Omaha Hi/Lo is an action game but it’s usually played with a Fixed Limit betting structure, meaning that there are very few all-in pre flop confrontations. Even when the game is upped to Pot Limit, the same strategies seem to play out. Today though, was Omaha Hi/Lo like you’ve never seen before, as the first ever NL Omaha Hi/Lo [6-Max, Turbo, Zoom] event graced the SCOOP schedule with a large buy-in and massive guaranteed prize pool.
158 players ponied up $2,100 to get a piece of a $300,000 guaranteed Event #14-H prize pool and in the end, just 18 of them were able to turn a profit. Plenty of Red Spade Pros tried and failed, with Jason ‘jcarverpoker’ Somerville, George Danzer and Adrienne ‘talonchick’ Rowsome failing to crack the top 100.
Jason Mercier was the highest finishing non-cashing PokerStars Team Pro, as he went out in 34th with Mike ‘goleafsgoeh’ Leah falling a few spots earlier in 38th. Clearly, this big buy-in brought out some of the best online grinders but after Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ bubbled the bubble, bencb789 was the official bubble boy in 19th place.
Ryan ‘PROTENTIALmn’ Laplante notched a min-cash in 18th place and PokerStars Team Online member Nagoya ‘nkeyno’ Kihara recorded a same $4,108 cash for his 16th place finish. While those two players fell early in the money, the rest of the field wasn’t far behind. The final three tables, which brought on the end of the Zoom portion of play as well, quickly played down to a final table before the next break, with many of the knockouts coming from all-in pre flop confrontations.
Shanis34 was the winner of a majority of those pots and he went into the six-handed final table with a sizable chip lead over the rest of the field. He was working just shy of 540,000, while there were two players stuck below the 100,000 chip mark. With the blinds at 8K/16K with 2K ante, something you don’t always see in Omaha games, we knew this wasn’t going to be a slow and methodical final table.
Event #14-H – Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: s00tedj0kers – 90,820
Seat 2: Ilari FIN – 251,159
Seat 3: Shanis34 – 536,769
Seat 4: PhilRoyal888 – 53,240
Seat 5: buck21 – 245,120
Seat 6: Us_Alex – 366,858
The chip leader, Shanis34, entered the final table with just over $100,000 in career online tournament earnings to his name but the low man on the Event #14-H totem pole covered that amount with a late-2014 Sunday Warm-up. PhilRoyal888 earned a $101,000 score for that win two years ago and his total online tournament earnings account for nearly $1,800,000.
Us_Alex, who was second in chips, also has just over seven-figures in career online earnings but he neither have what Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan does on his tournament resume. In fact, very few people do, as Buchanan is one of only a handful of players that have won every type of COOP event. He won his first in the 2007 World Championship of Online Poker and then won two SCOOP events in 2011 and then added another in 2013.
The ‘Triple COOP’ came in 2014, when Buchanan took down a TCOOP Razz event, making him the first player to ever win a title in all three championship series. Since then, some other players have tripled up but Buchanan was heading into this final table with an opportunity to win his sixth PokerStars COOP title.
The other short stack was Kory ‘s00tedj0kers’ Kilpatrick, who boasts nearly $2,000,000 in career online tournament earnings. So, while many of the household PokerStars names fell before the money, this was still a stacked final table lineup.
ONE AND DONE: PhilRoyal888 lasts one hand, bows out in 6th place PhilRoyal888 came into the Event #14-H final table with just over three big blinds and on the first hand after Dylan ‘ImaLucSac’ Linde, who boasts nearly $5,000,000 in career online earnings, was eliminated in 7th place, PhilRoyal888 joined him on the rail in 6th place.
He was eliminated by Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan, moving the multiple COOP winner over the 300,000 chip mark in the process. PhilRoyal888 made $14,220 for his final table run.
QUARTERED, CRIPPLED, THE CUT: Ilari FIN gets 25% back, bounced in 5th on the next hand
As we mentioned earlier, a majority of this tournament was played in the pre flop domain and that’s exactly how Ilari FIN went out in 5th place. It was a matter of two hands that did the short stack in, as he lost a few smaller pots prior to his demise trying to go against the grain with non-shoves pre flop.
That eventually backfired and he was instead being forced to fold to those shoves. He finally got his final 110,000 chips in on the button, calling all-in for less after Us_Alex shoved for 375,000 from the hijack. The blinds folded and Ilari FIN needed to hold to double, as he held K♥K♠2♠6♣ to Us_Alex’s A♣9♥4♦2♦.
The A♠2♣4♥ flop smashed Us_Alex but after the 5♥ fell on the turn, the short stack wasn’t drawing dead. He’d lock up a quarter of the pot after the 6♠ fell to complete the board, getting just over 120,000 back.
That represented just five big blinds since the Level jumped to 12K/24K with a 3K ante and he was eliminated in the next hand, as Us_Alex came back to finish what he started with A♥A♠J♦5♦. He moved all-in and Ilari FIN called in the blinds, unlucky to turn up with K♥K♦10♦J♥ with his short stack.
The J♣6♠5♣9♥4♦ runout confirmed his elimination and he’ll take home $20,540 for his 5th place finish. When the dust settled, Us_Alex was now the final table chip leader, playing just shy of 580,000.
BUCHANAN BECOMES THE SHORTEST: s00tedj0kers doubles through buck21
On the very next hand, the two shorter stacks got involved and it was again an all-in confrontation. s00tedj0kers shoved for 174,000 from the button and after a fold, Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan called in the big blind. Both held very playable hands, with the short stack tabling A♣10♠4♥2♥ to Buchanan’s A♥7♣3♠2♠.
After the A♠A♦8♠ flop, both players held trips and with a flush draw to boot and the nut-low draw, Buchanan held a slight advantage. The turn and river changed everything though, as the Q♥ and Q♣ paired to completed the board.
That locked up the full pot and double for s00tedj0kers, who was suddenly playing 373,000. Buchanan was left with 207,000 and was below the 10 big blind mark.
RAISE AND TAKE BEFORE BUCHANAN GETS REVENGE: buck21 gets himself back in contention with a double After a half dozen hands of raise and take from all-in shoves, Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan was a down to just 130,000. With the blinds increasing again, to 14K/28K with a 3.5K ante, it was now or never for the four-time COOP winner.
He found his spot when it folded to him on the button and he shoved, only to be called in the big blind by s00tedj0kers. The big blind called off for just shy of half his stack but he held a slight advantage when the chips went in with A♥8♣7♠4♠ to Buchanan’s K♥Q♦4♣2♣.
s00tedj0kers flopped the best equity on the K♠6♣5♥ board but after the Q♥ gave Buchanan two pair on the turn, he was the favorite. He needed a high card other than a nine to come to scoop and the 5♠ didn’t fit that criteria but did the job, as it paired the board and gave Buchanan the double.
He was up to 289,000, while s00tedj0kers was back at the bottom of the leaderboard with 158,000.
CHOP, CHOP, SCOOP FOR BUCK21: Shawn Buchanan chopped two huge pots with pocket aces before sending s00tedj0kers out in 4th place After doubling, Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan was unlucky in a few spots to not ascend up the leaderboard, as he picked up massive hands only to see them result in a chop. The first saw buck21 shove from the cutoff for 286,000 and after Us_Alex called on the button, the cards were tabled.
buck21 held A♣A♦10♠5♦, while Us_Alex turned over A♥Q♦Q♠2♦. The board ran out K♠2♠2♥3♠6♥, with buck21 rivering a qualifying low to take half the pot. The next hand actually saw players see a flop before getting the chips in.
Buchanan opened the button to 64,000 against a short stacked s00tedj0kers in the big blind. He called, leaving himself just over 65,000 behind, to see the Q♦10♦3♥ flop. He shoved his two big blinds, the level had gone up again, and buck21 called, turning over A♦A♥8♠4♦.
He had a monster hand with a monster draw to go with it but so did his opponent, as s00tedj0kers tabled Q♣6♥4♠3♠. The 2♣ fell on the turn and the 4♥ completed the board, with buck21 playing his low and s00tedj0kers using two pair for the high and the chop.
If buck21 was frustrated with his luck, or lack thereof, in these all-in situations, he didn’t have to wait long to finally dispatch s00tedj0kers. The short stack moved all-in from the button two hands later, pushing 185,000 into the middle.
Buchanan was waiting to call in the big blind and while he did, he was more or less playing for his tournament life as well, as he had just 50,000 behind if he were to lose. He didn’t though, as his A♣K♠4♦2♠ outed s00tedj0kers’ A♠Q♣4♥3♠ on the J♣8♠6♦9♦5♥ runout. s00tedj0kers will make $26,860 for his 4th place finish and suddenly, after being short stacked just a few orbits ago, Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan was right back into the thick of things.
EVEN STACKS, NO CHOP: Us_Alex doesn’t talk deal
After the elimination of s00tedj0kers in 4th place, the remaining three players were well stacked. Shanis34 and Us_Alex were on either side of 550,000 and Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan was playing just over 460,000. With everyone within touching distance and the blinds and antes set to go up again, Shanis34 and buck21 talked chop in the chat box.
Those two seems to agree on an even deal but they’d have to bring Us_Alex, who held the current chip lead, in with them to make it official. They waited and Shanis34 even let his time bank zero out before the two eventually decided it was a fruitless effort and elected to continue to play three-handed.
BUCK BECOMES CHIP LEADER: buck21 takes chip lead, Shanis34 crippled then out in 3rd place
A few hands after the non-deal occurred, the blinds and antes went up again, to 16K/32K with a 4K ante, and nearly 1,000,000 chips were up for grabs in the biggest pot of the tournament. It was again an all-in pre flop situation, with Shanis34 open shoving the button for 471,000.
Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan was in the small blind and he called for his final 452,000 and needed to hold to stay alive. He turned over A♣Q♣Q♠2♥ and Shanis34 showed J♦10♦5♦4♠.
The Q♥5♥2♦ flop smashed Buchanan and after the 4♦ fell on the turn, he was one clean river from taking the chip lead. That’s exactly what he got too, as the K♣ completed the board and left Shanis34 with just under 20,000.
Those chips got in the middle in the very next hand and buck21 and Us_Alex chopped it up to eliminate the former chip leader in 3rd place. He took home $41,080 for his podium finish but the lion’s share of the prize pool still had to be played for, with Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan entering heads up play with 957,000 to Us_Alex’s 622,000.
BUCK CHIPPING AWAY: Small ball increases buck21’s chip lead
Once we got heads up, we were finally able to see some post-flop play, as both players realized that flipping coins for this SCOOP title wasn’t worth it. There was a period of small ball play and Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan came out of that stretch on top, increasing his chip lead in the process.
The first meaningful hand saw Us_Alex limp the button and buck21 check his option in the big to see a 9♣8♣8♥ flop. Both players checked and then buck21 led the 3♠ turn for 57,000. Us_Alex called and then both players checked the A♦ river, with buck21 showing K♦5♥4♦3♥ to scoop the pot.
That dropped Us_Alex down to 654,000 and he fell even lower a few hands later. The same pre flop action occurred, with Us_Alex limping the button. buck21 then check-called 50,000 on the 8♣6♥2♣ flop and both players checked through the 7♠ turn card.
The 10♥ completed the board and buck21 bet 197,000 which was enough to get a fold from his opponent and take a nearly 2:1 chip lead. When the dust settled, Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan was the first player to eclipse the 1,000,000 chip mark and he didn’t look back.
SHAWN ‘BUCK21’ BUCHANAN SCOOPS HIS FOURTH TITLE: Us_Alex eliminated in 2nd place, ‘buck21’ claims fourth SCOOP title and $82,160
The reason Shawn ‘buck21’ Buchanan wasn’t able to look back after taking the chip lead is because the tournament was over on the very next hand. Buchanan shoved the button and Us_Alex called to put his 583,000 chips at risk holding A♠5♥4♠4♦.
Buchanan held A♣J♥10♠6♥ and after the J♣9♠8♥ flop, he was a big favorite to scoop. The 6♠ wasn’t the card he wanted to see on the turn but the 10♦ was just what he was looking for on the river, as that won him the pot and the Event #14-H title.
Us_Alex made $55,300 for his runner-up finish and after being short stacked at the final table, Shawn ‘buck21’ buchanan battled back to add to his SCOOP trophy case. This win was Buchanan’s sixth career COOP victory and his fourth career SCOOP triumph.
He earned $82,160 and a special champions watch courtesy of Movado. A complete list of the Event #11-L final table results are posted below:
SCOOP-14-H ($2,100 NL Omaha H/L) results
Total prize pool:$316,000
1. buck21 (Cananda) $82,160
2. Us_Alex (Russia) $55,300
3. Shanis34 (Bulgaria) $41,080
4. s00tedj0kers (Costa Rica) $26,860
5. Ilari FIN (Finland) $20,540
6. PhilRoyal888 (United Kingdom) $14,220
Will O’Connor is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.