Knockout bounties can liven up any tournament, but they’re usually an afterthought by the time the final table is underway and the big money is up for grabs. Unless one player collects most of the bounties, that is, like serevsini did in Event #2-H of this year’s World Championship of Online Poker. The player from the Czech Republic knocked out the last four players to end the tournament, earning more in bounty cash than the runner-up did from the regular prize pool and locking up a first career COOP title with relative ease.
There were several players who missed out on the final table despite carving out paths of destruction on Day 1. Overnight chip leader vojta555cz lasted through about half of the second day, falling in 31st place while still collecting the 12th-largest bounty payout of anyone in the tournament. Others who collected bigger bounty payouts than their regular cashes included Estonia’s luckyluck653 in 24th, Latvia’s RichsssLV in 10th, and Poland’s ImTheNuts1 in ninth. A little over six hours of play on Day 2 eliminated them and 57 other players, leaving just these seven to contest the second title of this year’s WCOOP:
Seat 1: smir9david (13,816,623 in chips, $6,691.37 bounty)
Seat 2: glu77ps (8,716,486 in chips, $9,529.25 bounty)
Seat 3: w4lrusk4ne (17,078,771 in chips, $10,636.68 bounty)
Seat 4: nikautiashvi (14,610,048 in chips, $9,011.68 bounty)
Seat 5: Hoelle1 (28,647,581 in chips, $9,692.34 bounty)
Seat 6: serevsini (53,558,701 in chips, $19,650.29 bounty)
Seat 7: Pendall (10,721,790 in chips, $2,890.62 bounty)
Even the players with the shortest stacks had plenty of time and space to find a favorable position, with the 100,000/200,000/25,000 blinds and antes only set to rise every 20 minutes. Unfortunately for past Sunday Million finalist Pendall, none of those positions worked out. After winning the first pot of the final table with a flop bet, the Russian player didn’t win another for an hour. Pendall eventually called all-in on the big blind with K♣ 8♦, which lost out to original raiser w4lrusk4ne’s A♥ K♦ to bust the Russian in seventh.
Past MicroMillions Bubble Dash winner glu77ps had come to the table with a shorter stack than Pendall’s but managed to pick up smallish pots here and there to stay in the hunt. About 15 minutes after that first elimination, though, a stab at another small pot went wrong. glu77ps defended the big blind with 5♥ 3♥ against a cutoff-seat raise to 644,444 chips from past Sunday Warm-Up runner-up and Sunday Million Special Edition finalist Hoelle1 and then check-raised all-in for 6.17 million with a pair of treys on the 3♣ 2♥ T♠ flop. Hoelle1 snap-called with Q♠ Q♥, which held up after the A♦ turn and 8♠ river to eliminate glu77ps in sixth.
serevsini had expanded the incoming chip lead by about 20 percent over the first hour-plus of final table poker. That effort got a boost three hands after glu77ps’s departure when the leader was dealt Q♣ Q♥ in the big blind on the same hand as past Saturday KO winner nikautiashvi picked up J♣ J♥ on the button. It took four bets before the flop to get the player from Georgia all-in; the 4♣ 3♦ K♥ A♣ 5♠ board provided no relief and nikautiashvi left in fifth.
Winning that 37.5-million-chip pot gave serevsini an even larger lead than before. The Czech player put those chips to use as leverage over the other three players, who all held considerably smaller stacks and faced the prospect of losing out the guaranteed $16,000+ pay jump between fourth and third places. The only player in position to challenge that dominance was Hoelle1 but the next half-hour leading up to the break was all serevsini. Then Hoelle1 made trip queens with Q♠ T♠ on the same board that made queens full of aces for w4lrusk4ne’s A♦ Q♣, leaving all three of the short stacks between 14.7 million and 16.1 million chips each while serevsini held more than six times that much.
The leader continued to chip away at their stacks until past Sunday Million finalist smir9david opened the action all-in for 7.2 million chips with Q♣ J♣. The other short stacks folded, serevsini called with A♠ 6♠ in the big blind and won with a pair of aces on the A♣ J♦ 4♣T♥ 8♦ board, and smir9david was gone in fourth.
Just five minutes passed before serevsini open-shoved with J♥ 7♥ in the small blind and w4lrusk4ne called all-in with K♠ T♠. The A♠ 7♠ 2♦ 4♥ 8♥ board gave serevsini a pair of sevens, good enough to win the pot and end w4lrusk4ne’s first career COOP final table appearance in third.
That left just Hoelle1, facing a 10-to-1 chip disadvantage, to try to derail serevsini’s express train to the title. Slowing it down proved possible but in the end serevsini couldn’t be denied. The Austrian got an early lifeline in the form of A♣ 8♣ against the leader’s A♥ 6♦, then chipped up until seresvini’s lead was down to a little less than 2-to-1. Unfortunately, that was as good as things would get for Hoelle1 over the course of 58 minutes of heads-up poker.
seresvini kept the pots small and the last one started off in the same vein, with the Czech player calling a min-raise with K♦ 3♥ to see a J♠ K♠ Q♦ flop. seresvini checked and got to see the 3♦ turn for free when Hoelle1 checked behind. The Austrian bet 1.7 million when checked to, then called with K♥ 2♠ when serevsini raised all-in with kings and treys. Hoelle1’s 6.8-percent chance of winning dropped to zero with the 9♦ river, earning serevsini a fifth straight knockout bounty and bringing the tournament to its conclusion.
In addition to a coveted WCOOP title, sweeping the last five knockout bounties at the final table gave serevsini a pay boost bigger than Hoelle1’s scheduled prize as the runner-up. That makes for a total winner’s purse of more than $187,000. Congratulations to serevsini on a very nice start to this year’s WCOOP indeed!
WCOOP-02-H: $530 No-Limit Hold’em [6-Max, Progressive KO, Sunday Warm-Up SE] results
Total prize pool: $1,471,500 ($735,750 regular prize pool, $735,750 bounty prize pool)
Places paid: 371
1. serevsini (Czech Republic) $106,262.93 + $81,292.66 in bounties
2. Hoelle1 (Austria) $74,039.77 + $14,207 in bounties
3. w4lrusk4ne (Belgium) $51,588.80 + $11,832.01 in bounties
4. smir9david (Germany) $35,945.65 + $6,441.41 in bounties
5. nikautiashvi (Georgia) $25,045.88 + $8,761.72 in bounties
6. glu77ps (Romania) $17,451.25 + $9,279.29 in bounties
7. Pendall (Russia) $12,159.51 + $2,640.62 in bounties
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