Poker players around the world had been talking about it for months, arranging their schedules for weeks, and playing satellites for days. Twitter and Facebook were abuzz, and laptops were fully charged. It was spring in the world of online poker, and it all meant only one thing: SCOOP!
The Spring Championship of Online Poker got underway on Sunday, May 8, with two big starter events, and Event 2 was one of them. The low buy-in version of this two-day no-limit hold'em event offered players a $200K guarantee for the bargain price of only $22. And the players lined up for the excitement! Registration numbers were outstanding and created the following figures:
Actual prize pool: $517,660
Paid players: 4,500
Day 1 of the festivities did its job by thinning the field into the money and toward the final table. There were 44 15-minute levels played, though it was only a few hours into the action that the money bubble burst and the top 4,500 players were in the cash portion of the tournament.
Among that rather sizeable group of players, there were numerous Team PokerStars and Team Online players. Team PokerStars Pro Christophe "chrisdm" de Meulder of Belgium was the first player to exit in the money in 3735th place, followed by Team Online's Javier "El_Canonero" Dominguez in 2993rd, Team Pros Marcin "Goral" Horecki in 2396th and Nuno Coelho in 1787th, Georgios "gkap13" Kapalas in 1744th, Henrique Pinho in 1255th, Alexios "J0hnny_Dr@m@" Zervos in 1245th, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier in 970th, and Team Online's Anders "Donald" Hoyer Berg in 649th.
Still standing was Team Pro Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby of the Czech Republic, and he continued to climb as the field thinned.
By the end of Day 1, only 27 players on three tables remained in action. And it was MikiOpasniy of Russia in the number one spot on the leaderboard, followed by phanXe87 and AABenjaminAA holding strong in sixth. The top ten chip counts were:
MikiOpasniy (21,809,363 chips)
phanXe87 (20,609,486 chips)
rakajoonas (19,960,029 chips)
Humlae79 (17,745,240 chips)
max1210dj (17,066,286 chips)
AABenjaminAA (16,589,522 chips)
fiti79 (16,374,204 chips)
onetwo780501 (13,440,492 chips)
MM2Macx (11,274,073 chips)
lfernandoh (10,587,581 chips)
Enter Day 2. At 14:00 ET, players returned to the tables, all looking at the top five places that boasted of five-figure payouts and the prestigious SCOOP title that went with the $46,613.26 first place prize. Starting with Level 45, with blinds at 150,000/300,000 and a 37,500 ante, the tournament launched into its second and final day.
Within the first 20 minutes, salamadar and gomes1979 exited the tournament, followed by Team PokerStars Martin "AABenjamin" Hruby. He was ready for action and got involved in a preflop raising war with eeriness, and Hruby moved all-in with A♣Q♥ after seeing the 9♠2♥9♥ flop. But eeriness called with K♠K♦, and the pocket pair held up to the 3♠ turn and 5♠ river. AABenjamin departed in 25th place with $776.49.
It only took 45 minutes from the day's restart to reach the final two tables, and eeriness held a solid lead over the pack. But by the time hand-for-hand action began, the Day 1 chipleader MikiOpasniy, was back on top, until a battle with eeriness that saw the latter double through in the biggest pot of the tournament thus far. MikiOpasniy fell, and eeriness retook the lead - and a massive one at that.
It was over 1.5 hours into Day 2 that the final table bubble burst, and it happened when Kornone moved all-in with A♣T♥, and max1210dj called from the small blind with J♣J♠. The board came 8♥Q♠Q♦7♦8♣, and Kornone was out in tenth place with $1,811.81.
Eeriness takes over the table
The final table was reached in Level 51, with blinds at 600,000/1,200,000 and a 150,0000 ante. The players' starting chip counts were as follows:
Seat 1: Roflam1337 (17,509,034 in chips)
Seat 2: Mr.BuDuLaI (6,175,472 in chips)
Seat 3: onetwo780501 (8,267,850 in chips)
Seat 4: eeriness (94,552,042 in chips)
Seat 5: MM2Macx (21,376,633 in chips)
Seat 6: jack77s (16,989,780 in chips)
Seat 7: Humlae79 (46,677,742 in chips)
Seat 8: MikiOpasniy (4,776,713 in chips)
Seat 9: max1210dj (42,504,734 in chips)
The very first hand of the table brought serious action, as Mr.DuBuLal, one of the shorter stacks, made his all-in move with A♦K♣ from the small blind. Original raiser Roflam1337 called with 4♦4♣, and the board brought 3♦9♦2♣9♣3♣. Roflam1337's two pair were better, and Mr.BuDuLal departed in ninth place with $2,588.30.
Only five hands later, there was another at-risk player. Onetwo780501 made the push preflop with A♣2♥, and eeriness made the call with a dominating A♥9♥. The flop of 9♣8♠9♦ only turned that better hand into trip nines, and the 5♣ turn and 3♠ river sent the pot to eeriness. Onetwo780501 took home $3,882.45 for the eighth place finish.
MikiOpasniy was in trouble since taking the hit from eeriness just before the final table, though a double through eeriness during seven-handed play bought some extra time. MikiOpasniy made another attempt soon after holding A♠Q♦, but jack77s called 7 million more from the small blind with 6♥6♦. The pocket pair held up as the dealer showed them 4♣8♦7♠J♥3♠, and MikiOpasniy had to leave in seventh place with the $5,176.60 that went with it.
A scary lead becomes even scarier
A chip lead can prompt aggression on the part of that player and caution from the rest of the table. Eeriness had no problem playing that lead to its fullest. By the time the two-hour break was upon them, eeriness' lead was enormous, with a chip stack of more than 115 million and the closest competitor being Humlae79 with nearly 50 million chips.
In general, however, action slowed. The money jumps were more significant than ever, and a tone of seriousness set in. But Humlae79 wasn't having it, and eyes on the chip lead prompted some challenges to eeriness, such as the following example:
The next battle was one of the two blinds. Folded around to MM2Macx in the small blind, he raised all-in for more than 19.5 million. Jack77s decided to call 10 million of that from the big blind and risk it all with K♣6♦. MM2Macx turned over Q♣3♥, and while the flop of 7♦8♦4♥ was favorable for a double-up, the Q♥ hit on the turn, followed by Q♦ on the river. Trips was enough to knock jack77s out in sixth place with $7,764.90.
Speaking of MM2Macx, that player chose another battle of the blinds, the next time from the big blind with eeriness in the small. The preflop raising back-and-forth led to eeriness pushing all-in and MM2Macx calling for his tournament life with 7♠7♣. Eeriness showed A♣9♥ for the race and immediately improved on the Q♣6♠9♦ flop. The Q♥ and J♥ finished the hand and sent MM2Macx packing in fifth place with $12,941.50.
Shortly thereafter, Roflam1337 was short-stacked and risked it all with K♣Q♥, and Humlae79 called 9,134,506 more with A♥9♠. The board of T♠A♣3♣4♦5♦ only bettered Humlae79's hand into a pair, and Roflam1337 had to accept $18,118.10 for the fourth place finish.
After a failed attempt at a chip-chop deal, the three players resumed and quickly made a change at the table with another elimination. It happened when max1210dj pushed with A♥4♥, and eeriness called with A♠T♣. The board of 2♣A♦9♣8♠2♥ only brought two pair for both players, and the ten kicker played. Max1210dj was gone in third place with $23,294.70.
Russia versus Germany in the final showdown
The last two players standing began their heads-up match with the following counts:
Seat 4: eeriness (165,925,967 in chips)
Seat 7: Humlae79 (92,904,033 in chips)
Eeriness started out strong, and taking a pot worth 56.5 million from Humlae79 only increased the former's chip lead. But Humlae79 was far from done fighting. The following double-up evened the stacks and gave Humlae79 a shot at the title:
Humlae79 quickly moved into the chip lead from there, and it wasn't long before eeriness was put to the test. Eeriness did make the all-in move with 5♣5♠, and Humlae79 made the call with A♦T♥. The race was still just that when the flop came 9♦7♥4♥, but the T♦ gave it a turn toward Humlae79. The 3♠ on the river ended the match with a second place finish for eeriness, worth $32,043.15.
Humlae79 of Germany came from a deficit, never stopped fighting, and won a tough tournament. For the victory, Humlae79 received $46,613.26 and a SCOOP champion watch. Congrats!
SCOOP Event #2-L Results:
1st place: Humlae79 ($46,613.26)
2nd place: eeriness ($32,043.15)
3rd place: max1210dj ($23,294.70)
4th place: Roflam1337 ($18,118.10)
5th place: MM2Macx ($12,941.50)
6th place: jack77s ($7,764.90)
7th place: MikiOpasniy ($5,176.60)
8th place: onetwo780501 ($3,882.45)
9th place: Mr.BuDuLal ($2,588.30)
Information about SCOOP is easy to find, especially if we provide the links! You can browse the tournament schedule, list of satellites, and the leaderboard, and you can check out the Inside SCOOP daily web show.