2007 WCOOP: Event # 3 Final Table Report

“Omaha is an action game and six handed it’s double the action.”

So said Team PokerStars icon and 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem prior to the final table of the Pot Limit Omaha (6 Max). It was the first of two events to complete the weekend – the other being the 2-7 Triple Draw – both of which were making debut appearances in the World Championship of Online Poker.

Whether it’s the opportunity to gamble or the novelty of a new game, a mammoth field of 1,818 formed for the start on Saturday afternoon. And what a start. In under two hours nearly 1,000 players had already been sent to the rail. The pace would steady of course as the midnight hours became a reality, and the final half dozen from the United States and beyond went in pursuit of the bracelet.

Seat 1: smittymatt (1346396 in chips)
Seat 2: ely_cash41 (1155861 in chips)
Seat 3: jalla79 (1670217 in chips)
Seat 4: lefty2506 (370944 in chips)
Seat 5: madiso (140248 in chips)
Seat 6: TomNordli (770334 in chips)

Jalla79 began cemented his lead early on, winning the first big pot soon after the start when his King high straight kept smittymatt’s trip queens in line, starting a pattern that would become familiar as play went on and the others fought their own private battles to keep up.

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Early on the short stacks were safe enough. With some time before the blinds began to bite hard action came from all quarters. madiso, the first Estonian ever to reach a WCOOP final table, put on a brave display, fighting well against the disadvantages that come with the short stack. He doubled up with a 9 to 5 straight over lefty2506’s giving himself some space to breath.

Things would get worse for lefty2506, who was playing in a library for most of the night before making the most of the 30 minute break to dash home, where presumably he could make more noise. His legwork couldn’t prevent his sixth place exit though, although it may have permitted him a frustrated scream of defeat.

The knocks from earlier pots got the better of him but not before a full two hours of play had passed. Betting had suddenly found a new gear and whilst others managed to survive all-ins in heroic fashion, lefty2506’s own double up just prolonged his demise. In an enormous pot, jalla79 took what remained of his stack with Kings up to lefty2506’s solitary pair that had held promise as a big draw but now looked flat. He was out in sixth place for $5,500.

Smittymatt followed just a short time later when he inherited the short stack. Again, others before him survived all-ins including TomNordli in a pot where ely_cash41 found his time bank exhausted and his hand made dead. Down to less than 10 big blinds, smittymatt raised pre-flop, watching jalla79 get involved re-raising. To call was to move all-in for smittymatt but he had little option, watching the board come 2-6-K-Q-7. It’s said that Omaha is a game of flushes and jalla79 proved just that. smittymatt had managed a set of sixes but jalla79’s flush measured king high. Smittymatt out in fifth place with $9,162.

With four left jalla79 had over 3 million chips with TomNordli the only other player close to a seven figure stack.

As Estonia’s first final tabler at the WCOOP madiso had made a good account of himself. A considered player he took even amounts of time to analyse each hand before reacting. But alas it was not to be Estonia’s day. Taking his turn as the short stack he raised pre-flop from the big blind and found both jalla79 and TomNordli calling.

On the 3-2-5 flop TomNordli called madiso’s all-in. J-8 completed the board but were only good for a pair for madiso, whilst TomNordli had completed a 2 to 6 straight. But there was credit all-round for madiso, out with $16,432. Ely_cash41 followed just two minutes later, out in third place for $27,379 when jalla79 (him again) made his straight leaving ely_cash41 with just Ace high and thoughts of what could have been.

It had taken just 36 minutes for the six-handed final to reach heads-up. On one side of the table was Norwegian TomNordli, who himself had avoided elimination earlier – at the other end fellow Scandinavian jalla79 from Sweden, who held a 4 to 1 chip lead and looked favourite to take the spoils.

But TomNordli was no push over. Despite being out-chipped he used well what little he had to bring things back to even, enough for both players to agree a deal split down the middle with $18k left to play for. Twenty minutes later, after play had opened up and swings had seen both players exchange the lead, a check-raise, all-in and call brought Event # 3 to a close.

TomNordli raised pre-flop and both saw the 7-2-4 rainbow flop. jalla79 bet out this time making it TomNordli’s turn to call. A 3 on the turn and jalla79 check-raised all-in, which TomNordli then called with the last of his chips. It was this card that had made jalla79 a straight, the wheel Ace to 5. TomNordli could only muster two pairs, 7s and 4s and the tournament was over. The bracelet in this mini battle of Scandinavia would go to Sweden.

$67,740 for jalla79 whilst his opponent settled for $49,740. As Joe Hachem said on the radio commentary way back at the start of the final, the two events today were certainly gambling events. That much was clear and Sweden’s Jalla79 showed just how it’s done.

PokerStars WCOOP Event # 3: $215 Pot-Limit Omaha (6 Max) Final Table Results

1. jalla79 (Sweden) $73,738.08 ($67,740 after chop)
2. TomNordli (Norway) $43,741.08 ($49,740 after chop)
3. ely_cash41 (United States) $27,379
4. madiso (Estonia) $16,432
5. smittymatt (United States) $9,162
6. lefty2506 (United States) $5,500

Full 2007 WCOOP Event #3 Results

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in