The third installment of PokerStars' Spring Championship of Online Poker promises lots of action, with a total of 114 events taking place over the next two-plus weeks. And to start things off, PokerStars chose an action game -- six-handed no-limit hold'em -- for Event No. 1.
The buy-in for this "low" version of the first event was but $22, enticing a huge turnout of 19,946 to join the fray. Together that small city's worth of poker players created a handsome total prize pool of $398,920, almost twice the event's $200K guarantee. The top 3,000 finishers would cash and thus realize a profit on that $22 buy-in, with a prize of $48,520.84 -- and the coveted SCOOP Champion watch -- awaiting the player finishing first.
A few members of Team PokerStars Pro participated in this one, but only a couple would manage to cash. Matthias "mattidm" De Meulder of Team PokerStars Belgium barely made the money, finishing 2,980th for a min-cash of $31.91. And Toni Judet of Team PokerStars Romania made it to 1,236th for a $55.84 score.
As the field shrunk to less than 100 players, MrRepsak took a sizable lead and maintained it through the final hours of play on Day 1. In fact, at one point late in the evening MrRepsak had built a stack of more than 40 million chips, at the time more than twice his nearest challenger.
Then came a big three-way all-in hand during Level 43 -- the next-to-last 15-minute level of Day 1 -- involving MrRepsak, willrobrobu, and wesslan_19. The trio got it all in following a 7♦7♠5♣ flop with willrobrobu holding pocket kings, wesslan_19 pocket queens, and MrRepsak hoping for a double-knockout with 6♣4♣. willrobrobu's kings held up, however, eliminating wesslan_19 in 15th ($1,595.68) and lessening MrRepsak's stack by about 10 million.
Soon Day 1 was over, with MrRepsak still out in front and willrobrobu having moved into second position. Here's how the stacks looked with 13 players remaining:
1. MrRepsak -- 34,462,397
2. willrobrobu -- 25,214,530
3. tsikwz -- 24,123,898
4. Geriieee -- 19,585,579
5. junkcardman -- 17,736,534
6. SebbyGI -- 17,589,906
7. calvo1989 -- 14,856,602
8. Specpro_tect -- 12,903,449
9. Valse_Triste -- 12,180,307
10. SKobold -- 7,985,179
11. filterplexer -- 7,240,135
12. Zgaga -- 3,259,332
13. sherlocko -- 2,322,152
The second day of play began with Level 45, where the blinds were 150,000/300,000 with a 37,500 ante. Within 10 minutes calvo1989 took out the short-stack sherlocko in 13th ($1,595.68), and the remaining dozen players were resituated around the last two tables.
The next 45 minutes saw six more eliminations. fliterplexer (10th), SebbyGI (11th), and Zgaga (12th) each earned $2,393.52, while Valse_Triste (7th), calvo1989 (8th), and tsikwz (9th) took away $3,191.36 apiece.
Meanwhile, MrRepsak lost the chip lead for a time, reclaimed it, then Geriieee shot ahead to be in first position when the first hand of the final table was dealt:
Seat 1: SKobold -- 33,011,914
Seat 2: Geriieee -- 63,639,331
Seat 3: MrRepsak -- 57,368,718
Seat 4: willrobrobu -- 11,535,404
Seat 5: Specpro_tect --23,248,763
Seat 6: junkcardman -- 10,655,870
Soon after the final table had begun, MrRepsak was opening with a minimum-raise to 1,200,000 from middle position. Next to act, willrobrobu reraised all in for 10,335,404 from the cutoff seat, and junkcardman called with his last 8,735,870 from the small blind. SKobold folded from the BB, and MrRepsak called as well.
The flop came K♣2♦A♥, giving junkcardman two pair and big edge to win the hand and survive. The 5♣ on the turn only improved junkcardman's prospects. But the river brought the 9♣, giving willrobrobu a set and sending junkcardman to the rail in sixth. Take a look:
"Sick," said SKobold, describing how junkcardman no doubt felt. One could probably use the same adjective to describe the next elimination, coming about a half-hour later.
By then both SKobold and willrobrobu had edged ahead of MrRepsak and into the top two spots, respectively. The blinds had risen to 500,000/1,000,000 when Specpro_tect opened for 2 million from the cutoff. SKobold responded with a reraise to 4,990,000 from the button, then Geriieee shoved all in from the small blind for 22,093,714.
MrRepsak was in the big blind, and he didn't take any time at all to reraise all in himself for more than 27 million! Both Specpro_tect and SKobold hastily retreated, and the remaining players' cards were revealed.
After the raise and reraise, Geriieee had woken up the small blind with A♦K♥. But unfortunately for Geriieee, MrRepsak was sitting in the BB was A♠A♣!
The flop came T♥4♦2♥, then the 9♥ turn gave Geriieee hope for a heart flush. But the 3♣ fell on the river, sending Geriieee out in fifth.
"Awesome spot for aces" typed MrRepsak afterwards, employing understatement. The awesomeness continued for him as he claimed another 12 million-plus pot on the next hand, giving him back the lead with more than 64 million. Meanwhile, willrobrobu was next with 57.6 million, SKobold third with 50.7 million, nad Specpro_tect last with just over 27 million.
Yet another tough-luck situation resulted in the next knockout hand, one involving a greater than 80-million chip pot.
With blinds up to 700,000/1,400,000, SKobold opened for 3.08 million from UTG, then Specpro_tect reraised to 6,399,999 from the big blind. SKobold called the raise, and the two players watched as the flop came 7♣T♣8♠.
Specpro_tect unhesitatingly pushed all in for 33,367,397, and SKobold snap-called. Specpro_tect had K♠K♥, but was staring at a nightmarish couple of cards across the virtual felt as SKobold rolled over J♣9♣ for the straight. Soon the 3♦ landed on the turn, meaning Specpro_tect was drawing dead.
For the woulda-shoulda-coulda file: willrobrobu typed afterwards that he'd folded J♦9♦.
The remaining trio agreed to discuss a possible deal, and event host Mathew "chipstar1" Didlick of Team PokerStars Online got out his abacus to calculate the figures for a "chip chop." At that point, SKobold led with 98,584,890, MrRepsak was next with 65,843,745, and willrobrobu third with 35,031,065.
Once Didlick came back with the numbers, both MrRepsak and willrobrobu campaigned for a few hundred dollars extra each, and SKobold agreed. SKobold would receive $39K, MrRepsak $35K, and willrobrobu $30K, with the winner earning an additional $4,358.84 and the SCOOP watch.
Soon willrobrobu scored a double-up when his pocket treys survived versus MrRepsak's A♥Q♣. Two hands later willrobrobu opened with a 3x raise to 4.2 million from the button, and MrRepsak shoved all in for 27,662,380 from the big blind. MrRepsak had A♥7♣ while willrobrobu had picked up another pocket pair with 8♥8♣. The board came 7♥2♦K♣9♥2♥, and MrRepsak was out in third.
"This is sick, now i get the cards" typed willrobrobu, who with those two double-ups had taken the chip lead to start heads-up play with 106,580,110 to SKobold's 92,879,890.
Over the next 10 minutes willrobrobu chipped away at SKobold's stack, pushing to about a 2-to-1 advantage with 132,365,660 to 67,094,340. Then, on the 33rd hand of heads-up play and the blinds up to 800,000/1,600,000, SKobold opened for 3.2 million from the button, and willrobrobu called.
The flop came K♣J♥J♠. willrobrobu checked, SKobold bet 3,468,000, and willrobrobu called. The turn brought the 7♥. Again, willrobrobu checked, then called after a bet from SKobold, this time for 7,554,800.
The river was the K♥, putting a second pair on the board. This time willrobrobu shoved all in. Down to his last 5,267,540, SKobold called showing A♥Q♦, but willrobrobu had K♠2♦ for kings full.
Congratulations to willrobrobu, who wins the first of 114 watches to be awarded during the 2011 SCOOP!
SCOOP Event #1-Low, $22 NLHE 6-max., Results (*reflects three-way deal):
1st: willrobrobu ($34,358.84)*
2nd: SKobold ($39,000.00)*
3rd: MrRepsak ($35,000.00)*
4th: Specpro_tect ($11,967.60)
5th: Geriieee ($7,978.40)
6th: junkcardman ($3,989.20)
We're off to an exciting, action-filled start at this year's SCOOP! For more highlights, be sure to check out "Inside SCOOP," the daily web show, the first episode of which kicks off in just a few hours at 17:00 ET.