Short-handed pot-limit Omaha. Running through rush hour traffic in Saigon might be safer. That, or cliff diving. In this high-wire act marked by the slimmest of edges, any hand really could be your last and the faint of heart need not apply. Fearlessness was a common theme at tonight's final table, where despite a 75 big blind average stack that left room for hours of play, these six players divvied up the bulk of the prize pool in only 33 minutes.
536 thrill-seekers bought in for $530 apiece, creating a $268,000 prize pool. 72 players earned a share of it with the winner set to earn $50,920 along with a SCOOP champion's watch. The Team Pros were out in force for this one with Lex Veldhuis, Raymond Wu, Noah Boeken, Johnny Lodden, Pat Pezzin, Rino Mathis, Nacho Barbero, Marcin Horecki, JP Kelly, Juan Manuel Pastor, George Danzer, and Sebastian Ruthenberg all joining the fray. Three bearers of the mighty red spade made the money-- Team Pro France's Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (61st), Team Online's Jorge "twin-caracas" Arias (51st), and Team Pro Netherlands' Ruben Visser (22nd).
Eleint had already amassed quite the chip lead when the tournament got down to two tables. With seven players remaining, short-stacked talatias called Eleint's 18,000 preflop raise, then called all-in on the Q♠J♣6♥ flop after Eleint led out for 36,000. Talatias was behind with K♦J♥9♥5♦ for a pair of jacks and a straight draw while Eleint flopped top and bottom pair with K♠Q♦6♣4♥. Although the A♥ on the turn gave talatias more outs with a flush draw and the 5♠ on the river made him two pair, it wasn't enough to catch Eleint. Talatias was the final table bubble boy, earning $5,628 for seventh place.
Eleint had a huge chiplead as the final table began, with only LFmagic within striking distance. Both players also had an opportunity to score a "double" with a victory in this event; Eleint won his first SCOOP watch only two days ago in Event #29-M ($320 8-game), and LFmagic was simultaneously playing the final table of the high buy-in version of this event.
Here's how the final six stacked up:
Seat 1: LFmagic (879,082 in chips)
Seat 2: F.Briatore (254,906 in chips)
Seat 3: Choron (142,966 in chips)
Seat 4: Ramux (172,020 in chips)
Seat 5: Eleint (1,124,462 in chips)
Seat 6: Efan123 (106,564 in chips)
When you're hot, you're hot
After falling below 100,000 in chips, Efan123 picked up A♦A♠K♥K♦, certainly a hand worthy of challenging the chip leader. Efan123 three-bet to 45,000 following Eleint's UTG raise to 12,000 and earned a call. Eleint checked the 8♣7♥5♦ flop over to Efan123, who moved all-in for 43,564. Eleint snap-called, having flopped a straight with K♣Q♣6♠4♠, all but destroying Efan123's hopes of a double-up. The 3♣ on the turn made the situation even grimmer as Eleint picked up a flush draw and the 3♦ on the river sealed Efan123's sixth-place elimination.
Snap, crackle pop
Two hands later it was Choron's turn to pick up aces. Holding A♣A♥6♠4♠, he opened for 21,000 and LFmagic called from the big blind. The flop fell K♥4♣3♣, LFmagic leading out for 45,000. Choron shoved for 63,467 and LFmagic called the small balance, turning over Q♣J♣9♦4♥ for middle pair and a flush draw. Choron's aces were snapped off on the turn when the J♦ fell, making LFmagic jacks and fours and he improved further on the river when the 9♣ spiked to make his flush. Choron had to settle for fifth place, his payday totaling $13,400.
I'm folding an underfull, I **** you not
With four remaining, a spectactular hand unfolded, everyone coming in for 12,000 apiece after Eleint opened from UTG. Both blinds checked to Eleint on the Q♣6♦2♠ flop and he bet 31,138. LFmagic smooth-called and they went heads-up to the turn. The Q♥ paired the board and Eleint fired out 78,044. Again, LFmagic smooth-called. The river fell the 8♦ and Eleint made a tiny bet, only 19,327 into the 266,000 pot. LFmagic raised to 111,111 and Eleint came back over the top with a three-bet to 388,513.
"I **** you not, i have 8822," LFmagic said as he made the laydown, Eleint collecting the 488,586 pot. The hand took Eleint up to 1.58 million while LFmagic fell to 630,000. F.Briatore and Ramux were holding at 246,000 and 217,000 respectively with the blinds at 4,000/8,000.
F.Briatore was the first of the two smaller stacks to succumb, getting his chips in with A♠A♣2♦8♠ before the flop. Eleint made the call with K♣K♦Q♦Q♠ and continued to run like God, flopping top set on the K♥9♥3♦6♣T♦ board to send F.Briatore to the rail in fourth place. He collected $18,670 for his finish.
Ramux decided to pull the trigger himself on the very next hand, but also had the misfortune of running an overpair into top set:
Rolling in the deep
Ramux's departure left Eleint heads-up with LFmagic, both of them extremely deep-stacked:
Seat 1: LFmagic (958,890 in chips) - 120 BB
Seat 5: Eleint (1,721,110 in chips) - 215BB
Apropos for this final table, a 721,000 pot unfolded on only the second hand of heads-up play. LFmagic opened for 24,000 on the button, Eleint three-bet to 72,000 and LFmagic called. Eleint led all three streets of the Q♣8♠3♦K♦6♦ board, LFmagic calling 92,761 on the flop, a bizzarely small 27,887 on the turn and 167,992 on the river. Eleint showed K♥K♠9♣9♣ for the win, having turned a set of kings, and took a 2.1 million to 515,000 chip lead.
Eleint had ground LFmagic down to 278,000 when he picked up A♦A♣J♥3♥. LFmagic opened for 16,000 on the button, Eleint three-bet to 48,000 and LFmagic called to see the 7♠5♣4♥ flop. Eleint check-raised LFmagic's 96,000 bet to 297,600 and LFmagic called off his last 134,000, turning over Q♣8♥7♥3♣ for top pair and a straight draw against Eleint's overpair. The K♦ on the turn didn't help LFmagic's cause and just for good measure the A♠ hit the river, improving Eleint to top set as he took down the $50,920 first-place prize and his second SCOOP bracelet of 2011!
We can't cry too much for runner-up LFmagic. In addition to the $37,520 he earned for his finish in this event, he went on to pick up another $33,600 for fifth place in Event #34-H, the $5,200 buy-in PLO 6-max. Congratulations to both players on a spectacular day of poker I'm sure neither of them will soon forget.
SCOOP Event #34-M ($530 PLO 6-max) results
1. Eleint (Austria) $50,920.00
2. LFmagic (United Kingdom) $37,520.00
3. Ramux (Panama) $27,470.00
4. F.Briatore (Germany) $18,760.00
5. Choron (Canada) $13,400.00
6. Efan123 (Germany) $8,576.00
Don't forget to tune in to "Inside SCOOP" broadcasting live every evening at 22:00 GMT. Today, they gave away a $1,050 buy-in to the SCOOP Main Event and even more freebies are on tap for tomorrow!