Ante up! Event 15 of the 2014 Spring Championship of Online Poker was a fun one. Adding ever-increasing antes to No Limit Hold’em event in which the blinds stay the same throughout the tournament brings a whole new dimension to the game..
The Medium event (yes, this one) offered the chance to play for $82 with a solid $75K guarantee. And when it was all said and done, that guarantee was left in the dust for a much larger prize pool.
Total prize pool: $127,950.00
Paid players: 216
Day 1 took players through 31 levels of play, which resulted in the money bubble bursting in order to begin paying out the top 216 finishers.
In that group, several members of Team PokerStars were able to cash. Team PokerStars Pro Marcin “Goral” Horecki exited in 83rd place, fellow Team Pro Joao “jomane” Nunes cashed in 68th place, and none other than Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier took 55th place.
When play ended, however, there were only 18 players remaining. The top five on the leaderboard were listed as follows:
1. bob43155 (Mexico) 1,055,424
2. Z.Ibrahim86 (Germany) 1,007,994
3. piper_kl88 (Germany) 896,993
4. AAeveryhand (Trinidad and Tobago) 753,974
5. KovTa (Slovakia (701,117)
Play resumed on May 9 at the start of Level 32, with blinds still at 5/5 and the ante at 4,500.
Action was cautious and careful. It took 1.5 hours to reduce the field from 18 to 11 players, and the subsequent 11th place elimination of PETER BEATZ initiated hand-for-hand play on the two tables. About 20 minutes later, after Xading sat out for a few rounds of play, Xading pushed all-in from the big blind. Original raiser AAeveryhand called with 8♦8♣, and Xading showed A♠7♠. The board delivered Q♣8♠6♦6♥4♠, and Xading was gone in tenth place with $1,010.80.
Z.Ibrahim86 zips through with major chip lead
The final table kicked off in Level 37 with a 9K ante and, to no one’s surprise, 5/5 blinds. The players and their initial chip counts were:
Seat 1: joaoMathias (415,814 in chips)
Seat 2: viktorrz (336,363 in chips)
Seat 3: Emilohlsson (646,663 in chips)
Seat 4: bob43155 (1,542,964 in chips)
Seat 5: Z.Ibrahim86 (2,056,353 in chips)
Seat 6: OneH1tWonder (997,359 in chips)
Seat 7: piper_kl88 (1,490,539 in chips)
Seat 8: zen_mec (506,452 in chips)
Seat 9: AAeveryhand (537,493 in chips)
A few hands into the action, OneH1tWonder started with a raise, and piperkl88 called. However, joaoMathias reraised all-in, and viktorrz decided to call all-in with A♠K♥. JoaoMathias showed J♣J♠ and immediately hit the flop of 8♥J♦6♠. The 6♦ on the turn made a full house for joaoMathias, and the Q♣ on the river officially sent viktorrz out in ninth place with $1,279.50.
A bit later, big pots started to develop. Bob43155 took 430K chips from piper_kl88, OneH1tWonder grabbed 348K from Z.Ibrahim86, and AAeveryhand took 583K from bob43155.
Zen_mec then made an UTG all-in move. JoaoMathias reraised all-in to isolate, which worked, and showed Q♣Q♦. Zen_mec was at risk with K♠7♠ and did improve on the 4♦7♣8♦ flop, but the 8♣10♦ cards left zen_mec with the worst two pair, worth $2,239.12 for the eighth place finish.
Strong rise from joaoMathias
OneH1tWonder then took 595K from bob43155 to climb into second place on the leaderboard. And then joaoMathias took more than 1.14 million chips from Z.Ibrahim86 to take control.
Emilohlsson then got involved in a raised flop with AAeveryhand and joaoMathias. The 3♠5♦9♦ flop prompted Emilohlsson to bet, at which point AAeveryhand folded and joaoMathias called. The 10♠ on the turn brought an all-in move from Emilohlsson holding 3♣3♦ for the set of threes, but joaoMathias called with 5♣5♥ and the set of fives. The Q♦ on the river eliminated Emilohlsson in seventh place with $3,518.62.
JoaoMathias continued to soar, taking nearly 875K from piper_kl88 and climbing well above the 3 million-chip mark on the leaderboard. His nearest competitor was still Z.Ibrahim86, but the latter couldn’t seem to get above the 2 million mark.
Here comes piper_kl88
Piper_kl88 then made a comeback with a massive double-up through joaoMathias, as seen here:
And when AAeveryhand chose to risk 381K chips all-in with A♥8♥, piper_kl88 called with K♥K♣, only to improve on the 2♦J♠K♠6♠10♣ board. AAeveryhand was out in sixth place with $4,798.12.
Piper_kl88 took a pot worth nearly 3 million chips from a hand with OneH1tWonder to climb even further.
And when bob43155 pushed all-in, original raiser and new chip leader piper_kl88 called with A♦K♣. Bob43155 showed 4♥4♦, but the flop of 7♣A♣8♥ immediately gave piper_kl88 the upper hand … literally. The 9♦ and 10♦ finished the board and eliminated bob43155 in fifth place with $6,077.62.
On the very next hand, OneH1tWonder pushed all-in with A♠8♦, and joaoMathias stepped in to call with A♦Q♣. The board of 4♠7♠K♦Q♠3♥ only improved joaoMathias’ hand and sent OneH1tWonder to the virtual rail in fourth place, which was worth $8,572.65.
And on the very next hand after that, the three remaining players saw a raised flop of 2♥A♦Q♣. Z.Ibrahim86 bet, piper_kl88 folded, and joaoMathias check-called. The 6♥ on the turn brought the same action, but the 9♦ on the river prompted a check-raise from joaoMathias. Z.Ibrahim86 called all-in with Q♦2♦ for two pair, but joaoMathias showed A♣9♥ for the better two pair. Z.Ibrahim86 was gone in third place with $11,515.50.
Heads-up starts nearly even
The two finalists had these initial chip counts when heads-up play began:
Seat 1: joaoMathias (4,143,366 in chips)
Seat 7: piper_kl88 (4,386,634 in chips)
JoaoMathias proceeded to take down a pot worth more than 1.8 million chips to take a solid lead over piper_kl88 about 20 minutes into the match.
At the 1.5-hour mark of the heads-up portion of the tournament, joaoMathias still had the lead, but piper_kl88 sat strong with over 3 million chips in Level 45 with an ante of 40K.
After 2 hours of play, the chip counts were:
Seat 1: joaoMathias (5,340,428 in chips)
Seat 7: piper_kl88 (3,189,572 in chips)
About 40 minutes later, piper_kl88 took over the lead, but they continued to trade back and forth.
As they neared the three-hour point of the match, this happened:
Five hands later, joaoMathias had less than 1.5 million chips left and pushed all-in with K♥10♥. Piper_kl88 called with 9♥9♠. The board ran out with 10♣8♥J♣7♥K♠, and joaoMathias accepted second place and the $15,354.00 that went with it.
Piper_kl88 held out for the win, and the title came with $20,990.81. Congrats!
SCOOP – 15M: $82 NLHE Ante Up
Prize pool: $127,950.00
Places paid: 216
1. piper_kl88 (Germany) $20,990.81
2. joaoMathias (Brazil) $15,354.00
3. Z.Ibrahim86 (Germany) $11,515.50
4. OneH1tWonder (Austria) $8,572.65
5. bob43155 (Mexico) $6,077.62
6. AAeveryhand (Trinidad and Tobago) $4,798.12
7. Emilohlsson (Sweden) $3,518.62
8. zen_mec (Belgium) $2,239.12
9. viktorrz (Russia) $1,279.50
Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.