WCOOP 2015: Skint Paddy denies b8chatz a Triple COOP in Event #55, $320 5-Card Omaha (6-max, 1R1A)

Winning a Triple COOP is no easy feat. Billy "b8chatz" Chattaway was two-thirds of the way there when WCOOP 2015 began and had a chance to pull it off in Event #25, only to finish fourth. A strong showing in today's Event #55 meant a second chance to join the elite club, but Skint Paddy came out ahead in heads-up play to deny Chattaway the title and win a first career COOP title in the process.

The game in play for Event #55 was 5-Card Pot-Limit Omaha, in a 6-max format with one rebuy and one add-on available during the first two hours of play. Late registration ended at that point and the 250 players who showed up combined for 142 re-buys and 129 add-ons, building a total prize pool of $156,300 to be split among the top 36 finishers and $34,386 awaiting the winner.

It took just over seven hours to reach the money, and two familiar faces - Team Pro's Jason Mercier, with 11 prior WCOOP 2015 cashes, and Team Online's Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara, with eight - each in the middle of the pack and looking to break forward for a second final table appearance of the series. Unfortunately neither was able to fully tame the madness that is 5-Card PLO - nkeyno took 25th place ($1,172.25) and Mercier finished in 22nd (1,406.70).

Four-time WCOOP bracelet winner Dan "djk123" Kelly and past WCOOP and SCOOP champ Ashley "DYBYDX" Mason both made it further than the two Red Spades, but neither managed to power through the final table. Kelly faded in 14th place ($1,719.30), his highest finish in seven cashes so far this series, while Mason bubbled in 7th place ($4,220.10) for his fourth cash in the last six events.

Just over 10 hours after the tournament began, that left these six players to chase down the bracelet:

Seat 1: Thor "osten" Hansen (208,598 in chips)
Seat 2: Chesnokkk (888,234 in chips)
Seat 3: luk45zp (757,147 in chips)
Seat 4: Skint Paddy (352,834 in chips)
Seat 5: Billy "b8chatz" Chattaway (180,000 in chips)
Seat 6: mitarachi89 (218,187 in chips)

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A series-lead-tying third final table appearance for past WCOOP champ Thor "osten" Hansen was unfortunately brief. He opened Hand #23 with a minimum raise to 32K and then called all-in after Skint Paddy re-raised to 120K. Skint Paddy's A♠ A♣ J♦ 9♥ 6♣ was a 57-percent favorite against Hansen's T♦ 9♣ 8♥ 7♥ 6♥ before the flop, but Hansen was left drawing to a runner-runner straight flush after the 5♥ A♥ 5♦ flop made quad aces for the re-raiser. It didn't come with the 5♦ turn and T♥ river, though, and Hansen left the tournament in 6th place ($6,252).

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Pairs of aces in the hole would take luk45zp on a wild ride that didn't end quite so well. Two orbits after Hansen's departure, luk45zp picked up A♦ A♥ T♣ 9♥ 9♠ in the small blind and re-raised to 176K after b8chatz opened for 40K under the gun and mitarachi89 called in the cutoff. mitarachi then moved in for 50K more with J♥ 9♣ 8♥ 7♥ 6♣, got the call from luk45zp, and won the 507K-chip pot with a nine-high straight when the board came 5♥ 4♥ Q♦ 7♦ 6♠.

Left with 119K, luk45zp picked up A♠ A♣ 8♣ 7♣ 3♣ two hands later and re-raised all-in after Chesnokkk opened for 40K. Chesnokkk's Q♣ Q♠ 9♠ 7♠ 7♥ was the underdog only until the 7♦ 4♥ 8♠ flop, which made a set of sevens and left luk45zp in need of any ace or an eight. The 6♦ didn't help, but the A♥ on the river made a set of aces to double luk45zp's stack to 263K.

A couple of pots won without contest on the flop and turn had luk45zp up to 357K by the time the 10K/20K level arrived, just in time for another pair of aces in the hole. This time luk45zp flat-called with 9♥ 3♥ K♦ A♥ A♠ in the small blind when b8chatz raised to 40K in the cutoff, then check-raised to 223K after b8chatz bet 44K. b8chatz called with Q♥ J♣ J♦ 2♠ 2♣ for bottom set and an open-ended straight draw, and then called when the K♣ brought that draw home and luk45zp bet all-in for 93K. Any heart would've won the pot for luk45zp with a flush, but the 3♦ came instead. That gave b8chatz the 724K-chip pot, and luk45zp left in 5th place ($9,378).

A fickle game

That moved b8chatz's stack over 1.17M, but Chesnokkk trimmed more than 430K from it almost immediately. The player from Belarus called in the big blind with A♣ Q♥ 5♣ 4♦ 3♣ after b8chatz raised to 40K on the button, then check-called half-pot bets on the 8♥ A♦ A♥ flop and Q♣ turn before checking a final time on the river. This time b8chatz fired out a pot-sized bet, enough to put Chesnokkk all-in for 354K, and rolled over T♦ 9♠ 6♠ 6♦ 3♥ for aces and sixes when Chesnokkk called. Aces full of queens won and Chesnokkk stacked up to 868K and the chip lead.

And just as quickly as those chips came in, they were redistributed to b8chatz and Skint Paddy. The Irish player hadn't made many waves yet but began to become more active with the table four-handed and blinds up to 12.5K/25K, finally moving into the chip lead in a 555K-chip pot against b8chatz after raising the button with Q♣ Q♥ 8♦ 3♣ 2♥, stabbing at the flop, checking the turn, and getting paid on a value bet after rivering a set of queens.

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With all the action through these levels, the player who was involved the least was mitarachi89. Aside from winning the occasional 10-big-blind pot to stay ahead of the structure, the Indian player was mostly quiet. So when b8chatz opened for a pot-sized raise to 87K and mitarachi89 re-raised to 300K, it was no surprise to see mitarachi89 turn over A♦ A♣ K♠ J♦ 7♥ once the final bets put the Indian player all-in. b8chatz was 39.6 percent to win with Q♣ J♥ J♠ 9♣ 6♠ before the near-perfect 8♠ T♦ 9♠ came to make a queen-high straight. mitarachi still had three queens in the deck to make a higher straight and a few backdoor routes to a full house, but the 4♥ turn and T♣ river left b8chatz ahead to win the 700K-chip pot. With that, mitarachi89's run ended in 4th place ($12,504).

Family pots had been trying to brew up throughout the final table, and when one finally did it set up the next knockout. Skint Paddy got things going on the button with a raise to 56K, and b8chatz and Chesnokkk called in the small and big blinds, respectively, to see the 2♠ 5♠ 6♣ flop. Skint Paddy bet 90K when both opponents checked, a bet that b8chatz called before eventually folding when Chesnokkk check-raised all-in for 438K. Skint Paddy called with A♣ K♣ 8♦ 5♦ 5♣ for middle set but had been outflopped by Chesnokkk's K♦ T♥ 9♠ 4♥ 3♦. The six-high straight only had to dodge a paired board for a full house or an seven for a higher straight to move Chesnokkk into the chip lead, and was a favorite to do so, but after the turn and river came 4♠-7♣ Skint Paddy had come out ahead with an eight-high straight. Skint Paddy dragged the 1.13M-chip pot, and Chesnokkk left in 3rd place ($17,974.50).

How many COOPs - one, or three?

Skint Paddy had the chip lead as heads-up play began, but with ten hole cards in play on every hand, neither player had an edge with regards to momentum. They traded blows for the first six hands before Skint Paddy struck heavily. The Irish player won 900K after calling a raise to 75K out of position, check-calling 75K more on the 7♠ 5♣ A♠ flop, leading for 300K on the turn, and betting again on the 7♦ river. b8chatz chose to fold and save the last 167K, which would prolong the match for 10 more hands even though b8chatz was never able to pull the chip stacks to even.

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Finally, Skint Paddy three-bet and called b8chatz' 240K all-in bet with A♥ K♥ T♦ 8♣ 3♦. That trailed b8chatz's A♠ A♦ 6♥ 5♣ 4♦ only until making a jack-high straight on the J♦ 9♠ 7♦ flop. b8chatz had the nut flush draw but couldn't complete it on the 3♣ turn or K♣ river, and the tournament came to its end.

Chattaway was denied his third COOP title, but he took home $23,992.50 as runner-up. The $34,386 Skint Paddy booked for the win is second only to a $156K score for fifth place in a 2009 SCOOP High Roller event. Plus this one comes with a bracelet and the title of WCOOP champion, making it even sweeter.

WCOOP 2015: Event #55, $215 PL 5-Card Omaha (6-max, 1R1A)
Entrants: 250 (142 re-buys, 129 add-ons)
Prize pool: $156,300
Places paid: 36
1. Skint Paddy (Ireland) $34,386
2. Billy "b8chatz" Chattaway (United Kingdom) $23,992.50
3. Chesnokkk (Belarus) $17,974.50
4. mitarachi89 (India) $12,504
5. luk45zp (Poland) $9,378
6. Thor "osten" Hansen (Norway) $6,252

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in WCOOP