By Lisa Yiasemides
It was a thrilling night on the virtual felt as six new WPT title holders emerged, including one WPT Champion. Gavin Cochrane is the first player to have their name etched on the newly named Mike Sexton WPT Champion’s Cup.
Cochrane has truly immersed himself in poker history after a fantastic performance last night saw the Brit start with the lead and end with all the chips. But, if you thought it was an easy route to the finish line, you are mistaken. There was plenty of shift and excitement with some stellar competition doing their best to stop him along the way.
On top of that, there were five other events that reached their conclusions – the Mini and Micro Championship events and the three Second Chance tournaments all played to a winner too.
Event #03: $3,200 8-Max Championship ($3M GTD)
The first Sexton Cup event wrapped last night as three days of action came to a close. At 7pm (BST), there were just nine of the 1,062 entries left and each of them were hoping to cut themselves as big a slice of the $3,186,000 prize pool as they could muster.
It was action from the get go with pocket-kings one of the first hands dealt to Sam Grafton. He made an early double up after calling his all in on the river against Thomas Boivin who turned a busted straight draw into a bluff. Shortly after that, Grafton lost the chips he’d acquired early after attempting to put pressure on two smaller stacks by three-betting all in with ace-ten suited. Lars Kamphues had opened with ace-king suited and wasn’t going anywhere. He took the double and Grafton couldn’t recover, losing with pocket-kings twice in consecutive hands shortly after.
That surprise exit meant a ladder for the short stacks and reason to celebrate. Ognyan Dimov was next to bust. The Bulgarian banked an extra $8,000 for making it to 8th but his Championship hopes came undone after he jammed queen-jack suited for 10bb under the gun, walking into Boivin’s dominating ace-queen. Dimov was joined at the rail by Jiachen Gong just minutes later in a similar situation, having jammed 9bb under the gun with ace-nine suited and running into Daniel Colpoy’s pocket-tens.
That left six and the next player to go would be the last to leave with less than a six-figure cash. Despite eliminating Gong shortly before, Colpoys was that player. In a hand that played itself, Cochrane had opened pocket-tens and Colpoys three-bet all in with big slick and lost the flip. Shyngis Satubayev followed him to the exit after busting the next hand. Satubayev had got 9bb in good after three-betting all in with ace-ten-suited but initial raiser Cochrane couldn’t walk away from the price to call and got there with king-seven suited.
That left four and the next elimination was possibly the most surprising of all. Dmitry Yurasov had taken the chip lead when there were still nine left. Making top pair with king-queen, Yurasov called a three-barrel jam for his tournament life against the only player who could eliminate him: Cochrane. Despite that chip lead and some very impressive play from the Russian, it wasn’t his day and he lost the bulk of his stack with ace-jack against Boivin’s ace-queen suited on an ace-high board. Failing to recover from there, he had to settle for 4th place and $173,955.
Lars Kamphues had been quiet since his two early double-ups, successfully negotiating all the way to third place despite having started with a short stack. His time was about to come to an end though, jamming king-eight in the small blind, into Boivin’s pocket-fives in the big. That result gave him and his twin brother reason to celebrate once more after Timo Kamphues took down the Shooting Stars charity event for $90,498 a little over a week ago.
With two left, Boivin had now taken the chip lead and he extended it further, at one point holding more than a 2:1 lead over Cochrane. That was until a huge hand changed the tide and set in motion a series of hands that would lead to the Belgian’s departure. The hand saw Cochrane flop a straight and Boivin top pair. Boivin continued and when facing a raise from Cochrane, he opted to set his opponent all in. Cochrane didn’t look back from there, picking up some hands and spots to needle away at Boivin’s stack until down to around 20bb, he made a move with ace-four only to run into ace-jack. It’s not all bad news for the Belgian, who takes a hefty $388,188 for getting as far as runner up.
For Cochrane, the prize money was an even heftier $540,664, plus a $15,000 ticket to the WPT Tournament of Champions presented by Baccarat Crystal, a Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium watch, worth $7,500, and a set of Everyday tumblers from Baccarat Crystal. However, undoubtedly the acclaim of the championship title and his name on the Sexton Cup will be just as important as the cash. For now the player who has built a reputation for crushing high stakes PLO games can rightly call himself a master of No Limit Holdem too.
Event #03: $320 Mini 8-Max Championship ($1M GTD)
With a huge guarantee of its own, just 20 of the 3,309 entries remained in contention when the final day got underway last night. Boy Verberkt (20th) was first to leave with Mikołaj Zawadzki (17th) among those failing to improve on the $4,170 locked up from the night before.
Vito Recchimurzo (11th), who had started second in chips, wasn’t able to make it as far as the final table, and Aleksandr Terentyev (10th) was the last player to leave before two tables became one. They both took $7,520 for their efforts.
With the final table line up decided, the pay jumps began to increase for each bustout, and Samuel Bernabeu Guilabert, Karim Maekelberg, Hlib Kovtunov and Jarkko Nyström’s fantastic runs all came to an end outside of the final five.
Alexandre Kindermann Bez and József Liszkovics were next to depart and when there were just three left, the clock paused in order for the remaining hopefuls to discuss a deal. Once agreed upon, they continued to play down to a winner, with start-of-the-day chip leader Ivan Vilchez exiting in third place.
With more chips when the deal was agreed, the Argentinian took slightly more than Roberto Romanello, but the trophy, title and $10,0000 were still in up for grabs. The all-British heads up match rounded up five hours of play at the virtual felt and though Romanello (poker’s latest Triple Crown winner) is undeniably on a heater at the moment, he fell at the last. That left Daniel Mcaulay the last player standing, and he takes home the title, trophy and $118,432 in prize money for his fantastic result.
Event #03: $33 Micro 8-Max Championship ($300K GTD)
Of the huge 7,765 field, there were 48 who had made it all the way through to the final day. The $33 buy-in may have been micro but the cash prizes up at the top of the payouts most certainly were not. Boris Angelov managed to convert his second chip lead at the beginning of the final day into a win and he banked $44,807 for his result.
Luis Figallo Ginocchio came closest to toppling him but was the last player to bust. He takes a more than respectable runner up position and $31,390 for getting that far. Georgios Kapalas and Luiz Renato Feres Messmar Carnasciali also banked five-figure scores for placing third and fourth, a feat that Robert Molenaar narrowly missed out on after he fell in fifth place.
$1,575 8-Max Second Chance PKO ($300K GTD)
Thirteen of the 189 registrations were still in the game when play resumed at 7pm. Thomas Boivin exited first, enabling him to focus on the Championship event. Other big names fell soon after with Joao Vieira (12th), Benjamin Jones (11th) and Firoz ‘Mohammed’ Mangroe (10th) all failing to reach the final table.
The line up was multicultural to say the least with eight nations represented and two players flying the Maltese flag. Paschalis Pennos (9th, $4,779), Tyler Goatcher (8th, $7,631), Soenke Jahn (7th, $9,408) and Michel Dattani (6th, $11,252) all brought class to the final table but couldn’t make it as far as the top five.
In the end, it came down to Zoltan Schmidt and Ivan Emanuely with the Norwegian prevailing over the Hungarian to take home the gold medal and with it $64,532 in cash to add to his bankroll.
$162 Mini 8-Max Second Chance PKO ($100K GTD)
There were 63 players still in the mix last night and all of them in the money. Pavel Plesuv (63rd) was first bust with other notables such as Georgios Kapalas (54th) joining him at the rail shortly after.
French pro Sylvain Loosli did well to advance all the way to 11th place, having started much further down the pack. He picked up $940 in cash, including $309 in bounties. Valeri Vilhemov was the last player to leave before the final table was reached. They also banked $631 for placing 10th but were unable to collect any bounties to bump up their profit.
Considering the number of players, it only took four and a half hours to reach a winner and, in the end, it was partypoker’s own Richard Dubini who took first place. His victory came at the expense of Dzianis Hrabski who goes home with $10,524 for his second-place result. Dubini took the biggest share of the $108,300 prize pool with $12,251 in cash to add to his wallet, and also scoring Team partypoker their second big result of the night after Romanello’s second place in the Mini 8-Max Championship.
$16.50 Micro 8-Max Second Chance PKO ($30K GTD)
Sam Rayner has taken the title in the Micro event after defeating Benjamin Dobson heads up to conclude more than six hours of play. Rayner’s cash was boosted massively by the bounties he collected – four times more than anyone else. Oliver Ådjers, Jan Larsen and Andreas Johansson were the remainder of the night’s biggest winners, taking third to fifth spots by the end.
That concludes last night’s round up but don’t forget to check into the partypoker lobby, where satellites are running for the next Sexton Cup event: The $3,200 6-Max No Limit Holdem.