With the first weekend coming to a close for the 2017 World Championship of Online Poker, this tournament was a reminder that if you read these recaps, more than likely you will run into a familiar name.
Talk about a stacked final table for Event #23’s $1,050 buy-in NLHE 6-Max. Each player has either won a -COOP title, major tournament, or has multiple -COOP final tables looking to remedy the near-misses. It showed on the rail as well as more than 1,000 on-lookers pulled up the final push towards a potential six figure payday.
The final three was kind enough after over seven hours of play on day two to agree to a three-way chop quicker than a gas station microwave burrito takes to warm-up. Jens “Fresh_oO_D” Lakemeier would use a flush heads-up to overcome a deficit and go on to win his third -COOP title and $97,459.68.
We pick up the action three hours into day two and two full tables remaining. Pascal ‘Pass_72’ Lefrancoi would lead the final 12 (after coming into day two second in chips) and has late-game major tournament experience. A win in the Super Tuesday, along with two close calls at the recent Spring Championship of Online Poker series that included a runner-up finish in Event #17-H earning $78K.
The overnight chip-leader Pseudo Fruto found no momentum today finishing in 20th place ($5,752.66). The Brazilian would join players such as Sunday Million champ Kenny “LoneHixx” Hicks (18th place – $5,752.66) and Rocco “Sephirot88” Palumbo (21st place – $5,752.66) who is still looking to add a WCOOP deep finish to his runner-up finish in last year’s SCOOP Event #24-M earning $262K.
The $10K pay-jump between a final table seat and the slow structure led to only one player being eliminated during the fourth
hour of day two. Vojtech “Vojta_R” Ruzicka has not been back to a WCOOP final table since 2012 (4th place – Event #50) and would need to sign up in the next event after in finishing 12th place ($8,915.21).
Where as the last hour slogged, this one pushed through hand-for-hand play into the final table of seven. “I do not believe you” strategy employed by Oscar “MendaLerenda” Serradell during this hand would leave the three-time Super Tuesday champ on the outside looking in. After bets from xPastorcitox pre-flop, flop, turn, and river Q♠ 3♦ 5♣ J♣ T♥ with a turned pair of jacks J♦K♥, the Turbo Championship of Online Poker 2016 Event #36 winner could not best the two pair T♠Q♦ of xPastorcitox, starting up the final table.
Seat 1: Jens “Fresh_oO_D” Lakemeier (9319280 in chips)
Seat 2: Alexander “Schildy1984” Debus (1252947 in chips)
Seat 3: kofi89 (5868653 in chips)
Seat 4: olelemaiko (4855867 in chips)
Seat 5: T3G3S (5867209 in chips)
Seat 6: xPastorcitox (5842215 in chips)
Seat 7: Pascal “Pass_72” LeFrancois (1493829 in chips)
Pascal “Pass_72” LeFrancois ran into a little bit trouble en route to the final table. Instead of arriving with the previously mentioned chip-leading stack, he would be second-to-last in chips. About an hour under the spotlights not much improved, and got worse after two consecutive flips against Debus and olelemaiko went the wrong way, ending LeFrancois’ tournament in seventh-place ($17,199.76).
Currently the afternoon NFL games are winding down and a three-team parlay hangs in the balance of Aaron Rodger’s ability to run off the clock for a few minutes after nearly six and half-hours of football (I won). Now stretch that idea into kofi89’s river decision after nearly 20 hours of play. Board is showing A♥ 7♦ Q♦ 2♠ 5♦ and kofi89 holds A♣T♣ is facing an all-in river bet from T3G3S who covers. Seconds click off as the billionth tournament winner decided to make the call. T3G3S did not have the flush, but the top two pair A♦Q♥ was enough to claim sixth-place and $21,411.80.
Onto the seventh hour of play with plenty of blinds left for three players, not-so-much for olelemaiko and Alexander “Schildy1984” Debus who have been scrapping for blinds and staying alive. The latter would take a shot and shoved for under ten BBs after finding A♠J♦ in the hijack seat. Debus won his WCOOP title back in 2011 as a young gun and by todays standard now would be a grizzled online veteran. T3G3S was there to make the final call with K♠A♣and got a sweat with the flopped jack. But, a rivered king 3♥ J♣ 4♦ A♦ K♥ sent Debus home in fifth-place ($30,157.27).
Nine hands later it was the other short-stack bowing to the times. Olelemaiko earned $163K earlier this year at the SCOOP Main Event (medium) in sixth place again trying notch a -COOP title. Unfortunately the board did not fall with the percentages after Jens “Fresh_oO_D” Lakemeier’s big stack shove with 9♠K♣ and olelemaiko’s call holding K♥Q♠. Two nines on the flop 8♣ 9♦ 9♥ 5♥ 3♦ ended olelemaiko’s tournament in fourth-place ($42,474.88).
“Let’s gamble for it like poker players” says Lakemeier after what was perhaps the quickest deal I have witnessed at this level with over $250K left in the prize pool. It took longer to pause the tournament than the threesome to say “I agree” and play it out for the remaining $13,800 and prestige of owning a WCOOP title.
With Lakemeier’s assertion, the finale of this tournament should be fast, loose, and full of prop bets on lime tossing.
They got the fast part right as T3G3S spent a half-hour pushing hard and not getting much in return. Down to around a shade under 17BBs the SCOOP and WCOOP champion would shove pocket fives 5♦5♥ over Lakemeier’s min-raise. The chip-leader was happy to make the call with queens Q♦Q♣ and easily passed through the 2♦ 8♣ 2♠ A♥ 9♥ board to earn $84,059.61 in third-place
Seat 1: Fresh_oO_D (11996968 in chips)
Seat 6: xPastorcitox (22503032 in chips)
Almost 14 grand and a WCOOP title in the balance. Jens “Fresh_oO_D” Lakemeier caught one of his two SCOOP titles playing Razz last year while xPastorcitox has two SCOOP final tables without a victory yet.
Starting with twice as many chips it would be xPastorcitox’s best shot of getting over the -COOP title hump. But, the shift came quickly. Five minutes into heads-up play, Lakemeier would notch a nut flush on the river and get paid off flipping the chip-count in Fresh_oO_D’s favor.
Ten hands later with the flop showing 6♥ T♦ 3♦ xPastorcitox would shove a flush and straight draw 8♦7♦ as Lakemeier made the call, clutching to top pair top kicker T♥A♥. No nines nor diamonds on the turn 5♣ and river 3♣ gave Jens “Fresh_oO_D” Lakemeier one more notch of the Triple -COOP after winning the WCOOP Event #23 title for $97,459.68!
WCOOP-23-H: $1,050 NLHE [6-Max]
Prize pool: $690,000
Place paid: 83
1. Jens “Fresh_oO_D” Lakemeier (Germany) $97,459.68*
2. xPastorcitox (Argentina) $81,235.45*
3. T3G3S (Poland) $84,059.61*
4. olelemaiko (Bulgaria) $42,474.88
5. Alexander “Schildy1984” Debus (Austria) $30,157.27
6. kofi89 (Uruguay) $21,411.80
7. Pascal “Pass_72” LeFrancois (Canada) $17,199.76
* denotes part of three-way deal
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