WCOOP 2012: Déjà vu; mikal12345 returns to the winner's circle! (Event #26, $215 PL Omaha Turbo 1R1A)

wcoop-thumb.pngFour days ago, 555 players registered for the first Omaha Hi/Lo event of the 2012 WCOOP (Event #12). It was played short-handed, and it culminated in a heads-up duel between Poland and Norway for all the marbles. The final two players traded big pots for a few orbits, but in the end, mikal12345 was too strong to be denied. The Norwegian stacked the last pot, and his first career WCOOP victory was good for more than $43,000. And, of course, a golden piece of hardware for the wrist.

Hit the fast forward button for a dozen-or-so events, and you arrive with a strange sense of déjà vu in Event #26. You fire up the PokerStars client and navigate through the WCOOP lobbies to see which Team PokerStars Pros are making deep runs. Perhaps you have a friend or two worth railing, as well. A quick check on the action sees another Omaha event down to the final two players -- and it's another heads-up battle between Poland and Norway. These guys are good at four-card poker, apparently. It takes you a couple attempts to read the screen name of Poland's kAmIkAdZeEe, but the player across the table catches your eye immediately. It's that pesky mikal12345 again, and once again, he's heads-up for a bracelet.

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Event #26 was a Pot-Limit Omaha event, this one spread as a Turbo with the option of re-buying and adding-on once apiece. The prize pool was guaranteed to be at least a quarter million dollars, but it swelled to nearly twice that with 1,223 players swarming to the virtual felt. Factoring in the 858 re-buys and 328 add-ons brought the final tally up to $481,800.

The top 153 finishers earned pieces of that prize pool, and Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero narrowly missed out on a share with his 167th-place run. Two of our family members did manage to sneak into the money, however. Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen went out in 142nd place, good for $770.88. Moments later, George "Jorj95" Lind III dropped out in 134th to earn a small pay bump up to $819.06.

As you might infer from the "Turbo" part of the event's moniker, the action was blistering from start to finish. If you thought Turbo Hold'em tournaments went fast -- well, you were right. But there are few ways to get your poker fix quicker than a Turbo PL Omaha tournament.

The torrid pace became especially noticeable as the field shrank from four tables down to three, then two. The chip lead was a slippery thing to latch onto down the stretches, and monster pots changed the face of the leader board every other hand, it seemed. Less than four hours after the first hand was dealt, Pthelegend was eliminated in 10th place, and the field was reduced to the final table of nine.

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Seat 1: Situruttu (1938772 in chips)
Seat 2: culibrk1 (131006 in chips)
Seat 3: Try__An__Hit (2567411 in chips)
Seat 4: Vlad_Radimov (835290 in chips)
Seat 5: paaskebaesen (2310482 in chips)
Seat 6: kAmIkAdZeEe (770490 in chips)
Seat 7: mrAndreeew (2308362 in chips)
Seat 8: mendieta19 (94302 in chips)
Seat 9: mikal12345 (1088885 in chips)
Level 40, blinds 100K/200K, avg. stack 1.34 million (~6.7bb)

Sweden's mendieta19 was in the process of having his stack crippled as the players filled in around the final table, and he was all in from the small blind on the first hand of nine-handed play. It did not go well as he was dealt a rather mediocre J♣ 9♠ 8♠ 3♠. Big blind mikal12345 was gifted a much-nicer T♦ T♥ A♦ 2♦, and a third ten on the flop was too much for mendieta19 to overcome. The Swede had two cards to try and fill an open-ender but could not find a seven or queen to avoid a ninth-place exit.

On the next hand, culibrk1 became the next victim of the rapidly escalating stakes as he too was forced all in. Posting the big blind put his last 131,600 chips into the pot, and he was working with 7♥ 6♦ 5♣ 2♥. Situruttu called the small remainder with A♦ 6♠ 5♥ 4♠ and ended up running out a flush on the Q♠ K♣ 2♠ K♠ 8♥ board.

It took a whopping four hands before the next elimination, the longest dry spell of the entire final table. The blinds had gone up to 125K/250K when mikal12345 opened with a pot-sized raise to 875,000. Vlad_Radimov had just over a half million chips left, and he called all in showing A♠ K♠ Q♥ 5♦. The raiser tabled K♣ J♣ 9♥ 6♥, and he fell far behind when the 5♣ 4♥ K♦ gave his opponent two pair. Not to worry, though. The 6♦ arrived promptly on the turn to improve him to a better two pair, and the river 7♣ meant the end of Vlad_Radimov's day in seventh place. That finish was worth five figures as the payout climbed to $14,213.10, and the money was starting to get serious.

The other Swedish finalist was the next to depart. Heavy preflop action resulted in a three-way all in with mrAndreeew being the shortest of the three. Situruttu was the other player at risk, and his 6♣ 7♠ 8♣ T♠ could not have hit the flop any harder. Have a look for yourself:

RSS readers click through to see replay


That monster pot gave Situruttu the chip lead, but it would last for just a few fleeting seconds. On the very next hand, the Estonian once again tangled with mikal12345, and this time the chips went the other way. Situruttu three-bet shoved with A♦ Q♣ 6♣ 4♦, and mikal12345 called all in with K♣ J♥ 9♣ 8♠. Neither player connected with the 5♥ T♣ 2♦ flop. The turn 9♥ and river 9♠ were awfully friendly for the all-in player, though, and just like that, mikal12345 had regained his commanding lead.

Situruttu was left with less than 5bb, and mikal12345 went ahead and snatched his remainder in short order. The latter found aces with A♣ A♠ 6♥ 5♦, and Situruttu called all holding a respectable A♦ K♣ J♥ T♥. It was no use, though, and the all-in player was drawing dead after the turn of the 4♠ 2♠ J♦ 3♠ 9♣ board. A straight beats a pair any day, and Situruttu was out in fifth place with just shy of $24,000 as a consolation prize.

Two of the final four players showed Norway as their home country, but they were just about to become entangled in another elimination pot. Once again, mikal12345 found himself in the enviable position of being the chip leader and being dealt pocket aces. And once again, it was his other two cards that ended up playing on board. Here's how paaskebaesen's final hand played out:

RSS readers click through to see replay


It's hard to beat the nuts, and that Norwegian Civil War claimed the tournament life of paaskebaesen. Fourth-place money was worth $33,533 and some change.

On the next hand, another knockout; we told you the action was furious! Aces were going around like The Plague, and the aforementioned kAmIkAdZeEe was the beneficiary this time. Try__An__Hit committed about two thirds of his chips as he opened with a button raise holding 2♠ 7♣ 8♥ 9♣. KAmIkAdZeEe shoved in with A♥ A♦ 9♦ 7♠, and the two aces held strong. The board ran 5♣ 4♦ T♣ K♠ 4♠, and that was the end of the road for Try__An__Hit. The good news was that there was $45,771 waiting at the end of that road -- not a bad take for the third-place run.

Fifteen hands into the final table, the nine had been reduced to just two. As was the case four days ago, it was Poland and Norway battling for gold. The last time mikal12345 had been in this spot, he had to rally from a significant chip disadvantage to earn the title. That was not the case on Monday night as he entered heads-up play with the chip lead and never faltered. The duel lasted just two hands.

On the first, KAmIkAdZeEe limped in, then called a raise to see a 7♥ 9♣ 7♦ flop. Mikal12345 continued right out with a pot-sized bet, and that coaxed a quick fold.

The next hand was the last hand, and it began with the eventual champion holding almost a 3:1 chip advantage. Mikal12345 came in raising the pot, and KAmIkAdZeEe three-bet shoved his 8bb stack. A♥ J♥ 8♣ 6♠ was good enough to go with, but mikal12345's Q♣ J♦ T♠ {4d] could not be beaten on this day. The 9♦ K♦ T♦ flop left KAmIkAdZeEe drawing dead right then and there, and it was all over two cards early. For his runner-up performance, KAmIkAdZeEe earned more than $60,000.

Another WCOOP down; another guarantee smashed... oh, and would you believe it?: Another victory for mikal12345! This one comes with a cash prize of $83,158.68 -- nearly twice as much as his victory in Event #12. Through the first 26 events, the Norwegian has cashed an impressive six times for a total of $130,659.37. And counting! The win also vaults the champ into the lead for Player of the Series with 260 points, and that's just 35 points shy of last year's winner. If he can maintain anything close to this pace, we'll be matching mikal12345's face to his screen name soon enough. A trip to the PCA and the EPT Grand Final is the reward for winning the WCOOP points race, and mikal12345 has put himself in a commanding position with a 75-point lead.

Can he be caught? Keep an eye on the rest of the results on the WCOOP home page, and tune into WCOOP Radio for audio coverage beginning daily at 15:00 EST.

WCOOP 2012 Event #26 ($215 PL Omaha Turbo 1R1A) results

Entries: 1,223
Re-buys: 858
Add-ons: 328
Prize Pool: $481,800.00
Places Paid: 153

1st: mikal12345 (Norway) - $83,158.69
2nd: kAmIkAdZeEe (Poland) - $60,225.00
3rd: Try__An__Hit (Australia) - $45,771.00
4th: paaskebaesen (Norway) - $33,533.28
5th: Situruttu (Estonia) - $23,849.10
6th: mrAndreeew (Sweden) - $19,031.10
7th: Vlad_Radimov (Russia) - $14,213.10
8th: culibrk1 (Czech Republic) - $9,395.10
9th: mendieta19 (Sweden) - $5,299.80

Eric Ramsey is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Eric Ramsey
@PokerStars in WCOOP