WCOOP 2015: Hookah17 smokes heads-up field to wins Event #13 ($320 NL HU)
When you have a user name like Hookah17, the title writes itself. Poland's Hookah17 had two perfect days of heads-up matches and faded a field of 1,021 headhunters en route to a victory in Event #13. Sometimes you have to come from behind and overpower your opponents with inferior hands. In two clutch instances during the quarterfinals and semifinals, Hookah17 held the inferior hand with his tournament life on the line, yet managed to advance to the next round each time. During the final match, Hookah17 had Croatia's mandza17 on the ropes from the get go. Despite a minor rally by mandza17, Hookah17 swiftly counterattacked and it was only a matter of time before Hookah17 delivered a crushing blow to win the heads-up championship.
WCOOP Event #13 $320 NL Heads-Up attracted 1,021 runners. They created a prize pool worth $306,300. The top 128 places paid out, with $46,322.02 set aside for the eventual champion.
A pair of pros from Team PokerStars Online went deep. Both Frenchdawg and nkeyno advanced to Day 2, but both players were eliminated during the round of 32.
It was a quick match for Team Online's Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara, who failed to advance to the Sweet 16. nkeyno was crippled early on (losing two pair vs. two pair) and never recovered. On the final hand the board ran out A♣T♣7♣3♣T♦. Both players turned a flush, but cmontopdeck had the a higher one with Q♣7♠ vs. nkeyno's A♦9♣. Japan's nkeyno earned $2,312.56 for his 31st-place finish.
Meanwhile, Team Online's FrenchDawg ran J♦J♣ into ragingquads_'s A♥A♦. Alas, FrenchDawg busted in 22nd place, which paid out $2,312.56.
ROUND 8 - ELITE 8
THE OVERLOAD: VeGeTTo89 eliminated in 8th place
The quickest match of the round was CMoosepower vs. VeGeTTo89 that barely lasted two levels. It was nearly over in the opening round when CMoosepower turned a set of Jacks with J♣J♦ against VeGeTTo89's pair of Queens. VeGeTTo89 tried to battle back, but could never get anything going. On the final hand in the middle of Level 2, VeGeTTo89 attempted to double up with A♠9♦ against CMoosepower's 7♣7♦. VeGeTTo89 flopped an Ace, but CMoosepower turned a set of sevens to win the pot. VeGeTTo89 was knocked out in 8th place, which paid out $8,208.84, and CMoosepower became the first player to advance to the Final Four.
LISTENING WIND: salta44 eliminated in 7th place
SashaWSoP got off to an early start and never looked back in another quickie match. Going into the final hand, SashaWSoP held almost 90% of the chips in play. Super-shorty salta44 bombed it all-in for 981 with 2♣2♥ hoping to double up against SashaWSoP's J♠T♦. A Jack on the flop sunk salta44's hopes when the board finished up A♥J♦8♦K♦T♠. salta44's pair of deuces were no good against SashaWSoP's two pair. Argentina's salta44 busted in seventh place, which paid out $8,208.84. SashaWSoP advanced to the Final Four.
THE GREAT CURVE: m1ronO eliminated in 6th place
Ukraine's m1ronO made a final stand with 7♣7♦ but was run down by Hookah17's 9♣6♠. Although m1ronO flopped a set of sevens, the board ran out 9♦7♥5♦3♣4♣, and Hookah17 rivered a seven-high straight to win the pot. Ukraine's m1ronO was knocked out in 6th place, which paid out $8,208.84 while Hookah17 advanced to the Final Four.
HOUSES IN MOTION: Fartojop333 eliminated in 5th place
This match went the longest of the round. The final hand was a classic coin flip. Fartojop333 took 3♣3♠ into battle against mandza17's A♥Q♥. The board finished up A♦T♠5♣A♣T♦. Fartojop333's two pair lost to mandza17's full boat. Russia's Fartojop333 fizzled out in fifth place, which paid out $8,208.84. Meanwhile, mandza17 advanced to the Final Four.
ROUND 9 - SEMIFINALS
BORN UNDER PUNCHES: SashaWSoP eliminated in 4th place
This match went quick and lasted a mere 50 hands. mandza17 won the first sizable pot with 6♥3♣ after flopping two pair and rivering a boat. Five hands later, mandza17 dragged a 2.5K pot with A♥J♦. Two hands later, it was all over. All the money went in on the flop of J♣J♠4♣ when mandza17 check-raised all-in with 4♦3♦ and two pair against SashaWSoP's K♥Q♣ and King high. The turn was the J♦ and the river was the T♠. mandza17 turned a full house and won the pot. SashaWSoP was knocked out in fourth place, which paid out $14,736.09. Croatia's mandza17 advanced to the finals.
CROSSEYED AND PAINLESS: CMoosepower eliminated in 3rd place
CMoosepower had K♥K♦ snapped off by Hookah17's T♣7♦ when Hookah17 turned a straight on a board of 9♣8♠5♣J♠A♠. Two-time SCOOP champion CMoosepower was knocked out in third place, which paid out $14,736.09. Poland's Hookah17 advanced to the finals.
A deal was quickly reached between the final two -- mandza17 and Hookah17. They had to leave $6,000 on the table for the winner, but chopped up the prize pool evenly at $34,898.63 apiece.
ROUND 10 - FINALS
HEADS-UP: mandza17 (Croatia) vs. Hookah17 (Poland)
Croatia's mandza17 made a final table in SCOOP earlier this year, whereas this was Hookah17's first shot at a COOP crown.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME: mandza17 eliminated in 2nd place; Hookah17 wins Event #13
Hookah17 drew blood early and jumped out to a quick lead. Hookah17 attempted to pick off mandza17 with A♠J♦ vs. A♣4♦. However, mandza17 outflopped Hookah17 and rivered a full house to win the pot and avoid elimination.
Croatia's mandza17 was not about to give up so easily and rallied back to almost even. At that point, Hookah17 went into aggro mode and chipped up to almost 8K. In a couple of levels it was all over.
On the final hand... Hookah17 min-raised to 240, mandza17 bumped it up to 665, Hookah17 four-bet shoved for 7,185 and mandza17 called all-in for 2,150.
Hookah17 was ahead with Big Slick. The board finished up J♥6♣5♣9♣7♦. Both players did not improve their hands, but mandza17 got out-kicked. Hookah17 won the pot with Ace-high and a King-kicker.
For an impressive runner-up performance, mandza17 earned $34,898.63.
Congrats to Poland's Hookah17 for winning Event #13 ($320 NLHE Heads-Up championship). First place paid out $40,898.63.
WCOOP-13: $320 NL Hold'em (Heads-Up)
Prize Pool: $306,300
Places Paid: 128
1. Hookah17 (Poland) $40,898.63 *
2. mandza17 (Croatia) $34,898.63 *
3. CMoosepower (Denmark) $14,736.09
4. SashaWSoP (Russia) $14,736.09
5. Fartojop333 (Russia) $8,208.84
6. m1ronO (Ukraine) $8,208.84
7. salta44 (Argentina) $8,208.84
8. VeGeTTo89 (United Kingdom) $8,208.84
* = denotes a deal between the final two players that left $6,000 in play for the winner
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Pauly McGuire is an author and freelance contributor to PokerStars.