TCOOP 2013: Something to believe in for cynicalfish in Event 25, $215 NLHE

Deal-making is a funny thing. There are some players who won't ever make a deal, no matter how good it is. Others want to start talking about ways to chop when the tournament reaches the money. Even among those who fall between those extremes, the desire to haggle varies from extreme impatience to entrenched determination.

Usually the time spent making a deal is minimal compared to the tournament itself, but in TCOOP events a long deal-making session can become a significant fraction of the tournament's overall running time. That's what happened in Event 25, which drew a field of 3,779 players and built a prize pool of $755,600. It began at 1:00 p.m. ET and had reached its final table began at 6:06 p.m. ET. The blinds and antes were at 80K/160K/20K and these nine players were looking for their first TCOOP title:

Seat 1: cynicalfish (3,238,723 in chips)
Seat 2: isinm2006 (1,203,761 in chips)
Seat 3: vip25459 (1,804,647 in chips)
Seat 4: boahgerding (2,180,764 in chips)
Seat 5: wineboxwilly (3,262,895 in chips)
Seat 6: SifUrPro (1,487,196 in chips)
Seat 7: och_jong (1,228,331 in chips)
Seat 8: bostanu24 (1,618,240 in chips)
Seat 9: pyszalek (2,865,443 in chips)

TCOOP 2013 Event 25 final table.jpg

Never fear, underdog is here

It was no surprise to see the action get going in a hurry, since nobody had more than 20 big blinds. What was remarkable was that the short stack survived each of the first six all-in confrontations.

First Israel's isinm2006 got things started by doubling through cynicalfish of Croatia with A♠ Q♥ against K♠ 8♠. Then SifUrPro from Australia doubled through bostanu24 on the next hand, A♥ K♣ flopping top pair to beat the Romanian player's 6♦ 6♥. That left bostanu24 with just 131K in chips, but A♣ 8♥ held up two hands later against SifUrPro's A♦ 2♦ to keep the Romanian in the game.

After that vip25459 from Kazakhstan got in with K♣ K♦ and doubled through wineboxwilly of Canada, who had moved all-in under the gun with A♦ J♦. wineboxwilly split the next pot with A♠ 3♣ to bostanu24's A♦ 2♠, and on the next hand bostanu24 survived again, cracking pyszalek's K♠ K♦ with A♦ 8♥.

Having gone from just 131K to 1.9M, bostanu24 then struck the first elimination blow of the table. The action folded around to och_jong in the small blind and the player from Belgium moved all-in for 380K. Already committed in the big blind for 250K, bostanu24 called with 4♥ 6♣. That was only behind och_jong's K♠ 2♠ until the 7♣ 8♣ 4♣ flop, and after the 7♥ turn and A♣ river och_jong was out in 9th place ($6,044.80).

...And out come the wolves

It would only take another four hands for the next elimination. With a 1.53M-chip stack worth just over six big blinds and 281K of that due to disappear on the next hand between the big blind and ante, wineboxwilly moved all-in under the gun with J♣ T♠. SifUrPro moved all-in in early position to isolate and then turned over A♦ Q♣ after the rest of the table folded. The board fell 2♠ 8♣ 4♠ 4♥ 2♥ and wineboxwilly finished in 8th place ($9,445).

SifUrPro stole the blinds on the next hand before knocking another player out. Sitting under the gun with 879K, pyszalek of Poland moved all-in with K♦ T♥. SifUrPro moved all-in from the small blind to isolate and then showed K♥ J♠ after bostanu24 folded in the big blind. The 4♥ K♠ J♥ flop was gold for SifUrPro, and after the 9♦ turn and 5♣ river pyszalek hit the rail in 7th place ($17,001).

The run of good fortune for bostanu24 at the final table would come to an end after the blinds went up to 150K/300K/37.5K. Then Romanian moved all-in under the gun for 2.36M holding 7♥7♦ but was met with an instant all-in move behind by cynicalfish, who had picked up A♦ A♣. The rest of the table folded, the board came 9♣ 3♣ 4♦ 2♣ 4♥, and bostanu24 was out in 6th place ($24,557).

Two hands later cynicalfish doubled isinm2006 of Israel up when 5♥ 5♠ couldn't hold up against T♠ 6♦. Then short-stacked boahgerding moved all-in under the gun for 570K with J♣ 3♥ and got a call from vip25459 in the big blind with 6♥ 5♥. That made a straight on the 9♣ 4♣ 3♠ 9♦ 7♠ board, sending boahgerding out in 5th place ($32,113).

Can we talk?

That left these four players in contention:

Seat 1: cynicalfish (6,424,535 in chips)
Seat 2: isinm2006 (2,287,566 in chips)
Seat 3: vip25459 (4,297,558 in chips)
Seat 6: SifUrPro (5,880,341 in chips)

The players then agreed to look at the numbers for a possible deal. As it turned out the negotiations would end up taking longer than the rest of the final table itself. After a few false starts and last-moment haggles, the deal-making session ran 27 minutes - or nine percent of the eventual total running time of this event - before the players finally came to a satisfactory conclusion. With everyone getting better than 4th-place money, and another $10,000 on the table for the winner, play resumed at the 200K/400K/50K level.

The first five hands all went raise-and-take-it, but on the sixth hand cynicalfish moved all-in on the button with Q♥ T♣ and isinm2006 called with 7♥ 7♠. The A♣ 9♥ K♥ K♣ 4♦ board feinted danger but stayed safe to ship the 4.32M-chip pot. On the next hand SifUrPro played banker, doubling vip25459 up to 6.44M when A♠ 7♥ couldn't outrun A♣ J♣ on a Q♣ 4♦ J♦ 5♦ 4♠.

Another four hands would pass before the short stack finally lost a confrontation:

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With that isinm2006 became the first of the dealmakers to claim a prize, this one worth $59,273.35 for 4th place.

That put cynicalfish into the lead with 8.81M chips,vip25459 close behind with 6.44M, and SifUrPro in third with 3.63M. Just six hands later the two big stacks would clash before the flop. cynicalfish opened for the minmum of 800K holding K♣ Q♠ and vip24459 moved all-in for 7.39M. cynicalfish thought for a few seconds before calling, only to see vip25459 held A♥ T♣. But the Q♣ 4♠ 5♠ flop paired cynicalfish up, which was enough after the J♥ turn and 2♦ river to win the pot and knock vip25459 out in 3rd place ($73,400).

A record-tying duel

The heads-up match tied for the quickest in history, lasting exactly one hand. SifUrPro moved all-in on the button for 2.08M, worth just over five big blinds now, holding T♣ 8♣. It was an easy call for cynicalfish with A♣ J♦, and the T♥ Q♥ K♦ flop couldn't have been any better. To win SifUrPro needed either running tens for quads, or running eights or ten-eight for a full house; there was also the possibility of a chop with running ace-jack. But the 5♦ left SifUrPro drawing dead, and the 3♦ made the result official.

SifUrPro earned $83,214.42 for the 2nd-place finish. As for cynicalfish, the Croatian player grabbed the extra $10K on the table for a total prize of $96,931.62. Not bad for a little under five hours' work!

TCOOP 2013 Event #25: $215 NL Hold'em
$500,000 guaranteed prize pool
3,778 entries
495 places paid
$755,600 total prize pool

1st place: cynicalfish (Croatia) $96,931.62*
2nd place: SifUrPro (Australia) $83,214.42*
3rd place: vip25459 (Kazakhstan) $73,400*
4th place: isinm2006 (Israel) $59,273.35*
5th place: boahgerding (Germany) $32,113
6th place: bostanu (Romania) $24,557
7th place: pyszalek (Poland) $17,001
8th place: wineboxwilly (Canada) $9,445
9th place: och_jong (Belgium) $6,044.80

We're now exactly halfway through this year's TCOOP schedule and our winner in this event, cynicalfish, is now tied for 5th place on the TCOOP leaderboard. Can the Croatian string together a few more big cashes and win the TCOOP Player of the Series? Follow the race on the TCOOP leaderboard.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in TCOOP