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Event #30 of this years bumper WCOOP was one for the Omaha purists. Although there has been a healthy selection throughout the series, this was the first Omaha event that came with no added extras. Merely a simple Pot Limit tournament that was sure to separate the fish from the sharks in the Omaha ocean.

The entry fee came in at the higher end of the WCOOP’s price range, outside of the marquee events, at $1000 + $50. While that may have put some players off the promise of $500,000 added to the prize pool may have soon changed their minds; a field of 742 runners seems to suggest that it did. The players bumping the prize pool up to a total of $742,000.

Of all the Team PokerStars pros who sat down at their computers for event #30, the one who drew the most focus was former World Champion Greg Raymer. Already the proud owner of a WCOOP Omaha bracelet, from last years event #6, he was on the lookout for more silverware.     His day may have started well, but alas it was not to be. His two pair all-in against an opponents set meant that he was eliminated in 118th place – a meagre 10 spots from the money.

Joining him at the virtual felt were a host of other Team PokerStars members including:  Barry Greenstein, Vanessa Rousso Steve Paul-Ambrose, Andre Akkari, Vicky Coren, Isabelle Mercier and Marcin Horecki. Of this troupe four would break the money bubble (Akkari, Paul-Ambrose, Horecki and Mercier), with Isabelle the highest professional finisher. Mercier, who has 6 WSOP cashes to her name as well as a victory in the 2004 WPT Ladies’ Night tournament, ended her night in 42nd place.

The dubious honor of being the final table bubble went to GRinDer444, who got his last few chips in the middle against the already pot committed salamandra24. GRinDer444 looked to be on top when the flop came, his pocket 5’s finding a match on the flop to give him a set, ahead of salamandra24’s J-T two pair. However the turn would not be so kind, a T fell to give both players a full house – but with salamandra24’s Tens full of Jacks well ahead of GRinDer444 and his Fives full of Tens. Only the case five could prevent his elimination and, predictably, it was nowhere to be found.

The chip stacks going into the final table were:

Seat 1: potstabber10 618,172
Seat 2: salamandra24 743,997
Seat 3: styroben33 59,647
Seat 4: iggymcfly 1,420,506
Seat 5: phatman 410,925
Seat 6: Skjervøy 123,211
Seat 7: DAVIDOXXX 994,129
Seat 8: Tmay420 447,265
Seat 9: u_dirty_dog 747,148

Styroben33 entered the final table with less than half the number of chips of his nearest opponent, so it was no surprise to see him exit the table first. All in with K-Q-2-K he was called by potstabber with 8-4-6-4. A flop full of rags suited potstabber just fine, as the 5-7-9 on the board gave him a straight and brought an end to styroben33’s tournament.

This left Skjervøy as the shortest stack at the table, and it was not long before he followed in the footsteps of his predecessor. DAVIDOXXX put in a raise pre-flop to force out potstabber and tempt in Skjervøy. The flop of Q-4-6 seemed to suit them both, as DAVIDOXXX shoved his sizable chip stack in the middle, closely followed by Skjervøy’s more modest total. Skjervøy may have been less happy with the board once he revealed his pair of Queens, only to discover that DAVIDOXXX was holding not only a pair of Queens, but also a pair of sixes. The remaining cards failed to hit anyone and Skjervøy was eliminated in 8th.

Having entered the final table second in chips, and with an knock-out already under his belt, you might have expected DAVIDOXXX to be making inroads towards the coveted WCOOP bracelet. However in the hands following his elimination of Skjervøy he squandered his chips and soon found himself with a less than reputable chip stack. In a contest against iggymcfly, the table chipleader, he found himself all in pre-flop with Jd-Ad-9s-Kd against Ks-Kh-5s-3d. The flop landed in iggy’s favour, Kc-Qd-5d giving him two pair. DAVIDOXXX’s hopes rested on a diamond flush draw and two hearts on the turn and river meant that his tournament was over in 7th place.

Next to head to the rail was Tmay420, after a nasty suck out scuppered his chances of any WCOOP silverware. He looked to be well ahead of u_dirty_dog with a set of aces, after he drew his opponent into making the all-in bet on the flop. However u_dirty_dog hit a backbreaking runner-runner backdoor heart flush to send Tmay420 home in 6th place.

After beginning at a respectable pace the table now entered a period of relative calm. This, however, proved only to be the eye of the hurricane, with the next big pot triggering a landslide. Iggymcfly, had valiantly held onto the chip lead for most of the final table, but it was finally wrestled away from him by u_dirty_dog. All in on the flop, dog’s set of 8’s held up against the open ended and double gutshot straight draws of iggymcfly. This mammoth pot left u_dirty_dog with more than double the chips of his closest opponent.

Shortly after this iggymcfly was involved in another momentous hand. The flop arrived showing 2d-Ts-Jh and both iggy and phatman put all the money in the middle. Phatman could only muster a open ended straight draw, behind to iggy’s pair of Jacks. The turn and river missed both players and phatman had played his last hand, exiting in 5th.

Most players would have had enough excitement at this point, but not iggymcfly. This time he faced off against potstabber10, who was all-in on the flop with Ac-Ad-7d-Tc against iggy’s Qs-7h-8h-Js. The flop read 3h-5h-4c, leaving potstabber’s pocket AA at the head of the pack. However a heart on the turn brought iggy the flush he had been searching for and ended potstabber10’s night in 4th place.

With only three players remaining a deal looked on the cards as players entered discussions. Two of the three were happy to split the money according to chip stacks, leaving $10,000 and the bracelet still to play for. Iggymcfly, however, wasn’t ready to let things finish that smoothly. Insisting that he had an edge over the other two players he demanded more money than his chip stack warranted. Eventually a compromise was reached as u_dirty_dog graciously agreed to give up $2K of his own prize money to satiate iggy’s lust for dollars. The money was split:

u_dirty_dog: $110,000
iggymcfly: $106,203.72
salamandra24’s: $87,291.28

Perhaps it was karma, or perhaps he was just satisfied with his sizable cut of the prize money, but it was iggymcfly who would be eliminated next – losing two out of five hands to salamandra24. In the first salamandra was way ahead with full house against iggy’s QQ second pair, although in the second tussle iggy started with the advantage. All in preflop with A-A-Q-4 and K-K-9-8 for iggy and salamandra respectively, left iggy in a good position. His good work would soon be undone however, a King on the flop left him looking for a recovery which never came.

This left the two heads up combatants with very similar chipstacks:

salamandra24: 2,976,604
u_dirty_dog: 2,588,396

Despite their numerical proximity the bout lasted only 13 minutes. The battle started at pace with salamandra taking down 1,700,000 on one single pot. Rather than sealing the victory for salamandra it was u_dirty_dog who reclaimed the lead ten hands later after he rivered a flush to pull ahead of salamandra’s two pair.

Just when things looked as if they might tip backwards and forwards all night the tournament came to an end with a bang. It all ended with a straightforward race. Salamandra24 made a set on the flop, and was up against the flush and gutshot draws of u_dirty_dog. The draw was dodged successfully, leaving u_dirty_dog down and all but out – with only 24,484 chips. An impossible fight back attempt began after dog doubled up on the next hand, but the blind all in move that followed would be his last play of the night. A high pair enough to give salamandra24 victory in WCOOP event #30.

Final prizes were:

1 salamandra24 Israel $97,291.28
2 u_dirty_dog Australia $110,000.00
3 iggymcfly United States $106,203.72
4 potstabber10 United States $55,650.00
5 phatman United States $38,955.00
6 Tmay420 United States $31,535.00
7 DAVIDOXXX France $24,115.00
8 Skjervøy Norway $16,695.00
9 styroben33 France $10,462.20
10 GRinDer444 United States $7,791.00
11 dr ket Belgium $7,791.00
12 Sasuke234 Sweden $7,791.00
13 gaffel Norway $6,307.00
14 jay7777777 United Kingdom $6,307.00
15 DCal Zone United States $6,307.00
16 EnoBaLL United States $4,823.00
17 Stullenjack Germany $4,823.00
18 tatta United States $4,823.00
19 Supra1988T United States $3,339.00
20 BQNNEN Denmark $3,339.00
21 e1mdopp Russian Federation $3,339.00
22 Moorman1 United Kingdom $3,339.00
23 fouruhaters United States $3,339.00
24 ZORG Germany $3,339.00
25 atlantic17 Poland $3,339.00
26 amrasaralond United States $3,339.00
27 SCARFACE1 United States $3,339.00
28 L.O.G.I.C.O Netherlands $2,597.00
29 NoMercy Canada $2,597.00
30 PearlJammer United States $2,597.00
31 GulahPapyrus United States $2,597.00
32 BabyGrand United States $2,597.00
33 ChetDiMay Vietnam $2,597.00
34 JOE FRASER Canada $2,597.00
35 schmeek United States $2,597.00
36 JERRRY United States $2,597.00
37 Hold_emNL United States $2,300.20
38 __2cb__ Netherlands $2,300.20
39 Donkaroo22 United States $2,300.20
40 sappy123 United States $2,300.20
41 lefty2506 United States $2,300.20
42 michaelsc United States $2,300.20
43 SpadeSkillz United States $2,300.20
44 MiniKipDK Denmark $2,300.20
45 Mary 717 Denmark $2,300.20
46 djalminha Spain $2,077.60
47 snake8484 Canada $2,077.60
48 O.Mustang United Kingdom $2,077.60
49 Sembach81 Denmark $2,077.60
50 Minkolle Sweden $2,077.60
51 Svend sværd France $2,077.60
52 mozitas Uruguay $2,077.60
53 superowl99 United Kingdom $2,077.60
54 Alimoche United States $2,077.60
55 Roothlus United States $1,929.20
56 Natursvin Norway $1,929.20
57 MkMadTILT United Kingdom $1,929.20
58 dankness3 United States $1,929.20
59 Str8$$$Homey Canada $1,929.20
60 peoples2 Denmark $1,929.20
61 TheTownhouse United States $1,929.20
62 TheCleaner11 Ireland $1,929.20
63 fridhem Sweden $1,929.20
64 liberace United Kingdom $1,929.20
65 BackDoorovic Sweden $1,929.20
66 ztesch United States $1,929.20
67 RandALLin United States $1,929.20
68 NoraFlum United States $1,929.20
69 jusgivithere Canada $1,929.20
70 ELSei Russian Federation $1,929.20
71 PokerVic Sweden $1,929.20
72 NYC P.I.M.P United States $1,929.20
73 92848 United States $1,855.00
74 juliafascher Germany $1,855.00
75 Roland62 Germany $1,855.00
76 luvgamble United States $1,855.00
77 SSSSORRY Canada $1,855.00
78 ChrisX United States $1,855.00
79 CalBandGreat United States $1,855.00
80 Rich_Fish United States $1,855.00
81 JohnnyBax United States $1,855.00
82 G.M.T.M Sweden $1,855.00
83 MangosPapa United States $1,855.00
84 bdubs3737 United States $1,855.00
85 Dennis2410 Denmark $1,855.00
86 Jack3-9-95 United States $1,855.00
87 Ravinesh Canada $1,855.00
88 Randers United States $1,855.00
89 aakkari Brazil $1,855.00
90 Akron_John United States $1,855.00
91 ostatepoke45 United States $1,855.00
92 ckl555 Brazil $1,855.00
93 dolphin United States $1,855.00
94 klask Thailand $1,855.00
95 Rocker1978 Finland $1,855.00
96 Speck ftw Germany $1,855.00
97 SirWatts Canada $1,855.00
98 doublmeup1 United States $1,855.00
99 speedyj1 Australia $1,855.00
100 Mai_K_4_Life Canada $1,855.00
101 bernard-bb Finland $1,855.00
102 stevejpa Canada $1,855.00
103 BrasaPoker Brazil $1,855.00
104 Goral Poland $1,855.00
105 rujobo United States $1,855.00
106 DirtyTowel United States $1,855.00
107 MC_Ivan Switzerland $1,855.00
108 CGL7 United States $1,855.00