The blinds were twice as fast and NLHE players got twice the amount of cards they're used to. Players could re-buy as much as they wanted in the beginning, but then the safety net was gone.
There were 4,117 players that signed up for Event #18, but only one survived, maciekzbg. maciekzbg entered the final table third in chips and battled through an incredible amount of double-ups to take the title and $58,628.34.
Team PokerStars also turned out in large, red, spadey numbers today. There were 15 red-spade pros among the 4,117 entries, but only one managed to cash. That Event #18 cash went to Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara, who finished 89th for $557.42.
Kihara made history when he became the first Japanese player to win a WSOP bracelet this past summer. Now he was looking to add a TCOOP bracelet to his wrist resume, but fell a bit short.
While nkeyno made it close to the final table, gboro780 made it even closer. With 300K/600K blinds, gboro780 raised to 1.8 million from the small blind and cluelessiam called from the big blind.
The flop came 2♣5♥7♣ and gboro780 moved all-in for 2.18 million. cluelessiam called and turned over A♦T♦9♦8♥ while gboro780 held A♥Q♦6♠4♦. While both players held a straight draw; the turn, a T♣ ,and the river, an A♠, gave cluelessiam two-pair.
gboro780 was eliminated in 7th place and became our final table bubble.
The final six were set.
The final table
Seat 1: I Yush -- 6,457,578
Seat 2: Rounder63 -- 2,685,343
Seat 3: cluelessiam -- 17,656,986
Seat 4: maciekzbg -- 7,585,110
Seat 5: Mongy -- 3,862,468
Seat 6: Tinas21 -- 10,534,515
Exactly one-third of this final table knew what it was like to make a TCOOP final table and be the last one standing.
Both Rounder63 and Mongy have won TCOOPs during their online poker career, but neither of them were able to bring that number to two tonight.
Ronder63 and Mongy entered the final table as the short-stacks, but both players managed to double up a few times.
Actually, there were double ups all around. The chip passing wasincessant and it looked like we were headed towards an infinite limbo where players passed around and divided one giant blind.
There were a total of six double-ups and one split all-in before we got our first elimination.
With 500K/1M blinds, Mongy raised to 3M from the button and Tinas21 called all-in from the big blind.
The board came 7♥K♣8♣2♠4♥ and Mongy got the elimination with kings and 8s. Tinas21 was eliminated in 6th place, earning $6,612.16.
After steady flow of double-ups, Tinas21 broke the seal for eliminations and allowed them to proceed in a timely fashion. There were only two more double-ups and our eventual champion took the lead with the following hand:
Then Rounder63 brought the tournament down to four players.
With 625K/1.25M blinds, I Yush moved all in for 3.1M from the button. Rounder63 re-raised to 10.5M from the small blind and cluelessiam folded the big blind.
I Yush was all-in and facing imminent elimination. Rounder63 turned over A♣J♠J♣2♥ while the at-risk player showed A♠Q♦9♦6♣.
The board came K♦6♠2♦K♠ and I Yush was hoping for a queen on the river. It brought a J♥ instead and Rounder63 hit a full house. I Yush was out in 5th place and earned $11,532.85.
maciekzbg's lead then increased a bit and the number of players shrunk a bit. The blinds were 750K/1.5M and Rounder63 had been whittled down to 656,522. Rounder63 moved all-in from under the gun and cluessiam called from the small blind.
maciekzbg raised to 3M and cluelessiam called again. The flop came 8♦7♣2♠ and both players checked, bringing a 2♥. There was another round of checks and another card, the K♠.
Players checked down again and maciekzbg showed K♦Q♣T♣8♠ to take down the pot. cluelessiam turned over A♥5♣4♣3♠ and Rounder63 mucked, finishing in 4th.
While Rounder63 missed out on a second TCOOP victory, he did score a final table finish worth $20,182.49.
Back and forth
maciekzbg was in the lead while cluelessiam and Mongy kept passing chips around. First, cluelessiam doubled Mongy up. Then cluelessiam came back with a vengance:
Mongy moved all-in for 3.9M the very next hand and cluelessiam called from the big blind. cluelessiam turned over A♣J♣T♣6♠ while Mongy was showing T♦9♣4♦2♦. The board came J♠4♣2♣3♦9♦ and Mongy doubled-up with 2s and 4s.
But the back and forth shenanigans would stop with the next all-in. Mongy moved all-in for 5.9M from the small blind and cluelessiam called from the big.
The board came T♦7♥3♣9♣J♦ and cluelessiam took it down with two-pair. Mongy was out in 3rd, earning $31,138.70, while the tournament went heads-up.
cluelessiam -- 18,484,832
maciekzbg -- 30,297,168
cluelessiam then took over the lead:
But maciekzbg wouldn't be the short stack for long. With 1M/2M blinds, cluelessiam raised to 6M and maciekzbg moved all-in for 13.2M. cluelessiam called and showed A♦K♠T♦2♣ to maciekzbg's J♥J♠4♥3♠.
The board fell 9♥3♥Q♠4♣9♦ and maciekzbg took the lead with 26.6M to cluelessiam's 22.1M. A few hands later, maciekzbg ended it all.
maciekzbg raised to 6M and cluelessiam re-raised to 18M. maciekzbg moved all-in for 27M and cluelessiam called, bringing the final showdown.
The final board of the tournament read J♣3♥J♠2♥Q♦ and cluelessiam was out in 2nd, earning $42,287.12. This made maciekzbg the champion of Event #18, a TCOOP title worth $58,628.34 and 1,000 internet pride points.*
Internet pride points aren't valuable or real.
Event #18 ($27+R PLO 6-Max 2X-Turbo) Results:
Prize pool: $384,428.45
Entrants: 4,117 entries, 9,359 re-buys, 2,183 add-ons
Places paid: 540
1st: maciekzbg (Poland) -- $58,628.34
2nd: cluelessiam (United Kingdom) -- $42,287.12
3rd: Mongy (United Kingdom) -- $31,138.70
4th: Rounder63 (Mexico) -- $20,182.49
5th: I Yush (United Kingdom) -- $11,32.85
6th: Tinas21 (Norway) -- $6,612.16
With the final pot awarded to maciekzbg, Event #18 ($27+R PLO 6-Max 2X-Turbo) has come to an end. But there are more pots and prizes to be had this TCOOP, check out the TCOOP homepage for a full schedule of the remaining events and satellites.
Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.