TCOOP 2017: DannyDawkins tops R_Caiaffa in Event #7 ($82 PLO, 6-Max, Turbo, Win The Button)

Day 2 of TCOOP 2017 marked the first appearance of a game and format tailor-made for the series: 6-max Win The Button Pot-Limit Omaha. Turbo blind structures and shorthanded tables already encourage aggressive tactics, and PLO thrives on raises and re-raises, but the addition of the Win The Button format made Event #7 something close to the platonic ideal of a TCOOP tournament. Germany's DannyDawkins came to its final table with the chip lead and leveraged that advantage, and the structure of the tournament itself, to walk away more than $15,000 richer after just five and a half hours of poker.

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Event #7 kicked off at 11 a.m. ET and, after two hours of late registration, drew a total field of 1,305 players at $82 apiece. That $97,875 prize pool was split among the top 167 players, including Team Online's Lex "L. Veldhuis" Veldhuis, who scored $234.54 for a 123rd-place finish. By the third break of the tournament those 167 players were all that remained, and another hour reduced the field to just 27. That group managed to play out one more hour without reaching final, with eight players still remaining at the 3:55 p.m. ET break. But within three minutes of returning the United Kingdom's turistlituan was out in eighth and Belarus's rtrppp departed in seventh, setting up this crew of six to take a shot at TCOOP glory:

Seat 1: KingOfTheSWC (821,924 in chips)
Seat 2: Ahhh ls lt? (2,559,940 in chips)
Seat 3: DannyDawkins (4,594,851 in chips)
Seat 4: zilbeee (1,379,432 in chips)
Seat 5: Rafael "R_Caiaffa" Caiaffa (1,653,680 in chips)
Seat 6: Limwonster (2,040,173 in chips)

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Short-stacked KingOfTheSWC had been sitting out since well before the final table and continued to do so after the final six convened. The potential of missing out on a nearly guaranteed pay jump against a dormant opponent appeared to keep Limwonster out of the action, and for the first 10 minutes of the final table the other shorter stacks mostly avoided the action, too. Past Sunday Million runner-up and Super Tuesday finalist Ahhh Is It? of the United Kingdom took the opportunity to press forward at this point, stealing pots to win the button repeatedly. With blinds starting at 40K/80K and advancing to 60K/120K during this stretch, the tactic was a profitable one.

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Brazil's zilbeee, appearing at a first career COOP final after bubbling a WCOOP 2014 final table, broke Is it Ahhh?'s streak to win the button and then re-raised all-in for 881K on the following hand after Ahhh Is It? opened for 260K in the hijack seat. Ahhh Is It? called with 8♣ 7♣ 6♣ 4♣ and had plenty of outs after the 3♥ 5♠ 5♥ flop, but zilbeee's A♣ Q♠ Q♥ 6♥ made a full house after the T♠ turn and Q♣ river to double the Brazilian to 1.94M.

Brazilian Series Of Poker standout and past SCOOP and Sunday Million finalist Rafael "R_Caiaffa" Caiaffa doubled shortly after that, defending the big blind with Q♠ J♦ T♣ 7♠ against DannyDawkins's button aggression and making two pair on the flop and a full house on the turn.

Rafael Caiaffa

Rafael Caiaffa

Minutes later, three players would be knocked out in the course of two hands. KingOfTheSWC's stack was finally blinded off, eliminating the Swiss player in sixth. And on the next hand, both Limwonster and zilbeee would see their runs come to an end.

Limwonster opened the action by jamming for 344K with J♦ 9♠ 8♦ 5♠; Ahhh Is It? re-raised to 529K on the button with K♥ J♥ J♠ 7♠ and then called when zilbeee, holding A♥ A♠ K♠ 9♦, shoved for 1.96M in the big blind. zilbeee was the favorite before the flop with 49-percent equity, but both opponents moved ahead once the flop came 2♥ 9♥ 7♦. Then came the J♣ on the turn, making a set for Ahhh Is It? and leaving the others with slim chances at a win. The Q♣ ended those chances, giving Ahhh Is It? the 4.35M-chip pot and busting Limwonster in fifth and zilbeee in fourth.

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DannyDawkins won the first major pot of three-handed play just two hands in. The German player called Ahhh Is It?'s button raise to 360K from the small blind with J♦ J♥ T♥ 3♠, coming along with R_Caiaffa for a three-way flop of Q♥ 2♥ 4♠. All three players checked there, and DannyDawkins checked again on the 6♦ turn. R-Caiaffa bet 544K, driving Ahhh Is It? from the pot, but DannyDawkins called and caught a flush with the 5♥ river. Both players checked and Caiaffa mucked, giving DannyDawkins the 2.16M-chip pot.

That pot boosted DannyDawkins into second place with 4.23M chips and served as a springboard to the turning point of the tournament three hands later. Ahhh Is It? had won the button on the previous hand and opened the action with a raise to 434K, holding K♠ Q♣ J♥ T♣. DannyDawkins re-raised to 1.5M from the small blind with A♦ A♥ 4♣ 3♠ and Ahhh Is It? called, bringing a J♦ T♠ 5♥ flop. DannyDawkins led for 3.2M, almost enough to move all-in, and called off the remainder when Ahhh Is It? raised with jacks and tens. DannyDawkins had 22.9-percent equity after that flop but emerged the winner after the 2♣ turn and 2♥ river made aces and deuces for the German player, topping Ahhh Is It?'s lower two pair for the 9.7M-chip pot.

DannyDawkins folded the button on the next hand and R_Caiaffa raised to 544K in the small blind. Ahhh Is It? responded with an all-in raise to 1.44M, which R_Caiaffa called with just 418K chips in reserve. Both players had similar hands - A♥ 9♦ 7♥ 6♣ for Ahhh Is It?, and A♠ J♥ T♠ 2♥ for R_Caiaffa - but the three spades on the 4♦ 8♠ J♠ K♠ A♦ board were all that mattered. They gave R_Caiaffa the nut flush and the 2.88M-chip pot, and sent Ahhh Is It? to the rail in third.

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DannyDawkins had a three-to-one lead as heads-up play began and lost just six big blinds over the first three minutes before the decisive hand arrived. It started with R_Caiaffa limping on the button with Q♥ J♣ T♣ 3♦. DannyDawkins re-raised to 598K from the big blind and R_Caiaffa called, seeing a 2♣ Q♣ A♦ flop. DannyDawkins led for 1.19M and called when R_Caiaffa jammed for 3.8M total, leaving the two in a virtual coin flip: DannyDawkins had a pair of deuces and a king-high flush draw, while R_Caiaffa had a pair of queens and two clubs for blockers. The 3♠ made R_Caiaffa's queens more secure, but the 2♥ river made three deuces for DannyDawkins, seizing the 8.8M-chip pot and bringing the tournament to a close.

For Rafael "R_Caiaffa" Caiaffa, finishing in second place was good for $9,914.88 and 70 points on the TCOOP Player Of The Series leaderboard. And for DannyDawkins, holding the chip lead for the last 26 minutes of the tournament was worth $15,168.67, not to mention a first career TCOOP victory. Congratulations to both of them on their performances!

TCOOP runs through the 29th of January. Check the full TCOOP 2017 schedule for details.

TCOOP-07: $82 PL Omaha [6-Max, Turbo, Win The Button] results
Entrants: 1,305
Total prize pool: $97,875
Places paid: 167

1. DannyDawkins (Germany) $15,168.67
2. Rafael "R_Caiaffa" Caiaffa (Brazil) $9,914.88
3. Ahhh Is It? (United Kingdom) $6,481.08
4. zilbeee (Brazil) $4,236.50
5. Limwonster (Germany) $2,769.29
6. KingOfTheSWC (Switzerland) $1,810.21

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in TCOOP