Win four heads-up matches, make some dough. Win ten and turn your $700 into six figures. It sounds a helluva lot simpler than it actually is, my friends. Throw in a few dozen Team Pros, a few dozen more six-bet shoving maniacs from Northern Europe, and some of the world’s sickest short-handed specialists, and your weekend stroll through the park has become an obstacle course through a bloodied minefield. Strap on your Kevlar and tighten those shoelaces, you’re in for a wild ride…
720 players bought into Event #39, creating a $482,400 prize pool, nearly doubling the $250,00 guarantee. 64 spots were paid out with $120,600 set aside for the winner. Team PokerStars Pro and Team Online were well-represented, with Daniel Negreanu, Liv Boeree, Shane “shaniac” Schleger, Vanessa Rousso, ElkY, and Jan Heitmann among the 20+ Red Spades in the field. Two of them survived into the money. Christian “el grillo” De Leon fell to Kihlstrom in Round 5 to finish 41st, while Eugene Katchalov made the final 32 and advanced to Day 2. Katchalov, however, couldn’t get past the man who would end up taking down the bracelet, falling to Ti0373 in Round 6 to finish in 15th place.
QUARTERFINALS (ROUND OF 8)
wac33215 def. K_0_S_T_Y_A
Wac33215 made quick work of K_0_S_T_Y_A, their quarterfinal match lasting all of nine hands. Wac33215 had chipped up to 9,150 and the blinds were still at 25/50 when K_0_S_T_Y_A opened for 150. Wac33215 decided to three-bet his Q♣7♣ and K_0_S_T_Y_A called the additional 350. Wac33215 hit second pair and a flush draw n the K♣Q♦5♣ flop and checked over to K_0_S_T_Y_A. The Russian checked behind. The turn brought the 4♣, completing wac33215’s flush. He led out for 300 and K_0_S_T_Y_A called. The river fell the 9♠ and wac33215 made a cheeky small bet, leading out for only 200. K_0_S_T_Y_A raised to 2,200, wac33215 shoved for 8,350 and K_0_S_T_Y_A called, turning over J♥10♥ for a king-high straight. Wac33215 scored the KO, and K_0_S_T_Y_A departed in eighth place.
GSinishaj def. JohnyK91
GShinishaj pulled out to an early lead, grinding his 7,500-chip starting stack up to 10,000 within the first level. Picking up pocket aces helped him further widen the gap, as JohnyK91 paid off three streets of value on a king-high board. WIth GShinishtaj now up to 11,050, a preflop raising war broke out, GSinishtaj five-bet shoving with pocket nines against JohnyK91’s A♠Q♥. The pocket pair held, GSinishtaj punching his ticket to the semifinals, while JohnyK91 exited in seventh place.
Ti0373 def. TryToExploit
Ti0373 was up to 9,000 in the first level of play when he called a bet on a A♥K♣8♠ flop, only to turn a Broadway straight when the Q♣ came on the turn. TryToExploit check-called 650 more on the turn and an additional 2,125 on the river before Ti0373 turned over J♦10♣ and raked in the 7,000-chip pot.
TryToExploit evened the score during Level III, picking off a river bluff-raise from Ti0373. But three hands later, another huge pot developed. Ti0373 three-bet his 9♦10♦ preflop and hit top pair on the 9♥5♦2♣ flop. Ti0373 led out for 280 and TryToExploit called. The turn brought the 4♠ and Ti0373 bet another 560. TryToExploit called again. The 10♥ on the river made Ti0373 top two pair and he bet it big, making it 2,860 to go. TryToExploit looked him up, but Ti0373’s tens and nines took down the 7,880 pot.
Perhaps growing a bit frustrated, TryToExploit attempted to reclaim those lost chips with a double-barrel bluff, but Ti0373 called him down with top pair to advance to the semifinals:
Spyver def. Zugwat
Although Spyver leapt out to a 2 to 1 chip lead over Zugwat quite early on, the two slugged it out until Level VIII. Holding 9,230 to Zugwat’s 5,770, Spyver three-bet preflop to 600 holding pocket sixes and Zugwat called with K♠J♦. Both players hit the K♣6♦3♠ flop, Spyver flopping a set of sixes to Zugwat’s top pair. The money went in when the 7♦ hit the turn and although Zugwat caught a third king on the river, it wasn’t enough to best Spyver’s sixes full. Zugwat hit the rail in fifth place, earning $15,436.80 for his efforts.
SEMIFINALS (ROUND OF 4)
GSinishtaj def. Spyver
GSinishtaj took all of 18 minutes to defeat Spyver. Although Spyver took an early lead, chipping up to 8,300 after rivering two pair, GSinishtaj check-shoved the turn on a two-tone, king-high board, inducing a fold from his opponent:
GSinishtaj maintained a 2 to 1 chip lead and picked up A♥A♦ to finish off Spyver, who called off the remainder of his stack with pocket nines on a 7♠6♥5♠2♦K♣ board. For his fourth-place finish, Spyver took home $33,768.00
Ti0373 def. wac33215
The first significant chip movement in this match came at the end of Level I, when Ti0373 picked up a 7,500-chip pot after turning top pair and rivering aces up. Down to less than 4,000 wac33215 was poised to get the double-up he needed after getting his stack in preflop with A♥7♥ against Ti0373’s A♦4♣. However, the board double-paired jacks and deuces on the river, resulting in a chop. Wac33215 couldn’t regain much traction following that hand and ultimately got his last 1,782 in the middle with K♠Q♠ against A♦9♦, but an ace on the flop ended his hope for a comeback. Wac33215 picked up $33,768 for his finish, while Ti0373 moved on to face GSinishtaj in the finals.
GSinishtaj vs. Ti0373
GSinishtaj struck first, his K♥2♣ four-flushing Ti0373’s A♠5♠ in a 2,000 pot, but Ti0373 quickly recovered those chips. After three-betting preflop, GSinishtaj led out for 400 on a A♦5♥4♠ flop. Ti0373 raised to 1,026 and GSinishtaj re-popped it to 2,100. Ti0373 called, and the K♥ fell on the turn. GSinishtaj check-folded to Ti0373’s 1,333 bet, relinquishing the 4,920 pot.
With Ti0373 holding 9,000 in chips to GSinishtaj’s 6,000, both players agreed to pause the action and run numbers for a potential deal. Final table host Randy “nanonoko” Lew informed them that chip chop and ICM numbers would be the same since it’s a heads-up event and presented them with the following figures.
Left To Play for place 1: $5,000.00
Ti0373 immediately told GSinishtaj that he wouldn’t make a deal for anything less than a $100,000 share of the prize pool. GSinishtaj refused to give up anything, and with negotiations at a stalemate, cards went back in the air.
GSinishtaj quickly made up his chip deficit, three-bet shoving on a 8♣7♦5♥ flop and receiving a fold from Ti0373. However, after bet/three-betting a flush draw on the flop, GSinishtaj got into a bit of trouble on later streets:
Down to 4,500 in chips, GSinishtaj doubled through Ti0373 when his A♣K♥ held up against A♥J♣. However, Ti0373 quickly retalliated, three-bet shoving on a K♣6♦3♦ flop. GSinishtaj geve up his hand and Ti0373 moved back into the lead with 8,790.
GSinishtaj pulled nearly even with Ti0373 and only 900 chips separated the two when the deciding hand went down. In a three-bet pot, GSinishtaj’s pocket jacks turned a set, but Ti0373 hit gin on the river when his K♥Q♦ made a Broadway straight:
Congratulations to Russia’s Ti0373 on going 10-0 to win his first WCOOP bracelet and $120,600! For his runner-up finish, GSinishtaj took home $62,712.
PokerStars WCOOP Event #39 ($700 NLHE Heads-Up) results:
1. Ti0373 (Russia) $120,600.00
2. GSinishtaj (Canada) $62,712.00
3. wac33215 (Germany) $33,768.00
4. Spyver (United Kingdom) $33,768.00
5. Zugwat (Canada) $15,436.80
6. TryToExploit (Poland) $15,436.80
7. JohnnyK91 (Greece) $15,436.80
8. K_0_S_T_Y_A (Russia) $15,436.80
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Kristin Bihr is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog