The penultimate event of the 2017 Turbo Championship of Online Poker was Event #64 of the series — an $11 No Limit Hold’em Six-Max Rebuy Event — otherwise nicknamed the “Big Splash”!
One player made the biggest splash of all in this tournament, turning an $11 investment into almost $50,000 in prize money. That player was ihaterivers, a former Sunday Millions winner hailing from the Caribbean island of Anguilla, who was impressive on the table, and in the deal negotiations, to lock up a huge pay day and secure the TCOOP title.
A massive field of 7,351 players hit the tables of PokerStars for TCOOP Event #64 and combined for a mammoth 22,110 re-buys and another 3,200 add-ons, forming a prize pool of $326,610 — rather incredible for an $11 buy-in tournament.
Marcin Horecki, Lex Veldhuis, Mickey Petersen and Leo Fernandez were some of the Team PokerStars Pros trying to wade through the minefields in this event but they found trouble short of the money stage. The top 1,031 players would finish in the cash which would be reached in around three hours of play when Tiestoi from Switzerland bubbled in 1,032nd place. Every else was guaranteed $100 which may not have been enough for profit for some players – they would be eyeing off the big money later in the tournament.
Felipe “Mojave” Ramos was one red spade in the money, finishing in 491st place for $162.09.
It would take almost six hours to reach the final table, which is quite a long time for a TCOOP, such was the sheer volume of players, rebuys and chips on the tables. The final table bubble would burst when the short-stacked psek1 finally succumbed. With just 2.5 big blinds, psek1 had to go with any two cards and found A♥6♥ against JWPRODIGY’s 9♣2♥. However the board brought two pair for JWPRODIGY to eliminate psek1 in seventh place and see our final six as follows:
Final Table Line Up
Seat 1: Jordan “JWPRODIGY” Westmorland (25,069,534 in chips)
Seat 2: Epukk (18,278,929 in chips)
Seat 3: ihaterivers (76,860,287 in chips)
Seat 4: Eyal_A (23,682,607 in chips)
Seat 5: staanemer (30,078,653 in chips)
Seat 6: ProudWalker (30,273,990 in chips)
The final table blinds started at 800k/1.6m/400k which meant we were going to see plenty of action from the get-go. ihaterivers held the chip lead and kept the pressure on early, before Epukk landed a key double up with pocket sixes against ProudWalker’s ace-queen.
ProudWalker was left with under two big blinds and they were committed next hand with 9♣8♣. Action folded to staanemer who made the call with K♠9♦ which held through the board of 3♥Q♥2♦K♦6♣ to eliminate ProudWalker in sixth place for $4,938.57.
Australian-based Jordan “JWPRODIGY” Westmorland would be the next one to go. When action folded to JWPRODIGY in the small blind, he moved all in for his last ten big blinds. Epukk made the call in the big blind with A♦K♣ and JWPRODIGY tabled live cards with his Q♣9♣. JWPRODIGY would need some help to stay alive but the 2♣J♥4♥2♦7♦ board left Epukk’s ace-high in front to take it down. JWPRODIGY picked up $7,729.25 for fifth place.
ihaterivers continued to put the pressure on his opponents, clipping the wings of Epukk in a big pot with a turned top pair. Epukk was back on the short stack and looked to double up two hands later, moving all in from the small blind with Q♣10♦, however ihaterivers was there once again, making the call in the big blind with A♠8♣. The board was spread 2♠A♣2♦3♣7♦ to pair the ace of ihaterivers for yet another knockout. Epukk departed in fourth place for $12,096.91.
ihaterivers said, “numbers guys?”
With ihaterivers holding an overwhelming chip lead, the three remaining players agreed to pause the clock and look at a potential deal.
As the chip leader, ihaterivers requested “Chip Chop” numbers rather than the usual ICM. That produced a figure for first place, that if ihaterivers won the tournament, he’d get nearly $5,000 more than the original top prize figure! That just wasn’t going to fly.
ICM numbers were a bit more realistic, and the two shorties were happy with that, but still ihaterivers wanted more, requesting an extra $1,500 above the ICM figure.
staanemer suggested that ICM was a good deal but ihaterivers explained that his backers wouldn’t allow him to take an ICM deal, hence the request for the extra coin. Eyal_A was happy to give up $700 and staanemer agreed to $400, giving ihaterivers an extra $1,100 above ICM value. ihaterivers accepted the offer and the deal was struck. Throw in the $6,532.20 that was required to be left to compete for, and ihaterivers had locked up a deal that guaranteed him well above second place prize money, while a victory would see him with just $600 less than the original top prize.
Despite ihaterivers getting the best of the deal, it proved to also be a great deal for staanemer. On the first hand following the break, staanemer moved all in from the small blind with A♦3♣ but ihaterivers snapped it off and tabled a dominant A♣Q♦. The board fell 9♦9♥A♥6♠8♠ to leave staanemer to depart in third place, but the deal netted him a tidy $26,499.73 in prize money.
Heads-up Chip Counts
Seat 3: ihaterivers (193,561,393 in chips)
Seat 4: Eyal_A (10,682,607 in chips)
ihaterivers was running hot and, would you believe it, he found pocket aces on the very first hand of heads-up play! ihaterivers moved all in with the rockets and Eyal_A made the call with ace-six. It looked all over, but four Broadway cards connected with both players’ ace for a chopped pot!
However that was the end of the good fortune for Eyal_A. With under four big blinds, Eyal_A was forced to gamble and moved all in with 7♣4♥. ihaterivers made the call and tabled K♣2♠. The board arrived Q♣10♠A♥3♣K♠ to pair up the king to give ihaterivers a mighty victory!
In the end, Eyal_A couldn’t do anything more to break the run of his opponent and would have to be content with $22,675.62 for the runner-up finish.
It was complete domination from ihaterivers to wrap up this final table in quick time and secure the TCOOP title and $45,768.91 in prize money. Congratulations!
TCOOP-64: $11+R NL Hold’em 6-Max Turbo Big Splash – $200,000 Guaranteed
Entrants: 7,351 (22,110 rebuys, 3,200 add-ons)
Prize Pool: $326,610
Places Paid: 1,031
1. ihaterivers (Anguilla) $45,768.91*
2. Eyal_A (Slovakia) $22,675.62*
3. staanemer (Germany) $26,499.73*
4. Epukk (Bulgaria) $12,096.91
5. Jordan “JWPRODIGY” Westmorland (Australia) $7,729.25
6. ProudWalker (United Kingdom) $4,938.57
* denotes three-handed deal
The 2017 Turbo Championship of Online Poker is offering over $15 million in guaranteed prizes across 65 turbo-charged events. It all wraps up on January 29 so check out the TCOOP home page for more information about the series.
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Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.