TCOOP 2014: Fun, flips and frills as Cbank32 binks Event #45 title ($109 NL Hold'em)
Sometimes as you watch an 'OOP final table you form opinions of players on screen based on nothing more than an avatar and playing style. It can be blind prejudice or just a gut reaction, but it can alter the narrative of an event such as TCOOP #45, a no-limit hold'em contest with 2,920. It was eventually won by Cbank32, who used good hands, bad hands and the kitchen sink to win a Wacky Races type scrap to the finish line. I liked Cbank32 from the start.
It was not just his insistence on raising every hand, even when the blinds meant that his own stack was by no means safe; it was not just that the all-ins he called were with less than premium hands, it was his insistence on getting stuck in in the first place. Cbank32 would knock out five players at the final and three times lost big hands to give chips back again. But regardless, he remained intent on a win, ignoring deals and doing anything to get back in front. That made everything fun, and Cbank32 worth every cent of his $46,136 first prize.
The final table begins
Here's how they lined up at the start:
Seat 1: oskar322 (Estonia) 2,467,992
Seat 2: SBO.13 (Canada) 6,390,520
Seat 3: korana (Germany) 3,277,420
Seat 4: Fredzon88 (Germany) 553,691
Seat 5: zhivago2 (Austria) 1,708,331 - FTOPs XIV winner
Seat 6: VinoHleb (United Kingdom) 6,151,013
Seat 7: JUJU2891 (Belgium) 1,811,824
Seat 8: valestars14 (Argentina) 743,274
Seat 9: Cbank32 (Czech Republic) 5,570,935
It was not Cbank32 but SBO.13 who led going into the final nine, one of several who would lead for short periods of time, over what was a quick-fire 16 minute final.
Needless to say on that timetable the action began at once. After Fredzon88 doubled with pocket eights in the first hand, he did the same again against Cbank32 a hand later. Having been the short stack he was now reasonably comfortable on 3.6 million, although with the big blind at 250,000 and rising all the time, comfort was relative.
Former FTOPS XIV winner zhivago2 would be the first to depart. He exited on the next hand, three-bet shoving behind a Cbank32 raise with queen-four. Cbank32 called with ace-eight and with nothing on the board to help either, had enough to reduce the field by one.
Two minutes later valestars14 was sent to the rail in a hand that would elevate Cbank32 to the chip lead. Valestars14 shoved with queen-four only to run into Cbank32's ace-seven, which became a pair of sevens. Cbank32 now had 6.6 million to play with.
That was good for the chip lead, for about 45 seconds.
On the next hand korana moved in for just shy of 3 million chips under-the-gun with ace-jack. Fredzon88. however, had found ace-king one seat along and also moved in. The ace-king was good and left Fredzon88 with 7.2 million chips as the field was cut to six.
A minute later it was five. Oskar322 departed in sixth place when he three-bet shoved with ace-eight. Again it was Cbank32 doing the calling, this time with six-three of diamonds. He made a pair of sixes on the flop to undo oskar322 and move back in front with nine million.
At this point Fredzon88 asked for a deal. It seemed wise given the stakes and the tortuous blinds. Short stacked JUJU2891 jumped at the chance and the pair spent the next few minutes assuming the others had simply not seen their request. Whether they had or not is hard to say, but they played on, VinoHleb and Cbank32 clashing in one pot that bolstered VinoHleb's prospects. Then another.
By now, as the big blind ticked over to 300,000, JUJU2891 was getting desperate. If only the others would notice his pleas for a deal, his end would be a little easier to bear. Alas, his three big blinds were not enough to tempt anyone to talk numbers, all but Fredzon88 who asked: "whats up guys".
The "guys" were too busy winning chips to pay any attention. Early leader SBO.13 was trying to get his advantage back, and did so in a hand against VinoHleb, putting him into the lead again.
JUJU2891 by now understood that his cry for help was pointless. He moved all-in for 717,000 with king-four of hearts and hoped for the best. The best was not SBO.13's king-nine off-suit. The nine arrived on the flop to bust JUJU2891, deal-less, in fifth place.
Almost immediately VinoHleb joined him. Down to 2 million he shoved with six-three of diamonds, a hand Cbank32 had won with earlier. This time though Cbank32 found ace-jack off-suit and used it to send VinoHleb to the rail, the jack as well as a three landing on the flop.
That made things three-handed, with the stacks evenly balanced and the big blind at 400,000.
Cbank32 - 9 million
SBO.13 - 10.7 million
Fredzon88 - 8.6 million
It would take just three more minutes to wrap up. Fredzon88 went in third place, shoving with ace-queen but running it into the pocket jacks of SBO.13 who found another jack on the flop. It left things heads-up but crucially gave SBO.13 a sizeable advantage.
SBO.13 - 19.1 million
Cbank32 - 10 million
But with the big blind now 500,000 there was always hope. And, as mentioned earlier, there was something heroic to Cbank32's approach to the game. So when he found pocket threes he lumped his chips into the middle.
That swung everything back in Cbank32's favour, and he needed less than a minute to finish things off. SBO.13 found queen-ten and shoved. Cbank32 was happy to call with nine-eight, but he'd have to wait for the river card to win it.
Congratulations to Event #45 winner Cbank32, who, whether he meant to or not, added a touch of fun to proceedings. All eyes now on the TCOOP Main Event, now just a few hours away.
TCOOP-45: $109 NL Hold'em (Turbo)
Prize pool: $292,000.00
Places paid: 378
1. Cbank32 (Czech Republic) $46,136.00
2. SBO.13 (Canada) $34,456.00
3. Fredzon88 (Germany) $24,528.00
4. VinoHleb (United Kingdom) $17,079.08
5. JUJU2891 (Belgium) $12,702.00
6. oskar322 (Estonia) $9,782.00
7. korana (Germany) $6,862.00
8. valestars14 (Argentina) $4,234.00
9. zhivago2 (Austria) $2,482.00
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.