TCOOP 2013: Victory for VeTaXa1988 in Event 21 ($27 NLHE 4-Max)
Poker players love a challenge, and short-handed games present that challenge. While six-max tables are common, four-handed creates even more opportunities to utilize different strategies because of the need for quick decisions and faster all-around play.
Event 21 of the Turbo Championship of Online Poker presented No Limit Hold'em with four-max tables for those types of players. With a $24.55 + $2.45 buy-in, it provided reasonable access to a title in such a game, though the turbo structure made decisions doubly difficult. But a $75K guarantee encouraged players to get in on the action, and that they did.
The numbers for Event 21 far exceeded expectations:
Prize pool: $328,257.75
Paid players: 1,400
The only Team PokerStars Pro to make it into the money in this event was Christian "el grillo" de Leon of Mexico. He finished in 744th place for $71.47.
The tournament quickly thinned to only two tables about 20 minutes into the fourth hour, and play continued to move quickly. Ultimately, hand-for-hand play ended when Evgen301 pushed all-in with K♦7♣ against the 4♠4♣ of infinityyyy and didn't improve on the 9♣J♥2♣8♠4♦ board. Evgen301 departed in sixth place on the final table bubble with $1,975.15.
Sytchev_54 sits atop leaderboard
The final table was established with five players and their accompanying stacks:
Seat 1: Sytchev_54 (18,677,816 in chips)
Seat 2: infinityyyy (12,578,369 in chips)
Seat 3: chris288 (10,260,986 in chips)
Seat 4: mycka86 (4,120,524 in chips)
Seat 5: VeTaXa1988 (2,887,305 in chips)
Mycka86 started the action by doubling through infinityyyy, and VeTaXa1988 did the same on the very next hand, leaving infinityyyy on the shortest stack. Infinityyyy did double through VeTaXa1988 to stay in the game, and then VeTaXa1988 doubled through Mycka86.
Infinityyyy made another move, pushing all-in UTG with A♥5♦. Mycka86 reraised all-in from the button with K♦K♣, and the blinds folded. The board came Q♦4♥4♠6♦9♥ to eliminate infinityyyy in fifth place with $3,171.21.
Mycka86 was in trouble, though, and down to less than 500K chips. The all-in move was made with J♠T♣ against the K♥Q♣ of chris288. The flop of K♠2♣6♥ immediately improved chris288's hand even more, and the 9♥ turn and 4♠ river ended the tournament for mycka86, who took home $5,022.47 for fourth place.
Chris288 then doubled through Sytchev_54 to jump into the lead. VeTaXa1988 doubled through chris288 to stay alive, but the former remained the short stack and chris288 was relegated to second place of the final three. VeTaXa1988 then doubled through Sytchev_54.
Chris288 did the same, doubling through Sytchev_54. It didn't take long for Sytchev_54 to attempt a double-up, and a preflop raising battle led Sytchev_54 to move all-in with K♣4♣. Chris288 was there with K♥J♥, and the board came 7♥3♠Q♣8♥8♦ to eliminate Sytchev_54 in third place with $8,079.32.
Heads-up roller coaster
The final two players started their match with these counts:
Seat 3: chris288 (34,331,448 in chips)
Seat 5: VeTaXa1988 (14,193,552 in chips)
VeTaXa1988 doubled through chris288 on the very first hand, then lost ground and did it again. Chris288 lost the lead and had to double through VeTaXa1988, which gave chris288 a significant lead with the 40 million chips. But VeTaXa1988 doubled back twice, even doing it a third time with A♠8♠ over the 8♦3♣ of chris288.
With chris288 holding less than 10 million chips, the all-in move came on the very next hand with 7♥6♦, and VeTaXa1988 called with Q♠8♦. The board came 3♣T♥T♣J♦5♣, and the queen kicker played to send chris288 out in second place with $13,942.84.
VeTaXa1988 won the TCOOP title and $23,042.38 in first place prize money. Congrats!
2013 TCOOP Event 21 results for 01/21/13:
Paid players: 1,400
1st place: VeTaXa1988 (Ukraine) - $23,042.38
2nd place: chris288 (Germany) - $13,942.84
3rd place: Sytchev_54 (Russia) - $8,079.32
4th place: mycka86 (Poland) - $5,022.47
5th place: infinityyyy (Germany) - $3,171.21
There are many more TCOOP tournaments on the schedule, and satellites are available for all of them. Make sure to check out the TCOOP home page for all information about the series.
Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.