girafganger7 had come close before in a TCOOP, finishing fifth in an event last January. Today the player from Belgium finally got there, winning Event #16 for a score of $83,049.76 following a heads-up deal. And as has been the case with most of the TCOOPs, it didn’t take long to do it — just under five-and-a-half hours.
There was a $300K guarantee on this $700 buy-in NL Zoom event with “ultra-deep” stacks, but with 750 total entries the prize pool of $498,750 well exceeded that figure. The top 71 got to split the winnings, and when the bubble burst about three hours and 15 minutes into the tournament $trateGema was sitting with the chip lead.
Within a half-hour the field had been cut down to 27 players gathered around three tables, at which point they stopped Zooming around from table to table and played it out as a regular multi-table tournament.
$trateGema was still in the mix at that point with an above-average stack, while acemaKerface had risen to the top of the counts with more than 4.7 million — more than twice what anyone else had.
They’d crossed into the fifth hour when just 18 were left, with $trateGema out in 23rd ($3,685.46), acemaKerface now in the middle of the pack, and pilsuhng leading with nearly 5.7 million.
Francisco “Tomatee” Benitez (18th) was the next player eliminated, earning $3,685.46, followed by Jonas “IIJaYJaYII” Lauck (17th), hotmark777 (16th), robdag (15th), and bartek901 (14th), each of whom earned $4,710.64. Following them to the rail were TheFan83 (13th), maggess88 (12th), acemaKerface (11th), and Jacob151623 (10th), with those four picking up $6,021 apiece.
With pilsuhng the new leader after having built up close to 8.1 million and girafganger7 not too far behind in second position, the final table was underway.
Seat 1: Anaras “Elektrikas” Alekberovas (Lithuania) — 3,389,310
Seat 2: Ryan “newguy89” McEathron (Canada) — 1,545,704
Seat 3: girafganger7 (Belgium) — 7,564,332
Seat 4: blackDonii (Hungary) — 1,581,824
Seat 5: Gaston “g-man/obell” Belluscio (Argentina) — 2,961,757
Seat 6: JGagMan (Canada) — 3,071,616
Seat 7: pilsuhng (United Kingdom) — 8,098,180
Seat 8: Miguel “Gandalf MR” Riera (United Kingdom) — 3,110,062
Seat 9: ramastar88 (Argentina) — 6,177,215
The fifth hand of the final table saw a big three-way all-in that began with Gaston “g-man/obell” Belluscio open-pushing from the button for about 2.46 million (just over 10 big blinds), JGagMan three-bet pushing for 3.82 million from the small blind (almost 16 BBs), and leader pilsuhng calling both shoves from the big blind.
pilsuhng had the worst starting hand of the three, but the board ran out 8♠9♥9♣J♣10♥, that river ten filling a straight for pilsuhng and knocking out two players, JGagMan in eighth and Belluscio in ninth.
On the very next hand, Ryan “newguy89” McEathron raised 4x from early position to 960,000, leaving just about 350,000 behind, and ramastar88 called from the big blind. The flop then fell 7♠A♥4♦, and after ramastar88 led with a bet McEathron called all in.
McEathron had K♦10♦, having missed that flop, while ramastar89 had a pair of aces with A♣9♠. The turn was the J♣ and river the 3♣, and McEathron was out in seventh.
Just two hands after that, blackDonii open-shoved from UTG for a little over 1.03 million (just over four BBs) with A♥Q♣ and girafganger7 called from the big blind with 7♣7♦. The board ran out 8♦K♥9♠10♥6♠ and the sevens held, and blackDonii was eliminated in sixth.
A half-dozen hands later they were in the same level when Anaras “Elektrikas” Alekberovas raised to 600,000 from the button, leaving just 18,496. pilsuhng three-bet from the big blind, and Alekberovas called to show Q♣10♦ while pilsuhng had K♦7♠. Five cards later — K♠6♦8♣9♥4♥ — pilsuhng had a pair and Alekberovas was collecting a fifth-place prize.
Things slowed down a bit after that, as it took about 25 minutes before another knockout came. By then the blinds were up to 200,000/400,000 when ramastar88 opened with an all-in raise from UTG for just under 3 million, and pilsuhng — still the leader — reraise-shoved from the small blind to isolate.
ramastar88 had K♦J♥ and needed help versus pilsuhng’s A♣K♥, but the 8♣Q♣A♥6♣3♦ board didn’t provide it and ramastar88 was sent railward in fourth.
Ten minutes later the blinds were 300,000/600,000 when girafganger7 had taken over the chip lead with more than 18.5 million, pilsuhng was next with almost 10.2 million, and Miguel “Gandalf MR” Riera was third with about 8.76 million.
That’s when girafganger7 chose to shove from the button with A♠10♠ and when the action reached Riera in the big blind he called with 8♠8♥. The flop came 7♣A♥9♦ to pair girafganger7’s ace, and after the 3♣ turn and 10♦ river Riera was out in third.
The remaining two players played one small-pot hand then paused things to talk about a possible deal, with girafganger7 sitting on almost 27.03 million to pilsuhng’s 10.47 million. Numbers based on chip stacks were produced (“ICM” and “chip chop” being the same heads-up) leaving $9,975 aside to play, and after a short discussion both agreed to the deal.
It only took another half-dozen hands before pilsuhng open-jammed a stack of 6,730,033 (about 11 BBs) from the button with 4♥4♣ and girafganger7 called with A♣8♦.
The flop came Q♦A♠8♥ to give girafganger7 two pair, and by the time the 6♠ turn came pilsuhng was already typing “gg.” The river was the 6♦ to end it, and girafganger7 was the champ.
Congratulations to girafganger7 for topping a big field to earn a handsome $83K-plus first prize and — at last — a TCOOP title.
TCOOP-16 ($700 NL Hold’em [Zoom, Ultra-Deep]) results
Total entries: 750 (511 entries, 239 re-entries)
Prize pool: $498,750
Places paid: 71
1. girafganger7 (Belgium) $83,049.76*
2. pilsuhng (United Kingdom) $67,500.37*
3. Miguel “Gandalf MR” Riera (United Kingdom) $47,272.87
4. ramastar88 (Argentina) $34,931.75
5. Anaras “Elektrikas” Alekberovas (Lithuania) $25,812.40
6. blackDonii (Hungary) $19,073.74
7. Ryan “newguy89” McEathron (Canada) $14,094.32
8. JGagMan (Canada) $10,414.84
9. Gaston “g-man/obell” Belluscio (Argentina) $7,695.91
* = Denotes deal among the final two
There’s still more than a week’s worth of TCOOPin’ left to TCOOP. Check out the TCOOP home page for the full skinny regarding the dozens of events left to go.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.