Some would say that heads-up is the purest form of poker. Mano-a-mano in a true test of poker skill, aggression and the ultimate in psychology. There's nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
Heads-up poker is also fascinating as anything can, and probably will, happen. Anyone can beat anyone on any given day. It could be a drawn out marathon where the blinds eventually take hold, or it can all be over on the first hand of the match.
Today we saw just about all of that, and a little more, with an exciting and dramatic end to the SCOOP Event #7-H $700 Heads-Up No Limit Holdem event.
It started out with 793 players coming together to compete for a massive $531,310 prize pool which smashed the guarantee four times over.
Team PokerStars was well represented with pros Lex Veldhuis, Victor "Isildur1" Blom, Daniel Negreanu, Anders Berg, Bertrand Grospellier, Angel Guillen, George Danzer, Shane Schleger, Randy Lew and Eugene Katchalov amongst the starters.
The top 128 would finish in the money with the likes of Jonathan Duhamel (120th - $1,381.40), Paul Hockin (93rd - $1,381.40), Bryn Kenney (65th $1,381.40), James Obst (50th - $2,433.39) and Matt Wakeman (38th - $2,433.39) just a few of the notable players to reach the money.
The highest-placed Team PokerStars Pro was Victor Ramdin. He ran into Justin Bonomo in a tough Round of 16 match that had the attention of most of the railbirds. Ramdin got off to a slow start after being disconnected, but Bonomo waited patiently and gave Ramdin every opportunity to return without much damage. That good karma paid off when Bonomo grabbed the win when the two went to war on a flop of 2♠9♣7♣. Bonomo held 7♥5♠ for just middle pair but it was in front of Ramdin's 6♥8♠ straight draw. The 3♦ turn and K♣ completed the board to see Bonomo progress and Ramdin out in 14th place for $7,661.49 in prize money.
Chris Moorman was another popular pro to be bundled out in the Round of 16. His last stand came with 9♣9♦ after Pappe_Ruk shoved with A♣9♥. An ace found its way onto the flop to eliminate Moorman in 10th place for $7,661.49.
Justin Bonomo would make it no further than the quarter finals in an interesting elimination hand:
It was an interesting line by shurgar, and was enough to confuse Bonomo who went deep into the tank on the river before calling for his tournament life, but trips for shurgar sent Bonomo packing in 8th place for $14,239.10 in prize money.
Shurgar went on to face JRADF79 in one semi final as Scott 'gunning4you' Seiver took on TRiggA_miK3 in the other.
Seiver was first to progress through to the final, and it was a bit of a cooler that ended the match. The chips were in preflop with Seiver showing A♠Q♦ as TRiggA_miK3 held a monster K♠K♥. An ace fell on the flop and TRiggA_miK3 was outed in 4th place for $25,561.32.
The other semi-final was also over rather quickly. The blinds were only 40/80 when shurgar had already gained the ascendency to leave JRADF79 with around fifteen big blinds. JRADF79 moved all in preflop with K♠6♣ but shurgar made the call with 6♥6♠. The board ran out 2♣Q♣5♥Q♥Q♦ to see JRADF79 eliminated in 3rd place for $25,561.32 as our final match was set.
Final: gunning4you vs shurgar
The final saw Seiver race out of the blocks, before shurgar took the lead with a rivered flush holding 2♦4♦ that Seiver paid off with a river call.
It was only moments later that the tournament was thrown into a spin when Seiver disconnected. His entire timebank of around six or seven minutes drained before the moderator added an extra four minutes on top. Again there was no movement from Seiver as his time bank expired. Was this really how the SCOOP title was going to be decided?
gunning4you is connected
gunning4you said, "what happened"
gunning4you said, "internet seems to have gone down in places throughout city"
shurgar said, "u didn't lose Any chips"
With Seiver back it would be game on, but incredibly the tournament would last exactly one more hand:
Seiver turned the flush and got his chips in good, but shurgar spiked a queen on the river to improve to a full house for the win. What a way to end it!
Seiver pockets $51,127.96 for his runner-up finish while shurgar wins the SCOOP title and $80,350.76.
Final Four Results
1st shurgar (United Kingdom) - $80,350.76
2nd Scott "gunning4you" Seiver (Canada) - $51,127.96
JRADF79 (Belgium) - $25,561.32
4th TRiggA_miK3 (Canada) - $25,561.32
The 2012 SCOOP is just getting started with an amazing schedule of events still to come. For more details head to the official SCOOP website for the schedule, satellites, leaderboard, statistics and more.