WCOOP Event #2 Final Table Report
Landmines. They are everywhere. Flop the nuts? No good. There are still two more cards to come. Like a big canister of Planters Mixed, the nuts change every time you look back. That's Omaha and that was WCOOP Event #2.
Omaha is a game the rewards both the loosey gooses (er, geese) and the uber-tight. Fall somewhere in between and you're likely to be doing inventory on your Planters by dinner time. As a game that, in essence, offers you six hold'em hands per deal, making the right decision is often as easy as deciding whether to jump off the bridge with or without the parachute.
That's what makes Event #2's final table finisher's worth talking about. They landed safely every time and settled in at a final table where no small amount of money was at stake.
Here's what it looked like as they all sat at the same table for the first time.
Seat 1: Rabscuttle $431,530
Seat 2: bugsen $878,092
Seat 3: epokerman (Los Angeles, CA) $230,814
Seat 4: Siegel (Oslo, Norway) $541,299
Seat 5: #1PEN (Irvine, CA) $302,264
Seat 6: MR32 (Jersey City, NJ) $1,200,922
Seat 7: bogg $335,508
Seat 8: osten (El Segundo, CA) $1,013,417
Seat 9: PokerMillion (Memphis, TN) $1,606,154
Pen dried up?
Poor #1PEN. He came into the final table with nearly the shortest stack. Only epokerman sat lower. Earlier in the game #1PEN had been accused of being a pro because his name appeared in many a WCOOP tournament lobby. His response? "Just a kid trying to make some money."
How did he go about that? Well, he doubled up early on. Facing an open raise from bogg, #1PEN re-raised for nearly half his stack from the big blind. Bogg called and they saw a flop: Qc2c5d. As expected, #1PEN pushed all in and bogg called. Bogg had flopped top pair with 8sJcQsAs, but #1PEN had an overpair with 7s6cKdKc. The pair of kings held up and #1PEN doubled up.
Who's the shortstack now, eh?
Full of grace...
It appeared in the chatbox from the fingers of the shortstack, epokerman. He had raises in front of him and he decied to make his move and pushed in his stack. He held a pair of aces among his four cards and that seemed to make it just about as good a time as any.
Er...wait. What's Siegel doing? Yep, that's called an isolation move, folks. Siegel pushed all his chips in and got rid of the chaff, leaving him heads up with epokerman. What could Siegel have that he felt so strongly about?
Indeed, Siegel had a pair of aces as well. The problem, as it readily became apparent, was Siegel was way ahead on the flop. The flop held two diamonds and that opened up the nut flush draw for Siegel. The third diamond came mercilessly and sent epokerman to the rail in ninth place and $7,743.80.
Landmines, I say.
To further prove the power of the turn and river, Rabscuttle got all his chips in with top pair versus Poker Million's overpair. A seven on the river gave Rabscuttle two pair and what I would call a suckout if EVERY hand didn't seem like some sort of suckout in this game.
Nice hand, sir.
Poker, how many million do you need?
It became clear early on that Poker Million was the man to beat. There was barely a time at the final table where he didn't have the biggest stack at the table. Player bugsen might have noted this as he got in a raising and re-raising battle with Poker Million that ended with bugsen all-in pre-flop. Bugsen held KKQJ two-suited to Poker Million's AA72 with an ace suited. The flop came Q99, the turn an A, and the river a K, to give Poker Million the boat over boat win. Bugsen, not the first player to lose with a strong full house in Omaha, left in eighth place and $11,990.40.
As the sun started to rise over Europe and the European players started looking out their window at the children on their way to school, Poker Million counted his chips. He had a 2-1 chip lead over second place, MR32. A lock? No, but it sure must've been nice.
For the moment, anyway.
Siegel stopped looking out the window at the sun coming up and decided to was time to take a chunk out of Poker Million's stack. How best to do it? Well, it went like this: They both saw a flop of 46T with two diamonds. Poker Million had flopped bottom to pair to Siegel's king-high flush draw. They got all of Siegel's substantial stack in the middle and the flush draw got there. That was almost a $2 million pot.
Revenge would come quickly. In two ensuing consecutive hands, Poker Million would get it all back. After a flop of 8cQh7c, Poker Million got all his chips in with a set of queens versus Siegel's bottom two pair and straight draw. On the next hand, Siegel got all his chips in on a flush draw that didn't get there. Siegel was out in seventh place and cashed for $16,986.40.
Bogg had becme the master of survival by this point, nursing his shortstack to last into much bigger money. Finally, he couldn't hold on for any longer and called all in on his big blind. Whatever he ended up with wasn't good enough to best (yeah, you guessed it) Poker Million's hand. Bogg was out in sixth place and $21,982.40.
With that, Poker Million had around half the chips in play and a 3-1 chip lead over second place. It seemed nothing could stop him. Rabscuttle tried, getting all his chips in pre-flop with QQTT. PokerMillion liked his AK98. The flop left Rabscuttle ahead, but the turn and river came runner-runner eights to give Poker Million nines full of eights and send Rabscuttle to the rail in fifth place and $26,978.40.
Two-thirds of the chips in play? Yeah, that's about what Poker Million held.
MR32: Don't call me mister
While it was unclear what his screen name actually meant, I learned later, it wasn't mister. In fact, MR are his initials and 32 was how old he was when he started playing competitive poker (he's 33 now).
He may be competitive, but MR32 is no pro. He's an accountant who considers himself a weekend warrior in the poker world. He gets together with a couple of dozen friends to play tournaments once a week and hone his tourney skills.
All the while Poker Million was crushing the table, MR32 carefully and quietly built and maintained his stack. Eventually, it was time for him to pounce. After showing quad fives to take a nice pot off Poker Million (who said he had the nut flush), MR32 went on to take about half of osten's stack. MR32 flopped a full house and never looked back.
Cut in half, osten got all his money in behind #1PEN who held a pair of kings in his hand. Osten was out in fourth place and cashed for a whopping $32,474.00.
Down to three players and with Poker Million still in a commanding lead, the talk of a deal began, but the three players could not come to terms, so they played on.
It fell to MR32 to bust #1PEN. In a hand that would have more twists and turns the the Pacific Coast Highway, #1PEN, holding JdTsTd7c got all his money in on a flop of Ah8cTh. But, MR32 had flopped top two pair and the flush draw holding 8hTcAs7h. The river brought the final heart an #1PEN left in third place and $44,964.00.
NOW, let's make a deal
After a couple of hands of heads up play, MR32 had a negligible lead on long-time front runner Poker Million. The deal was pretty easy. They split first and second place money 50/50 less the $10,000 that had to remain on the table. They played on for the $10,000 and the bracelet.
It wouldn't take long to finish after that. Poker Million flopped a set against MR32's flush draw. They got all-in and the flush got there. Crippled, Poker Million got his chips in behind on the next hand and left in second place for $92,422.
MR32, now $102,422 richer, couldn't quite believe it. It was "by far the best poker exeprience I've ever had," he said. "I never thought I would win. I was happy when we got to the money."
Not a bad payday for a weekend warrior, eh?
World Championship of Online Poker Event #2 Final Table Results
1st-- MR32 (Jersey City, NJ) $102,422
2nd-- Poker Million (Memphis, TN) $92,422
3rd-- #1PEN (Irvine, CA) $44,964.00
4th-- osten (El Segundo, CA) $32,474.00
5th-- Rabscuttle (Richmond, VA) $26,978.40
6th-- bogg (Holland, PA) $21,982.40
7th-- Siegel (Oslo, Norway) $16,986.40
8th-- bugsen (Hollviken, Sweden) $11,990.40
9th-- epokerman (Los Angeles, CA) $7,743.80
List of all players who finished in the money cann be found here.