No-limit Omaha might seem to be an enticing game for the uninitiated to try. But stage a big buy-in NLO8 tournament like Event #29-H of this year’s WCOOP — a six-handed event costing $2,100 to play — and you’re going to see top-level talent against whom novices probably would not stand much of a chance.
From a field of 119, the six who made the final table included three ‘COOP champions, two of whom earned titles in NLO8 while the other got one in Omaha Hi-Lo. In the end, though, it was a new champion — Kekkhou of Finland — taking down this one to earn a handsome $53,504.90 payday.
That field meant a prize pool of $238,000, beating the $200K guarantee — with the top 14 finishers making the cash.
By the time play concluded on Monday’s Day 1 they were already down to an unofficial final table of seven players, with gunner9696 the overnight chip leader. But soon after play began on Tuesday both Unkn0wn123 and Beeethoven87 jumped ahead of gunner9696 to vie for the top spot in the counts.
They were 40 minutes into the second day when Zapahzamazki shoved all in from the big blind over an opening button raise by Kekkhou, committing a stack of just over 650,000 (a bit more than 40 big blinds) with the double-suited A♠9♠7♦6♦.
Kekkhou was also double-suited, and called the push with A♥10♥4♣3♣. The board then came Q♥5♦8♣J♣J♥, hitting neither player’s hand but allowing Kekkhou’s kickers to play and eliminating Zapahzamazki in seventh for $10,889.16.
They’d reached the official final table, with that pot having made Kekkhou the new chip leader.
Seat 2: Beeethoven87 (Poland) — 1,315,239
Seat 3: Chris “PokinStaR” Alcindor (Canada) — 257,987
Seat 4: Unkn0wn123 (Uruguay) — 1,048,038
Seat 5: gunner9696 (India) — 1,270,051
Seat 6: Kekkhou (Finland) — 1,534,518
Seat 7: chickensssss (Canada) — 524,167
Soon after the final table began, a short-stacked Chris “PokinStaR” Alcindor survived one all-in versus Beeethoven87, but another against leader Kekkhou didn’t end as favorably.
In that one Alcindor — who won a $2,100 buy-in NLO8 event during this year’s SCOOP series just a few months ago — started out making a standard early-position raise, then Kekkhou jammed all in from the small blind and Alcindor called it off for just over 370,000 total (about 23 BBs).
Alcindor had A♣J♥6♥5♣ and a fighting chance against Kekkhou’s A♥J♠8♣4♣. But the board came 8♠2♥K♣8♥9♣, delivering no low hands and giving Kekkhou trip eights to knock Alcindor out in sixth.
A couple of orbits later it was chickensssss making an opening EP raise, a bigger-stacked Beeethoven87 reraising all in from a seat over, then chickensssss calling for about 27 BBs.
chickensssss was yet another NLO8 champ at this final table, having won the $1,050 NLO 6-max event during the 2015 WCOOP.
It was A♥8♦5♥2♦ for chickensssss and A♠Q♠8♣3♥ for Beeethoven87, and five cards later — 10♦9♥5♦7♥Q♣ — Beeethoven87’s rivered pair of queens bettered the pair of fives for chickensssss, and the latter was done in fifth.
They continued four-handed with Unkn0wn123 becoming the short stack, and soon a hand arose in which Unkn0wn123 limped from the small blind, gunner9696 jammed from the big blind, and Unkn0wn123 called all in for 735,018 total (not quite 37 BBs).
Unkn0wn123 had an ace-deuce hand with A♠10♠7♦2♠ while gunner9696 held A♥10♥7♣6♠. The board ran out 10♦9♦2♣8♦8♥ — no lows, and a straight to the ten for gunner9696 to end Unkn0wn123’s run in fourth.
Some time later Kekkhou min-raised to 50,000 from the button, Beethoven87 shoved for about 1.71 million from the small blind, then gunner9696 rejammed for 1.91 million from the big blind, getting Kekkhou to fold.
Beeethoven87’s aces were a good start, but the better finish went to gunner9696 after a K♥Q♠9♠2♠K♠ board made the latter a full house, sending Beeethoven87 railward in third — a nice achievement to go along with a SCOOP win in a $215 Omaha Hi-Lo event last year.
That pot helped gunner9696 enjoy the lead to start heads-up play with 3,686,746 to Kekkhou’s 2,263,254. Soon Kekkhou narrowed the gap, though, then the pair remained close in chips as their duel continued onward.
Kekkhou edged in front a bit, and in one hand gunner9696 survived an all-in with a chop. Then gunner9696 got short-stacked, falling to less than 500,000, managing one double-up then another chop before the final hand took place nearly an hour-and-a-half after heads-up began.
The blinds were 20,000/40,000, and the hand started with Kekkhou limping from the button. gunner9696 responded with a 3x raise to 120,000, then Kekkhou pushed all in, and gunner9696 called to commit a total stack of just over 660,000.
Kekkhou had four diamonds but good two-way possibilities with A♦K♦7♦2♦, whiel gunner9696 had a good starter, too, with A♣7♣7♥2♠.
The flop came 8♠9♥10♦, and after the 9♦ turn gunner9696 was still ahead. But the river was the K♥, giving Kekkhou the better two-pair hand and the win.
Congratulations to Kekkhou for outlasting a tough field of NLO8 competitors to win Event #29-H and a better than $53K first prize.
WCOOP-29-H: $2,100 NLO8 (6-Max)
Prize pool: $238,000
Places paid: 14
1. Kekkhou (Finland) $53,504.90
2. gunner9696 (India) $41,035.53
3. Beeethoven87 (Poland) $31,472.19
4. Unkn0wn123 (Uruguay) $24,137.57
5. chickensssss (Canada) $18,512.30
6. Chris “PokinStaR” Alcindor (Canada) $14,198.00
You can qualify for the WCOOP on PokerStars for as little as a few cents. What’s stopping you? Start your campaign by opening a PokerStars account.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.