What’s a chip lead? It’s a snapshot of a moment in time, a promise of bounties to come, and in some cases a lot of pressure, depending on who’s holding it. At a deep-stacked final table, it means having the ability to attack as you see fit without worrying about putting your tournament on the line, an advantage that can lead to the win if plied properly. That was the case tonight, where omaha4rollz went wire-to-wire for a WCOOP bracelet.
The final Thursday Thrill Special Edition of WCOOP 2015 sported a $2,100 buy-in, double the usual, with half going to the prize pool and the other half to the progressive bounty on each player’s head. It was an attractive enough proposition to draw 1,216 players, setting up equal $1,216,000 prize pools for bounties and payouts to the top 144 finishers.
After 30 levels of play, Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari was among the 39 players who survived to return for a second day of play. He came into Day 2 ninth in chips with 434,620, about half of chip leader vicenfish, but neither would make the final table. Past Super Tuesday champion Vlad “dariepoker” Darie was reponsible for taking Akkari out after opening with 4♥ 4♣ and calling when Akkari jammed for about 18 big blinds. Akkari’s K♥ 7♦ made an eight-high straight on the turn when the 4♦ came, but the board paired on the river to make Darie a full house and eliminate Akkari in 20th place ($5,107.20 + $4,281.25 in bounties). vicenfish left two spots later in 18th place ($6,688 + $27,328.12 in bounties).
The story of the last hour leading up to the final table was the only four-time bracelet winner in WCOOP history, Dan “djk123” Kelly, pushing for his first final table of the series. After making a deep run in Event #55 and coming up short in 14th place, he remained active despite holding on to a short stack for most of the run-up to the final. From 13th place with 13 remaining, he managed to climb into sixth before losing a pot and falling back again. He made his final stand on the final table bubble, shoving all-in with pocket fives from the big blind after two players had limped. Chip leader omaha4rollz called with K♦ 10♣, caught a ten on the river, and denied Kelly a chance at a fifth WCOOP bracelet.
That set this final table lineup with 12.5K/25K blinds and 3,125 antes:
Seat 1: rojorulez (626,365 in chips)
Seat 2: Killer_ooooo (1,007,736 in chips)
Seat 3: pmahoney22 (995,481 in chips)
Seat 4: omaha4rollz (4,034,734 in chips)
Seat 5: keves1717 (1,630,551 in chips)
Seat 6: dariepoker (2,059,295 in chips)
Seat 7: erikkke (1,184,742 in chips)
Seat 8: TTPlayer18 (130,979 in chips)
Seat 9: deuces85 (490,117 in chips)
It took only 18 hands for the first four players to get their walking papers. The first came on Hand #1 when TTPlayer18 shoved for five big blinds in the hijack seat with Q♣ 9♣ and omaha4rollz called in the big blind with K♠ 7♣. omaha4rollz made a pair of kings on the J♥ 6♣ K♦ flop, TTPlayer18 couldn’t capitalize on the inside straight draw with the 5♠ turn or 8♦ river, and the German player departed in 9th place ($13,984).
omaha4rollz won the next three pots in a row, too, including one worth 1.27M after raising the minimum on the button, getting calls from both blinds, and getting three streets of value from dariepoker in the big blind after flopping top pair and turning top two with A♥ 10♦. Killer_ooooo finally broke that streak up with an even bigger pot, winning 1.36M with Q♥ Q♠ against erikkke’s J♣ J♦ after the latter flopped a set, the former turned one, and both players shut down with a potential Broadway straight on the board.
That left erikkke with 476K and the blinds and antes newly up to 15K/30K/3,750, but the next player to go would be SCOOP 2015 finalist keves1717, who clashed twice with dariepoker and came out on the losing side both times. The first saw both players call a minimum button raise from omaha4rollz, keves1717 in the small blind and dariepoker in the big, and then check through the 4♥ Q♠ 5♦ flop. dariepoker’s A♥ 2♣ made a wheel straight on the 3♠ turn, and he got two streets of value out of keves1717 to win a 962K-chip pot.
keves1717 got some of that back on the next hand, but two hands after that picked up 10♣ 10♥ in the hijack seat when dariepoker held Q♦ Q♠ in the cutoff. keves1717 jammed for 996K over the top of omaha4rollz’s 66K opening raise, dariepoker called, and the K♠ J♥ 7♦ 8♠ 8♥ board sent keves1717 to the rail in 8th place ($24,320).
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Down to 296K, erikkke open-shoved with 7♦ 6♦ in the cutoff on the next hand. Fellow short stack deuces85, a past Super Tuesday and WCOOP 2014 finalist who had been in dead-last place to start Day 2, moved all-in over the top of that and isolated with A♠ 8♥. deuces85 picked up top pair on the A♥ Q♥ K♠ flop and never looked back, and erikkke left in 7th place ($36,480).
Three hands later, all the chips that been involved in that pot made their way back into the middle again. deuces85 opened for 63K under the gun with A♠ Q♥ and then moved all-in for 897K total after Killer_ooooo re-raised to 157K. Killer_ooooo called with Q♦ Q♠, which stayed ahead through the end of the 8♣ 3♠ 6♠ 4♦ 5♣ board to knockout out deuces85 in 6th place ($48,640).
Argentina’s rojorulez, a fixture in the weekend major tournaments here at PokerStars, was next on the chopping block with only 408K in chips as the table shrank to five players. The blinds and antes had whittled that down to 217K when rojorulez picked up A♠ 9♥ under the gun 15 hands later, making for a trivial call by Killer_ooooo with K♠ 10♦ in the cutoff after rojorulez jammed. The Argentine player caught top pair on the 2♣ 4♦ 9♣ flop, but it turned out be the first building block in a straight for Killer_ooooo. The Q♥ turn and J♣ river gave Killer_ooooo the 498K-chip pot, and rojorulez was out in 5th place ($60,800).
With so many knockouts coming so close together at the start of the final table, all four remaining players were working with stacks of at least 41 big blinds now. The course of the 28 hands was determined mostly by omaha4rollz, who won both the most and the largest pots, both with and without showdown. Everyone else’s stack declined over that stretch, with Patrick “pmahoney22” Mahoney, frequent COOP and Super Tuesday finalist, taking the hardest hit and dropping to 481K. Holding K♣ J♦, he finally moved his chips all-in over the top of an opening raise to 78K by Killer_ooooo, who called with Q♣ 9♦. The underdog became the favorite on the Q♥ 7♠ 5♠ flop, but Mahoney retook the lead with the K♠ on the turn. Then the Q♠ came on the river, making three of a kind for Killer_ooooo and sending Mahoney to the rail in 4th place ($86,336).
The three remaining players then entered brief negotiations for a possible deal. Killer_ooooo and dariepoker were with five big blinds of one another just below 3M and wanted the ICM numbers, but omaha4rollz had 6.5M and preferred to the bigger prize the chip-chop numbers offered. That meant no deal, and the game was back on.
dariepoker was in last place out of three but soon moved into the lead thanks to one big pot against each opponent. Sitting in the small blind with K♠ Q♥ on the first hand, he limp-called a raise to 108K by Killer_ooooo in the big blind, check-called 95K on the A♣ 3♠ 2♠ flop, and then got a free card when Killer_ooooo checked behind on the 5♠ river. The 6♠ made a king-high flush for dariepoker, who got paid after check-raising to 556K. Killer_ooooo mucked and slipped to 2.03M, while dariepoker chipped up to 2.55M.
Five hands later, Killer_ooooo opened the action for 90K on the button but soon got out of the way after omaha4rollz three-bet to 265K in the small blind and dariepoker flat-called in the big blind. omaha4rollz led out for 265K on the 6♥ Jd] 9♥ flop and 410K on the 9♣ turn, and then moved all-in on the 10♦, and dariepoker called each time. omaha4rollz showed A♣ A♦, but the river card had been one of dariepoker’s 12 outs after the flop with K♥ Q♥. He stacked up to 5.74M with the win, almost exactly 1 million chips ahead of omaha4rollz for the lead.
Being on the short stack three-handed limited Killer_ooooo’s options, and the Israeli finally ended up taking a stand with 3♦ 3♥, limping from the small blind and then jamming for 1.44M after omaha4rollz raised to 110K in the big blind. omaha4rollz called with K♣ Q♠ and had 14 outs by the time the board read 5♠ A♥ A♠ 6♠. The 9♠ gave omaha4rollz the flush and the 2.9M-chip pot, and Killer_ooooo exited in 3rd place ($115,520).
The heads-up match would last a relatively short 45 hands, but it was a roller coaster ride the whole way. A fifth of those hands resulted in seven-figure pots, the first two of which both went to omaha4rollz on the river – the first with a raise on a paired board, the second with a bet on a four-flush board. Then Darie struck back, three-betting out of position with A♥ J♥ and leading out on the 3♥ 7♠ 3♠ flop and A♦ turn. omaha4rollz called both of those bets and then fired 1.12M into 1.35M when checked to on the 7♥ river, but showed down K♠ 10♣ for a pure bluff as Darie scooped to 3.6M-chip pot and got the chip stacks back to where they’d been at the start of heads-up play.
Darie picked up a few more big blinds in the next few hands but would get no closer. He bluffed tried to steal a pot in position with A♦ 8♥, but omaha4rollz check-called 1.88M on the river of the 6♦ 3♦ 7♣ 4♦ 2♣ board to win with 9♠ 4♠. That pair of fours gave omaha4rollz 9.59M chips, but Darie trimmed 2.5M off by doubling up four hands later with 10♣ 10♦ against A♥ J♣.
From that point, the rest of the big pots – and the majority of the smaller ones – would go omaha4rollz’s way. The final one began with omaha4rollz holding 8.9M chips and A♣ 8♦ on the button. The player from Hungary raised the minimum to 100K, then called a re-raise to 320K to see the 4♦ J♣ 8♠ flop. omaha4rollz called when Darie led out for 254K, and then did the same after catching three of a kind on the 8♣ turn. Darie finally checked on the K♥ river but still called all-in when omaha4rollz bet 2.85M on the river. Darie had Q♥ Q♠, but they’d been cracked, and the tournament came to its end.
Vlad “dariepoker” Darie collected $154,432 for second place, a new personal best even before adding in the $24,273.43 in bounties. omaha4rollz’s $212,556.80 top prize was also a new personal best, and if the $78,945.28 in bounties were a separate prize it would rank as third-best in the Hungarian player’s career. Congratulations to both on their fine performances.
WCOOP 2015: Event #60, $2,100 No-Limit Hold’em (Progressive Super-KO, Thursday Thrill SE)
Prize pool: $2,432,000 ($1,216,000 regular, $1,216,000 bounty)
Places paid: 144
1. omaha4rollz (Hungary) $212,556.80 + $78,945.28 in bounties
2. Vlad “dariepoker” Darie (Romania) $154,432 + $24,273.43 in bounties
3. Killer_ooooo (Israel) $115,520 + $43,632.79 in bounties
4. Patrick “pmahoney22” Mahoney (Mexico) $86,336 + $18,523.43 in bounties
5. rojorulez (Argentina) $60,800 + $7,250 in bounties
6. deuces85 (Canada) $48,640 + $5,765.62 in bounties
7. erikkke (Hungary) $36,480 + $8,531.25 in bounties
8. keves1717 (Israel) $24,320 + $31,078.12 in bounties
9. TTPlayer18 (Germany) $13,984 + $10,937.50 in bounties
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.