Just yesterday, PokerStars Blog head honcho Brad Willis wrote an interesting piece on the race for the SCOOP Player of the Series. It talked about the feats of Viktor Blom and Shaun Deeb as they sat at the top of the leaderboard. Half way down the page, there was a caption underneath a cheesy photo of Deeb. The caption read:
"Deeb: See these people? I beat them all. Blom is next."
One day later and those words have rung so very true as Deeb has claimed a mighty victory in Event #19-H of the PokerStars SCOOP series. It's his second SCOOP title of the series, and the third of his career, putting him in the most elite company in the history of online poker.
Yesterday it was Blom and Deeb. Today it's just Deeb.
Triple Stud is not everyone's cup of tea. In fact, for some, it's probably their worst nightmare. So it's hard to determine what sort of player would fork over $2,100 to play 12+ hours of Limit Stud, Stud Hi-Lo and Razz against the best players in the world. Stud used to be an old school game, but the younger generation have embraced it and made it cool again as the Event #19-H $2,100 Triple Stud field of 68 players contained a diverse mix of feared veterans and proven online young guns. The prize pool of $136,000 was more than double the guarantee.
George Danzer, George Lind III, Nacho Barbero, Ville Wahlbeck, Anders Berg, Martin Staszko, Bertrand Grospellier and Eugene Katchalov were representing the red spade of Team PokerStars but it wasn't going to be easy with a stacked field that contained the cream of the crop in the international poker world.
A field of 68 sounds small, compared to the thousands (and tens of thousands) we usually see in online tournaments, but the nature of Triple Stud, and the fact that there was $44,200 and the SCOOP title to play for, ensured that it would be a real grind to reach the final table. After a little over eight hours of play AceQuad was eliminated in 9th place to burst the bubble as our final table was formed:
Final Table Line up
Seat 1: PerpCzech (27179 in chips)
Seat 2: $tinger 88 (36449 in chips)
Seat 3: Spokey (7537 in chips)
Seat 4: GVOZDIKA55 (60454 in chips)
Seat 5: stevie444 (29292 in chips)
Seat 6: E. Katchalov (86227 in chips)
Seat 7: shaundeeb (62888 in chips)
Seat 8: JohnSmith (29974 in chips)
As expected it was a super-talented line up with online phenoms Brian "$tinger 88" Hastings, Stephen "stevie444" Chidwick and Shaun Deeb, as well as Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov.
The short-stacked Spokey was first to go after blinding down to barely a couple of bring-ins. It was Razz that got him, with his chips in on third street and his board running out to make a nine-low. Unfortunately for him, Eugene Katchalov caught perfectly to make a wheel. Spokey picked up $5,440 for 8th place.
Katchalov held a very nice chip lead as the short-stacked Hastings was next to go. GVOZDIKA55 and Chidwick survived heavy betting on all streets to get to showdown at seventh street during a round of Stud Hi-Lo:
Chidwick showed an ace-high flush and a six-five low to scoop the lot and eliminate Hastings in 7th place for $6,120.
It took only a few more hands for GVOZDIKA55 to depart in 6th place. The game was still Stud Hi-Lo with the action capped on third street, before GVOZDIKA55's last chips were in on fourth against two players. There was action in the side pot with PerpCzech also finding himself all in by seventh street against Shaun Deeb, but PerpCzech made two pair with queens and fours to collect both pots. Deeb could only manage jacks and sevens, while GVOZDIKA55's pair of sevens was not enough as no player could manage to spike a low. GVOZDIKA55 collected $7,480 for his efforts.
Chidwick started to surge with a nice run of pots as PerpCzech and Deeb found themselves short. Incredibly PerpCzech was playing two SCOOP final tables simultaneously after finding himself on the $215-M variant of the very same event. The New Zealander would go on to win that one, but couldn't manage to make it two SCOOP titles in the same day as he was next to go.
The game was Stud, with PerpCzech leading the betting with K♣3♣4♣Q♥6♠5♠2♥ for a six-high straight but JohnSmith called him down with A♣8♠T♠9♠4♦J♣7♣ for a jack-high straight. A memorable day for PerpCzech as he added another $10,200 to his account for 5th place.
Deeb was under pressure as the short stack but chipped away before landing a virtual double up in Stud. JohnSmith led the betting, before Deeb check-raised on fifth street and had his opponent all in on sixth. Deeb made K♠T♠8♦K♣2♣J♠T♥ for two pair, kings and tens, to better the A♦J♦5♦9♠J♣K♦3♣ for a pair of jacks for JohnSmith.
JohnSmith collected $13,600 for his 4th place as that key hand kick-started the comeback for Deeb.
The three-handed war between Deeb, Katchalov and Chidwick was nothing short of epic. Deeb and Katchalov had already exchanged plenty of "friendly" banter in the chat box and the three players settled into a battle where no one wanted to give an inch.
Most pots didn't get to showdown for the first 30 hands or so, before Chidwick made a seven-six low in Razz and Deeb paid him off to jump Chidwick into the chip lead. However Deeb returned the favour soon after, making his own seven-six low in Razz against Chidwick, sneaking in a raise on sixth and getting full value on the river.
The long hours of Triple Stud started to take their toll as Deeb misplayed a hand, thinking it was another game.
shaundeeb said, "omg"
shaundeeb said, "this is stud8"
shaundeeb said, "wow"
E. Katchalov said, "lol"
E. Katchalov said, "u played that hand well"
E. Katchalov said, "cmon"
shaundeeb said, "was wondering why you didnt doublebet the 22"
shaundeeb said, "so sad"
shaundeeb said, "fml obv awake too long"
Katchalov was also starting to feel the pinch, and the twist in the game came when Deeb made an interesting river call during Stud Hi-Lo:
Before Deeb called on the river he said:
shaundeeb said, "so sick you know I can beat kk"
shaundeeb said, "and still call sgih"
shaundeeb said, "dshdshs"
Clearly with some serious metagame going down, Deeb made a nice call to chop with Chidwick and leave Katchalov empty-handed.
Deeb continued to apply the pressure, collecting another good pot with aces and queens in Stud as Katchalov started with four spades but couldn't improve beyond king-high.
Katchalov fought valiantly and doubled up twice as Chidwick slipped back onto the short stack with Deeb increasing his chip advantage.
Three-handed play went on for a full two hours before something eventually had to give.
During a round of Razz, Katchalov was all in by fifth street and made a eight-seven low but Deeb notched him with an eight-six low to collect the chips and eliminate the Team PokerStars Pro in 3rd place for $20,400 in prize money.
Heads-up chip counts
stevie444 (71236 in chips)
shaundeeb (268764 in chips)
Deeb was in control and ground Chidwick down until the key blow came again during Razz. With Deeb showing 5♥9♣7♣5♣, he bet the whole way but Chidwick couldn't find a call on the river showing A♠9♦9♠J♥. Hopefully his hand was pretty horrible as Deeb flashed 7♥4♠5♥9♣7♣5♣Q♦ for just a queen low.
It was all over next hand, with a crippled Chidwick all in on third street and making a jack low, only to watch as Deeb improved to an eight low to collect the pot and the title.
Chidwick takes $28,560 for his runner-up as the talk of the town tomorrow will be the online phenom that is Shaun Deeb as he becomes just the second player in history to win three SCOOP titles and solidifies his place at the top of the SCOOP Player of the Series leaderboard.
Final Table Results
1st shaundeeb (Mexico) - $44,200
2nd stevie444 (United Kingdom) - $28,560
3rd E. Katchalov (Ukraine) - $20,400
4th JohnSmith (Russia) - $13,600
5th PerpCzech (New Zealand) - $10,200
6th GVOZDIKA55 (Russia) - $7,480
7th $tinger 88 (Canada) - $6,120
8th Spokey (Norway) - $5,440
There are still plenty more chances to grab yourself a piece of SCOOP glory - we're not even half way! For more details head to the official SCOOP website for the schedule, satellites, leaderboard, statistics and more.