It’s quite something to watch the final table of a turbo-fueled tournament with five-minute levels at which more than $1.4 million of prize money is still up for grabs and no final deal is being made. Such was the case for most of the 2016 Turbo Championship of Online Poker Main Event final table, a $700 buy-in tournament that saw no chop considered until they reached heads-up.
That’s when Switzerland’s Dinesh “NastyMinder” Alt and KungKroon of Sweden finally did strike a deal, and shortly thereafter Alt would be the one to claim the last hand and the title. Alt — who has chopped a Sunday Million and won the ANZPT Sydney Main Event in 2013 — took away a huge prize of $396,691.43 for the win.
Alt’s first prize just barely exceeds — by less than two hundred bucks — what 2015 TCOOP Main Event champion Nikki_Hefner took away last year, thus setting a new record for biggest TCOOP Main Event cash in the four-year history of the series. Here’s the story of how Alt managed to outlast this year’s huge field to turn $700 into nearly $400K in just over five-and-a-half hours.
There were already more than 2,000 players in their seats by the time the first hands were dealt Sunday afternoon, and after two hours of late registration more than twice that many had joined the fun for a total of 4,077 entries. That meant a $2,711,205 prize pool (easily besting the $2M guarantee for the tournament) with the top 540 places paid.
At that point the field had already been cut in half, and after another dozen five-minute levels whizzed past the money bubble burst as Akash “funwheel” Majumdar of Thailand grabbed the chip lead as the first player to 1 million chips.
Majumdar continued to lead as the field was carved down further, then others rushed ahead as many other big stacks quickly got bigger. Meanwhile among those hitting the rail during that stretch was Team PokerStars Pro Online’s Jorge “Baalim” Limon (346th, $1,355.60), with Team PokerStars Pros George Danzer (205th, $2,033.40) and Aditya “Adi Agarwal” Agarwal (163rd, $2,440.08) also taking away small parts of the prize pool.
With 100 left rookie1609x of Canada had taken over first position in the counts, but by the four-hour mark both rookie1609x (88th, $4,066.80) and Akash “funwheel” Majumdar (73rd, $4,337.92) had been sent to the rail.
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As the tournament’s fifth hour proceeded and they wound down to the last few tables, the U.K.’s RSRMCA began to pull away from the field, and with 30 left had moved up close to 10 million when no one else has as much as half that. A little while later they were down to 18, with IMFICKLE having briefly grabbed the top spot before marcasa edged into the chip lead with two tables left.
Event #24 ($82 PLO H/L, 6-Max) winner Raabinator93 (18th), liran2788 (17th), and funchstar7 (16th) were the next three knockouts, with each player earning $8,133.61.
eijseijs (15th), manyadecano (14th), and Oscar “MendaLerenda” Serradell (13th) were then eliminated, earning $12,200.42 apiece. For Serradell, the finish capped off an especially successful TCOOP that included a win in Event #36 ($82 NL Draw, Optional Re-Entry) and a runner-up finish in Event #19 ($215 NLHE).
malekfatte (12th), garompon (11th), and rasta25 (10th) then became the last three players eliminated before the final table, with those three each taking away $16,267.23 apiece. With KungKroon having moved up into the lead, the final table was underway.
Seat 1: anthonyff (United Kingdom) — 9,047,944
Seat 2: Petr “Hurloon” Jaros (Czech Republic) — 8,631,717
Seat 3: Dinesh “NastyMinder” Alt (Switzerland) — 7,646,928
Seat 4: RSRMCA (United Kingdom) — 8,072,527
Seat 5: IMFICKLE (Finland) — 4,400,715
Seat 6: KungKroon (Sweden) — 16,592,440
Seat 7: gringenkov (Brazil) — 6,147,653
Seat 8: marcasa (Netherlands) — 10,470,302
Seat 9: Makuherra (Finland) — 10,529,774
Hurloon hits rail in ninth
With the blinds a whopping 500K/1M with a 125K ante, the idea of a chop was brought up immediately in the chat box as the final table began. But as noted above, not everyone was interested, and so the all-ins continued soon thereafter.
It was less than orbit before gringenkov open-shoved from early position and Petr “Hurloon” Jaros called all in from the cutoff for 1,934,064 (less than two big blinds). gringenkov had A♣K♦ and Jaros 8♥7♥, and after the board came 10♣6♣J♥3♦3♣, Jaros was out ninth.
RSRMCA run out in eighth
The blinds moved up to 600K/1.2M with a 150K ante, then RSRMCA shoved for 5,122,527 from the button and got called by KungKroon in the big blind.
RSRMCA was hoping 4♠4♥ would hold against KungKroon’s A♠K♣, and the 5♥A♣4♣ flop was promising for RSRMCA, making a set of fours versus KungKroon’s top pair of aces. But the turn was the J♣ and the river the 7♣, completing a club flush for KungKroon and knocking RSRMCA out in eighth.
IMFICKLE finished in seventh
Just three hands after that, the blinds were already 700K/1.4M (with a 175K ante) when IMFICKLE shoved for 6,425,715 from middle position and Makuherra called from the big blind.
IMFICKLE turned over A♣4♠ and needed to improve versus Makuherra’s 9♥9♠. But the K♠9♦6♣ flop gave Makuherra a set, the K♦ turn a full house, and the pair-making 4♥ river meant nothing for IMFICKLE who was out in seventh.
anthonyff sunk in sixth
The final six marched onward, with deal talk continuing to be suggested by some. But gringenkov — a former Sunday Million winner who had chipped up over 27 million and into the chip lead — typed “sry i dont deal” and so they continued to play it out.
Just like that the blinds were 800K/1.6M (with a 200K ante), and it was marcasa open-shoving from UTG for 2,393,496, anthonyff reraise-pushing for 5,497,944 from the cutoff, and gringenkov caling both from the big blind.
The community cards came 2♥8♣8♥, then 9♣, then K♥, missing anthonyff, giving gringenkov nines and eights, and making a heart flush for marcasa. gringenkov collected the side pot while marcasa survived, and anthonyff departed in sixth.
Makuherra makes it to fifth
The torrid pace continued with Makuherra soon open-pushing all in from the small blind for 8,980,489 (about 4.5 BBs) and Dinesh “NastyMinder” Alt calling from the big blind.
Makuherra had A♦5♦ while Alt turned over J♦J♠, and five cards later — 4♥10♠9♥Q♥7♣ — Makuherra’s run ended in fifth.
marcasa moves on after finishing fourth
With four left, Alt brought up the deal topic again.
NastyMinder: still no deal guys?
marcasa: I checked
gringenkov: no, sry
NastyMinder: gl 🙂
It would only take three more hands for the field to be reduced by one more.
With the blinds an even 1M/2M (with a 250K ante), the table folded to marcasa who pushed in 6,930,488 over the small blind and Dinesh “NastyMinder” Alt called from the big blind. Alt had but 8♦3♦ but was ahead of marcasa’s 7♣3♣, and after a Q♥2♥6♠3♠10♦ runout both had a small pair but the kickers played, and marcasa had been eliminated in fourth.
That matched marcasa’s fourth-place finish in Event #34, another $700 buy-in NLHE event.
gringenkov grounded in third
Before long Alt was the one pushing out ahead with more than 45 million while both KungKroon and gringenkov hovered around 17-18 million. That’s when gringenkov open-shoved a stack of 16,949,570 (not quite seven big blinds) from the button and got called by KungKroon from the big blind who had that barely covered.
gringenkov had A♣Q♦ and the edge over Kungroon’s A♦9♠. But the flop came 9♣J♠2♥ to pair KungKroon’s nine. The turn was the 2♦ and river the 7♦, and gringenkov was out in third for a cash of more than $223K.
A deal, then a short duel as NastyMinder KOs KungKroon
Dinesh “NastyMinder” Alt had a slight lead over KungKroon to start heads-up play, and after one hand they managed to pause the tournament at last for some deal talk with Alt sitting on 47,029,833 versus KungKroon’s 34,510,167.
Numbers were produced — $356,691.43 for Alt, $346,181.46 for KungKroon, and $40,000 set aside for which to play. The discussion that followed was a short one:
KungKroon: no use trying to get more, nasty 😉
KungKroon: this or we play for the lot
NastyMinder: I agree
KungKroon: I agree
Once play resumed, the heads-up match was short as well, lasting just eight hands total.
The last hand began with Alt up to just over 50 million and watching KungKroon shoving all in for 31,072,667 from the button. Alt called, and the players’ hands were turned over:
The board came K♦2♦4♣8♦6♥, hitting neither player’s hand. KungKroon had come one spot shy of the win, while Alt had collected all of the chips to earn the extra $40K, the special TCOOP card capper, and a coveted Main Event title.
TCOOP-49 ($700 NL Hold’em Main Event) results
Total prize pool: $2,711,205
Places paid: 540
1. Dinesh “NastyMinder” Alt (Switzerland) $396,691.43*
2. KungKroon (Norway) $346,181.46*
3. gringenkov (Brazil) $223,674.41
4. marcasa (Netherlands) $155,894.28
5. Makuherra (Finland) $115,226.21
6. anthonyff (United Kingdom) $88,114.16
7. IMFICKLE (Finland) $61,002.11
8. RSRMCA (United Kingdom) $33,890.06
9. Petr “Hurloon” Jaros (Czech Republic) $21,689.64
*Reflects the results of a two-way deal that left $40,000 in play for the winner
Thanks for following our start-to-finish coverage of all 50 events of the 2016 Turbo Championship of Online Poker here on the PokerStars Blog. You can check results and other stats from the series on the TCOOP page as well.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.