It’s been a wild couple of weeks around here… historic, even. A total of $75,585,305.05 has been won in the 132 tournaments of the 2013 Spring Championship of Online Poker, making it the richest online poker tournament series in history. And a big chunk of that was awarded in Event #43-H, the $10,300 no-limit hold’em Main Event in which Viktor “Isildur1” Blom came back versus Noah “Exclusive” Boeken heads-up to win the watch and a whopping $1,096,200 first prize!
There were 295 players in their seats at 14:30 ET on Sunday when the first hands of the tournament were dealt. Of course, with an extra-long late registration period of three-and-a-half hours, it was certain the field would ultimately be much larger than that, and indeed by the time time the door closed 580 players had signed up for the event, a hefty increase over the 517 who played the SCOOP “High” Main Event last year.
That huge field meant a prize pool of $5,800,000 — nearly twice the $3 million guarantee (!) — with the top 72 due to split the cash and that cool seven-figure first prize scheduled to go to the winner.
Mercy… it’s Merson (again)?
By then exactly 520 of the 580 were still in, with Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo the early chip leader. A couple of hours later they were down to 352 players with Bonomo still sporting a big stack although by then 2012 WSOP Main Event champion Greg “gregy20723” Merson had snuck past him into the lead.
As the field shrunk to 200 players gregy20723 still led, and with the WSOP only days away all were reminded that Merson didn’t just win one seven-figure first prize at the Main Event last year (for $8,531,853), but two as he also won the $10K six-handed no-limit hold’em event (for $1,136,197). And here in the SCOOP “High” ME — with its $1 million-plus first prize — he was leading again!
7tHEcROw7 soars over field
As the night wore on, Bonomo remained just a small pot behind Merson, eventually sneaking back out in front to reclaim the top spot as the tourney entered its ninth hour. Then both finally dropped back to join the chase pack as Tom “7tHEcROw7” MacDonald pushed ahead of everyone as just 100 players remained.
They battled their way into the 19th of the 20 half-hour levels scheduled for Day 1, and as the field shrunk to 80 players 7tHEcROw7 remained on top. Along the way Merson saw his stack slide, and ultimately he’d crash in 94th shy of the money.
Meanwhile, the four remaining Team PokerStars Pros found themselves paired off two to a table, with Angel Guillen across from Leo Fernandez on one, and Jake Cody and Ivan Demidov sitting side-by-side on the other. All four had average stacks except Guillen who was operating with less than 20 big blinds.
Blom is back
The tournament moved into the final level of the night, with a still short-stacked Guillen eventually getting moved to a new table to a seat just to the left of the new chip leader, sitting behind a stack of more than 380,000 while no one else was over 300,000.
A glance at the player’s username revealed a familiar player had edged into the Event #43-H spotlight — where he’d remain, as it turned out, until the tourney’s final hand.
That’s right… as the night came to a close and the money bubble inched closer, the swingy Swede Viktor “Isildur1” Blom had assumed the top spot in the counts.
Minutes remained, then with the tournament just two eliminations from the cash Tom “7tHEcROw7” MacDonald knocked out Rory “Mafews” Mathews in 74th place when the latter put a stack of about 30 big blinds at risk with A♠J♥ and ran into 7tHEcROw7’s A♣A♥.
Day 1 ends, bubble intact
That knockout gave MacDonald back the lead with a stack of more than 400,000. It also inaugurated hand-for-hand play, and just two hands later the tourney was halted for the night on the stone bubble.
With 73 left, all four of the Team Pros were still in — Fernandez (37th), Demidov (46th), Guillen (67th), and Cody (68th). Meanwhile here’s what the top of the counts looked like overnight:
1. Tom “7tHEcROw7” MacDonald (United Kingdom) — 426,418
2. Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (United Kingdom) — 412,539
3. raidalot (United Kingdom) — 348,977
4. Mike “munchenHB” Telker (Cyprus) — 252,508
5. OMGjonyctt (United Kingdom) — 238,190
6. leshkaGmBlZ (Russia) — 235,629
7. BongBob (Mexico) — 225,397
8. Trueteller (Russia) — 214,585
9. Sergio “zcedrick” Aido (Portugal) — 213,665
10. Mark “AceSpades11” Radoja (Canada) — 210,430
Many other familiar names populated the counts as well, with Mayu Roca “marroca5” Uribe, Pascal “Pass_72” LeFrancois, Tomás “T 54 T 97s” Paiva, Thayer “THAY3R” Rasmussen, and Noah “Exclusive” Boeken among those with above average stacks. Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo made it through to Monday, too, with just under the average.
smokrokflock smoked, bubble bursts
Hand-for-hand play continued as play resumed Monday, and it appeared at first as though the cash bubble might burst in short order as Mayu Roca “marroca5” Uribe was all in on the first hand versus raidalot. Both players had ace-king, however, and chopped the pot.
The second hand then saw XTheDecanoX survive an all-in with A♥K♥ versus Leo Fernandez’s A♣Q♣, then seven more hands passed with no further instances of anyone being at risk of elimination.
Finally on the 10th hand of the day, smokrokflock four-bet shoved from the small blind for nearly 30 big blinds and after some thought Sergio “zcedrick” Aido called. It was A♥Q♥ for smokrokflock and 10♠10♥ for Aido, and when the board rolled out J♠5♦7♦2♥J♥ the tens held and smokrokflock was the unfortunate 73rd-place finisher.
Taking out Team PokerStars
Soon after Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody went out in 71st after shoving less than four big blinds with A♦9♦, getting called by Pascal “Pass_72” LeFrancois in the big blind with 10♣3♦, and watching a ten fall among the community cards. Cody’s teammate Leo Fernandez followed soon after in 68th after running 3♥3♠ into dehoowhat’s Q♦Q♣. Both earned min-cashes of $19,140 for their finishes.
Others hitting the rail during the first hour on Day 2 included Paul “Paolo69” Foltyn (70th, $19,140), Richard “nutsinho” Lyndaker (69th, $19,140), Calvin “cal42688” Anderson (62nd, $20,300), and Eric “jakz101” Crain (60th, $20,300).
Team PokerStars Pro Ivan Demidov was next to go in 59th ($20,300) after committing about 11 big blinds with A♣J♦ versus the 5♦5♥ Nicky “Cod Meharly” Evans. A jack fell on the turn for Demidov, but a five came on fifth street to end the Russian’s run.
That left just Angel Guillen as the last Team PokerStars Pro, but soon he, too, was all in for just five big blinds with A♥6♠ against Godfatti’s 9♠9♥. The board came 9♣6♦2♦A♠10♠, and Godfatti’s set beat Guillen’s two pair to send the latter out in 57th ($20,300).
Boeken becomes “Exclusive” member of million-chip club
Play continued, with Amadi_017 pushing up over 500,000 to claim the top spot as the field shrunk below 50. Among the next wave of knockouts were Matt “ADZ124” Marafioti (55th, $20,300), Nicky “Cod Meharly” Evans (51st, $23,200), Mike “Pipedream17” Dietrich (50th, $23,200), and Vojtech “Vojta_R” Ruzicka (46th, $23,200).
As they moved into the third hour Day 2, Pascal “Pass_72” LeFrancois (42nd, $26,100), Yann “yadio” Dion (41st, $26,100), Mayu Roca “marroca5” Uribe (33rd, $29,000), Thayer “THAY3R” Rasmussen (28th, $29,000), and Ondrej “Vinkyy” Vinklarek (23rd, $34,800) were among the eliminated as Noah “Exclusive” Boeken moved past everyone into the top spot as the first player to 1 million chips.
Unkn0wn123 rounded out a terrific SCOOP series with a 22nd-place finish ($34,800). Start-of-Day-2 leader Tom “7tHEcROw7” MacDonald was the next to go in 21st, followed by Mark “AceSpades11” Radoja (20th) and raidalot (19th), each of whom also earned $34,800.
Finding a final table
With 18 left, Noah “Exclusive” Boeken still held the top spot with nearly 1.4 million, with Mike “munchenHB” Telker next closest with about 1.23 million.
GlassOfBeer (18th) was next out, then Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo’s run ended in 17th after his A♠Q♥ failed to improve versus Tomás “T 54 T 97s” Paiva’s Q♦Q♠. OMGjonycutt followed those two to the rail in 16th, like them also earning $46,400.
BongBob was next out in 15th, followed by sosickPL who finished 14th (for a 16th SCOOP cash) and chipdonky47 in 13th, with each earning $58,000.
Noah “Exclusive” Boeken next won a huge pot after knocking hateAll686 out in 12th ($69,600). That one saw the pair battle to the river, building a pot of more than 755,000 as the board came 3♣2♣7♠7♣3♠. hateAll686 then checked, Boeken shoved, and hateAll686 called all in for nearly 550,000 with J♣J♥. But Boeken had 6♣5♣ for the flush, and suddenly Exclusive was up over 2.11 million.
Soon after Boeken also knocked out Thiago “XTheDecanoX” Nishijima in 11th ($69,600), then Event #20-H ($2,100 NLHE Turbo Zoom) winner Tomás “T 54 T 97s” Paiva went out in 10th — both also earning $69,600 — and after five hours of Day 2 action the final table was underway.
Seat 1: Amadi_017 (United Kingdom) — 423,455
Seat 2: Sergio “zcedrick” Aido (United Kingdom) — 1,299,847
Seat 3: Mike “munchenHB” Telker (Cyprus) — 1,629,266
Seat 4: cmontopdeck (United Kingdom) — 661,773
Seat 5: Noah “Exclusive” Boeken (Netherlands) — 2,397,709
Seat 6: leshkaGmBlZ (Russia) — 375,703
Seat 7: w4ldo (Germany) — 699,434
Seat 8: Ravi “govshark2” Raghavan (Canada) — 387,291
Seat 9: Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (United Kingdom) — 825,522
Amadi_017 axed in ninth
They’d reached Level 30 (8,000/16,000/2,000) by the time the final table began. Within five minutes Mike “munchenHB” Telker was min-raising to 32,000 from early position, and when it folded around to the big blind Amadi_017 reraised all in for 363,205. Telker quickly called, showing J♠J♥, while Amadi_017 was hoping to improve with A♠K♣.
The 4♠9♥5♥ flop was no good for Amadi_017, and the Q♦ turn brought the wrong face card. The 4♦ then fell on fifth street, and Amadi_017 was out in ninth.
leshkaGmBlZ leaves in eighth
About 20 minutes later they were still in Level 30 when Noah “Exclusive” Boeken min-raised to 32,000, then leshkaGmBlZ reraise-shoved for 404,453 from a seat over. It folded back around and Boeken called the reraise, showing A♦K♠ to leshkaGmBlZ’s 9♠9♦.
The flop came 6♥J♠A♣, pairing Boeken’s ace, and after the J♦ turn and 3♦ river, leshkaGmBlZ had been ousted in seventh.
w4ldo waylaid in seventh
Play continued, and after a while the table’s short stack w4ldo was all in before the flop and at risk with 8♠8♦ versus zcedrick’s K♦Q♦, but managed to survive. Meanwhile Viktor “Isildur1” Blom chipped up over 2 million to move into third position behind Boeken with just under 2.2 million and Telker who’d nudged in front with more than 2.25 million.
Alas for w4ldo, the end would come soon thereafter. The blinds had moved up to 12,500/25,000, and after a Boeken open for 50,000 from UTG, w4ldo jammed for 356,493 and it folded around to Telker in the small blind who called. Both cmontopdeck (big blind) and Boeken folded, and w4ldo showed A♣Q♠ while munchenHB had A♠K♠.
The board came 6♠3♣5♠, then 9♥, then 8♥, and they were down to six.
govshark2 speared in sixth
The blinds increased once more to 15,000/30,000, and soon Ravi “govshark2” Raghavan open-pushed from the cutoff seat to 172,207 and got a single caller in Viktor “Isildur1” Blom from the button. Raghavan had Q♠9♥ and Blom A♥Q♣.
The flop came A♠8♥6♠, putting Raghavan into even worse shape, and by the 4♥ turn he was drawing dead. Raghavan’s Main Event run had ended in sixth, though he had earned a nice consolation prize worth nearly a quarter million dollars.
zcedrik down to zero, out in fifth
It was only a few hands later that Noah “Exclusive” Boeken raised 2x to 60,000 from under the gun, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom called from the cutoff, then Sergio “zcedrick” Aido pushed all in for 505,263 from the button. The blinds stepped aside, as did Boeken, but Blom made the call.
Aido was looking for an ace, a king, or some other favorable combination of community cards, but nothing came to help him as the board rolled out 2♥7♦Q♣10♥6♠, sending zcedrick railward in fifth.
munchenHB mowed down in fourth
The final four continued for several orbits, then two knockouts in two hands saw the tournament suddenly reach heads-up play.
With play having reached Level 34 (17,500/35,000/4,375), Noah “Exclusive” Boeken raised to 70,000 from the button, then Mike “munchenHB” Telker reraised to 199,885 from the big blind and Boeken called.
The flop came Q♥4♥10♦. Telker led for 198,995, and when Boeken raised all in, Telker called with the 1,242,701 he had left behind.
Both players had flopped top pair, but Exclusive’s Q♦J♠ meant he had the better kicker than munchenHB who had Q♣9♣. The turn was the 2♥ and river the 10♣, and Telker was out in fourth.
An amazing run for Telker, who incredibly matches his performance in the 2012 WCOOP Main Event where he also finished fourth, in that case earning more that $1 million thanks to having made it to a six-way chop beforehand.
cmontopdeck cut down in third
On the very next hand, it was Viktor “Isildur1” Blom raising 2x to 70,000 from the button, cmontopdeck reraising all in for 828,071 from the small blind, Boeken pushing all in over the top from the big blind, and Blom stepping aside.
cmontopdeck had J♣10♥, but needed all sorts of help to overcome the K♣K♥ of Boeken. The J♥5♣3♣ gave cmontopdeck jacks and a ray of hope, but the Q♣ turn and 2♠ were of no use, and cmontopdeck took third.
Blom battles back, beats Boeken
What a tournament it had been. And what a heads-up match to conclude it, too, with Noah “Exclusive” Boeken looking for his second SCOOP watch of the series after winning Event #13-H ($2,100 PLO Heads-Up), and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom aiming to better his SCOOP performance from a year ago when he started the series winning two watches in two days.
This battle began with Boeken enjoying a better than 3-to-1 advantage over Blom to start heads-up play with 6,525,734 to Blom’s 2,174,266. There was no deal-making talk — not that we expected it. The blinds were still 17,500/35,000, meaning both players’ stacks were deeper than deep to begin, as Boeken had about 186 BBs and Blom about 62.
Blom thus proceeded with caution, and over the first half-hour of heads-up play managed to add more than a million to his stack without putting himself all-in and at risk once. Over the next few hands Blom chipped up over 4 million to narrow Boeken’s lead even further, then edged out in front to grab the lead as the next break approached.
Before long Blom had more than 5.6 million to Boeken’s 3.08 million. The blinds were up to 25,000/50,000, and the last hand before the day’s eight-and-a-half-hour break saw Blom min-raise, Boeken three-bet to 250,000, and Blom call.
The flop came 10♠2♣J♣ and the turn the K♦, with Blom calling bets by Boeken on both streets (for 250,000, then 600,000). The river then brought the A♦, and when Boeken checked, Blom promptly shoved all in, sending Boeken into the tank for some time before he let his hand go.
That took the pair to the break with Blom sitting with 6,721,891 and Boeken 1,978,109, their stacks having essentially been switched since the start of heads-up play.
Back from the break, the pair played five minutes more without much change to their stacks, carrying their heads-up duel close to the one-hour mark.
Then a hand arose in which Boeken min-raised to 100,000 from the button and Blom called, and the pair saw a flop come J♠K♣9♠. Blom checked, Boeken bet 130,000, and soon Blom check-raised to 342,500. Boeken responded by shoving all in for 1,859,359 total, and Blom called.
Boeken had flopped a pair of kings, but Blom had a king-high straight and a stranglehold on the hand. The 9♣ fell on the turn, meaning Boeken wasn’t quite drawing dead with one card to come. But the river was the A♦. Blom had won!
Congratulations to ever-amazing Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, winner of this year’s SCOOP “High” Main Event! Blom adds a third SCOOP watch to his collection, plus a rare seven-figure online tourney score to his list of accomplishments.
PokerStars 2013 SCOOP Event #43-H Main Event ($10,300 No-Limit Hold’em) results
Total prize pool: $5,800,000
Places paid: 72
1. Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (United Kingdom) $1,096,200
2. Noah “Exclusive” Boeken (Netherlands) $803,300
3. cmontopdeck (United Kingdom) $591,600
4. Mike “munchenHB” Telker (Cyprus) $446,600
5. Sergio “zcedrick” Aido (United Kingdom) $313,200
6. Ravi “govshark2” Raghavan (Canada) $246,500
7. w4ldo (Germany) $188,500
8. leshkaGmBlZ (Russia) $130,500
9. Amadi_017 (United Kingdom) $88,740
Thanks to everyone for following our coverage of the 2013 Spring Championship of Online Poker here on the PokerStars blog. Click here for recaps of all 132 events and more, and visit the SCOOP site for a complete rundown of results and other SCOOP stats.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.