WCOOP 2016: shamthedon outdraws vovtroy, takes Event #8 ($700 PLO, 3-Max, Progressive-KO 25%, Zoom)

Labor Day began with a weekend slate of WCOOP 2016 winners already in the record books, making a breezy PLO tournament the perfect prescription for bout of holiday poker relaxation. Event #8 fit the bill perfectly, as shamthedon would surely agree. A scant five hours and nine minutes of Omaha poker took the player from the United Kingdom past a previous SCOOP winner to earn a first career COOP title.

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Already an action game even when played at a full-ring table, PLO becomes more and more brutal the shorter the table gets. So with 3-max tables in play today, a Zoom Poker format until 18 players were left, and a Progressive-KO payout structure encouraging big moves, Event #8 offered as much action as a PLO player could ever hope to get. Two hours of late registration enticed 591 players to try their hands, building a $294,651 regular prize pool and a $98,253.75 bounty prize pool.

With registration closed at 6 p.m. ET and $53,453.07 awaiting the winner, the remaining 137 players got to work on popping the money bubble. That happened 35 minutes later with _slowboy_1's exit in 69th place, setting up a two-hour run for the big money that awaited at the final table.

The extremely short-handed nature of the game meant that the final table bubble consisted of two heads-up matches running hand-for-hand. The tension finally popped when pappadogg went for three bets and called 172K more to get all-in with A♠ 9♠ A♥ 2♥ against s00tedj0kers's Q♦ Q♠ J♠ 9♣. A 71.4-percent favorite before the T♣ 5♠ A♣ flop and 80.7-percent after it, pappadogg's run ended in third when the 9♥ turn and 8♦ river made s00tedj0kers a queen-high straight.

The blinds were at 18K/36K as the last three players prepared to battle for the WCOOP title:

Seat 1: Vladimir "vovtroy" Troyanovskiy (1,536,842 in chips)
Seat 2: Kory "s00tedj0kers" Kilpatrick (2,963,437 in chips)
Seat 3: shamthedon (1,409,721 in chips)

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In what will probably go down as one of the least surprising developments of this entire WCOOP series, the final table of Event #8 would last just 55 hands from start to finish and was dominated by just a few big pots. With three players at the table and four cards in each player's hand, to have expected anything else would have been madness.

Kory "s00tedj0kers" Kilpatrick, whose first WCOOP final table came back in 2008, had the lead as three-handed play began, and he still had it after losing the first significant pot. He opened for 108K in the small blind and led at the 6♥ 5♦ 5♠ flop after shamthedon called, then check-called bets from shamthedon on the J♥ turn and Q♦ river, only to muck when shamthedon showed 6♣ 5♣ 3♠ 2♠ for the flopped full house. That 1.1M-chip pot went the wrong way, but s00tedj0kers was still ahead at 2.3M to shamthedon's 2M and vovtroy's 1.6M.

Vladimir "vovtroy" Troyanovskiy managed to pull into a tie for the lead by taking shamthedon down a notch. vovtroy checked in the big blind after shamthedon limped from the small blind, bringing a 5♠ J♣ 2♠ flop. shamthedon checked, then raised to 240K after vovtroy bet half the 96K pot, but vovtroy called and the turn was the 9♣. shamthedon bet pot - 576K - and vovtroy called, leaving 324K behind. That all went in after shamthedon checked the Q♠ river, and vovtroy won the 2.4M-chip pot with 9♠ 8♣ 4♦ 3♣ and a spade flush.

vovtroy, a 2014 SCOOP winner in Stud and an experienced hand in COOP finals, took down another 1.1M-chip pot on the next hand, this one from s00tedj0kers with trip aces to move into the chip lead. A loss to shamthedon 12 hands later left s00tedj0kers vulnerable with just 1.06M chips and the blinds at 27K/54K, but he would get in those chips in as a four-to-one favorite just a few hands later. s00tedj0kers held A♦ K♠ 4♠ 3♦ on a 8♠ A♣ 2♣ K♦ and happily raised all-in to 939K when shamthedon led out. shamthedon called at a disadvantage with Q♣ Q♠ J♠ T♥, but the T♣ on the river made a Broadway straight to end s00tedj0kers's tournament in third.

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vovtroy was closer now to a WCOOP title than he managed last year, when he took third in Event #35, a 6-max PLO tourney. And he had just two big blinds less than his opponent, shamthedon, as much as anyone could ask for to begin heads-up play with a WCOOP title on the line. But a second COOP title wasn't to be - at least not today.

A set on the river with 7♣ 4♦ 4♠ 3♦ six hands in gave vovtroy a 1.1M-chip lead, which he was able to expand by a few big blinds over the next few minutes. But then the nature of the game reared its head, and in the span of two hands he would lose the lead and finish in second place. The first hand started with vovtroy limping on the button and shamthedon checking the blind to bring a 2♣ 4♠ 9♦ flop. Check-bet-raise-jam-call action led to shamthedon showing down A♥ K♠ 9♥ 5♥ for a pair of nines and a 17.4-percent chance to win against vovtroy's A♠ J♣ 2♥ 2♦ and set of deuces. Then the 3♣ came on the turn, making a wheel straight for shamthedon. The 8♠ river didn't make a full house, and suddenly shamthedon had 4.5M chips to vovtroy's 1.3M.

Another limped pot led to an all-in raise and a call on the next, and final, hand. shamthedon's K♠ K♦ J♣ 8♠ was in the lead with a pair of kings on the 6♦ T♣ J♦ flop, but vovtroy's 9♣ 8♦ 4♦ 2♣ had a 60.6-percent chance to win with an open-ended straight draw, a diamond flush draw, and a backdoor club flush draw. All the draws whiffed on the 9♥ turn and 3♣ river, though, and shamthedon claimed the pot and the title.

Congratulations to all three players for making their way through extremely adverse conditions to reach the final, and to shamthedon on a first career WCOOP title!

WCOOP 2016: Event #8, $700 PL Omaha (3-Max, Progressive KO (25%), Zoom)
Entrants: 591
Prize pool: $393,015 ($294,651 regular prize pool, $98,253.75 bounty prize pool)
Places paid: 68
1. shamthedon (United Kingdom) $53,453.07 + $6,769.12 in bounties
2. Vladimir "vovtroy" Troyanovskiy (Russia) $30,860.91 + $2,015.67 in bounties
3. s00tedj0kers (Costa Rica) $17,717.55 + $5,197.63 in bounties

WCOOP 2016 runs through most of September. Don't miss out on the action - click here to get a PokerStars account today!

Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in 2016