WCOOP 2016: Cream rises, Ami 'Uhhmee' Barer wins 3rd COOP title in Event #33 ($320 NL Hold'em [6-Max], $250,000 GTD)
As "Macho Man" Randy Savage once so eloquently said, "The cream always rises to the top." but that isn't always the case in tournament poker. So many things usually can and do go wrong, especially in big field tournaments that can turn into virtual minefield for top players. Event #33 might have started as a 2,568 player watch where you step affair but in the end, the creme was right where it belonged.
Event #33: $320 NL Hold'em [6-Max], $250,000 GTD began Monday and after the guarantee on this event was more than tripled, the field set out to fight for a piece of a the $758,400 prize pool. 311 players eventually made their way into the money, with a handful of PokerStars Pro's adding another WCOOP score to their online resumes.
Jason 'jcarverpoker' Somerville, who live streamed this weekend's WCOOP $100,000 Super High Roller on Twitch, bowed out in 306th place, while Britain's Jake Cody fell in 263rd. Each earned $765 for those runs, with Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier and a pair of Brazilian's, Felipe 'mojave' Ramos and Caio 'pessagno' Pessagno, claiming $902 for finishes just outside the top-200.
When Day 1 concluded, just 112 bagged for Tuesday's restart and while that group didn't include any Red Spades, the final two tables of Event #33 boasted some of the virtual felt's best. Daniel 'judgedredd13' Charlton and his over $2,000,000 in online tournament earnings was bounced in 9th place, along with Jon 'PearlJammer' Turner in 11th. Both will have to continue to work towards their first career COOP titles but the five-handed final table was home to a few players looking to add to their trophy cases.
Event #33 - Final Table Chip Counts
Seat 1: Aftret - 3,217,026
Seat 2: bartek901 - 4,400,971
Seat 3: Jas931 - 6,462,852
Seat 4: Dominik 'Bounatirou' Nitsche - 4,502,189
Seat 5: Ami 'UhhMee' Barer - 6,534,462
The final table chip lead was with Ami 'UhhMee' Barer, who was looking to add another COOP win to his resume. The Canadian won SCOOP titles in 2012 and 2014, with those two online wins bookending an Aussie Millions Main Event victory in February of 2014. The relatively unknown 'Jas931', sat just behind Barer, after watching 'Aftret' score a knockout to bring Event #33 down to it's final table.
Unfortunately for the Brazilian 'Rose Gambit' he never got a chance to sit under the bright lights of a WCOOP final table, as he was simultaneously eliminated by Barer at the other table. When the two combined, the aforementioned cream was together, as triple WSOP bracelet winner Dominik 'Bounatirou' Nitsche sat in 3rd position and 'bartek901', who won a SCOOP title in 2016 was 4th in chips.
'Aftret', who might not be the owner of a WSOP or SCOOP bracelet but does boast over $2,000,000 in online tournament results, rounded out the final table handful and play began in Level 41, with blinds at 50K/100K and a 12.5K ante.
NAMES GETTING AFTER IT EARLY: Nitsche and Barer battle
Online poker anonymity is tough when you boast results like Dominik Nitsche and Ami Barer have had throughout the course of their careers and our two named players at this Event #33 final table were the first to clash.
In one of the final hands of Level 41, Dominik 'Bounatirou' Nitsche completed the small blind and Ami 'UhhMee' Barer raised to 329,000 from the big. Nitsche called and then check-called 415,000 after the J♣9♦5♥ flop.
The turn brought the 3♦ and both players clicked through to see the river. The 4♣ completed the board and both players checked again, with Nitsche turning over J♠T♦ to take the over 1,500,000 chip pot with top pair.
The pot moved Nitsche over 5,000,000 heading into the first final table break of the night, while Barer dropped to just over 6,000,0000.
BUILDING AFTER BREAK: Nitsche and bartek901 neck and neck for chip lead
Coming into this final table, two players were over the 6,000,000 chip mark but a few minutes after the first break, two new players had ascended over that threshold. One was Dominik Nitsche, who used a handful of small victories to build up a leading 6,500,000 chip stack.
The other, was bartek901, who bluff-caught with middle pair to drop Jas931 to the bottom of the leaderboard. That action was picked up right after the blinds had increased to 60K/120K with a 15K ante, with bartek901 opening the button to 240,000.
Jas931 then three-bet to 720,000 from the small blind and after a fold from Nitsche in the big, bartek901 called to see the J♦8♠5♦ flop. Jas931 led for 540,000 and bartek901 quickly called.
The 6♠ fell on the turn and Jas931 did not slow down, betting 900,000. bartek901 wasn't immediate in his decision but eventually did call, to see the J♣ pair the board on the river.
With just over 4,500,000 in the pot, Jas931 checked and after some thought, bartek901 did as well. The out of position former chip leader was then forced to show K♦2♠ and his king-high was no good against the 8♥7♥ of bartek901.
The double barrel bluff couldn't shake bartek901 and when the dust settled, he was stacking close to 6,600,000. That standing was good for a slight chip lead over Nistche, while Jas931 had to regroup after getting cut down to 3,400,000.
PLAYING THE BULLY: bartek901 has found his target
After taking the chip lead from Jas931 towards the beginning of Level 42, bartek901 kept going back for more. There were a few small wins but midway through the level, he won another sizable pot off his Austrian opponent to increase his final table advantage.
That hand was picked up with Aftret opening the button to 240,000 and after bartek901 called in the small blind, Jas931 did the same in the big. All three players checked the A♦Q♣J♥ flop and after the 4♠ fell on the turn, bartek901 checked for a second time.
Jas931 tried to recoup some of those earlier losses with a bet of 278,000 but after Aftret folded, he was met with more British resistance. bartek901 check-raised to 680,000 and Jas931 called to bloat the pot over 2,100,000.
The 7♠ completed the board and after bartek901 bet 1,440,000, Jas931 folded. After the hand, bartek901 was the first player to move over 8,000,000, while the Austrian was left with just over 20 big blinds.
BAD MATCH-UP: bartek901 outs Jas931 in 5th place
The early storyline at this Event #33 final table was the seemingly non-stop battle between bartek901 and Jas931. A few minutes into Level 43, with the blinds up to 70K/140K with a 17.5K ante, the former continued to bully the latter, with Jas931 finding the rail in 5th place.
After cutting Jas931 to his final 2,500,000, bartek901 returned to score the knockout blow a few hands later, with that action picked up pre flop. The table folded to bartek901 in the small blind and he moved all-in, putting Jas931 to a decision for his entire stack.
He quickly called, with his effective stack sitting at 2,186,000 and Jas931 needed to hold to score the double. The short stack tabled A♠4♠ to his opponent's 8♦7♠ but after both players paired up on the 9♠7♣4♦ flop, Jas931 needed to hit.
He couldn't though, as the Q♥ and 5♥ completed the board and confirmed his elimination. Jas931 earned $20,305 for his final table run, while bartek901 stacked up nearly 9,300,000.
ANOTHER DOWN: Aftret falls 4th, bartek901 controls half the chips in play
bartek901 came into this final frame as one of two players looking to add to their COOP legacies and quickly after scoring his first knockout, he recorded a second. It was another short stack on the chopping block, after Aftret found himself at risk with a chance to triple up against bartek901 and Dominik Nitsche.
Action was picked up pre flop, with the chip leader opening to 280,000 from under the gun and Nitsche calling on the button. The small blind folded and Aftret three-bet shoved from the big for 1,289,000.
Both players called to put the Norwegian up against two opponents, with the possibility of a decent side pot developing after the K♠6♥3♠ flop. bartek901 check-called 700,000 but once the T♠ fell on the turn, both players checked.
The 8♠ put four to a flush on board on the river and after some thought, bartek901 bet 1,200,000. Nitsche couldn't call and once he mucked, bartek901 tabled Q♠Q♦ for a flush. Aftret might have known he was behind by the river but he was chasing the entire time with J♥J♣.
The Norwegian takes home $31,064 for his 4th place finish and bartek901 is now behind more than nearly 13,000,000. That's good for just over half the chips in play and the cream, as it always does according to Mr. Savage, has risen in Event #33.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT BARER: UhhMee picks up some pots
Through the first two hours of this Event #33 final table, the majority of big hands have involved Dominik 'Bounatirou' Nitsche and bartek901. Ami 'UhhMee' Barer is still very much alive though and since the elimination of Aftret in 4th place, he's done well to increase his stack.
One of his biggest gains came against Nitsche at the start of Level 44, with the blinds sitting at 80K/160K with a 20K ante. Barer opened to 432,000 from the button and after a fold, Nitsche defended his big blind to see the K♠Q♦6♦ flop.
Nitsche check-called 529,000 before the T♥ brought checks from both players on the turn. The J♠ put four to a straight on board on the river and after a check from Nitsche, Barer bet close to quarter-pot, sized at 565,000.
Nitsche eventually folded and as the players headed into their next final table break, both Nitsche and Barer were teetering on either side of the 7,000,000 chip mark. bartek901 still held a sizable chip lead, with nearly 12,000,000.
STIRRING IT UP: Nitsche gets short, bartek901 increases lead
Since taking his final table seat, bartek901 has done nothing but increase his stack and he continued that one the other side of break. Quickly after the recess, bartek901 had taken two sizable pots from Dominik 'Bounatirou' Nitsche, to leave the German short.
The first was picked up with Nitsche opening the button to 320,000 and after a fold, bartek901 three-bet to 1,040,000 from the big blind. Nitsche called to see the 7♥6♦6♣ flop and bartek901 continued with the betting lead, to the tune of a 596,000 chip wager.
Nitsche called but he couldn't do so on the turn. The 8♠ fell and bartek901 bet again, for 1,450,000. Nitsche thought for a few moments before folding to drop his stack below 5,500,000. Just four hands later, those two were tangling again, with bartek901 cutting Nitsche even deeper.
That hand saw bartek901 open to 480,000 from the small blind and after Nitsche called in the big, bartek901 bet the K♦9♥7♣ flop for 320,000. Nitsche called and after the 5♠ fell on the turn, he called again, this time matching his opponent's 990,000 chip bet.
The J♥ completed the board and bartek901 quickly shoved, putting Nitsche and his 3,492,000 chip stack at risk. He had just under a pot-sized bet left behind and after some thought, he elected to fold.
That left Nitsche at his lowest standing since well before this final table came together, while keeping bartek901 with over half the total chips in play.
END OF ONE RISE: Another bartek901 knockout, Dominik Nitsche falls in 3rd
It's been all bartek901 over the last few hours and after scoring the first two final table knockouts, he notched a third to send Dominik 'Bounatirou' Nitsche out in 3rd place.
That hand was picked up towards the end of Level 44, with Nitsche opening the button to 320,000. The small blind folded and bartek901 three-bet shoved from the button to put the short stack to a decision for his entire stack.
Nitsche quickly called, for 2,912,000 effective, and the three-time WSOP bracelet winner had to hold to stay alive, with A♥J♣ to the chip leader's K♣J♦. He couldn't fade the flop though, as the K♥8♥6♦ board leaving Nitsche searcing for one of three aces or running cards to save his tournament life.
The 2♦ eliminated that running route of savior and after the 4♣ completed the board, he was officially eliminated. Nitsche earned $47,522 for his podium finish and we are now heads up with two past COOP champions contending for the Event #33 title.
bartek901 holds a sizable chip lead, with 18,926,000, to Ami 'UhhMee' Barer's 6,353,000.
CANADIAN CREAM: Barer draws first blood
With both bartek901 and Ami 'UhhMee' Barer each holding COOP titles, it's safe to say that the cream has risen but up until this point, Barer hadn't been doing much rising. That was, until he took the first two meaningful pots of heads up play to claw himself back into contention.
The first was picked up in Level 45, with the blinds at 100K/200K with a 25K ante. bartek901 completed the blind on the button and Barer checked his option in the big. Barer then check-called 200,000 after the T♣7♠4♣ flop and did the same for 600,000, after the K♦ fell on the turn.
Barer checked for a third time once the 3♥ completed the board but after bartek901 bet 1,440,000, the Canadian flexed his double COOP muscles. Barer check-raised to 3,295,000 and forced a fold, winning the pot to move him over 8,500,000.
A few hands later, he was taking another pot from bartek901 with another river raise. This time, Barer completed on the button and bartek901 checked his option in the big to see the 9♣4♣2♠ flop.
bartek901 then check-called 295,000 and both players clicked their mouse after the 8♠ fell on the turn. bartek901 then led the 5♥ river card, for 1,560,000, only to see Barer shove for 6,973,000.
bartek901 quickly folded and when the dust settled, Ami 'UhhMee' Barer took in the pot to move dangerously close to 10,000,000.
HALF AND HALF: Barer gets back to even
After coming into heads up play with a nearly 3:1 chip disadvantage, Ami 'UhhMee' Barer certainly had his work cut out for him to get back to even. With a lengthy live and online tournament resume to his name, no one would have been surprised if he was able to but the speed at which he eventually did was surprising.
The hand that got Barer within a few big blinds of his opponent was picked up with bartek901 opening the button to 400,000. Barer defended his big blind to see the A♥Q♦7♦ flop, a board he check-called for 255,000.
The K♦ fell on the turn and both players checked, bringing the A♠ on the river. Barer then led for 721,000 and after some thought, bartek901 called, only to see Barer table A♣8♥.
Suddenly, after only 16 hands of heads up play, Ami 'UhhMee' Barer was behind nearly 12,000,000 chips and within touching distance of the one-time massive chip leader.
COMEBACK COMPLETE: Ami 'UhhMee' Barer wins Event #33 for $111,221 and his third COOP title
Once Ami 'UhhMee' Barer got even, it looked like the heads up battle to decide the Event #33 title was going to be a long, tactical grind. That was, until a massive pot played out that crippled bartek901.
The two went back and forth for a dozen hands but then a pre flop war took place that would decide the match. bartek901 opened the button to 400,000 and Barer answered with a three-bet to 1,060,000.
bartek901 then clicked it back with a four-bet, raising to 2,650,000, only to see Barer five-bet all-in. The shove weighed in at 12,493,000 and bartek901 quickly called, showing 7♣7♦.
While bartek901 may have been looking to flip for all the chips he quickly saw that he was in big trouble. Barer turned over 9♣9♦, meaning bartek901 had just two immediate outs to score the knockout.
None came though, as the K♦6♥3♦3♥J♥ board ran out clean for the superior pocket pair. An over 25,000,000 chip pot was shipped to Barer and bartek901 was left with just over one big blind.
On the very next hand, his 218,000 got in the middle from the big blind after Barer shoved the button. bartek901 held 4♦3♣ and needed to best Barer's J♦7♥ to stay alive.
He didn't, as the Q♣7♣6♠ flop left the extremely short stacked Brit with a gut-shot, a draw he could not hit as the 2♦ and 6♣ completed the board and an almost improbable comeback.
bartek901 will have to wait to add to the 2016 SCOOP title he earned in May but does take home $72,701 for his runner-up finish. Ami 'UhhMee' Barer is adding to his trophy case though, as he's kept up with the trend of a COOP title every two years.
The Canadian won his first in 2012 and then followed that victory with another in 2014. He'll earn $111,221 for his third COOP title, again cementing himself as the cream and one of online poker's best.
WCOOP-33 ($320 NL Hold'em [6-Max] $250,000 GTD) results
Entrants: 2,528 (1,602 entries, 926 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $758,400
Place Paid: 311
1. Ami 'UhhMee' Barer (Canada) - $111,221.19
2. bartek901 (United Kingdom) - $72,701.05
3. Dominik 'Bounatirou' Nitsche (United Kingdom) - $47,522.63
4. Aftret (Norway) - $31,064.21
5. Jas931 (Austria) - $20,305.78
6. Rose Gambit (Brazil) - $13,273.28
Will O'Connor is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.