TCOOP 2014: stronghawk flies high to win Event #31 ($55 Stud H/L Turbo)

The brilliant minds behind the scenes at PokerStars might have misjudged the response they would get for a Stud H/L tournament with a turbo structure. The guarantee for the $55 buy-in Event #31 was set at $25,000 and that number was quickly surpassed as the 1,171 player field created a prize pool more than twice that size.

They combined for a $58,500 prize pool with the top 152 making the money and 1st place set to have a 5-digit payday. The tournament moved along as quickly as expected and the field was in the money just one hour after the close of registration. The extra betting street in the Stud game produced shallow stacks and the five-minute levels kept them moving out at a steady pace.

Stronghawk emerged as the front runner when the tournament moved down to three tables and used the big stack to pressure opponents. The Russian was holding more than a 1,300,000 chip lead over 2nd place when perrymejsen was eliminated on the final table bubble in 9th place. recusant_89 was among the final eight with a chance to duplicate past success, the Russian produced a TCOOP win in the 2013 Stud Hi Event #26.


Final Table chip counts:

Seat 2: gealex11 (316,704 in chips)
Seat 3: bal15_12 (943,566 in chips)
Seat 4: Dart Serg (144,168 in chips)
Seat 5: stronghawk (2,304,200 in chips)
Seat 6: recusant_89 (363,542 in chips)
Seat 7: sydens (772,295 in chips)
Seat 8: jahwise (758,261 in chips)

Dart Serg can't surge, eliminated in 8th

Dart Serg survived the final table bubble but began with just 144,168 and the betting limits at 100,000/200,000 and a 20,000 ante. It was going to take a great run of cards to move up the payouts and folded two hands before finding one worth taking a shot.

recusant_89 also liked his hand and completed to 100,000 with (X-X)K♠ instead of posting the bring-in. Dart Serg was down to just 68,168 and called the bet with (X-X)6♠ before chipleader stronghawk raised with (X-X)2♣. That bet was enough to put recusant_89 all-in with the call and stronghawk had a chance for the double knockout.

All three players paired on 4th street, stronghawk improved the most with A♦ while Dart Serg hit the 7♠ and recusant_89 the 2♥. 5th street gave Dart Serg a low draw with A♥ and 6th street added two pair with 6♥ for a possible scoop while stronghawk added the Q♣ and recusant_89 picked up a better low draw with 4♥.

Dart Serg's lead for the high hand evaporated when stronghawk hit a better two pair with Q♦ while recusant_89 hit the low hand with 5♠. The Q♠ was of no use to Dart Serg for the high or low hand and the other players chopped up the pot to send the Russian out in 8th place for $731.

stronghawk: (3♦A♣)K♠A♦4♣Q♣Q♦
recusant_89: (K♥A♠)2♣2♥7♥4♥5♠
Dart Serg: (6♠5♦)7♦7♠A♥6♥Q♠

recusant_89 submits, eliminated in 7th

The hand sending Dart Serg out of the tournament did little to improve recusant_89's chipstack and was still at the bottom of the leaderboard with seven remaining. smily was the bring-in for 30,000 showing (X-X)2♠ and recusant_89 completed with (X-X)3♦.

smily called the bet and drew T♦ while recusant_89 was dealt 9♣ bringing a check-raise from smily and was enough to put recusant_89 all-in. recusant_89 called with (A♠J♦)3♦9♣ and was up against (4♥8♠)2♠T♦. smily picked up a low draw on 5th street with 3♣ and recusant_89 was dealt Q♥. Both players paired on 6th with recusant_89 hitting A♣ and smily 8♣.

smily hit trip eights on 7th with 8♥ which was good enough to prevent recusant_89 from adding second TCOOP title to the list of accomplishments.

smily: (4♥8♠)2♠T♦3♣8♣8♥
recusant_89: (A♠J♦)3♦9♣Q♥A♣K♣

sydens silenced, eliminated in 6th

sydens was battling with the rest of the table and was down to just 123,753 before a fourfold increase in a big hand. Even with over 400,000, the South American at the bottom of the counts.

jahwise completed as first to act with (X-X)2♠ and bal15_12 called with (X-X)8♦ before sydens raised showing (X-X)6♥. Both players called and 4th street brought 6♦ for bal15_12, 3♥ for sydens, and 9♦ for jahwise. Both jahwise and bal15_12 checked to see sydens bet out to get a fold from jahwise and a check-raise from bal15_12. sydens called with the last of his chips and showed a superior hand with buried Jacks (J♠J♦)6♥3♥ against (8♣4♣)8♦6♦.

bal15_12 picked up a low draw with the 5th street 5♣ while sydens was dealt K♠. The second consecutive knockout by trip eights occurred when bal15_12 hit the 8♥ on 6th and sydens was unable to find one of two remaining Jacks on 7th. sydens played a good short stack game but was run out in 6th place for $1,756.

bal15_12: (8♣4♣)8♦6♦5♣8♥A♦
sydens: (J♠J♦)6♥3♥K♠A♣T♥

gealex11 runs into leader, eliminated in 5th

The limits were raised every five minutes and pots became game changers just by getting players to the 4th street. Shortly after sydens was eliminated, gealex11 lost one of those pots and it was enough to leave him with just two big bets.

jahwise began gealex11's final hand as the bring-in before gealex11 completed, chipleader stronghawk came along before jahwise released his hand. gealex11 was dealt 7♥ and stronghawk picked up A♦ on 4th street, good enough to bet. gealex11 raised and stronghawk put in the third bet, enough to get gealex11 all-in. stronghawk showed (8♣2♣)6♣A♦ against (4♦5♥)5♠7♥ of gealex11.

The advantage with split fives didn't last long thanks to stronghawk pairing with the 6♥. Neither improved on 6th street and gealex11 was unable to make a comeback on 7th street to be sent out of the tournament in 5th place.

gealex11: (4♦5♥)5♠7♥T♦J♠A♣
stronghawk: (8♣2♣)6♣A♦6♥T♥A♥

smily frowns, eliminated in 4th

smily was a notable player at the final table for the deep run but also as the only player making it that far while playing from a mobile device. The Swiss grinder also made an interesting decision to fold a hand on 7th street with just 418 behind.

That chip count was 0.0013 big bets and would need an unprecedented run of hot cards to improve on the 4th place position. smily managed to survive four hands being automatically all-in for part of the antes to boost that micro-stack to 26,752. Still not enough to cover the 40,000 ante, smily was all-in with (X-X)K♥ while stronghawk went to 4th street with (X-X)J♦ and bal15_12 with (X-X)5♥.

bal15_12 called a bet on 4th street T♠ with smily getting 2♠ and stronghawk 8♣. 5th street brought 4♥ for smily, 3♥ for bal15_12, and 8♣ for stronghawk. The big bet by stronghawk was enough to put bal15_12 all-in and he called with (4♦5♦)5♥T♠3♥ up against (J♣Q♠)J♦8♣K♦ of stronghawk and (4♠J♥)K♥2♠4♥ of smily.

The shorter stack was in big danger against two bigger hands but bal15_12 was able to dodge being part of a double elimination when his board ran out 7♣ and 6♠ for a running straight and the only qualifying low hand. smily was unable to produce a miracle and went out in 4th place for $4,338.

bal15_12: (4♦5♦)5♥T♠3♥7♣6♠
stronghawk: (J♣Q♠)J♦8♣K♦3♦2♦
smily: (4♠J♥)K♥2♠4♥8♦5♣

jahwise falls short, eliminated in 3rd

There was no talk of making a final table deal until only three players remained. stronghawk and jahwise were holding very similar stacks with bal15_12 at a significant disadvantage. Dispite the stack differences, bal15_12 was able to coax an extra $100 from the others before a deal was approved.

bal15_12 was still set to make the least of the final three but almost immediately began building that stack up, mostly at the expense of jahwise. He took the last of jahwise's chips after bringing it in with (X-X)2♦ and jahwise just called with (X-X)8♥. jahwise then check-called after being dealt 3♣ and bal15_12 getting 5♥.

jahwise bet out after the Q♥ on 5th and bal15_12 raised with Q♠, jahwise called all-in with (T♠6♥)8♥3♣Q♥ against (A♦J♠)2♦5♥Q♥. Neither player was holding a dominating hand but that changed quickly when bal15_12 paired with the 6th street A♣ leaving jahwise drawing dead with the K♣. jahwise was knocked out in 3rd place but picked up $8,475 for the effort.

bal15_12: (A♦J♠)2♦5♥Q♥A♣9♣
jahwise: (T♠6♥)8♥3♣Q♠K♣K♥

stronghawk goes wire-to-wire for Event #31 victory

Seat 3: bal15_12 (2,490,460 in chips)
Seat 5: stronghawk (3,364,540 in chips)

Split pot games can often take an extended amount of time to complete and the heads-up in Event #31 lasted 13 hands, an impressive number considering the turbo-sized stacks. The chiplead swapped hands several times and bal15_12 was looking to take a turn at the top when stronghaws completed with (X-X)3♣ and bal15_12 raised with (X-X)8♠.

stronghawk raised it back before bal15_12 was all-in with the fourth bet. Both players were holding three cards to a low hand with stronghawk showing (4♠6♠)3♣ against bal15_12's (6♥5♦)8♠. bal15_12 added the K♥ on 4th street while stronghawk picked up a gutshot with 7♦. The hand looked like it might be chopped when bal15_12 paired with the 5th street K♦ while stronghawk made a low hand with the A♠.

stronghawk took a huge lead in the hand by hitting the gushot 5♥ on 6th street while bal15_12 picked up an open ended draw to a bigger straight with 7♠. 7th street brought bal15_12 a useless K♠ for trip Kings, second best to stronghawk's scoop. bal15_12 earned $6,500 after the three-handed deal while stronghawk stayed hot throughout the final table for the victory and $9,030.

bal15_12: (6♥5♦)8♠K♥K♦7♠K♠
stronghawk: (4♠6♠)3♣7♦A♠5♥5♣

TCOOP-31: $55 Stud H/L (Turbo)
Entrants: 1,171
Prize pool: $58,550
Places paid: 152

1. stronghawk (Russia) $9,030*
2. bal15_12 (Mexico) $6,500*
3. jahwise (United Kingdom) $8,475.94*
4. smily (Switzerland) $4,338.55
5. gealix11 (Greece) $2,927.50
6. sydens (Brazil) $1,756.50
7. recusant_89 (Russia) $1,171.00
8. Dart Serg (Russia) $731.87
* - denotes three-way deal

Al Rash
@PokerStars in TCOOP