing to make the mistake that would cost them first place.
In one particularly crazy hand ka$ino was low but managed to double-up versus TheV0id with a full house against a straight.
It was apparent that fatigue was starting to set in when TheV0id misclicked a couple times and once bet $1 million on the river of hand that already had $7 million in the pot.
"So hard to see with all the millions," typed TheV0id.
Both players seemed to respect each other and it felt like very friendly competition considering they were playing for over a million dollars.
Surprisingly the players did not talk about making a deal for quite some time but finally after nearly 21 hours of play ka$ino asked the tournament director if he could pause the tournament so they could discuss a deal.
They both agreed to a $150,000 save and with $400,000 still in play they returned to their online seats and got right back at it.
Finally after 22 hours it ended. TheV0id came in and raised it to $1.4 million. ka$ino came out firing and re-raised to $4.4 million. TheV0id pushed all-in and ka$ino called instantly and showed A♣ K♦. TheV0id showed K♠ Q♥. The flop came J♥ T♠ 3♣ and TheV0id was within one card of completing his straight and winning the tournament. The river spelled doom for ka$ino and TheV0id completed his straight with the 9♠.
Ka$ino earned $850,782 for coming in second while TheVoid took home $1.2 million for first. Many consider it to the biggest prize ever awarded in online poker.
Congratulations to both players and everybody who took part in this year's WCOOP.
Here are the complete final-table results (based on $150,000 save for second place):
1. TheV0id (United Kingdom) $1,228,330.50
2. ka$ino (United States) $850,782.50
3. LadyMaverick (United States) $463,940.50
4. HelmetSky (Israel) $382,245.00
5. mpg1000 (United States) $307,295.00
6. nitbuster (United States) $232,345.00
7. E-Daddie (United States) $163,391.00
8. mao15 (United States) $103,431.00
9. Fischer80 (Denmark) $59,960.00