WCOOP 2014: WhatIfGod was one of us, wins Event #10 ($215 PL Omaha, Knockout)
Pot Limit Omaha already has a big element of gamble involved, but tack on a bounty to each player and things can get wild. The tenth tournament of the 2014 World Championship of Online Poker did just that with a $150,000 guarantee along with it.
Event #10 brought out the PLO wizards and there were 1,240 of them signed up before registration closed. They piled $251,570 into the prize pool with $51,150 set aside for each knockout. The final 162 would earn money from the main prize pool with a min-cash earning $280 and the winner set to pocket $34,097.
Despite the action-friendly variation of the game, it took more than nine hours to get down to four tables. More than two hours later and they were finally down to the final bubble of the tournament, getting from ten to nine players.
Two players came just short of the final table but were notable for other reasons. WSOP and WPT champion Keven "Stammdogg" Stammen was on a freeroll and managed to win $371.25 despite not making the top 162 via bounties. EspensaApart had the unique distinction of making it the furthest in the tournament without collecting a single bounty. The Norwegian outlasted nearly 1,200 competitors without knocking a single player out.
Russian MusonToch was the only final table player with past success in a major tournament, a SCOOP title in 2011, but was sitting with the shortest stack. The nine remaining players gathered together when Austrian Ibiza went out in 10th with $742.50 in bounty money from 18 knockouts, second most collected for the entire tournament.
Final Table chip counts:
Seat 1: MusonToch (193,236 in chips)
Seat 2: nemoestaloco (806,932 in chips)
Seat 3: pantri (934,441 in chips)
Seat 4: WhatIfGod (914,951 in chips)
Seat 5: koobiel (1,122,145 in chips)
Seat 6: PKaiser (634,134 in chips)
Seat 7: leonidus1988 (824,490 in chips)
Seat 8: TylkoSpokój (384,580 in chips)
Seat 9: Merfinis (385,091 in chips)
MusonToch slides to final table, eliminated in 9th
MusonToch's stack was not just short, but a good deal behind the next person on the list. He was able to jump up a rung on the payout ladder but had to make a move soon after hitting the final table. It began with a pot-sized open from the cutoff, then he called all-in when WhatIfGod three-bet from the big blind.
MusonToch was ahead for the double and that didn't change on the T♠8♥5♦ flop, the problem came on the Q♠ turn. MusonToch was left with just two small outs and missed them both on the 4♦ river to go out in 9th place for $2,166.
TylkoSpokój hits the flop, eliminated in 8th
With the remaining players holding deep stacks in relation to the blinds, it would take two big hands at the same time to get another quick bustout. That's exactly what happened.
TylkoSpokój opened the action with a min-raise from under the gun with A♥A♦8♦6♦ then four-bet shoved after leonidus1988 raised with K♥Q♣J♦J♠. Both players nailed the A♣T♣T♣ flop but TylkoSpokój's top set needed improvement against the flopped straight.
He needed to pair the board for a boat or quads but missed out when the turn 7♣ and river 6♣ finished the board to send TylkoSpokój out in 8th place for $3,911.
pantri turned down, eliminated in 7th
pantri's final table wasn't going well then lost several pots to drop under 10 big blinds. He rode the stack for an orbit before getting them all-in after PKaiser opened from early position.
pantri was holding the best hand preflop and moved further ahead when they both connected with the A♥J♠2♣ flop. The 6♣ put PKaiser into the lead with 12 outs to dodge for the knockout. pantri was unable to make a better hand with the K♥ dropped on the river to send him out in 7th place for $5,916.
PKaiser rolled, eliminated in 6th
PKaiser had no sooner collected his bounty for pantri when he picked up another big hand. While the "gg" comments were still hitting the chatbox, PKaiser three-bet after an open from WhatIfGod, the bet was called before the flop rolled out K♣T♥8♣.
PKaiser tossed out what seemed to be a nice value bet with A♥A♣9♣4♦ but was met by a raise from WhatIfGod holding K♠J♠J♣8♦. PKaiser called to see his dilemma and was really drawing thin when the turn K♥ boated up WhatIfGod.
For the second time at this final table, a player was looking for one of the two remaining Aces to stay alive. PKaiser's fate was the same as MusonToch when the river 8♠ was not what he needed, he out on the heels of pantri in 6th place for $7,922.
nemoestaloco aced again, eliminated in 5th
Aces were unkind at the final table and it was just one more orbit before someone picked them up again. WhatIfGod opened a hand with an under the gun min-raise then called when nemoestaloco three-bet to 260,000.
nemoestaloco immediately shoved in his remaining chips after the flop ran out K♥Q♥T♦. WhatIfGod called just as quickly and showed down a nicely improved K♠Q♦9♥3♠ against the now unlucky A♥A♣7♠5♦. nemoestaloco was a 3-to-1 dog and was left with just eight outs after the 6♥ turn.
The Q♠ gave WhatIfGod the overkill full house to send nemoestaloco out of the tournament in 5th place for $9,928.
Merfinis is finis, eliminated in 4th
Short-handed PLO is an unpredictable animal and the last four players amped up the aggression. koobiel and leonidus1988 let their hands go in one big pot before Merfinis and WhatIfGod had a little battle of the blinds.
Merfinis pulled the rare limp/raise move from the small blind and they finally saw a A♥8♣6♦ flop. Merfinis must have felt confident with his big pair K♣Q♥Q♦7♠ and shoved first to act, perhaps thinking WhatIfGod wasn't holding an Ace. If that was his read, he saw he was incorrect when he was called with A♦T♣9♥3♦.
There were very few winning cards remaining in the deck for Merfinis and just two Queens after the 5♣ turn. It was an unchanging 4♦ river to send Merfinis out in 4th place for $13,638.
koobiel kaput, eliminated in 3rd
koobiel was the odd man out with leonidus1988 and WhatIfGod holding the majority of chips in play, so something needed to be done. He took his chance just two hands after Merfinis was eliminated.
WhatIfGod bet the pot from the small blind and koobiel came along in the big. WhatIfGod bet once again after the A♣K♥T♥ flop and it was enough to put koobiel all-in. He called the bet with [K♠9♣7♣3♠ and his second pair was behind the top pair A♠8♥7♦5♥.
koobiel picked up a flush draw when the 4♣ turn dropped but he missed all his out on the J♦ river. koobiel was out in 3rd place for $19,034 and set the heads up match in motion.
WhatIfGod is good to win Event #10
WhatIfGod began his battle with leonidus1988 with a nice chip lead after sending koobiel out, but couldn't finish the deal quickly. The two went at each other over 40 hands before leonidus1988 found a double, with the deadly Aces, to even the match.
Once their stacks were near equal, they paused the tournament to chop up the top spots. They joked while the numbers were crunched and quickly agreed with $3,000 left behind for the winner.
They tip-toed around each other for a half dozen hands before the lid came off in the final one. WhatIfGod called a preflop three-bet from leonidus1988 before it came out 3♦3♠2♠. leonidus1988 shoved with 7♣6♠5♦4♦ and a deck full of outs and WhatIfGod called with the over pair K♣9♣9♠4♥.
leonidus1988 had a near coin flip after the flop but every out was crushed immediately when WhatIfGod hit the 9♥ turned full house. Nothing could change the outcome and leonidus1988 was stuck in the runner-up position for $27,964. WhatIfGod ran well and played a solid game to win his first major tournament, a WCOOP championship for $31,204 plus another $412 in bounties.
WCOOP-10: $215 PL Omaha (Knockout)
Prize pool: $251,570
Bounty prize pool: $51,150
Places paid: 162
1. WhatIfGod (Sweden) $31,204.81* + $412.50 in bounties
2. leonidus1988 (Russia) $27,964.08* + $288.75 in bounties
3. koobiel (Israel) $19,034.09 + $165 in bounties
4. Merfinis (United Kingdom) $13,638.76 + $82.50 in bounties
5. nemoestaloco (Argentina) $9,928.21 + $82.50 in bounties
6. PKaiser (Chile) $7,922.51 + $206.25 in bounties
7. pantri (Paraguay) $5,916.81 + $82.50 in bounties
8. TylkoSpokój (Poland) $3,911.11 + $41.25 in bounties
9. MusonToch (Ukraine) $2,166.15 + $495 in bounties
* - denotes heads up deal