In the end it all looked a little easy for viticov, winner of Event #9 of the 2013 PokerStars Turbo Championship of Online Poker, who waltzed to victory and a first prize of $30,516.70 (plus bounties) in the $82 pot-limit Omaha tournament, cutting a deal with Essu123 heads-up.

Viticov, from Aruba, survived a typically volatile passage of Turbo play, which reduced the field to just two in a little more than half an hour. Heads-up he’d held a significant advantage over Essu123 – 9.5 million to 4.1 million – prompting Essu123 to ask for terms but only after what seemed like repeated attempts by Essu123 to get viticov to comply.

Essu123: Wanna deal?
Viticov: tell me

No one could really tell what “tell me” really meant, and the admin text filling the chat box flashed up like tumbleweed.

Essu123: what u think

Essue123 was trying again. With the chips weighed against him he perhaps thought a quick deal was his best option, and worth using up his time bank.

Viticov: wht ever

If Essu123 was thinking “here we go again” he didn’t type it. But who knew exactly what this meant? Was this a good “whatever” or a bad one? The blinds at this stage were 150k/300k and Essu123 needed answers before the bit any harder.

After three minutes of watching the chat box for any sign of life from viticov, it came, pausing play. They would chop the prize money and play for $4,000 and the title. TCOOP, like any COOP, makes champions of the unexpected, with both players about to bank the biggest wins of their careers.

TCOOP - 9 pic.jpg

The final table begins

Neither had been among the leaders coming into the final table.

Seat 1. Knowpleasure, 1,011,972
Seat 2. AAceKKingAA, 2,488470
Seat 3. Superfolde, 1,216,804
Seat 4. Essu123, 1,197,262
Seat 5. Raistj, 3,056,824
Seat 6. 1donertasche, 1,706,793
Seat 7. Viticov, 1,406,144
Seat 8. Dominospizza, 599,249
Seat 9. The_truth_pt, 226, 482

That had been Raistj on a little more than 3million. Viticov meanwhile had been looking to survive after an early hand against dominospizza who certainly knew how to deliver; a rare royal flush doubling him up.

Instead, first to go was knowpleasure who departed in ninth against Essu123’s pair of queens, followed four minutes later by the_truth_pt in eighth, whose two pairs – eights and threes – were ineffective against AAceKKingAA’s eights and threes – an ace kicker making all the difference.

It also elevated AAceKKingAA to the chip lead with 4 million. The others fought over whatever they could get their hands on. Viticov doubled through dominospizza whose last 44,000 went in on the next hand and produced a pair of threes. These were useless against aces full over threes of superfolde.

Within two minutes the shape of the final table would change. Essu123 moved all-in against the chip leader and doubled-up with aces and jacks against AAceKKingAA’s kings and jacks. Then viticov did the same, shoving with 2.2 million and doubling up through raistj, a hand that seized the lead.

Seconds later raistj would double, showing aces and tens when superfolde called, making only a pair of queens. That left superfolde in trouble, and out in sixth place moments later when viticov, now in the ascendant, overcame tens and sixes with queens and sixes. Then, in the time it took to type that 1dönertasche also busted, the quiet player at the table, out in fifth to Essu123’s eights and sevens.

By now viticov was clicking behind 6 million, even more when he sent raistj to the rail in fourth with trip aces. It was now starting to look easy, the Aruban stretching his lead to more than 3 million over second placed AAceKKingAA with 4.4 million, and short stack Essu123 with what seemed a paltry 1.6 million.

The latter two were all-in shortly after, Essu123 doubling with a king-high flush to move into second place. But everything else went viticov’s way, taking a series of pots uncontested to push the 10 million mark.

It left the others to scrap for second…

It was about now that Essu123 asked for the deal which was eventually agreed but not without difficulty. It seemed settled when Essu123 explained to his opponent that he would have to “scroll up” to see the numbers of the deal, which Essu123 had agreed to, in the chat box.

The outcome freed up both players. Essu123 tried otherwise but continued to lose out to viticov, whose chat had all the characteristics of a serious chap intent on nothing but victory. He pushed on, delivering an almost fatal blow with aces and eights, and then the killer punch to put this one to bed.

This being a knockout tournament there was more than just prize money at stake, with $15 and a quarter to each player who eliminated another. Both Essu123 and viticov would take three each at the final, ten and 14 for the entire tournament. Raistj in fourth place would take the most of anyone, with 18.

All that came from a starting field of 2,742 players who competed for the $200,000 guaranteed prize pool. Some 360 of them came out of it with a cash finish, including Team Online’s Dale “Daleroxxu” Philip, who departed in 26th place with $620 and three knock-outs.


Dale Philip

Mickey “Mement_mori” Petersen (2 KOs) and Roy “GodlikeRoy” Bhasin (2 KOs), also of Team Online, failed to reach the money, as did Team PokerStars Pros Christophe and Matthias de Meulder, Lex Veldhuis and Martin Hruby.

PokerStars 2013 TCOOP Event #9 ($82 PL Omaha knockout) results

Players: 2,742
Prize pool: $200,000
Total bounty pool: $41,815.50
Places paid: 360

1. Viticov (Aruba) $30,516.70* and 14 KOs
2. Essu123 (Finland) $24,817.30* and 10 KOs
3. AAceKKingAA (Canada) $17,000 and 5 KOs
4. Raistj (Israel) $11,700 and 18 KOs
5. 1dönertasche (Germany) $8,900 5 KOs
6. superfolde (Norway) $6,900 and 10 KOs
7. dominospizza (United Kingdom) $4,900 and 5 KOs
8. the_truth_pt (Portugal) $2,900 and 8 KOs
9. knowpleasure (Netherlands) $1,700 and 8 KOs

It’s only the third day of TCOOP with plenty of events still to come. Head over to the TCOOP page for a full schedule of events and information on how you can enter satellites for the remaining events.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter


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