TCOOP: i.love.ri loves rebuys, wins Event 32, $5.50+R NLHE (3x-Turbo)

13996-TCOOP-thumb.pngThe rebuy tournament. There's not another creature like it in all of poker, which is enough to scare some players away all by itself. But for everyone else, there's just something about the rebuy. Some players see it as an opportunity to go crazy. Others see it as an opportunity to sit back and pick off people who have gone crazy. The beautiful thing is that no matter which camp you fall into, you have plenty of reason to love rebuy tournaments.

No surprise, then, that things got off to such a roaring start in Event 32. More than 8,500 players were registered as the tournament began - and within the confines of the first blind level, there had already been more than 4,300 rebuys. By the time Level 4 rolled around the guarantee had already been broken - and with another 70 minutes of rebuys and late registration still available, no less. If this tournament were the new kid in an 80s teen movie, it would have been hanging out with the jocks and cheerleaders. By the end of late registration the total numbers had swelled to 16,951 entries with 60,638 rebuys and 8,494 add-ons, building a stunning total prize pool of $429,065. That would be split up among the top 2,250 finishers, with $50,195 set aside for the winner.

Team Online only had one player cash in Event 32, but it was a good run for Kristian "CharismA3" Martin (155th place, $210.24). Team PokerStars Pro fared a bit better, collecting decent cashes from Martin Staszko (175th, $201.66) and Henrique Pinho (592nd, $120.13) - and a far better result from Alex Kravchenko. He had the good fortune on Level 43 (100K/200K/25K) to pick up pocket queens with a player all-in in front of him; he called and was up against A♠ 2♦, which he easily dispatched to move up to 7.34 million chips. From there he used his stack as leverage to pick up pots uncontested and move up to more than 12.4 million chips, good enough to rank him 2nd in the field with 125 players remaining.

Run, Alex, run

alex_kravchenko_ept8_bar_d2_wrap.jpg

Kravchenko: Russian for "plays well in big fields"

The former WSOP Main Event final tablist then focused on maintaining his stack before being moved as the field shrank to its final 7 tables. On Level 49 (400K/800K/100K) Kravchenko held 10.5 million chips. And unlike on his previous table, he wasn't the big stack: there were three players with enough leverage to potentially eliminate him, including one on either side of him. The chip stacks around the table tended to flatten as the blinds continued to rise over the next two levels; with the occasional short stack falling aside, most of the players held steady in the 5-to-10-million range. Kravchenko was slipping, holding just 6 big blinds on Level 52 (700K/1.4M/175K), when he picked off BentBetjent's A♥ 8♥ with A♣ J♠, for a 13.4-million-chip pot that took the field down to just 32 players.

Now, as the tournament's fifth break ended, most of the table had Kravchenko and his 19th-ranked stack of 12.07 million chips covered. The good news was that the chip lead - currently held by India's Donkab0mber with 34.4 million - was less than two double-ups away. Soon, though, that lead would recede a bit further when Kravchenko's neighbor, Romania's i.love.ri, scored on this hand:

i.love.ri picked up K♣ K♦ two hands later and knocked out the United Kingdom's SpoS Im GoOd, who over-shoved with A♦ T♦, to move all the way up to 66.5 million chips. Kravchenko, meanwhile, seemingly couldn't pick up a hand. With blinds all the way up to 1M/2M with 250K antes, he finally saw the action fold to him on the button and shoved for 4.32 million with A♠ 7♦. Lex West called from the big blind with K♥ Q♦, hit one king on the flop, and hit another on the river to end Alex Kravchenko's run in 19th place ($793.77).

The show must go on

Lex West would vault into the lead not long afterward at the expense of i.love.ri in an 81-million-chip pot, shoving over the top of i.love.ri's raise to 5 million with A♥ K♠ and getting called by A♣ T♠. i.love.ri managed to keep pace, though, picking up a few smaller pots before knocking sia76 out in 16th place ($879.58) with pocket eights against A♦ J♥ to retake the lead with 76.18 million chips. The final table bubble eventually popped on this hand:

With that there was just one table remaining, playing on Level 58 (2.5M/5M/625K). The final nine players were:

Seat 1: coach0783 (37,477,920 in chips)
Seat 2: DarrenStyles (70,715,664 in chips)
Seat 3: Lex West (59,312,316 in chips)
Seat 4: PiRaToS14 (33,721,674 in chips)
Seat 5: Pipo0705 (10,938,018 in chips)
Seat 6: olehan (81,055,294 in chips)
Seat 7: Jinky6677 (22,067,228 in chips)
Seat 8: LEAO66 (45,984,776 in chips)
Seat 9: i.love.ri (125,504,110 in chips)

2012 TCOOP-32 final table.jpg

Both Germany's Pipo0705 and Finland's PiRaToS14 managed to double up in the first orbit. Pipo0705 suggested a deal but there were no takers, and just one orbit later the German player would be the first eliminated from the table after shoving from the cutoff with A♣ 8♠. Canada's Jinky6677 called with A♦ J♠, which paired on the flop and held through the river to send Pipo0705 out in 9th place ($2,574.39).

The i.love.ri wrecking ball claimed another victim on the very next hand. The Romanian player called with A♦ 3♥ after the short-stacked coach0783 had moved in for 17.3 million chips with K♦ J♠. The board was no help to either player and coach0783 left in 8th place ($3,861.58). With the addition of two of the next three pots - each worth at least 63 million chips and taken down uncontested on the flop - i.love.ri had moved up to 210 million chips.

That, along with the 4M/8M blinds and 1M antes, meant the rest of the table had to do everything they could to keep pace. Germany's olehan was the first to step up, calling in the big blind with K♥ T♣ after Lex West shoved for 28.81 million holding J♦ 8♠. The board was all blanks and Lex West left in 7th place ($7,294.10). The chip leader then went back to work on this hand:

That sent DarrenStyles out in 6th place ($10,726.62). He was followed five hands later by PiRaToS14, who was crippled with A♥ J♠ against olehan's 9♦ 9♥ before being knocked out by Portugal's LEAO66. PiRaToS14 finished 5th for $15,017.27.

Four players enter, one player leaves

That left just four competitors, stacked like so:

Seat 6: olehan (135,163,732 in chips)
Seat 7: Jinky6677 (33,385,492 in chips)
Seat 8: LEAO66 (100,626,756 in chips)
Seat 9: i.love.ri (217,601,020 in chips)

Jinky6677 managed to double through olehan with pocket kings against A♠ 6♠, stacking up to 77 million chips with blinds at 6M/12M. Then the i.love.ri express continued to roll after LEAO66 shoved from the small blind with A♠ 7♠; i.love.ri called with 2♣ 2♥, which held up through a board of Q♥ 8♥ Q♦ T♥ 4♥ to bust LEAO66 in 4th place. Only six hands later came this hand, which set i.love.ri up with a big lead for heads-up play:

Despite one double-up on the first hand of heads-up play, the uphill climb would prove to be too much for olehan. On the third hand, i.love.ri opened for 36 million on the button with K♥ Q♥ and called when olehan moved in for 83 million with Q♣ 4♣. olehan never got close as the board ran out A♣ 5♦ 8♦ Q♠ K♦, shipping the final pot - and this TCOOP championship - to i.love.ri.

TCOOP Event 32 $5.50+R No-Limit Hold'em (3x-Turbo)
16,951 entrants, 60,638 rebuys, 8,494 add-ons
$429,065 prize pool

1st place - i.love.ri (Romania) - $50,195.55
2nd place - olehan (Germany) - $36,470.52
3rd place - Jinky6677 (Canada) - $27,889.22
4th place - LEAO66 (Portugal) - $19,307.92
5th place - PiRaToS14 (Finland) - $15,017.27
6th place - DarrenStyles (Sweden) - $10,726.62
7th place - Lex West (Netherlands) - $7,294.10
8th place - coach0783 (Belgium) - $3,861.58
9th place - Pipo0705 (Germany) - $2,574.39

At 7 hours and 47 minutes this event lasted a bit longer than the average TCOOP event so far - and for the winner it was less than a regular day's work for 50 grand. There's plenty more turbo goodness where this event came from, though your time for participating is beginning to run low. Check out the full TCOOP schedule for the scoop on how you can grab your piece of the pie.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in TCOOP