TCOOP: Second time's the charm for Sir_Don_John in Event 24, $109 PLO/8 (6-max)

13996-TCOOP-thumb.pngSome players bust from a final table knowing that they've missed their only chance. Others are knocked down only temporarily, vowing to get back up and reach the promised land once again. And today, in Event 24, $109 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo (6-max), one of the latter group showed exactly what persistence can do for you in this game.

You know your tournament series is doing well when it becomes old hat to say that the guarantee was broken. As it has been so many times already, this TCOOP event's $50K guarantee was shattered before the tournament even officially began, with 619 entrants seated as play started at 12 p.m. ET. Late registration closed an hour later and yielded a total field of 1,321 players, good for a $132,100 prize pool and a scheduled top prize of $22,127.38. That scheduled prize hasn't been too relevant for most of the tournaments in this field, as the turbo structures have made lots of players willing to discuss deals pretty early in the final-table proceedings, but today it would hold firm.

Strong showing

Plenty of members of Team PokerStars Pro and Team Online entered today's event, but only a handful of them lasted as long as two hours. Just after coming back from their second break of the day, the remaining players closed in on - and then popped - the money bubble. Team Online's Dale "Daleroxxu" Philip busted just before the money in 179th place and hopped over to the chat box on Table 59, where he sighed and shipped $25 worth of last-longer bet to his teammate, Shane "shaniac" Schleger. Along with Team PokerStars Pro's Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth and Henrique Pinho, Schleger was still moving right along as the bubble came and went.

With the average stack sitting at 39K and blinds at 2.5K/5K, most of the field was looking at the prospect of imminent elimination - and they played appropriately. Within the five-minute span of Level 25, a total of 52 players had collected their payouts, and by the Level 26 of the next Schleger was out 94th place, followed quickly by Ainsworth in 93rd. (Both players earned $244.38 for their performances.) That left the field without any Team Online members and only Pinho to represent Team Pro. With the blinds encroaching on his stack, he got all-in in a three-way pot holding A♣ K♥ 7♠ T♥ but was greeted by a board full of low cards. He busted in 60th place ($323.64), closing the door on the PokerStars-sponsored players for this event.

henrique_pinho_ber7_d3.jpg

Henrique Pinho was tops among Team PokerStars Pro in Event 24

Heavyweight battle

Table 136 became the table to watch then. There Chris "Moorman1" Moorman and Mike "Tîmex" McDonald were sitting together with just 50 players left in the field. With blinds up to 10K/20K their respective 205K- and 101K-chip stacks were far from deep, but compared to their tablemates they were sitting pretty. They ended up clashing in this hand, with a result that was bad news for everyone else at the table in that neither player was going anywhere:

Shortly after that Moorman was moved directly to the left of the tournament's two biggest stacks - Switzerland's Sir_Don_John with 765K and Chile's PKaiser with 877K. Tîmex headed to a much-less-stacked Table 103 and got the bulk of his stack in the middle in a coin flip, losing out when his opponent hit a wheel and then having his crippled stack swallowed up on the next hand to exit in 26th place ($653.89). Moorman then busted just minutes later, his A♠ Q♠ J♣ T♦ falling to PKaiser's A♣ K♦ K♥ J♣ to end the day in 20th place ($825.62).

That pot propelled PKaiser to the lead with a stack of 1,074,188 chips as the third break of the tournament began. Close behind was tablemate Sir_Don_John (806,747 chips), followed by Canada's AnosaJ (588,245 chips), the United Kingdom's glenizem (576,809 chips) and Germany's Perico4 (560,784 chips). The blinds were now up to 20K/40K, and just 19 players remained. Sir_Don_John would become the overwhelming chip leader a few minutes later after this whopper of a preflop confrontation that crippled PKaiser before he busted shortly afterward in 14th place ($1,089.82):

Another try for Sir_Don_John

Sir_Don_John, who finished 6th in Event 14 just two days ago, continued to hold the lead and the rest of the field scrambled to stay ahead of the advancing blinds all the way through to the final table, which started with blinds at 80K/160K and a lineup that looked like this:

2012 TCOOP-24 final table.jpg

Seat 1: Sir_Don_John (1,991,680 chips)
Seat 2: NotAbleToFold (1,039,814 chips)
Seat 3: AnosaJ (994,705 chips)
Seat 4: Perico4 (460,892 chips)
Seat 5: clio524 (806,720 chips)
Seat 6: youngdracula (1,311,189 chips)

The rest of the table wanted to make a deal on the first hand, but Sir_Don_John, perhaps eager to make use of his dominating chip stack, squashed the talk immediately. "Maybe later," he typed. A few minutes later he would strike first when Spain's youngdracula, who had been crippled just moments before in a pot against clio524, limped in with A♣ 8♥ 6♣ 4♠; Sir_Don_John raised with A♠ Q♥ J♣ T♥ to isolate and then hit a full house, tens full of jacks, to send youngdracula out in 6th place ($3,632.75).

Just two hands later clio524 and AnosaJ clashed in a rare post-flop confrontation; the situation was set up well by AnosaJ but the fickle deck ended up sending him home in 5th place ($5,574.62):

One orbit later another player would find the end of the line in this TCOOP event. This time it was NotAble2Fold from Belarus, who got in preflop with K♦ K♣ 8♥ 8♠ against Sir_Don_John's A♦ K♥ Q♠ J♠ and was looking good on a board of 6♥ 5♥ 3♦ 2♥. Then the river brought the A♣, shipping the 1.4-million-chip pot to Sir_Don_John and eliminating NotAble2Fold in 4th place ($8,520.45).

Two hands later, with the 125K/250K blinds set to eat most of his stack on the next two hands, the short-stacked Perico4 finally moved in with J♠ 7♦ 3♦ 2♥. Both opponents called but it was Sir_Don_John whose 6♣ 6♦ 3♥ 2♦ split the pot with Perico4. Two hands later, clio524 would pick up the lost chips from the previous pot, taking the field down to two by hitting a flush with Q♥ T♥ 4♠ 3♣ on a board of K♠ 5♥ 2♣ A♥ J♥ to send Perico4 out in 3rd place ($12,483.45).

Heads-up play began with no deal in place and a nice chip lead for Sir_Don_John, who held 4,682,207 in chips to clio524's 1,922,793. And just as soon as it began, it seemed, the battle was done. On the third hand, clio524 was happy to open on the button and then call all-in holding 5♦ 4♠ 3♦ 2♣ against Sir_Don_John's A♣ K♥ 8♠ 6♣. The hand was textbook PLO/8. The T♠ 6♥ 4♦ flop gave clio524 a near-lock draw to the low half of the pot and a favorite for the high. The 9♦ didn't improve his hand but still left 19 cards in the deck that could. Unfortunately, the J♣ on the river wasn't one of them. It was second place (and $16,512.50) for clio524.

For Sir_Don_John it was $22,127.38 and - after his second try in just a few days - a TCOOP championship. Not a bad run for the Swiss player, and certainly an example of how a few hours of play during TCOOP can make a serious uptick in one's bankroll.

TCOOP Event 24 $109 Pot-Limit Omaha (6-max)
1,321 entrants, $132,100 prize pool

1st place - Sir_Don_John (Switzerland) - $21,127.38
2nd place - clio524 (Spain) - $16,512.50
3rd place - Perico4 (Germany) - $12,483.45
4th place - NotAble2Fold (Belarus) - $8,520.45
5th place - AnosaJ (Canada) - $5,574.62
6th place - youngdracula (Spain) - $3,632.75

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in TCOOP