Looking over the numbers for the 2011 SCOOP Main Event tourneys, the "low," "medium," and "high" versions together attracted nearly 20,000 entrants, all fighting for a cool $7,983,200. Those tourneys culminated today, the eighth anniversary of Chris Moneymaker's historic win in the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event, for which the total prize pool was $7,802,700 -- just a bit less.
The "medium" version of the Main Event, a $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney, drew 2,505 players, making the prize pool for this one $2,505,000 (well above the $1.5 million guarantee). The top 324 finishers would be dividing that money, with the winner due a life-changing $400,800, barring any final table deals.
Those are some big numbers. The kind that make you want to say "boom!"
Day 1: 2,505 to 324
After four hours and 15 minutes, the field had shrunk to 1,000 players, with tpleta, SeeYouWrong, jordi r1, Pr0fiteer, and mace_piri at the top of the counts. Of the nearly 20 Team PokerStars Pros still alive, Noah "Exclusive" Boeken had the most chips among them, which was good for a spot just inside the top 100.
About an hour-and-half later just 500 remained, with akulij2001, 3591omanyd, IHasOuts, Matthias "kabutze" Kurtz, and Flying Smile leading the way. By then nine members of Team PokerStars were left, led by Ruben "rubenrtv" Visser (42nd), SCOOP #18-High winner Sebastian Ruthenberg (47th), and Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth (92nd).
The Travails of Team PokerStars: 324 to 52
It would be at about the seven-and-a-half-hour mark that the cash bubble would burst. With 324 players left, fish2013 was in front with more than 373,000, Pr0fiteer next with over 263,000, with FelipeNunes, KevBoyStar, and akulij2001 just behind hovering around a quarter million.
While Ruthenberg fell short of the cash (finishing in 442nd), the other eight Team PokerStars players had made the money, though all would fall over the next three hours.
A short-stacked Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth went out in 303rd ($1,878.75) after running A♣3♣ into fabstinho's A♦J♣. Just before the eight-hour break, Kwangsoo "PiS.ToTo" Lee of Team Online would follow in 238th ($2,254.50) when his pocket tens failed to hold up against 20mb's A♠J♦. And just after the break, Fredy "sirfreddy83" Torres, also of Team Online, got caught up in a three-way preflop all-in in which he held pocket sixes, mimatadoro had J♦J♥, and fish2013 A♥K♠. An ace flopped, then by the river four diamonds were on board, giving mimatadoro a flush and sending sirfreddy83 out in 232nd ($2,379.75).
A third member of Team Online, SCOOP Player of the Series leader Anders "Donald" Berg, would hit the rail shortly thereafter after taking 7♠7♣ up against nnhheeoo's K♣Q♦. Berg's sevens were good through the turn, but the K♠ on the river sunk him in 213th ($2,505).
With 200 players left, Pr0fiteer was leading with more than 391,000, with Tryboorn close with over 375,000 and KevBoyStar right at 355,000.
SCOOP star Noah "Exclusive" Boeken would be the next Team PokerStars Pro to go. With the blinds 2,000/4,000, Boeken open-raised for 73,167 from the button with 6♦6♠ and was called by FellipeNunes who held A♠J♠ in the big blind. The flop brought a jack and Boeken couldn't catch up, finishing in 144th ($3,256.50).
Ruben "rubenrtv" Visser of Team PokerStars Netherlands soon followed Boeken to the virtual cashier's cage. Visser was crippled after reraising all-in versus Toby_Maps with 9♠9♥ only to have Toby_Maps call with A♣A♥. Then, on the very next hand Visser had more misfortune. He open-pushed his 5-big blind stack with A♥K♦ and got called by flexxx111 who held A♠Q♣. But a queen flopped, and soon rubenrtv was out in 127th place ($3,381.75).
That left just Arnaud "frenchkiss" Mattern (France) and Lex Veldhuis (Netherlands) to represent Team PokerStars. Mattern would go out in 71st ($4,383.75) after losing a three-way all-in versus fish2013 and Halfrek. Mattern had open-pushed 115,400 (about 11.5 big blinds) with K♠9♠ only to see fish2013 reraise and Halfrek call. fish2013 had 9♣9♥ and Halfrek A♠K♦, and after the board ran out 4♠K♣8♦6♥5♦ Halfrek claimed the huge 835,000-plus pot as Mattern was eliminated.
Not too long after, Veldhuis would be knocked out as well. In his final hand, nemmad had minimum-raised to 24,000 from early position, then Pkr_b777 reraised to 55,055 from the button. Veldhuis, sitting in the big blind, shoved over the top for 159,524, causing nemmad to step aside. But Pkr_b777 quickly called, showing A♠A♦ to the Dutchman's T♥T♣. An ace flopped, and by the turn Veldhuis was drawing dead. He earned $5,260.50 for finishing 53rd.
The Night Concludes: 52 to 16
They'd been playing almost 11 hours when just 50 remained. At that point five players sported stacks of more than 1 million: Phil "philbort" Gruissem (1.72 million), fish2013 (1.19m), Halfrek (1.18m), OMGchips (1.09m), and KevBoyStar (1.07m).
By the 12-hour break, just 29 remained, with philbort still out in front, now with more than 2.62 million, followed by Halfrek (2.37m) and FiatEruditio (2.07m). As the evening came to a close, FiatEruditio soon grabbed the lead and began pushing way out ahead of the field, approaching the 5 million-chip mark by the time play concluded.
Just 16 players made it to the end of Day 1. Here's how the counts looked while the players took 11 or so hours off to regroup:
1. FiatEruditio -- 4,973,976
2. Halfrek -- 2,813,010
3. philbort -- 2,166,209
4. shalzy13 -- 2,069,097
5. Goldenboys -- 1,916,234
6. Coilmaster85 -- 1,692,875
7. merkurstar -- 1,571,846
8. Fischer80 -- 1,490,718
9. Pkr_b777 - 1,395,668
10. flexxx111 -- 1,122,221
11. Maksimus1978 -- 937,457
12. nemmad -- 845,101
13. KevBoyStar -- 842,760
14. nnhheeoo -- 697,543
15. totaloser -- 461,216
16. Pr0fiteer -- 54,069
Day 2: Finding a Final Table (16 to 9)
Just before the first hands of Day 2 were dealt, Pr0fiteer -- who'd lost nearly all of his stack on the last hand of Day 1 -- cheekily typed "giving me a chance?" to the table, eliciting some chatbox chuckles.
Unfortunately for Pr0fiteer, he was in the small blind to start, meaning a third of his stack (17,500) was already committed before the cards were dealt. merkurstar opened from the button with Q♣J♦, Pr0fiteer called with T♣2♠, and five cards later Pr0fiteer was out in 16th ($9,519).
About 15 minutes later with the blinds still 17,500/35,000, Fischer80 open-raised all in from the small blind with K♣7♦ and got called by totaloser who woke up with A♠K♥. That hand cost Fischer80 nearly half his stack, knocking him from over 870,000 down to about 450,000. Then, just two hands later, Fischer80 would push with pocket sevens only to run into flexxx111's Q♦Q♣ and get bumped in 15th ($13,276.50).
A short while after that Maksimu1978 got it all in on the turn versus nemmad with the board showing Q♥J♦5♦3♥. Maksimus1978 had Q♠J♥ for two pair, while nemmad had A♦T♦. The 2♦ fell on the river, giving nemmad the flush and sending Maksimus78 out in 14th ($13,276.50).
Then, as the first hour of Day 2 concluded, there came four more eliminations in quick succession.
First, Pkr_b77 would lose a race with pocket treys versus merkurstar's A♠J♥ to go out in 13th ($13,276.50). Then, KevBoyStar went out in 12th when his A♣T♠ failed to catch up to flexxx111's A♠J♠.
totaloser got all in with pocket eights against shalzy13's A♠9♥, but a nine fell on the turn to send totaloser out in 11th. And in the last hand before the first break of the day, nnhheeoo ran T♠T♦ into Goldenboys' J♣J♠ to go out in 10th. Those latter three to bust each earned $17,034 for their efforts.
The final table was set!
Seat 1: merkurstar -- 1,916,217
Seat 2: shalzy13 -- 1,829,500
Seat 3: flexxx111 -- 1,935,604
Seat 4: Coilmaster85 -- 1,946,005
Seat 5: Halfrek -- 4,193,734
Seat 6: philbort -- 2,628,347
Seat 7: nemmad -- 1,357,191
Seat 8: FiatEruditio -- 6,208,610
Seat 9: Goldenboys -- 3,034,792
An orbit had passed when FiatEruditio, with the blinds at 30,000/60,000, opened for 137,375 from the hijack seat. All folded except flexxx111 who called from the big blind. The flop came 6♦A♠9♣. flexxx111 checked, FiatEruditio continued for 147,800, and flexxx111 called. The turn was the J♣. flexxx111 checked again, and this time FiatEruditio bet 365,400. flexxx111 check-raised all in for 1,814,179 and FiatEruditio made the call.
flexxx111 showed A♣9♦ for two pair on the flop, but FiatEruditio had A♥J♥ -- he'd turned a better two pair. The river was the K♠, and flexxx111 was out in ninth.
About 20 minutes later nemmad was all in and at risk versus FiatEruditio, but his A♣A♠ held up against FiatEruditio's K♦J♣. On the very next hand, with the blinds up to 40,000/80,000, shakzy13 opened for 190,000 from UTG and got one caller in merkurstar from the big blind. The flop came 7♦8♣Q♣, and merkurstar pushed all in with the 1,373,342 he had left. shalzy13 called, showing Q♥T♥ for top pair of queens. merkurstar had T♠9♠ and an open-ender, but the turn was the K♦ and the river the 5♥, and merkurstar was out in eighth.
A few minutes later the table had folded around to Coilmaster85 in the small blind who raised to 199,955, then Halfrek pushed his stack of 3.04 million-plus all in from the BB. Coilmaster85 called with the 1,867,629 he had left, tabling 9♦9♠ and hoping it would hold versus Halfrek's K♥Q♣. The flop came T♦2♥K♦, giving Halfrek the better pair. The Q♦ turn gave Halfrek two pair while also giving Coilmaster85 hopes for a gutshot, but the river was the A♠ and Coilmaster85 was out in seventh.
The very next hand saw the next elimination. After FiatEruditio opened for 176,375 under the gun, it folded back to Philipp "philbort" Gruissem who pushed all in for 1,265,297 from the small blind. nemmad folded the BB, and FiatEruditio snap-called, showing K♦K♥ to philbort's A♦9♠. The board came Q♠T♦5♣J♣5♥, and Gruissem was gone in sixth.
As they neared the next five-minute break, talk arose among the final five of a possible deal, but that got interrupted by an all-in situation on the last hand before the break.
With the blinds at 50,000/100,000, shalzy13 opened for 210,000 from under the gun, then Halfrek, sitting to shalzy13's left, reraised to 423,475. It folded around, then shalzy13 pushed all in for 1,812,957 total and Halfrek called.
The five community cards came 5♦4♥4♦J♥8♣, and shalzy13 was out in fifth, having made a six-figure score for doing so.
During the break, nemmad, FiatEruditio, and Goldenboys all expressed a desire to talk about a deal, but Halfrek wasn't responding, and so they played on. At that point, FiatEruditio led with 10,592,904, Halfrek was next with 8,648,225, Goldenboys was third with 3,589,372, and nemmad last with 2,221,499.
Over the next half-hour, Halfrek pushed out ahead of FiatEruditio, then put significant distance between himself and the other three, building a stack of more than 15 million -- about 60% of the chips in play. Then came a huge hand in which Halfrek had turned two pair against Goldenboys top pair-top kicker and had the latter in dire straits after getting his whole stack in with one card to come. But the river saved Goldenboys. Take a look:
A few hands later the blinds were 70,000/140,000 when Halfrek opened for 280,000 from the button, then nemmad shoved all in for 1,818,548 from the small blind. FiatEruditio folded, and Halfrek called, showing A♠6♥ to nemmad's 2♦2♠. Halfrek didn't pair up, but the board came Q♥5♦Q♠K♣K♥, counterfeiting nemmad who went out in fourth.
That hand helped extend Halfrek's lead again, giving him 13,566,479 to Goldenboys' 8,651,588 and FiatEruditio's 2,831,933. FiatEruditio would soon enjoy a double-up (through Halfrek) to tighten things up again, after which Goldenboys again proposed deal talk. But Halfrek still wasn't responding.
The final trio fought their way to the three-hour break, during which time Goldenboys seized the advantage while Halfrek saw his stack start to slip. At that point Goldenboys had 11,107,188, FiatEruditio 9,352,916, and Halfrek 4,589,896.
Soon Halfrek was all in with K♦Q♠ against Goldenboys' K♠Q♦. The flop came a scary (for Halfrek) 5♠A♠T♠, but the turn and river brought no more spades and Halfrek survived.
A half-dozen hands later Halfrek would be all in again, open-pushing for 3,496,421 from the small blind. FiatEruditio called from the BB, showing K♦J♠ to Halfrek's A♦3♠. The flop was good for Halfrek, coming 2♣4♠7♦, but the turn was the K♥, pairing FiatEruditio. The river was the 2♠, and they were down to heads-up.
FiatEruditio and Goldenboys were almost even in chips when heads-up began, and both immediately agreed to sit out and discuss a deal. "At least one russian doing well in the main event," chimed Team PokerStars Pro Ivan Demidov from the rail, referring his fellow countryman FiatEruditio.
Goldenboys (from the United Kingdom) had a slight edge with 12,723,888 to FiatEruditio's 12,326,112, and suggested to FiatEruditio they do an even 50-50 split, leaving $30,000 on the table -- and the SCOOP watch -- for which to play. FiatEruditio agreed to the idea, meaning both would be guaranteed $335,386.88.
"Now it's time to call your friends and family" said Richard "Tzen1" Veenman, host of the Event #38-M final table. A few moments later the cards were back in the air.
Goldenboys took a quick advantage, then scored a large, 15 million-plus chip pot in a hand in which FiatEruditio floated the flop with air, then bluffed the turn and river unimproved only to get called by Goldenboys who'd flopped top pair.
Not long after that, FiatEruditio was down to a little over 3 million and all in with K♠6♥ versus Goldenboys's 5♣5♥. But a six fell on the river, ensuring FiatEruditio's survival for a few more hands.
Finally the end arrived. Back down to 2,390,562 (about 11.5 big blinds), FiatEruditio shoved from the button with 9♥5♣ and Goldenboys couldn't have called any more quickly with K♣K♥. The flop came K♠3♠4♣, giving Goldenboys a set, and FiatEruditio was already typing "gg" as the turn and river fell.
Congratulations to both Goldenboys and FiatEruditio for chopping Event #38-M, and especially Goldenboys for scoring the next-to-last SCOOP watch of 2011!
SCOOP Event #38-Medium (Main Event), $1,050 NLHE, Results (*reflects two-way deal):
1st: Goldenboys ($365,386.88)*
2nd: FiatEruditio ($335,386.88)*
3rd: Halfrek ($212,925)
4th: nemmad ($150,300)
5th: shalzy13 ($112,725)
6th: philbort ($86,422.50)
7th: Coilmaster85 ($61,372.50)
8th: merkurstar ($36,322.50)
9th: flexxx111 ($22,545)
Thanks for following our coverage of this year's Spring Championship of Online Poker at PokerStars. For all the results and stats from all three years' worth of SCOOPs, check out the SCOOP page.