TCOOP 2016: Ichinose 5th, duffm0n the champion in Event #39 ($82 FLHE, 6-max)

There was a time when limit hold'em was "the only game in town" in just about any town where people were playing poker. It's been a long time since those days, and a lot of people will tell you that game is out of style and never coming back. The United Kingdom's duffm0n will probably beg to differ after taking down the title in Event #39, a 6-max limit hold'em tournament, and winning nearly $9,000 for it.

The game began at 2:00 p.m. ET and ended up drawing a total field of 643 players, good enough to nearly double the guarantee with a $48,225 total prize pool. The top 84 players would earn at least $130.20, with $8,921.95 set aside for the last player standing.


Kosei Ichinose won a big pot on the final table bubble of TCOOP Event #39

As the field was narrowed to just two tables at the start of the fourth hour of play, Team Asia's Kosei "K. Ichinose" Ichinose was down to less than two big bets. He managed to double up with a pair of sevens after flopping a set, though, and chipped up as the field shrank to the bubble. And then he popped it with a humble starting hand to seize the chip lead, busting one player and putting another on the verge of elimination.

BADEXTASY had opened the hand with a raise under the gun, holding K♥ Q♥, and got calls from both blinds, including DJeka[MD] all-in for 58K in the small blind. K. Ichinose led for 40K in the big blind on the T♠ 4♣ 7♣, called when BADEXTASY raised to 80K, and then check-called on both the 5♠ turn and 7♦ river. Ichinose held 6♥ 4♥ for two pair, sevens and fours, and took 698K between the main and side pots, knocking DJeka[MD] out in 7th place ($988.61) and leaving BADEXTASY with a stack worth next to nothing.

Seat 1: Team PokerStars Pro's Kosei "K. Ichinose" Ichinose (909,096 in chips)
Seat 2: RyderRock (363,203 in chips)
Seat 3: TaBuLA_Ras4 (857,065 in chips)
Seat 4: duffm0n (806,945 in chips)
Seat 5: _stel_23_ (276,152 in chips)
Seat 6: BADEXTASY (2,539 in chips)

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The odds were long but BADEXTASY won the first all-in and got in ahead with A♥ 7♣ on the second. TaBuLA_Ras4's K♠ T♥ flopped top pair and stayed ahead, though, and BADEXTASY left in 6th place ($1,446.75).

The pots stayed mostly small in the early going, with only two of the first 14 getting as large as four big bets. By the time a bigger pot came along the stakes were already up to 60K/120K, so the 536K up for grabs was still only worth four and a half bets. Two-time MicroMillions finalist and RyderRock took that one from Ichinose, calling with T♠ 9♣ in the big blind after Ichinose raised with A♠ K♦ in the small blind and then flopping two pair against the unimproved Big Slick.

Everyone had been playing so close to the vest because of the structure and pay jumps that all the action on the largest pot so far went bet-call on every street. Both duffm0n and past Super Tuesday finalist TaBuLA_Ras4 had picked up open-ended straight draws on the flop of the 5♦ 6♦ 7♣ 5♥ A♥ board, but duffm0n's 8♣ 6♣ had made a pair and TaBuLA_Ras4's T♦ 8♥ hadn't, so duffm0n dragged the 840K chips in the middle to move into the lead with 1.29M.

No matter which short stack got involved at this point, they found a way to survive. TaBuLA_Ras4 got back to 784K on the next hand with unimproved A♠ J♠ in a checked-down three-way pot. Kosei Ichinose tripled up with an A♠ J♣ of his own three hands later, but the Red Spade pro still had just two big bets at 257K. RyderRock doubled through duffm0n with A♥ A♠ against 8♦ 8♠, chipping up to 691K. And then Ichinose picked up A♣ J♠ again, winning the race against duffm0n's 5♣ 5♥ for the 455K-chip pot.

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Unfortunately for Kosei Ichinose, the next big ace that came along wouldn't fare as well. With the stakes up to 80K/160K, he opened with a raise on the button, holding A♠ K♠, and then capped the betting after RyderRock re-raised in the small blind with J♣ T♦. RyderRock called and then both players essentially ended up all-in on the 5♣ Q♣ 9♥ flop, there being just a 1,664-chip difference between their stacks. Ichinose had a 1.2-percent edge in equity on the flop, and it grew to 13.6 percent on the 9♣ turn, but the 3♣ on the river made a club flush to win the 1.11M-chip pot for RyderRock. And with that, Kosei Ichinose's tournament came to an end in 5th place ($2,411.25).

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Like the block holding a Jenga tower together being pulled out of place, Ichinose's departure set the final table's collapse into motion. _stel_23_ wasn't far behind. Holding just 91K, the Greek player was essentially forced all-in on the next big blind. The 6♦ Q♦ K♠ was extremely friendly to _stel_23_'s K♦ 7♦, though, and the kings held up against RyderRock's A♣ 2♥ for a near triple-up to 223K. _stel_23_ made another pair on the next big blind, this time fives on the 2♣ 5♥ 3♣ flop with 7♦ 5♠ in the hole. But this time RyderRock had K♣ K♠ in the hole, the cowboys held, and _stel_23_ left in 4th place ($3,375.75).

That gave RyderRock the edge in chips as three-handed play began, with 1.25M to duffm0n's 1M and TaBuLA_Ras4's 758K, and the German player suggested a deal. duffm0n was against the idea so play continued, and after 17 hands, with stakes at 100K/200K, those two players tangled in a pot that set the course for the tournament's end. Ryder Rock opened for a raise on the button ,called when duffm0n three-bet from the big blind with A♦ T♠, and then called bets on the 8♥ J♦ 6♣ flop, Q♠ turn, and K♣ river before mucking with 112K in chips remaining. duffm0n's Q♥ 5♠ held up unimproved against RyderRock's T♦ 7♣ on the next hand, and RyderRock departed in 3rd place ($4,943.06).

duffm0n limped on the button on the next hand with 8♥ 4♥, called TaBuLA_Ras4's raise, and promptly caught three of a kind on the A♥ 4♦ 4♠ flop. duffm0n flat-called TaBuLA_Ras4's bet on the flop, and then did the same after making a full house on the 8♠ turn, before raising all-in on the 2♦ river. TaBuLA_Ras4 had been bluffing with Q♣ J♥, and the tournament was over.

TaBuLA_Ras4 earned $6,655.05 as the runner-up, a top-10 score in the Greek player's career here at PokerStars. Meanwhile duffm0n earned a first career TCOOP title $8,921.95, the fourth-best cash of the U.K. player's career here and the most ever for an outright win. Congratulations to both players!

TCOOP-39 ($82 FL Hold'em, 6-max, Turbo) results
Total prize pool: $48,225
Places paid: 84

1. duffm0n (United Kingdom) $8,921.95
2. TaBuLA_Ras4 (Greece) $6,655.05
3. RyderRock (Germany) $4,943.06
4. _stel_23_ (Greece) $3,375.75
5. Team PokerStars Pro's Kosei "K. Ichinose" Ichinose (Japan) $2,411.25
6. BADEXTASY (United Kingdom) $1,446.75

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Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in TCOOP