Many of today's top players have moved so far into the mixed game realm that they often seek out 8-game or 10-game tournaments. Some in the cash game arena look for games like Badugi and then venture into numerous variations of that particular game. It keeps the game exciting for players who compete on a very regular basis and enjoy the challenge of new games.
On the other hand, a large segment of the poker population remains content with HORSE, the long-played mix of hold'em, Omaha hi/lo, razz, stud, and stud hi/lo. The combination of five games that rotate throughout the tournament keeps players on their toes (or fingertips) and offers a serious challenge to any poker player looking for a departure from the regular hold'em or Omaha games. Players must be well-versed in most of the games and able to change strategy with each game switch. It's tougher than it looks ... and it looks tough.
Event 36 offered HORSE, and the medium buy-in level was the $200 + $15 buy-in with a $50K guarantee. And it enticed a large number of players and blew the guarantee right out of the virtual water:
Actual prize pool: $97,200
Paid players: 64
As the tournament neared its sixth hour, the money bubble burst, courtesy of marzello who left in 65th place. The action proceeded from there, with play slowing up again as the field thinned to three and then two tables.
On the way, several PokerStars players were eliminated in the money. Team Online's Anders "Donald" Hoyer Berg left in 46th place, followed by Alex "J0hnny_Dr@m@" Zervos in 42nd. Team PokerStars Pro Nuno Coelho made it to 28th place, where he was eliminated. That left only Team Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier to carry the team banner.
But Grospellier lost ground with only two tables in action, and he finally made a move with his short stack at the end of the razz round. On sixth street, nkgud made the raise, and Grospellier called all-in with 5♥4♠6♠A♠T♦J♣4♣. But nkgud had A♦7♠5♣5♠9♦6♦T♣ for the 9-7-5-4-A low and the win. Team Pokerstars Pro ElkY left in 11th place with $1,458.00.
After titko23 left in tenth place, the final table bubble was near and hand-for-hand play found nkgud ready to move all-in from the big blind in the limit hold'em round. Original raisers BuklaH and playitsafe both called, but when playitsafe bet on the 3♣5♣6♠ flop, BuklaH folded. Nkgud showed 9♣7♥, but playitsafe had A♥A♠. The 2♠ turn and 3♦ ended it for nkgud in tenth place with $1,458.00.
BuklaH gallops into final table with chip lead
In the limit hold'em round that was Level 51, with blinds at 16,000/32,000, the final table was set with the following starting chip counts:
Seat 1: goldendevil1 (142,872 in chips)
Seat 2: playitsafe (409,114 in chips)
Seat 3: BuklaH (481,093 in chips)
Seat 4: Dennis_TO (464,918 in chips)
Seat 5: Parti$an (116,294 in chips)
Seat 6: SixthSenSe19 (334,253 in chips)
Seat 7: glenizem (122,472 in chips)
Seat 8: andersmeli (358,984 in chips)
The beginning of the final table action worked well for goldendevil1, as double-ups through SixthSenSe19 and playitsafe kept goldendevil1 in the game for awhile. And Dennis_TO rose into the chip lead with SixthSenSe19 right behind in second place, relegating BuklaH to third on the leaderboard.
When it came to razz, though, things got dicey for others. Parti$an tangled with Dennis_TO, with Parti$an all-in on third street. The full hand for Parti$an showed 4♦6♠2♣9♠A♥A♦A♠, but Dennis_TO had 6♦3♥7♥4♣Q♦K♦A♣ for the 7-6-4-3-A low. Parti$an left in eighth place with $1,944.00.
Still in razz, BuklaH and glenizem battled on third street until the betting was capped, and glenizem bet all-in on fourth. BuklaH called, and when the cards were all dealt, the 2♣A♠4♣8♣J♣J♥Q♥ of glenizem couldn't compete with the 4♠6♥8♠7♣5♥5♠A♦ of BuklaH. Glenizem was eliminated in seventh place with $2,430.00.
Playitsafe double up in a big pot versus goldendevil1, putting the latter on a short stack. And in the stud round, goldendevil1 was prepared to push all-in on third street. Dennis_TO and SixthSenSe19 went along until fifth street when another bet from Dennis_TO prompted a fold from SixthSenSe19. In the end, goldendevil1 had 5♦A♥5♠8♦J♦J♠8♠ for the jacks and eights, but Dennis_TO topped that with T♥J♠Q♣6♣J♥T♣K♥ and jacks and tens. Goldendevil1 was gone in sixth place with $3,402.00.
SixthSenSe19 was struggling but doubled through BuklaH and again through andersmeli to stay in play.
Andersmeli was not doing so well, and in the stud hi/lo round, andersmeli got involved with playitsafe. Andersmeli was all in on fifth street, and playitsafe did play it safe with a final hand of 7♣6♥4♥9♠5♥3♦4♦ for the best high and low hands. Andersmeli, with 3♠5♣7♥9♦A♦8♣J♥, had to exit in fifth place with $4,860.00.
The shorter stacks then went quickly. The first to be at risk was SixthSenSe19, who got involved with BuklaH with betting taking place all the way through the reveal of the T♥9♠2♥4♣Q♣ board. At that point, BuklaH bet again, and SixthSenSe19 check-raised all-in with 4♠J♦T♣3♠, but that no pair couldn't beat the three deuces of BuklaH's 7♥A♠2♠2♦ hand. SixthSenSe19, who final tabled three 2011 SCOOP events before this one, finished in fourth place with $7,290.00.
The very next hand saw BuklaH in action again, this time with playitsafe. A lot of action on every street led to more after the 3♣7♦K♣9♥ showed on the board. Playitsafe bet, BuklaH raised, and playitsafe called all-in with 7♥9♠Q♦A♠. BuklaH showed A♣6♣2♦8♠ for the flush draw and the low, and the flush got there when the 2♣ came on the river. Playitsafe was out in third place with $9,972.72.
Two final table leaders make it to heads-up
The Omaha round about halfway through the 10.5-hour mark of the tournament was the beginning of the heads-up match with the following counts:
Seat 3: BuklaH (1,543,802 in chips)
Seat 4: Dennis_TO (886,198 in chips)
Dennis_TO was aggressive and soon nearly evened the stacks. At that point, the duo agreed to pause the tournament to look at chop numbers. When they were given, they immediately agreed to the following numbers with $1,000.00 extra set aside for the winner:
BuklaH (1,273,802 in chips) = $15,631.41
Dennis_TO (1,156,198 in chips) = $15,444.59
During the razz round, Dennis_TO climbed into the lead, but BuklaH took it back as they headed into the 11th hour of play. And BuklaH took more control in the ensuing stud round, climbing up over the 2 million chip mark.
Finally, the two got involved in a big showdown. It started with in stud hi/lo with a 5♦ for BuklaH and 4♣ for Dennis_TO. More money went into the pot for a Q♣ for BuklaH and 6♦ for Dennis_TO. Action took place with bets or raises from BuklaH on each street until Dennis_TO ultimately called all-in on the river. Dennis_TO showed Q♦J♦4♣6♦K♠9♣Q♠ for the pair of queens and no low, but BuklaH had 5♣2♣5♦Q♣2♥8♦9♦ for two pair. With no qualifying low, Dennis_TO was out of the tournament in second place with $15,444.59.
BuklaH of Macao claimed victory for the SCOOP tournament and walked away with a champion's watch and $16,631.41 in cash. Congrats!
SCOOP Event #36-M Results (reflecting two-way deal):
1st place: BuklaH ($16,631.41)*
2nd place: Dennis_TO ($15,444.59)*
3rd place: playitsafe ($9,972.72)
4th place: SixthSenSe19 ($7,290.00)
5th place: andersmeli ($4,860.00)
6th place: goldendevil1 ($3,402.00)
7th place: glenizem ($2,430.00)
8th place: Parti$an ($1,944.00)
*players involved in two-way deal agreement
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