It's not often that a two-day SCOOP tournament reaches the final table before the end of the first day of play, but that's exactly what happened on Day 1 in Event 32-H. The players who made that final table were all inclined to play through and finish the tournament overnight, but a software issue made it impossible to skip a preprogrammed overnight break. So they eliminated four of their number from contention and then took a breather for the next 13 hours.
Play resumed at 2:00pm ET on Level 21 (1,250/2,500 blinds) with these five players, presumably refreshed, still in the hunt:
Seat 1: bleu329 (101,344 in chips)
Seat 5: PICKLED EGG (33,708 in chips)
Seat 6: Aquasces1 (147,292 in chips)
Seat 8: Mafews (58,172 in chips)
Seat 9: gmcrafter (359,484 in chips)
Chile's gmcrafter had entered the final table in the middle of the pack but seized the chip lead by the time play was paused for the overnight break. The first player to chip on Day 2, though, was bleu329. Playing out of Thailand (and hoping for better internet connectivity than on Day 1), bleu329 was chasing a second SCOOP title after winning event 30-H just a few days prior. The fifth hand of play for Day 2 would prove to be another step toward that title.
The betting opened with the United Kingdom's Mafews raising to 5,800 in the cutoff. bleu329 reraised to 19,900 out of the small blind, Mafews called leaving 34,522 behind, and the flop came A♦ K♥ 5♣. With very little hesitation bleu329 bet the pot, more than enough to put Mafews all-in. The UK's lone representative at the final table dipped into the time bank before ultimately making the call with A♥ 2♥ 5♦ T♦ for aces and fives with a backdoor low draw. bleu329's A♠ Q♠ 2♦ 3♦ was behind for the high but drawing to the nut low, and it got there when the turn was the 8♥. What looked likely to be a chopped pot turned into a scoop when the 8♦ fell on the river; both players had aces and eights, but bleu329's queen kicker played. That made Mafews the 5th place finisher, good for $16,800.
Though the first elimination of Day 2 had come along quite quickly, the others wouldn't be as speedy in arriving. The rest of Level 21 featured a number of confrontations between gmcrafter and the other three players. Most of them resulted in split pots, but all of the scoops went against the Chilean player. Still, the chip lead, while diminished, was intact as Level 22 (1,500/3,000 blinds) began:
Seat 1: bleu329 (202,016 in chips)
Seat 5: PICKLED EGG (109,506 in chips)
Seat 6: Aquasces1 (154,929 in chips)
Seat 9: gmcrafter (233,549 in chips)
PICKLED EGG managed to pick up about 10 big blinds over the course of the next 39 hands and bleu329's stack dropped by about the same amount as the player from Thailand grappled once again with conectivity issues, but otherwise very little changed over the next 30 minutes of play. The four continued to split pots and shuffle chips back and forth. But once Level 23 and its 2,500/5,000 blinds arrived, all that would change.
After limping from the button PICKLED EGG managed to scoop a 187K-chip pot with J♣ 2♣ 3♦ 5♥ after flopping two pair, jacks and threes, and rivering another jack for a full house, thanks to gmcrafter calling down pot-sized bets on the flop, turn, and river. Now up to 214K, things appeared to be looking up for the Brazilian player - but one hand is all it ever takes to turn things upside down in a big-bet game. That turnabout would come 12 hands later when PICKLED EGG flopped three of a kind, only to discover that bleu329 had flopped a bit better:
That Omaha cooler left PICKLED EGG with less a stack worth less than one big blind and left little doubt that the Brazilian would be the next player out. Two hands later the seemingly inevitable finally occurred, with Aquasces1's A♥ 4♥ T♠ 6♠ overcoming PICKLED EGG's K♦ J♥ T♥ 9♠ to send the latter to the rail in 4th place ($25,200).
Only 12 hands later Canada's Aquasces1 would also come up short thanks to a nasty Omaha cooler. The hand began with gmcrafter raising to 10K on the button; after Aquasces1 reraised to 32.5K from the big blind, gmcrafter made the call to see a flop of A♦ 9♣ 2♠. Aquasces1 bet pot and then called gmcrafter's reraise all-in, turning up A♠ K♣ 9♠ 6♣ for top two pair, but gmcrafter held the better hand with 9♦ 9♥ 8♦ 4♥ for middle set. The 8♣ turn and 7♠ river changed nothing and made Aquasces1's 3rd-place finish ($34,020) official.
The chip lead belonged to gmcrafter as heads-up play began, but bleu329 didn't let that stand in the way of a victory. The final matchup between the two lasted for 13 hands, every single one of which was won by bleu329. The majority of those were of the raise-and-take-it variety, but three pots worth at least 22 big blinds did the real damage. In the first, worth 110K, bleu329's T♥ 9♥ 3♦ 2♦ rivered a flush to scoop on a board of Q♥ 5♥ T♦ Q♣ 4♥. The second one, worth 290K, was the real key, as bleu329 hit a pretty big flop and only improved from there:
Three hands later the tournament would come to a close after a relatively rare preflop raising war resulted in gmcrafter getting all-in for 92K with A♠ 2♠ K♠ 9♥. bleu329 was a bit behind with A♥ 7♦ T♥ 3♥, but the 6♦ 4♠ 5♦ flop gave the player from Thailand a seven-high straight and the lead for the high half of the pot. The T♠ on the turn threatened to give gmcrafter a scoop with the nut low and nut high in the event that another spade should hit the river. But instead the 2♣ came, giving bleu329's A♥ 3♥ the nut low instead. And since his flopped straight hadn't been outdrawn, the pot was another scoop.
That left Chile's gmcrafter with no chips and the runner-up prize of $44,800. And for the second time this week, despite internet connectivity issues, bleu329 was the last player standing at the end of a SCOOP event. The top prize of $64,400 in this event helped to boost this week's take for bleu329 north of $157K. It's been a fine run any poker player would be happy to go on, and congratulations are in order for the now-two-time champion.
SCOOP Event 32-H: $2,100 PL Omaha Hi/Lo
140 entrants, $280,000 prize pool
18 places paid
1st place: bleu329 (Thailand) $64,400
2nd place: gmcrafter (Chile) $44,800
3rd place: Aquasces1 (Canada) $34,020
4th place: PICKLED EGG (Brazil) $25,200
5th place: Mafews (United Kingdom) $16,800
6th place: Rodrigo "caprioli" Caprioli (Brazil) $14,000
7th place: Lyndon360 (New Zealand) $11,200
8th place: kuhns89 (Germany) $8,400
9th place: Lovos111 (Sweden) $7,000
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