It's been a wild and woolly couple of weeks at PokerStars, with more than 100 tournaments already come and gone in this year's Spring Championship of Online Poker. We're building toward a kind of climax here, with several big events still to go, culminating, of course, with the two-day Main Event (#40) for which the "low," "medium," and "high" tourneys have guarantees totaling $5 million!
Saturday saw more exciting preliminary event action, including Event #36, the short-handed pot-limit Omaha event. A total of 681 pot-limit Omahalics gathered Saturday afternoon for the "medium" version of Event #36 which sported a $530 buy-in. That group built a total prize pool of $340,500, more than doubling the $150K guarantee. The top 90 finishers divided the loot, with $61,290 due the winner barring any final table deals.
It took about five hours and 40 minutes for the money bubble to burst, and with 90 players left TiltMeHarder had the lead with almost 160,000, followed by Pointer (146,044), Ben SexSeen (103,1397), Furunduk (101,810), and Jamil "Jamil11" Wakil (101,651).
The lone representative of Team PokerStars among those making the money was Raymond Wu of Team PokerStars Asia, sitting right in the middle of the pack with a below-average stack of just under 30,000. Wu would continue to battle as the field shrunk further before finally being felted in hand versus BrigaDatada to finish 48th ($1,293.90).
Meanwhile, Jarfish of Canada was the first player to eclipse the 200,000-chip mark and at the seven-hour break was sitting in the top spot with 35 players remaining. Then over the next half-hour Big_nat123 pulled ahead to be the first to 300,000 to lead with 25 remaining.
An hour later the field had been trimmed to a dozen, with Big_nat123 having extended the lead, pushing up toward the 800,000-chip mark while nearest competitors TheHood and qucumba had around half that amount. It would take another half-hour for the next six to fall, during which stretch Big_nat123's stack would slide while TheHood and Jarfish both saw their stacks grow.
Next out were SexSeen (12th), Elia001 (11th), and benkot (10th), each of whom earned $4,426.50 for their performances. They were followed by BrigaDatada (9th), Big_nat123 (8th), and qucumba (7th), with those three each seeing $6,946.20 added to their PokerStars' accounts.
Just six remained.
Seat 1: Sowerss (Costa Rica) -- 497,500
Seat 2: TheHood (Australia) -- 1,016,370
Seat 3: gillete (Canada) -- 193,655
Seat 4: Jarfish (Canada) -- 882,669
Seat 5: BackDoorovic (Sweden) -- 504,360
Seat 6: xxMatSon (Finland) -- 310,446
It would take about one orbit for the first final table elimination to occur. After gillete opened for 35,000 from UTG+1, it folded back to Mike "Sowerss" Sowers who called from the big blind, and the pair saw the flop come 3♥7♦T♣. Sowers checked, and gillete bet 75,000, leaving but 68,655 behind. Sowers then check-raised the pot, and gillete called all in, showing K♠K♣T♥4♦ for the overpair. Sowers tabled T♦7♠6♥2♠ for top two, and after the 8♦ turn and 2♣ river, they were down to five.
Just four hands later, the blinds had moved up to 6,000/12,000 when TheHood raised to 30,000 from the cutoff, xxMatSon reraised the pot from the big blind, TheHood responded with another pot-sized reraise, and xxMatSon called all in for 271,446 total.
The combatants' hands showed aces and kings, and soon the board would, too, as the flop came K♠A♠9♥. The turn was the 8♣ and river the J♣, and TheHood's set was best as xxMatSon went out in fifth.
They were approaching the 11-hour break with the blinds up to 10,000/20,000 when the next knockout came. After a Jarfish raise to 40,000 from the button, BackDoorovic made it 140,000 from the small blind, and it folded back to Jarfish who called. The flop came K♥8♣4♦, BackDoorovic bet 300,000, and Jarfish called all in for 107,258.
BackDoorovic had A♥A♣J♠5♥, better than Jarfish's 8♠6♣5♣3♥, and after the 9♦ turn and K♣ river, BackDoorovic's hand was still best and Jarfish was out in fourth.
The remaining three made it to the break, at which point Sowers led with just over 1.43 million, BackDoorovic was next with about 1.16 million, and TheHood third with a little more than 810,000.
Sowers increased his lead over the next 20 minutes, then came a hand in which TheHood made a pot-sized open from the button to 62,500, Sowers reraised to 200,000 from the big blind, TheHood made it 337,500 to go, Sowers 475,000, and TheHood called with the 9,504 left behind.
Sowers had A♣A♥K♣9♠ and TheHood A♠Q♠J♦6♥. The board came T♣5♥Q♣5♣3♥ to give Sowers a flush and send TheHood out in third.
Heads-up play began with Sowers enjoying a big chip lead with 2,590,192 to BackDoorovic's 814,808. It would take just 11 hands more for the tourney to be decided.
In the final hand, BackDoorovic made a minimum-raise to 50,000 from the button and Sowers called, and the flop came 3♣Q♦3♦. Sowers checked, BackDoorovic bet 50,000, and Sowers check-raised to 150,000. BackDoorovic made it 250,000, Sowers reraised again to 850,000, and BackDoorovic called all in for 331,697.
Trip treys for Sowers, with top pair of queens and the faintest of backdoor hopes for Backdoorovic. The turn was the J♥ and river the A♦, meaning Backdoorovic had backdoored a straight, but Sowers had improved to a full house to win the hand.
Congratulations to Mike "Sowerss" Sowers for topping a field of 681 to take down the Event #36-M title and the cool SCOOP watch!
2012 SCOOP Event 36-Medium, $530 Pot-Limit Omaha, 6-max.:
1st: Mike "Sowerss" Sowers (Costa Rica) -- $61,290
2nd: BackDoorovic (Sweden) -- $45,967.50
3rd: TheHood (Australia) -- $34,050
4th: Jarfish (Canada) -- $23,835
5th: xxMatSon (Finland) -- $17,025
6th: gillete (Canada) -- $10,025
Places paid: 90
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