WCOOP 2011: Chip and a chair good for MONSTER_DONG in Event 6, $215+Rebuys Turbo NLHE

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgSome people aren't big fans of turbo tournaments. They prefer long levels and slow structures, giving themselves a chance to let their skill triumph over the vagaries of variance. It's hard to blame them for their point of view, really. When you play with your own money you find the game that works best for you and you stick to it, and for a lot of people the turbo isn't that game. The variance can be a lot to handle, especially for anyone who's remotely risk-averse, and you can go from hero to zero in no time flat without making a single mistake.

For those who don't mind the potential pitfalls of the turbos, though, there's a lot of upside. And for those people, tonight's WCOOP event was a dream come true. With 1,589 entries, 3,130 rebuys and 754 add-ons combining to build a $1,094,600 prize pool - more than double the $500K guarantee - it was like taking a time machine trip back to gold-rush-era California, or the early 20th-century oil boom, or the late 1990s when you could buy a catchy domain name one week and sell it for a few billion dollars the next. Where else in today's world can you earn anywhere near the vicinity of $45,000 per hour with an investment of a few hundred dollars?

If you're still not sold on the pure awesomeness of the turbo, consider this: even if you get all the way to the verge of a cash and fall short, you're still done in time to grab dinner and go find another game where you can make your daily profit. Tonight's bubble boy was last night's Event 1 third-place finisher, former EPT Berlin champion Kevin "ImaLuckSac" McPhee. He spent less time outlasting 1,300+ players in this event to bubble than he did playing six-handed at the High Roller final table.

No less than 29 members of Team PokerStars and Team Online decided to have a go at tonight's gold rush. In the end six of them made the money. The Costa Rican shark Humberto Brenes was the first to go in 201st place ($1,204.06), followed shortly afterward by George Danzer (185th, $1,258.79). In tournament time the others all lasted much longer, though in the real world only a dozen minutes or so had passed: Daniel Negreanu hit the rail in 107th place ($1,860.82), Georgio "gkap13" Kapalas took 94th ($1,970.28), and Shane "shaniac" Schleger finished in 83rd ($2,079.74).

Go go gadget Goral

That left just one Stars player - Marcin "Goral" Horecki - to represent the home team. With 55 players left Horecki picked up pocket kings and got two opponents all-in with pocket nines and pocket eights. Another cowboy on the flop meant the Polish pro was up to 630K on the 8K/16K/2K level, good for the chip lead - and five hands later he lost half that stack when his ace-king couldn't outrun the pocket jacks of T 54 T 97s.

ept deauville_day 2_marcin horecki.jpg

So it goes in a turbo tournament; he was still in 11th place with just 42 players remaining. He managed to hang on without picking up a hand all the way until there were 27 players left, when the player on the button min-raised; Horecki shoved with ace-jack only to find himself up instacalled by pocket aces. A jack on the flop and three hearts on the board by the turn gave him some outs, but a blank on the river left him with $4,268.94 and an open schedule for the rest of the day.

Final table time

By the time the final table rolled around the blinds had escalated to 60K/120K with a 15K ante and these players were looking to pick up the right cards at the right time:

WCOOP 2011 Event 6 final table.jpg

Seat 1: filfedra (1,755,384 chips)
Seat 2: FrankThomas8 (480,176 chips)
Seat 3: lotos64 (758,782 chips)
Seat 4: Iftarii (3,413,184 chips)
Seat 5: medmar (1,034,061 chips)
Seat 6: gp18089 (2,445,735 chips)
Seat 7: ShippityShip (603,778 chips)
Seat 8: 4kinghellll (98,224 chips)
Seat 9: MONSTER_DONG (1,110,676 chips)

It didn't take long to get the elimination ball rolling. Micro-stacked 4kinghellll was the first to go in 9th place, all-in on the big blind with T♥ 3♣ and unable to crack the pocket sevens of FrankThomas8. Not a fun way to go, but worth $10,946 anyhow.

Two hands later it was FrankThomas8's turn to feel the big hurt, calling all-in on the big blind with A♥ 6♠ against the K♣ 4♠ of filfedra. The 5♠ T♣ 4♦ flop was bad news, and the 2♦ turn and 9♦ river made the 8th place finish - and $19,155.50 prize - official for FrankThomas8.

The next hand saw lotos64 double through gp18089 with ace-queen against ace-eight, but gp18089 got some of those chips back on the following hand by picking up A♣ 9♣ and getting ShippityShip to call with A♥ 8♣. The 8♦ 2♣ 5♥ flop paired ShippityShip, but the Q♣ 7♣ meant a runner-runner flush for gp18089. ShippityShip settled for 7th place and $30,101.50.

MONSTER_DONG raised all-in on the next hand with J♦ 4♥ and got everyone to fold except for medmar, who called with A♠ 4♠ in the big blind. The 9♥ 2♣ 6♠ T♦ 5♦ board meant ace-high was good and MONSTER_DONG was left with less than one big blind.

A chip and a chair

Things looked dire for the Australian pro, but the beauty of no-limit hold'em is that the proverbial "chip and a chair" is all it takes to win. And in this case, that's exactly what would happen. On the next hand MONSTER_DONG's 9♦ 6♠ overturned filfedra's A♥ Q♠ to keep the Aussie alive, and on the following hand another lowly combo - 8♣ 6♦ - spiked a six against the K♠ 9♠ of Iftarii for a 1.58M-chip pot.

Three hands later gp18089 would run A♣ 9♣ into the pocket kings of filfedra and exit in 6th place ($41,047.50) when the board brought nothing remotely resembling help. Iftarii followed in 5th place ($51,993.50) another three hands later, K♦ 9♠ unable to catch up against either the Q♣ Q♠ of lotos64 or the 6♦ 6♠ of medmar in a three-way pot.

The rest of the way it was all MONSTER_DONG, all the time. First the Aussie eliminated the Czech Republic's filfedra with pocket fives against ace-deuce, giving filfedra a 4th-place finish ($73,338.20). Then, three hands later, a little good fortune in the form of an eight on the flop with A♥ 8♠ against lotos64's A♦ 9♠ took the tournament down to heads-up play. That lasted for just two hands, and when medmar's K♣ 8♦ couldn't beat MONSTER_DONG's A♣ T♦ the tournament was complete.

So the next time you find yourself down to one big blind, don't get depressed - especially if you're playing in a turbo tournament. Anything can happen when you're still in the game.

Results for 2011 WCOOP Event #6, $215+Rebuys Turbo No-Limit Hold'em

1st place: MONSTER_DONG (Australia) $179,569.13
2nd place: medmar (Argentina) - $131,352
3rd place: lotos64 (Russia) - $98,514
4th place: filfedra (Czech Republic) - $73,338.20
5th place: Iftarii (Canada) - $51,993.50
6th place: gp18089 (Greece) - $41,047.50
7th place: ShippityShip (Australia) - $30,101.50
8th place: FrankThomas8 (Spain) - $19,155.50
9th place: 4kinghellll (United Kingdom) - $10,946

What a day of poker! There's been more action in WCOOP today than there were all-in moments in Event 6. You can see who else took home big money over on the official WCOOP page.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in WCOOP