Some members of Team PokerStars Pro don’t play the entire SCOOP series due to other obligations. Jason Mercier was one of those who didn’t start playing until the last half of the 2014 Spring Championship of Online Poker, but he was determined to win a SCOOP title. With two World Championship of Online Poker wins to his credit, his ever-present competitive spirit propelled him to compete for a SCOOP. And wouldn’t you know it … he did it.
The tournament started much earlier in the day with these final registration numbers:
Total prize pool: $111,800.00
Paid players: 72
It took more than 8.5 hours to reduce the field to just two tables. And the three members of Team PokerStars Pro who were in the money were still in action. Team Pros George Danzer and Eugene Katchalov were in the last spots of the 12 remaining players, but Jason Mercier had been in first place for some time and maintained that spot.
It took nearly an hour to send a few players to the rail, and they were flaggie1, UhhMee, He3HaiKa, and Stunnaf00. The aforementioned short-stacked Team Pros made progress and held on as the final table neared.
The eighth place exit of Icallyou333 started hand-for-hand play, and it didn’t take long from there for George Danzer to make a move, which happened in Razz. Danzer was all-in on fifth street and called by st0nebluff. Danzer showed 5♥A♥2♠8♣8♦Q♣5♠, but st0nebluff had 2♣A♣6♠K♣4♠2♥Q♠. Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer, who already had two WCOOP and four SCOOP titles, was out today in seventh place with $2,347.80.
Jason Mercier and WatchOutFish battle for top spot
Action at the final table started in Level 52, with 16K/32K blinds and a 3.2K ante in Limit Razz. The players and their corresponding chip counts were listed as follows:
Seat 1: JasonMercier (882,636 in chips)
Seat 2: E. Katchalov (137,493 in chips)
Seat 3: WatchOutFish (894,218 in chips)
Seat 4: st0nebluff (433,678 in chips)
Seat 5: slinkyshop (258,552 in chips)
Seat 6: Ceegee87 (188,423 in chips)
Katchalov doubled through WatchOutFish without much delay, and a bit later, Ceegee87 did the same through Mercier.
After 30 minutes of play, a NLHE hand started with an UTG raise by WatchOutFish and all-in reraise from slinkyshop. WatchOutFish called with A♠J♠ but discovered slinkyshop had K♠K♦. Even so, the flop came 8♠5♥A♣ to give WatchOutFish the top pair. The 9♥ and 4♥ finished the hand and sent slinkyshop out in sixth place with $3,577.60.
Moments later and still in NLHE, st0nebluff moved all-in from the button, and JasonMercier called from the big blind with A♥6♥. St0nebluff had the advantage with A♣8♦, but the board of 4♦6♦Q♣2♠3♠ delivered the pair for Mercier and eliminated st0nebluff in fifth place with $5,590.00.
Mercier took a good amount of chips from short-stacked Ceegee87, and the two got involved again five hands later in PLO. The battle of the blinds began with a raised flop of 9♦A♥9♠, and Ceegee87 bet all-in with A♦K♥3♣2♦ for two pair. JasonMercier called with J♦9♣Q♣5♥ for trip nines, and the 10♠ changed nothing. The J♠ on the river turned Mercier’s hand into a full house, and Ceegee87 was gone in fourth place with $7,826.00.
Soon after, in Triple Draw 2-7, Katchalov made his move before the first draw with little more than 100K chips. WatchOutFish called, and each player took two cards on the first draw. Katchalov took one more, and then they both stood pat. Katchalov showed 3♠2♠4♦8♠9♣, but WatchOutFish had 2♥3♣9♥6♦4♠ for the best low. Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov departed in third place with $11,459.50.
Mercier and Benvenuti vie for the title
Michael “WatchOutFish” Benvenuti and Jason Mercier began their match with these stacks:
Seat 1: JasonMercier (1,394,315 in chips)
Seat 3: WatchOutFish (1,400,685 in chips)
Mercier came out swinging and never let up. He not only took the lead quickly but extended it to leave WatchOutFish in trouble with less than 300K in Omaha Hi/Lo. Several split pots kept WatchOutFish alive, and this double-up led to some momentum for him:
WatchOutFish kept climbing and evened the stacks. The two battled and exchanged chips until the 11-hour break, at which point Mercier sat on more than 1.5 million chips to the 1.26 million of WatchOutFish.
They resumed play after the break in Razz, which gave WatchOutFish the chip advantage. But Mercier took that lead back as soon as Stud began and extended it during Stud Hi/Lo.
Toward the end of that level, the two got involved in a hand reraised on third street and bet/called on fourth. On fifth street, Mercier bet with 5♠4♣J♦ showing, and WatchOutFish raised with 7♥4♠Q♠. Mercier called, and WatchOutFish moved all-in on sixth with 9♠9♥7♥4♠Q♠6♠5♣. But Mercier called with 3♥A♠5♠4♣J♦2♦A♥ for the straight and the 5-4-3-2-A low. WatchOutFish took second place and $15,652.00.
— Jason Mercier (@JasonMercier) May 16, 2014
Mercier won his first SCOOP title to go along with the two WCOOP titles he already possessed. The DoubleCOOP Team Pro collected $21,242.00 for his effort.
SCOOP – 34M: $215 8-Game
Prize pool: $111,800.00
Places paid: 72
1. Team PokerStars Pro Jason “JasonMercier” Mercier (Canada) $21,242.00
2. Michael “WatchOutFish” Benvenuti (Canada) $15,652.00
3. Team PokerStars Pro Eugene “E.Katchalov” Katchalov (Ukraine) $11,459.50
4. Ceegee87 (Canada) $7,826.00
5. st0nebluff (Germany) $5,590.00
6. slinkyshop (Canada) $3,577.60
Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.