TCOOP 2016: Robin "robinho" Ylitalo wins Event #34, $85K ($700 NLHE 8-Max, Prog Ultra-KO)

Robin "robinho" Ylitalo came into today's Event #34 of the Turbo Championship of Online Poker with one TCOOP title already, having won a $27 PLO event back in 2013 for nearly $28K. Ylitalo managed to match that feat and then some, outlasting another huge field to win a second career TCOOP title worth even more. Between the $41,801.04 first prize (following a heads-up deal) and $43,454.47 worth of knockout bounties, Ylitalo took away $85,255.51 total for the win.


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Robin "robinho" Ylitalo

We'll explain how Ylitalo did it -- and how those bounties worked -- but first let's start the story of Event #34 with a tweet from Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier:




Let us unpack that a little. The "up early" part, of course, is due to Mercier's being in Melbourne for the ongoing Aussie Millions, coverage of which you've been following here at the PokerStars Blog. By the way, Mercier has already made the final table of the $100,000 Challenge event at the Crown, due to play out on Saturday.

Meanwhile "$700" was the buy-in for this no-limit hold'em event, with "8 max" referring to eight-handed tables and "turbo" of course indicating the tourney's quick-paced five-minute levels.

What does "Progressive Ultra-Knockout" mean? Well, the tourney featured bounties which in fact comprised the majority of the prize pool with $498.75 of each player's buy-in going toward them and $166.25 going into the "regular" prize pool. The bigness of the bounties explains the "ultra" part, while "progressive" refers to the fact that with each knockout a player pockets half of the eliminated player's bounty, and the other half becoming part of the surviving player's increased bounty.

Whew, Jason was right. That was a mouthful.




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Mercier was one of 1,593 entrants in this event, which added up to a huge $1,059,345 prize pool, with $794,508.75 of that going for the bounties and $264,836.75 for the regular prize pool divided among the top 208 finishers. By the way, that total prize pool easily exceeded the $700K guarantee for this one.

The bubble burst just before the tournament's two-hour mark, at which point MuckCallOK was leading in chips with Mercier still alive with a slightly-below average stack.


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Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier

Mercier would ultimately last to a 117th-place finish, with Serg0013 the one to collect the Team PokerStars Pro's bounty. Mercier earned $397.25 from the regular prize pool for getting that far, but also took away a bigger prize of $1,745.61 in bounties.

It was just after the tournament's three-hour mark when they reached 16 players gathered around the last two tables, with Serg0013 having gone out in 68th for $635.60 (plus $3,397.70 in bounties), MuckCallOK still above the average, and 7DonCool7 the new chip leader.

bossinc63 (16th), sk2ll_m0dR (15th), Grondl (14th), and JohnyK91 (13th) were the next knockouts, each earning $1,565.18 from the regular prize pool and more from bounties, including sk2ll_m0dR earning another $8,681.24.

Then TiltMeBig (12th), 19Pistike93 (11th), antroff (10th), and finally MuckCallOK (ninth) were successively eliminated, picking up $1,986.27 each plus bounties, with MuckCallOK earning a whopping $21,126.43 for all the previous knockouts.

With 7DonCool7 still on top and nearing the 2 million-chip mark, the eight-handed final table was underway.


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Seat 1: stebn83 (Switzerland) -- 623,082
Seat 2: DoEasyMoney (Belgium) -- 1,236,392
Seat 3: Robin "robinho" Ylitalo (Sweden) -- 1,104,364
Seat 4: marcasa (Netherlands) -- 955,926
Seat 5: hpinceli (Brazil) -- 555,963
Seat 6: 7DonCool7 (Germany) -- 1,964,001
Seat 7: marlin5555 (Canada) -- 742,040
Seat 8: viktorrz (Russia) -- 783,232

The final eight made it through a couple of orbits before hpinceli open-pushed all in from UTG for 648,463 (about six-and-a-half big blinds) with A♦K♥ and was called by marcasa who had A♣9♣ in the big blind. The board came J♣4♠9♠9♦8♣, giving marcasa trips and knocking hpinceli out in eighth.

A few minutes after that it was DoEasyMoney open-pushing for 549,560 from early position with 3♠3♥, marlin5555 reraise-shoving from the small blind with A♠Q♥, and viktorrz folding the BB. The community cards came 4♥4♠8♦7♥7♦, that river putting two pair on the board and counterfeiting DoEasyMoney's hand to cut the field to six.

Play continued, then came two knockouts on successive hands to trim the field to four.

In the first, Robin "robinho" Ylitalo made a just-over-2x raise to 255,600 from middle position, then viktorrz reraised all in for 761,464 from the big blind and Ylitalo called, turning over A♥J♥ to viktorrz's A♠9♠. The 9♣K♦A♦ flop was good for viktorrz, making two pair and giving viktorrz the lead in the hand, and the Q♥ turn card was fine as well. But the J♦ fell on fifth street to give Ylitalo a better two pair and knock out viktorrz in sixth. That made Ylitalo the new chip leader with five left.

On the next hand it was 7DonCool7 opening for 495,000 (more than 4x the BB) from the cutoff, stebn83 three-betting all in from the big blind for 796,164, and 7DonCool7 calling. stebn83 showed K♣Q♦ but 7DonCool7 had A♥K♦, and after the 4♥2♠7♦6♠A♦ runout stebn83 was done in fifth.

The four-hour break arrived with Ylitalo still the frontrunner, and once play resumed it was Ylitalo shoving that leading stack from the button and marcasa calling all in from the small blind for 1,015,025 (just over seven BBs). marcasa had K♠Q♠ and Ylitalo A♥2♠. The K♦4♠A♠8♥3♣ board gave both a pair but kept Ylitalo in front, and marcasa was knocked out in fourth.

marlin5555 then won a big preflop all-in versus Ylitalo to steal the chip lead. All in with A♥Q♥ versus Ylitalo's pocket eights, an ace came and marlin5555 survived to move in front.

Ylitalo would endure another double-up from 7DonCool7 to get knocked back a little further, but then came a hand that saw marlin5555 min-raise to 320,000 from the button, Ylitalo shove from the small blind, 7DonCool7 call all in for 1,206,366 from the big blind, and marlin5555 fold. 7DonCool7 showed J♦J♠ but Ylitalo had picked up Q♣Q♦, and five cards later -- 2♦3♥2♠K♣K♥ -- the better pair had held and 7DonCool7 had to settle for a third-place finish.

The final two played a couple of small hands, then paused things for some deal talk with the chips nearly even with Ylitalo sitting on 4,047,220 and marlin5555 with 3,917,780. Numbers were produced guaranteeing each more than $37K from the prize pool -- leaving $4K for which to play -- and both soon agreed.

"Can we chop bounty?" asked marlin5555 in the chatbox when play resumed -- a worthwhile question given that robinho's bounty was worth more than $30K and marlin5555's more than $25K -- but the moderator let them know that wasn't an option, meaning the heads-up battle would be worth considerably more than the $4K that had been set aside.

Ylitalo soon began chipping up and was nearing the 6 million-mark when he open-raised all in from the button and marlin5555 called all in with the almost 1.8 million left after posting the 200K big blind. The players' cards were turned over:

marlin5555: T♥T♣
robinho: K♣9♦

marlin5555 was in front, but the 3♠2♥K♦ flop soon changed that by giving Ylitalo a better pair. The turn was the Q♦ and river the 6♥ and it was over. Less than four hours and 15 minutes after Event #34 had begun, Ylitalo had collected the final (big) bounty and won the title.


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Robin "robinho" Ylitalo

Congratulations to Robin "robinho" Ylitalo for winning Event #34, a second career TCOOP title, and more than $85K total. And kudos as well to marlin5555 who ended up taking away more than $63K thanks to the heads-up deal and all those ultra-cool ultra-knockout bonuses.

TCOOP-34 ($700 NL Hold'em, 8-Max, Turbo, Progressive Ultra-Knockout) results
Entrants: 1,593
Total prize pool: $1,059,345 ($264,836.75 regular prize pool, $794,508.75 bounty prize pool) 

Places paid: 208

1. Robin "robinho" Ylitalo (Sweden) $41,801.04* (+ $43,454.47 in bounties)
2. marlin5555 (Canada) $37,650.83* (+ $25,677.47 in bounties)
3. 7DonCool7 (Germany) $25,159.44 (+ $29,996.35 in bounties)
4. marcasa (Netherlands) $18,538.53 (+ $2,524.90 in bounties)
5. stebn83 (Switzerland) $13,241.81 (+ $20,360.78 in bounties)
6. viktorrz (Russia) $7,945.08 (+ $3,140.52 in bounties)
7. DoEasyMoney (Belgium) $5,696.72 (+ $16,902.73 in bounties)
8. hpinceli (Brazil) $2,648.36 (+ $748.12 in bounties)
*Reflects the results of a two-way deal that left $4,000 in play for the winner

The Turbo Championship of Online Poker marches on, with the $700 buy-in Main Event with a $2 million prize pool guarantee coming up Sunday. Visit the TCOOP page full details of all remaining events.


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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in TCOOP