Never give up.
Parents say it. Coaches scream it. Teachers beg of it. You...probably don't listen. Why would you? It's a worn out old phrase that is hard to believe if you don't see it in action.
Never give up.
That's what they say. Keep trying. Don't quit. Believe.
It's easy to discount it all, especially in poker. Beaten to hell by a two-outer, left with ten percent of the average stack, it feels pretty good and cathartic to shove the rest of it in blind. What's the use, right? It's not like you have a chance at winning anyway.
Today, the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker entered its fifth day, and across the wide landscape of tournaments, we have witnessed a veritable orgy of lost causes. We've seen people throw the foundation of their stacks on sacrificial altars in such ways that it almost seems like they enjoy it. They are the poster children for the Give Up movement.
But, we have also seen glory. We have seen tenaciousness. We have seen such downright stubbornness that the mules on the nearby farm are expressing admiration.
Consider the story of Alex "blackbeaty" Kell, winner of the very first event of this year's SCOOP. The tournament had barely begun when he lost 75% of his stack. It was the type of place your average player might just sigh and start looking for another tournament. Instead, Kell, a 21-year-old from northern Germany, stood his ground.
"i just tried to play my a-game," he said.
He had some experience in this land of the short-stacks. Recently at EPT Berlin, he made it to Day 2, but with only 25,000 chips. Worse, when he got to the tournament room, he couldn't find his table. After ten minutes of running around, he realized why. He was on the TV table with ElkY and Viktor "Isildur1" Blom. The result: Kell eliminated Blom, left the TV table with 135,000, and finished in the money.
In the first SCOOP event, the result of his tenaciousness was a lucky double up that eventually propelled him to the SCOOP title. He has since cashed five more times and currently sits in fourth place on the Player of the Series leaderboard.
Alex "blackbeaty" Kell
If that's not enough reason to keep trying, then consider the story of Oscar Lima Bayo, aka Sr Amarillo. The winner of the SCOOP Event 5-M reached the final table in the middle of the pack, but on the very first hand had queens cracked by king-queen. He had just about one big blind left in his stack .
He didn't give up and rallied for the $100,000 win and SCOOP title.
"I look back two years and I can't belive the goals I'm hitting," he said. "Working on what you love is something that not everyone can say they do, but fortunately I do. I'm just looking forward to improving my game and always looking up for higher targets."
Oscar "Sr Amarillo" Bayo
SCOOP continues for another ten days. If you're already starting to feel tired and like you might just give up, consider Kell and Bayo. They felt that way, too, and today they have a SCOOP title on their resume.
Kami "drkamikaze1" Chisholm is no doctor, but she can operate on just about any kind of battlefield. While all the ear-nose-throat folks are cutting up the nosebleed no-limit hold'em games, Chisholm is chiseling away at whatever game she can find. Need proof? Hereya go:
Chisholm's top three online cashes are a second place $47,000 finish in a WCOOP PLO8 tourney, a first in a HORSE event for $32,000, and her first SCOOP title in this year's SCOOP Event 4-L Badugi event for $9,003. In short, pick a game, and Chisholm can operate.
That flexibility has served her well. Not long after the Badugi finish, she placed fourth in the SCOOP Event 10-M Stud event. The result: Chisholm is currently tied for fifth place on the overall Player of the Series leaderboard.
"I never give up on a tournament, no matter how short stacked I am," she said. "I have come back from only having 1-2 big blinds more times than I can count to win the tournament!"
Kami "drkamikaze1" Chisholm
The one-time resident of the USA is no fulltime poker pro. She plays 10-20 tournaments on weekends, and spends the rest of the week in a state of being that she calls "self-employed." In recent months, Chisholm and her partner picked up and moved to Canada. It was a move she'd been planning long before April 15, 2011.
"I was ready for a major shift in my life, and I have gotten it. Which, probably not so coincidentally, has been great for my poker results," she said.
Though she's on a roll now, the year didn't start that way. Her personal life took a tough turn in the first couple of months of the year, and she ended up taking a full month off poker to get her life together. The break served her well.
"it was the best thing I could have done," she said. "My first weekend back playing, I took first in the Stars weekly HORSE."
She also won two satellites for the ?1,100 PokerStars Women Live event in Monaco, where didn't cash, but had a great time. She had only been home a week when she hit SCOOP with everything she had.
So, keep it all in mind when you see Dr. Kami on the tables for the rest of SCOOP. She may not be a real doctor, but she'll cut you up just the same.
It feels quite appropriate that today's SCOOP offerings should include a variety of the game where the objective literally is to "scoop". The thought of hi-lo games makes some players run for the hills, so PokerStars added a little spice to the split variant. Let's play Pot Limit Omaha. And make it six-handed. That'll get them to come. Genius!
The game of PLO H/L 6-Max is a lot like bungy jumping. There are some thrills, a bit of risk but there's a safety rope if things go pear-shaped. Since bungy jumping is pretty cool, it was no surprise to see a healthy field of 1,591 players taking part in today's SCOOP Event #11-M $82 PLO H/L 6-Max event. They produced a prize pool of $119,325 which was more than double the guarantee, as the Omaha variants continue to prove to be an emerging trend in world poker.
Shane Schleger, Bertrand Grospellier, Chad Brown, Jude Ainsworth, Dale Philip, George Lind III, Adrienne Rowsome, Anders Berg, Henrique Pinho, Marcin Horecki and reigning World Champion Pius Heinz were representing the red spade of Team PokerStars today but unfortunately fell short of the cash.
The top 204 players finished in the money, with denmon27 from Canada unlucky to miss the $137.22 min-cash after bubbling the event in 205th place.
Martin Staszko (192nd - $143.19) and George Danzer (168th - $155.12) made the money with Oceania's newest recruit to PokerStars Team Online, and renowned PLO god, Roy Bhasin winning the Team PokerStars last longer bet with 39th place worth $387.80.
When themanparris was eliminated in 7th place, our final table lineup was set:
Final Table Lineup
Seat 1: outlaw (914600 in chips)
Seat 2: imgoodiknow (371745 in chips)
Seat 3: OrsaGoldhill (3072473 in chips)
Seat 4: eityby55 (824872 in chips)
Seat 5: RichGRich (733882 in chips)
Seat 6: Rennwurm (2037428 in chips)
It had been slow going to progress from last 18 players to the final table of six, due to the nature of the split pot game, but it didn't take long to lose imgoodiknow in 6th place. With the blinds at 15k/30k, imgoodiknow raised it to 90k and found a call from OrsaGoldhill. The chips went flying on a [4c][2c][Tc] flop with imgoodiknow showing [5d][9h][Jh][Ad] for a wheel draw as OrsaGoldhill had half in the bag with [6c][3h][7c][5h] for a flopped flush. The turn [Ts] and river [4h] didn't change anything to leave imgoodiknow to collect $2,983.12.
After twelve hours of play, RichGRich was quick to toss up the idea of a deal, which seemed to spark the interest of most players. However eityby55 remained silent and play continued.
OrsaGoldhill moved out to a substantial chip lead, and extended that when eliminating RichGRich from the tournament. OrsaGoldhill opened with a raise holding [Tc][8d][Qd][5c], before RichGRich moved all in holding [8c][5d][Jc][9s]. Neither had a great hi-lo hand, but OrsaGoldhill made the call and his queen-high played on the board of [Kh][Jd][Kc][Kd][3s] as both players made trip kings with no low hand. RichGRich pocketed $4,773 for 5th place.
Rennwurm landed a double up, but it was still OrsaGoldhill who was the ultimate aggressor, collecting the majority of pots four-handed. At one stage we counted OrsaGoldhill scooping or at least winning part of the pot in 29 out of 33 consecutive hands. That's domination right there.
Outlaw could only sit back and watch for the most part, and eventually his short stack was forced to make a stand. Outlaw raised preflop, bet the flop and was all in for pocket change on the turn on a board of [6h][Qd][Qc][Td]. Outlaw showed [3d][4h][4s][Ac] which looked pretty for a potential low, but on that board, it didn't amount to much, as OrsaGoldhill held [Kd][8h][6d][8c] for a better pair. The river was the [Tc] which didn't change anything, leaving outlaw to depart in 4th place for $7159.50 in prize money.
OrsaGoldhill was out in front but Rennwurm scooped a couple of healthy pots to even things back up three-handed. Of course hi-lo is not just about scooping, but often it's a game of quarters (or preferably three-quarters). OrsaGoldhill found that out when he took a big dent in the following hand against eityby55:RSS readers click through to see replay
Both players had the same low but eityby55 collected the high to take the chip lead and halt the dominance of OrsaGoldhill.
OrsaGoldhill didn't survive too much longer. The end came when the OrsaGoldhill's last chips went in on a flop of [9h][8d][Ts]. Rennwurm showed [7s][Jh][Jc][Tc] for a flopped straight as OrsaGoldhill called it off with [5d][Th][Ac][9c] for top two pair with a backdoor low draw. The [Ks] turn and [8s] river changed nothing to see OrsaGoldhill's run come to an end in 3rd place for $10,739.25.
Rennwurm held a narrow chip advantage heads up, but eityby55 chipped away at the lead with a series of small pots. That is, until Rennwurm scooped the biggest pot of the tournament when he made a better high and low in the following hand:RSS readers click through to see replay
Rennwurm looked in control, holding a 12-to-1 advantage at one point, but eityby55 doubled and then doubled again, before the key hand saw eityby55 make a straight and a low to scoop against Rennwurm's two pair to reclaim the lead.
Eventually the battle was over in a hand where eityby55 called a preflop raise, before leading the betting on each street on a board that read [4s][2d][9d][Ks][9s]. Rennwurm responded by moving all in, with eityby55 making the call with [Qc][3c][Qs][2s] for a king-queen-high flush, narrowly pipping the [3s][Kd][Js][8d] king-jack-high flush for Rennwurm.
With that, Rennwurm won $14,736.63 for 2nd place as Russia's eityby55 is our newest SCOOP champion, winning the title and $19,689.44.
Final Table Results
1st eityby55 (Russia) - $19,689.44
2nd Rennwurm (Germany) - $14,736.63
3rd OrsaGoldhill (Sweden) - $10,739.25
4th outlaw (Canada) - $7,159.50
5th RichGRich (Germany) - $4,773
6th imgoodiknow (Israel) - $2,983.12
The 2012 SCOOP is only just getting started with an amazing schedule of events still to come. For more details head to the official SCOOP website for the schedule, satellites, leaderboard, statistics and more.
Monaco: The second smallest country in the world (behind Vatican City) and a hub for the rich and famous. It is glitzy, full of glamour and very apt for the 2012 PokerStars and Monte Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final. Season 8 was about to come to an end and we were going to do it in style.
Having come straight from Berlin to Monaco, I was already fighting the fatigue, but to arrive in this Billionaire's Playground, the sun shining, the sky blue and the Mediterranean glistening a beautiful turquoise, I woke up again. Taking a stroll around the famous Princess Grace Avenue and becoming lost on winding pieces of Grand Prix track, I was made fully aware how beautiful this tiny municipality was. It's the only place I have been to where instead of getting woken up by a cleaning lady hovering out in the corridor or banging on my door, I was woken instantaneously by the whirr of a Ferrari engine. Morning, noon and night, all I could hear was fast cars, sounds of laughter, champagne pouring and wads full of money being flashed about. This place wasn't cheap, but having explored the streets for two days before the tournament got under way, I was learning how to economize in a place built for multi-millionaires.
Everywhere we walked, there were signs of the preparation for the Formula One Grand Prix taking place in just a few weeks time. I would have loved to have been in Monaco for this, but we knew having the EPT Grand Final and the F1 Grand Prix at the same time might have been a recipe for disaster in terms of the amount of people in this tiny country. We arrived in Monaco for the poker just the day after the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tennis took place as well, so I was hoping for a surprise soiree with Raphael Nadal who took it down (unsurprisingly) but it was not to be. I did however meet Djokovich's economist in the pool doing some lengths at Le Meridien Beach Plaza, who was full of surprisingly interesting conversation and we swapped poker gossip for tennis chat, which pleased me no end.
Here is our sightseeing tour video for Monaco. Please note, obviously as I stated previously Ferraris are everywhere here, but when we are waiting for one to feature in our video, does it want to arrive? The answer is no, but waiting for it did help my tan to progress a lot:
The Grand Final began with the ?100,000 Super High Roller event, which to me is an insane amount of money; I still can't quite get my head around it. Nonetheless, there were still 38 entrants and a total of 45 registrations as players did have a choice to re-register if they lost all their chips at the beginning. This created a prize pool of ?4,432,500 and it was just as good Justin Bonomo did decide to re-register when he bust out, because he went on to win the event for ?1,640,000. Not bad for three days work. Here is our interview shortly after he took it down:
The Main Event had already gotten under way by the time Justin had shone in the glory of taking down the Super High Roller title. Play moved pretty quickly through the first few days and we saw a total of 665 players take their seats, creating a prize pool of ?6.65m and a first place prize of ?1.35m. Five Team PokerStars Pros made the money, including Max Martinez (Italy) for ?15,000, Angel Guillen (Mexico) and Sandra Naujoks (Germany) for ?20,000, and Richard Toth (Hungary) and Matthias De Meulder (Belgium) for ?30,000. Yet 34th was to be the best place for our Team Pros. Justin Bonomo had also made the money, after not feeling completely satisfied by his win of ?1,640,000 in the Super High Roller; he also cashed for ?35,000 in 28th place. Yet, it was Mohsin Charania who eventually took the EPT Grand Final down.
He was heads-up against French mademoiselle and well-known online player (known as SoMuchB online), Lucille Cailly, who was the only lady to have ever made a final table at the Grand Final. She played superbly with a huge amount of aggression, but Charania just had the edge in the action of a very fast-paced final table. He spoke to us just after his win:
Now, because this was the Grand Final, things just didn't end once the winner of the main event had been announced. There was still the ?25,000 High Roller, Tournament of Champions and the EPT Awards and party to contend with. (I told you we were going to go out with a bang!) To say Justin Bonomo was running well was an understatement. He wins the Super High Roller, cashes in the main and now suddenly becomes chip leader going into the final table of the ?25,000 Hi Roller. He didn't eventually win it, but he still made fourth place for another ?266,000. Madness. We left it to Daniel Negreanu and Igor Kurganov to battle it out for the ?1,080,000 first prize, yet it was Kurganov who eventually took this one down, though we could tell Daniel really wanted his first EPT title.
There was always the party, which we of course saw him at partying away until the wee small hours of the morning. As I prepared for the EPT Awards and my final night in the Billionaire's Playground, Christophe Benzimra was busy winning the Tournament of Champions (with EPT Loutraki Champ Zimnan Ziyard coming second and EPT Deauville Champ Jake Cody in third) netting themselves a huge amount of buy-ins for Season 9 on the EPT.
We leave you with the EPT Awards, which show some of the winners for Player of the Year, Online Qualifier of the Year, Player's Choice, Achievement of the Year and Country of the Year:
No doubt about it, Season 8 and all its 13 stops had been a whirlwind of poker, travel and fun explorations, but we have even more hope and anticipation for Season 9 on the greatest poker tour of them all, the EPT.
Polish SuperNova lurko8 today claimed his second SCOOP title, adding Event 11-H $700 PL Omaha 6-max to the Event #33-H No Limit Omaha Hi/Lo title he won in 2011. Clearly he likes four card games.
With 321 players taking to the virtual felt, this event didn't just smash the guarantee it pulvarised, devoured and, ahem, chopped it up. The final prize pool of $215,070 was three-times the advertised guarantee and the winner would take home $47,315.48. Some of those who contributed to the prize pool but took nothing from it were: Anders 'Donald Berg, George Lind III, Henrique.Pinho, Martin Staszko, George Danzer, Jude Ainsworth, and ElkY whilst Eugene Katchalov was eliminated in 36th - the first money paying spot.
But one Team Online pro was still going strong, Shane 'shaniac' Schleger was alive and well and truly kicking as hand for hand play started with seven players left. '18 hours on the grind, and I'm on the FT bubble of event 11-H, $700 PL08 6-max. 7/7 in chips,' he tweeted.
Shane 'shaniac' Schleger pictured at the PCA
The experienced pro was on the three-handed table at this point but despite being the short stack he did not acquiesce to the bigger stacks and in fact put his chips to good use. 'Chipped up nicely on the FT bubble. Now 3/6 in chips. $47K up top.," he tweeted shortly after Chipaccrual had been eliminated by lukro8 in seventh place.
As the final table started the stacks and line-up looked like this:
Seat 1: Aquasces1, Canada, 165,316
Seat 2: Milana Jones, Russia, 510,077
Seat 3: lukro8, Poland, 498,998
Seat 4: Lyndon360, New Zealand, 178,121
Seat 5: HornyAnimal 62,596
Seat 6: shaniac 189,892
The final table
It would take nearly an hour of cagey play for the first exits of the final table. Yes that's right exits - because it was a double elimination. HornyAnimal was the shortstack and the start of the final table and had been unable to make any progress. Playing a stack of 58,322 he opened for the pot (21,000) from under-the-gun, next to act Team Online Pro shaniac (playing 151,052) committed almost half his stack by re-potting and raising to 72,000. It passed to lukro8 who smooth called from the small blind and HornyAnimal then called all-in.
The flop fell [3d][ks][7s] lukro8 set shaniac all-in and he made the call. You can see the results of the hand below.
RSS readers click through to see replay
When the hand was over four players remained, HornyAnimal winning $8,602.80 in sixth, shaniac $12,904.20 for fifth. "Sigh, maybe blew it on my bust hand, not sure what else to do though. Took 5th for ~13K," tweeted shaniac shortly aftwerwards.
At this stage Milina Jones and lukro8 were forging ahead leaving Lyndon360 and Aquasces1 far behind, the latter two seemingly having a battle for third and fourth between them. The two chipleaders were winning most pots and very much playing small pot poker and any big pots that were played ended up being chopped and it was as you were.
But then along came a big pot as Aquasces1 doubled through Milana Jones.
RSS readers click through to see replay
A short time late Aquasces1 gained the chip lead and it was now he and lukro8 clear of Milana Jones and Lyndon360. Soon though two groups of two would become one group of three as the two shortstacks clashed in a pot that would send one of them to the rail in fourth.
In a four-bet pre-flop pot Lyndon360 was effectively all-in against Milina Jones and on the flop of [Qs][Jh][4c] Jones set him all-in and he called.
RSS readers click through to see replay
A rivered two-pair for the Russian saw him suddenly zoom back into contention.
The stacks of the three players left were now very close:
Seat 1: Aquasces1 570,248
Seat 2: Milana Jones 549,252
Seat 3: lukro8 485,500
So deal discussions started with Aquasces1 the prompter:
Aquasces1: 3 way chop and sleep?
Milana Jones: we can see numbers
Aquasces1: ok lukro?
lukro8: lets play
With deal discussions nipped in the bud by the player chasing a second SCOOP title they played on for:
In the first 30 minutes of three-handed play Aquasces1 had opened up a significant chip lead but then came a tournament defining million chip pot that swung the pendulum of power towards the Pole.RSS readers click through to see replay
Aquasces1 had flopped top set, but lurko8 had a draw to the nut flush and a better draw to a low hand, he duly hit both draws on the [5c] turn, Aquasces1 needed the board to pair to take the high portion of the pot but the [8s] completed the board.
The Pole now had almost two-thirds of the chips in play but long time chip leader Milana Jones was not going to sit back and get picked off. Indeed it was he who would eliminate Aquasces1 in third to ensure that the two big stacks coming to the final table would face-off heads-up for the title.
Jones raised to 32,000 pre-flop, Aquasces1 re-raised to 102,000 (leaving just 995 back) and Jones made the call. The flop fell [7d][10c][Ac] and the very few remaining chips went in.
Milana Jones: [10d][9d][5c][3c]
With a king high flush and a 8,7,5,3,A low Jones took the whole pot and heads-up play started with the following chip stacks:
Milana Jones: 564,334
lurko8 had a near two to one chip lead and over the first 23 hands of heads-up play he extended that lead still further. The 24th hand would be the last.
With blinds at 6,000 - 12,000 Milana Jones raised to 24,000 on the button, lurko8 three-bet to 72,000 and Jones called. On the flop of [Ad][Ah][6c] lurko8 led out for 144,000, Jones moved all-in for 292,364 and lurko8 snap called.
Milana Jones: [5s][4s][2s][2d]
lurko8 had flopped a full-house to all but lock up the high half of the pot, Jones though had a better draw to the low. But, the turn was the [Qh] and the [9d] completed the board to give lurko8 a second SCOOP title and $47,315.48.RSS readers click through to see replay
Final table payouts:
1st: lukro8, Poland, $47,315.48
2nd: Milana Jones, Russia, $33,013.24
3rd: Aquasces1, Canada, $24,733.05
4th: Lyndon360, New Zealand, $17,205.60
5th: shaniac, Mexico, $12,904.20
6th: HornyAnimal, United Kingdom, $8,602.80
The PokerStars Macau live poker room will make a return to the spectacular Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex on June 9, 2012. It was previously housed there in 2008, before moving to the Casino Grand Lisboa venue in 2009, where it was located until the contract came to an end in March this year.
PokerStars Macau is home to the biggest and richest poker tournaments in Asia, and the new poker room will be located in the Grand Waldo main casino area while the special events will be held in the new Conference and Exhibition Centre. The ever-popular Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon series will launch the new venue from June 9-18. The 10-day event includes nine 'Official Asia Player of the Year' events and features the legendary Red Dragon Main Event, which comes with a HKD $3,000,000 guarantee.
PokerStars' association with the Grand Waldo began in May 2008, when it was the venue for PokerStars' first ever live poker room in Macau. Then from March 2009 until March 2012, the Casino Grand Lisboa served as home for the world's largest poker room in Macau.
"It's like coming back home after a long trip. It feels good." said Danny McDonagh, PokerStars Director of Live Operations for Asia-Pacific. "This is where poker began in Asia, and the players can expect a lot more this time around. The entire Grand Waldo complex has been getting a make-over since we were last here. PokerStars Macau will run cash games in the Grand Waldo Casino and the new conference and exhibition centre is an ideal area for major poker tournaments. It's going to give us new opportunities for enhancing the poker-playing experience."
Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang added: "I have great memories of Grand Waldo. This was where I made my first big final table during APPT in 2008 and also where I met my wife. The PokerStars Macau tournaments are growing at a ridiculous rate so this is an exciting step to adequately fill the monster fields coming for these events."
The luxurious Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex offers players five-star guest accommodation in 316 guest rooms plus 24 VIP suites in the Grand Waldo Hotel block, a 30,000 sq ft Conference and Exhibition Centre, a 24-hour family-oriented spa, and a stylish nightclub. Food lovers can also enjoy the new Rain Restaurant and Bar offering a high-class, friendly and relaxing atmosphere with live music and a wide range of food to choose from, including cocktail-style menus and five-course fine dining.
PokerStars also confirmed today that the Macau Poker Cup Championship and ACOP (Asia Championship of Poker) will take place as originally planned in September and November respectively.
However, there have been some additions to the PokerStars Macau calendar, which will now host four major tournaments for the remainder of 2012. Most notable of these is the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Season 6 leg in Macau, which will include a HKD $30,000 event during the ACOP, which runs from October 26 to November 11.
Also, the ACOP: Platinum Series will be integrated into the Macau Poker Cup in June, July, and September, where the final 10 players in each of the HKD $500,000 guaranteed events will play off for a HKD $100,000 seat to the ACOP Main Event.
The current schedule for PokerStars Macau is as follows (all figures in HKD):
Freeroll qualifiers for the Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon are running now at PokerStars.net. Go to the 'Tourney' tab, then click 'Regional'
For complete and up-to-date schedules for all PokerStars Macau events please visit the PokerStars Macau web site.
As comebacks go, tourplaya's final table short stack to SCOOP winner would have had to been rated as unlikely. At one point the Canadian was down to less than ten big blinds which accounted for less than half of the next shortest player. Then he found himself in the big blind and gifted the faintest of hopes.
"omg a walk, that hasn't happened in 2 hours," tapped tourplaya.
He'd been allowed to scoop the blinds and antes uncontested. It may not have seemed like a big deal to the other players but that lifeline was a turning point. An hour later he was all-in three ways for the title and winning, set to beat a field of 5,925 which saw 780 players getting paid.
The final table
Six players made the final with klbereAA being the FT bubble boy after flopping bottom set to the top set of Ivars7 on a [qd][kh][as] flop in a battle of the blinds. Also just missing out on the big money was double UKIPT winner Nick 'nabourisk' Abou Risk who bust out in 11th ($342.16). The other players should have been happy to see him go, he doesn't frequently miss when he gets this deep in an event.
Nick 'nabourisk' Abou Risk
_Kristibrud_ and Zoni_MoRsi were at the top of the chip counts where they'd been for the last few tables of play. Zoni_MoRsi had been a humongous chip leader in the lead up and held nearly 10,000,000 of the 29,625,000 of chips in play with 12 players remaining. While that was around a third of the chips in play, the German couldn't keep hold of them and, as his fortunes dwinded, the stack of the aggressive Swede _Kristibrud_ grew. The final six lined up as follows:
Seat 1: tourplaya (3,110,803)
Seat 2: Ivars7 (5,394,016)
Seat 3: bak2000 (3,085,402)
Seat 4: chicoune (1,581,136)
Seat 5: _Kristibrud_ (9,499,172)
Seat 6: Zoni_MoRsi (6,954,471)
tourplaya started the worst losing a pot to ZoniMoRsi, allowing the German to catch up with _Kristibrud_ and sending tourplaya towards what looked like a 5th or 6th place exit. Then there was that walk shortly followed by a failed light squeeze by Zoni_MoRsi which more than doubled tourplaya (watch below).
RSS readers click through to see replay
"all are just sitting and waiting for aces," said Zoni_MoRsi.
"why wouldn't u when u can 3 or 4 bet with em and still get paid off," replied tourplaya.
It was a fair point. Why try flair plays if others are going to burn themselves out for you?
Bak2000 was the eventual first faller jamming [3d][2h][4c][6d] into a high [kh][ah][3c] flop. chicoune called with [Qc][3s][2d][Ac]. No help came on the turn or river and Bak2000 was sent to the rail while chicoune jumped up to 4,737,000, leaving Ivars7 as the short stack. He was the next to go, another stepping stone in the resurgent comeback by tourplaya who shot up past the 10m mark for the first time.
RSS readers click through to see replay
With four players remaining a deal was suggested but quickly quashed by _Kristibrud_. That same Swede lost a big hand to Zoni_Morsi shortly after, the usual victim of deal-refusal karma perhaps. But he was not to be put down for long and quickly won most of those chips back from table livewire Zoni_Morsi just a few hands later.
Somewhat unbelievably it was Zoni_Morsi who went in fourth: he'd gone from joint chip leader to out in five hands. It was an expensive crash: the remaining three players then agreed to an even chop deal of $4,500.39, which left aside $500 and the SCOOP watch for the winner. Zoni_Morsi still picked up $1,970.06 for his $7.50 buy-in. Not exactly a bad night at the office. chicoune did him the damage, _Kristibrud_ delivered the coup de grace.
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After 18 hands of dancing around each other the chicoune and tourplaya got into a raising war which saw tourplaya flop Broadway which also eliminated any chance of a low chop. That pot (which can be watched below) left tourplaya as a huge 22,320,000 chip stack and the others with no reason not to gamble. All three players stepped into the middle of the floor and let loose; arms flailed, legs kicked and all the chips went into the middle. _KristiBrud_ fell but somehow chicoune came out with two big blinds. They did not last lost: you can only have one comeback each tournament. That claim, the title, the SCOOP watch and $5,000.39 goes to tourplaya.
The final three-way flurry
1. $5,000.39*, tourplaya
2. $4,500.39*, chicoune
3. $4,500.38*, _Kristibrud_
4. $1,970.06, Zoni_MoRsi
5. $1,175.81, Ivars7
6. $622.12, Bak200
*Denotes a deal was made.
And it's goodnight from us...
When a player enters the final table with a dominating chip lead, others can be intimidated. When that player holds the lead throughout most of the action, the feeling is that he or she cannot lose. But Pollopopeye paid no mind to caecilius' chip counts, only to the intention of winning. And after a stellar and long heads-up match, Pollopopeye came through and claimed that title for an extraordinary two-day effort.
It didn't take a genius to know this tournament would be big. The $1,050 buy-in attracted the higher stakes players, and the $600K guarantee attracted anyone who could win a satellite to get into the action. So, Event 8 was scheduled as a two-day tournament, knowing this would be one of the bigger events in the 2012 SCOOP series thus far.
And it was. The first day of Event 8-High offered three hours of late registration, and the final numbers that resulted were incredible:
Prize pool: $1,328,000.00
Paid players: 153
After the first eight hours of play on Day 1, the field was reduced to fewer than 200 players. To that point, some of the recent bustouts of Team Pros included Jonathan Duhamel in 268th place, Lex Veldhuis in 229th, and Leo Fernandez in 221st. The money bubble was in sight, and it burst at the very end of the night as kabutze finished in 154th place and SFisch4 took home $1,992.00 for 153rd place. With the 149th place elimination of Bear4rms, play was stopped.
As for the Team PokerStars Pros, there were several remaining in the Event 8-H field, including Ana Marquez, Martin Staszko, Maxim Lykov, and Matthias de Meulder. Eugene Katchalov was ranked 19th on the leaderboard and led the pack of Team Pros at the end of the night.
As the second day of play began, action was in Level 17 with 400/800 blinds and a 100 ante. The top ten chip counts out of 148 remaining players were as follows:
a$$ou - 133,407
treezer - 131,749
DYBYDX - 128,933
modogrinder - 120,393
Flying Smile - 117,103
kleath - 110,897
SKWINNER - 106,389
Adrian900123 - 102,142
cobrastyle15 - 100,982
caballou - 99,901
It took little more than an hour to reduce the field to less than 100 players, and Team Pros Maxim Lykov and Ana Marquez were among those eliminations. The next 50 players to exit included names like THAY3R and USCphildo, and Team Pro Matthias de Meulder was eliminated in 53rd place.
Team Pro Eugene Katchalov was doing quite well until about four or five hours into Day 2, at which point he exited in 32nd place for $4,913.60. That left Team Pro Martin Staszko (pictured below), still working a relatively short stack but holding enough blinds to hang on. He did just that and stuck with it as play continued toward the final table.
Hand-for-hand play didn't begin until 9.5 hours after play restarted on Day 2. With the 11th place elimination of sammycon23, action intensified until 1Il|1Il|1il| got involved with caecilius to see a raised [2s][Kd][Ts] flop. A series of raisers led to 1Il|1Il|1il| moving all-in with [Ks][9c], and caecilius called with [Ah][Kh] for two pair with the better kicker. The [4c] and [2h] ended the hand and eliminated 1Il|1Il|1il| in tenth place with $11,819.20.
Caecilius dominates in chip lead
After much anticipation, the final table began in Level 34, with blinds of 4,500/9,000 and a 1,125 ante. The players' starting stacks were as follows:
Seat 1: Pollopopeye (615,082 in chips)
Seat 2: caecilius (3,135,074 in chips)
Seat 3: swordfish007 (451,046 in chips)
Seat 4: Ruxandescu (522,107 in chips)
Seat 5: B4d3m3!st3r (489,232 in chips)
Seat 6: M. Staszko (358,735 in chips)
Seat 7: Flying Smile (418,797 in chips)
Seat 8: compris (188,075 in chips)
Seat 9: onesixty8 (461,852 in chips)
In a change of pace, the second hand of the final table produced action. Flying Smile started with a raise from middle position, and swordfish007 called from the big blind. The flop came [Kh][4s][Qs], and Flying Smile led out with a bet. Swordfish007 check-raised, and Flying Smile raised again. When swordfish007 pushed all-in, Flying Smile called all-in with [Qc][Qh] for the set of queens, and swordfish007 showed [As][Jc] for the straight draw. The [Js] on the turn brought flush possibilities as well, and the [9s] made that spade flush. Flying Smile exited in ninth place with $14,608.00.
Compris was the next of the short stacks at risk, pushing all-in from the small blind for 211,700 chips with [Ah][Jc]. Swordfish007 called with [8h][8d], and that pocket pair held up to the [6h][Ts][Kd][9d][3s] board. Compris never improved and had to leave in eighth place with $25,896.00.
Team Pro Staszko hangs on
Onesixty8 had a rough time at the table and was reduced to little more than 100K chips. Those went all-in UTG with [Kh][Jc], and Team PokerStars Pro Martin Staszko called from the big blind with [Ah][9h]. The flop of [Jd][7d][9c] gave onesixty8 top pair, but the [Ac] hit on the turn to give M. Staszko two pair. The [Qh] on the river changed nothing and sent onesixty8 out in seventh place with $39,176.00.
B4d3m3!st3r shoved preflop from the big blind with [As][9d], but original raiser caecilius called with a dominating [Ac][Qs]. The board blanked with [Kd][5c][8d][3h][2s], and the queen kicker played to eliminate B4d3m3!st3r, winner of a 2011 SCOOP title in sixth place with $52,456.00.
M. Staszko doubled through caecilius, though the latter remained the undisputed chip leader with nearly 3 million chips:
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Pollopopeye's turn to climb
Ruxandescu was the next player at risk, doing it with [Ac][4s] aginst the [Qc][Qh] of Pollopopeye. The board of [7s][6s][6d][4h][2s] only increased Pollopopeye's hand to the best two pair, and Ruxandescu was ousted in fifth place with $65,736.00.
Swordfish007 and Pollopopeye got into a serious preflop raising war that ended when swordfish007 pushed all-in with [5c][5h] and Pollopopeye called with [Js][Jh]. Nothing about the [3h][7c][Ac][As][Th] board changed anything, and swordfish007 had to swim off in fourth place with $92,428.80.
In danger of losing the chip lead to Pollopopeye, caecilius got aggressive during three-handed play and too some big pots from both competitors. Shorter-stacked M. Staszko was hurt most by the 1.4 million-chip pot loss, but the Team Pro had been nothing but a model of patience throughout the entire tournament, so picking spots so close to the end was not a problem.
Team Pro over and out
M. Staszko was left with a very short stack and chose to push his 233,944 all-in with [7h][6h]. Pollopopeye called, and original raiser caecilius folded. Pollopopeye showed [Ah][Ts] and improved to top pair on the [9c][Tc][2h] flop. M. Staszko was live with the inside straight draw, but neither the [Qd] nor the [9s] made it. Team PokerStars Pro Martin Staszko finished the tournament in third place with $126,160.00.
Quiet, calculated heads-up match
The last two players began their battle with these stacks:
Seat 1: Pollopopeye (2,204,670 in chips)
Seat 2: caecilius (4,435,330 in chips)
A few rounds in, caecilius took a pot worth more than 1.2 million chips, and Pollopopeye was reduced to a further deficit. The two battled in silence, without a single comment between them, nor a request for deal talks or even so much as an "lol." It was all quiet on the heads-up front.
But just as caecilius moved ahead, Pollopopeye had a double-up waiting in the wings. It came in handy here and nearly evened the stacks:
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After one hour of heads-up play and stacks remaining nearly even, Pollopopeye asked if there was an interest in seeing some chop numbers, but caecilius was clear that the intention was to play. "I'm all set, thanks though," was the response in the chat box. And so, they played on.
Eventually, Pollopopeye took some big pots to jump into the lead. Exactly 13 hours after the day started and nearly 1.5 hours into the heads-up match, a big hand developed. Caecilius raised, and Pollopopeye called to see a [Js][2s][8d] flop. Caecilius bet, and Pollopopeye check-raised. Caecilius called and the [5d] was delivered on the turn. Another bet from caecilius was followed by a check-call from Pollopopeye, and the [Ts] came on the river. Caecilius bet again, and Pollopopeye raised all-in. Caecilius thought for more than a few minutes before finally calling with [Jd][5s] for two pair. But Pollopopeye turned over [Qs][8s] for the spade flush, and caecilius had to settle for second place and $166,000.00.
Pollopopeye of the UK won the SCOOP 8-H title, a Movado watch, and $229,212.80 in cash. Congrats!
2012 SCOOP Event #8-H ($1,015 NLHE) Results:
1st place: Pollopopeye ($229,212.80)
2nd place: caucilius ($166,000.00)
3rd place: Team PokerStars Pro Martin "M. Staszko" Staszko ($126,160.00)
4th place: swordfish007 ($92,428.00)
5th place: Ruxandescu ($65,736.00)
6th place: B4d3m3!st3r ($52,456.00)
7th place: onesixty8 ($39,176.00)
8th place: compris ($25,896.00)
9th place: Flying Smile ($14,608.00)
The Spring Championship of Online Poker home page contains all of the tournament results, schedule of upcoming events and their satellites, and a leaderboard for the 2012 Series.
Every poker tournament features your plain old, generic "knockouts," from which all who survive -- not just the one doing the knocking -- benefit in some fashion. Then you have your "bounty" KO events where a little gets saved out of the prize pool as to be awarded as bounties, usually a small percentage of the entry fee, given to players each time they eliminate an opponent.
Then you have your "super knockout" tourneys, in which half of the prize pool gets set aside for bounties. In the case of SCOOP #9-H, that meant $1,025 of every player's $2,100 entry went to the bounty pool, with another $1,025 going to the regular prize pool.
In the end, 566 players joined this one, together building both $580,150 prize pool and a $580,150 bounty pool -- the $1,160,300 total obliterating the event's $400K guarantee. The top 63 finishers would divide the prize pool half of the loot, with the rest going to those scoring knockouts along the way. The winner stood to earn $110,228.61, plus that last bounty as well as his or her own, not to mention any others collected on the way to the title.
From 566 to 100
At the five-hour break just 224 players remained, with Paris Dedes leading followed by Rens02 and dean23price. Also still alive and representing Team PokerStars at that point were Team Pros Ana Marquez, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, and Pius Heinz, as well as George "Jorj95" Lind III and Anders "Donald" Berg of Team Online,
Eliminations continued to occur, with handsome $1,025 bounties collected with each one. Aku1206 grabbed Lind's bounty, knocking out Jorj95 in 221st. The numerically-named 44446 then picked up ElkY's, eliminating the latter in 197th. And upmaxH claimed Marquez' when she went out in 193rd. Later Pius Heinz fell in 101st, his bounty claimed by Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen, leaving only Berg to represent the home team with 100 players left.
From 100 to 9
Berg would successfully nurse a short stack all of the way into the cash, busting shortly in 60th for a $2,552.66 cash.
In his final hand, Berg would get the last of his stack in on a [Tc][9s][6d] flop with [Jc][Jh], but was up against Stephen "stevie444" Chidwick's [6s][6c]. Another ten on the turn made stevie444's set a full house, and a blank on the river sent Berg to the rail. That marked the second Team PokerStars Pro bounty collected by Chidwick who earlier eliminated Matthias "mattidm" de Meulder in 362nd.
Soon they reached the nine-hour mark, at which point exactly 50 players remained. upstrick77 led the way with just over 170,000, with Chidwick having pushed up into second position with nearly 163,000. David "Betudontbet" Emmons, spirox21, Naza114, Rens02, and Mike "SirWatts" Watson rounded out the 100,000-chip club.
Three hours later, 18 were left, led by David "Betudontbet" Evans, YrrsiNN, and upstrick77. Among those hitting the rail in the interim were Joćo "joaobarb" Barbosa (46th, $2,726.70), Tim "Tmay420" West (43rd, $2,900.75), James "jcamby33" Campbell (42nd, $2,900.75), Stefan "I'amSound" Huber (35th, $3,190.82), Alexis "J0hnny_Dr@m@" Zervos (33rd, $3,190.82), James "mig.com" Mackey (30th, $3,190.82), Stephen "stevie444" Chidwick (28th, $3,190.82), Grayson "gray31" Ramage (23rd, $3,480.90), Nicky "Cod Meharly" Evans (21st, $3,480.90), Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo (20th, $3,480.90), and Steve "gboro780" Gross (19th, $3,480.90), each of whom also picked up an extra $1,050 per each knockout they accumulated before busting.
It would take a little over an hour-and-a-half for the next nine to fall: Mikleler (18th), govshark2 (17th), and dean23price (16th) each earned $4,641.20; Rens02 (15th), hyahhoo (14th), and FlyingSumo (13th) took $5,801.50 apiece; and amfef (12th), leshark81 (11th), and agahol (10th) each saw $6,961.80 added to their PokerStars accounts.
The final table was set.
Seat 1: Big Huni -- 414,208
Seat 2: Betudontbet -- 77,608
Seat 3: sh4rk1e -- 189,761
Seat 4: SirWatts -- 304,561
Seat 5: rogI_MS -- 180,268
Seat 6: upstrick77 -- 743,331
Seat 7: YrrsiNN -- 226,080
Seat 8: Mr. Tim Caum -- 78,191
Seat 9: spirox21 -- 615,992
The final nine played a couple of orbits, then sh4rk1e became crippled after taking [Qc][Qd] up against David "Betudontbet" Evans' [Kc][Kh] and losing. sh4rk1e would double up once, but soon was reraising all in for 38,216 over an open by Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen, and while upstrick77 called, Hunichen folded.
sh4rk1e had [4d][4h] and was hoping to hold versus upstrick77's [Qh][Jd], but the board ran out [Jc][3s][Kd][Td][2s] to pair upstrick77 and send sh4rk1e out in ninth.
A while later the blinds were 3,000/6,000 when spirox21 opened to 12,000 from the cutoff, then Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen shoved all in for 146,983 from the button. The blinds got out, and spirox21 called, showing [6h][6s] to Big Huni's [As][Th]. The community cards came [2c][5h][Kh][3s][3c], and Hunichen's run had ended in eighth.
Next Mike "SirWatts" Watson opened for the minimum from UTG, raising to 12,000, then rogl_MS reraised to 24,000 from one seat over. It folded back around and Watson shoved, and rogl_MS called with the 201,324 he had left. Watson turned over [9d][9s], but rogl_MS had [As][Ad].
Then came the flop -- [3c][9c][8d]! A set for Watson, and after the [2c] turn and [3h] river, Watson had filled up and was collecting rogl_MS's bounty as the latter hit the rail in seventh.
A few orbits later Stefan "YrssiNN" Huber min-raised to 14,000 from middle position, then spirox21 reraised to 35,000 from the button. It folded back and Huber jammed for 111,226 total, and spirox21 called. Huber had [Ah][Kc] and needed to catch versus spirox21's [9s][9h]. The flop came [4s][3s][2d], giving YrrsiNN straight outs, but the turn was the [2s] and river the [6s], and Huber was out in sixth.
About 20 minutes later, the blinds were 3,500/7,000 when upstrick77 opened from the button for 14,000, then spirox21 reraised to 35,000 from the big blind. upstrick77 responded with an all-in shove for 319,804 total, and spirox21 called.
The board came [8s][Js][7c][7h][2d], meaning spirox21's tens held and upstrick had been eliminated in fifth.
With four left, spirox21 led with more than 1.35 million, with Watson in second with better than 744,000, followed by David "Betudontbet" Evans who had just over 563,000. Meanwhile, Steve "Mr. Tim Caum" O'Dwyer was last with a little under 166,000.
As it happened, O'Dwyer would be the next to go. As they approached the 16-hour mark of the tournament, O'Dwyer raised to 16,800 from UTG and it folded to SirWatts who raised enough to put O'Dwyer all in. Mr. Tim Caum called his remaining 149,799, showing [Kc][Jh] to Watson's [Kh][Qc]. The board ran out [8d][Tc][8h][8s][2d], and O'Dwyer was out in fourth.
Play continued, and soon the blinds were 4,000/8,000 when David "Betudontbet" Evans opened for 16,000 from the button, Mike "SirWatts" Watson reraised to 40,000 from the small blind, and spirox21 folded. Evans responded with an all-in push for 308,977 total, and Watson called.
Evans had [As][Kh] and Watson [Tc][Ts], and they watched as the board came [5d][7h][4d][8s][4h], awarding the bounty to Watson and sending Evans railward in third place.
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Heads-up play began with SirWatts enjoying a small lead with 1,506,935 to spirox21's 1,323,065. During the first half-hour of their battle, spirox21 would gain the advantage, pushing out to nearly a 2-to-1 chip lead over Watson.
They continued their duel, and with the blinds up to 5,000/10,000 Watson raised to 25,000 from the button, spirox21 made it 70,000, Watson 140,000, and spirox21 called. The flop came [8s][Jc][Qh] and spirox21 checked. SirWatts bet 140,000, and his opponent called.
The turn then brought the [8c] and another check from spirox21. This time Watson bet 250,000, and when spirox21 check-raise shoved Watson called with his remaining chips, showing [Ac][Qc] for queens and eights. spirox21 had the same two pair with [Qs][Js], though with a worse kicker, and when the river came the [As] Watson suddenly had a commanding lead.
spirox21 was on the ropes, but would double up after that one when his [As][Qc] outdrew Watson's [6d][6h] to enable him to close the gap, and before long the pair were even once again.
The night wore on, and Watson pushed back out ahead to take a sizable lead. They reached the 18-hour break of the tourney, having been heads up for nearly the last two hours of that, at which point SirWatts had 1,769,210 to spirox21's 1,060,790.
After another 15 minutes, a hand suddenly arose in which spirox21 was all in on the flop and at risk of elimination. The board read [Js][3c][Ts], and when spirox21 reraised all in SirWatts called, showing [Qd][Jh] for top pair. spirox21 showed [Qh][9h] for an open-ended straight draw. The turn was the [5h], and Watson was one card away from the title.
Then came the river... the [8d]! spirox21 had survived, and now had a better than 3-to-1 chip lead. Take a look:
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About 10 hands after that spirox21 was still above 2 million when Watson opened with a min-raise to 32,000 and spirox21 reraised to 80,000. That prompted an all-in shove from SirWatts for 739,920 total, and spirox21 quickly called.
Watson had the edge preflop, but the [3s][Ks][9c] snatched that advantage away. The turn was the [3d] and river the [7h], and spirox21 had collected SirWatts' bounty and the SCOOP title!
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Congratulations to spirox21 for outlasting a tough field of 566 and more than 18 hours of poker -- including two-plus grueling hours versus a gritty SirWatts -- to claim SCOOP Event #9-H!
2012 SCOOP Event 9-High, $2,100 No-Limit Hold'em, Super Knockout:
1st: spirox21 ($110,228.61)
2nd: SirWatts ($81,221)
3rd: Betudontbet ($59,465.37)
4th: Mr. Tim Caum ($45,251.70)
5th: upstrick77 ($31,908.25)
6th: YrrsiNN ($24,656.37)
7th: rogl_MS ($18,854.87)
8th: Big Huni ($13,053.37)
9th: sh4rk1e ($9,630.49)
Still a week-and-a-half of SCOOPin' left! Check the schedule for the details.