WCOOP 2016: 'mario1335' makes minced meat of Event $56 ($215 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO (25%)], $300,000 GTD) final table to earn first title

Knockout tournaments are my favorite type of poker event. An added incentive to knock a player out of the tournament? Sign me up but some could complain that the price of a knockout is more valuable early in the tournament, as it's fixed price doesn't correlate with the prize pool once you're in the money or at the final table.

Progressive bounty events solve that problem, as the price of the bounties go up in relation with how many eliminations a certain player records. So, if a player is doing most of the damage, like mario1335 did in WCOOP Event $56 ($215 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO (25%)], $300,000 GTD), then his own bounty could worth a final table payout spot.

Unfortunately for the rest of this Wfield, they couldn't come close to the Croatian. mario1335 took control of the chip lead with two tables remaining and worked a sizable advantage en route to his first career WCOOP title and an over $54,000 score.

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The 'have' and 'have nots' of the final table'

Event $56 - Final Table Chip Counts

Seat 1: DEX888 - 1,048,473
Seat 2: Bigboss300 - 1,568,489
Seat 3: BSNT_LG - 1,761,418
Seat 4: mario1335 - 9,087,366
Seat 5: PeroQmaloSoy - 3,583,502
Seat 6: Catukinho - 2,988,784
Seat 7: 77kol0bok77 - 1,507,053
Seat 8: MountainRo$e - 1,054,610
Seat 9: RandomOrder1 - 1,830,305

As mentioned, mario1335 came into the final table with a sizable chip lead and with over a third of the total chips in play, he was in pole position. The two closet competitors to mario1335, PeroQmaloSoy and Catukinho, were directly to the chip leader's left, something that could cause problems, if either were able to score some knockouts to pick up chips.

The rest of the table was hovering between the 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 chip mark, leaving those players with either side of 20 big blinds when the final table got underway with the blinds at 35K/70K and a 8.75K ante.

ONE GERMAN DOWN: RandomOrder1 first to fall in 9th

Three Germans made this Event #56 final table but one only lasted a few hands, as RandomOrder1 got his 10 big blind stack all-in from late position with A♥7♦. He was called in the blinds, where BSNT_LG found A♣T♦ in the small blind.

His kicker held to score the knockout after the board ran out clean for BSNT_LG and RandomOrder1 was bounced in 9th, good for a $3,857 score.

PAIR PREVAILS: MountainRo$e loses flip for tournament life in 8th

A few hands later, after the blind and antes had increased to 40K/80K with a 10K ante, MountainRo$e was all-in for his tournament life. It was a less than ten big blind shove from the Ukrainian, one that was called by 77kol0bok77, who opened the action with a raise from middle position.

The short stack held A♣J♠ and needed to win the flip against 77kol0bok77's 9♥9♦ to stay alive. After the 9♠7♠4♦ flop though, it looked like MountainRo$e was heading to the rail and after the turn bricked out, his 8th place elimination was confirmed.

MountainRo$e made $5,365 for his WCOOP final table run.

ONE MORE DOWN, LEADER PULLING AWAY: Bigboss300 falls, mario1335 climbs to even bigger chip lead

After two quick final table eliminations, the table went through a pretty uneventful stretch. A few short stacks doubled but the main storyline from that period was the increasing stack of mario1335.

The player who came into the Event #56 final table with close to 30% of the chips in play, was working close to 70% when he scored his first final table knockout. It didn't occur until the blinds had jumped to 60K/120K with a 15K ante and up against the short stacked Bigboss300, mario1335 rivered a flush with A♠2♠.

Bigboss300 held A♦K♦ and got unlucky on the Q♠9♠4♥2♥K♠ runout, to fall in 7th place. He'd earn $7,462 and with the rest of the table working just over ten big blind stacks, mario1335 looked like he already had one foot in the winner's circle.

ANOTHER ONE: mario1335 scores another, DEX888 out 6th

After hitting the river to send Bigboss300 to the rail, mario1335 hit the flop to eliminate the final German at the final table. DEX888 shoved the 9♦4♥3♠ for just a handful of big blinds and after the chip leader called, he'd need to hit to stay alive.

DEX888 held K♥7♦ and he was behind the 5♦4♠ of mario1335. The turn and river brought the Q♦ and J♦, but they were the wrong broadway cards for DEX888. He was eliminated in 6th place, good for a $10,378 score.

MUY MALO: PeroQmaloSoy out 5th, mario1335 goes three straight

PeroQmaloSoy was treading along as the second biggest stack, showing no signs that he was going to be intimidated of the growing stack to his right. That was, until he ran pocket nines into the pocket aces of BSNT_LG to get crippled to just a handful of big blinds.

He was able to get a double but then he was sent to the rail by, you guessed it, mario1335. He shoved the button with 7♥6♣ and was called by the shortest of the blinds, with PeroQmaloSoy putting himself at risk with K♥9♠.

The 8♣6♥6♦8♦9♦ runout eliminated PeroQmaloSoy in 5th place, where he earned $14,434.

ACE-JACK GOOD THIS TIME: BSNT_LG loses flip, mario1335 scores another

When it's your day, no one is going to stop you and no one at this Event #56 final table has been able to deal with the run that mario1335 is on. He scored another knockout to drop the remaining field down to three but with close to 85% of the total chips in play, his other two opponents look more like speed bumps than road blocks.

BSNT_LG was sitting second in chips when he shoved the button for just under 3,000,000. The blinds were at 60K/120K with a 15K ante and mario1335 called in the small blind with A♠J♣.

The short stack held 8♣8♦ and that flip was more or less over after the J♥T♣6♣ flop. The Polish player needed one of two outs on the turn and river but they didn't come, instead eliminating BSNT_LG in 4th place, for $20,076.

SOMEONE ELSE GETS INVOLVED: 77kol0bok77 clips Catukinho to get heads up

While mario1335 had scored the last four final table eliminations, he took this one off. The short stacks got involved and when they did, only one lived to see heads up play.

That was 77kol0bok77, who shoved the button with K♥Q♥ and was called by the Brazilian short stack in the big blind. Catukinho had the best of it, with A♠K♠ but after the Q♣5♣5♠ flop, he was drawing thin.

The 9♠ gave him some additional equity heading to the river but the 3♥ couldn't help him, meaning Catukinho hit the rail in 3rd place. He collected $27,922 for his podium finish and when heads up play began, mario1335 held nearly 21,000,000 of the 24,000,000 chips in play.

NEVER IN DOUBT: mario1335 goes wire-to-wire to win Event #56 for $54K and his first WCOOP title

While 77kol0bok77 prolonged the inevitable for a few orbits, doubling through mario1335 twice, he only peaked, briefly, at 7,500,000. Very quickly, mario1335 restored order and a massive chip lead, eventually picking up a big pocket pair to score the knockout.

77kol0bok77 called all-in for just over ten big blinds and he needed his A♠3♥ to hit against mario1335's J♣J♥. The short stack paired up on the K♦3♦2♥ flop but after the turn and river bricked out, mario1335's WCOOP victory was confirmed.

His Russian opponent will earn $38,834 for his runner-up finish, while mario1335 will be taking $54,012 and nearly $8,000 in bounties back to Croatia.

While everything doesn't always go according to plan at a final table, it did today for mario1335 and after coming into Event #56's final frame with a massive chip lead, he never took his foot off the gas and ended a white hot run with a WCOOP title.

WCOOP-56 ($215 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO (25%)], $300,000 GTD) results
Entrants:
2,443
Total prize pool: $488,600 ($366,450 regular, $122,150 bounty)
Places paid: 296

1. mario1335 (Croatia) $54,012.16 + $7,926.18 in bounties
2. 77kol0bok77 (Russia) $38,834.20 + $2,761.46 in bounties
3. Catukinho (Brazil) $27,922.09 + $2,122.09 in bounties
4. BSNT_LG (Poland) $20,076.21 + $2,035.90 in bounties
5. PeroQmaloSoy (Malta) $14,434.94 + $949.20 in bounties
6. DEX888 (Germany) $10,378.81 + $250 in bounties
7. Bigboss300 (Germany) $7,462.46 + $1,121.09 in bounties
8. MountainRo$e (Ukraine) $5,365.52 + $1,003.88 in bounties
9. RandomOrder1 (Germany) $3,857.83 + $590.62 in bounties

Will O'Connor is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars blog.

Will O'Connor
@PokerStars in WCOOP