TCOOP: 8r0k34$$ crushes final table in Event 17 ($109 NLHE, 1R1A)

13996-TCOOP-thumb.pngIt's Sunday. As most online poker players are aware, Sunday is the day of the biggest tournaments on PokerStars - the Sunday majors, as they're colloquially called. It only made sense, then, to schedule 2012 TCOOP Event 17, $109 No-Lmit Hold'em (1R1A), for a Sunday. With a price point of between $109 and $309, depending on whether or not a player exercised options for a re-buy and an add-on, Event 17 fit perfectly with the other big prize pools that were generated on Sunday.

And it was certainly a big prize pool in Event 17. Almost $700,000 was up for grabs after 3,357 players entered, 2,529 used their one re-buy, and 1,073 took the add-on. The minimum payout for surviving to the final 432 players was $368.82; the maximum payout for taking down the whole shebang reached six figures at nearly $110,000. Truly, a top prize worthy of a Sunday major.

I'd love to tell you that the 34 Team Pros and Team Online players that entered this tournament had a great day and out-performed the field. In this event, however, that wasn't the case. All but one busted prior to the money. Team Pro Lex Veldhuis' bust-out may have been the most painful; he was eliminated in 443rd place, just 11 places shy of receiving a return on the time and money he invested in Event 17.

The lone Team Pro to break through the bubble was Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome of Team Online. Rowsome did an excellent job of maintaining pace with the average chip count through the bubble and all the way into the final 10 tables of the tournament. But then variance caught up to her and knocked her out in 63rd place, good for $1,252.62.

The pace was workmanlike after Rowsome's elimination, with the final table commencing about 4 hours and 15 minutes after Event 17 began:

TCOOP-17 final table.jpg

Seat 1: PetjeXL (5075318 in chips)
Seat 2: jonny9555 (7967228 in chips)
Seat 3: JackobFish (2507172 in chips)
Seat 4: rickwaa (2651908 in chips)
Seat 5: Dcroquet (519109 in chips)
Seat 6: prinssiuljas (4322055 in chips)
Seat 7: cassiopak (2398851 in chips)
Seat 8: schultieboy (1839634 in chips)
Seat 9: 8r0k34$$ (7513725 in chips)

A blitz of action

Blinds to begin the final table were a lofty 80k / 160k with a 20k ante. The average stack of 3.8 million, however, was about 23 big blinds, a surprising amount for this stage of a turbo tournament. There would be plenty of room for skill to emerge.

On the first hand of the final table, prinssiuljas opened pre-flop with a minimum raise, then called a shove from the big blind player, schultieboy. prinssiuljas' A♠9♥ was a slight favorite to schultieboy's K♦T♠ and maintained that edge through the river of a A♥K♣4♦4♣7♥ board. Two pair, aces and nines, was good enough for prinssiuljas to take down the pot and knock out schultieboy in 9th place.

A few hands later the short stack of the table, Dcroquet, was the player at risk of elimination. Dcroquet called all in from the big blind with K♠4♣, a hand dominated by jonny9555's K♣8♠. Somehow the eight-kicker played on a board of 5♥9♥5♠3♦2♣. Dcroquet hit the rail in 8th place.

With seven players left, a few players tried to broker the inevitable deal discussions. PetjeXL demurred, suggesting that the players should play a while longer and let the blinds increase a bit more relative to the average stack before talking about a deal. 8r0k34$$ added, "Once it gets really crapshoot we can deal."

After a scheduled break, back-to-back-to-back hands resulted in the next three eliminations. JackobFish lost a flip to finish in 7th place. 8r0k34$$ opened preflop holding a pair of 7s, then called JackobFish's big-blind shove. JackobFish showed A♠K♠, but was drawing dead to 8r0k34$$'s full house after the turn of a Q♥T♥7♦T♦5♠ board. That pot also propelled 8r0k34$$ to more than 11 million in chips, the first player to cross that threshold.

rickwaa followed JackobFish in 6th place, losing with the best pre-flop hand, A♠Q♦, to prinssiuljas' K♥9♣ when prinssiuljas flopped a king. Then 8r0k34$$ resumed the heavy lifting, knocking short-stacked cassiopak out when cassiopak's T♠5♦ never improved against 8r0k34$$'s K♣4♠.

A wrench in the works

The rapid-fire eliminations left only four players at the table. 8r0k34$$ led with 12.7 million, followed by prinssiuljas (10.2 million), jonny9555 (7.7 million) and PetjeXL (4.0 million). Blinds were at 125k / 250k. The four remaining players agreed to pause the tournament and discuss a deal. The chip chop numbers at that stage would have given $54,113.33 to PetjeXL, $67,397.77 to jonny9555, $76,235.89 to prinssiuljas and $84,700.72 to 8r0k34$$. The $6,000 set-aside remained for the champion.

"I'm gonna need more," said PetjeXL. "I'll take 56. Don't really care where it comes from. ICM has me at 58 and I'm clearly the most experienced player here."

The other players were not impressed.

"Yea and u have 16bb," said prinssiuljas.

8r0k34$$ added, "Sick experience with 16bb. Lol."

"My offer is on the table," said PetjeXL, undeterred. "If you guys can figure out how to get me 56k, I'm fine."

Although 8r0k34$$ offered to put $400 into the pot for PetjeXL, neither prinssiuljas or jonny9555 was willing to adjust their chop number downwards to make up for the additional money PetjeXL was requesting. With that, play resumed.

The final push

The depth of the stacks allowed for some post-flop play, as evidenced in this hand between jonny9555 and 8r0k34$$, where 8r0k34$$ caught a fortunate river card:

RSS readers: click through to see replay

8r0k34$$ finished off jonny9555 a few hands later in a hand that played out in similar fashion. Pre-flop, 8r0k34$$ raised the button and jonny9555 called. jonny9555 checked a queen-high flop, Q♦T♥[5], then raised all in for 2.1 million after 8r0k34$$ continued for 830,000. 8r0k34$$ called with A♥Q♠, a pair of queens, a hand in the lead against jonny9555's J♦T♦, a pair of tens. jonny9555 never improved.

Again the remaining players paused to discuss a deal, though 8r0k34$$ noted that with half the chips in play, "I have the clear edge here."

The new chip chop numbers provided for $91,498.55 to 8r0k34$$, $76,056.81 to prinssiuljas and $74,896.10 to PetjeXL. This time, each player agreed to the proposed deal, leaving only the $6,000 set-aside in question.

With the contest largely decided, the remaining players began to push their chips into the middle with all due haste. 8r0k34$$ got the best of prinssiuljas to end prinssiuljas' run in 3rdd place. 8r0k34$$'s A♠7♣ had the lead the whole way against prinssiuljas' J♠T♦ as the board rolled out 7♥2♥5♠2♦3♦.

The last two players, PetjeXL and 8r0k34$$, traded blinds and antes for 12 hands. On the 13thh hand, they got the chips in the middle pre-flop in a race situation. PetjeXL had the pair, 9♣9♠. 8r0k34$$ had the over-cards, A♥J♦. An ace from space spiked on the river, 8♥2♥T♠K♠A♦, giving 8r0k34$$ the last pot of the tournament and a TCOOP victory worth almost $100,000.

Just your standard Sunday on PokerStars.

2012 TCOOP Event 17 $109 No-Limit Hold'em (1R, 1A) results (reflects three-way deal):

* 1st: 8r0k34$$ ($97,498.55)
* 2nd: PetjeXL ($74,896.10)
* 3rd: prinssiuljas ($76,056.81)
4th: jonny9555 ($40,014.25)
5th: cassiopak ($29,923.70)
6th: rickwaa ($22,964.70)
7th: JackobFish ($16,005.70)
8th: Dcroquet ($9,046.70)
9th: schultieboy ($5,567.20)

Be sure to check out the TCOOP Home Page. That's where you'll find leaderboards, stats, the TCOOP schedule and a schedule of satellites into each event. It's your one-stop spot for everything TCOOP-related.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in TCOOP