TCOOP 2017: alexMFNb tops four-way deal in Event #49, $215 NLHE (6-Max, Turbo)

Deals are funny things. Usually making one four-handed at a final table will shift the action into high gear, especially when the tournament is a TCOOP event with blinds going up every five minutes. But that's not necessarily a hard-and-fast rule. In today's Event #49, three of the players who were in on the deal managed to stretch their game out for nearly another half-hour. In the process alexMFNb, who had been in a virtual tie for the shortest stack when the deal was cut, ended up storming into the lead and walking away with a first career COOP title.

The art of the four-handed deal

Event #49, a $215 6-Max Turbo no-limit hold'em tournament, drew 1,270 players to the table, chasing a $254,000 prize pool to be split among the top 155 finishers. It took just two hours and 44 minutes of turbo action to reach the cash, and Team Online's Felix "xflixx" Schneiders just squeezed in there in 154th place ($522.12). The rest of the field continued to play for another two hours, including TCOOP Player Of The Series leader Niklas "Lena900" Åstedt, who eventually bowed out in 23rd place ($1,625.06).

By 2:34 p.m. ET, Goforitrejam had been busted on the bubble with K♠ 9♣ against Sajanas171's A♣ K♣, setting up these six players for a shot at the Event #49 title:

Seat 1: alexMFNb (2,643,519 in chips)
Seat 2: Roman8834444 (804,264 in chips)
Seat 3: -Open$hove- (2,362,208 in chips)
Seat 4: Ryan "i need sheet" Yu (2,417,412 in chips)
Seat 5: Sajanas171 (3,423,862 in chips)
Seat 6: tripsup24 (1,048,735 in chips)

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The action didn't take long to get going. tripsup24 opened the first hand of the final table for 88K in the cutoff seat with A♣ K♥, and -Open$hove- called in the big blind to see the 8♠ K♦ 9♠ flop. -Open$hove- checked there, then raised to 240K after tripsup24 bet 78K with a pair of kings and called tripsup24's all-in three-bet, showing 9♥ 8♣ for two pair, nines and eights. An ace, another king, or any running pair could have extended tripsup24's stay at the final table, but the 2♣ turn and 3♠ eliminated the player from Canada in sixth.

Roman8834444 fared better with Big Slick five hands later. The short-stacked Russian player moved all-in for 700K from the small blind with A♦ K♣, coming over the top of a min-raise from serial PokerStars finalist Ryan "i need sheet" Yu and a re-raise by Lithuanian WCOOP 2011 finalist Sajanas171. Yu folded, but Sajanas171 called with Q♠ T♠, giving the 1.5M-chip pot to Roman8834444 when the board came 2♠ 3♥ K♥ J♠ 7♦.

The table stayed five-handed for another 17 minutes, but Roman8834444's reprieve would expire after returning from the 2:55 p.m. ET break. Roman8834444 min-raised to 160K under the gun with A♠ J♠ and then moved in for 602K when Yu re-raised on the button. Yu called with 6♦ 6♥, the sixes held on the Q♦ 2♦ 5♥ 8♠ 9♥ board, and Roman8834444 left in fifth.

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-Open$hove-, who had the lead with 50 big blinds against three opponents with stacks worth between 20 and 45 blinds, suggested looking at numbers for a deal at that point. Everybody agreed, and within eight minutes they had agreed to leave $5,080 for the winner and split the remaining money according to ICM. That locked in all but the top payout and got the game back underway.

Sajanas171 and Ryan Yu were separated by six big blinds when Sajanas171 opened with a small raise to 258K under the gun and Yu called in the big blind to see a 7♣ 4♥ 5♣ flop. Yu check-raised to 975K and then called all-in for 1.4M more, showing 7♦ 6♣ for top pair with an open-ended straight draw. Sajanas171 didn't have the draw, but the Lithuanian player did have A♠ 7♠ for the same pair with a better kicker. The 4♠ turn gave both player two pair with the same kickers as before, and the T♣ river gave Sajanas171 the pot, sending Yu to the rail in fourth.

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-Open$hove- bet the tournament on J♣ J♠ a few hands later. The Hungarian player min-raised on the button, four-bet to 1.6M after Sajanas171 re-raised to 840K, and called all-in for 5M total when Sajanas171 jammed. The Lithuanian player's A♦ K♦ became a small favorite on the Q♦ 9♣ 2♦ flop, but the jacks held after the 2♣ turn and 6♠ river to give -Open$hove- the double to 10.2M.

Sajanas171 managed to double up twice after that in quick succession, first with K♣ 9♣ holding up against -Open$hove-'s K♥ 6♠ for 2.7M, and then with A♦ J♠ against -Open$hove-'s A♣ T♣. By the time alexMFNb's Q♣ 4♠ made a full house against -Open$hove-'s K♣ T♦, all three players had clustered together within a span of six big blinds to leave the outcome completely up in the air.

Amazingly, the three players maintained their precarious balance for another 20 minutes as the blinds and antes advanced to 140K/280K/35K. Then -Open$hove- open-shoved with Q♦ T♣ in the small blind and Sajanas171 called four big blinds less with A♦ 4♥. The J♣ T♠ 8♠ 3♦ Q♣ board gave -Open$hove- queens and tens, beating ace-high to bust Sajanas171 in third.

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-Open$hove- had a 2-to-1 lead as heads-up play began, but alexMFNb took five of the first seven pots uncontested to edge into the lead. -Open$hove- reclaimed the lead on the next hand, ending a pre-flop raising war with an all-in bet, and then moved in for 6.8M with A♣ 9♣ three hands later after alexMFNb limped on the button. alexMFNb called with K♦ Q♥ and made two pair on the 4♥ Q♦ K♣ flop, then dodged a flush draw after the [Jc[ turn when the 6♥ came on the river.

That 11.6M-chip pot was the point of no return. The two players went to the 3:55 p.m. ET break, and when they came back -Open$hove- called all-in from the big blind with K♥ 4♥ when alexMFNb raised the button with K♠ 8♣. The board came 9♦ 2♥ 6♠ 9♥ 7♦, alexMFNb's kicker played to take the pot, and the tournament came to its end.

Making that deal four-handed with the chip lead gave -Open$hove- a prize of $25,288.34. alexMFNb, who had been the shortest stack at the time of the deal, earned the TCOOP title and grabbed the extra cash on the table to edge -Open$hove- out for the biggest prize of the tournament at $25,642.61. Congratulations to them both, and to Sajanas171 and Ryan "i need sheet" Yu, on the deal!

TCOOP-49: $215 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Turbo] results
Entrants: 1,270
Total prize pool: $254,000
Places paid: 155

1. alexMFNb (Canada) $25,642.61*
2. -Open$hove- (Hungary) $25,288.34*
3. Sajanas171 (Lithuania) $20,157.61*
4. Ryan "i need sheet" Yu (Canada) $22,803.67*
5. Roman8834444 (Russia) $7,262.87
6. tripsup24 (Canada) $4,747.53
* - reflects results of a four-way deal that left $5,080 for the winner

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in TCOOP