TCOOP 2013: MONSTER_DONG pairs WCOOP bracelet with TCOOP title in Event #4 ($55 NLHE)

Only this morning, PokerStars introduced the "Triple COOP" milestone and revealed a list of 27 players who could potentially complete the trifecta during the 2013 TCOOP. Although the list was peppered with many of his contemporaries, Jonathan Karamalikis wasn't on it. The Aussie pro best known by the cheeky screenname "MONSTER_DONG" has a string of online tournament victories as long as your arm but until now, only had one piece of the trifecta-- a 2011 WCOOP bracelet (earned in a turbo NLHE event, no less). Tonight, he added the second, dominating the final table of TCOOP Event #4 and winning nearly $60,000.


Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis, playing at APPT Queenstown

The final event of TCOOP's opening day drew 7,852 players and easily broke the $300,000 guarantee, the final prize pool topping out at $392,600. 990 places were paid with first place set to earn $59,718.60. Among the ten Red Spades in the field were Team Online's Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thurman, Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen, and Caio Pessagno, and Team Pros Christian De Leon, Maxim Lykov, Martin Hruby, Vivian Im, and Matthias De Meulder. Two finished in the money-- Belgian Team Pro Christophe De Meulder (326th) and Greece's Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas, who made a deep run and took 40th place.

Blinds were up to 125,000/250,000 with ten players remaining, and with only 2BB remaining, Vilivs open-shoved from the small-blind with K♠8♠. Unfortunately for Vilivs, poovan woke up with 2♣2♥ in the big blind and the baby pair held up to send him to the rail on the final table bubble.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: MONSTER_DONG (3,462,240 in chips)
Seat 2: pooyan (4,557,344 in chips)
Seat 3: litovchenko8 (6,639,260 in chips)
Seat 4: OneDay$oon (9,259,046 in chips)
Seat 5: JSlaats (2,807,479 in chips)
Seat 6: vladulaNko (4,065,403 in chips)
Seat 7: thewave85 (2,329,410 in chips)
Seat 8: iUsed2DrinK (3,690,792 in chips)
Seat 9: SorinRF (2,449,026 in chips)

The flush takes it twice

MONSTER_DONG was nearly out on the second hand of the final table. After SorinRF open-shoved for 2.41 million, MONSTER_DONG reshoved right behind him for 3.26 million, revealing K♦Q♦. SorinRF led with A♣T♥ and even paired his ace on the A♥8♦5♦ flop, but MONSTER_DONG caught him on the river, the 2♦ falling to make his flush. SorinRF departed in ninth place, while MONSTER_DONG moved up to 6.5 million in chips.

OneDay$oon brought the chip lead into the final table, but lost it after a nasty beat on Hand #7. Holding A♠K♥, OneDay$oon open-shoved for 8.5 million from the hijack and JSlaats called all-in for 2.85 million with K♣Q♣. Once again, the king-queen made a flush, the board running out J♠8♣4♣A♣6♣ to double JSlaats to 6.45 million.

Three down in ten minutes

Three hands later, thewave85 looked down at A♥K♦ and moved in for his last 1.5 million. Litovchenko8 called with 4♣4♥ from the big blind and promptly flopped a set of fours, dashing thewave85's hopes for a comeback. Litovchenko8 improved to a full house on the river and thewave85 exited in eighth place.

Next to shove was iUsed2Drink, who moved in for 4.99 million from under-the-gun with A♦J♦. MONSTER_DONG picked up Q♠Q♥ at the perfect time and immediately reshoved for 6.34 million. The queens held up, the board pairing eights and deuces, and IUsed2Drink was suddenly on the rail in seventh place.

The blinds now up to 250,000/500,000, VladulaNko saw his stack bleed away to almost nothing before he moved all-in for 421,653 with 8♥9♠. Poovan made it 2 million straight with A♠K♦, successfully isolating his opponent. The ace-king hung on, the boar running out J♥J♠Q♠2♥4♥ to end vladulaNko's run in sixth place.

MONSTER_DONG KOs three more

Former chip leader OneDay$oon now hovered at the bottom of the pack, his 4.16 million in chips totaling only eight big blinds. After current chip leader MONSTER_DONG open-shoved for 13.3 million from UTG, OneDay$oon found A♥J♣ in the small blind and called all-in, only to watch MONSTER_DONG once again flip over pocket queens. The seven-high board didn't help OneDay$oon and he hit the rail in fifth place.

MONSTER_DONG continued his aggressive approach, moving in on nearly every hand and stealing the blinds. It's a tactic that works every time until it doesn't, and poovan was the one to finally slap MONSTER_DONG's hand away from the proverbial cookie jar when his A♣8♠ held up against 6♦7♦. Poovan doubled up to 13.2 million, good for a strong second in chips, but his stint near the top of the pack was short-lived. Only two hands later, all those chips landed back in MONSTER_DONG's stack, his J♦J♣ running over poovan's 9♥9♦ for all the marbles. Poovan went out in fourth place and MONSTER_DONG moved up to 30 million, good for 75% of the chips in play.

Down to only 3.5 million, litovchenko8 finally caught a break when MONSTER_DONG folded his button. With 6.16 million behind, he opened for 4.8 million from the small blind, setting JSlatts all-in. JSlatts called, though, turning over Q♥T♥ while litovchenko8 could only show 4♦6♦. JSlatts paired his ten and doubled to 7.1 million.

Litovchenko8 never recovered and ultimately called all-in with A♠J♥ after MONSTER_DONG shoved with K♠9♠. MONSTER_DONG flopped a nine, and litovchenko8 did not improve, ending his run in third place.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 1: MONSTER_DONG (32,980,084 in chips)
Seat 5: JSlaats (6,279,916 in chips)

JSlaats quickly went to work bridging the massive gap between their chip counts. He successfully doubled through MONSTER_DONG when his Q♣Q♠ held up against J♥2♦, then doubled again only a few hands later with Q♠T♣ against Q♥8♥. Now up to 15.1 million to MONSTER_DONG's 24 million, JSlaats had a fighting chance.

MONSTER_DONG kicked it back into gear, winning a string of small pots that eroded JSlaats' stack back down to 10 million. Ultimately, it came down to a coinflip, JSlatts open-shoving with A♦K♠ and MONSTER_DONG looking him up with 6♦6♥. The pocket pair held, locking up MONSTER_DONG's TCOOP title:

Congratulations to Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis on earning a TCOOP title, $59,718.60, and getting one step closer to the elusive "Triple COOP." Kudos are also due to runner-up JSlaats, who banked $44,167.50-- an utterly amazing ROI, especially given that JSlaats qualified for this event on a $2 satellite!

PokerStars 2013 TCOOP Event #4 ($55 NLHE) results

Players: 7,852
Prizepool: $392,600
Places paid: 990

1. Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis (Australia) $59,718.60
2. JSlaats (Netherlands) $44,167.50
3. litovchenko8 (Ukraine) $31,408.00
4. pooyan (United Kingdom) $21,593.00
5. OneDay$oon (Costa Rica) $16,489.20
6. vladulaNko (Bulgaria) $12,563.20
7. iUsed2DrinK (Portugal) $8,637.20
8. thewave85 (Canada) $4,711.20
9. SorinRF (Romania) $3,042.65

TCOOP is just getting started! 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.

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in TCOOP