"Limit poker is a science, but no-limit is an art."
So once said poker hall of famer Crandall Addington, as quoted in The Biggest Game in Town by Al Alvarez. "In limit, you are shooting at a target," added the Texan. "In no-limit, the target comes alive and shoots back at you."
Event #27 of the 2012 World Championship of Online Poker challenged players to demonstrate their skills in both varieties of poker, with the $320 buy-in mixed hold'em event featuring 10-minute levels in which players alternated back and forth between fixed-limit and no-limit hold'em. Using art, science, or some combination of the two, players gathered Tuesday afternoon to target one another, all the while setting their sights on the next WCOOP bracelet.
Another Event, Another Guarantee Met
Only about 200 players had registered when the first hands were dealt, making it appear as though an overlay might be possible given the tournament's $150K guarantee. But over the next hour another 160 had joined, and by the two-hour mark they'd already cruised beyond the 500-entrant mark which meant the guarantee had been met.
By the time the three-hour late registration had ended the total had reached 732 entrants, thereby building a prize pool of $219,600. The top 99 finishers would be dividing up those riches, with $40,296.60 due the winner.
After six hours of play just 143 players were left. 888cowboy888 led at that point, with Ozenc "ozenc" Demir and Bianconero12 close behind and Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer right there in sixth.
Over the next hour the field would shrink to exactly 100 players -- i.e., the stone-cold cash bubble. Along the way four other Team PokerStars Pros had gone out and thus just missed the cash -- Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero (121st), Maxim Lykov (120th), Alex Kravchenko (114th), and Chad "ChadBrownPRO" Brown (101st).
Lex Acting Responsibly
Another Team PokerStars Pro, Lex Veldhuis, was barely hanging on with less than 4,000 chips. That put the Dutchman in 99th place, with only Ami "UhhMee" Barer with fewer chips in 100th.
They were nearing the end of an LHE round in which the blinds were 1K/2K and stakes 2K/4K. Eyeing Barer's smaller stack on another table, Veldhuis would fold both the big blind and small blind to leave himself with but 238 chips. He took to the chat box to comment on his decision to go against type, nit up, and try to fold his way to the money.
L. Veldhuis: lol
L. Veldhuis: most responsible thing ive ever done
Unfortunately for him, UhhMee managed a small triple-up after being forced all in himself from the blinds, and suddenly it appeared Veldhuis might miss the money.
The NLHE then round began, meaning Veldhuis now owed a 125-chip ante each hand. He paid it one hand, then folded, leaving himself but 113 chips. That's when the seven-hour break arrived, during which Veldhuis jokingly chatted with the rail about his situation.
L. Veldhuis: LOL
L. Veldhuis: NICE BREAK
L. Veldhuis: funny thing is the hand I was on the bb
L. Veldhuis: I would have won
L. Veldhuis: and quadrupled
L. Veldhuis: but at least i did the right thing for once
L. Veldhuis: =]
All in on the first hand back, Veldhuis luckily drew A♣6♥ versus THFC29's K♠3♣ and his hand held to put him back to 904 chips. Soon after Greenestone25 was knocked out on another table to finish 100th, which meant Veldhuis had snuck into the money before being eliminated shortly thereafter.
Finding a Final Table
Over the next hour 99 became less than 50. That's about when Team Online member Shane "shaniac" Schleger found himself in a huge preflop all-in situation in which Schleger's 8♥8♠ held up versus heidi-bean's A♠K♠. Soon after just 40 players remained, with Schleger the leader with nearly a quarter million chips and George Danzer in second with a little under 200,000.
Meanwhile Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso continued to battle with her below average stack until she was finally ousted in 35th place ($944.28) by Rui "RuiNF" Ferreira when her K♦T♣ failed to improve versus Ferreira's K♥J♠. Then a little while later Team Online member Kristian "CharismA3" Martin hit the rail in 32nd ($944.28) when his Q♦6♦ couldn't catch up to agriffrod's A♣J♠.
During that stretch both Danzer and Schleger fell back to the pack and to average stacks. Some time later Danzer found himself all in with K♠Q♣ against Rui "RuiNF" Ferreira's T♣T♠. The flop was good for Danzer, coming 4♦Q♥9♦, but the J♣ turn and 8♠ river added up to a straight for Ferreira, knocking Danzer out in 21st ($1,098).
Just a few hands after that Schleger, too, was all in with his tourney life on the line. Schleger had T♠T♣, but had run into the A♠A♦ of lennart, and when the community cards brought shaniac no help he was out in 19th ($1,098).
With that one lennart had pushed up over half a million chips and into the lead with 18 left. lennart would continue to increase his lead as the next nine fell, his stack ballooning up over 1.2 million while nagyy88 (18th), McSebbe (17th), and agriffrod (16th) each earned $1,537.20 paydays; TheChair70 (15th), Russell "rdcrsn" Carson (14th), and Nicholas "Rounder63" Carrillo (13th) cashed for $1,976.40 apiece; and leclach (12th), T.J. "1BigAceHole" Ulmer (11th), and Joshua "theNorfman" Norris (10th) all picked up $2,415.60 for their Event #27 efforts.
After ten-and-a-half hours of LHE and NLHE, the final nine was set.
Seat 1: strummer9 (United Kingdom) -- 500,223
Seat 2: Mustangoo7 (Portugal) -- 94,569
Seat 3: RuiNF (Portugal) -- 134,205
Seat 4: DO$UN*9* (Canada) -- 380,737
Seat 5: putuonfbt (Canada) -- 507,855
Seat 6: edoiler (Canada) -- 328,156
Seat 7: lennart (Sweden) -- 1,241,558
Seat 8: dyng247 (Sweden) -- 179,258
Seat 9: ESTRATEGA 18 (Uruguay) -- 293,439
Chasing Leader lennart
The remaining players would battle for nearly an hour before the first elimination of the final table.
The game was no-limit hold'em (blinds 7,500/15,000), when edoiler raised to 30,000 from middle position, then lennart -- still leading by a wide margin -- reraised to 90,000 from a seat over. It folded back to edoiler who pushed all in for 180,056 total and lennart called.
edoiler sohwed A♥A♣ and appeared in decent shape versus lennart's K♥Q♥. edoiler's situation looked even better after the 8♠J♦3♠ flop. But the turn was the K♠ and river the Q♠, giving lennart two pair and sending edoiler to the rail in ninth.
Just two hands later came another preflop all-in confrontation, again involving pocket rockets. This time it was ESTRATEGA 18 open-pushing all in from middle position for 92,220, then Mustangoo7 reraise-shoving from the cutoff to force folds all around. Mustangoo7 had A♣A♥ this time, while ESTRATEGA 18 had K♥K♠. The flop brought both players sets, coming 8♣A♠K♣, and after the 2♥ turn and 3♦ river, ESTRATEGA 18 was out in eighth.
Another dozen hands passed, and it was still the no-limit round when Rui "RuiNF" Ferreira open-shoved for 140,520 from the cutoff, putuonfbt reraise-pushed from the small blind, and lennart folded the big blind. Ferreira had A♦5♥ and needed to improve against putuonfbt's A♥Q♦, but the board came K♣K♠4♠7♠2♣ and RuiNF's run had come to ruin in seventh.
putuonfbt Pushes in Front
A little later they'd cycled through LHE and were back to NLHE where the blinds had climbed to 10,000/20,000. That's when Mustangoo7 open-raised all in from the small blind and DO$UN*9* called all in for 120,487. Mustangoo7 showed K♠4♦ while DO$UN*9* had Q♠Q♦. DO$UN*9* was hoping not to see a king, but the board bringing two fours was just as bad, coming 4♥3♠2♠J♦4♠ to give Mustangoo7 trips and send DO$UN*9* railward in sixth.
By then putuonfbt had grabbed the advantage, having built a stack of more than 1.38 million while lennart, strummer9, and Mustangoo7 all sat with around half that amount and dyng247 brought up the rear with just over 200,000.
It wasn't much later when dyng247 opened a limit hold'em hand by raising to 100,000 from the cutoff, then leader putuonfbt three-bet from the big blind. dyng247 responded by capping it, putuonfbt called, and the flop came 9♣2♥5♦. putuonfbt bet and dyng247 called with the 18,041 left, showing A♦K♠ to putuonfbt's 4♦4♣. The turn was the T♣ and river the J♦, and dyng247 was knocked out in fifth.
Just a short orbit later came the next knockout, once again handled by putuonfbt. The game was still LHE, and this time it was Mustangoo7 raising from the small blind (to 100,000), putuonfbt three-betting from the big blind, and Mustangoo7 calling. The flop came 2♥T♠T♦, Mustangoo7 bet, putuonfbt raised, and putuonfbt called all in for 38,823. Mustangoo7 showed K♥3♥ and putuonfbt A♦9♥, and when the turn brought the 9♣ to pair putuonfbt that made the river 3♠ no matter, sending Mustangoo7 away in fourth.
...And Then There Were Three...
The pace had quickened considerably, and soon came another all-in confrontation in the same limit round.
After putuonfbt raised from the small blind (again to 100,000), lennart called from the big blind, leaving a little less than two big bets behind. The flop came 8♣7♦A♣, putuonfbt bet (50,000), and lennart called. The turn was the 3♣ and when putuonfbt bet again (100,000 this time), lennart raised all in for 131,584 total and putuonfbt called.
Neither had connected with the board, and the 3♥ on the river also failed to hit either player's hand, meaning putuonfbt's hand was best and lennart was out in third.
Heads-up play began with putuonfbt in front with 2,276,346 to strummer9's 1,383,654. The pair would play five more hands of LHE, then switch to NLHE where it would only take three more hands to decide it.
In the final hand, the blinds were 12,500/25,000 when strummer9 opened for 75,000 from the button, thus soliciting an all-in reraise from putuonfbt which strummer9 called for 592,308 more. putuonfbt showed K♣8♣ and strummer9 K♦6♦, and when the board rolled out 8♥2♥T♠5♥8♠ putuonfbt had trips and the title.
Congratulations to putuonfbt for combining scientific savvy and artistic acumen in this mixed hold'em event to overcome a tough field and earn the Event #27 bracelet and $40K-plus first prize!
WCOOP Event #27 ($320 Mixed Hold'em) Results:
1st: putuonfbt (Canada) -- $40,296.60
2nd: strummer9 (United Kingdom) -- $28,767.60
3rd: lennart (Sweden) -- $21,740.40
4th: Mustangoo7 (Portugal) -- $16,360.20
5th: dyng247 (Sweden) -- $11,419.20
6th: DO$UN*9* (Canada) -- $9,223.20
7th: RuiNF (Portugal) -- $7,027.20
8th: ESTRATEGA 18 (Uruguay) -- $4,831.20
9th: edoiler (Canada) -- $2,854.80
Places paid: 99
We're not even halfway done with this year's WCOOP. Check the WCOOP site for details on the remaining events, and don't forget to tune in to WCOOP Radio every day for more WCOOP-related stories and info.
Martin Harris is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.