TCOOP 2016: Second COOP win for Zackattak13 in Event #41 ($215 PLO, Heads-Up)

Zackattak13 has been a COOP winner since the spring of 2012, when the Canadian player outlasted the field in Event #14-M, a grueling affair where the final table alone lasted five hours. Now Zackattak13 has a TCOOP title to go along with it after winning Event #41, a heads-up pot-limit Omaha affair.

It's probably hard to say which of Zackattak13's COOP wins was tougher, but today's event was definitely shorter - at six hours and 17 minutes from start to finish, it was only a little more than an hour longer than just the final table of that SCOOP tournament. The 497 entrants got going at 12:00 p.m. ET, coming up just three entries shy of breaking the $100,000 guaranteed prize pool. Within four hours they had reached the fourth round, where the top 64 - including both Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara (63rd place, $400) and Roy "GodlikeRoy" Bhasin (35th, $400) from Team Online - collected their paychecks.

Within another hour the field had been reduced to just four players with a chance to earn the last heads-up title on the 2016 TCOOP schedule.

Semifinal: flaszeczka (Poland) vs. WTFOMFGOAO (Russia)

One of the two semifinals featured past COOP final experience on both sides of the table as flaszeczka, a 2012 TCOOP winner in shorthanded no-limit hold'em, faced off against two-time WCOOP 2013 finalist and past Sunday 500 champ WTFOMFGOAO.

The two would play for 23 minutes and they wasted no time getting to the big pots. Within the first three hands there were two lead changes. WTFOMFGOAO opened the second hand for 150 on the button, holding 8♦ 5♦ 5♥ 3♣, and got two streets of value for a 1,748-chip pot after turning a set of fives and rivering fives full of treys. flaszeczka immediately struck back with a 3,700-chip pot on the next hand, won without showdown after check-raising to 550 on the 5♣ 6♥ 2♣ flop, betting 1,150 into 1,400 on the A♥ turn, and jamming on the K♠ river.

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WTFOMFGOAO got back in front a few hands later through some good old-fashioned PLO aggression, taking the 1,900-chip pot without showdown and the river card still undealt, and maintained the lead through the 30/60 level and into 40/80. Then flaszeczka picked up K♣ K♠ 8♣ 7♠ on the button, raised the minimum, and bet half the pot on both the 4♠ T♣ 6♠ flop and A♠ turn. WTFOMFGOAO check-called both those bets and checked again on the J♦ river, eventually calling flaszeczka's nearly pot-sized bet of 1,120 and mucking when flaszeczka showed the nuts.

That gave flaszeczka 6,294 chips and the lead, and WTFOMFGOAO got right back on the horse and started trying to get back in front. flaszeczka mostly got out of the way, giving up the smaller pots and taking the occasional larger one to maintain the lead as the 50/100 level came and went.

They finally came to an impasse in a perfect PLO action hand. WTFOMFGOAO opened for 240 on the button with 9♦ 7♥ 4♣ 5♥ and called flaszeczka's re-raise to 600, then caught a jack-high straight on the T♠ 8♦ J♠ flop and bet when flaszeczka checked. Then flaszeczka re-raised enoguh to put WTFOMFGOAO all-in, the Russian player called, and flaszeczka's A♦ A♠ 7♠ 4♦ promptly turned a close race into the end of the tournament by catching the nut flush with the Q♠ turn. The J♥ on the river was just a formality, and WTFOMFGOAO finished the tournament in 4th place ($7,000).

Semifinal: Zackattak13 (Canada) vs. JimmyDean (Finland)

The other semifinal featured Finland's JimmyDean against 2012 SCOOP winner and past Sunday Warm-Up runner-up Zackattak13 of Canada.

The two players faced off for 28 minutes, and much of the early portion of that time was spent taking small pots and exchanging the lead on a frequent basis. Through the first four levels of play, only three of the 31 pots were worth more than 1,000 chips.

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Things were so close that the two players began the final hand of the 50/100 level just 17 chips apiece from where they began their match. Even when they finally started playing bigger pots, they stayed close. JimmyDean won two worth 2,036 and 2,268 chips, and then Zackattak13 doubled up to 5,902 when a flopped set of eights with 9♠ 8♦ 8♣ 5♠ outran JimmyDean's heart flush draw with K♣ Q♥ 6♣ 6♣ and became eights full of jacks on the river. Then JimmyDean oromptly flopped a queen-high diamonds flush on the next hand and won a 2,610-chip pot, moving back into the lead with 5,403 chips.

The balance fell apart from there. JimmyDean rattled off five straight wins, but they were all worth just a few blinds each. Then Zackattak13 won three four-figure pots in a row and put JimmyDean against the ropes with the last of them, which kicked off with JimmyDean raising slightly more than the minimum on the button and Zackattak13 calling to see a 2♣ 9♦ 7♦ flop. Zackattak13 check-called a smallish 239-chip bet from JimmyDean before check-raising from 536 to 2,750 on the 5♣ turn. JimmyDean thought before calling with 1,109 chips left behind, but eventually folded on the 4♥ river, giving Zackattak13 the 6,642-chip pot.

Four hands later JimmyDean opened on the button with K♠ 9♣ 7♠ 6♣ and called all-in when Zackattak13 re-raised with A♣ T♣ T♥ 6♥, only to be left with a 0.1-percent chance to win - namely a runner-runner straight flush draw - when the flop came T♦ 5♣ 5♥. The 6♦ turn and J♣ river were devoid of miracles, and JimmyDean finished in 3rd place ($7,000).

Final: Zackattak13 (Canada) vs. flaszeczka (Poland)

The first order of business for both players upon reaching the final was to make a deal. They hammered it out before the moderator ever showed up in the chat box, leaving $2,000 for the winner and splitting the $36,000 in remaining prize money down the middle. With that out of the way they started what would be an entertaining, back-and-forth match.

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flaszeczka struck the first blow. The past TCOOP winner opened for 150 on the button with Q♦ Q♣ 6♥ 8♥ and then checked behind on the 2♠ 7♥ 3♠ flop after Zackattak13, who had checked with 3♦ Q♠ 3♥ 8♣ for a set of treys. Zackattak13 led for 225 into the 300-cip pot on the 5♥ turn, flaszeczka called with the eight-high flush draw, and then flaszeczka took down a 1,574-chip pot with the completed flush after calling Zackattak13's bet on the J♥ river.

Zackattak13 spoke truth to screen name by going on the offensive and taking down nine of the next 11 pots. The last of those, worth 1,418 chips at the conclusion of the 30/60 level, came after flopping top pair with the nut flush draw, turning three of a kind, and showing down an ace kicker on the river when flaszeczka had a king. That gave Zackattak13 a 6,614-to-3,386 lead to begin the 40/80 level, where flaszeczka was able to climb back above the 4,000-chip mark. So the 50/100 level became a crucial crossroad, and Zackattak13 came out of it with the advantage.

Zackattak13 opened the second hand of the level for 230 and called when flaszeczka re-raised to 500 in the big blind. flaszeczka led for 500 on the 9♥ 7♠ 5♠ flop, Zackattak13 called, and both players checked the 8♦ turn. flaszeczka led out for 1,500 on the T♥ river but mucked when Zackattak13 showed J♥ J♠ 8♣ 5♦ for a jack-high straight.

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Being on the wrong end of that 5,000-chip pot left flaszeczka with 1,906 chips, most of which was was still left four hands when the past TCOOP champ picked up A♣ A♠ T♠ 4♥ and called all-in after Zackattak13 re-raised before the flop with K♦ J♥ J♠ 4♣. The flop delivered a set of aces and that got flaszeczka back to 3,412, but that turned out to be the Polish player's high point for the rest of the final.

The downfall began when flaszeczka limped on the button. Zackattak13 checked with T♥ 8♥ 6♠ 2♣ and then checked again on the 9♦ T♠ K♥ flop, and flaszeczka checked behind. Zackattak13 bet 200 with trip tens on the T♦ turn and then another 800 on the 6♦ river and flaszeczka called both, but mucked when Zackattak13 showed down tens full of sixes.

Left with 1,529 chips and with the blinds freshly up to 60/120, flaszeczka faced a major task just to get back into the game. Twice the player from Poland had to split the pot with Zackattak13, not only without finding a double-up but while watching precious time tick away.

flaszeczka finally made a stand when the blinds went up to 80/160, re-raising all-in for 749 chips with Q♣ J♠ 8♦ 5♣ after Zackattak13 opened for 480. Zackattak13 called with a ragged A♥ 9♦ 6♣ 2♠ and caught a pair of sixes on the 6♠ K♠ 7♣, while flaszeczka picked up an open-ended straight draw. The 6♥ on the turn made trip sixes for Zackattak13, and the tournament came to its end when the K♥ river shut the door on flaszeczka's draw.

flaszeczka missed out a second career TCOOP title but earned $18,000 as the runner-up thanks to the 50-50 deal cut at the start of the final, while the extra cash on the table gave Zackattak13 a $20,000 prize. Congratulations to both players on navigating a tough heads-up bracket for the big money at the end, and to Zackattak13 for earning and a second career COOP victory to go along with that SCOOP win from 2012.

TCOOP-41 ($215 PL Omaha, Heads-Up, Turbo) results
Total prize pool: $100,000
Places paid: 64

1. Zackattak13 (Canada) $20,000*
2. flaszeczka (Poland) $18,000*
3. JimmyDean (Finland) $7,000
4. WTFOMFGOAO (Russia) $7,000

*Reflects the results of a two-way deal that left $2,000 in play for the winner

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Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in TCOOP