With so much money on offer at the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker, it's understandable when players put egos aside to strike a deal and secure themselves a nice pay day. Sometimes deals work out favourably when a player is next to be eliminated, and then there are times when the short stack mounts a comeback to win the whole thing. That's exactly what happened today as donki4 picked up the most money in a five-way deal before the short-stacked Sobizzle21 recovered to claim the title.
The event was the SCOOP Event #8-H which was a $1,050 No Limit Holdem event that offered a massive $1 million prize pool guarantee. Well, that guarantee was shattered when 1,521 players arrived to form a prize pool of $1,521,000.
It was a star-studded field with many members of Team PokerStars taking to the virtual felt. Toni Judet, Lex Veldhuis, Shane Schleger, Chris Moneymaker, Andre Akkari, Max Lykov, Joe Cada, Henrique Pinho, Liv Boeree, Angel Guillen, Matthias de Meulder, Bryan Huang, Mickey Petersen, Randy Lew and George Danzer were all spotted but sadly all fell short of the money.
The top 171 players were paid with the unfortunate bubble honours going to Australian WSOP-E bracelet winner Andy "andyhin22" Hinrichsen. Sneaking into the money for a $2,053.35 min-cash wasTeam PokerStars Pros George Lind (164th) and Stavros Kalfas (163rd) as the last surviving red spades in the field.
WSOP APAC bracelet winner Bryan "theczar19" Piccioli (140th - $2,281.50), Jason "jdtjpoker" Wheeler (24th - $6,084.00) and Thayer "THAY3R" Rasmussen (17th - $7,300.80) were among the cash winners, and when LUFCBas lost a preflop race with Q♠K♣ against korjae's pocket eights, the final table of nine was set:
Final Table Lineup
Seat 1: Sobizzle21 (708,682 in chips)
Seat 2: OtB_RedBaron (346,014 in chips)
Seat 3: Sam "SamSquid" Grafton (2,374,341 in chips)
Seat 4: korjae (588,474 in chips)
Seat 5: Fabio "binhoeiji" Eiji (501,402 in chips)
Seat 6: _pauL€FauL_ (371,274 in chips)
Seat 7: donki4 (1,556,071 in chips)
Seat 8: micide (616,402 in chips)
Seat 9: APD0290 (542,340 in chips)
The final table blinds kicked off at 5,000/10,000/1,250 and with OtB_RedBaron the shortest stack with nearly 35 big blinds, we were expecting to have plenty of game time ahead of us. It appeared that some of the players were thinking the same thing:
SamSquid said, "can i get more time bank"
micide said, "yeah"
micide said, "me too"
APD0290 said, "can i sell them timebank for fpps?"
With deep stacks and aggressive players on show, there were always going to be plenty of interesting spots and that was quickly evident by an early hand between micide's Q♥J♠ and APD0290's A♦3♦ that was five-bet preflop. APD0290 came out on the wrong end of that one, and things didn't get much better when APD0290 clashed with donki4 on a flop of 6♠8♥7♣. APD0290 held J♦J♠ for the overpair but had run into donki4's 8♣8♠ for top set. The A♥ and T♦ completed the board to see APD0290 first to the cashier in 9th place for $16,426.80.
OtB_RedBaron was next to go after catching well and getting the money in good, only for korjae to snatch the pot on the river:
Aces up for korjae on the river for the best two pair took down the pot and eliminated OtB_RedBaron in 8th place for $29,659.50.
The pressure was on _pauL€FauL_ as the short stack but two double ups in a row clawed _pauL€FauL_ back into contention. The first was with J♥Q♥ against SamSquid's pocket threes, but the second was a little more fortunate as _pauL€FauL_ caught a pair of jacks with A♣J♣ to better micide's A♠Q♥.
It would be Fabio "binhoeiji" Eiji who would be next to go in a bit of a cooler of a hand. A series of preflop raises saw binhoeiji get it in with A♠K♥ only to run into Sobizzle21's monster A♥A♦. One king wasn't enough on the 3♣2♣T♥K♣Q♦ board, leaving binhoeiji to pocket $44,869.50 for 7th place.
Some of those chips were quickly passed over to micide who found the pocket rockets to better Sobizzle21's pocket sevens, as micide went on a nice little run of pots to get back into the game. But it would be _pauL€FauL_ next to crack, coming undone in a battle of the blinds on a cooler of a flop:
Two pair for _pauL€FauL_ wasn't enough as korjae had flopped the straight to send _pauL€FauL_ to the rail in 6th place. That was worth a handsome $60,079.50.
With five players left, fatigue started to set in and the players were keen to lock up a deal. There was little argument as the players quickly agreed to an ICM chop and the cards were back in the air with $20,000 and the title to play for.
However the deal didn't appear to help the players get to bed any quicker as it would be some time before we would lose our next player.
Sobizzle21 secured an impressive double up after flopping a king-high straight flush against an unfortunate SamSquid's flopped flush, before a raising war between micide and korjae saw the chips in the middle on a flop of 6♣J♦Q♦. It was top pair for micide with Q♠T♠ but korjae's A♦5♦ landed the flush on the T♦ turn. The river was the 4♦ to see micide out in 5th place for a post-deal total of $144,128.82.
Sobizzle21 had one foot out the door and was even saying his goodbyes when running Q♦K♣ into donki4's A♦Q♣ but a king on the turn kept Sobizzle21 alive as the chips were pretty even around the table.
SamSquid said, "like those old guys"
SamSquid said, "who put on their coats"
SamSquid said, "and SNAP"
SamSquid said, "get there"
The nonchalance of Sobizzle21 seemed to pay dividends, as Sobizzle21's aggression caught the other three players a little off guard. Sobizzle21 won a nice pot with a set before enticing a move from Sam "SamSquid" Grafton on a board of 2♦8♦Q♣2♣. The pot was three-bet preflop, raised on the flop, before SamSquid moved all in on the turn with A♠8♥. Sobizzle21 made the call and tabled T♠Q♥ for top pair which held when the K♠ completed the board. A great run by SamSquid ended in 4th place for a very nice $153,251.00.
Eventually bust 4th. Soooo, soooo tired, but very happy! Thank you SCOOP!— Sam Grafton (@SquidPoker) May 16, 2013
Sobizzle21 was well out in front but it was korjae and donki4 who collided in the next significant pot. The action was four-bet preflop, before korjae moved all in over the top of donki4's continuation bet on the flop of 6♣9♠3♣. It was a case of bad timing as donki4 made the call with a powerhouse K♦K♥ leaving korjae's ambitious 6♥4♥ in some trouble. The K♠ turn sealed the deal as the meaningless 9♦ hit the river.
korjae was crippled and despite two double ups, Sobizzle21 ended any chance of a comeback on a flop of 3♠6♠5♣. korjae led out with a bet, Sobizzle21 raised, before korjae moved all in holding A♥3♣, but Sobizzle21 wasn't going anywhere with 7♠4♣ for the flopped straight. The 3♦ turn brought a bit of a sweat but the river bricked the T♦. korjae finished in 3rd place and received $149,929.27.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 1: Sobizzle21 (5,394,148 in chips)
Seat 7: donki4 (2,210,852 in chips)
Sobizzle21 held a good chip lead, but this one wasn't going to be easy as the two remaining players entered an epic heads-up battle that lasted close to an hour as the chips passed back and forth.
donki4 landed an early double up with pocket nines on a 4♦T♦3♥ flop against Sobizzle21's ace-four and was able to claw back to around even in chips. However Sobizzle21 made a terrific call down with pocket sevens on a K♦3♥9♥6♣A♥ board as donki4 could only table jack-high to snatch back the momentum.
It looked like the title was within reach for Sobizzle21 in the following hand but a cruel river kept donki4 alive:
donki4 was able to nudge back into the lead until a key hand unfolded on a T♣9♥2♣ flop. The chips went flying with both players tabling top pair but it was Sobizzle21's K♥T♠ which had his opponent's T♦J♠ outkicked.
The end came soon after as Sobizzle21 was able to make another remarkable call down. Sobizzle21 four-bet preflop and fired bets on the flop and turn before faced with an all-in bet from donki4 on the river on a board of K♥9♦7♣2♠6♥. Sobizzle21 only held J♣A♣ for ace-jack high but the call was good as donki4 opened an inferior A♥8♥.
After the deal donki4 collected the lion's share with $180,036.54 for 2nd place as Sobizzle21 went from short stack at the deal to eventual SCOOP champion collecting $144,409.77.
SCOOP Event #8-H $1,050 No Limit Holdem Results
Prize pool: $1,521,000
Places paid: 171
1st Sobizzle21 (Mexico) - $144,409.77*
2nd donki4 (Finland) - $180.036.54*
3rd korjae (Canada) - $149,929.27*
4th Sam "SamSquid" Grafton (United Kingdom) - $153,251.00*
5th micide (Germany) - $144,128.82*
6th _pauL€FauL_ (Germany) - $60,079.50
7th Fabio "binhoeiji" Eiji (Brazil) - $44,869.50
8th OtB_RedBaron (Belgium) - $29,659.50
9th APD0290 (Mexico) - $16,426.80
* denotes five-handed ICM deal
There are a total of 44 events on the 2013 SCOOP schedule, each offering a low, medium and high level of buy-in, running right through until May 26th. Check out the full schedule, satellite information, stats and the Player of the Series leaderboard on the SCOOP home page.
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.