WCOOP Event #30: salamandra24 changes all the right colors, earns some green

Call it four card bingo, call it poker's answer to a slot machine if you will, but the players who play Pot Limit Omaha regularly know their math and exactly what they're gambling on when the flop comes out with two to a straight and a flush holding one of the draws. They can tell you the nuts on the board in less time it takes for a toddler to throw a tantrum after you tell her it is time for bed.

To play the game takes a mind set that "bad beats" will happen in PLO more often then any other flop game and have the patience to accept it. Wrap draws versus flopped sets, flush draw versus top two, and the money is likely going in on the flop to watch the turn and river spin out like reels on a progressive slot machine. The players sit back and are forced to watch whether they are to become the next Megabucks jackpot winner or shake their heads as they rebuy or walk away from busting in a tournament.

Tonight's Event #30 $1,050 Pot Limit tourney would provide plenty of action from the 742 players who entered, as seen by the cluster of rapid bustouts we had even nearing the final table.

Team PokerStars pro Greg "FossilMan" Raymer already has a PLO WCOOP bracelet (2007 Event #6 read the final table report here) on his wrist was out looking for a twin. He was joined by several other Team PokerStars pros such as Lee "LeeNelsonP*" Nelson, Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso, Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose, Andre "aakkari" Akkari, Marcin "Goral" Horecki , and Vicky Coren. Here's Greg chatting about the WCOOP experience via PokerStars.TV:

Watch Greg Raymer On The WCOOP on PokerStars.tv

Greg's day was going well until this hand, as reported in our Event #30 live blog: Greg opened for 1,500 under the gun and got calls from 3232 in middle position, Rich_Fish on the button, and Believer82 in the big blind. The flop came Ah-9d-7s and Raymer bet 4,200 into 6,300. 3232 raised to 18,900 behind him (leaving himself only 1,404 behind), clearing out the field but getting Raymer to put him all in. The two players had:

Raymer: Ac-9c-8h-5c
3232: Jc-Tc-9s-9h

Raymer's two pair never improved and 3232 grabbed the 46,908 pot, leaving Raymer with 9,533.

Shortly thereafter, Raymer was eliminated in 118th (ten spots off the money). That left Akkari, Paul-Ambrose, Horecki, Mercier to carry the torch for Team PokerStars.

All four would go on to cash: Akkari (89th), Paul-Ambrose (102nd), Horecki (104th) but it was Isabelle who would outlast them all. She succumbed to final tablist Tmay420 in 42nd place.

We found the final table after GRinDer444 took an unfortunate beat on this hand. He raised all in for 84,728 on a flop of 5d-Tc-Jc after his lone opponent, salamandra24, opened for 52,000. salamandra24 made the call, showing Kd-Js-Th-6d for two pair, jacks and tens. GRinDer444 held As-Qc-5c-5h for a set of fives with a club draw, but his hand was instantly trashed by the Ts that hit the turn to make salamandra24 a higher full house, tens full of jacks. GRinDer444 needed a miracle five on the river and didn't get it. The 4h sent him to the rail as the final table bubble boy, in 10th place with $7,791.

Our final table was set.


(click image for full size)

Seat 1: potstabber10 (618172 in chips)
Seat 2: salamandra24 (743997 in chips)
Seat 3: styroben33 (59647 in chips)
Seat 4: iggymcfly (1420506 in chips)
Seat 5: phatman (410925 in chips)
Seat 6: Skjervøy (123211 in chips)
Seat 7: DAVIDOXXX (994129 in chips)
Seat 8: Tmay420 (447265 in chips)
Seat 9: u_dirty_dog (747148 in chips)

Short stacked stryoben33 was the first to exit shortly after the final table began. He got his money in well prior to becoming short stacked, but the cards did not come his way. It was no surprise that the same thing happened on his final hand. styroben33 moved all in for 51,647 after potstabber10 opened the pot with a raise to 20,000. potstabber10 called, and the hands were opened:

styroben33: Kc-Qh-2d-Kh
potstabber10: 8c-4c-6h-4s

styroben33 liked his chances but the flop was a disaster coming down 5c-7d-9d to flop a straight for potstabber10. styroben33 couldn't turn things around after the board ran out Th and 7s on the river. He was the first player eliminated from the final table, going out in ninth place and earning $10,462.20.

A mere eight minutes later Skjervøy would hit the rail. Second in chips, DAVIDOXXX, did the deed after getting potstabber10 out of the hand by re-raising to 128,000 and setting Skjervøy all-in after a flop of Qh-4d-6d.

Although DAVIDOXXX was already ahead with his kicker, he would make top two with Ts-Ad-Qc-6s as Skjervøy's Qs-5s-8c-Th could not catch anything as the board finished up As and 3s and Skjervøy received $16,695.00 in eighth place.

After taking out Skjervøy in eighth place, DAVIDOXXX himself would find himself short stacked against salamandra24, iggymcfly, and u_dirty_dog. Ultimately, he chose this hand against iggymcfly to revive his once healthy stack:

DAVIDOXXX could not overcome the flopped set of kings of the chip leader to finish seventh and was awarded $24,115.00 for his time.

Just five minutes later our most well-known final tablist, Tmay420, would be on the receiving end of a bad beat due to a runner-runner flush after trapping u_dirty_dog with his flopped set of aces. But, u_dirty_dog found his way out of the kennel after hearts hit the turn and river while holding Kh-Ah-9c-7c on a board of Ad-4h-9d-Qh-7h and walked away from the pound with 618,530 in chips.

Tmay420 would finish in sixth place earning $31,535.00 and one very large bad beat story.

The final table went silent for time. Only small pots being pushed around for about 30 minutes. It was u_dirty_dog again taking one of the biggest pots of the tourney and the chip lead from iggymcfly with this hand:

This started a chain reaction of action as two hands later; phatman put himself all-in after a flop of 2d-Ts-Jh against iggymcfly who was determined to get his chips back, after phatman started the hand with 445,375 chips and iggymcfly still had over a million.

iggymcfly: Tc-5c-Ac-Jc
phatman: Qs-Kd-Ah-Jd

The turn 5s and river 7h were no help to phatman, losing to iggymcfly's turned two pair of tens and jacks as he took $38,955.00 in fifth place.

The aftershock of two sudden eliminations wasn't done as it was potstabber10's turn to go up against the chip vacuum of iggymcfly. potstabber10 found himself three-betting the chip leader iggymcfly from the small blind to 184,000 preflop and iggymcfly calling to see a flop of 3h-5h-4c.

potstabber10 got the rest of his 287,839 chips into the pot as iggymcfly made the call:

potstabber10: Ac-Ad-7d-Tc
iggymcfly: Qs-7h-8h-Js

Gutshot straight flush draw for iggymcfly and overpair with backdoor flush draw for potstabber10. The Kh on the turn completed the flush for iggymcfly leaving the cracked aces in potstabber10's hand worthless as a losing horse bet ticket.

The 4s on the river completed the formality as potstabber10 received $55,650 tonight in fourth place thus sparked the chop talks on the next hand.

After a little haggling in the price our three finalists reached the follow agreement after the initial chip chop wasn't enough for the chip leader u_dirty_dog:

u_dirty_dog: $110,000
iggymcfly: $106,203.72
salamandra24's: $87,291.28

$10,000 and the WCOOP bracelet set aside for later use and we resumed three-handed play.

Despite claiming "an edge on the field" as quoted during the chop talks, iggymcfly would be our third place finisher. Two hands lost to salamandra24 in a span of five hands. The first one double up salamandra24 as iggymcfly raised to 56,000 from the button and salamandra24 called out of the big blind. The Qd-Ac-7d flop brought a bet of 90,000 that salamandra24 called. When the turn came 2c, iggymcfly bet 300,000 before being check-raised all in to 810,587 by salamandra24. iggymcfly called and the hands were opened:

salamandra24: 3s-3d-2s-Ad
iggymcfly: 9s-Kc-Qc-Js

The river 2h made a full house, deuces full of aces, for salamandra24 and doubled him up.

He completed the elimination of iggymcfly four hands later when both were all in preflop. iggymcfly held double-suited aces, As-Ac-Qc-4s, aginst salamandra's Kh-Kd-9d-8c. A king on the flop was all she wrote for iggymcfly. As determined by the deal earlier, he won $106,203.72 for third place.

You can watch the elimination hand played out below:

u_dirty_dog and salamandra24 would start off heads up play nearly even in the chip count:

salamandra24: 2,976,604
u_dirty_dog: 2,588,396

In just 13 minutes after a roller coaster of events we had a winner, starting off with salamandra24 opening up a lead. salamandra24 took down a 1.7-million-chip pot that started with a raise to 48,000 preflop by salamandra24 and a reraise to 144,000 by u_dirty_dog. salamandra 24 called, then called another 272,000 on the Qs-5h-Ad flop. Both players checked the Kh that hit the turn. When the Th came on the river, u_dirty_dog fired one more time, for 455,000. salamandra24 called, having made a flush with 2d-Qh-6h-7d. That was much better than u_dirty_dog's solitary pair of nines, 9s-6c-8d-9h.

Ten hands later it was u_dirty_dog's turn to come back after he rivered a flush against salamandra24's two pair and the heads-up match was tilted in u_dirty_dog's favor 3 million to salamandra24's 2.5 million chips.

But, two hands later came "the hand", the one that determines the bracelet holder and spells doom for the loser. Watch the five million chip hand play out as salamandra24's bottom set is raced off against u_dirty_dog's flush and gutshot straight draw:

Two all-in blind hands later, salamandra24 was crowned the WCOOP Event #30 $1,050 Pot Limit Omaha champion! For salamandra's complete road to victory, check out the Event #30 live blog here and stay tuned for the highlight show on PokerStars.TV later on today.

WCOOP Event #30 - $1,050 Pot Limit Omaha Order of Finish
(based on three way deal)

1. salamandra24 $97,291.28
2. u_dirty_dog $110,000.00
3. iggymcfly $106,203.72
4. potstabber10 $55,650.00
5. phatman $38,955.00
6. Tmay420 $31,535.00
7. DAVIDOXXX $24,115.00
8. Skjervøy $16,695.00
9. styroben33 $10,462.20

David Aydt
@PokerStars in WCOOP