Event #14 of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker was the biggest event to date, surpassed in PokerStars' history only by the 2005 and 2006 WCOOP Main Event tournaments. 3,325 players ponied up the $1050 entry fee to try for their shot at the WCOOP bracelet and over $580,000 for first place. With a double bust-out on the hand leading up to the final table, eight players gathered round for their shot at internet fame and glory.
This is what the stacks looked like when the final eight started their run for the gold.
Seat 2: mig.com (8642161 in chips)
Seat 3: jochen8 (2804200 in chips)
Seat 4: Kenny Rap (3487870 in chips)
Seat 5: chulwoo (8760270 in chips)
Seat 6: saphire1 (8847480 in chips)
Seat 7: Trickybstrd (4048930 in chips)
Seat 8: ephman (9527811 in chips)
Seat 9: tralaira (3756278 in chips)
With the vast majority of money clustered at the top of the field, one player immediately suggested an 8-way chop. Mig.com, starting the final table in the middle of the pack, shot that idea down instantly. "No chop as long as I am playing," mig.com said. Mig.com is the online moniker of James Mackey, who picked up $730,000 for his first place finish at the WSOP this summer, and was making a run at a bracelet for his other wrist. Mackay wasn't interested in a deal, he was in it to win it, and was willing to gamble a little to do so.
Tralaira was feeling pretty short as the final table kicked off, and when chulwoo made a standard opening raise, tralaira pushed all-in over the top with . Chulwoo called instantly with A-K. No Queen came on the board to help out tralaira, and chulwoo sent him to the rail in 8th for $43,890.
Kenny Rap was next to fall when he lost a coin flip with 10-10 against jochen8's . Jochen8 caught a Jack on the flop and no two-outer for Kenny Rap. He collected $69,825 for seventh place. Jochen8 was still on a short stack, and shoved all in over the top of Mackey's preflop raise. Chulwoo made the overcall, and Mackey got out of the way. Chulwoo picked up a King on the flop to go with his , and jochen8's never caught up. He picked up $96,425 for finishing in 6th place.
Ephman went on a bizarre roller coaster ride over the course of three hands, getting all his money in the middle against Mackey with an open-ended straight draw that didn't hit, then getting it all in again with against saphire1's Q-Q. Saphire1 quickly called the push from ephman, and watched in dismay as running clubs sealed his fate, sending saphire1 to the rail in 5th place ($130,340). With three big stacks and one very short stack remaining, ephman continued his aggressive preflop play, reraising Trickybstrd with A-Q, only to get re-re-raised by Mackey. Trickybstrd, the short stack, got out of the way as ephman shoved all in. Mackey quickly called with A-K, and ephman was drawing thin to survive. His roller coaster ride from outhouse to penthouse came crashing to earth seconds later as he missed all three outs and Mackey sent ephman to the rail in 4th place for $166,250.
That hand left Mackey with over $30 million in chips, a massive lead over the rest of the table. In the understatement of the final table, Trickybstrd typed in "It's going to be an uphill battle." Trickybstrd's part in the battle didn't last long, though. He went to the rail in third moments later when he smooth-called chulwoo's preflop raise with pocket Aces. The flop of looked like a good flop for Aces, so Trickybstrd check-raised chulwoo all in, only to hit the rail when chulwoo turned over 9-9 for a flopped set. Trickybstrd picked up $210,472.50 for 3rd place.
Even with a $300,000 difference between first and second place money, Mackey was as good as his word, never offering a chop as heads up play began. After an aggressive clinic on heads-up play, Mackey finally put chulwoo away when he turned a straight on a board of , holding . Chulwoo picked a bad time to make a move and ran his K-high bluff into the nuts. Chulwoo finished second for $292,932.50, and James Mackey, mig.com, earned $580,212.50 for his first place finish and a bracelet for his other arm in WCOOP Event #14.
Here are the final table finishes and payouts.
1. mig.com (United States) $580,212.50
2. chulwoo $292,932.50
3. Trickybstrd (Canada) $210,472.50
4. ephman (United States) $166,250.00
5. saphire1 (United Kingdom) $130,340.00
6. jochen8 (Sweden) $96,425.00
7. Kenny Rap (United States) $69,825.00
8. tralaira (Spain) $43,890.00
9. UWillSuckOut (United States) $25,935.00