The major attraction on this final Sunday of World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) play may have been the Main Event, but what the last of the trio of High Roller Events, Event #44, held its own with the big show when it came to star power. The $10,300 buy-in HORSE event attracted 103 top of the line players. It is a slight drop from last year’s field of 125, but still enough to just meet the $1 million guarantee and ensure some stacked tables from the start right on through to the finish of the event.
Only the top sixteen players made the money and Justin “Boosted J” Smith (18th), PokerStars Pros Katja Thater (13th) and Chad Brown (10th) and Shannon “basebal1b” Shorr (11th) were just a few of the eight players who made the money but missed the final table.
The event certainly ended with a bang as the final table featured a host of experienced players from a recent WCOOP bracelet winner, Daniel “djk123″ Kelly who finished in second place in this event last year to a PokerStars Pro, Noah “Exclusive” Boeken. Throw Marco “NoraFlum” Johnson, World Series of Poker bracelet winner Matt “Hoss_TBF” Hawrilenko and others into the mix and we had one impressive final table on our hands:
Seat 1: wallfly (130,889)
Seat 2: NoraFlum (199,643)
Seat 3: matchpoint20 (65,956)
Seat 4: Exclusive (119,336)
Seat 5: Jorj95 (13,396)
Seat 6: ozenc (137,007)
Seat 7: djk123 (163,978)
Seat 8: Hoss_TBF (199,795)
Considering he came to the table with only 13,000 chips (keep in mind that the starting stack was 10,000), it was not surprising to see George “Jorj95″ Lind make an early exit from the final table. He chopped the first Omaha H/L hand and moved all-in again on the second hand of final table play. Both djk123 and “wallfly” called and djk123 pushed the side action, betting every street as the board ran out T 9 5 6 4. Showdown rolled around and djk123 showed A 7 3 8 for the nut flush and second nut low while wallfly held A 9 3 4 for the same low. Jorg95 mucked his hand as djk123 collected his 3/4ths of the pot and play was down to seven.
On the second hand of the Razz rotation the 7th place finisher was determined when “matchpoint20” called down their last 25,000 in a hand against Ozenc “ozenc” Demir. Here is what each hand looked like by 7th street:
ozenc: 7 8 4 9 6 5 9 for an 8-7-6-5-4 low
matchpoint20: 3 5 4 Q T 2 9 for a 9-5-4-3-2 low
Matchpoint20’s stellar starting holdings failed to pan out and they was eliminated in 7th place. Wallfly would join them on the rail shortly after a series of tough hands against djk123 and NoraFlum left them with just 5,000 chips. A raise from wallyfly, a reraise from Exclusive, a call from ozenc and an all-in call from wallfly completed the action on 3rd street and Exclusive bet ozenc off the side pot after ozenc caught a Q and T to go with his 7 while Exclusive showed 4 6 A. After ozenc folded, Exclusive revealed T 2 in the hole for a made ten low and wallfly turned up 8 6 3 8 6 for an unfortunate two pair. A 2 on 6th street gave wallfly a chance to make a better low, but the 6 on 7th filled them up instead and they were gone in 6th place.
It would be a while before the next elimination, as players breezed through the stud games while trading chips round the table. Djk123 made the most of the small pots, chipping up to 325,000 while Exclusive stayed afloat with his 40,000. He would be left with only 10,000 after clashing with ozenc in a Stud H/L hand where ozenc hit a flush by 5th street and then caught an ace and a deuce to make a low as well.
Exclusive would double up more than once to get back up to 70,000, but by the time the Limit Hold’em round came he was back down to less than 20,000 chips. Exclusive got his stack in preflop against Hoss_TBF holding 6 T to Hoss_TBF’s Q 9. Hoss_TBF paired his queen as the flop fell Q J 5, but Exclusive did pick up a flush and straight draw with the 8 on the turn. The river 4 was no help to him and the last remaining PokerStars pro was out in 5th place.
The flop games were kind to ozenc, who grabbed the chip lead from djk123 as he rocketed up to half a million. The games were less kind to Hoss_TBF, whose stack dwindled to under 75,000 to make him the new short stack. He initially found new tournament life during Razz, but the run was short-lived and as the Razz and Stud Hi hands ticked by, Hoss_TBF blinded down to just 5,000 chips. He committed the rest of his stack with K 6 5 only to run into NoraFlum’s buried aces. The aces held, improving to trips on 7th, and Hoss_TBF was gone in 4th place.
Even though it was NoraFlum who eliminated Hoss_TBF, a rough round of Razz left him very short on chips too and it was not long before he put his final 15,000 in on 3rd street with T 4 4. Djk123 called him with T T 2 and NoraFlum would need to improve to stay alive. No second pair came for NoraFlum though and when djk123 improved to tens and nines he took the pot and set up a heads-up match between himself and ozenc.
Ozenc held the chip lead at the beginning of heads-up play, but Kelly was determined not to settle for second again and began to chip away at his opponent and eventually built up a 2-1 chip advantage of his own. Despite ozenc’s best efforts, that margin only grew to 4-1 as play progressed through the Stud H/L round. Djk123 eclipsed the million chip park after making aces and jacks on 7th street to scoop a 160,000 chip pot, leaving ozenc with just 27,000 chips.
Ozenc’s first two attempts to double up resulted in split pots, but the third time around would be different. The last of the chips went in on 4th street with djk123 holding 2 3 T 7 for a flush draw and ozenc holding Q 4 A 7 for ace high. Fifth street was a blank for both players, but ozenc managed to catch the 4 on 6th to pair his four while djk123 picked up the 6. Seventh street was an inconsequential J for ozenc, but djk123 hit the 6 to make the superior pair and take the hand and the event.
The win give Daniel “djk123″ Kelly his second WCOOP bracelet of the series at his second High Rollers HORSE final table appearance. He earned $252,350 for the win and locked up the title of Player of the Series, a feat that earns him a premium package to the PokerStars Carribean Adventure in January of next year.
Here are the complete results from the final table of Event #44:
1st: Daniel “djk123″ Kelly ($252,350)
2nd: Ozenc “ozenc” Demir ($175,100)
3rd: Marco “NoraFlum” Johnson ($133,900)
4th: Matt “Hoss_TBF” Hawrilenko ($92,700)
5th: Noah “Exclusive” Boeken ($66,950)
6th: wallfly ($51,500)
7th: matchpoint20 ($41,200)
8th: George “Jorg95″ Lind ($30,900)