WCOOP 2010: ROMES_HOME Takes It Home In Event 29

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Sure, Pot Limit Five Card Draw is a real blast from the past and Badugi sounds like something you might cough up, but the real exotic game on this year's WCOOP schedule has to be event 29, No Limit Omaha Hi/Lo (Knockout).Seriously, it's tournaments like this that make you wonder what the future holds for the WCOOP. NL Five Card Stud? Heads-up 2-7 Draw? The world championship of Follow-the-Queen? Who Knows?!

990 players, including a venerable slew of PokerStars Team Pros, paid the $265 entry fee to try their luck at this rarely spread poker variant, creating a prize pool of $198,000 with each knockout awarding a $50 bonus. Only two PokerStars Team Pros managed to make it to the money, Canada's Pat Pezzin (74th for $470.20) and John Paul Kelly of the UK (48th for $613.80), while just one PokerStars Online Team member, Anders "Donald" Berg (53rd for $613.80), cashed. Still, the interesting format managed to provide quite a bit of drama as the tournament wound down, even without red spaded players lurking for a title.

Split Pot Hell

There's one thing that's always the same with Omaha Hi/Lo, no matter what the betting limits are, it's really hard to eliminate someone. As the final table bubble approached this Omaha Hi/Lo axiom was proved solid to an almost ridiculous level. 20 down to 19...tick tock...19 down to 16...more waiting...16 down to 14...then 13...and 12...

Well you get the point. Short stacks battled on, surviving big made hands with back door split pot draws. And with every made draw came the inevitable drone of disappointment from the virtual rail.

Anyway, it had to end eventually--at least that's what I told myself--and it did to the very unfortunate ceramikon, who learned how big high draws don't always get there...


With ceramikon's exit in tenth ($1,980.00) players were all shifted over to the aptly named table 29 for event 29's final stage, final table play. 7tHEcROw7, who had actually collected JP Kelly's, the last remaining PokerStars Team Pro, knockout bounty, began the final nine in the one slot, with 935,821 in chips. On the other side of things where table short stacks kuhns89 (131,067 in chips) and skunky666 (156,003 in chips). Blinds were 6k/12k with a 1.5k ante when play resumed at table 29.

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Seat 1: chknPOTpie (895406 in chips) 

Seat 2: 7tHEcROw7 (935821 in chips) 

Seat 3: playser37 (673992 in chips)
Seat 4: skunky666 (156003 in chips)
Seat 5: ROMES_HOME (769693 in chips)
Seat 6: kuhns89 (131067 in chips)
Seat 7: poker4adummy (459923 in chips)
Seat 8: lukaluka05 (509672 in chips)
Seat 9: Brummell (418423 in chips)

A Harbinger Of Things To Come

Event 29 got down to a final table relatively early, at about 10 p.m. EST. Any dreams of a quick tournament ended with the march to our first final table elimination, however, as 45 hands before the last nine became the final eight.

A short stacked lukaluka05 starts the action from early position by open shoving all-in for about 140k. Play is folded around to ROMES_HOME in the small blind, who moves all-in over the top for over 761k. Clubs abound as ROMES_HOME flips up A♣ K♥ Q♣ 3♣ and lukaluka05 exposes 9♣ [10c] 2♦ A♠. The clubs continue to fall when a 4♣ 3♠ J♣ gives both a club flush draw. but ROMES_HOME with the nut draw. The K♣ on the turn pushes lukaluka05 to the brink, needing a card under nine that isn't a 4, 3, 2 or A. No dice for lukaluka05, as the Q♥ on the river gives him a useless Broadway straight. lukaluka05 goes home in ninth, $2,376.00 richer for his time.

Now That's More Like It

It may have taken awhile to get down to eight players, but just 14 hands following lukaluka05's exit in ninth two more rounders would find themselves on the rail.

First was skunky666 (eighth for $3,960.00), who gets the award for the prettiest losing hand at the final table.

Exit number two--or three depending how you see it--was not nearly as pretty, but no less dramatic. poker4adummy open shoved all-in from under-the-gun with his last 203k only to have playser37 isolate on the button by pushing in his entire 285k stack. playser37 turned up a very nice looking A♦ A♣ 9♦ 9♠ compared to poker4adummy's mutt-like 7♠ 4♠ 7♣ A♥. Don't laugh until it's over, however, as a flop and turn of  K♠ J♣ J♠ 8♠ gave poker4adummy the lead, with a king high flush. Seriously, though, don't you dare laugh until it's over. The A♠ falls on the river, filling playser37's boat and eliminating poker4adummy in seventh ($5,940.00).

The Six Person Deal

The quick eliminations of eighth and seventh turned out to be a mirage as for the second time since we got down to a final nine play sputtered to a stand still. 140 hands came went before another elimination hand was dealt and in that 140 hands a six-way deal was discussed more than once. Ultimately, some players felt it was too early to start splitting up the final prize money and play soldiered on until someone was finally dealt a death blow.

Brummel, with about 557k behind, raises to 105k in first position. Action is folded around to ROMES_HOME in the small blind, who makes the call. kuhns89, however, decides to push the action, and moves all-in for about 906k. Brummel makes the call and ROMES_HOME gets out of the way. It's a big pair disaster for Brummel, who holds K♠ K♦ 2♥ 7♥ against kuhns89's A♥ A♦ 7♠ 4♦. However a flop and turn of 6♦ J♥ T♣ 6♥ gave Brummel reason to hope, adding a heart flush draw to his trip kings outs. It wasn't meant to be, however, as the 7♦ eliminated Brummel in sixth ($7,920.00).

kuhns89's success was short-lived, however. As just six hands after her elimination of Brummel, kuhns89 found herself on the losing end of a 2.44 million chip pot to 7tHEcROw7...



Just three hands later, kuhns89 would go out in fifth ($9,979.20), her A♦ 2♥ 3♣ 7♣ failing to run down ROMES_HOME's pocket kings.

Aces Run Into...Aces, and Finally Deal Time

Aces aren't everything in the game of Omaha Hi/Lo, but you normally don't expect them to get drawn out against another pair of aces. Thus was the fate of chknPOTpie, who, after some pre-flop raising with ROMES_HOME, managed to get all his chips in the with A♥ {Ac] 6♠ 5♦ against ROMES_HOME's A♠ A♦ 7♠ K♦. The flop was good for chknPOTpie,  6♥ 3♠ Q♥, giving him outs to two pair and a better low. The turn and river where ROMES_HOME's, however, falling [10s] K♠, giving ROMES_HOME the nut flush and eliminating chknPOTpie in fourth ($14,355.00).

With just three remaining the deal discussions opened up once again. Online Team moderator Anders "Donald" Berg--who finished 53rd in this event--was asked to pause the clock and give out the chip-chop numbers, which ended up being...

7tHEcROw7: $27,057.15
ROMES_HOME: $26,406.59
playser37: $24,122.26

ROMES_HOME initially said he'd like $27k flat, but quickly caved after resistance from playser37 and 7tHEcROw7, stating after taking the deal "I just want to end it." 3k was left on the table for the eventual winner.

"I Just Want To End It"

If ROMES_HOME was expecting a quick little end to things once a deal was made he was sadly mistaken. Another marathon of cycles saw chips traded back and forth before finally we had our last two. The unlucky third place finisher? Why it was former chip leader 7tHEcROw7, who after cashing out on the highest end of the deal went out to ROMES_HOME after a series of big pots forced him to bet his tournament life with just 2♦ 8♦ J♥ Q♣. The ugly hand didn't improve and 7tHEcROw7 went home with a rather nice upgrade of $27,057.15.

19 hands following 7tHEcROw7's third place finish we crowed our NL Omaha Hi/Lo champion, ROMES_HOME, who ended things in dramatic fashion against playser37... playser37, as per the deal, collected $24,122.26