WCOOP 2017: gugom the Ultimate Bounty Hunter Wins WCOOP-72-H (PLO Heads Up, Progressive Total KO, Zoom)
It takes a special kind of poker player to succeed in a heads-up bounty tournament. There's no hiding. You're not going to blind your way into the money. You have to earn every single dollar that you take home.
Armenia's gugom was more than up for the challenge as he took down WCOOP-72-H: Heads-Up, Progressive KO, Zoom for a total of $25,205 in bounties.
gugom out-dueled Canadian-based nogrenadez in the final heads-up match to claim the biggest bounty of all and some serious bragging rights.
Heads-Up Progressive Total KO Zoom is one heck of a mouthful for a poker tournament but it proved to be an exceptionally popular event with a total of 1,409 entries creating a $281,800 prize pool, which easily smashed the $150k guarantee that was in place.
For those unfamiliar with the format -- it was a new edition to the WCOOP schedule, afterall -- progressive total knockout means that all $200 of a player's buy-in was going directly towards bounties.
Each time a player was eliminated 50% of their current bounty was awarded to the player who eliminated them and remaining 50% was added to that player's bounty.
In other words: You really want to bust the players with the biggest bounties on their heads.
Add up to three re-entries to the mix and you've got a good time on your hands.
Fabrice "fabsoul" Soulier, Charlie "Epiphany77" Carrel, Sebastian "p0cket00" Sikorski, Benny "toweliestar" Spindler and nilsef were among the players who managed to cash in at least one bounty.
Armenia's gugom and Canada's nogrenadez were on a collision course, however, and the pair were pitted against each other in the final decisive heads-up match.
Seat 1: gugom -- 49,639,622 chips
Seat 2: nogrenadez -- 20,610,378 chips
Heads-up play began with gugom holding a significant chip lead with 49.6 million chips to nogrenadez 20.6 million (thanks to the way previous matches played out).
Both players were tentative at first and appeared to be feeling each other out.
It didn't take that long for nogrenadez to start throwing around some serious chips, however, indicating that he wouldn't be intimidated by gugom's superior stack.
nogrenadez was starting to make some progress when gugom managed to hit trip nines and sent nogrenadez spiraling down to 13 million chips.
nogrenadez was crippled to just 10 million chips after gugom managed to turn a flush in a pivotal pot. Fortunately for nogrenadez he managed to hit a flush of his own on the very next hand and returned to a respectable 14 million chips.
The Canadian went on to hit a set of aces five minutes later, which pulled him to his original stack of 20m chips.
gugom kept chipping away at nogrenadez, however, and the Canadian fell into the danger zone with under 10m chips.
About 15 minutes of play we had our first all-in of the match that saw nogrenadez get the all important double up when his Q♥Q♦K♣T♥ wrecked gugom's K♠K♥8♦2♦ on a board that ran out Q♠3♠3♥8♠5♦.
nogrenadez went on a hot streak after the double up that saw him regain his original 20m chips for the umpteenth time in the match.
Finally nogrenadez and gugom played a huge hand that seemed like it might alter the course of the heads-up match.
With T♣4♠3♠5♣9♦ on the board and 21 million already in the pot nogrenadez shoved for another 11.8 million.
gugom couldn't find a call and ended up folding. nogrenadez' stack soared to 32m. For the first time an even playing field was in sight for the Canadian.
If gugom was nervous he didn't show it and started to play back hard.
The final hand came out of nowhere with gugom shoving for 17m with the board reading T♣6♠5♦A♦2♦.
The pot had been hotly contested throughout and there was already 27 million in the pot before gugom shoved.
nogrenadez called immediately and the players revealed their hands:
nogrenadez had turned two-pair but couldn't escape a disastrous river card that gave gugom the nut-flush.
The entire match took less than 30 minutes to play and gugom stood alone as the ultimate survivor in the bounty battle that was WCOOP-72-H.
gogum ended with $25,205 in bounties while nogrenadez took home a respectable $12,758.
WCOOP-72-H: $215 PLO Heads-Up, Progressive Total KO, Zoom, $150k GTD
Prize pool: 281,000
Places paid: n/a
1. gugom (Armenia) $25,205.62
2. nogrenadez (Canada) $12,758.78
3. maxb1818 (United Kingdom) $7,375.01
4. ShipitFTW911 (Sweden) $8,052.72
5. TRAPSOHARD (Canada) $8,546
6. Slavik_Krs (Austria) $7,554.69
7. Zagalo87 (Slovakia) $1,565.63
8. diw.2303 (Romania) $913.28