Plenty of us have dreamt of challenging a politician to a heads-up match, but Ola “Odd_Oddsen” Amundsgård actually had the stones to do it. Live poker is still illegal in his home country of Norway, and to prove it is a game of skill rather than luck, Amundsgård challenged any member of Norwegian parliament to a 10,000-hand heads-up freeroll. 1 million kronor (about $170,000) of his own money was at stake, and he got a taker in Erlen Wilborg, a progressive who believes poker should be legalized. Wilborg cried uncle after seven hours and 1,056 hands, and Amundsgård’s bankroll was safe.
When he’s not proving a point to his government, Amundsgård is one of the most successful and prolific high-stakes PLO cash game players in the world. He has consistently beat the best and won millions doing it, but until tonight, he had never won a “COOP” title. Amundsgård came close in the 2013 SCOOP finishing runner-up in a PL 5-Card Omaha event. Tonight he finally captured a bracelet, and did so in a game he rarely plays– limit hold’em.
186 players paid $1,050 apiece to buy in to Event #60, the prize pool topping out at $186,000.00. 24 places were paid with the champion set to earn $44,640.00 and a WCOOP bracelet. Of the four Red Spades that entered this event, three cashed. Luka “LukaSteel” Kovac went out in 18th place when his tens and nines fell to archa811’s jacks up, while George Danzer and Eugene Katchalov were still in the hunt on the final table bubble.
The betting limits were 6,000/12,000 with seven players remaining. George Danzer was the short stack on the three-handed table with 51,000 and after defending his big blind to a small blind raise, he called archa811’s flop, turn, and river bets on a 3♠6♦6♣K♦2♦ board. Archa811 turned over 2♣3♣ for sixes and treys and Danzer mucked. Left with 9,038 Danzer raised all-in preflop on the next hand and Eugene Katchalov called from the big blind. Katchalov’s Q♠6♠ turned a flush against Danzer’s 9♣5♥ on the 4♠5♠10♦8♠10♠ board and eliminated him on the final table bubble.
Final table chip counts
Seat 1: alex987 (74,791 in chips)
Seat 2: archa811 (303,543 in chips)
Seat 3: Odd_Oddsen (347,230 in chips)
Seat 4: MO G Kush (235,858 in chips)
Seat 5: E. Katchalov (270,624 in chips)
Seat 6: NoraFlum (162,954 in chips)
Eugene Katchalov eliminated in sixth place
Katchalov, our last remaining Red Spade, made the final table right in the middle of the pack, but lost an 87,000 pot straight off the bat. Katchalov check-called the flop, turn, and river on a 5♣8♥3♥8♣7♠ board only to watch Odd_Oddsen roll over a rivered two pair with J♠7♥. Four hands later, Katchalov fell below 100,000 when he folded to NoraFlum’s river bet on a K♦9♣K♣8♣7♦ board after check-calling the flop and turn.
By the 8,000/16,000 level, Katchalov was down to his last 23,624. When Odd_Oddsen opened on the button for 16,000 and MO G Kush three-bet to 24,000, Katchalov called all-in. The flop fell K♥9♣7♥ and Odd_Oddsen called MO G Kush’s lead bet. The turn came the 7♠ and MO G Kush check-folded to Odd_Oddsen’s 16,000 bet. Odd_Oddsen’s K♣J♣ won the kicker war against Katchalov’s K♦3♠ and ended his run in sixth place ($8,370.00).
alex987 takes fifth
A short time later, Odd_Oddsen took down another sizable pot and put quite a dent in alex987’s stack. On a J♣7♣6♥ flop, alex987 checked to Odd_Oddsen, who bet 8,000. MO G Kush raised to 16,000, alex987 called and Odd_Oddsen reraised to 24,000. Both opponents called. The turn was the 2♠ and again, alex987 checked. Odd_Oddsen bet 16,000, MO G Kush gave up his hand and alex987 called. When the 8♠ rivered, alex987 checked again and Odd_Oddsen bet 16,000. Alex987 elected to save his remaining 96,000 and Odd_Oddsen raked in the 156,000 pot without a showdown.
With the betting limits up to 10,000/20,000, alex987 was down to only 42,791. Dealt Q♠J♠, he three-bet MO G Kush’s opening raise and called the 40,000 cap. Alex987 bet his last 2,791 on the 8♠5♥2♣ flop and MO G Kush called, revealing 10♠10♣. Alex987 didn’t improve on either the K♣ turn or the A♦ rover and hit the rail in fifth place, good for a $12,090.00 payday.
Odd_Oddsen steamrolls archa811
Over the next six hands, Odd_Oddsen increased his stack from 365,000 to 780,000. Three of those pots came at archa811’s expense, including the largest one at 210,000. Odd_Oddsen three-bet preflop and led out on the flop, turn and river on the 4♥7♣5♦J♣9♦ board. Archa811 called him down, then raised the river to 40,000. Odd_Oddsen called and revealed pocket aces, trumping archa811’s J♠8♠.
However, on the very next deal, archa811 recovered some of those lost chips by doubling through MO G Kush. The betting was capped preflop and capped again on the A♥J♥Q♦ flop. MO G Kush led out for 20,000 on the 6♦ turn and archa811 called all-in, his A♦J♠ leading MO G Kush’s A♣K♠. Archa811’s aces and jacks held up on the 8♣ river and he doubled to 171,000.
NoraFlum falls to Odd_Oddsen in fourth
Still holding roughly the same amount of chips he began the final table with, NoraFlum three-bet to 30,000 pre flop from the big blind and Odd_Oddsen called. NoraFlum led out on the 9♦4♦3♣ flop and fired again when the 9♠ turned, but Odd_Oddsen came in for a raise. NoraFlum called, then check-called one more bet when the K♥ fell. Odd_Oddsen revealed K♦8♦, his rivered kings and nines good for the 205,000 pot.
NoraFlum was left with 49,000 and capped the pre flop betting on the next hand. The flop came down Q♠10♥J♠ and NoraFlum tossed in his last 8,954. Both Odd_Oddsen and MO G Kush called. Odd_Oddsen bet the K♠ turn and the Q♥ river, MO G Kush calling in both spots. Odd_Oddsen and MO G Kush each had an ace for Broadway and NoraFlum mucked, his WCOOP run at an end. For fourth place, NoraFlum banked $15,810.00.
archa811 out in third
When three-handed play commenced, Odd_Oddsen had a hammer lock on the chip lead with 1.02 million, MO G Kush was a distant second with 234,000 and archa811 was the short stack with 141,000.
Odd_Oddsen crippled archa811 when his 3♥7♥ flopped middle pair and rivered two pair on a K♦2♣3♠8♠2♠ board. Archa811’s A♠10♦ did not improve and he was left with only 18,000 in chips. On the next deal, archa811 raised all-in on the button, Odd_Oddsen three-bet to 24,000 and MO G Kush called from the big blind. Odd_Oddsen check-folded to MO G Kush’s bet on the 6♣4♣2♥ flop. Archa811’s pocket sevens led MO G Kush’s J♣8♣ through the A♥ turn, but MO G Kush hit the J♦ on the river and send archa811 to the rail in third place ($23,250.00).
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 3: Odd_Oddsen (909,831 in chips)
Seat 4: MO G Kush (485,169 in chips)
Odd_Oddsen took control from the moment this heads-up match began and never let go. He won 12 of the first 15 hands, pushing MO G Kush down to 311,000. Although MO G Kush battled back to just over half a million in chips, Odd_Oddsen kicked his aggression up again and won 15 of the next 16 pots, leaving MO G Kush on 77,169.
MO G Kush picked up A♣8♣ and after capping the betting pre flop, he raised all in on the Q♥J♠4♠ flop. Odd_Oddsen called, but his A♦3♠ was in kicker trouble. MO G Kush’s dominating hand held up and he doubled to 142,338.
However, MO G Kush wasn’t long for this match. Two hands later, Odd_Odden raised on the button, MO G Kush three-bet- and Odd_Oddsen called. MO G Kush led out on the J♠7♠4♦ flop and Odd_Oddsen came along. The turn was ht e7♥ and MO G Kush fired out 24,000. Odd_Oddsen raised, MO G Kush moved all-in for 58,338 and Odd_Oddsen called. Odd_Oddsen’s turned over top pair with Q♣J♣ and MO G Kush’s A♦8♠ needed a river ace. Instead, it was the 2♠ and Odd_Oddsen at last locked up his first WCOOP title.
Congratulations to Ola “Odd_Oddsen” Amundsgård on a dominating performance! He banked $44,640.00 for the win, while runner-up MO G Kush earned $30,783.00.
WCOOP-60: $1,050 FL Hold’em [6-Max]
Places paid: 24
1. Ola “Odd_Oddsen” Amundsgård (Norway) $44,640.00
2. MO G Kush (Canada) $30,783.00
3. archa811 (Latvia) $23,250.00
4. Marco “NoraFlum” Johnson (Mexico) $15,810.00
5. alex987 (Russia) $12,090.00
6. Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) $8,370.00
Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.