“ckingusc” Takes The Bracelet At PokerStars WCOOP Main Event

It was a long and grueling battle to the finish, but PokerStars has awarded its final bracelet to Zachary “ckingusc” King for taking down the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) Main Event.

The final event of the PokerStars 2008 WCOOP kicked off Sunday, September 21st at 4:30 pm ET and the action was practically non-stop right up until the end, just before 10:30pm Monday night. It started out with a field of 2,185, proffering the $5,000 + $200 buy-in – or winning a seat via satellite competitions – to take part in the massive $10 million guaranteed prize tournament. With so many entries, that purse actually jumped nearly one-million to $10,925,000.

An elite field of participants fought hard for to make their way into the money bubble, practically drooling at the chance to take home to top prize of more than $1.7 million – the highest 1st place prize in online poker tournament history.

Coming into day 2 of the WCOOP Main Event, August35 held a sizable chip lead, but it was still anyone’s game. It didn’t take long to further dwindle the field as 10 of the remaining competitors that went into the second day of action were eliminated within the first 20 minutes. By the time an hour had past, only 32 participants remained seated.

Monday’s incoming chip leader, August35, suffered a devastating loss of chips that resulted in a 23rd place. Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Gropsellier, who had an amazing run in this year’s WCOOP with 7 event cashes worth more than $400k, was sent to the rails in 21st place. Both competitors were awarded $22,942.50 for their high ranking finishes.

The final table took under two hours to complete, getting underway shortly after 8:30pm. The blinds started at 65k/130k with 13k antes, giving short-stacked players very little time to recover position. The final table consisted of the following players, ordered by chip counts:

liberace – 13,111,107
Markush13 – 11,433,207
ckingusc – 8,056,086
ShoesRDurrty – 6,547,232
klslcz – 4,828,175
AJKHoosier1 – 3,700,250
BOLLDOZER – 3,310,739
Sumpas – 2,959,856
kovi99 – 561,348

With little left to lose, Kovi99 made the first move, tripling up winning two all-in pots. Unfortunately, his third attempt was not so lucky, resulting in a 9th place exit. BOLLDOZER would be the next eliminated in 8th position just three hands later, pushing 1.3 million all-in against ckingusc. Taking a 7th place leave was klslcz, whose pocket Aces fell to the pocket Kings of Markush13 when the River dropped another King.

Then came the ousting of Sumpas in 6th place after going all-in for 4.74 million, called by the high stack of liberace. The cards fell greatly into liberace’s favor, leaving him with a dominating lead of 55 million chips when the hand was over.

At this point, the final 5 agreed to a deal. Low stacked at the time, AJKHoosier1 came out $100k extra from the deal just before doubling up against ShoesRDurrty, who would take the 5th place spot after the crippling loss.

Markush13 would take a momentarily successful run at chomping into liberace’s chip lead, but liberace came right back and returned the favor, eventually sending Markush13 to the rails in 3rd position. A move from ckingusc doubled him up through AJKHoosier1, then chipped away at liberace’s lead for a few hands. He then managed to send AJKHoosier1 packing when the exceptionally talented online poker champ pushed 4 million all-in with A-7 off-suit. Pocket 9’s from ckingusc held true and AJKHoosier1 made his 3rd place exit.

It came down to heads-up play between ckingusc, at 20 million chip count, and the dominating chip leader of the day, liberace, with 34.5 million. It didn’t take long for ckingusc to turn things around, however. A successful check-raise of 3 million from ckingusc encouraged a thoughtful all-in from liberace. By the time the river card fell, ckingusc would control the board with 40 million to liberace’s 14.5.

Just a few hands later came the finale… From the button, ckingusc pushed all-in and was immediately called by liberace.

ckingusc: Ac-8c
liberace: Kd-Jd

The Flop came down, As-Kc-10h, and ckingusc sighed relief with top pair. The Turn, 4c, was no help to anyone. It now came down to the river card to determine the fate of these two fearsome poker players, and a 9d fell, offering no assistance to liberace. It was all over…

The winner of PokerStars 2008 WCOOP Main Event would be ckingusc, awarded the prestigious WCOOP Bracelet and $1,265,432.

Note that the prize would have been higher – $1,775,312.50 – had it not been for the deal struck between the final 5 participants.

PokerStars 2008 WCOOP Main Event Final Table Results
(Pay out structure affected by deal between final 5)
1st – ckingusc – $1,265,432 (WCOOP Bracelet Winner)
2nd – liberace – $1,375,249
3rd – AJKHoosier1 – $782,542
4th – Markush13 – $961,718
5th – ShoesRDurrty – $801,153
6th – Sumpas – $415,150
7th – klslcz – $305,900
8th – BOLLPOKER – $196,650
9th – kovi99 – $121,267

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