Limit Hold’em seems to get a bad rap these days as most of the world continues to dive into the action-friendly No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha games. This was the gateway game for a lot of players and there are still some who prefer the math-heavy, fixed-limit betting grind. Event #57 had a talented field with some top limit players taking their shot and, in the end, Belarusian Azrarn earned his second Limit Hold’em COOP title when he denied James “Andy MCLEOD” Obst his sixth career COOP victory.
Event #57 was the $1,050 buy-in Fixed Limit Hold’em Championship that played out with a 6-Max format. The $100,000 guaranteed prize pool was quickly surpassed and came six players short of doubling it up to $200,000. It drew 151 players followed by 43 of them using the single re-entry option before registration was closed.
They created a prize pool worth $194,000 with the last 23 players set to earn a piece and more than $38,000 set aside for the next WCOOP champion. The tournament was set to play out over two days, pausing the clock at the end of Level 18 for a Day 2 return.
Just because a player made Day 2 of the tournament, it did not mean they were guaranteed some money. Event #57 was still one elimination away from getting down to 23 players as they neared the end of Day 1. Four full tables remained as they went on the overnight break and one of those players would not be happy after the restart.
krakura had the lowest count when they kicked things off again and the WCOOP 2016 8-Game champ fought hard to advance into the money. With only two big best, it was a tough battle but he was able to stick around until fellow short stack I FOUND GOD was forced all-in from his big blind. Soren “Kongsgaard” Kongsgaard did the honors to put the rest of the field in the money.
Besides Kongsgaard, there were some great players still in line for the title including Triple COOP winner James “Andy McLEOD” Obst, WCOOP 2016 champion Charlie “Epiphany77” Carrel, November Niner Joseph “subiime” Cheong, and Team PokerStars member/superstar Jason “jcarverpoker” Somerville.
The tournament went into hand-for-hand action one last time with seven players remaining and six looking for a place at the final table. This process could have taken a while but it ended quickly when multiple-COOP final table member GlassOfBeer was eliminated by Carrell after the Event 31 champion’s flopped set of sixes dodged a gutshot draw.
The final table was set with plenty of success between them including Obst looking to improve his already impressive list of results, Sunday Million champ Kongsgaard, and SCOOP 2016 $2,100 Fixed Limit Hold’em winner Azrarn.
Seat 1: Charlie “Epiphany77” Carrel (916,650 in chips)
Seat 2: Ronasty (771,220 in chips)
Seat 3: Soren Kongsgaard (834,645 in chips)
Seat 4: myJewishWife (646,285 in chips)
Seat 5: Azrarn (367,030 in chips)
Seat 6: James “Andy McLEOD” Obst (344,170 in chips)
The nature of Limit Hold’em means most of the significant action happens before someone goes bust. It also allows players to make big moves without getting all their chips in the middle.
Obst was under 200,000 not long after the final table kicked off but he wasted no time building his stack back up. With limits at 16K/32K, his first big hand saw the betting capped pre-flop against my JewishWife, Obst check/called bets on the flop and turn with the board reading Q♦10♦7♥9♥. He put out a bet after the 8♥ river to get a fold from myJewishWife to give him the 250,000 pot.
Obst mixed it up two hands later against Ronasty and he won another 300,000 with bets fired the entire way, Q♣J♦ on the J♠10♣6♣10♦4♦ board was good enough for his second boost. Two more 200,000+ pot in a row and Obst was suddenly over 600,000.
Ronasty boosted Obst, eliminated in 6th
Obst continued to run his chip stack up and it ended up creating the first knockout at the final table. He pulled another 300,000 from Ronasty when his A♦K♠ was good against a mucked hand after the A♠Q♠2♥4♥4♣ board to push Obst over 1 million. The hand left Ronasty with less than 90,000 and he went to battle against myJewishWife on the very next hand.
Ronasty raised it up pre-flop and bet out again after it came K♠8♥4♦. myJewishWife took the betting lead after the 9♣ turn when Ronasty had less than a single big bet to call. myJewishWife was dominated early but caught the turn with Q♥9♦ and Ronasty was drawing thin with Q♣10♦. The 5♠ river was no help and Ronasty was sent out in 6th place.
It’s no Epiphany77, eliminated in 5th
Charlie “Epiphany77” Carrel was sitting at the bottom of the counts after Ronasty hit the rail and he put his chips in the middle two hands later. There were three bets in the middle before the Q♠J♣4♣ flop against myJewishWife. Carrel fired bets on all street until he was all-in with the complete board complete showing Q♠J♣4♣Q♥J♥.
Showdown was a competition of kickers and myJewishWife was good with A♥5♥ against Carrel’s K♥9♣ to deny Carrel his second WCOOP title of the series.
Seat 3: Soren Kongsgaard (908,645 in chips)
Seat 4: myJewishWife (837,155 in chips)
Seat 5: Azrarn (1,180,030 in chips)
Seat 6: James “Andy McLEOD” Obst (954,170 in chips)
myJewishWife feeling flushed, eliminated in 4th
Sometimes it is the big hands which create an elimination, especially when the betting is capped pre-flop among three players. myJewishWife took a stab with a short stack with Kongsgaard and Azrarn coming along for the ride to the K♣J♣4♣ flop.
With only 2,310 left behind, myJewishWife check/called all-in after Konsgaard bet out. Azrarn stuck around and check/raised after the 5♥ turn to get a fold from Kongsgaard. myJewishWife tabled the unimproved A♥Q♥ and was drawing dead to 4th place against Azrarn’s flopped flush 7♣6♣.
The hand also dropped Kongsgaard under 170,000 though he managed a double up the very next hand. His straight with K♠Q♣ was better than Azrarn’s straight with Q♠10♠ on the Q♥J♥9♠10♦8♥ board.
Seat 3: Soren Kongsgaard (341,290 in chips)
Seat 5: Azrarn (1,420,540 in chips)
Seat 6: James “Andy McLEOD” Obst (2,118,170 in chips)
Kongsgaard chopped down, eliminated in 3rd
Soren Kongsgaard fought the good fight but was up against the two big stacks of Obst and Azrarn. He ran his stack over 600,000 but lost a 800,000 pot to Obst’s J♥J♣ on the 10♣8♠2♥3♦5♥ board. Kongsgaard mucked his hand and put his 175,000 stack in the middle two hands later.
He was able to get himself all-in before betting capped and had two live cards with K♦Q♣ against Azrarn’s A♦5♠. The A♠J♠3♦ flop was not kind and Azrarn filled his flush on the Q♠ turn. Kongsgaard was drawing dead to the J♥ river, dropping out in 3rd place and setting the heads up battle.
Seat 5: Azrarn (2,121,830 in chips)
Seat 6: James “Andy McLEOD” Obst (1,758,170 in chips)
Azrarn earns second COOP in Event #57
The heads up battle could have lasted for hours, anything can happen in the limit games but this went quickly for stakes involved. Obst began with a chip deficit and was able to take over the lead at the beginning.
But that was as close as Obst could get to his sixth career COOP title. The final pot saw both players hit a hand to get the chips flying. It was a limped pot to the 10♠7♥6♠ flop and Obst check/called a bet to see the 4♥ turn.
The betting was capped after four bets with 400,000 in the middle from each player and Obst was left with only 18,170 behind. Those were tossed in after the 9♦ river and Obst tabled his turned two pair 7♦4♣. It was a good heads up hand but was second best to Azrarn’s flopped two pair 10♦6♣.
It was another great run for Obst but the Australian was unable to pick up his second career WCOOP title to go along with his three SCOOPs and single TCOOP victories. Azrarn proved once again that he should be a favorite in most Limit Hold’em games. This title gives two out of three legs of the Triple COOP with his SCOOP title also coming in a Fixed Limit Hold’em game.
WCOOP-57 ($1,050 FL Hold’em Championship, 6-Max) results
Entrants: 151 (43 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $194,000
Places paid: 23
1. Azrarn (Belarus) $38,120.47
2. James “Andy MCLEOD” Obst (Australia) $28,389.37
3. Soren Kongsgaard (Denmark) $21,142.43
4. myJewishWife (Czech Republic) $15,745.40
5. Charlie “Epiphany77” Carrel (United Kingdom) $11,726.07
6. Ronasty (Canada) $8,732.77