TCOOP 2016: Tim "1BigAceHole" Ulmer earns second COOP title in Event 29 ($215 NLH 6-Max, Shootout, Progressive Super-Knockout)

Players hit the midweek portion of the 2016 TCOOP schedule with four new events on the agenda. Event 29 brought one of the favorite structures with a $215 buy-in, short-handed shootout, progressive bounty tournament. Players didn't need to crush their way through the entire field to win the title.

"All" they had to do was win three straight SnGs to make the final table and beat five more players to be called a TCOOP champion. Players could also pick up a nice chunk of change along the way with half the buy-in going to the regular prize pool and the other half going to a progressive bounty on the player's head.

The tournament drew 1,178 players and the prize pool was locked down at the start with no late registration available. They loaded up 216 tables of players and the winner of each was guaranteed a piece of the $117,800 regular prize pool.

The tournament played down quickly, thanks to the turbo structure plus 6-max format, to get the field down to the last six tables in two and a half hours. Everyone moving forward would make the final table and reset the chip stacks for an even restart.


Want to compete for your own online championship? Click here to get a PokerStars account.

STELARI198 was the first to book a seat at the final table with a quick win that took a bit over 30 minutes to accomplish. PALblCH followed shortly after while the other four tables had at least three players remaining and one with a full slate still grinding.

Skrb1C, seppo1k, and Zagalo87 took care of their opponents while buena88 and 2014 SCOOP Heads Up High Roller champ Tim T.J. "1BigAceHole" Ulmer continued to battle for the last seat at the final table.

Ulmer was last seen here when he made the 2016 PCA Main Event final table, finishing in 8th place for $78,000. Today he was trying to add a second leg of the COOP Triple Crown and was still alive for the title when he came from behind to dispatch buena88.

Ulmer also wasn't the only player at the final table with past COOP success. Zagalo87 made his second final table of the series following a third place finish in the $215 Zoom Event 9 tournament and PALblCH made a final table in both the 2013 WCOOP and SCOOP series.

While all players begin with the same stack size, some are more equal than others. STELARI198 came to the final table with a bounty on his neck worth more than $3,000 while an Ulmer knockout would earn $1,000 less. But those numbers quickly changed.

2016 TCOOP-29 Final Table.jpg

STELARI198 takes a tough one, out in 6th

It was going to take some kind of cooler or bad beat to get anyone off the final table in the early levels and that's exactly what happened.

Both sides.

On the ninth hand of the final table, there were four bets in the pot before STELARI198 saw the A♠9♦6♦ flop with PALblCH. STELARI198 called a 936 bet from PALblCH to the 6♣ turn and they got the everything in the middle.

PALblCH moved all-in with A♦Q♣ and STELARI198 quickly called with the out-kicking A♣K♦. STELARI198 was in a great position to knock PALblCH down to the felt plus have a double stack against the rest of the table but that all went away on the bad beat Q♥ river. It was a tough way to go out early but STELARI198 picked up $2,921 to sooth the hurt.

seppo1k goes straight out in 5th

The blinds weren't pushing the action yet and they were still in the second level when the final table built another big pot. Two hands after STELARI198 was eliminated, Skrb1c raised it up from the small blind and seppo1k called in the big to see the 8♦7♥5♥ flop.

Skrb1c check/raised to 540 after seppo1k bet out 145 and was called to the T♦ turn. Skrb1c fired first this time and seppo1k called 540 to get to the K♠ river. Skrb1c stayed aggressive with a bet big enough to put seppo1k all-in and he called with two-pair K♥8♥. A nice hand at the short table but it was second best against Skrb1c's turned gutshot straight J♦9♦ to send seppo1k out in 5th place.

Zagalo87 doubles with rockets

The last four players settled into the deep stack grind while Zagalo87 was dropping behind the other three. Ten minutes into four-handed play and Zagalo87 picked up a big hand.

He three-bet from the button after PALblCH opened under the gun. They were heads up to the T♦8♣2♥ flop and PALblCH checked called a 488 bet before the 7♠ turn. This time it was a check/shove from PALblCH and Zagalo87 called with A♠A♦. He was ahead of PALblCH's 9♥9♦ but needed to dodge the added open-ended straight draw. Zagalo87 added the unnecessary set of Aces on the A♥ river for the full double.

Zagalo87 doesn't hang on, sent packing in 4th

Zagalo87 stayed alive with the big double and it evened up the stacks enough that they could take their time getting frisky. They played more than 45 minutes with few major pots and no one in danger until Zagalo87 was once again the short stack.

He found a good spot to flip for his tournament life when he called a pre-flop shove from Ulmer. Zagalo87's 6♠6♦ stayed ahead of Ulmer's T♠8♠ on the 7♥5♠4♠ flop but Ulmer added a dumptruck of outs. He went the gutshot path thanks to the 6♣ turn.

Zagalo87 had 10 outs on the river (plus three chop outs) but missed when it finished 2♣ to send him out in 4th and put Ulmer in a dead heat with Skrb1c.

Ulmer races to a big lead

Ulmer lost a bit of his stack three hands later when he doubled up PALblCH but it was only a temporary blip to his count. He was all-in after Skrb1c limp/shoved while they were in the blinds and Ulmer needed to catch with his A♣J♠ up against 3♣3♦.

He caught what he needed on the A♠J♣7♥ flop and earned another full double when the board finished Q♠ and 6♠. The hand gave Ulmer a better than 2-to-1 advantage over the other two stacks combined.

Skrb1c can't recover, out in 3rd

Sending most of his stack to Ulmer was the first problem for Skrb1c but then had to watch as Ulmer picked up four of the next five hands. He was sitting with less than six big blinds when he moved all-in with A♣7♦ from the small blind and Ulmer called with 8♥3♣ in the big.

Skrb1c had to dodge two live cards and then hit the 7♠6♦5♥ flop that also added an open-ended straight draw for Ulmer. The T♠ turn changed little before Ulmer spiked the 9♥ river to complete the straight and send Skrb1c out in 3rd place.

Tim Ulmer earns second COOP title

Seat 2: PALblCH (7,689 in chips)
Seat 6: Tim "1BigAceHole" Ulmer (22,311 in chips)

Blinds: 150/300 with 25 Ante

Ulmer began heads up play with a healthy lead and the tournament lasted just 14 more hands. Of those hands, PALblCH was only able drag three pots including a small double up near the end.

PALblCH was down to 11 big blinds in the final hand when he put them all-in from the button holding T♥8♥. Ulmer called with the better K♠J♣ hand and it was a dry A♣4♠2♥7♦4♦ board to send PALblCH out in the runner-up position while Ulmer earned the TCOOP title.

PALblCH earned $14,136 for his finish along with $4,125 in bounties. Ulmer added a second COOP title to his 2014 SCOOP Heads Up High Roller win and the $18,848 first prize. This score doesn't come close to the biggest TCOOP cash of his career, Ulmer made the final table and finished third in the 2013 TCOOP Main Event for a cool $232,000.

Ulmer can try to better that finish in a few days.

Tim Ulmer 2016 PCA.jpg

TCOOP-29 ($215 NL Hold'em, 6-Max, Shootout, Progressive Super-Knockout) results
Entrants: 1,178
Regular prize pool: $117,800
Bounty prize pool: $117,800
Places paid: 216

1. Tim "1BigAceHole" Ulmer (Canada) $18,848.36
2. PALblCH (Belarus) $14,136.00
3. Skrb1c (Serbia) $10,602.00
4. Zagalo87 (Czech Republic) $7,068.00
5. seppo1k (Norway) $4,712.00
6. STELARI198 (Greece) $2,921.44


Want to compete for your own online championship? Click here to get a PokerStars account.

Al Rash
@PokerStars in TCOOP