Shootout tournaments are a big draw in online tournament poker, primarily as a result of the popularity of sit-n-goes. Many look at a shootout as an opportunity to beat out two or three tables worth of players rather than a field of hundreds or thousands; simply play the table as an SNG, then move on to the next one. While that makes it sound much effortless than it truly is, players loves shootouts nonetheless.
For the $530 no-limit hold'em triple shootout on September 9, the field was capped at 1,000 players, and that number was easily met. With those 1,000 players in the field, the prize pool was set, just as organizers predicted with the guarantee, at $500,000. The ten-handed tables required players to win their first table in order to proceed to Round 2 and make it into the money. Win the second table? Move on to Round 3, which was the final table.
Team PokerStars didn't fare as well as hoped, as players like Chris Moneymaker, Bertrand Grospellier, Jason Mercier, Katja Thater, Vanessa Rousso, and Ylon Schwartz were eliminated in the first round of action. Gavin Griffin made it the furthest during Round 1, as he and TheChronic420 launched into a serious heads-up battle. Griffin eventually lost the chip lead and the round, leaving the only Team PokerStars Pro to move to Round 2 as Victor Ramdin.
Ramdin struggled through the majority of his second table and was the short stack through the latter part of it. He was able to double once during seven-handed play and again in five-handed action. But it was this incredible hand that launched him into a dominating lead for heads-up play:
But as play continued, he lost his lead as dynamoM went on a rush and took over, eventually eliminating Ramdin, who joined the 90 other players eliminated in Round 2, all of whom collected $1,925.00 for their efforts.
The final table began after the tournament had been running for nearly 11 hours. Round 3 gave each player 7,500 chips and started them in the first level with 25/50 blinds. The lineup was as follows:
Seat 1: iCeVeNoM (7,500 in chips)
Seat 2: Bambeklis (7,500 in chips)
Seat 3: blanconegro (7,500 in chips)
Seat 4: Mumtum23 (7,500 in chips)
Seat 5: TabberNackle (7,500 in chips)
Seat 6: twin-caracas (7,500 in chips)
Seat 7: bestwoman127 (7,500 in chips)
Seat 8: dynamoM (7,500 in chips)
Seat 9: 6060606060 (7,500 in chips)
Seat 10: Vandiesel (7,500 in chips)
Player 6060606060 immediately tried to find out if the rest of the table would be interested in a deal, insisting it would guarantee at least $30K for every one of them. Clearly, no one else even chimed in to entertain the idea, and action moved forward. iCeVeNoM took the reigns immediately and took a 3,580-chip pot from blanconegro. Vandiesel also showed himself to be the aggressive player, and by the time the table went on its first break, iCeVeNoM and Vandiesel were the chip leaders.
After more than two hours, numerous double-ups for the shorter stacks, and iCeVeNoM in the chip lead, it was that player who got involved with another who had been strong since the table began - Vandiesel. The two collided in this hand, and it was indicative of the willingness to play from the two with the most chips:
Finally, one of the ten players decided to push all-in, and it did not result in a double-up. bestwoman127 was one of the lowest stacks at the table and pushed all-in preflop with A♠ Q♦, and blanconegro called with pocket kings. The board came 9♣ T♦ T♠ 7♣ 5♥, and bestwoman127 was eliminated in tenth place, which was worth a $7,000 payday.
It was blanconegro who was the next to put the cards to the test, pushing all-in with pocket tens preflop. iCeVeNoM called with pocket queens. The flop was positive for blanconegro when it came J♦ T♠ 9♥, but that gave his opponent the straight draw. The A♦ on the turn was harmless, but the 8♠ on the river made that straight and sent blanconegro out in ninth place with $9,000.
Three hands later, when twin-caracas pushed his last 1,440 all-in, it was iCeVeNoM again who called. twin-caracas showed A♥ T♣, and iCeVeNoM had the pocket eights to create a race situation. The board came 6♦ 7♥ 4♥ 6♥ 7♠, and twin-caracas was eliminated in eighth place with $12,500 for his day's work.
Play suddenly sped up, and Bambeklis was the next to move all-in. This time the caller was TabberNackle with A♣ 7♣, and that hand would have to improve against the pocket sixes of Bambeklis. And it did when the board ran out 2♥ 7♥ Q♣ T♦ 4♥, which sent Bambeklis out in seventh place with $15,750.
Over the course of the next thirty minutes, there was little action except several attempts at deal discussions. But each time, the chip leader decided not to discuss, and Mumtum23 kept mum altogether. So play on they did.
iCeVeNoM took an enormous chip lead over the table by doubling through Vandiesel, at which point the latter was relegated to being one of the short stacks. He carefully chose a spot to move and did it with K♦ J♥ from the small blind. TabberNackle was the original raiser and called with pocket eights, and the two watched the board come A♥ 7♠ T♠ 4♠ 4♥. Vandiesel then collected $20,000 for the sixth place finish.
Another attempt at a deal was made, this time with the tournament actually paused and chip-chop numbers given. But between a disagreement about the correctness of the numbers and a general dismay with them from others, talks fell flat and play resumed. Chip counts at the time were:
Seat 1: iCeVeNoM (36,463 in chips)
Seat 4: Mumtum23 (9,587 in chips)
Seat 5: TabberNackle (16,632 in chips)
Seat 8: dynamoM (5,293 in chips)
Seat 9: 6060606060 (7,025 in chips)
Something suddenly lit a spark under the virtual chairs of the players. It was fairly quick that an elimination occurred, and it happened when TabberNackle and 6060606060 got into a preflop raising war that prompted 6060606060 to call all-in with pocket eights to the A♣ K♠ of TabberNackle. The board hit Q♠ A♥ 4♠ 3♣ 2♦, and 6060606060 was gone in fifth place with $24,750.
Two hands later, Mumtum23 took a shot from the small blind with pocket sevens, and iCeVeNoM called with A♦ Q♣. The virtual dealer gave them a board of 9♥ A♠ J♠ 5♦ 6♣, and Mumtum23 was eliminated in fourth place with $35,250.
Then dynamoM went on a tear, doubling through TabberNackle twice in a matter of only a few hands. And when the two tangled the last time, it was TabberNackle all-in holding K♣ J♦, but dynamoM once again had the better hand with A♦ Q♦. The board came 7♦ 3♠ 2♦ 3♦ 6♦, and dynamoM had the better flush to knock TabberNackle out in third place with $47,250.
Heads-up action started with the following chip counts:
Seat 1: iCeVeNoM (45,222 in chips)
Seat 8: dynamoM (29,778 in chips)
The duo paused the action to discuss a deal, but when both wanted more than the chip-chop numbers assigned, they resumed the game. As they played on, dynamoM was able to double through iCeVeNoM to nearly even the chip stacks, at which point iCeVeNoM proposed another round of talks, which was quickly nixed by dynamoM.
The match took a total of 35 minutes, and though dynamoM made a valiant effort to even the stacks, iCeVeNoM chipped away at his opponent until dynaymoM finally moved all-in preflop with pocket eights. iCeVeNoM was behind with pocket fours but hit the flop better than hoped for when it came 3♣ 3♦ 4♣. The 2♣ on the turn and 9♥ on the river ended the battle, leaving dynamoM with $63,500 for the second place finish.
iCeVeNoM became the Event 17 champion. In addition to winning the 2009 WCOOP gold bracelet, the prize money in the amount of $91,250 was kicked in for good measure. Congratulations!
2009 WCOOP Event 17 Results:
1st place: iCeVeNoM ($91,250.00)
2nd place: dynamoM ($63,500.00)
3rd place: TabberNackle ($47,250.00)
4th place: Mumtum23 ($35,250.00)
5th place: 6060606060 ($24,750.00)
6th place: Vandiesel ($20,000.00)
7th place: Bambeklis ($15,750.00)
8th place: twin-caracas ($12,500.00)
9th place: blanconegro ($9,000.00)
10th place: bestwoman127 ($7,000.00)
The 2009 WCOOP is well underway, but many tournaments and millions more dollars are available for players. Check the newly launched WCOOP website for all of the information, including the list of tournaments and corresponding satellites that offer entries for as little as $1. And PokerStars.TV, as always, will have tips from the pros and tournament replays as the WCOOP progresses.