These higher buy-in events among the others in the Spring Championship of Online Poker series usually attract top performers and thus tough fields, and Event #21-H -- a two-day $2,100 no-limit hold'em event -- was no exception. Lots of top players came out, many went deep, and in the end it was 4rebmun topping them all after a two-way chop with Ben "NeverScaredB" Wilinofsky.
Ultimately 902 entered this one, creating a huge $1,804,000 prize pool and thus easily exceeding the $1 million guarantee. The top 108 finishers made the cash, after after making that two-handed deal both 4rebmun and Wilinofsky walked away with more than $275,000 apiece.
Here's how it all played out.
Day 1: 902 to 53
It would take more than nine-and-a-half hours to play down to 108 and to the money on Sunday, at which point Mr. Ingenious sat at the top of the counts with nearly 400,000 followed by Matthew "mjw006" Wakeman with about 256,000 and calvin7v with just over 253,000.
Soon after the bubble burst, Team Online member Pro Isaac "IkeHaxton" Haxton was eliminated as the only red spade sporter to cash, finishing in 102nd place for a $3,788.40 payday.
They'd play about two more hours after that on Day 1, with Mr.Ingenious continuing to maintain the chip lead and in fact build a huge gap with the rest of the field before play concluded. A total of 53 players made it through to Monday's second day of play. Here's a look at how the top of the leaderboard appeared overnight:
1. Mr.Ingenious (Germany) -- 737,724
2. Magardan (Germany) -- 313,980
3. Aku1206 (Finland) -- 306,299
4. callmemanu (United Kingdom) -- 290,364
5. JackRich (United Kingdom) -- 284,885
6. Aduobe4 (United Kingdom) -- 277,867
7. hulinada (Russia) -- 277,774
8. calvin7v (Finland) -- 249,452
9. Ben "NeverScaredB" Wilinofsky (Canada) -- 248,477
10. bebaimis777 (Lithuania) -- 235,273
Day 2: 53 to 1
After two hours of play on Monday the field was trimmed further down to 22 players, with Mr.Ingenious having slipped back to the middle of the pack while callmemanu pushed out in front followed by Ben "NeverScaredB" Wilinofsky in second position.
Among those hitting the rail during those first couple of hours were Eric "jakz101" Crain (35th, $7,576.80), Richard "nutsinho" Lyndaker (40th, $6,674.80), Andrey "Kroko-dill" Zaichenko (50th, $5,953.20), and David "Betudontbet" Emmons (51st, $5,953.20).
About a half-hour later they were down to 18 players gathered around two tables, with callmemanu still on top as the only one of them with more than 1 million chips.
It would take another two hours to play down to a final nine, with bebaimis777 moving out in front of everyone to grab the chip lead with more than 1.65 million.
Giuseppe "Ansgar2000" Pantaleo (18th), lenico1 (17th), and PetjeXL (16th) each earned $12,267.20 for their finishes. obiedman (15th), start-of-day-2 leader Mr.Ingenious (14th), and theoryofart (13th) took away $15,875.20 apiece. And deamon10 (12th), Magardan (11th), and JackRich (10th) each got back $19,483.20 worth of the prize pool for their efforts.
The final table was underway.
Seat 1: Ben "NeverScaredB" Wilinofsky (Canada) -- 1,017,093
Seat 2: VbV1990 (Russia) -- 1,309,292
Seat 3: Dimitar "KuuL" Danchev (Bulgaria) -- 508,206
Seat 4: callmemanu (United Kingdom) -- 935,406
Seat 5: Chris "ImDaNuts" Oliver (Costa Rica) -- 1,359,600
Seat 6: Aku1206 (Finland) -- 898,773
Seat 7: Matthew "mjw006" Wakeman (Australia) -- 764,094
Seat 8: 4rebmun (Canada) -- 573,662
Seat 9: bebaimis777 (Lithuania) -- 1,653,874
While bebaimis777 held the chip lead to start the final table, Chris "ImDaNuts" Oliver had battled his way to second position among the final nine after starting Day 2 in 53rd place out of 53 players.
Oliver was continuing what has already been a stellar SCOOP series that has included three other final tables. Oliver finished ninth in Event #2-H ($2,100 NLHE), finished third in Event #6-H ($1,050 NL Draw 2x Chance), and took sixth in Event #12-M ($215 2-7 Draw).
Aku1206 cut down in ninth
It took almost 40 minutes before the first final table elimination occurred, with the blinds increasing to 8,000/16,000 during the interim.
The hand that did it saw Dimitar "KuuL" Danchev raising to 32,000 from the cutoff seat, then Aku1206 reraise-shoving from the big blind for 257,229. Danchev called, showing A♥6♥ while Aku1206 had K♦9♥.
The board ran out 8♠4♠Q♣, then 7♣, then 6♣, giving KuuL sixes and sending Aku1206 railward in ninth.
bebaimis777 bounced in eighth
The remaining eight played on into the seventh hour of Day 2 as the blinds moved up to 12,500/25,000. Then a hand arose in which bebaimis777 opened for the minimum to 50,000 from the button and got a single caller in Ben "NeverScaredB" Wilinofsky from the small blind.
The pair saw the flop come A♠3♥7♦ and Wilinofsky checked. bebaimis777 bet 59,500, and when NeverScaredB raised to 121,500, bebaimis777 called. The turn then brought the J♠ and a bet of 81,500 from Wilinofsky, and when bebaimis777 pushed all in for 398,895, Wilinofsky called.
NeverScaredB showed A♥T♣ and bebaimis777 A♣8♦ -- aces for both, but Wilinofsky's kicker was better, and after the 5♦ river, bebaimis777 was out in eighth.
KuuL KO'd in seventh
Wilinofsky would earn the next knockout as well about 15 minutes later after eliminating Dimitar "KuuL" Danchev in seventh.
That hand saw Wilinofsky min-raise to 50,000 from the cutoff seat, Danchev reraise to 122,675 from the small blind, Wilinofsky four-bet to 232,450, Danchev make it 367,775, Wilinofsky shove, and Danchev call all in for 2,185,756 total (about 87 big blinds' worth).
NeverScaredB had K♠K♥ while KuuL showed T♣T♠, and after the community cards came A♥2♥J♠J♣5♣, Danchev was out in seventh.
mjw006 down to zero, finishes sixth
Soon it was NeverScaredB again raising, this time 2x to 60,000 from middle position, then Chris "ImDaNuts" Oliver reraised to 142,895 from the small blind. That's when Matthew "mjw006" Wakeman shoved all in for 408,772 total from the big blind, and after Wilinofsky tossed his hand away Oliver made the call.
Wakeman needed to improve his hand to survive, but the board came 9♠Q♣Q♠6♣5♠, meaning Oliver's hand was best and mjw006's tourney run had ended in sixth. The finish marked a seventh cash for Wakeman in this year's SCOOP and deepest finish thus far.
callmemanu called, busted in fifth
Just a few hands later NeverScaredB min-raised again to 60,000 -- this time from the button -- and when callmemanu pushed for 606,417 from the big blind, Wilinofsky called.
It was A♣2♦ for callmemanu and 5♣5♠ for NeverScaredB. The 8♦8♣6♠ flop was no good for callmemanu, and the 5♥ turn even worse as it made the T♣ no matter. callmemanu was out, and they were down to four.
VbV1990 vanquished in fourth
They reached the seven-hour break of Day 2, with NeverScaredB enjoying a big lead with more than 4.63 million, with 4rebmun next with about 1.79 million, ImDaNuts third with about 1.39 million, and VbV1990 fourth with a little less than 1.21 million.
Just a few minutes after they resumed Wilinofsky min-raised to 60,000 once more (from UTG/the cutoff), VbV1990 made it 133,000 from the button, the blinds folded, and Wilinofsky called.
The flop came T♦2♥6♣. NeverScaredB checked, VbV1990 bet 90,000, NeverScaredB check-raised big, and VbV1990 called all in with the 582,165 left.
Wilinofsky turned over 9♠8♥ for a gutshot draw while VbV1990 appeared in decent shape with Q♠Q♦. But the 7♠ landed with a thud on the turn, completing the straight and leaving VbV1990 drawing dead as the 9♣ meaninglessly fell on fifth street.
Oliver out in third
The final three continued forward, pushing on through the three-hour mark for the final table. Chris "ImDaNuts" Oliver battled with the short stack for a while, though was able to build back to close to 1.6 million as the blinds increased again to 20,000/40,000.
That's when Wilinofsky opened with a raise to 100,000 from the small blind, then Oliver reraised to 233,455 from a seat over. Wilinofsky then made it 432,100, Oliver pushed all in for 1,590,732 total, and Wilinofsky called.
Oliver had A♣Q♠ while Wilinofsky showed T♠T♦, then the flop hit both players, coming T♥J♠A♠ to give Wilinofsky a set of tens and Oliver aces and a gutshot draw. The turn was the 6♣ and river the 4♦, and Oliver was out in third.
Still, a great finish for Oliver who recorded his fourth SCOOP final table and 13th cash of the series!
4rebmun for the win after epic heads-up battle with NeverScaredB
Heads-up play began with NeverScaredB way out in front with 7,065,910 to 4rebmun's 1,954,090. That big lead didn't prevent the latter from inaugurating the chop discussion in humorous fashion, however.
NeverScaredB: I like your optimism kid
4rebmun: final offer
NeverScaredB: we can look at numbers if you want
NeverScaredB: after this hand?
The tourney was halted and both were quickly amenable to the figures proposed -- leaving $20,000 on the table for which to play -- and soon the heads-up duel began in earnest.
Within a dozen hands 4rebmun had already begun to close the gap and a dozen hands after that had pulled nearly even with Wilinofsky. 4rebmun then nudged out in front to take the lead.
They continued fighting back and forth all of the way to the nine-hour break for Day 2 without either player being all in and at risk, at which point 4rebmun had 4,677,913 and NeverScaredB 4,342,087.
The battle continued another 20 hands, then came a hand in which Wilinofsky called a 4rebmun three-bet from the button, then called a continuation bet following a 6♦9♠7♥ flop, and called again when 4rebmun bet the J♦ turn.
The pot was 1,945,000 when the river brought the 3♥, and this time 4rebmun bet 1,455,000. Wilinofsky called one more time, and when 4rebmun turned over 9♣7♠ for two pair, Wilinofsky mucked.
That hand gave 4rebmun a commanding lead with 8,029,635 to the 990,365 of NeverScaredB. Then on the next hand -- the 110th of heads-up play -- the hour-and-a-half long duel finally came to a close.
With the blinds at 30,000/60,000, 4rebmun raised to 120,000 from the button, then Wilinofsky shoved all in and 4rebmun called. NeverScaredB had K♣4♣, but was in tough shape versus the K♠K♦ of 4rebmun.
The flop came 4♠6♦3♣ to pair Wilinofsky's four and provide a brief ray of hope. But the turn wsa the 8♣ and river the 9♠, and 4rebmun had won.
Congratulations to 4rebmun for outlasting 900 players, then outlasting a tough heads-up opponent in Ben "NeverScaredB" Wilinofsky to earn the SCOOP title!
And kudos as well to Wilinofsky who records his 10th cash of the series in this event, and in fact takes away a few more dollars than 4rebmun thanks to the two-way chop.
PokerStars 2013 SCOOP Event #21-H ($2,100 No-Limit Hold'em) results (*reflects two-way deal)
Total prize pool: $1,804,000.00
Places paid: 108
1. 4rebmun (Canada) $275,874.45*
2. Ben "NeverScaredB" Wilinofsky (Canada) $285,169.55*
3. Chris "ImDaNuts" Oliver (Costa Rica) $175,890.00
4. VbV1990 (Russia) $131,692.00
5. callmemanu (United Kingdom) $92,906.00
6. Matthew "mjw006" Wakeman (Australia) $74,866.00
7. Dimitar "KuuL" Danchev (Bulgaria) $56,826.00
8. bebaimis777 (Lithuania) $39,868.40
9. Aku1206 (Finland) $23,091.20
There's still nearly a week's worth of SCOOPin' left. Check the SCOOP site for full details.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.