Event #10 of the World Cup of Cards, the $300 + $30 6-Max Re-entry, brought out a huge field that contributed 181 entries, allowing this event to more than double its prize pool guarantee of $25,000.
The early stages of play were surprisingly prudent, however, that dynamic changed dramatically following the first break of the day. Following the first break, the players shifted into another gear as three-bets and big pots became the norm. This change in the action brought along with it a a big uptick in the number of re-entries, which reached into the thirties before the end of the re-entry period.
Following the end of late registrations and re-entries, there was a huge disparity between the big and small stacks in the field. The chip leaders were consistently playing stacks that approached triple the chip average while many others clung to their tournament lives with stacks of less than 15 big blinds. The divisions in the field fell along these lines for most of the afternoon until the money bubble came into view.
This event paid the top 23 finishers so play gradually slowed and became more passive once the number of players in the field was down around 40. This trend continued until hand-for-hand play on the money bubble, which lasted for nearly an entire level. But once the bubble burst, the dynamics of play returned to the fast and aggressive play that was seen earlier in the afternoon, and the field was quickly reduced to our seven finalists.
It came as no surprise that the players took a very cautious approach once they arrived at the final table. The big pay jumps and $11,721 first place prize clearly affected the approach of many of the players. The general approach shifted from the players trying to accumulate chips to trying to outlast one another. Inevitably, the blinds kept ratcheting up the pressure until the chip average provided slightly more than ten big blinds, when one player suggested an ICM chop of the remaining prize pool. After hearing the numbers from the tournament staff, the chop was agreed to unanimously.
Now that the players had secured hefty profits for the day, the chips started going in quickly. Every elimination from there until the end was the result of pre-flop all ins. Michael Khan was the first to leave the final table, when he shoved his short stack with and ran into Karim Abdelhamid’s . Abdelhamid flopped aces-up, putting an end to Khan’s run. Hadi Ghattas was the next to leave, after he pushed with and ran into Travis Humphrys’ , and a double-paired board gave Humrphys the pot with his ace high. Alexander Allison was the next player eliminated after he got his chips in with pocket kings, but his opponent, Nectarios Lazaris, hit his live ace on the river, eliminating Allison in fifth. Patrick St-Onge followed shortly after following an all in push with pocket jacks, only to run into Humphrys’ live ace that connected on the flop, sending St-Onge out in fourth. Humprhys then lost a big pot to our eventual champion and went in with his few remaining chips against Lazaris in a battle of the blinds. Neither player was able to hit the board, and Lazaris’ jack-high was good enough to take down the pot.
It came down to a heads-up battle between Lazaris (left) and Abdelhamid (right). They traded blinds back and forth for a short while before each waking up with strong hands and getting their chips in before the flop. In the end, the best hand prevailed, allowing Abdelhamid to take the remaining prize money, the beautiful trophy and bragging rights as a WCC event champion. Congratulations!
Event #10 Champion: Karim Abdelhamid, $7,020
Last hand of play: