TCOOP 2013: Smertin smokes field in Event #40 $215 H.O.R.S.E. victory

Slow and steady wins the race. That's a nugget of gamblers' wisdom imparted to me by an uncle who spent more time at the race track than he should have. A horse that exploded out of the gate and led early on doesn't always win the race after expending way too much energy and doesn't have enough juice in reserve for the home stretch. The most deadly horses stay patient for the majority of the race, yet waits until the final stretch to unleash an explosive kick to blow by everyone else.

Smertin opted to hold back for most of event #40 $215 H.O.R.S.E. until it was time to make a move with six remaining. During a round of Stud, Smertin won three consecutive pots (including a heroic knock out of the former front runner) and jumped from 500K to 1 million in chips to seize the lead. At that point, Smertin kicked it into high gear and everyone else was left in the dust. In a seventeen-hand sprint, Smertin smoked the other four players en route to a TCOOP victory.

Event #40 $215 H.O.R.S.E. attracted 564 runners, who created a prize pool worth $112,800. The top 72 places paid out with $21,319.20 set aside for the eventual champion. The Turbo-version fof HORSE featured three-minute levels, which meant players went through a full round of games every 15 minutes.

Team PokerStars Pros in this event included Marcel Luske, Alex Kravchenko, George Danzer, and Nacho Barbero. PokerStars Team Online Pros in this event seeking a TCOOP title included Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen and Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara.

The money bubble burst at 72. Team Online mement_mori was the only PokerStars player to cash in this event. He was hovering in the middle of the pack in chips. With 32 remaining on four tables, mement_mori was one of the short stacks and 31st overall in chips. During a hand of Stud Hi/Lo... mement_mori narrowly avoided elimination. He was all-in on third street in a multi-way pot. Without any qualifying low hands, he tripled up when he made a pair of Kings and faded a flush draw. Unfortunately, he was only prolonging the inevitable.

When the game switched to Limit Hold'em, mement_mori was back to being the short stack. He was 27/27 at the time and made a final stand in his big blind holding 4♦2♣. Two players were all-in; No1zyBoy held K♥T♦ but Pugnani led with T♣T♠. The board ran out K♣7♠2♠A♦7♦ and No1zyBoy won the main pot and side pot with a pair of Kings. No1zyBoy took command of the chip lead with over 420K and proceeded to knock out two players on the same hand. Pugnani hit the road in 26th place and Team Online mement_mori busted in 27th place, which paid out $733.20.

When play crawled toward the final table bubble with 10 remaining, No1zyBoy chipped up to 800K and almost had twice as much as second place. Action went-hand-for-hand with nine players to go. During Omaha Hi/Lo... kamil443 opened to 100,000 and shorty spanisfish91 called all-in for 30,649. Alas, spanisfish91 took an unfortunate opportunity to run Q♥J♥T♥9♣ into kamil443's A♥A♣K♦7♦. The board ran out T♣5♠5♦2♠A♠ and kamil443 won the pot with a full house. Lithuania's spanisfish91 bubbled off the final table in ninth place.

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Event #40 - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: Bankir84 (113,662)
Seat 2: No1zyBoy (735,740)
Seat 3: Matsui4Boya (214,840)
Seat 4: kamil443 (300,782)
Seat 5: l0serk1ng14 (671,240)
Seat 6: goga1975944 (345,120)
Seat 7: Verm16 (187,984)
Seat 8: Smertin (250,632)

The final table commenced during Level 62 with a round of Omaha Hi/Lo and blinds at 50K/100K. Poland's No1zyBoy held the lead with 735K. Bankir84 brought up the rear as the short stack with 113K.

Bankir84 eliminated in 8th place

On the first hand of the final table, someone busted during Omaha Hi/Lo. Verm16 min-raised to 100,000, Bankir84 shoved for 113,662, and Verm16 called.

Bankir84: A♠Q♥4♠3♠
Verm16: A♣8♣3♦2♠

The board ran out K♣7♣3♥8♦5♥. Verm16 scooped and won the hi-end with two pair and won the low-end with 7-5-4-3-2-A. Bankir84 hit the road in eighth place and won $1,974.00.

Verm16 eliminated in 7th place

The final seven played rounds of Razz, Stud and Stud Hi/Lo without any casualties. When the game switched to Hold'em, we lost a player.

Verm16 bombed it all-in for 120,014 and kamil443 jammed for 160,000, and everyone else folded. Verm16 took A♦J♦ into battle against kamil443's A♥8♦. The board ran out K♥T♥8♥4♣T♣ and kamil443 won the pot with two pair -- tens and eights. For a seventh-place finish, Verm16 collected $2,820.00.

DEAL

With six remaining, No1zyBoy held the lead with 847K. Action was paused for several minutes while the final six hammered out a deal. The initial chop numbers were floated, but the shortest stack goga1975944 hinted that he wanted a significant amount more. After a couple minutes of negotiating and explaining why the deal numbers were fair considering it was a turbo event, the remaining players finally reached a deal and goga1975944 agreed on the original numbers:

No1zyBoy - $16,215.46
kamil443 - $13,812.38
Matsui4Boya - $12,452.19
Smertin - $7,728.69
l0serk1ng14 - $7,643.84
goga1975944 - $6,643.04

They had to leave $2,000 on the table for the TCOOP HORSE champion. With the money chopped up, play resumed.

No1zyBoy eliminated in 6th place

Despite the deal, action actually slowed down, but along the way No1zyBoy lost the majority of his chips during an unhealthy round of Razz. It wasn't until Stud popped up before someone exited in sixth place.

Smertin holding (X-X)7♦ raised to 120,000, No1zyBoy with (X-X)A♠ shoved all-in for 184,340, and Smertin called. When the dust settled, both players showed their hands...

Smertin: 7♣4♣7♦2♠8♥9♦3♠
No1zyBoy: 3♥8♠A♠5♠2♣K♥6♠

Smertin won the pot with a pair of sevens, while No1zyBoy whiffed on a potential Wheel. No1zyBoy busted in 6th place but based on the deal, No1zyBoy secured a payday of $16,215.46.

Matsui4Boya eliminated in 5th place

During Stud Hi/Lo, we lost another player. Sitting with (X-X)8♦, goga1975944 raised to 120,000, and Matsui4Boya called all-in for 81,680 with (X-X)A♦. At the end of seventh street, both players revealed their hands:

goga1975944: 8♣8♠8♦4♠6♥A♣A♠
Matsui4Boya: 4♦9♥A♦9♣K♥7♠T♥

Without any qualifying low hand, Matsui4Boya could only muster up a pair of nines versus goga1975944'sfull boat (after getting dealt rolled up eights and then catching an unnecessary running Aces on sixth and seventh streets). Serbia's Matsui4Boya earned $12,452.19 for fifth place.

With four to go, Smertin held the lead with approximately 1.3 million and had almost 50% of the total chips in play. The short stack was kamil443 with 397K.

goga1975944 eliminated in 4th place

During a round of Hold'em we saw fireworks. l0serk1ng14 opened with a raise to 320,000, goga1975944 was short and called all-in for 94964 from the small blind and attempted to make a final stand with K♠2♦ versus l0serk1ng14's A♠4♣. The board ran out 9♥7♦5♣9♦J♣. Neither player improved their hands, but l0serk1ng14 won the pot with a pair of nines and Ace-kicker. Georgia's goga1975944 collected $6,643.04 for fourth place.

With three remaining, Smertin retained the lead with a shade under 1.3 million, while l0serk1ng14 held onto second with 791K and kamil443 was right behind with 735K.

l0serk1ng14 eliminated in 3rd place

We lost another player during a round of Omaha Hi/Lo when Smertin bumped it up to 320,000, l0serk1ng14 jammed all-in for 471,044 from the big blind, and Smertin called.

l0serk1ng14: A♠K♣Q♣T♦
Smertin: J♥9♥5♠2♠

Although l0serk1ng14 held a slightly better hand preflop and hit the flop, the board ran out Q♥7♠6♦9♣8♥. The best l0serk1ng14 could do was a pair of Queens. However, Smertin rivered a nine-high straight and scooped with a 8-7-6-5-2 low. Finland's l0serk1ng14 busted in third place, but took home $7,643.84.

HEADS-UP: kamil443 (Poland) vs. Smertin (Switzerland)
Seat 4: kamil443 (255,352)
Seat 8: Smertin (2,564,648)

It wasn't going to be much of a fight because Smertin held a tremendous 10-1 advantage over kamil443. Their heads-up matched lasted only one hand. Yes, it took a mere single hand of Omaha Hi/Lo to determine the champion.

kamil443 eliminated in 2nd place; Smertin wins Event #40

Sitting in the small blind, kamil44 bombed it all-in for 255,352 and Smertin called. Smertin woke up with K♠K♦T♣8♠ against kamil443's J♦6♠3♦3♠. The board ran out T♦8♥6♣T♠A♦ and there was not a qualifying low. Smertin flopped two pair, turned trips, then rivered a full house (tens full of eights) to secure the win. Alas, kamil443 finished up with two pair -- tens and sixes -- and was knocked out in second place. Poland's kamil443 earned $13,812.38 for a gutsy runner-up performance.

Congrats to Smertin from Switzerland, who conquered the HORSE field to win TCOOP Event #40 and collect $9,728.69 for first place (based on the deal arrangement and $2,000 on the table for the champion).

Check out the final hand via the replayer:

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Event #40 $215 HORSE - Final Table Results and Payouts:
Entrants: 564
Prize Pool: $112,800
Payouts: 72

1. Smertin (Switzerland) - $9,728.69 **
2. kamil443 (Poland) - $13,812.38 **
3. l0serk1ng14 (Finland) - $7,643.84 **
4. goga1975944 (Georgia) - $6,643.04 **
5. Matsui4Boya (Serbia) - $12,452.19 **
6. No1zyBoy (Poland) - $16,215.46 **
7. Verm16 (Denmark) - $2,820
8. Bankir84 (Russia)- $1,974

** Denotes a money chop among the final six

TCOOP is almost over! For a list of remaining events, or to view the lead board and other turbo-charged information, visit the TCOOP home page.

Pauly McGuire is an author and freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in TCOOP