WCOOP 2015: 3P3NIPA banks $503K win in Event #48, $2,100 NLHE (Sunday Million SE)

Sundays are already the best day of the week at PokerStars even before the three annual COOP series roll around. That's when the regular Sunday majors become Special Editions, with all the attendant boosted prize pools and paydays. If making it to the final in one of these events is tough enough to do that managing it twice is worth celebrating, making that second appearance a $503,170 win, as the Czech Republic's 3P3NIPA did today, is truly priceless.

3P3NIPA's first taste of Sunday COOP greatness came earlier this year at the final table of the Sunday Kickoff Special Edition during SCOOP 2015. That event's prize pool paled in comparison to that of WCOOP 2015's Event #48, a Special Edition of the Sunday Million with a $2,100 buy-in. With a field of 1,502 players building a $3,004,000 prize pool, the first-place prize in this tournament was worth almost as much as all the buy-ins together during 3P3NIPA's SCOOP adventure.

Day 1 gave each player 15,000 starting chips and lasted the first 20 levels of play. Day 2 saw most of the 198 payouts distributed, including to Team Online's Randy "nanonoko" Lew (26th place, $12,016) and Caio "Pessagno" Pessagno (84th, $5,707.60) and Team Pro's Johnny Lodden (90th, $5,707.60) and Marcin "Goral" Horecki (163rd, $3,755). It didn't take quite as long to finish as Day 1, pausing for the evening when stanman420 of Costa Rice was knocked out in 10th place on Level 36. That left these nine players to return for Day 3 with 25K/50K/6,250 blinds and antes:

Seat 1: BrigaDatada (2,297,082 in chips)
Seat 2: 3P3NIPA (3,649,910 in chips)
Seat 3: AQUA RAIDER (959,916 in chips)
Seat 4: Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann (1,522,870 in chips)
Seat 5: Ch33s3z0r (2,747,946 in chips)
Seat 6: toril274 (3,326,766 in chips)
Seat 7: 2pacnrw16 (1,056,163 in chips)
Seat 8: JohnyK91 (586,960 in chips)
Seat 9: GaryT20 (6,382,387 in chips)

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Making it to Day 3 was worth a minimum of $30K, but everybody at the table was looking further up the pay table. Six-figure scores started rolling in at sixth place, with six-figure pay jumps reserved for the top two finishers.

There was room for patience with 30-minute blind levels, but the action got going early thanks to a pair-versus-pair confrontation that kicked off just after the blinds and antes climbed to 30K/60K/7.5K. 3P3NIPA min-raised in early position and then called after Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann, who beat 3P3NIPA heads-up to win the Super Tuesday earlier this year, re-raised all-in for 1.58M, showing A♦ A♠ to the latter's T♥ T♣. The board ran out 2♠ 6♦ 3♠ 9♠ A♥, 3P3NIPA won the 3.32M chips in the middle, and Päffchen left in 9th place ($30,941.20).

Five hands later, AQUA RAIDER was caught in a nearly identical situation, opening all-in for 676K with Q♣ Q♠ only to be called by JohnyK91, who held A♦ A♣ in the big blind and had the Canadian player covered by 14K. The K♥ 7♣ 8♣ J♠ 2♦ board offered no help, and AQUA RAIDER evaporated in 8th place ($57,076).

Musical chairs

Ch33s3z0r, a bracelet winner during WCOOP 2014, picked up a big pair four hands after that and got action by limping on the button. toril274 did the same from the small blind, prompting a 956K-chip all-in bet from 2pacnrw16 in the big blind. Ch33s3z0r re-raised with K♣ K♥ to drive toril274 out of the pot and then caught top set on the K♠ 5♦ J♦, leaving 2pacnrw16's A♥ T♦ with a 16.6-percent chance to win the hand. That chance improved to 25 percent on the 7♦ turn before becoming 100 percent with the Q♣ on the river, giving 2pacnrw16 the double to 2.02M and dropping Ch33s3z0r's stack to less than 10 big blinds.

The race to stay out of the basement was on. Ch33s3z0r jammed with K♥ 8♦ in the small blind an orbit later and got caught by toril274's A♥ T♠ in the big blind, but the board made a ten-high straight to keep Ch33s3z0r in the game with 1.24M. Then JohnyK91 won a flip with A♦ Q♣ to 2pacnrw16's 6♦ 6♥ to leave the German player in last with 715K.

The three of them would jostle for position over the next 37 hands as the blinds and antes progressed through the next two levels, moving from 30K/60K/7.5K all the way to 50K/100K/12.5K, but none of that jostling resulted in any serious forward momentum. The end result was that all three were now under intense pressure to make something happen.

The impasse finally came to an end when Ch33s3z0r picked up T♦ T♥ in the big blind. toril274, who had opened for the minimum raise to 200K under the gun with Q♠ J♣, called Ch33s3z0r's all-in bet for 504K more and spiked a queen on the turn of the A♠ 4♣ 2♣ Q♦ 4♦ board, bringing Ch33s3z0r's tournament to an end in 7th place ($87,116).

No showdowns for the next nine hands didn't mean no action at all, but it might have been better for 2pacnrw16 if it had. Of the three pots won after the flop during that stretch, the biggest one saw the German player lose nearly 700K defending the big blind against 3P3NIPA only to fold to an all-in bet on the river. That left 2pacnrw16 with 11 big blinds and just one move after being dealt A♥ 9♠ four hands later. The German player shoved in the cutoff and was called by BrigaDatada, who had A♠ J♦ in the big blind. The 2♣ 9♦ Q♦ was a promising start, but the J♣ turn and 8♣ left BrigaDatada with a pair of jacks, topping 2pacnrw16's pair of nines to end the German's run in 6th place ($117,156).

JohnyK91 looked for a better outcome on the next hand, moving in from the cutoff for 895K with Q♦ J♣. BrigaDatada was in the small blind with A♠ T♠ and called, taking down the 1.95M-chip pot when the 7♣ 7♠ 5♦ 9♠ 6♦ board improved neither hand. With that, JohnyK91 finished in 5th place ($147,196).

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For the first time at this final table, everyone had at least 40 big blinds to work with. The tenor of play changed as a result, with those holding the shorter stacks more willing to engage by calling rather than re-raising all-in, but the end result was still that the big stacks got bigger. They just had to apply pressure at inflection points to do so, rather than winning at showdown after calling a shove from a small stack.

That left GaryT20 (a finalist in Event #21) and BrigaDatada within a single big blind of one another as the blinds and antes advanced to 60K/120K/15K. Then GaryT20 opened on the button with A♣ 5♣ and shoved all-in after BrigaDatada re-raised to 775K in the small blind with 9♥ 9♦. The pair was 65 percent to win before the flop came 4♣ J♦ A♠, and just eight percent after. With no nine on the turn or river, BrigaDatada was left with one big blind. Two hands later the Czech player was forced all-in from the big blind with 4♠ 3♣ and was knocked out by GaryT20 in 4th place ($204,272).

A series of unfortunate events

Three-handed play would last for 112 hands and was dominated in the early going by GaryT20, whose combination of consistent aggression and winning the occasional showdown was good enough to pick up close to 40 big blinds and move into a firm chip lead with 13.M to 3P3NIPA's 7.2M. toril274 was stranded at the other end of the leaderboard with 2.1M and couldn't even catch a break picking up pocket kings - 3P3NIPA had the other two in the hole and both players chopped the pot.

3P3NIPA began chipping away at GaryT20's advantage after that split pot, shaving a few big blinds off here and there while toril274 hovered around the 2M-chip mark. The Czech player finally turned things around for good about 40 hands after that point, raising on the button with K♠ Q♣ and firing barrels on the 6♣ 7♣ J♣ flop and 3♥ turn before making a value bet of two-thirds the pot with a pair on the K♥ river. GaryT20 made a withdrawal from the time bank before eventually calling and mucking.

That gave 3P3NIPA the 4.4M chips in the pot and the lead for the first time since just after BrigaDatada's exit, but the major tipping point came on the next hand. GaryT20 limp-called 3P3NIPA's 420K raise in the small blind with A♠ 5♥ and check-called another 475K with top pair on the K♥ 2♥ A♣ flop before checking again on the J♦ turn. 3P3NIPA checked there as well and called when GaryT20 bet 1.02M in 1.84M on the 6♦ river, showing down J♠ 6♥. A position bluff on the flop and a free card on the turn made two pair, GaryT20 mucked, and 3P3NIPA won the 3.89M chips in the pot.

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3P3NIPA kept up the pressure, toril254 stole enough blinds and antes to stay afloat, and GaryT20 was caught in between for the next 35 hands or so. The Irish player finally found a spot to break out of the slump when toril254 jammed from the small blind with Q♥ 5♣, waking up to T♥ T♠ and making the call with 746K behind, but the deck had other plans entirely. GaryT20 went from being a 72-percent favorite before the flop to drawing all but dead after it fell Q♠ Q♦ 5♥, making a full house for toril2574. Running tens for four of a kind were GaryT20's only hope to re-steal the pot, but the 3♣ and 6♥ arrived on the turn and river instead.

GaryT20 picked up J♣ J♥ on the next hand but was again smacked around by the deck when the board came 2♣ 6♦ 5♣ 4♦ 3♣ to make a six-high straight for both GaryT20 and 3P3NIPA, who had called in the big blind with 8♥ 4♥. The Irish player's bumpy saga sounded a brief high note a few hands later after calling all-in from the big blind with Q♦ 8♣, discovering that toril274 had raised with A♥ A♠, and then making a queen-high straight on the turn to crack said aces. But just a few more hands after that, GaryT20 shoved on the button with A♥ 8♥ and 3P3NIPA called with A♠ 9♣. The 9♠ J♦ 2♦ 3♣ 4♦ board gave 3P3NIPA a pair of nines and the pot, and GaryT20's wild ride came to an end in 3rd place ($277,870).

Aaaaaaand scene

With the epic three-handed portion of the final table having concluded the tournament's rising action, heads-up play served as denouement. toril274 offered to look at numbers for a deal, but 3P3NIPA, leading by 9.1M chips with blinds and antes at 80K/160K/20K, preferred to play it out. toril274 managed to make some headway in the first few hands, but it all disappeared after three-betting 3P3NIPA's check-raise on a 6♣ 3♠ 2♦ flop, checking behind on the A♦ turn, and folding to an all-in bet on the 8♠ river.

That still left toril274 within striking distance, but 3P3NIPA all but sealed things up four hands later by flopping trip jacks out of position after three-betting before the flop with J♣ 3♦. It took calling toril274's semi-bluff bet on the river of a Q♦ J♥ J♦ 8♣ Q♥ board, made with 8♦ 4♦, but that win left toril274 with only 1.4M chips. Five hands later, 3P3NIPA shoved with 8♦ 7♣ on the button, caught a pair of eights on the 4♠ A♥ 8♣ flop to jump ahead of toril274's K♦ 9♦, and stayed ahead through the river to bring the tournament to its end.

Finishing runner-up was good for $367,990, a new personal best for toril274 by more than $300,000. And 3P3NIPA's $503,170 score topped that runner-up finish to Päffchen in the Super Tuseday this spring to set a new personal best as well. Congratulations to both players for coming up big in the right event!

WCOOP 2015: Event #48, $2,100 No-Limit Hold'em (Sunday Million SE)
Entrants: 1,502
Prize pool: $3,004,000
Places paid: 198
1. 3P3NIPA (Czech Republic) $503,170
2. toril274 (Russia) $367,990
3. GaryT20 (Ireland) $277,870
4. BrigaDatada (Czech Republic) $204,272
5. JohnyK91 (Austria) $147,196
6. 2pacnrw16 (Germany) $117,156
7. Ch33s3z0r (Russia) $87,116
8. AQUA RAIDER (Canada) $57,076
9. Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann (Austria) $30,941.20

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in WCOOP