WCOOP 2013: NL_Profit earns a major ROI in Event #20 ($320 NLHE Super-Knockout)

As bettors around the world clutched their tickets and prayed to the gambling gods for Mayweather to knock out Alvarez, PokerStars players were fixated on a different kind of KO. Tonight's WCOOP no-limit hold'em extravaganza came with an additional wrinkle-- the Super-Knockout format. Eliminating an opponent resulted an instant $154 reward, regardless of whether or not you made the money. To put it simply, two knockouts and you're freerolling.

Event #20 drew 3,940 players, easily surpassing the $600,000 guarantee. From each $320 buy-in, $154 went to the regular prize pool and $154 went to the bounty pool, creating a total prize pool of $1,213,520.00. 495 places were paid with first place set to earn $95,263.48 in addition to any bounties collected along the way. The field was stacked with more than two dozen Red Spades, including Chris Moneymaker, Joe Cada, Vanessa Rousso, Eugene Katchalov, and Victor Ramdin. Four of them finished in the money: Richard Toth (478th), Johnny Lodden (321st), Liv Boeree (248th), and Andre Coimbra (160th).

Blinds were up to 17,500/35,000 with ten players remaining, one short stack holding on for dear life at each table. However, when fahim69 saw the action folded around to him in the small blind, he shipped in his last 589,513 with pocket sevens.ALEE24 found A♠7♠ in the big blind and called. The T♠9♣6♠ flop certainly made things interesting, as ALEE24 picked up an ace-high flush draw, but the 7♣ hit the turn to make fahim69 a set. The river T♣ filled him up and ALEE24 departed on the final table bubble as fahim69 earned his sixth KO.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: fahim69 (1,044,081 in chips) 6 KOs
Seat 2: MihaltsovK (3,776,241 in chips) 6 KOs
Seat 3: KeyserMM (2,587,099 in chips) 9 KOs
Seat 4: McDonk44 (1,300,177 in chips) 7 KOs
Seat 5: micha88 (4,005,143 in chips) 15 KOs
Seat 6: Alena2009 (968,070 in chips) 10 KOs
Seat 7: superf1sh (490,984 in chips) 8 KOs
Seat 8: s@m4050 (1,141,308 in chips) 12 KOs
Seat 9: NL_Profit (4,386,897 in chips) 15 KOs

superf1sh swims to safer waters

Superf1sh flirted with elimination several times as the field played down from 18 and made the final table with about 14 big blinds. However, he quickly moved off the short stack with two double-ups. Superf1sh climbed to 1.1 million when his pocket threes held up against MihaltsovK's A♥T♣, then cracked MihaltsovK's Q♥Q♦ with A♣J♣ when aces hit the turn and river.

Up to nearly 2 million in chips, superf1sh looked down at K♠K♣. The blinds up to 25,000/50,000, KeyserMM opened for 100,000 and superf1sh three-bet to 235,731. KeyserMM came back over the top for 400,000 straight, superf1sh shoved, and KeyserMM called all-in, revealing J♥J♦. Superf1sh's pocket kings held up and KeyserMM departed in ninth place, earning $4,854.08 to go along with the $1,386.00 he'd already collected for nine KOs.

NL_Profit dominates

Meanwhile, s@m4050 slipped below 10 big blinds and found a hand to go on when he picked up A♥T♦ in the cutoff. NL_Profit quickly called with A♣J♦ on the button. Although the T♠9♥7♦ flop reversed s@m4050's dominated hand, NL_Profit turned the 8♣ to make a jack-high straight. NL_Profit improved to a queen-high straight with the river Q♦ and s@m4050's run ended in eighth place, good for $7,584.50.

After scoring an early double-up when his A♣Q♠ held up against NL_Profit's A♠J♦, fahim69 fell on hard times and saw his stack dwindle to only 406,000 with the blinds up to 30,000/60,000. In a hand where Alena2009 opened for 120,000 and NL_Profit three-bet to 240,000 on the button, fahim69 found A♣Q♦ and moved all-in for 398,567. Both opponents called and checked down the T♦4♥2♣7♣6♣ board. While fahim69's hand did not improve, NL_Profit's A♠T♠ did, flopping top pair to eliminate fahim69 in seventh place ($13,652.10).

Fahim69's elimination left McDonk44 as the short stack, and with the blinds up to 40,000/80,000 he moved all-in for 541,708 from UTG. NL_Profit called from the small blind, his A♦4♠ dominating McDonk44's A♠3♥. Despite the strong possibility of a chop, the K♠K♦J♦8♦9♦ board provided four diamonds for NL_Profit, giving him an ace-high flush and his third KO at the final table. McDonk44 exited in sixth place, collecting $19,719.70 for his efforts along with seven bounties.

superf1sh hooks Alena2009

After eliminating three players in a row, NL_Profit held a dominating chip lead with 8.15 million as the field narrowed to five. His closest competitor superf1sh held 5.2 million and the other three ranged from 1.9 million to 2.5 million. NL_Profit suggested they pause the action and look at numbers for a potential deal, but only micha88 was willing.

Play carried on and NL_Profit continued to accumulate chips, passing the 9 million mark while Alena2009 dipped to only 1.46 million. Then, in a three-bet pot vs. superf1sh, Alena2009 fired the flip and turn on a Q♣J♦7♥J♣ board. Superf1sh smooth-called on the flop, but raised the turn, eliciting a fold from Alena2009. Down to only 621,000, Alena2009 open-shoved from the cutoff two hands later with A♥8♣, but ran into superf1sh's A♦K♠ on the button. Although Alena2009 flopped an eight, superf1sh turned a king and eliminated Alena2009 in fifth place ($25,787.30).

Micha88, MihaltsovK exit

The blinds rose to 50,000/100,000 just as MihaltsovK's stack dipped below 1 million. Dealt Q♥J♣ UTG, MihaltsovK open-shoved and micha88 called on the button with 6♥6♠. This time, the coin landed with micha88's small pair and MihaltsovK's run came to an end in fourth place ($34,888,70).

Micha88 moved up to 3.2 million as three-handed play commenced, but was still the short stack, trailing superf1sh (6.1m) and NL_Profit (10.4m). It only took two hands before micha88's chips were in the middle, his top pair of tens up against NL_Profit's turned straight. Micha88 was drawing dead, but hit two pair on the river for good measure and hit the rail in third place ($50,057.70):

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 7: superf1sh (5,766,895 in chips)
Seat 9: NL_Profit (13,933,105 in chips)

It took two hours of final table play to get here and it would be another 80 minutes before all the chips were in front of one player. Although superf1sh began heads-up play with a 2.4 to 1 chip disadvantage, he wasn't about to go down easy and half a dozen lead changes kept the tension high throughout.

Superf1sh and NL_Profit traded small pots for the first 20 minutes, resulting in very little chip movement. Then, with the blinds up to 60,000/120,000, superf1sh three-bet shoved with top two pair on a K♣J♣9♣ flop and NL_Profit called with A♣2♠. NL_Profit missed his flush draw and superf1sh filled up, the turn and river falling the 7♥ and the K♠ to double his stack to 11 million.

Less than ten minutes later, NL_Profit was on the ropes with only 4.3 million after superf1sh rivered a king-high straight in an 8.3 million pot. However, NL_Profit quickly rebounded when his 7♥T♠ flopped two pair and rivered tens full:

Down to 8.15 million vs. NL_Profit's 11.5 million, superf1sh flipped the chip counts when he check-called NL_Profit's 340,000 bet on a K♥J♦8♣2♦ board, holding Q♦8♦ for bottom pair and a flush draw. Superf1sh improved to trips with the 8♠ on the river and check-raised to 1.6 million. NL_Profit paid him off and superf1sh retook the lead with 11.2 million.

Only six hands later, NL_Profit picked up an 11.3 million pot without a showdown. On a 9♠7♥2♠ flop, superf1sh check-raised NL_Profit's 340,000 get to 1.08 million. NL_Profit called. The turn came the 7♣ and superf1sh led out for 1,015,212. NL_Profit called and the river fell the J♥. Superf1sh fired again for 3.25 million and NL_Profit responded with a shove for 6.04 million. Superf1sh gave up his hand and NL_Profit rocketed to 14.1 million in chips.

Superf1sh managed to even the counts by winning a few midsize pots including one where his A♥2♦ flopped aces and deuces vs. NL_Profit's A♠8♠. Superf1sh held on to a slight chip lead until the end of the 80,000/160,000 level, when NL_Profit flopped queens up and stormed back to 13.1 million:

NL_Profit won 11 of the next 12 hands to chip up to 16.6 million, leaving superf1sh on only 15 big blinds. Dealt J♥8♠ on the button, superf1sh open-shoved and NL_Profit called with K♠Q♠. Both players paired up on the flop, but NL_Profit's pair of kings held up, the board running out K♣8♦5♣T♥A♥ to seal the win.

Congratulations to Russia's NL_Profit on a dominating final table performance! In addition to his WCOOP bracelet, NL_Profit took home $98,343.48 in total prize money-- $95,263.48 for first place and $3,080 for 20 knockouts. Kudos are also due to superf1sh on a hard-fought heads-up battle. He picked up $70,990.92 for second place along with $1,540 for 10 knockouts.

PokerStars 2013 WCOOP Event #20 ($320 NLHE Super-Knockout) results

Players: 3,940
Total prize pool: $1,213,520.00
Regular prize pool: $606,760.00
Bounty prize pool: $606,760.00
Places paid: 495

1. NL_Profit (Russia) $95,263.48 + $3,080 for 20 KOs
2. superf1sh (Norway) $70,990.92 + $1,540 for 10 KOs
3. micha88 (Germany) $50,057.70 + $2,464 for 16 KOs
4. MihaltsovK (Belarus) $34,888.70 + $924.00 for 6 KOs
5. Alena2009 (Russia) $25,787.30 + $1,694.00 for 11 KOs
6. McDonk44 (Denmark) $19,719.70 + $1,078.00 for 7 KOs
7. fahim69 (Netherlands) $13,652.10 + $924.00 for 6 KOs
8. s@m4050 (United Kingdom) $7,584.50 + $1,848 for 12 KOs
9. KeyserMM (Germany) $4,854.08 + $1,386.00 for 9 KOs

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in WCOOP