WCOOP 2015: gettingpwned wins second COOP title in Event #32, $1,040 FL Omaha Hi/Lo Championship
Conquering any of the tournaments necessary to become a PokerStars Triple COOP winner is a tough job, but titles in the annual Turbo Championship are particularly tough to come buy since the fields are generally enormous and the turbo structures make the outcomes more unpredictable. When gettingpwned managed to win a TCOOP Razz event for the win earlier this year, that made a WCOOP title the next most difficult step to earning a Triple COOP, since there are fewer event on the WCOOP schedule than there are during the Spring Championship. Now gettingpwned is one SCOOP title away from that coveted Triple COOP thanks to a win in today's Event #32, the $1,040 Omaha Hi/Lo Championship.
The total field came to 208 players at the end of late registration, for a $208,000 prize pool with $42,120 awaiting the winner. Only the top 32 players cashed, and then only the first seven of them collected their payouts before the end of Day 1. The other 25 players broke for the night at the end of the 2,500/5,000 level.
grindhardcor (229,007 chips), bokkie87 (162,741), and gettingpwned (154,671) topped the leaderboard overnight, and the rest of the field was stacked with well-known players like Bryn Kenney (128,866), Shaun Deeb (42,048), Martin "nizmo jiz" Kozlov (43,725), and Ben "BensBenz" Yu (85,406).
Team Online's Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara was in good shape with 104,358 chips for eighth place, while Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier was further back in 18th with 45,671. Mercier couldn't get any traction when play resumed, though, and was the second player to go in 24th place ($2,080). It marked his 10th cash of the series, good for 20 Player of the Series points.
Several other players ranked high in the Player of the Series race would fall short of the final table on Day 2 as well. Deeb entered the day in 6th place and earned another 30 points when he finished in 11th place ($4,160). Kozlov was 10 points ahead of Deeb and tied for 4th place on the leaderboard at the start of the day, also earned 30 points when he bubbled the final table in 9th place.
Kozlov's exit set up this final table with 8,000/16,000 stakes:
Seat 1: gettingpwned (351,525 in chips)
Seat 2: grindhardcor (387,357 in chips)
Seat 3: Team Online Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara (93,634 in chips)
Seat 4: Julian "jutrack" Track (214,638 in chips)
Seat 5: Ben "BensBenz" Yu (166,074 in chips)
Seat 6: Bryn "BrynKenney" Kenney (355,460 in chips)
Seat 7: bokkie87 (136,022 in chips)
Seat 8: Maicoshaa (375,290 in chips)
Interestingly, though several had already picked up leaderboard points from deep runs in other events, it was the first final table of this WCOOP for all eight players. Bryn Kenney's six previous cashes included a final-table bubble in Event #25 and 17th place in Event #29, while Naoya Kihara took 15th in Event #12; gettingpwned, 38th in Event #12; jutrack, 12th place in Event #22; and Ben "BensBenz" Yu 15th and Maicoshaa 14th in Event #18. Only grindhardcor and past SCOOP winner bokkie87 had no prior cashes during WCOOP 2015.
With half of the players clustered at the top and the other half, it took more than 40 hands to find the first knockout. But one the first pay jump was out of the way, things began falling into place in a hurry.
bokkie87's first cash of the series was also the first of the final table. The Dutch player came in a few big bets ahead of Naoya Kihara but trailing everyone else at the table. Only about a third of those chips remained by Hand #45, when the past SCOOP O/8 winner was dealt A♥ T♣ 6♥ 2♥ in the cutoff. Raising committed half those chips, and the rest went in on the river, called off with the board reading 5♠ 9♠ 2♣ Q♥ 5♦ for fives and deuces. grindharcor was in the big blind with J♥ 6♦ 5♣ 3♦ for trip fives, though, and that knocked out bokkie87, a past SCOOP Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo champion, out in 8th place ($5,720).
The second consecutive knockout of a past SCOOP winner came along five hands later when Bryn Kenney was in the big blind with A♣ T♦ 4♠ 2♦. Three bets before the flop and three bets after it got him all-in against BensBenz, a finalist in the 2012 WCOOP 8-Game High Roller event who had attacked from the small blind with K♠ 9♦ 6♣ 2♣. Yu's pair of nines and a flush draw turned into a full house by the river of the T♣ 8♥ 9♣ K♣ 9♠ board, topping Kenney's tens and nines to scoop the pot and knock Kenney out in 7th place ($7,280). He couldn't add a WCOOP title to his 2010 and 2014 SCOOP wins, but he did pick up 35 Player of the Series points to move up to 11th place in the rankings.
Naoya Kihara was behind the 8-ball now with just 40K in chips, and seven hands later he ended up sunk in a battle with another short stack. Holding A♦ Q♦ 6♣ 5♣, he had just enough chips to three-bet when grindhardcor raised under the gun. grindhardcor called there and got Kihara's last 4K in the middle on the T♠ 3♣ Q♠ flop, showing down A♠ 9♣ 3♥ 2♣ for a pair of treys. That trailed Kihara's pair of queens only until the 2♠ on the turn made treys and deuces. The Team Online pro still had 52 percent equity there with the best low draw and plenty of ways to win the high, but the 9♥ shot both sets of potentialities by improving grindhardcor's two pair. With that, Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara bowed out in 6th place ($9,360), collecting 50 Player of the Series points to move into 14th place in that race.
EPT10 Prague champion Julian "jutrack" Track, gettingpwned, and grindhardcor were all working with stacks worth six big bets or less at this point. While they were all technically at risk the whole time, in practice it was Track who found danger the most frequently. He opened one hand on the button and called a 24K bet from chip leader Maicoshaa on the K♥ 6♥ Q♥ A♠ turn before folding on the 7♣ river. Then he got four small bets' worth of his chips in before the flop with A♦ T♠ 8♠ 7♦ and the other bet's worth once it came 9♦ J♠ A♠ for a flush/straight combo draw. BensBenz had the straight draw blocked with A♥ Q♦ J♥ T♥ and two pair besides, but the 6♣ turn and 4♦ river bailed Track out with an 8-7 low to stay alive. Track survived another all-in five hands later thanks to an ace on the river to steal the high half of the pot from gettingpwned's K♠ K♣ 5♥ 4♥, which made a low with that same ace.
The end of jutrack's line came in the crossfire between gettingpwned and BensBenz after getting all-in for 50K before the flop with the other two putting in 64K apiece. BensBenz led on the 9♥ 9♦ 4♠ flop and gettingpwned called, and then the action went bet-raise-call on the 7♥ turn. Both checked the J♦ on the river, and BensBenz showed down A♥ J♠ 8♥ 3♠ for jacks and nines. gettingpwned turned over A♠ K♥ T♠ 9♣ to take the 186K-chip side pot with trip nines, and then took the 168K-chip side pot as well when jutrack mucked and exited in 5th place ($11,440).
Three of the remaining players now had stacks worth at least 13 big bets, but grindhardcor wasn't one of them. The player from the U.K. had just three before hitting a set and a 6-5 low with 6♣ 5♥ 5♦ 3♦ to scoop a pot and double through Maicoshaa. Another win uncontested on the turn helped, too, but losing a pot out of position to Maicoshaa when the leader hit a full house on the river with K♣ 4♥ 4♦ 2♦ knocked grindhardcor back down to 75K and back in the line of fire.
After taking off two hands in the blinds grindhardcor survived two consecutive all-in situations, only to end up in another on the next hand. Calling Maicohaa's raise in the big blind with A♥ K♥ Q♥ 8♥ resulted in trips on the J♣ A♣ A♦ flop and the rest of grindhardcor's stack going in the middle. Maicoshaa called on the 4♦ turn with A♠ K♦ J♦ T♣ for a full house, leaving two kings for a chop and three queens for a win, but the 4♣ came instead. That gave Maicoshaa the 175K-chip scoop with aces full of jacks, and grindhardcor left the tournament in 4th place ($17,680) - not a bad result for a first WCOOP cash of the year.
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Maicoshaa (1.12M chips) and gettingpwned (412K) were both prepared to look at numbers for a potential deal with the table three-handed, but BensBenz, who had 539K, said, "no thanks, friends would prefer i play." That brought "ok gl" messages from both opponents and set off a 35-hand span that saw all three players winning significant pots. gettingpwned came out ahead, climbing to 808K, and BensBenz managed to avoid much significant damage, holding on to 397K. A three-big-bet loss on the following hand when Maicoshaa turned a wheel straight cut that stack to 277K, though, and two hands in the blinds reduced it further to 197K.
Yu managed to to win a 170K pot from gettingpwned but another out-of-position confrontation with Maicoshaa when the stakes climbed to 25K/50K would prove fatal. He limped and called Maicoshaa's raise, then check-called on the T♦ 6♦ 4♥ flop, T♥ turn, and 2♣ river before mucking when Maicoshaa showed A♠ T♠ 9♣ 3♣ for turned trip tens. That left Yu with only 2,803 chips, and two hands later he was eliminated in 3rd place ($23,920).
The game was then paused for a brief negotiation that left $1,500 left and the bracelet on the table for the winner. That got the players back to the action, but having a deal in place didn't force the pace. The duel spanned 136 hands and saw both players take their fair share of pots, with some of gettingpwned's coming on the verge of elimination after dropping to just 158K with 25K/50K stakes in the early going. Soon enough the tables had turned and it was Maicoshaa down to 556K, before a 480K scoop brought the Russian back up to within less than one small bet of gettingpwned.
As the heads-up match passed the one-hour mark, the stakes were up to 40K/80K and the two players were still within two and a half big bets of each other. Finally gettingpwned scooped a 720K-chip pot with the nut diamond flush holding A♦ J♦ J♥ 7♥, dropping Maicoshaa to 571K, and then took another worth 400K with trip sevens to leave Maicoshaa with less than one big bet. After chopping one more pot, gettingpwned won the next and brought the tournament to a close.
With the win, gettingpwned earned the extra $1,500 for a $36,700 total prize, plus a WCOOP win to go along with that previous TCOOP victory. No COOP title is ever an easy task, but with a few dozen opportunities to win during SCOOP 2016, the German player will certainly stand a chance of becoming the latest Triple COOP winner .
WCOOP 2015: Event #32, $1,050 FL Omaha Hi/Lo Championship (8-max)
Prize pool: $208,000
Places paid: 32
1. gettingpwned (Germany) $36,700*
2. Maicoshaa (Russia) $37,660*
3. Ben "BensBenz" Yu (Mexico) $23,920
4. grindhardcor (United Kingdom) $17,680
5. Julian "jutrack" Track (Germany) $11,440
6. Team Online Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara (Japan) $9,360
7. Bryn "BrynKenney" Kenney (Mexico) $7,280
8. bokkie87 (Netherlands) $5,720
* - denotes results of a heads-up deal
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.