Despite the odd time zone differential, Team Online Naoya 'nkeyno' Kihara from Japan tries to play in as many WCOOP events as he possible can. He made a few deep runs in various COOP events, but has never won an elusive WCOOP bracelet. The grinder from Japan came close in Event #31 with an appearance at the final table, but nkeyno came up short and busted out in fourth place. The final table also included the Scandi legend Anders "Donald" Berg, who finished in fifth place.
WCOOP Event #31 wasn't your run-of-the-mill PLO hi/lo, but rather it featured a short-handed twist and an added fifth hole card to spice things up. Oh, and it that was not enough, Event #31 was a re-buy event as well. Yes, much to the scintillating delight of Omaholics and action junkies from the farthest corners of the globe, WCOOP Event #31 was specifically designed as short-handed 5-Card PLO hi/lo.
WCOOP Event #31 $215 5-Card PLO Hi/Lo [6-Max 2R/1A] attracted 436 runners. They contributed 397 re-buys with 218 add-ons as the total prize pool swelled to $210,200. The top 60 places paid out with $40,673.70 set aside to the eventual champion.
Team PokerStars Pros in the hunt for a WCOOP bracelet included George Danzer, Martin Hruby, Alex Kravchenko, Marcin Horecki, and Marcel Luske. PokerStars Team Online grinding their way to a potential WCOOP crown included keyno, talonchick, and GodlikRoy.
Several notables who cashed including a tri of Team PokerStars Pros: Martin Hruby (40th), George Danzer (43rd), and Alex Kravchenko (58th place). Team Online Naoya 'nkeyno' Kihara went the deepest with a final table appearance . Unfortunately, fourth place was as high as he'd get.
George Danzer was seeking a Triple COOP, but he fell short of winning his first-ever WCOOP event. Danzer bowed out with A♠K♠Q♦5♠4♥ against maxxscam's A♥7♦6♣2♣3♦. The board finished up A♦J♣6♠7♣5♣. Danzer had two pair -- Aces and Fives -- and a 7-6-5-4-A low, however, neither could beat maxxscam's Jack-high flush and 6-5-3-2-A low. maxxscam scooped and Danzer pursuit of a WCOOP title came to a halt. For a 43rd place finish, Danzer earned $1,051.00.
Team Pro Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby hit the road in 40th place. On that final hand... jointy333 opened to 6,654, Hruby moved all-in for his last 9,165, and jointy333 called. Hruby made a final stand with A♣K♦Q♥T♠9♥ against jointy333's A♦K♠T♦8♠3♥. The board ran out 6♣4♦2♦8♦7♣. Hruby rivered a ten-high straight, but jointy333 scooped with an Ace-high flush and a 6-4-3-2-A low. For 40th place, Hruby collected $11.56.10.
With 20 to go, Team Online Naoya 'nkeyno' Kihara seized the lead with over 700K. Online legends Donald and Stevie444 were right behind. Eventually, nkeyno surged over 1 million after picking off AceQuad in 18th place. Holding A♠J♣4♥2♥2♣, nkeyno flopped the Wheel and rivered a boat when the board ran out 5♦3♣2♠J♥J♦. With 17 remaining, nkeyno had almost twice as many chips as mddgfc in second place.
With two tables to go, nkeyno held onto first with 1.1 million while lozzz was in second with approximately 750K. Although Stevie444 busted in 13th place, Donald was still lurking in the Top 5 in chips.
With seven to go, action went hand-for-hand. Short-stacked pimenta7 open-shoved for 94,268 and V_RouNder called. V_RouNder took A♠J♦J♣5♦3♠ into battle against pimenta7's A♦Q♦8♣3♣2♠. The board ran out K♥T♥2♣T♠8♥. Without a qualifying low, V_RouNder won the pot with a better two pair (Jacks and Tens versus Tens and Eights). With six to go, the final table was set and nkeyno held the chip lead.
WCOOP Event #31 Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: mddgfc (460,682)
Seat 2: maxxscam (1,259,648)
Seat 3: Donald (234,335)
Seat 4: lozzz (736,484)
Seat 5: V_RouNder (946,483)
Seat 6: nkeyno (1,617,368)
The final table commenced during Level 28 with blinds at 6K/12K. Team Online nkeyno held the lead with 1.6 million, while Donald clung to the small stack with 234K. Donald was no stranger to big-time final tables. The Norwegeian superhero won three WCOOP titles and two SCOOP titles.
For over an hour, no one busted. Although nkeyno retained a stack worth around 1.5 million, V_RouNder chipped up to over 2 million and became the new leader.
lozzz eliminated in 6th place
It took over four levels of play before someone hit the road. lozzz opened to 105,000, nkeyno called, Donald shoved all-in for 268,290, lozzz called all-in for 103,530, and nkeyno called. Three players and two were all-in.
The board ran out K♥J♠6♣9♣A♥ and without a qualifying low, Donald won the main pot and side pot with two pair -- Aces and Kings. Donald knocked out lozzz and doubled through nkeyno to avoid an elimination. Alas, lozzz became the first player to bust at the final table. For sixth place, lozzz earned $7,146.80.
With five to go, V_RouNder led with 1.86 million and nkeyno was second with 1.38 million. The shorty was maxxscam 506K.
Donald eliminated in 5th place
Typical scenario. The big stack took out the small stack. Except int his instance, V_RouNder picked off a legend. Donald opened to 105,000, V_RouNder bumped it to 345,000, and Donald called. The flop was A♦J♦3♥. V_RouNder bet 720,000, and Donald called all-in for 85,110.
The turn was the 7♣ and the river was the Q♣. Donald only had a pair of Aces and a 7-6-5-3-A low. However, V_RouNder scooped with two pair -- Aces and Queens -- and a low of 7-5-3-2-A. V_RouNder thwarted a potential fourth WCOOP bracelet for Donald. For a fifth-place performance, Anders "Donald" Berg took home $11,140.60.
With four players remaining, V_RouNder chipped up to 2.5 million. In second place sat maxxxscam with 1.07 million. Team Online nkeyno slipped to third with 873K, while mddgfcsat was in last with 785K.
Team Online Naoya 'nkeyno' Kihara eliminated in 4th place
It was an epic run for nkeyno, but it came to an end. With 20 to go, nkeyno took command of the lead, which he held heading into the final table. However, he coughed up the lead during a rigorous first hour of play for the final six. With four to go, nkeyno was one of the short stacks. He tried to make a final stand, but came up short. maxxscam min-raised to 60,000, nkeyno re-raised to 210,000, nkeyno five-bet shoved for 663,342, and maxxscam called.
The board ran out T♣T♠9♣T♥4♠. Without a qualifying low, maxxscam dragged the pot with a full boat -- Tens full of Aces. That's all she wrote for nkeyno. Team Online Naoya 'nkeyno' Kihara busted out in fourth place, which paid out $15,554.80.
With three remaining, V_RouNder led with 2.4 million, while maxxscam was second with 1.8 million, and mddgfc last with 905K.
mddgfc eliminated in 3rd place
Three-handed lasted only six hands. V_RouNder min-raised to 80,000, mddgfc re-raised to 280,000, V_RouNder four-bet to 880,000, mddgfc five-bet shoved for 935,103, and V_RouNder called.
The board ran out K♠8♣7♠2♠9♣. mddgfc could only muster up two pair -- Kings and nines -- and no qualifying low. V_RouNder scooped with an Ace-high flush and a 8-7-6-2-A low. For third place, mddgfc collected $22,596.50.
HEADS-UP: maxxscam (Canada) vs. V_RouNder (Australia)
Seat 2: maxxscam (1,819,478)
Seat 5: V_RouNder (3,435,522)
With two remaining, V_RouNder held almost double in chips.
maxxscam eliminated in 2nd place; V_RouNder wins Event #31!
Heads-up lasted only 13 minutes. maxxscam could never get anything going early on and it was only a matter of time before V_RouNder delivered the knockout blow. V_RouNder min-raised to 80,000, maxxscam re-raised to 240,000, V_RouNder four-bet to 720,000, maxxscam called all-in for 453,455.
The board ran pout K♥J♣7♠3♦A♥. maxxscam held two pair -- Aces and treys -- and a low hand of 7-6-3-2-A. V_RouNder scooped the pot with a better two pair -- Aces and sevens -- and a better low of 7-5-4-3-A. Canada's maxxscam busted out in second place.
For a runner-up performance, maxxscam collected $30,163.70.
Congrats to V_RouNder. The Australian won a WCOOP bracelet and a first-place prize worth $40,673.70.
You can view the final hand in the replayer:
WCOOP Event #31 $215 5-Card PLO Hi/Lo - Final Table Results:
Prize Pool: $210,200
1. V_RouNder (Australia) - $40,673.70
2. maxxscam (Canada) - $30,163.70
3. mddgfc (United Kingdom) - $22,596.50
4. Team Online Naoya 'nkeyno' Kihara (Japan) - $15,554.80
5. Anders "Donald" Berg (Norway) - $11,140.60
6. lozzz (United Kingdom) - $7,146.80
Pauly McGuire is an author and freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.