Four cards. Short levels. Split pots. No-limit betting. As Jake said to Elwood... "Hit it!"
Like the Bluesmobile careening toward Chicago, the TCOOP got off to a fast start on Thursday with four events, all of which featured super-quick five-minute levels that ensured lots of rapid-fire play in each. Of those Event #2, a $33 buy-in no-limit Omaha hi/lo tournament, cut to the chase even more quickly thanks to the always volatile nature of NLO H/L.
More than 2,600 thrill-seekers were seated and ready when the first hands were dealt. And once extended registration closed an hour later, a total of 4,337 had joined in, together building a total prize pool of $130,110 -- well above the event's $50K guarantee.
That prize pool would be divided among the top 585 finishers, with $50.54 being the reward for a minimum-cash and a cool $20,430.06 due the winner. Indeed, everyone making the final table would earn four figures or more, making for a nice ROI on that $33 entry fee.
It took just over an hour-and-a-half for the field to be trimmed to 1,000 players, at which point Joshawha, cochito6666, voodduu, Tnoyes, and toril274 were sitting atop the counts. And it was only about half-hour after that that the cash bubble to burst. An hour more and they were down to 100 players, with RmAW1337 out in front, followed by moonwatch79, wallabaer, glama, and First-Eagle.
Among representatives of Team PokerStars, a couple had cashed by that point -- Matthias "mattidm" de Meulder of Team Belgium (429th, $55.94) and Dale "Daleroxxu" Philip of Team Online (165th, $110.59). That left just Marcin "Goral" Horecki of Team Poland to represent the home team.
Horecki continued to preserve a below-average stack for the next 45 minutes as players continued to fall. Finally Horecki found himself all in with A♦6♣4♥3♥ against wallabaer's A♥5♣3♣2♥, and when the board came K♦2♣9♠J♣7♠ wallabaer's pair of deuces was enough to send Horecki to the rail for a 21st-place finish ($331.78).
Just 20 remained, with gazon7 the big leader with over 3.6 million, followed by dev209 in second with a bit more than 2.26 million and glama and wallabaer next with about 1.8 million each.
Not long after the four-hour break just 10 were left, with gazon7 having extended his lead, chipping all of the way up to the 7.5 million-mark. wallabaer was closest with about 4.27 million, with s-paixtis and kreischkäfer hovering just over 2 million.
A short-stacked waWe then called a gazon7 all-in for his last 153,638 with Q♦9♥3♥3♠ against gazon7's K♥K♠6♣6♠. The board came 7♥5♦2♠4♠A♠, giving gazon7 a flush and sending waWe out in 10th ($780.66).
The final table was set.
Seat 1: dev209 -- 548,308
Seat 2: jebac79 -- 1,012,078
Seat 3: s-paixtis -- 1,985,833
Seat 4: gazon7 -- 7,813,363
Seat 5: Montzerrat77 -- 404,358
Seat 6: wallabaer -- 4,222,056
Seat 7: BBOY3110 -- 1,816,621
Seat 8: LUCKY CTAR -- 2,346,705
Seat 9: kreischkäfer -- 1,535,678
The first hand of the final table saw the first elimination. With the blinds a whopping 125,000/250,000, jebac79 open-shoved from early position for 980,828 with A♦J♦T♥2♦ and LUCKY CTAR called with from the big blind with A♥K♦6♥2♣. The community cards came K♥T♦5♦K♠A♠ -- no low hands, and a full house for LUCKY CTAR to beat jebac79's two pair and send him out in ninth.
It would take less than a full orbit for another to fall. s-paixtis was the one pushing all in from early position this time -- for 1,285,833 -- getting a lone caller in wallabaer from the big blind. s-paixtis held A♠Q♠J♠4♦ and wallabaer 6♦5♦4♠2♠. The board came J♣4♥8♣7♣A♣, giving wallabaer an eight-high straight and a 7-5-4-2-A low, good for the entire pot versus s-paixtis' aces and jacks and no low. They were down to seven.
A couple of minutes passed, then four more eliminations occurred in rapid order. Or, as John Lee Hooker once sang, Boom, boom, boom, boom.
The first came once the blinds had moved to 200,000/400,000. BBOY3110 opened with a raise to 880,000 in the small blind, leaving just 129,509 behind. LUCKY CTAR then reraised enough to put BBOY3110 all in, and the latter called.
LUCKY CTAR: A♥A♣8♥5♦
The flop came 3♥Q♦A♦, giving LUCKY CTAR top set, then then Q♠ improved his hand to a full house. The river was the K♥, and BBOY3110 was out in seventh.
Just a moment later the blinds had bumped up to 250,000/500,000 when LUCKY CTAR open-pushed all in for 1,625,685 from UTG+1 and dev209 reraised all in from one seat over to isolate. All others folded, and LUCKY CTAR showed aces again, turning over A♦A♣J♥2♦. dev209, meanwhile, had A♠K♣Q♣7♦.
The flop came J♦A♥7♥, meaning LUCKY CTAR had flopped a set of aces once more. But the turn was the T♠ to improve dev209 to a straight, and after the 6♣ river LUCKY CTAR was the one heading railward in sixth.
Then kreischkäfer raised all in from under the gun for 1,008,856, and Montzerrat77 reraised all in from the button, knocking out the blinds. kreischkäfer had A♥Q♠T♠4♥ and Montzerrat77 A♦K♦5♠3♦. The board came 6♣8♣K♥7♦6♠, which meant two pair and an 8-7-6-3-A low for Montzerrat77, both better than the pair of sixes and 8-7-6-4-A low for kreischkäfer. Just four were left.
After that flurry, dev209 sat in first with better than 8.14 million, wallabaer was next with just under 5.5 million, gazon7 third with 4.71 million, and Montzerrat77 last with almost 3.33 million.
The blinds rose to 400,000/800,000 and talk surfaced of a possible deal. But before the tourney could be paused, wallabaer was open-pushing from the SB with A♥9♥8♠4♦ and Montzerrat77 was calling with his remaining 1,304,868 with A♠K♦8♦2♣.
The board completed no low hands, coming Q♦3♦J♥4♠Q♠. The four in wallabaer's hand gave him two pair, knocking out Monzterrat77 in fourth.
With three left, the tourney was at last paused to talk about chopping. And to breathe.
All three were close in chips. dev209 had almost 8.12 million, wallabaer just under 7.18 million, and gazon7 a touch over 6.38 million. And with those 400k/800k blinds, everyone was in a dealing mood.
The "chip chop" numbers were proposed, leaving $1,000 on the table, and all three agreed.
Keeping with the breakneck pace, on the third hand after play resumed wallabaer shoved and gazon7 called, the latter doubling up when his Q♦Q♥5♦4♥ made both a flush and a six-low versus wallabaer's A♠T♠9♦6♠ on a T♦6♦2♠3♠7♦ board.
On the next hand, dev209 shoved all in from the button for 8,018,441 and wallabaer called from the big blind with his last 591,705. It was dev209's A♦K♣T♦2♥ against wallabaer's T♣8♥6♦6♥. The board came K♦9♠9♦K♥5♦, making no low hands and giving dev209 the best high with a diamond flush. They were down to two.
The last two were nearly even in chips to start heads-up play, with gazon7's 11,574,854 putting him slightly ahead of dev209's 10,110,146. They'd play three hands, during which gazon7 edged out a little further. Then came the finale.
In the last hand, dev209 open-shoved for 8,610,419 from the button and gazon7 called. dev209 had K♠J♥3♠2♥ and gazon7 A♠Q♠9♠3♥. The board ran out 9♥J♣T♠A♣7♠, which meant no low hands and two pair and a TCOOP title for gazon7.
Congratulations to gazon7 for earning the TCOOP Event #2 title, taking just under five hours to do so! However, with the three-way deal gazon7, dev209, and wallabaer all sped away with $15K-plus returns on their $33 investments.
TCOOP Event #2 Results ($33 No-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo):
1st: gazon7 ($15,617.72)*
2nd: dev209 ($15,670.20)*
3rd: wallabaer ($15,099.08)*
4th: Montzerrat77 ($7,481.32)
5th: LUCKY CTAR ($5,529.67)
6th: kreischkäfer ($4,228.57)
7th: BBOY3110 ($2,927.47)
8th: s-paixtis ($1,626.37)
9th: jebac79 ($1,040.88)
We're just getting started, TCOOP-wise, with more than 45 events still left to go. Get on over to the official Turbo Championship of Online Poker site for details.
And if you're thinking of joining in on the high-speed fun, well, it probably wouldn't hurt to say a little prayer to Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration.