Pot-limit Omaha is already an action game. Many prefer short-handed PLO, in which one often sees even more flops and thus more rapidly satisfies that action fix. Make the game heads-up and you might as well forget that brake pedal is even there. Such nonstop action was certainly on display in this year's fast-moving WCOOP Event #58, a two-day, $530 buy-in PLO heads-up tourney.
A total of 401 action-seekers came out for this one, thus carrying the prize pool up over the $200K mark to $200,500, well above the tourney's $125 guarantee. The top 64 finishers would make a profit, requiring those hoping to come out ahead to make it through to the fourth round.
The 64 doing so stood to earn at least $802, with the final 32 guaranteed at least $1,604. Players making the round of 16 (and day 2) were all getting at least $2,406, with the quarterfinal winners then ensuring themselves $6,416 paydays. Making the final four (Round 8) and losing earned one $14,035, finishing runner-up was worth a $26,065 prize, and the winner would take home a cool $50,125 for two days' work.
Each match saw players begin with 7,500 chips, with the 15-minute levels starting with 25/50 blinds, then moving to 30/60, 40/80, 50/100, 60/120, 80/160, 100/200, and 125/500.
Saturday saw five rounds played, trimming the field from 401 to 16.
Round 1 (401 to 256)
Some were lucky enough to draw byes, some won their way into the second round, and some didn't make it beyond their first match. In the latter group were included Team PokerStars Pros Eugene Katchalov, Jonathan Duhamel, Daniel Negreanu, Bryan Huang, and George Danzer.
Round 2 (256 to 128)
A few representatives of Team PokerStars did find spots in Round 2, however.
Alexis "J0hnny_Dr@m@" Zervos, a Team PokerStars Greece Challenger, was an early second-round casualty. Zervos was nearly even in chips with his opponent, Cashcid, when the two players saw a flop come 7♣Q♥3♣. Several bets later all of J0hnny_Dr@m@'s chips were in the middle with Zervos holding A♣A♦K♣4♠ for a flush draw while Cashcid had flopped top set with Q♦Q♣T♥6♦. The turn was the 3♥, giving Cashcid a boat and making the flush-making 4♣ on the river no good to Zervos.
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier also went out early in the second round, falling to B_Lindberg after they got it all in following a 2♠J♥K♦ flop. B_Lindberg had middle set with J♦J♠7♥5♣ while Elky was drawing with K♠Q♥T♠7♦. The turn and river brought two sevens, giving both players full houses though B_Lindberg's was best.
b0caNer0 later knocked out Team Online member Raymond Wu. Soon after the red-hot 2FLY2TILT -- winner of Event #8 ($215 Triple Stud) -- wiped out Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas who like Zervos is a Team PokerStars Greece Challenger. And Dale "Daleroxxu" Philip of Team Online also fell in the second round, losing to basten05. Philip flopped a bottom set of deuces and got it all in versus basten04's flush draw, but the flush came on the turn and with no river help Philip was out.
Three other Team PokerStars Pros did win their way into the third round. First Noah "Exclusive" Boeken made it, taking the last of Saage's chips when Boeken's A♣A♥8♥5♠ held up against Saage's K♣K♠7♦3♣. Then Theo Jorgensen (a.k.a. "Theo J") finished off robomallo in similar fashion when his A♦A♥Q♥3♠ remained best versus the latter's K♠K♣9♥8♦.
Finally, after nearly two hours, Team Pro Richard Toth's match with Vee Show77 was the very last to conclude in Round 2. The pair got all of Vee Show77's chips in the middle following a 9♦7♦8♣ flop, with Toth holding T♥8♦6♦3♥ for a made straight and flush draw and Vee Show77 9♥9♣7♥5♠ for top set. The turn and river both brought diamonds and no pairing of the board, and finally everyone could begin the next round.
Round 3 (128 to 64)
This was the bubble round, as the top 64 finishers stood to earn at least $802 for winning here, while the losers took home zip.
Jorgensen actually busted on the very first hand of his match versus Krumpir. Take a look at how that happened:
Richard Toth took about 45 minutes to whittle liran9 down under 4,000 chips, all of which finally went in on a 3♣6♠5♥ flop. liran9 had T♦8♥6♥5♦ for two pair while Toth had K♣T♠7♣4♠ for a straight. Toth's hand held, and he'd made the money.
The battle between Exclusive and Jim "Mr_BigQueso" Collopy took longer, with Boeken carrying a 2-to-1 chip advantage into its second hour. Then, after calling a preflop raise from Boeken, Collopy checked the K♠8♣T♦ flop, Boeken bet, and a series of raises saw Collopy all in with K♥Q♥J♥6♥ versus Boeken's T♣T♥9♠2♦.
The A♦ turn gave Collopy Broadway, but the A♣ on the river meant Boeken had boated up, sending Mr_BigQueso to the and Boeken into the money.
All 64 matches were done within a couple of hours, with 2FLY2TILT, bastinho06, ender555, Exclusive, Iftarii, K_0_S_T_Y_A, LuckyGumb, Patonius2000, phinomenon, Toth, and Vingtcent among those joining Toth and Boeken in the next round.
Round 4 (64 to 32)
As happened to Jorgensen in the previous round, Richard Toth's match in Round 4 was over in a flash as he was done in by Scott "BigRiskky" Clements in just five hands.
Clements had taken the early advantage when Toth three-bet him and BigRiskky called to see a flop come 3♣9♦5♣. Toth led, Clements raised, and a few bets later Toth was all in with 9♠7♦5♥3♠ (two pair) versus Clements' J♣8♠4♣2♠ (flush and straight draws). The turn was the 6♦, giving BigRiskky a straight, and after the T♠ river Toth was the first player of the event to be paid, collecting $802 for his efforts.
Noah "Exclusive" Boeken had a better time of it, though, in his match versus coldgear. Over the first half-hour Boeken had cut coldgear down under 3,000, all of which went in on a K♠8♥J♥ flop. Boeken had the lead with A♦A♠6♣5♦ versus coldgear's Q♦T♥T♠7♥, then backdoored two pair as the turn and river came 6♦5♠.
After more than an hour-and-a-half, 777GADO777 finally finished off tjooh26, and the fourth round was complete. Here's a look at how all of the round-of-64 matches went:
S Class over Rebuy Roope, Big Riskky over Richard Toth, valitsius over bastinho06, TheCleaner11 over kaizersoze28, ender555 over lmmm0rtal, ILIOS72 over YDA4AMO9, Vingtcent over K_0_S_T_Y_A, nathkpk over 2FLY2TILT, Patonius2000 over tracyer, Kempe4ever over Iftarii, No Limit NL over jaxx_is_back, sry2good4u over A.Ryzhenkov, Sykoen over Big_Nemo, DeFrag3 over RiskStar, birs320 over sushini2, RuiNF over THEDUTCH4141, mounteast over antpedro14, zivziv over Michail1111, Betudontbet over fever4ever, phinomenon over 1dönertasche, kay3000 over Ti0373, mahtipeluri over aces_acehigh, GodlikeRoy over LuckyGump, DaMethod over CardsAreLive, Krumpir over saphire1, 777GADO777 over tjooh26, NigDawG over MrP0P, Exclusive over coldgear, B_Lindberg over hbk7, MiPwnYa over lowballeric, Kallllle over KingsandKals, and dendroid over basten05.
Round 5 (32 to 16)
Those losing in this round received $1,604. In fact, it didn't take long for the first player to be handed that sum, as mounteast knocked out zivziv on the very first hand!
Others moving on within the first half-hour included valitsius who beat TheCleaner11, phinomenon who knocked out Betudontbet, and NigDawG who took down the last remaining Team PokerStars Pro, Noah "Exclusive" Boeken.
NigDawG had 9,200 to Boeken's 5,800 when he called Boeken's preflop four-bet, then got Exclusive to commit it all following a T♣9♥5♠ flop. NigDawG had Q♣J♠9♣7♦ versus Boeken's A♦A♥9♦8♠. The turn was the 4♥, but the Q♦ river gave NigDawG two pair and the match, ending Boeken's quest for a second WCOOP bracelet this year (after winning Event #26, $320 mixed hold'em)
By the end of the first hour, Scott "BigRiskky" Clements had eliminated S class, Patonius2000 had beaten Kempe4ever, RuiNF had moved on versus birs320, mahtipeluri bounced kay3000, 777GADO777 outlasted Krumpir, and MiPwnYa took care of B_Lindberg.
That left five matches going, and soon No Limit NL said sayonara to sry2good4u, DeFrag3 sunk Sykoen, ILIOS72 ended ender555's run, and Vingtcent sent nathkpk to the rail.
They were nearing the two-hour mark when DaMethod found a way to defeat GodlikeRoy. Those two were actually almost dead even in chips when they got it all in preflop with both players holding monsters, DaMethod with A♠A♥8♥3♠ and GodlikeRoy A♦Q♦T♣9♣, with DaMethod's ultimately drawing a flush to beat GodlikeRoy's two pair.
Finally, dendroid had cut Kallllle down to just over 1,000 chips when the latter pushed all in before the flop with J♦9♣8♠3♠ only to see dendroid turn over A♣A♦K♣J♠, then flop a Royal Flush when the first three cards came T♣Q♣J♣!
The sweet sixteen was set, and players took about 14 hours to rest before resuming on Sunday.
Round 6 (16 to 8)
Cards went back in the air at 10 a.m. ET for the sixteen returners, who were matched up as follows: BigRiskky vs. valitsius, ILIOS72 vs. Vingtcent, No Limit NL vs. Patonius2000, DeFrag3 vs. RuiNF, mounteast vs. phinomenon, DaMethod vs. mahtipeluri, 777GADO777 vs. NigDawG, and dendroid vs. MiPwnYa.
The first 15-minute level saw three matches quickly concluded, with the losers all collecting $2,406.
NigDawG jumped out to a quick lead over 777GADO777, and was up over 10,000 when he opened for 125 and got a call. The flop came 6♦4♦8♥. 777GADO777 checked, NigDawG bet 150, 777GADO777 made it 500, and NigDawG called. The turn was the J♣. 777GADO777 checked again, and an undeterred NigDawG fired 750. 777GADO777 check-raised once more, this time to 3,500, leaving himself but 50 chips behind. NigDawG reraised back, and 777GADO777 called all in.
A set of fours for NigDawG and a straight for 777GADO777. The river brought the J♦, pairing the board to send 777GADO777 out and put NigDawG into the quarterfinals.
mounteast also made it through in less than 10 minutes. He'd jumped ahead of phinomenon early, then had his opponent down under 3,000 chips when they got it all in on a K♣T♦6♣ flop with mounteast holding A♣K♦K♠9♣ for top set and the nut flush draw versus phinomenon's T♣7♣6♠2♦ for bottom two and a worse flush draw. The turn and river both brought clubs, giving mounteast the better flush and sending phinomenon packing.
Soon after it was Scott "BigRiskky" Clements knocking off valitsius. Clements had quickly reduced his opponent's stack to just 2,155, which valitsius soon risked with K♠K♥Q♣T♠ against BigRiskky's A♦Q♦J♦2♠. The board came 2♦Q♠8♠5♦7♦, giving Clements the winning flush.
Three more matches were over within the first half-hour. DaMethod and mahtipeluri were nearly even at the start of Level 2 (30/60) when they got it all in on the flop in a straight draw-vs.-flush draw situation. Both draws came, and DaMethod ended with the flush and all the chips. Take a look:
ILIOS72 polished off the last of Vingtcent's stack shortly thereafter. The latter was all in after a K♦T♠8♦ flop with A♥A♠4♣2♣ (aces) versus ILIOS72's K♥J♠T♥6♦ (top two). The turn was the 4♦ and river the 6♠, and Vingtcent was out.
Then RuiNF decimated DeFrag3's stack in a hand that saw RuinF all in on a J♦5♦6♠ flop with A♦K♥6♥3♦ against DeFrag's J♣7♦6♣5♥. The Q♦ fell on the turn, giving RuiNF the diamond flush, and after the 2♠ river DeFrag3 was suddenly down below 1,000 chips. It would take another dozen hands, but finally RuiNF claimed those, too, to move on.
The final two sixth-round matches pushed onward. MiPwnYa was well ahead of dendroid, the latter having slipped down under 2,000 chips, while No Limit NL and Patonius2000 were nearly even.
They were nearing the 45-minute mark when dendroid finally got his short stack all in on a 2♠5♠9♥ flop hoping his A♥A♠T♦3♥ was good. It was for the moment, as MiPwnYa had K♦T♠9♦7♣, and was still so after the 8♦ turn. But the river was the K♥, giving MiPwnYa a second pair and the match.
"that was the only all in of the match," MiPwnYa pointed out while chatting to the railbirds afterwards. "its only fair i suck out."
The chatting continued, with MiPwnYa noting he hoped Patonius2000 didn't make it through to the quarters as he believed him to be the toughest player remaining in the field. MiPwnYa wouldn't get his wish, however, as not long after crossing the one-hour mark, Patonius2000 filled the last spot in the quarterfinals.
Patonius2000 and No Limit NL were still fairly close in chips when the latter opened with a min-raise to 240 from the button, Patonius2000 three-bet to 720, and No Limit NL called. The flop came 8♦4♣Q♠. Patonius2000 bet 720, No Limit NL made it 3,600, Patonius2000 reraised all in, and No Limit NL called with the 2,742 he had left.
No Limit NL had K♥K♦Q♥3♣ while Patonius2000 had A♣A♠T♣3♠. The turn and river came 4♠4♥, giving Patonius2000 the better full house and sending No Limit NL out as the last to collect $2,406.
Round 7, Quarterfinals (8 to 4)
We mentioned up top that heads-up PLO was a high-action game. Well, this round certainly proved that thesis, with three of the four matches over and done within the first 10 minutes!
Patonius2000's sixth-round match took the longest, but here his was the first to conlcude. Having quickly jumped out to a better than 2-to-1 lead versus RuiNF, Patonius2000 watched his opponent open with a raise to 125, then reraised to 375 and RuiNF called. The flop came 9♦6♠T♥. Patonius2000 checked, RuiNF bet 396, Patonius2000 raised to 1,650, RuiNF reraised all in for 4,290 total, and Patonius2000 called.
RuiNF had K♠T♣8♥7♣ for a flopped straight while Patonius2000 held K♦J♠T♦7♥. The turn brought the 8♦, giving Patonius2000 a higher straight, and after the 3♣ river Patonius2000 was the first one through to the final four. Meanwhile, RuiNF picked up $6,416 for making it this far.
Just a moment later, Scott "BigRiskky" Clements had a big lead versus ILIOS72 with 11,931 to the latter's 3,069 when ILIOS72 opened for 150 from the button. Clements made it 444 to go, and his opponent called. The flop came 2♦J♣T♥, and BigRiskky led for 465. ILIOS72 raised to 2,283, leaving himself but 342 chips, and when Clements reraised ILIOS72 called to go all in.
ILIOS72 had T♦7♣6♥4♦ and BigRiskky Q♣Q♠J♠T♣. The turn was the 5♥ and river the A♣, meaning Clements' hand was best. BigRiskky was in the semis, while ILIOS72 was on the rail.
Meanwhile, DaMethod took a big pot early on to seize the advantage over mounteast. Down to 4,673, mounteast raised to 150, DaMethod reraised to 450, and mounteast called. The flop came 2♠J♦8♠. DaMethod led for 738, mounteast raised to 2,200, DaMethod reraised back, and mounteast called with his last 2,023.
mounteast: J♥8♦6♥5♣ -- top two pair
DaMethod: A♠K♦5♠2♥ -- nut flush draw
The turn was the Q♦ and mounteast still led, but the 9♠ river brought the flush, sending DaMethod further along and mounteast out of the tourney.
The fourth and final quarterfinal match wouldn't end so hastily, although it looked as though it might. NigDawG built a big lead during the first 15-minute level, and by the middle of Level 2 had MiPwnYa down hovering around just 1,000 chips. But MiPwnYa battled back, and by the end of Level 2 the pair were close to even.
They'd moved into the third level when MiPwnYa had taken the advantage with 8,682 to NigDawG's 6,318. MiPwnYa then called a preflop raise from NigDawG and the two saw a flop come all diamonds -- 8♦2♦A♦. MiPwnYa checked, NigDawG bet 260, MiPwnYa check-raised to 880, and NigDawG called.
The turn brought a fourth diamond, the J♦. This time MiPwnYa bet 1,680, and NigDawG made the call.
The river was a non-significant-looking 5♠. MiPwnYa pushed out a bet of 5,520, more than the 3,558 NigDawG had left, and after a bit of thought the latter called. NigDawG had Q♣T♣7♦5♣ for a queen-high flush, but MiPwnYa had the nuts with K♦T♥9♦6♠ and had earned the last spot in the semis.
Round 8, Semifinals (4 to 2)
So far on Sunday Scott "BigRiskky" Clements -- owner of two WSOP bracelets in Omaha (one PLO, one O/8) -- had played two matches, each ending in less than 10 minutes. That trend continued in the semis, where BigRiskky again finished off his opponent, Patonius2000, in short order.
This time BigRiskky took care of things even more quickly. In fact, it took just a single hand!
Things started with an opening min-raise to 100 by BigRiskky, then a three-bet to 300 by Patonius2000 which Clements called. The flop came 2♦T♦K♠. Patonius2000 bet 400, and BigRiskky called. The turn was the 5♠. Patonius2000 checked this time, and Clements bet about three-fourths of the pot -- 1,170. Patonius2000 pushed back to the tune of 4,910, Clements reraised all in, and Patonius2000 called.
Patonius2000 had A♠K♥J♠8♣ for the spade flush draw and a pair of kings, while Clements held top set with K♦K♣T♥5♦. The river was the A♥, and just like that Patonius2000 was out, having earned $14,035 for making the semis.
The other semifinal match between DaMethod and MiPwnYa would take a little longer, with MiPwnYa taking an early lead and then pushing out close to 12,000 to DaMethod's 3,236 by the middle of the second 15-minute level. Then came a hand in which DaMethod opened for 144, MiPwnYa made it 432, and DaMethod called.
The flop came 4♣9♠J♥. MiPwnYa bet 600, DaMethod raised to 2,664, MiPwnYa reraised back and DaMethod committed the last 140 chips he had behind. DaMethod had 9♦6♥4♥3♣ for two pair while MiPwnYa had A♥J♣T♥7♦ for top pair of jacks. The turn was the A♣, giving MiPwnYa the better two pair, and after the 2♥ river MiPwnYa had claimed the other spot in the finals.
Round 9, Finals (2 to 1)
Just one match remained, Scott "BigRiskky" Clements versus MiPwnYa.
The first hand was accompanied by a brief bit of table chat between the finalists:
BigRiskky: Chop or play?
MiPwnYa: u2 sir
MiPwnYa was focused and ready. He'd already claimed one WCOOP bracelet this year in Event #25 ($215 PLO), and was locked in on scoring number two.
BigRiskky took an early lead in the match, but MiPwnYa quickly grabbed it back, and over the first 10 minutes rapidly pushed out to a commanding 4-to-1 chip lead over Clements.
They were still in Level 1 (blinds 25/50), starting their 45th hand, with MiPwnYa up to 13,333 to BigRiskky's 1,667. MiPwnYa raised to 124, BigRiskky made it 372, and MiPwnYa called. The flop came 9♣8♠K♣, and Clements bet 744, leaving himself but 551 behind. MiPwnYa raised, BigRiskky called, and their cards were revealed:
Two pair for MiPwnYa and straight and flush draws for Clements. The turn was the Q♠ and the river the 8♥, giving MiPwnYa a full house and the bracelet!
Congratulations to MiPwnYa, Event #58 champion -- his second WCOOP bracelet this year!
WCOOP Event #58 ($530 PLO Heads-Up) Results:
1st place: MiPwnYa ($50,125)
2nd: BigRiskky ($26,065)
3rd (tie): DaMethod ($14,035)
3rd (tie): Patonius2000 ($14,035)
5th (tie): NigDawG ($6,416)
5th (tie): mounteast ($6,416)
5th (tie): ILIOS72 ($6,416)
5th (tie): RuiNF ($6,416)
We're just about an hour away from the start of the big one, the 2011 WCOOP Main Event, the $5,200 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney that the entire poker world will be watching over the next couple of days. Head over to Radio WCOOP to see what they're saying about it.