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Gary Trask

Gary  Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has worked as a writer and editor more than 20 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee and a current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame voting panel.

Contact Gary at and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

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'Jovial Gent' steamrolls WCOOP final table

24 Sep 2009

By Gary Trask
With two bracelet wins and 11 cashes already to his name in the 2009 World Championship of Online Poker, Daniel "djk123" Kelly held both the hot hand and the chip lead heading into the final table of the WCOOP Main Event's final table on Monday.

Momentum, it seemed, was on the New York native's side.

But in the end none of that mattered. Because once the ultra-aggressive Yevgeniy "Jovial Gent" Timoshenko began catching cards, the final table was his to win. And the Ukraine-born professional didn't let go of the stranglehold he had on his fellow final tableists until he was crowned the 2009 WCOOP Main Event champ.

"It's a dream come true," Timoshenko told Casino City. "To win the largest poker tournament in the history of online poker is a huge feat and I feel very blessed to have done it.

"It's the largest online poker tournament every year, with an amazing structure allowing for lots of deep stacked play, even later in the tournament. Winning this event comes with a lot of prestige and accolades."

Timoshenko, who had five cashes overall in this year's WCOOP, came into Day 2 seventh in chips, but early on in the day he fell back into the pack. He said that forced him to play a little more cautious than usual.

"I tightened up, stayed patient and managed to come back," said Timoshenko, who moved to the U.S. with his family when he was 8 years old and now lives in Seattle, Washington. "One big hand that got me back was one where I raised with J-J from middle position, and 'ilvdnfl' went all in on the button for 18 big blinds. I thought he could be making a play here a lot with worse hands because I had been very aggressive and showing down less than premium hands, so I made the call. He had A-A, but I flopped quad jacks to eliminate him and get back near the top. After that, I changed tables, and it was a much smoother ride from there."

Timoshenko entered the final table in second place on the chipleader board with 10,490,143 chips, trailing Kelly, who had 12,245,301. But a bad run midway through the final table sent Kelly packing earlier than he expected as he got bounced in a big hand by Timoshenko and ended up finishing fourth for a prize of $643,000.

When the final table got to heads-up, Timoshenko held a 33,174,870-9,745,133 advantage over "Udon Wannit" and it didn't take long for him to put him away for the title. Timoshenko won $1.7 million for his efforts while "Udon Wannit" – one of seven Americans at the final table – took home more than $1.2 million. "It's a dream come true to win the largest and toughest online poker tournament ever assembled," said Timoshenko, who cut through the 2,144-strong field in the $5,200 No-Limit Hold'em tournament.

This isn't the first time Timoshenko has won a multi-million dollar tournament. In April, he took home $2,149,960 when he captured the Season 7 World Poker Tour Championship. In addition to the WCOOP and WPT titles, Timoshenko also has an Asian Pacific Poker Tour title to his name.

The Main Event – which was completed over two days and took 23 hours of actual playing time – carried a whopping prize pool of $10.7 million. Overall, the eighth annual WCOOP series – which is sponsored by PokerStars – was a record-breaker thanks to a prize pool of $51,652,800, which was more than $11 million more than last year's tournament series. Nearly 44,000 players from 140 different countries participated in the 45 events.

While the 20-year-old Kelly fell short in the Main Event, he was still crowned the 2009 WCOOP Player of the Year after an incredible three-week run that saw him cash 11 times, make three final tables and win the $215 Razz tournament and $10,300 High Roller H.O.R.S.E. event. As an added bonus for winning Player of the Year, Kelly also won a trip to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) in January where all 2009 WCOOP bracelet winners will be awarded their bracelets at a ceremony. To date there have been 166 WCOOP bracelet events since 2002 with a total combined prize pool of $156,855,050.

Another player to enjoy a big WCOOP was French Team PokerStars pro Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, who outlasted a field of 1,269 to win the $530 No Limit tournament, and then two days later won the $215 No Limit tournament against a field of 9,220 players.

"The WCOOP is a great series to play and the prize pool is enormous. No other online series compares to the WCOOP but I've playing it five years now and had never won a bracelet," said ElkY, who cashed a total of six times during the series earning more than $500, 000.

"When I won [the first bracelet] it was amazing – 1,169 players. But to win again two days later, I just couldn't believe it. More than 9,000 players, the craziest field, but I did it. My goal now is to win a WSOP bracelet for the first time, and become the first player to win two European Poker Tour events."

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