WCOOP Event #8: Ulett_23 mixes it up to win bracelet

If you think Dorothy had it bad with lions and tigers and bears, try playing flop games and stud games and draw games sprinkled with a mix of limit, pot-limit and no-limit and then tossed with a little bit of high-hand, low-hand and hi/low split. If that combination doesn't have you longing for Kansas, then you're a lot tougher than most.

This year, PokerStars added a $320 buy-in 8-Game Mixed Event to the line-up of tournaments comprising the World Championship of Online Poker. If the true test of a great poker player is the ability to play any game, then Event #8 would certainly allow the most talented to shine. In the mix were the following events: limit triple draw 2-7 lowball, limit hold'em, limit omaha hi/low, limit razz, limit stud, limit stud hi/low, no-limit hold'em and pot-limit omaha. The 1,128 players who entered the event couldn't get too comfortable with any one game because each rotation lasted only ten minutes.

At stake was a prize pool of $338,400, along with a WCOOP bracelet and title of best all-around player.

After ScottBrewr was eliminated in 7th place during a no-limit hold'em round, the final table was set.

Seat 1: SC72A (999,729 in chips)
Seat 2: Booster_JJ (753,840 in chips)
Seat 3: Seitz333 (711,999 in chips)
Seat 4: osten (1,122,848 in chips)
Seat 5: Andrejkovics (654,816 in chips)
Seat 6: Ulett_23 (668,768 in chips)

WCOOP Event 8 Final Table.jpg

Click image for full version.

After surviving almost eight rotations of eight events, some of the members of the final table briefly discussed an even six-way chop, which would have netted each player $29,558.09. $4,000 and a WCOOP would be bracelet set aside for the champion. Talk fizzled quickly, and the final six players got back to the business of playing poker.

Seitz333 kicked into high gear during level 65 (limit triple draw 2-7 lowball) by picking up three large pots, each with a 9-low. His chipcount went from 728,874 to 1,668,874, propelling him past osten for the chiplead. As Seitz333 started to pull away from the pack, Ulett_23's stack starting moving in the opposite direction when his hands were always second best. The big question was whether Ulett_23 could survive a bad case of variance or second best and last until the next triple draw round.

That wouldn't be the case for Andrejkovics. Down to his last 146,416 in chips, Andrejkovics re-raised osten to 120,000 before the first draw. osten drew two and checked, but Andrejkovics drew one and bet his last 26,416. By the end of the third draw, Andrejkovics was able to make a 9-7, but osten showed an 8-6. Although he was the first to the rail from the final table, Andrejkovics earned $11,844 for his efforts.

SC72A's stack was whittled down during the first four levels of final table play, and he decided to take a stand during level 66 (limit hold'em). For a severely short-stacked player, finding any ace is like finding the Emerald City. SC72A picked up Ah-4s in the small blind and raised to 80,000. Booster_JJ re-raised out of the big blind to 120,000, putting SC72A all-in. When Booster_JJ tabled Jh-5s, it appeared as if SC72A would live to see another hand. The 6c-6h-Jc flop paired Booster_JJ, leaving SC72A in search of an ace. No ace on the turn or river, and SC72A was out in 5th place for a cash prize of $17,766.

Heading into the first final table break, Seitz333 still had the chiplead with 1,723,159. Ulett_23 was the short-stack with 673,672. If Seitz333 was able to hit a rush during the triple draw level, would someone else be able to do the same?

The answer to that question came quite early during level 67 (limit omaha hi/low). Over the course of several hands, Booster_JJ climbed into second place, as osten and Ulett_23 struggled to hang on. Seitz333, however, continued to dominate the field by picking up a 900,000 chip pot with a rivered full house against osten's turned nut flush.

That dent to osten's stack forced him to make a move during level 68 (limit razz). When osten's last chips went into the middle, his 8-3-2 was ahead of Seitz333's K-4-2. As is often the case in razz, osten's board ran out 9-6-K-Q for a 9-8 low. Meanwhile, Seitz333 continued his hot streak by picking up 3-9-7-7 for a 9-7 low. Just like that, the player who started the final table as the chipleader was eliminated in 4th place for a $23,688 cash.

The momentum that Booster_JJ gained during the omaha hi/low level was lost during levels 68 and 69 (limit razz and limit stud). The unraveling began when Booster_JJ lost a 1,045,000 chip pot to Ulett_23 in a razz hand. Both players showed two low cards going into fifth street, but Booster_JJ hit a ten and a jack while Ulett_23 picked up a three and a seven. Little did Booster_JJ know that he was already drawing dead on seventh street. He managed to make an 8-7 low, but Ulett_23 had already hit a 7-6 low on sixth street.

Two hands later, Seitz333 picked up the rest of Booster_JJ's chips in a stud hand. Booster_JJ started with split aces and improved to aces and sixes by seventh street. Seitz333 started with a pair of eights and a spade flush draw, but he improved to a better two pair: aces and kings. Booster_JJ earned $30,456 for his 3rd place finish.

Going into heads-up play, Seitz333 held a 3.5/1 chiplead over Ulett_23.

After only nine hands of heads-up play, Ulett_23 reached the 2 million chip mark. This put him on an almost even basis with Seitz333. Throughout level 69 (limit stud), Seitz333 would regain his 3.5/1 advantage and then lose a big pot to put the players back to even. This trend continued through level 70 (limit stud hi/low) and level 71 (no-limit hold'em) as well.

In a key hand during level 71, Ulett_23 got a necessary double up. With 6h-5c-2h-9s-8s on the board, Ulett_23 re-raised all-in for his last 886,672 after Seitz333 bet 160,000. Seitz333 made the call and showed As-7d for a nine-high straight. Ulett_23 flipped over Th-7s for a ten-high straight. Ulett_23 moved to 2,103,344 in chips, which was only 300,000 shy of Seitz333's stack.

When both players started to sense that they would continue to hover around even in chipstacks, they began to discuss a chop. Play was paused during level 72 (pot-limit omaha) to allow a deal to be made. Both players quickly agreed to an even-money chop, with $4,000 set aside for the winner. The revised payouts were as follows:

First: $50,797.28
Second: $46,797.28

Although a deal was reached during level 72, it wasn't until level 73 (limit triple draw 2-7 lowball) that one of the players started to pull away. Two full rotations ago (level 65), Seitz333 started to distance himself from the field by picking up three large pots in short order. This time, however, it was Ulett_23's turn to hit the big hands.

Ulett_23 picked up a 2,200,000 chip pot when he showed 8-6-4-3-2 after drawing three cards, then two cards, then one card. Two hands later, Ulett_23 continued to pull well when he was able to stand pat after taking three cards on the first draw. Seitz took one card on each of the draws and was unable to call Ulett_23's final bet. That gave Ulett_23 a 7.5/1 advantage, the largest that we saw during heads-up play.

Two hands later, Ulett_23's 13-hour journey was finally over. There may have been yellow brick roads along the way, but there were certainly no bricks in his last hand. Seitz333 raised from the small blind to 200,000. The pre-draw raising continued until Seitz333 was all-in. Ulett_23's final hand was 8-7-6-3-2, which was well ahead of Seitz333's T-9-8-7-3.

WCOOP Event 8 Final Hand.jpg

Click image for full version.

A gracious winner, Ulett_23 typed "gg i ran very well down stretch."

Congratulations to Ulett_23 for winning the inaugural 8-Game Mixed Event!

2008 WCOOP Event #8 Final Table Results

1. Ulett_23 (Sarnia) $50,797.28
2. Seitz333 (Blacksburg) $46,797.28
3. Booster_JJ (Washington) $30,456.00
4. osten (El Segundo) $23,688.00
5. SC72A (Birmingham) $17,766.00
6. Andrejkovics (Budapest) $11,844.00

(Reflects two-way chop)

For more details about how the action played out, visit the WCOOP Event #8 $320 8-Game Mixed Live Blog.

CK
@PokerStars in WCOOP