Uruguay's joacowalter is on a run for the ages and if the last two days are any indication, the best move might be to stay out of his way until he cools down just a touch. Until a few days ago, joacowalter's largest score on PokerStars was just over $3,600, earned in a $33 buy-in tournament. Thursday saw him take second place in a $215 2x-Turbo for $6,500 and on Sunday, he won a $215 NLHE Turbo MTT for $28,923.80. Earlier this afternoon, he finished 34th in SCOOP Event #1-H ($2,100 6-max NLHE) for $7,840. And while a $43,000+ haul in under 24 hours might lead a lesser man to put the mouse down and head out to celebrate, he was only getting warmed up. Not only did joacowalter go from short stack to SCOOP champion tonight, he did it by defeating a final table that included two WCOOP titleholders, a 2011 SCOOP winner, and two EPT champions.
Although the guarantee on Event #5-H was set at $500,000, the 389 entrants shattered it, making 524 rebuys and 312 add-ons to create a $1,225,000 prize pool. 45 places were paid, with first place set to earn $237,037.50. Team Pros Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom and Pius Heinz were among the 11 Red Spades who bought in, but Eugene Katchalov was the only one to cash, finishing in 34th place for $7,962.50.
It took only a bit more than three hours of play to get the field down to ten. With the final table bubble looming and the blinds up to 15,000/30,000, Redd Baronn open-shoved from the small blind with nothing more than 2♦5♠ and Paolo69 called all-in from the big with Q♣J♦. Redd Barron hit bottom pair on the A♠6♣2♣ flop and Paolo69 did not catch up, exiting in tenth place and setting the final table.
Final table chip counts:
Seat 1: arnon shraga (356,059 in chips)
Seat 2: niccc (571,132 in chips)
Seat 3: joacowalter (206,369 in chips)
Seat 4: hustla16 (540,391 in chips)
Seat 5: UhhMee (208,780 in chips)
Seat 6: UpmaxH (445,825 in chips)
Seat 7: Redd Baronn (651,915 in chips)
Seat 8: "0PIGGYBANK" (481,827 in chips)
Seat 9: JIZOINT (836,702 in chips)
Are you experienced?
The final nine were a decorated bunch, even by SCOOP standards. "0PIGGYBANK" is the online moniker of Germany's Martin Finger, who won the 2011 EPT Prague for €720,000. Arnon shraga finished second in the Super Tuesday less than a month ago for $53k. UpmaxH has notched wins in the $215+R, the $109+R and the Big $55. Ami "UhhMee" Barer made a runner-up finish in Event #3-M ($55 6-max NLHE) in last year's SCOOP, banking $54k. Charlie "JIZOINT" Combes earned his first SCOOP title one year ago, taking down Event #13-H for $55k. Hiren "hustla16" Patel earned a staggering $446,000 after defeating over 6,200 players in Event #11 ($530 NLHE) of the 2009 WCOOP. And Nicolas "niccc" Chouity took home the trophy at the 2010 EPT Grand Final along with €1,700,000. He has a WCOOP title as well, earned last fall in pot-limit Omaha.
Double, double, toil and trouble
Needless to say, joacowalter had his work cut out for him. He arrived at the final table with less than seven big bilnds and only a few orbits later was down to three and a half. With the action folded to him in the small blind, joaowalter shoved his last 126,369 with J♦5♣ and hustla16 called from the big, turning over a dominating K♥5♦. It was all but over for joacowalter until a jack on the flop gave him life. Hustla16 couldn't find a king on the turn or river and joacowalter doubled to 298,000. He moved into safer territory on the next hand, picking up 100,000 worth of blinds and antes to bring him up to 397,000.
Joacowalter's timely double-up left arnon shraga as the table short stack. Following an early position open-shove from hustla16, arnon shraga found A♦J♠ in the small blind and called all-in for his last 256,000. Hustla16's dominating A♣K♣ stayed that way and arnon shraga departed in ninth place, earning $21,437.50-- not bad at all for three and a half hours of work.
UhhMee was next to make a move. With the blinds up to 30,000-60,000, UhhMee raised to 212,000, leaving himself only 6,780 behind. Joacowalter reshoved for 288,000 from the big blind and UhhMee called all-in, turning over K♥7♥. It couldn't catch joacowalter's A♥9♥ and UhhMee exited in eighth, collecting $29,400.
The extraordinary rise and perilous fall of UpmaxH
With seven players remaining, UpmaxH was the only one with a seven-figure chip count, his 1.2 million nearly twice as much as his closest competitor. Turning up the aggression, he open-shoved from UTG with Q♥8♠ only to run headlong into JIZOINT's A♣A♥. However, those aces were promptly snapped off when a queen hit the flop and an eight fell on the turn, sending JIZOINT to the rail in seventh place. UpmaxH continued to roll, taking out niccc four hands later when his T♠9♣ flopped trip nines against 7♣8♥. For his sixth-place finish, niccc earned $53,900.
UpmaxH was up to 2.29 million and his four opponents were all below 630,000. Second-in-chips joacowalter picked up A♥Q♦ when "0PIGGYBANK" shoved with pocket sevens, the queen-high board sending him home in fifth place while joacowalter closed in on the million-chip mark.
UpmaxH was in a position where he didn't need to steal every last pot, but nevertheless, open-shoved for 2.3 million from the cutoff with T♠2♥. In what was perhaps the turning point of the entire final table, joacowalter called with K♠Q♠ in the small blind, his hand holding up to give him the chip lead with 1.9 million. Moments later, UpmaxH shoved his J♦7♦ into Redd Baronn's A♠7♥. Although UpmaxH paired up on the K♦J♥2♥ flop, Redd Baronn hit running hearts to make a flush. Now below a million in chips, UpmaxH went for Redd Barron's big blind again on the next orbit, moving all-in for 926,000 with 9♥5♥. This time, Redd Barron woke up with pocket kings.
With the blinds up to 50,000/100,000, onetime chip leader UpmaxH was down to only 398,000. Although he managed to double through joacowalter to move up to 870,000, those chips quickly found their way into hustla16's stack. UpmaxH open-shoved with K♥T♥ and hustla16 snap-called from the big blind with A♦K♣, big slick holding up to leave UpmaxH on only 188,000. Redd Baronn got the KO on the next hand, his K♦9♥ holding up against UpmaxH's Q♣6♥ to send him home in fourth place, a mere seven minutes after taking a dominating chip lead. Certainly not all was lost for UpmaxH-- he banked $101,062.50 for his efforts.
Deal me in
Immediately following UpmaxH's elimination, joacowalter broached the subject of a deal. Hustla16 and Redd Baronn agreed to pause the action and run chip count chop numbers. It took only one small tweak to hustla16's payout to get all three to agree to a deal and action resumed with $10,000 left in play for the winner.
Joacowalter and hustla16 took Redd Baronn out with a one-two punch. Joacowalter was first, doubling up when his A♣J♥ held against Redd Baronn's K♥T♥. Left with barely more than one big blind, Redd Baronn put his last 148,000 in the middle with pocket sixes. Joacowalter called from the small blind, but hustla16 ended that party with a reshove for 931,000 from the big blind. Joacowalter got out of the way, hustla16's K♠8♠ needing to improve. In most brutal fashion, Redd Baronn's pocket pair was counterfeited, the board running out 9♥7♦7♣J♣9♣ to end his run in third place. His share of the three-way deal totaled $165,200.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 3: joacowalter (3,027,664 in chips)
Seat 4: hustla16 (1,271,336 in chips)
Heads-up play took all of one hand, joacowalter shoving on the button with J♦T♦ and hustla16 calling all-in with A♣4♠. Although hustla16 flopped a pair of aces and a wheel draw, hot-running joacowalter could not be stopped, catching running tens to lock up the SCOOP title.
Kudos to joacowalter on a phenomenal, life-changing run and his first SCOOP title. He took home $204,212.50 while runner-up hustla16 banked $180,000. Don't spend it all in one place, kids.
2012 SCOOP Event #5-H ($1,050+R Turbo NLHE) results:
1. joacowalter (Uruguay) $204,212.50*
2. hustla16 (Canada) $180,000.00*
3. Redd Baronn (Czech Republic) $165,200.00*
4. UpmaxH (Slovakia) $101,062.50
5. "0PIGGYBANK" (Germany) $69,825.00
6. niccc (Lebanon) $53,900.00
7. JIZOINT (United Kingdom) $41,650.00
8. UhhMee (Canada) $29,400.00
9. arnon shraga (Israel) $21,437.50
Busto or robusto, there's a SCOOP event for you. Head over to the SCOOP page for a complete schedule and satellite information.