TCOOP: BackstabX_x, in front the whole way, never looks back in Event 42 ($33+R NLHE)

13996-TCOOP-thumb.pngYesterday, TCOOP 38 provided an object lesson on the perils of deal-making - or, more importantly, failing to make a deal. To book-end that lesson, today gave us 2012 TCOOP Event 42, $33+R No-Limit Hold'em (2x-Turbo), an event in which one player so dominated the final table that a deal was never seriously considered, despite the $80,000 top prize.

$300,000 was the ambitious guarantee that PokerStars slapped on Event 42.The players ensured that there would be no overlay. 4,772 registered to play the event, then added another 9,668 re-buys and 2,748 add-ons to the prize pool. When the double length re-buy period finally came to a close, $515,640 was in the prize pool. Almost $81,000 of that money was earmarked for the eventual champion of the tournament.

18 of the players in the field sported the red PokerStars spade next to their names, denoting their status as either a Team PokerStars Pro or a member of PokerStars Team Online. Canadians Pet Pezzin and Adrienne Rowsome each broke through for small cashes. Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth did them one-better, falling just short of the Top 100 of the event with his 113th-place finish ($567.20)

But none approached the mastery displayed by Team Pro Henrique Pinho. Pinho managed to stay right around 7th or 8th in chips all the way until the final table bubble. With 11 players left, and down to 6 big blinds, Pinho shoved pocket 5s and was called by BackstabX_x, who showed A♣K♣. A king on the river denied Pinho a seat at this TCOOP final table and bounced him to the rail in 11th place. He collected $3,093.80, while his chips helped propel BackstabX_x to the final table chip lead.

Who else made the final table?

TCOOP-42 final table.jpg

Seat 1: megamakar (5509370 in chips)
Seat 2: Filurn (5858476 in chips)
Seat 3: Patq74 (4963268 in chips)
Seat 4: yuanj (6628024 in chips)
Seat 5: framerica (4965084 in chips)
Seat 6: BackstabX_x (14130428 in chips)
Seat 7: MagicCoin (6296920 in chips)
Seat 8: markoes1 (2514174 in chips)
Seat 9: adkaf (5494256 in chips)

Nine different countries were represented at this TCOOP final table: Germany, Hungary, Denmark, China, Slovakia, Russia, Netherlands, Canada and United Kingdom. The blinds were up to 300k / 600k with a 75k ante as the final table began. The average stack of about 6.2 million represented 10 big blinds. With 80 large up top for the champion, quite a bit was riding on the players' ability to play short-stacked, turbo poker. And, to be fair, their ability to run good.

It took until the last hand of 400k/800k to find the first elimination. markoes1 shoved all in for 3 big blinds from the small blind with 8♠7♣. It was an unlucky spot, as adkaf held a dominating ace, A♥7♦, and called. The board blanked out for both players, 4♥2♥5♣9♣2♠, allowing adkaf to collect the pot with ace-high. markoes1 received the 9th-place prize of $4,125.12.

The elimination of markoes1 allowed the super short-stacked Filurn to squeeze one spot up the pay ladder. Filurn was all in for less than the big blind with the worst starting hand in hold'em, "The Hammer": 7♥2♣. BackstabX_x cleared everyone else out of the pot with a pre-flop raise, then showed down K♥T♦. A ten on the turn left the unimproved hand of Filurn drawing dead and padded BackstabX_x's chip lead over the rest of the table.

Those chips were put to good use a few hands later after yuanj shoved for 1.4 million from early position. BackstabX_x re-shoved to isolate yuanj with A♥4♥; yuanj was drawing live with K♥5♦. This round went to BackstabX_x as an ace flopped, A♠8♣2♥. A second deuce on the turn left yuanj drawing dead. 7th place was worth $11,601.90 to yuanj.

An unlucky spot doomed framerica (who I keep wanting to call kramerica) to 6th place during the 600k / 1.2 million level. adkaf opened with a minimum-raise from early position. framerica re-raised to 4.8 million. adkaf cold four-bet jammed from the blinds and showed down pocket aces after framerica's last few chips were in the pot. framerica 's A♠K♥ didn't even come close to overtaking pocket aces on a board of 8♦3♦2♠Q♣J♣.

At this point of the final table, deal discussions began, but adkaf, now with a relatively healthy stack compared to two of the other players, elected to play on rather than pause the tournament. One of the short stacks was out moments later. MagicCoin made a desperation play with an above-average hand, which hit on the river when MagicCoin would have preferred it not. Take a look:

The last three eliminations were spread across just ten hands. They came so quickly that they even took the Rowsome, the host of the final table, by surprise. "omg... what... someone... anyone... I can't type that fast!" she said. BackstabX_x went on a spree, winning 10 of the 12 last hands to pull away from the competition and knock out the other three players.

First on the chopping block was Patq74. Patq74 was all in from the big blind for 1.3 million and a prayer. BackstabX_x against showed down king-ten to try to notch the elimination. Patq74's "two live cards", J♠6♥, didn't improve on a board of 3♠8♠Q♥8♥K♣.

By the time BackstabX_x crested 40 million in chips, adkaf and megamakar each had less than 8 million. BackstabX_x had been opening every pot. megamakar finally stood up to the bully, calling all in and tabling A♦9♦ to BackstabX_x's Q♣8♦. Run-good was on BackstabX_x's side as a queen but no ace flopped, J♣Q♠6♦. The turn and river bricked out to send megamakar packing 3rd place.

megamakar's elimination left only adkaf to challenge BackstabX_x for the TCOOP 42 title. That challenge lasted exactly one hand. On the first hand of heads-up play, adkaf shoved all in for 6.3 million with queen-eight, the very hand that had treated BackstabX_x so well a moment before. BackstabX_x snap-called with two of the other 8s, 8♥8♣. A paired flop of 9♠K♥9♣ gave adkaf a few extra outs, but BackstabX_x took down the pot - and the tournament - when the turn and river came 3♦ and A♦.

Who needs to check your six or make a deal when you're the big stack, you play like a bully, and you run good to boot? Congratulations to BackstabX_x on a dominant final-table performance.

2012 TCOOP Event 42 $33+R No-Limit Hold'em (2x-Turbo) results:

1st: BackstabX_x ($80,896.62)
2nd: adkaf ($60,072.06)
3rd: megamakar ($42,540.30)
4th: Patq74 ($29,133.66)
5th: MagicCoin ($21,194.70)
6th: framerica ($16,758.30)
7th: yuanj ($11,601.90)
8th: Filurn ($6,445.50)
9th: markoes1 ($4,125.12)

There's still one more day to get in on the turbo-fueled fun of the 2012 TCOOP. Check out the TCOOP home page for more information.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in TCOOP