WCOOP 2013: CaLLitARUSH rolls over final table to win Event #32, $700 NLHE (Progressive KO)

Bounty tournaments are one of the more popular spins on the traditional freezeout. Offering a prize for knocking out other players is a nice little bonus that can help to give the player a return on his investment even if he doesn't go deep in the tournament. But by the end of the tournament the bounties don't often mean much compared to the bigger money on the line and things end up playing out more like a regular tournament.

Enter the Progressive KO structure, which provides for bigger bounties as the tournament goes on, tied to how many players you've knocked out. The more dangerous you are, the more your price goes up - and the higher the stakes late in the game. The Progressive KO format was in play for Event #32, a two-day, $700 NL Hold'em event with a $133.75 bounty on everyone's head at the start of play. It drew 1,356 players for a $905,130 total prize pool - $723,765 to be split among the top 171 finishers, and $181,365 distributed in bounties.


Vanessa Rousso was tops among Team PokerStars in Event #32

Team Online placed two in the money, Randy "nanonoko" Lew (148th place, $1,049.45 + $267.49 in bounties) and Caio "Pessagno" Pessagno (130th, $1,158.02 + $300.93 in bounties). Team PokerStars Pro did even better, placing Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby (124th, $$1,230.40 + $133.75 in bounties), Chris "money800" Moneymaker (105th, $1,375.15 + $133.75 in bounties), and Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso (87th, $1,519.90 + $702.15 in bounties). But nobody from either sponsored squad was among the 18 players who survived the first day of play, led by Canada's BingzKingz with 1.17M. Those players returned to the tables at 11 a.m. ET today with blinds and antes at 6K/12K/1.5K.

The stakes were up to 10K/20K/2.5K by 12:18 p.m. ET, when the final table began with these nine players:

Seat 1: mista2k (447,012 in chips)
Seat 2: tikmann22 (577,286 in chips)
Seat 3: China_White1 (1,357,268 in chips)
Seat 4: CaLLitARUSH (1,982,268 in chips)
Seat 5: BingzKingz (525,626 in chips)
Seat 6: Asfalt (2,521,416 in chips)
Seat 7: Saage (963,102 in chips)
Seat 8: kunkles28 (1,159,632 in chips)
Seat 9: Tha Giggy (636,390 in chips)

A one-two combination

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It didn't take very long for the headhunting to begin. Tha Giggy, who was looking for a second WCOOP bracelet following a win last week in Event #11, opened the betting for 50K in early position on Hand #17 before mista2k of Belarus jammed for 310K total. Canada's CaLLitARUSH flat-called on the button and showed K♣ K♥ after Tha Giggy folded. That was well ahead of mista2k's A♥ 9♦ and it stayed there as the board came down 2♠ 2♥ Q♦ 3♦ 6♦, giving CaLLitARUSH a $348.99 bounty and knocking mista2k out in 9th place ($7,816.66 + $697.98 in bounties).

The very next hand saw another short-stacked player get all-in before the flop, this time in much better shape. The hand began with Belgium's China_White1 opening for 50K from the hijack seat and BingzKingz three-betting to 150K on the button. Saage came in for a fourth bet of 288K from the big blind, chasing China_White1 from the pot, but BingzKingz, holding K♥ K♦, raised all-in for a total of 340K. Saage made the call with T♦ T♠ and after the 2♠ 3♣ A♣ flop was looking for one of two tens in the deck - and the deck obliged with the T♥ on the turn. Now it was BingzKingz who needed to hit a two-outer, but the A♥ on the river was no good and BingzKingz was out in 8th place ($14,113.41 + $2,229.75 in bounties).

Trouble on the Asfalt

Norway's Asfalt, the final table's incoming chip leader, and CaLLitARUSH were now at the top of the leaderboard, separated by just six 25K big blinds. That situation would change on Hand #32 after a short-stacked Tha Giggy jammed for 325K before the flop and Asfalt 5♣ 5♥. With the board reading A♥ 9♠ 2♦ 2♣ after the turn it looked like that small pair might win the coin flip with Tha Giggy's K♥ J♣, but the J♥ on the river kept the Canadian player in the game.

Asfalt pulled back close to the lead on Hand #41. After opening for a minimum raise to 60K on the button, the Norwegian called kunkles28's all-in bet for 652K total. kunkles28 had the best of it with A♣ K♦ against Asfalt's A♦ Q♣, but the 7♦ J♦ T♦ flop gave both players close to an equal chance of winning the pot. The Q♦ on the turn made an ace-high flush for Asfalt, leaving one out in the deck - the 9♦ - to save kunkles28. But the 2♠ fell instead, sending kunkles28 to the rail in 7th place ($21,351.06 + $785.75 in bounties).

That 1.36M-chip pot gave Asfalt a 3.27M chip stack, within a single ante of CaLLitARUSH's 3.33M. But the Norwegian dropped squarely back into second place eights hands later in a pot that saw Asfalt and Saage put in five bets for 360K apiece; both players checked the 6♦ 5♥ Q♦ flop, Saage called a bet of 34.5K on the 2♠ turn, and Asfalt check-folded to a 388K bet on the K♦ river.

A quest denied, a hope rekindled

CaLLitARUSH extended the lead further with a pot worth 662K before striking a knockout blow against Tha Giggy on Hand #59. CaLLitARUSH opened in middle position for 60K with A♦ J♠ and then called for 535K total after Tha Giggy jammed from the small blind with K♠ K♦. It looked like the Event #11 champion would double up after the flop and turn came Q♥ 6♦ 4♠ 2♣, but the cruel A♥ fell on the river, CaLLitARUSH dragged the 1.12M-chip pot, and Tha Giggy's quest for a second WCOOP bracelet ended in 6th place ($28,588.71 + $4,602.20 in bounties).

Two hands later tikmann22 doubled through Saage with A♣ Q♥ against 9♦ 9♥, dropping the Finn to 1.32M, but the very next hand erased some of the sting. It opened with CaLLitARUSH raising the minimum to 60K on the button, followed by a raise to 120K by Asfalt in the small blind. Saage, holding A♥ A♠, dipped into the time bank before making a fourth bet for 244K. CaLLitARUSH got out of the way but Asfalt made a fifth bet for 420K, then called with 1.25M left behind after Saage jammed for 1.32M total. Saage's A♣ J♠ was in serious trouble against the rockets and was drawing dead by the turn of a board that eventually finished out 9♣ 6♥ 6♠ A♦ Q♥.

The chip stacks now looked like this:

Seat 2: tikmann22 (1,112,822 in chips)
Seat 3: China_White1 (759,143 in chips)
Seat 4: CaLLitARUSH (4,321,310 in chips)
Seat 6: Asfalt (1,250,591 in chips)
Seat 7: Saage (2,726,134 in chips)

CaLLitARUSH goes on one

Eight of the next 15 pots went to CaLLitARUSH, including two worth 664K and 820K, to boost the Canadian's stack to 5.14M. It shot even higher on Hand #80 thanks to this hand:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

With that the incoming chip leader was out in 5th place ($35,826.36 + $5,384.23).

CaLLitARUSH had 6.33M now, close to two-thirds of all the chips in play, and leaned on the rest of the table pretty heavily. Eight of the next 10 pots went to the Canadian, but a fold after after three-betting out of position and continuing on a K♠ T♠ 4♥ flop actually left CaLLitARUSH down at 6.25M. Saage siphoned off even more chips five hands later in a similar situation:

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Hand #99 saw China_White1 double through the newly flush Saage to 982K with A♣ 8♥ against A♦ 5♠ after neither hand improved. China_White1 quickly put those chips to work when, two hands later, the Belgian player picked up J♥ J♦ in the big blind and called after India's tikmann32 moved all-in for 397K from the small blind. tikmann22's Q♥ 7♣ was far behind pre-flop but had 11 outs twice after the 5♦ 8♠ 6♥ flop. But the A♦ turn and 6♣ river were no help, eliminating tikmann22 in 4th place ($49,216.02 + $4,580.86 in bounties).

Let's not make a deal (and say we did)

After 101 hands at the final table the blinds were at 20K/40K with 5K antes and these three players still in the hunt for the title:

Seat 3: China_White1 (1,389,608 in chips)
Seat 4: CaLLitARUSH (5,302,526 in chips)
Seat 7: Saage (3,477,866 in chips)

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There was brief talk of a deal, but CaLLitARUSH was up front, telling the other players, "we can look at numbers im going to want a good deal though if we do anything, above ICM." Asked why, the Canadian replied, "idk, good feeling." They looked at the numbers anyway but Saage and China_White1 both balked at CaLLitARUSH's demands and play resumed.

CaLLitARUSH proceeded to win 11 of the next 20 pots, whittling both opponents down and stacking back up to 6.02M. Then on Hand #131 CaLLitARUSH opened for a minimum raise of 100K on the button with 9♣ 9♥ and called after China_White1 jammed for 1.02M in the big blind with A♦ 7♠. The board fell 5♥ 4♣ T♠ 3♥ 8♥, the nines were good, and China_White1 was gone in 3rd place ($68,685.29 + $3,889.53 in bounties).

Putting that "good feeling" to the test

Seat 4: CaLLitARUSH (7,378,884 in chips)
Seat 7: Saage (2,791,116 in chips)

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Armed with a lead of 91 big blinds and a "good feeling," CaLLitARUSH hit the gas when heads-up play began and won 17 of the first 20 pots. That got the Canadian up to 7.97M, but things evened out over the next 20 hands and the two opponents were back roughly where they'd begun their heads-up match.

On Hand #71 Saage finally managed to make a dent in the lead. CaLLitARUSH opened for a minimum raise to 120K on the button and called Saage's three-bet to 300K to take a flop of 5♦ 7♥ 6♣. Both players checked to see the turn come the 6♥. This time Saage led out for 360K, sending CaLLitARUSH into the time bank. The Canadian came back with a raise to 800K but folded when Saage moved all-in.

That narrowed the lead to 6.33M-3.83M. Saage then took down the next 11 pots in a row and 25 out of 30 to reverse the two players' standings almost exactly. Then CaLLitARUSH went on a run and by Hand #99 the two were within a single 80K big blind of each other.

The key pot came on Hand #111 of heads-up, the largest of the tournament:

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Saage was left with 15 big blinds after that river call. Winning five of the next six pots raised that figure to 1.72M, but Saage wouldn't win another. On the final hand, (#120 heads-up), CaLLitARUSH opened with an all-in move, holding Q♥ 9♣, and Saage called with A♠ 4♣. The board came down 7♥ 6♣ 7♠ T♠ 8♥, giving CaLLitARUSH a ten-high straight to end the tournament.

WCOOP 2013: Event #32, $700 NL Hold'em (Progressive KO)
1,356 entrants
$905,130 prize pool ($723,765 regular, $181,365 bounty)
171 places paid

1st place: CaLLitARUSH (Canada) $123,040.82 + $11,544.28 in bounties
2nd place: Saage (Finland) $90,470.62 + $4,949.54 in bounties
3rd place: China_White1 (Belgium) $68,685.29 + $3,889.53 in bounties
4th place: tikmann22 (India) $49,216.02 + $4,560.86 in bounties
5th place: Asfalt (Norway) $35,826.36 + $5,384.23 in bounties
6th place: Tha Giggy (Canada) $28,588.71 + $4,602.20 in bounties
7th place: kunkles28 (Mexico) $21,351.06 + $785.75 in bounties
8th place: BingzKingz (Canada) $14,113.41 + $2,229.75 in bounties
9th place: mista2k (Belarus) $7,816.66 + $697.98 in bounties

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in WCOOP