TCOOP 2014: freudionline slips into a win in Event #6, $55 NLHE (6-max, Shootout)
The second day of this year's Turbo Championship of Online Poker featured its first shootout tournament. If normal turbo tourneys are appealing, turbo shootouts are even more so - for every winner there's less downtime between tables, and those who aren't going to advance deeper in the tournament know so in a timely manner. It's a great way to play poker for six hours or so, especially when there's a five-figure prize and a gold TCOOP champion's card protector waiting at the end.
Those positive qualities drew a field of 3,347 players to the table, large enough that players would have to win four consecutive tables to have a chance at the top prize. That was set at $26,776.72, the largest share of a prize pool worth $167,350. Just four and a half hours after starting their initial tables, these players sat down to see who would take the top prize as the only one to win five tables in a row:
Seat 1: Brandon "oncommand" Meyers (Mexico)
Seat 2: freudionline (Germany)
Seat 3: jonaj10 (Denmark)
Seat 4: luckybm2 (China)
Seat 5: stevenvol (Malta)
Seat 6: 1_conor_b_1 (United Kingdom)
Besides each player's four consecutive single-table victories to reach the final table, there was plenty of past pedigree in the lineup. Playing from Mexico was Brandon "oncommand" Meyers, winner of more than $2.51M in PokerStars tournaments, adding his first TCOOP final table to a resume already decorated with big WCOOP and SCOOP cashes. The United Kingdom's 1_conor_b_1, a past Sunday Million and WCOOP final tablist, came in with more than $621K in PokerStars cashes. Denmark's jonaj10 chopped heads-up at the final table of the Sunday 2nd Chance last October, and two of German player freudionline's four biggest cashes (for $20K+) were in turbo tournaments.
Play began with a few baby steps - blind steals by Malta's stevenvol and China's luckybm2 - before 1_conor_b_1 took down a pot with the first three-bet on Hand #3. On the next hand luckybm2 made a three-bet before the 7♦ J♦ 2♥ flop and won the 900-chip pot with a continuation bet. Then freudionline became the first player to move all-in on Hand #9:
With all the stacks still deep and no antes yet in play, the general tenor of of the table was aggressive but smart, with no more four-figure pots. When the antes did kick in on the 40/80 blind level there was more on the line and the pots grew accordingly. 1_conor_b_1 was the first to take advantage, winning back-to-back pots worth 2,362 and 2,400 chips on Hands #20 and #21. That gave the player from the UK a stack worth 8,072 for a sizable lead over the rest of the field.
Stuck looking up at everyone else were stevenvol and jonaj10, both less than a big blind over the 2,700-chip mark. The latter chose a poor time to bluff out of position with third pair on Hand #33 - oncommand had a flush - and dropped further to just 986 chips. With 50/100 blinds, that meant the pressure was on. Ten hands later jonaj10 moved in over the top of freudionline's opening bet of 340, holding A♦ J♥, and was dominated by freudionline's A♥ Q♠. The board ran out T♣ 3♣ A♠ 5♦ 7♥ and jonaj10 left the tournament in 6th place ($4,150.28).
Stacking up oncommand
That left the chips distributed like so with blinds and antes at 80/160/20:
Seat 1: oncommand (7,458 in chips)
Seat 2: freudionline (6,583 in chips)
Seat 4: luckybm2 (7,496 in chips)
Seat 5: stevenvol (1,768 in chips)
Seat 6: 1_conor_b_1 (6,695 in chips)
luckybm2 edged into the lead with 8,461 chips a few hands later, and then oncommand flopped the nut diamond flush in a four-bet pot with 1_conor_b_1. After check-calling, Mr. Meyers was unable to induce any more action and had to settle for a pot worth 6,405 instead. That pot gave him 11,758 chips and made him the first player to crack the 10K mark at the final table. Then on Hand #56 he stacked up even higher after opening for a minimum raise of 400 with A♠ T♦ and calling stevenvol's all-in move. The latter had a dominating A♥ J♥, but the board came 4♦ 8♦ 6♥ T♠ 2♠ and the player from Malta was gone in 5th place ($6,694).
The climb didn't stop there for Meyers. Four hands later he took a third of 1_conor_b_1's 3K-ish stack at showdown on the river of a 3♥ 6♦ J♥ 3♣ 7♦ board with A♥ T♣ against 1_conor_b_1's K♦ Q♥. On the subsequent hand the two were in the blinds against one another and 1_conor_b_1 shoved for 2,140 chips in the small blind when the action folded around. Oncommand called with Q♣ 4♠, which was ahead of J♠ 9♠ even before pairing on the 4♣ T♣ 7♦ flop. Any jack, nine, or eight would have helped 1_conor_b_1, but the A♠ and 7♣ came instead and the UK player was out in 4th place ($10,041).
A continuation bet after a pre-flop min-raise on the next hand gave Meyers more than 20,000 chips on the 125/250/30 level:
Seat 1: oncommand (20,046 in chips)
Seat 2: freudionline (3,818 in chips)
Seat 4: luckybm2 (6,136 in chips)
On Hand #68 he took a coin flip with K♦ Q♠ against T♦ T♣ to try for a knockout against freudionline, but the German player caught a set on the 7♣ 3♦ T♠ 9♠ 4♥ board and doubled to 8,231. Then freudionline won the next hand, calling both a semi-bluff raise before the flop and a river bluff with Q♦ J♦ by luckybm2, taking down the 6,340-chip pot with 9♣ 3♣ on a board of 5♥ 6♣ 7♥ 9♦ T♥. That left luckybm2 with 2,171 chips, all of which went in the middle two hands later with A♥ 9♣. freudionline called from the big blind with A♣ 7♣ and jumped into the lead on the 5♣ 7♦ Q♠ flop. Neither the J♥ turn nor the T♠ river helped, and luckybm2's time was up in 3rd place ($15,061.50).
Heads-up for a TCOOP shootout title
As heads-up play began, blinds and antes were at 150/300/35 and Brandon "oncommand" Meyers held a slight chip lead:
Seat 1: oncommand (15,893 in chips)
Seat 2: freudionline (14,107 in chips)
Meyers was looking at a third career heads-up opportunity to win a COOP title, after previously finishing second in both WCOOP and SCOOP events. Meanwhile freudionline was looking at such an opportunity for the first time. The German offered to chop but Meyers declined, and the duel was underway.
oncommand won eight of the first nine pots, all without a showdown, to take a lead of nearly three-to-one, but freudionline reversed that trend on Hand #80 with a 7,000-chip pot, holding T♣ T♥ and catching a full house on a J♦ 4♥ 4♣ 6♥ T♠ board. That was the first pot in a stretch where freudionline won seven of nine, including the first one of the final table worth more than 10,000 chips:
By the end of that run on Hand #88 freudionline had jumped ahead by a two-to-one margin. The 250/500 blinds and 50-chip antes made it very easy for the lead to swing back and forth, and so it did two more times. But after that, the pots stayed small and freudionline was able to stay ahead. Hand #114 would prove to be oncommand's final stand: after freudionline limped on the button for 600, Meyers moved in for 5,952 with K♠ 5♥ and the German called pretty quickly with K♦ J♥. The board ran out 9♦ 2♣ T♣ T♥ A♠ and the tournament came to a close.
Brandon Meyers might have been denied a COOP title for the third time in his career, but he walked with $20,082 for four sit-n-go wins followed by a runner-up finish - and just five hours and 41 minutes after the first one began, too. For Germany's freudionline, meanwhile, the $26,776.72 winner's purse sets a new career best by a little more than $100. Not a bad way to spend a Friday evening!
TCOOP-06: $55 No-Limit Hold'em (6-max, Turbo, Shootout)
Prize pool: $167,350
Places paid: 216
1. freudionline (Germany) $26,776.72
2. Brandon "oncommand" Meyers (Mexico) $20,082
3. luckybm2 (China) $15,061.50
4. 1_conor_b_1 (United Kingdom) $10,041
5. stevenvol (Malta) $6,694
6. jonaj10 (Denmark) $4,150.28
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.