Come close once, and you'll likely think about "what could have been" for a long time. What happens when you come close a second time? Former WCOOP final tablist tRaMp$d0PrAy may be contemplating that today after coming runner up to sandman201 in 2012 SCOOP Event 8-Medium, $109 No-Limit Hold'em.
It was another guarantee doubled in Event 8-Medium. PokerStars ensured a $300,000 prize pool, but registrations from 5,842 players nearly doubled that guarantee to $584,200. The scheduled 1st prize ballooned to more than $91,000, with 765 players receiving some portion of the prize pool.
Event 8 was a two-day affair, one of fifteen two-day events on this year's 40-event SCOOP schedule. SCOOP is not only about allowing participation for players of all bankrolls with the low, medium and high buy-ins for each event; it's also about giving players at each of those levels incredible structures.
Day 1 ended with 185 of the 5,842 players remaining after 25 levels of play. At that time, the top ten players in the chip counts were:
1st: CRACKTONY (468,024)
2nd: birs320 (444,983)
3rd: 00psiedaisy (442,104)
4th: micide (421,356)
5th: Rsiatat (415,243)
6th: Jermaine074 (402,367)
7th: mossified84 (399,572)
8th: gia111 (398,893)
9th: l@besti@ (396,701)
10th: Fairy verde (388,192)
Also still remaining was Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis, who would go on to finish 35th for $1,256.03. He was joined in the winners' circle by fellow Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin (217th, $315.46) and PokerStars Team Online players Shane "shaniac" Schleger (326th, $251.20) and Randy "nanonoko" Lew (511th, $204.47). Team PokerStars Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki just missed out on the money. He was the stone bubble in Event 8-Medium, finishing in 766th place.
As for those Top 10 Day 1 chip stacks, well, a Top 10 Day 1 chip stack is no guarantee of a final table, as any live tournament player can attest. Each of the top three players busted well short of the final table. CRACKTONY finished 88th, birs320 finished 78th, and 00psiedaisy came 40th (though 00psiedaisy may have been sidetracked by making the final table of Event 9-Medium, finishing in 5th place there).
But three other Top 10 stacks were in the hunt as things started getting tight. mossified84 finished in 16th place; micide bubbled the final table and finished in 10th place when pocket 7s ran into pocket aces. But Rsiatat was one of the nine players seated at the final table.
The final table begins
Seat 1: Neva1987 (887085 in chips)
Seat 2: sandman201 (3510393 in chips)
Seat 3: marcosretard (3507261 in chips)
Seat 4: Rsiatat (1265915 in chips)
Seat 5: James "j_t_s80" Broom (3939479 in chips)
Seat 6: mendezbb (1714092 in chips)
Seat 7: diggidave (3641157 in chips)
Seat 8: tRaMp$d0PrAy (6998823 in chips)
Seat 9: FloweerBoy (3745795 in chips)
Level 46: blinds 25k-50k, ante 6250
Average stack: 2,434,166
All Rsiatat's work to make the final table, however, went for naught after just seven hands. On the 7th hand, sandman201 opened from middle position for the minimum raise to 120k (the level had just gone up). Rsiatat shoved for 1.15 million with ace-ten, but sandman201 snap-called with a dominating ace-king. The board blanked for both players, sending Rsiatat to the rail in 9th place.
Rsiatat's departure bumped Neva1987, the short stack, into 8th in the counts. One double up later, with Big Slick overtaking marcosretard's pocket 7s, and Neva1987 was out of the doghouse. That wouldn't be the only piece of misfortune for marcosretard, either. In the 35k-70k level, Neva1987 opened the button and was three-bet by sandman201 from the small blind. Holding ace-queen, marcosretard four-bet to 733k, leaving 1.8 million behind. sandman201 covered marcosretard and responded with a five-bet shove. marcosretard snap-called, but ace-queen was in very bad shape against sandman201's pocket aces. A flop of T♥J♣T♠ gave marcosretard some outs to an inside straight draw, but it never materialized.
Neva1987's short-stack run ended in 7th place after an unkind river. The action was all pre-flop, with Neva1987 taking pocket jacks against FloweerBoy's A♥K♣. It was all clear sailing for Neva1987 until the K♦ hit the river, KOing Neva1987.
With six players left and blinds up to 40k-80k, the short stack, James Broom (a player who has been around the EPT, APPT and ANZPT over the years), was looking for a pushing hand. Sitting in the small blind, and over a button raise, A♦7♦ must have looked good. But here's how it turned out:
Down to five players, tRaMp$d0PrAy had a commanding lead, with more than 12 million of the 29 million chips in play. That lead only grew when FloweerBoy got jiggy with pocket 8s, 4-betting to 903k over an open by diggidave and a 3-bet by tRaMp$d0PrAy. tRaMp$d0PrAy was holding pocket aces and didn't slow down, five-betting to 1.46 million and then snap-calling FloweerBoy's shove for 4.4 million total. FloweerBoy's pocket 8s did not improve, sending FloweerBoy to the showers in 5th place.
tRaMp$d0PrAy must have been doing some clean living prior to Day 2 of Event 8-Medium, because the next elimination was as dirty as they come. There was no faulting either tRaMp$d0PrAy or mendezbb for the pre-flop raising war in which they engaged. mendezbb was never going to dump kings and, with a huge stack, tRaMp$d0PrAy was always going to play jacks fast. Even three clubs on board by the turn, T♣7♠6♣A♣, was no problem for mendezbb, who held the king of clubs. But the J♠ river was a dirty, dirty out to make tRaMp$d0PrAy a set and send mendezbb to the rail.
The remaining three players -- tRaMp$d0PrAy (19.7 million), diggidave (5.3 million), and sandman201 (4.1 million) - paused to consider a deal. sandman201, as the short stack, said straight off the bat that an unmodified chip-chop deal was off the table. tRaMp$d0PrAy, as the big stack, was not impressed by the ICM numbers that would have resulted in $8,000 less for tRaMp$d0PrAy and said, "I'm not doing that. I'll split the difference."
The two shorter stacks were sticking to their guns and demanding ICM or nothing. "If you win, you'll get almost 1st-place money [after ICM and the champion set-aside," sandman201 pointed out.
"I said I will split the difference. Not doing ICM. I want 81k guaranteed." tRaMp$d0PrAy also held fast.
sandman201 was unwilling to contribute the $2,500 that tRaMp$d0PrAy wanted for a deal, but diggidave offered to kick it in. The adjusted payouts that they agreed to provided $81,000 for tRaMp$d0PrAy, $60,673.35 for diggidave, $59,971.25 for sandman201 and $6,000 for the champion. All agreed.
After the 3am break, with the deal in place, tRaMp$d0PrAy didn't let up. Turned trip 4s took a big bite out of sandman201's stack. But sandman201 doubled back with pocket 10s holding up all in pre-flop against tRaMp$d0PrAy's ace-king.
The two short stacks eventually squared off against each other, with diggidave taking the worst of it. Dave opened pre-flop for the minimum, then four-bet shoved over a re-raise from sandman201. sandman201, holding the pocket 10s again, quickly called and was a 2-to-1 favorite over diggidave's A♣7♦. Tens held up a second time, sending diggidave to the rail in 3rd place. The tournament was heads up.
The lengthy heads-up battle
tRaMp$d0PrAy had more than a 2-to-1 chip lead to starts heads-up play. But a serious of aggressive raises on the 3rd hand backfired, as sandman201 shoved on tRaMp$d0PrAy and induced a fold, taking 3.1 million from tRaMp$d0PrAy's stack.
That's where the stacks stayed for a while - long enough for sandman201 to ask "Wanna make the blinds speed up if we're allowed?" Turns out that wasn't possible.
It was a long time before anything significant changed. When it did, it was a case of dueling pairs, with sandman201 coming out on top in a big way:
That might have been the end of it, but tRaMp$d0PrAy kept battling and eventually doubled back, getting ace-jack to hold up all in pre-flop against ace-ten, then winning a huge pot with a turned top pair of jacks and inducing sandman201 to call off 3.7 million on the river.
Back and forth they went. Each time, the all in player found the winner. The chip lead passed between tRaMp$d0PrAy and sandman201 with neither able to close out the victory. Heads-up play had started at 3:13am; at 4:45am, sandman201 had a 3-to-1 chip lead but with blinds at "only" 150k-300k, tRaMp$d0PrAy still had 22 big blinds. tRaMp$d0PrAy had come close in the 2008 WCOOP, finishing 4th in Event 26. Would it be another close call or would tRaMp$d0PrAy pull out the victory?
At 4:51am we got the answer. Down to 3.8 million, tRaMp$d0PrAy open-shoved A♥4♠. sandman201 snap-called with pocket tens and promptly flopped quads, ensuring that tRaMp$d0PrAy was drawing dead on the flop and locking up an impressive SCOOP victory.
2012 SCOOP Event 8-Medium, $109 NLHE results (including 3-way deal):
1st: sandman201 ($65,971.25)*
2nd: tRaMp$d0PrAy ($81,000.00)*
3rd: diggidave ($60,673.35)*
4th: mendezbb ($33,007.30)
5th: FloweerBoy ($24,828.50)
6th: James "j_t_s80" Broom ($18,986.50)
7th: Neva1987 ($13,144.50)
8th: marcosretard ($7,302.50)
9th: Rsiatat ($4,673.60)
Today is Day 4 of the 2012 SCOOP. There are still plenty of opportunities for you to grab your share of the millions in guaranteed prizes. Get stats, schedules and check out the leaderboards on the SCOOP homepage.