This past Monday saw the start of the first Omaha tournament at this years Poker Stars World Championship of Online Poker. The buy-in stood at an affordable $200 + $15, and with a guaranteed prize pool of at least $300,000 it was no surprise to see that a whole host of top Omaha players registered. A total of 2,457 pot limit players signed up for the tournament, swelling the prize pool to over $491,000. The tournament’s format may have also tempted in a number of players. Each table was capped at 6 players, in what is more commonly known as 6-max. toto hk
As expected a large contingent of Poker Stars pros turned out to try their hand at a spot of PLO, including the likes of: ElkY, Chad Brown, Dario Minieri, John Duthie, Isabelle Mercier, Tuan Lam, Vanessa Rousso, and Victor Ramdin. However, despite their numbers, none of them were able to make it further than the 219th place occupied by Alexandre “Allingomes” Gomes.
Some of those pros were, no doubt, among the raft of early knockouts. The tournament set a frenetic opening pace, with 600 players eliminated in just 40 minutes. The stage seemed set for a whirlwind event and the high velocity did continue for a time. However as the field began to shrink things began to slow and it would be 16 hours before the start of heads up play.
One major sticking point was the final table bubble, no player wanting to be the one denied the chance to play at a toto hk final table. Not only the prestige of making the final table was at stake, a sizable jump in prize money was also up for grabs. The prize structure of this years WCOOP has been criticized by some for its top heavy nature, and the final table bubble will certainly have added more fuel to the fire. The difference between 6th and 7th places was a massive $8,000, with the prizes almost tripling from $4,500 to $12,500.
In the end markkx was the unlucky one, leaving the chipstacks going into the final table as:
Mary 717: 2,204,333
Those of you who have been keeping up to date with the results of this years WCOOP thus far may well recognize the name ‘rkruock’. Despite the series being only 4 days old, he had already recorded 3 cashes and was now in with a shot at becoming an event champion. If the other players hadn’t heard of him it wouldn’t be long before his name was on the tip of their tongues, as he became embroiled in some early controversy. The clock was paused and the players discussed whether it was time to make a deal for the money. Many professed to be tired and hungry and would sooner divvy up the proceeds and play out the final few hands than slug it out for the agreed prizes. It came to a vote and all were in favor withstanding HOREogHALM and rkurock. So play continued as normal.
Their decision appeared to immediately bear fruit, when the short stack, bearbeer123, became embroiled in a hand with rkurock. With his few chips over the line, his fate was sealed when a King came down to connect with rkrock’s AK, ahead of bearbeer123′s pocket 10′s. Rkrock’s elation at his wise decision would prove to be short-lived, as he became the next player to leave the table. The pain of missing out on the $13,000 extra he could have earned had he taken the deal would not have been dulled to any degree after his elimination by Mary 717 – her paired 10 finding a companion as an 8 hit on the river to give her two pair, far ahead of rkruock’s AA.
With one of the main opponents of the deal out of the picture the players again tried to reach an agreement, but just as before, HOREogHALM was opposed to the idea and play resumed as normal. He may well have come to immediately regret that decision, but by then it would have been too late. Mary 717 appeared to be punishing those who would block the other players ambitions as she slow-played her set of aces and drew the all-in from HOREogHALM and his two pair.
Now that both of the deal-breakers had been eliminated an accord was struck, with the prize money split according to chipstacks. Mary 717 took the biggest share, $65,730, mddgfc the next largest, $50,301, and kev19 a marginally smaller portion, $49,861. All that was left to play for was the remaining $6,000 and the highly regarded WCOOP bracelet. The players seemed keen to end it all and get to bed at this point. After an agreement was reached the tournament lasted all of 5 minutes.
Lady luck seemed to be siding with the fairer sex yet again, as Mary 717′s K-K-9-5 found three more nine’s on the board to crush kev19′s A-A-3-2. This elimination put Mary 717 in a commanding position for heads up play, with a chip advantage of around 5/1. It took no time at all for mddgfc to get his chips all-in and this time Mary 717 found herself ahead. Her Ad-Ah-Qs-10c the favorite over kev19′s Jd-10d-10s-9h before the flop, and once the Kd-Qc-Jh came down her victory was assured with a flopped nut straight. So Mary 717 was crowned the first Omaha champion of the 2008 World Championships of Online Poker and will take with her 14 karat gold WCOOP bracelet, and $71,730, as a reward for her fantastic victory.