TCOOP 2013: Job done in nine minutes as mimoletka wins Event#5 ($27 Draw)

It was the first TCOOP event of the second day of the Championship and featured one of its more esoteric variants. For anyone tuning in it was a chance to see a five card draw revival, played by some 2,340 enthusiasts who paid $27 to play. But they had to be quick to see it, for it took three hours 45 minutes to reach the final table bubble, then 15 minutes for that number to become six. The final table? That took just nine minutes, and was won by mimoletka from Bulgaria.

To briefly recap, two players were out in the first 30 seconds, another followed before the minute was up. In minute three a player double up, which given the circumstances seemed out of step with how things were going. Then a three-way all-in to bust another. It seemed whoever could survive the swings would win, perhaps without realising how. This was the only draw event scheduled for the 2013 TCOOP. It served as a convincing advertisement.

Learning to draw

For a lot of people draw is the first variation of poker they play, often recalled by those whose first glimpse of the game was from the knee of a grandmother (usually their own), around a Formica kitchen table, playing for pennies. Now poker is learned from TV or the internet and five-card draw is more a relic from a bygone era.

The final table

Indeed, while hold'em may be the Cadillac of poker, draw is more its Studebaker. You wouldn't really use it for the school run or to cruise downtown on a Friday night, but it's there to polish on Sundays and occasionally take for a spin around the block, provided granddad is asleep and it's not raining.

Draw though can be fascinating to play. No flops, turns or rivers. The cards you get are yours to play as you wish, with an option to exchange up to four of them after a round of betting. Then those remaining endure another round of betting before a showdown. It's quick, takes a lot of skill and makes you feel like Herbert O. Yardley.

All about survival

But while in the world of Yardley draw was about spotting tells, standing pat and dodging the Chinese authorities, event five was about surviving. In four hours 2,340 starters (creating a guarantee defying $57,477 prize pool) became six finalists; that's nearly ten players a minute heading for the virtual rail where they were free to ridicule the people who'd just knocked them out (maybe draw isn't that different after all).

The final table would look like this:

Seat 1. Pinowww, 4,640,852
Seat 2. sulfurNC, 614,845
Seat 3. xsucax, 324,324
Seat 4. Mimoletka, 4,444,364
Seat 5. Drizz_96
Seat 6. Bighigh22, 331,472

The first double-elimination

A crucial factor to the nine-minute-final was seven handed play, which at close to 15 minutes allowed the blinds to soar to the 100,000/200,000/ 50,000 level before the final table had played a hand in anger. It left most players with only a limited lifespan. The chips were always going to fly.

A hand in the first double elimination took place.

The hand ditched xsucax in sixth and sulfurNC in fifth.


Within a hand the field was down to three. Another raise from Pinowww, to 400,000, prompted Drizz_96 to move all-in for 644,000. Pinowww called, each player discarding three cards, which made Drizz_96 a pair of nines but Pinowww two pair, jacks and deuces.

That left Drizz_96 out in fourth and Pinowww with 6.1 million, some way ahead of second place mimoletka with 3.5 million and bighigh22 with 1.5 million.

Bighigh22 would not go without a fight however, doubling through mimoletka. But in effect it was a rear-guard action that would last only a little longer than a minute. Their demise soon followed.

Pinowww had been poised to win it there and then but mimoletka took the chip lead by virtue of a king-high flush. Bighigh22 was out in third.

Up to now Pinowww had been the leader, using a one-click strategy of all-ins that were difficult for anybody to call. Now though it was mimoletka in command and they quickly adopted the same strategy, Pinowww forced to surrender more and more chips until they all went into the middle. Both discarded three...

It's supposed to be a turbo tournament, but nine minutes may require a category of its own.

PokerStars 2013 TCOOP Event#5 ($27 NL Draw) results

Players: 2,340
Prize pool: $57,477
Places paid: 300

1. Mimoletka (Bulgaria) $9,049.45
2. Pinowww (Netherlands) 6606.40
3. bighigh22 (Canada) 4882.99
4. Drizz_96 (Belgium) 3303.20
5. sulfurNC (Finland) 2154.26
6. xsucax (United Kingdom) 1,147.79

TCOOP is on only its second day with plenty still to come. Head over to the TCOOP page for a full schedule of events and information on how you can satellite in for pennies on the dollar.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in TCOOP