It seems like January was gone in a flash and so was the TCOOP, the veritable speed demon of PokerStars' tournament series. The third annual Turbo Championship of Online Poker boasted a $15 million prize pool across fifty events and PokerStars players turned up in droves to shatter that guarantee, the total reaching a massive $23,322,941.08. A large chunk of that was up for grabs in today's TCOOP Main Event, where three players came away with quarter million-plus scores.
4,600 players bought, satellited, stepped, or freerolled into the $700 TCOOP Main Event, the prize pool topping out at $3,059,000. 585 places were paid with $480,263 set aside for first place. More than two dozen Red Spades were in the field, including Jonathan Duhamel, Joe Cada, Liv Boeree, Nacho Barbero, Victor Ramdin, Johnny Lodden, Lex Veldhuis, and Jake Cody. Three finished in the money: Henrique Pinho (534th), George "Jorj95" Lind III (331st), and Pierre Neuville (319th).
Blinds were already a stratospheric 500,000/1,000,000 with eleven players remaining, the average stack just over eight big blinds. With less than an ante remaining, DotComRicher put in his last 123,254 from UTG, Riverlan_88 min-raised to 2 million from the small blind and MurQ called all-in for 696,565.
Although Riverlan_88 had the worst of it preflop, he hit middle pair when the flop came down 8♠4♥3♦. Neither MurQ nor DotComRicher improved on the turn or river and they exited in tenth and eleventh places respectively.
Final table chip counts
Seat 1: TsubasaOO (7,088,160 in chips)
Seat 2: Eyal_A (18,135,016 in chips)
Seat 3: Reidrocel (4,894,389 in chips)
Seat 4: valkyri3 (14,413,569 in chips)
Seat 5: thx4dahundro (2,117,808 in chips)
Seat 6: danish7 (9,627,614 in chips)
Seat 7: IneedMassari (1,454,464 in chips)
Seat 8: Riverlan_88 (19,266,256 in chips)
Seat 9: blaaesh (15,002,724 in chips)
blaaesh and danish7 clean house
Holding only 1.5 big blinds, IneedMassari was lucky just to make it to the final table and he wasted no time, getting his chips in the middle on the first hand. IneedMassari's J♠8♣ had the preflop lead over danish7's 4♦5♠, but danish7 turned a wheel on the A♠4♠3♣2♦T♦ board. IneedMassari was eliminated in ninth place, earning $24,472 for his efforts.
Thx4dahundro staved off elimination when his Q♠8♥ outflopped TsubasaOO's A♦7♠ in a preflop all-in. However, thx4dahundro's stack soon shriveled up to 3.1 million in the face of the massive 700,000/1,400,000 blinds. Dealt pocket nines in the hijack, thx4dahundro moved all-in and chip leader blaaesh reshoved for 19 million with Q♣T♦ in the small blind. Blaaesh flopped a queen and thx4dahundro did not improve, his run ending in eighth place ($38,237.50).
Blaaesh's rush continued on the very next deal when Reidrocel open-shoved for 1.2 million from UTG. Blaaesh snap-called with pocket jacks; Reidrocel revealed A♦K♥. Blaaesh flopped top set and rivered jacks full of deuces on the J♣6♦3♥2♣2♦ board, sending Reidrocel to the rail in seventh place ($68,827.50).
Six (thick) slices of pie
Although blaaesh took a massive chip lead with 34 million, it only amounted to 21 big blinds. With the stacks so shallow, and the pay jumps huge, the remaining six players agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. Here's a look at how they stacked up:
blaaesh - 34,007,729
valkyri3 - 15,413,569
danish7 - 14,257,078
Riverlan_88 - 13,066,256
Eyal_A - 9,314,664
TsubasaOO - 5,940,704
Final table host Lex Veldhuis assisted, providing ICM numbers that left the required $40,000 still in play. Initially, blaaesh stated that his $333k share was not enough for him to deal and asked that the other five give up a total of $7k to get him over the $340k mark. Although several players refused to budge, danish7, Eyal_A and Riverlan_88 agreed to donate $1k each to the cause. Blaaesh relented and the deal closed. With $40,000 and the TCOOP Main Event title still up for grabs, action resumed.
Riverlan_88 runs roughshod but blaaesh keeps lead
On the first hand back, Riverlan_88 open-shoved for 12.8 million from middle position and TsubasaOO called all-in for 5.74 million from the cutoff. Although TsubasaOO's A♠K♣ dominated Riverlan_88's A♥Q♦, Riverlan_88 spiked a queen on the river to send TsubasaOO home in sixth place ($174,396.21).
The next deal saw danish7 make a small blind shove with Q♠6♣ and Riverlan_88 call with A♣5♠ in the big blind. Danish7 flopped a gutshot and rivered a ten-high straight on the T♣8♥7♣K♠9♠ board, good for a double-up to 25.5 million. Riverlan_88 was left with only 9.74 million, but tripled to 28.8 million on the next hand. In a three-way all-in, Riverlan_88's pocket eights held up, eliminating Eyal_A in fifth place ($207,342.58):
Four hands later and the blinds up to 1M/2M, valkyri3 moved in for 10.7 million from UTG and blaaesh called from the big blind. Blaaesh's A♠9♦ had valkyri3's 9♥T♣ dominated and the ace-high held up to eliminate valkyri3 in fourth place ($254,409.20).
blaaesh's favorites fail
Short stack danish7 snatched away the chip lead from blaaesh when his A♣7♠ flopped a seven and turned trips against A♦8♦. Danish7 doubled to 43.8 million while the once-dominant blaaesh plummeted to 4.54 million. Blaaesh kept fighting, though, catching trip fives on the flop with 5♣9♥ to crack danish7's pocket queens and double to 9.33 million. Three hands later, blaaesh doubled again when his K♥Q♦ rivered a king vs. Riverlan_88's A♦4♠, but he couldn't make it three in a row. Although blaaesh had Riverlan_88's Q♥9♠ dominated with A♥Q♦, Riverlan_88 hit a nine on the flop to end blaaesh's Main Event run in third place. Thanks to the deal, blaaesh not only won the largest share of the prize pool at $336,341.95, but he easily topped the individual earnings race for the 2014 TCOOP, his total series haul standing at $337,108.41.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 6: danish7 (32,585,480 in chips)
Seat 8: Riverlan_88 (59,414,520 in chips)
After a few trades of the blinds, this match was decided on the fifth hand of heads-up play. Both players got their chips in with ace-high, but Riverlan_88 won the kicker war and paired up on the flop to lock up the win:
Congratulations to Riverlan_88, the 2014 TCOOP Main Event champion! He banked $277,526.55 for the win while runner-up danish7 earned $245,834.51.
TCOOP-049: $700 NLHE Main Event (Turbo)
Prize pool: $3,059,000.00
Places paid: 585
1. Riverlan_88 (Sweden) $277,526.55*
2. danish7 (India) $245,834.51*
3. blaaesh (Denmark) $336,341.95*
4. valkyri3 (Singapore) $254,409.20*
5. Eyal_A (Israel) $207,342.58*
6. TsubasaOO (Germany) $174,396.21*
7. Reidrocel (Australia) $68,827.50
8. thx4dahundro (Canada) $38,237.50
9. IneedMassari (Brazil) $24,472.00
*= reflects the results of a six-way deal that left $40,000 in play for the winner
Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.