TCOOP: Poker Own U owns Event 26 ($22 Stud)

13996-TCOOP-thumb.pngIn the spectrum of poker variants, limit stud has the sex appeal of your typical octogenarian: not much. But even your typical octogenarian is sexy to someone out there, and so it is with limit stud. The game has a devoted, hard-core following of fans, the likes of which you might find at a Star Trek convention. Spice things up with a turbo format, where the game's typical doddering pace grows wings of the sort found in energy drink advertisements, and you've got yourself an old-fashioned hootenanny.

And so on Tuesday, on PokerStars, the hootenanny became 2012 TCOOP Event 26, $22 Limit Stud. More than 3,000 players (3,037, to be precise) made time for the event. The $60,740 in prize money they generated smashed the $25,000 guarantee PokerStars put on the tournament. The octogenarian of poker games, it seems, still has some life left in those old bones.

As is the case with many octogenarians, Event 26 also proved to be quite stubborn. That stubbornness was directed at the 11 combined PokerStars Team Pros and Team Online members that entered the tournament. All but Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero fell significantly short of 384th place, the point at which the money bubble burst. Barbero inched his way to 193rd place, good for a modest payout of $43.73 and bragging rights as sole Team PokerStars player to cash in the event.

Bragging rights of "champion of Event 26" would be snared by one of these eight players that final tabled the tournament:

TCOOP-26 final table.jpg

Seat 1: Didi30 (1376186 in chips)
Seat 2: pabritz (1778561 in chips)
Seat 3: Thayer "THAY3R" Rasmussen (932729 in chips)
Seat 4: sextete+2-6 (1420304 in chips)
Seat 5: Poker Own U (4553515 in chips)
Seat 6: gieras (280664 in chips)
Seat 7: Sunday888 (811549 in chips)
Seat 8: blony_tair (3831492 in chips)

Poker U. from Poker Own U

The big stack, Poker Own U, had 7.5 big bets to work with at the start of the final table (limits 300k/600k, ante 60k). The short stack, gieras, had less than half a bet. Those precious few chips went into the pot on the first hand of the final table and did not come back to gieras. gieras' hasty exit in 8th place left seven short-stacked players to duke it out.

Antes and bring-ins were passed around the table for about fifteen hands before Didi30 succumbed in 7th place. Didi30's stack went into the middle on 3rd street with split queens; the big stack, still Poker Own U, called with split 6s and an ace. By 6thh street, Poker Own u improved to two pair, aces and kings. Didi30's board showed Q♥4♣ / Q♣7♣J♣9♠, a pair and a flush draw. Didi30 improved with a river 7♠, but queens and sevens wasn't enough for Didi30 to avoid becoming the 7th-place finisher.

If there's been one hallmark of TCOOP, it's been that the player who runs hottest at the final table has often taken down the event. A few hands after knock out Didi30, Poker Own U accumulated even more chips. With limits at 500k / 1MM, Thayer "THAY3R" Rasmussen's 1.3 million in chips was up for grabs. After starting A♣8♠ / K♦, Rasmussen drew into a pair of aces. Poker Own U, however, started with split 3s and improved to two pair, queens and nines. Notch another scalp for Poker Own U and a 6th-place finish for Rasmussen.

And yet - one misfire by Poker Own U and one elimination made by pabritz changed the course of the final table. Poker Own U walked right into pabritz's buried aces (which improved to aces full of kings by 5th street!) and doubled up pabritz. That gave pabritz enough chips to knock out blony_tair in 5th place when the latter's 9♣A♦ / 7♦ failed to improve by the river against pabritz's split jacks.

Some exciting river action helped level out three of the stacks just prior to the elimination of sextete+2-6 in 4th place. pabritz and sunday888 went to war, with all of the chips in on 4th street. By 6th street, the boards showed:

pabritz: 6♦7♦ / 4♠7♥Q♠8♣
sunday888: 8♥A♥ / 2♥4♥2♠A♠

pabritz rivered the 5♥ to complete an inside straight to the 8, but sunday888 did one-better by hitting the 2♣ to make a full house and stay alive.

Poker Own U cleared sextet+2-6 out of the way a moment later after starting with split kings and making kings and queens to sextete+2-6's pair of 6s. The 4th-place elimination left three relatively even stacks left to contend for the title.

Poker Own U in the poker zone

Seat 2: pabritz (4082303 in chips)
Seat 5: Poker Own U (5878271 in chips)
Seat 7: sunday888 (5224426 in chips)

The three stalwarts left in the field traded antes and bring-ins for 10 hands. Then Poker Own U got hot again and won four of the last five hands to close out the title. The key hand was a hand in which there was betting on every street and Poker Own U achieved a full double-up through sunday888:

RSS readers: Click through to see replay

From there, Poker Own U's victory seemed a matter of moments. sunday888 knuckled under first, after 3♠3♣ / 2♠ didn't improve to the river against Poker Own U's two pairs, 5s and 4s.

Two hands later, pabritz suffered the same fate. With limits at 1MM / 2MM, pabritz had only 2MM chips. They went into the pot with 6♣J♥ / T♣. Poker Own U started with three babies, 3♥4♥ / 2♣, that turned into a full house, 3s full of 7s. pabrtiz's pair of 10s was no match, sending pabritz to the rail in 2ndd place and allowing Poker Own U to become champion of Event 26.

There were seven final-table eliminations in Event 26. Six of them came courtesy of Poker Own U, including the all-important last elimination. I don't know whether Poker Own U is 18 years old or 80 years old, but that kind of final-table performance is sure to put a spring in anyone's step.

2012 TCOOP Event 26 $22 Stud results:

1st: Poker Own U ($10,327.56)
2nd: pabritz ($7,288.80)
3rd: sunday888 ($5,466.60)
4th: sextete+2-6 ($4,251.80)
5th: blony_tair ($3,037.00)
6th: Thayer "THAY3R" Rasmussen ($1,822.20)
7th: Didi30 ($1,214.80)
8th: gieras ($607.40)

If you think these TCOOP tournaments look like fun, you're not alone. Thousands of players have already participated in the first six days of the 2012 TCOOP, and thousands more will participate over the next six days. You can find out how to get in on the action by visiting the TCOOP Home Page.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in TCOOP