Day three in Poker Stars' fifth annual World Championship of Online Poker meant that the first four scheduled Omaha events was on tap, this one the $300+30 (with re-buys), pot-limit event. 773 players were on hand, and with 987 re-buys and 501 more add-ons at the first break, the total prize pool swelled to $678,300. Two players were reported as making 11 re-buys and one add-on each, the largest individual investments; neither cashed. And, as the event carried a $400,000 guarantee, it meant that for the third straight day, the actual WCOOP participation numbers dwarfed pre-tournament expectations.
'thegiant' reached the final table of this one with a true-to-his-handle lead, after 'superpokemon' bubbled the last nine, victimized by his opponent's flopped quads. thegiant led the way in grand fashion, with just under $2 million in chips, roughly two and a half times the stacks of his nearest competitors, 'bastet2004' and 'doidovarrido', and he quickly extended that upward to $2.2 million, winning a sizeable first pot at bastet2004's expense.
Glasgow, Scotland's 'TillerMaN' (Iain Girdwood), survived the first all-in push with a chop on a flopped-trips hand, and 'Bebop86' survived his own all-in push only moments later, rivering a flush (and then winning the next hand as well), to move from elimination's edge to third in chips. By this time several stacks were extremely short --- TillerMan, 'AnalAce', 'gnsd22' and 'nomoballer' the shortest.
gnsd22 was the first player to run out of luck, at the hands of 'lara15fiona'. Down to less than $190,000 in chips with $15,000/$30,000 blinds, gnsd22 called lara15fiona's pre-flop reraise, taking the risk with less than premium holdings but with a chance at a triple-through and a jump over the other small stacks. Once initial raiser bastet2004 dropped from the hand, gnsd22 showed 7d-4h-5d-6c, while lara15fiona held 2c-Ac-5h-Ad. At hand's end the board read 2s-9h-Qs-Kc-Kd, making lara15fiona aces up, and bastet2004 was out in ninth, with lara15fiona over a million in chips, and into second place.
The next hand saw another elimination, with TillerMaN sent to the rail in eighth. The two shortest stacks in play, TillerMaN and nomoballer, got the money in pre-flop; TillerMaN, with under $200,000 remaining, held Th-Ad-7s-Ks, while nomoballer, who made the initial all-in raise, held Kc-Kh-Jc-Ts. This time the board came Jh-8h-2h-7h-Td, with nomoballer's jacks and tens topping TillerMaN's tens and sevens.
One big hand saw thegiant dodge the resurgent Bebop86 when a river deuce made both players a straight in a hand that the all-in Bebop86 led throughout; had thegiant dropped that pot, nearly two million in chips, he would have surrendered the chip lead. thegiant came right back from that scare to knock out AnalAce in seventh. On that hand, AnalAce moved the last of his $200,000 after a 5h-Qs-Jc flop, calling thegiant's post-flop raise. AnalAce held Kd-Tc-Th-Ac for an underpair with lots of outs for the straight, while the giant had made top pair with his Qd-Ks-9c-8s start. A club six on the turn meant nothing, and the heart-eight river made thegiant an unnecessary second pair.
At that point, six players remained, but it was five within moments. bastet2004, who never found traction at the final table, opened for $75,000 (about half his stack) and was reraised enough to be put all-in by lara15fiona. lara15fiona's Jd-Kd-Js-As was ahead of bastet2004's 8d-Td-6c-Ts from the start, and the 8h-Kc-Jh flop made lara15fiona a set of jacks and all but sealed the hand. The turn/river 5c-8h made bastet2004 meaningless trips, never a threat to lara15fiona's jacks-over-eights full house.
The two shortest stacks remaining were nomoballer in fifth, at about $650,000, with doidovarrido in fourth, less than a hundred thousand chips higher. In rapid one-two fashion, nomoballer first doubled through doidovarrido to put that player on the brink, then sent doidovarrido to the rail in fifth. The knockout had found nomoballer with 6h-7d-Kh-2h, and the board arrived 2c-7h-Js-7c-Qd, making a winning sevens full for nomoballer. doidovarrido's hand was mucked and unseen.
Four remained. Bebop86 bounced down to $300,000, ground his was back over a million, then took a big pot from lara15fiona to reach $1.67 million, at that point a solid second place. Leader thegiant had chipped slowly up, to $2.88 million, with lara15fiona knocked down to $850,000 and nomoballer trailing at just over $500,000. The four tried but failed to negotiate a chop after Bebop86 made a hard push for significant extra money, which thegiant couldn't accept.
After play resumed, nomoballer doubled through lara15fiona in a crazy suckout/re-suckout/re-re-suckout battle; on that hand, nomoballer started with Jh-Qc-Qs-7h, and lara15fiona with 6h-Ks-Kh-Tc. The flop was Qd-6c-Jd, with a 9c turn and a 9h river, meaning that the best hand, which had lara15fiona ahead pre-flop, jumped from trip queens (nomoballer) to a king-high straight (lara15fiona), to a queens-over-nines full boat (nomoballer). Of course, the money was all-in before the flop, anyway.
But then, lara15fiona delivered a suckout on the river to match, doubling through Bebop86 with a club flush. This left second through fourth positions tightly bunched around a million chips, but all well behind thegiant.
lara15fiona's surge was shortlived, soon sliding back to about $800,000, and that player was the next knocked from action. This time, thegiant delivered the final blow, with lara15fiona making a raise post-flop, being re-raised by thegiant, and making the call. thegiant started with 9c-2d-Jc-Ah, and lara15fiona with 4h-Ts-Jh-2h. The action-bringing flop was 2c-Tc-8s, providing a pair and a flush draw for thegiant and two pairs plus the open-ended straight draw for lara15fiona. The turn was the six of clubs, completing thegiant's flush, and the river brought the meaningless club four. lara15fiona was out in fourth and the giant had $3.6 million, well over half of all the chips in play.
More deal talks ensued, and they were ever more acrimonious as they developed. Again, Bebop86 tried to push a hard bargain that chip leader thegiant couldn't accept, so ultimately, play resumed. After a few hands, with nomoballer pushed down to about $860,000 (and the blinds at $20,000/$40,000), another huge post-flop betting war ensued. This time nomoballer and thegiant battled, the flop was Tc-7h-2c, and with the money all in, the hole cards were revealed. nomoballer held 9c-As-2s-Jc, for a small pair plus flush and gutshot-straight draws, while thegiant had 8h-7s-Th-9s, for two pairs and a different straight draw. The turn was the three of diamonds, no help for either player, but the seven of clubs on the river gave thegiant another full house and another knockout.
Heads-up play began after brief but meaningless deal talk; the two remaining players, thegiant and Bebop86, had vastly different thoughts on equitable prize-pool distribution. Bebop86 made a short initial surge, winning an early series of small-pot hands, but then it became a lesson in pot-size manipulation by thegiant, who used the surge to put Bebop86 --- and the tournament --- on the brink.
On the last hand, thegiant began with over $5.2 million, while Bebop86 had been reduced to about $690,000. The blinds were $25,000/$50,000, and Bebop86 tried to limp from the small blind. thegiant made the raise to $150,000, Bebop86 called, and the flop brought Kd-Kc-9s. thegiant led out with another $150,000 bet, and Bebop86 made an interesting call, now having half of his remaining chips committed to the pot. The turn was the nine of hearts, putting two pairs on board and eliminating any flush possibility; thegiant checked and Bebop86 checked behind.
The river brought the ten of clubs... and the last action. thegiant bet $450,000, enough to set Bebop86 all-in, and after several moments of deliberation Bebop86 made the call. Bebop86's hole cards were 2c-Jc-Qd-J-s, meaning he'd rivered a king-high straight, but thegiant held Ah-Td-Qh-Ks; the same ten that made Bebop86's straight completed thegiant's full house. Bebop86 turned out to have been drawing to two outs at the river, and, those outs dodged, thegiant could claim the championship, over $150,000 in winnings, and a WCOOP bracelet.
PokerStars WCOOP – Event # 3 – $300 PLO w/Rebuys - Final Results
1st: ($151,260.90): thegiant
2nd ($92,927.10): Bebop86
3rd ($61,250.49): nomoballer
4th ($43,411.20): lara15fiona
5th ($35,949.90): doidovarrido
6th ($29,166.90): bastet2004
7th ($22,383.90): AnalAce
8th ($15,940.05): TillerMaN
9th ($10,513.65): gnsd22