WCOOP 2012: mikal12345 scoops a bracelet (Event #12, $215 PL Omaha H/L 6-max 1R1A)

wcoop-thumb.pngLet's play some split-pot Nebraska poker, shall we?

The first event on the Thursday docket was the first Omaha Hi/Lo event of the 2012 WCOOP. It carried a $215 buy-in with one re-buy and one add-on -- "$215 cubed" as the kids call it these days. It was spread as a six-max event, and it was an action junky's dream.

The guarantee was easily surpassed with 555 runners, 301 re-buys, and 286 add-ons putting more than $225,000 in the prize pool. Of that, $43,396 laid waiting for the eventual champion.

Adrienne "talon chick" Rowsome, Alex Kravchenko, and Martin Staszko were swept away in the first few hours, while Anders "Donald" Berg wound up as the middle man. He was eliminated in 278th position, right in the center of the herd. Team PokerStars Pros George Danzer, Daniel Negreanu, Marcin Horecki, Richard Toth, and Rino Mathis all ran a bit deeper but still finished short of the money.

Katchalov's Run

Such was not the case for Eugene Katchalov. The Ukrainian plays all the games rather well, and his Omaha Hi/Lo skills were put on display as the evening wore on. Less than one table from the bubble, the blinds began to catch up to Katchalov's stack a bit, but he found a timely double-up to allow for a comfortable coast into the money. Both he and his opponent had an overpair and a flush draw when the chips went in post-flop, but Katchalov had very much the best of it:

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Katchalov made the better low (and the scoop) with that river eight, and he worked his stack up over 100,000 soon thereafter. But the rush was unfortunately short-lived. With 48 players left, the final Team PokerStars Pro was run off the table in brutal suck-resuck fashion. Watch how his final hand played out:

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Katchalov was drawing to a wrap, and he went from behind to ahead, then back to behind again. The river gave DamienRise the winning kings full of aces, and Katchalov was out in 48th place with $1,050.64 to show for his efforts.


A Stall at Seven-Handed

From there, the run to the finish was a relatively quick one, though seven-handed play lingered for nearly an hour as nobody seemed particularly interested in bubbling the final table. TheCart3r had been punishing his table, and he had worked his stack up over 2 million at one point with more than 100 big blinds. The bottom fell out in a monster pot against ~Peeranha~, however, and TheCart3r was knocked from the top spot for the first time in hours. Pocket aces were momentarily cracked, but the river card was a game changer:

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The final table bubble finally did burst in a big pot that saw mollyduck and ~Peerahna~ both river their heart flushes. Mollyduck made a nine-high flush with a seven-five-four-three low, but that wasn't good enough to win either half of the pot. ~Peeranha~ showed down a jack-high flush with a seven-five-four-deuce low, and the scoop sent mollyduck out in seventh and set up the final table.

Here's how the remaining six players stacked up as they redrew for the last time:

Seat 1: ~Peeranha~ (1800404 in chips)
Seat 2: mikal12345 (695826 in chips)
Seat 3: karolinaD (1132354 in chips)
Seat 4: Slavik_Krs (326085 in chips)
Seat 5: TheCart3r (1546247 in chips)
Seat 6: Krasavchik33 (209084 in chips)
Level 31, blinds 12.5K/25K, average: 951,667 (38bb)


Short stack Krasavchik33 was the first finalist to exit after getting all the chips in preflop with A♥ 8♠ 4♥ 4♠ against the A♦ K♥ 7♣ 2♥ of mikal12345. The board ran out J♣ 9♥ T♣ 9♦ 7♦, and it was the seven on the river that sealed the deal for the shorty. Russia's last hope departed in sixth place with more than $7,300 in the bank.

Slavik_Krs had been whittled down under 10bb before becoming the next victim. KarolinaD picked up aces with A♦ A♣ J♥ T♥, but it was the jack that ended up playing. The board read Q♦ J♣ 6♥ J♠ 4♦, and Slavik_Krs' A♠ K♦ 8♥ 3♠ came up empty. Fifth place was worth five figures as the Pole collected $11,420 for a fine effort.

Sweet Revenge

With four players left, TheCart3r got his revenge on ~Peeranha~ in the largest scoop of the tournament. In short, the former flopped the joint and slow-played it, but we'll let you watch how this one played out so you can see ~Peeranha~'s river predicament for yourself:

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Wheels and six-high straights are awfully good in this game, and TheCart3r was suddenly back in the lead with victory in sight.

~Peeranha~ was eliminated on the very next hand after getting the rest of his short stack in preflop with A♥ K♦ 9♥ 4♦. Mikal12345 came along with the A♦ Q♥ 7♠ 2♦, and the board ran out 4♥ 5♣ 2♠ Q♠ 8♦. Just like that, ~Peeranha~ was ousted in fourth place with just shy of $16,000 as a consolation prize.

The final three players each had their hands on the chip lead at one point or another, and it was quite a three-way tug of war for several long levels. TheCart3r survived several shoves, but he was finally scooped out in third place after getting all in preflop with A♣ J♦ 9♥ 2♣. KarolinaD started with a similar hand -- A♥ J♥ 8♦ 3♥, and it was the lowly three that ended up deciding TheCart3r's fate. The board ran out T♦ 3♣ 3♦ 4♦ T♥, and the trip threes brought the match down to the final two players. TheCart3r earned $23,411 for the third-place finish.

KarolinaD and mikal12345 paused the clock to talk numbers, but the discussion was short-lived.

"Even chop", was mikal12345's proposal.

KarolinaD had about a 4:3 chip lead, and the response was a succinct one: "no way". And so they played on.

The big stack continued to exert the pressure for a few passes of the button, but mikal12345 managed to find a big double to retake control of the match. The turning of the tides came despite the Norwegian putting himself at-risk post-flop in bad shape with a naked wheel draw. And then smashing it:

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At the next break, it was karolinaD doing the proposing: "even chop ?"

There was no reply from mikal12345, and the two resumed the duel after the five-minute recess.

Eight hands later, it was all over. A preflop raising war broke out, and mikal12345 wasn't going anywhere with two aces in the hole -- A♥ A♣ K♠ 8♠. The Norwegian five-bet shoved. KarolinaD had A♠ K♣ 9♥ 2♥ and managed to find a flush draw with one to come on the 7♦ T♦ Q♥ T♥ board, but it was not meant to be. The blank 9♣ completed the board and the victory for mikal12345, and karolinaD was forced to settle for runner-up money worth just shy of $32,000.

So then, it's a WCOOP victory for Norway courtesy of mikal12345. With no deal made, the champ made his biggest scoop of the day, collecting the full $43,396 payout. With it comes a WCOOP bracelet and our congratulations on a hard-earned victory!

Event #12 Results
Buy-in: $200 + 15
Entrants: 555
Re-buys: 301
Add-ons: 286
Prize pool: $228,400
Places paid: 72

1st: mikal12345 (Norway) - $43,396.00
2nd: karolinaD (Poland) - $31,976.00
3rd: TheCart3r (Canada) - $23,411.00
4th: ~Peeranha~ (Moldova) - $15,988.00
5th: Slavik_Krs (Poland) - $11,420.00
6th: Krasavchik33 (Russa) - $7,308.80

The 2012 WCOOP is starting to hit its stride, but there is plenty more action to come this month. Head over to the WCOOP home page for the full schedule and results, and check out WCOOP Radio for some aural entertainment beginning daily at 15:00 EST.

Eric Ramsey is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Eric Ramsey
@PokerStars in WCOOP