Patience and discipline are valuable virtues in the quick-paced, frenetic, attention-deficit disorder realm of online poker. Ante Up tournaments put those virtues to the test. Ante Up features ubiquitous 5/5 blind, but with escalating antes. The “high” version of this SCOOP Event #12-H included 30-minute levels, which created more of a plodding, methodical vibe. At the onset of the final table, it was obvious that everyone prepped themselves for the long haul. The grueling final table lasted seven and a half hours. You could have watched the movie Rounders almost four times in the same time it took to play down from nine players to one. This marathon-like event favored the players with intangibles like mental toughness and self-discipline. It would become a war of mental attrition.
Two Brits rumbled for the Ante Up crown. Epic battle. Lasted two hours. shurgar was seeking a second SCOOP title, while bigfox86 was after win #1. Like an old-school heavyweight fight, the two pugilists slugged it out for over four levels as the lead changed hands too many times to count. Two hours into heads-up and 7.5 hours into the final table, bigfox86 eventually came from behind to win Event #12-H and deliver a knockout blow to end a marathon affair.
2015 SCOOP Event #12-H $700 NL Ante Up attracted 410 players to this two-day event. They created a prize pool worth $272,650. The top 54 places paid out, with $52,321.60 set aside to the champion.
Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov busted late on Day 1, but he cashed in 22nd place. Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier has been running scorching-hot this week, but Mercier busted just before the money bubble.
Day 1 ended with 13 players still alive. OMGjonyctt held onto the top spot with 404K, whereas Andy McLEOD was 13th in chips with 26K. Andy McLEOD eventually bubbled off the final table in tenth place. Andy McLEOD’s 8♣8♦ and a set of eights were flushed out on the river by Filim0nas’s 9♥3♥.
SCOOP 12-H – Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: ImaLucSac (147,337)
Seat 2: stevie444 (220,665)
Seat 3: birddy420 (159,849)
Seat 4: shurgar (168,848)
Seat 5: bigfox86 (206,586)
Seat 6: OMGjonyctt (398,271)
Seat 7: Turko_man (250,838)
Seat 8: Filim0nas (422,746)
Seat 9: raidalot (74,860)
The final table commenced during Level 24. Blinds in this Ante Up event were set in stone at 5/5, but antes at that level were 1,250. Germany’s Filim0nas held onto the lead 422K, and raidalot was the shorty with 74K.
The final table included a few players who managed to take down a major event. stevie444 won both a WCOOP and SCOOP title and he was seeking a third career COOP title. ImaLucSac and shurgar both won a previous SCOOP event. OMGjonyctt shipped a WCOOP event.
Turko_man eliminated in 9th place
The final table played out for nearly an hour (or two full levels) before we saw the first bustout. Filim0nas opened to 7,777, OMGjonyctt called, Turko_man re-raised to 26,485, Filim0nas called, but OMGjonyctt folded. Heads-up. The flop was J♥4♥4♠. Turko_man bet 34,820 and Filim0nas called. The turn was the 2♣. Turko_man checked. Filim0nas fired out 68,105, Turko_man check-raised all-in for 159,984, and Filim0nas called. Turko_man was in trouble with A♦K♠ against Filim0nas’ J♣10♣, who flopped two pair. The 5♦ fell on the river. Turko_man’s Big Slick never improved and Filim0nas dragged the pot. Finland’s Turko_man became the first player to bust at the final table. Ninth place paid out $4,525.99.
With eight to go, Filim0nas led the pack with 835K, while raidalot was still the shorty with 73K.
birddy420 eliminated in 8th place
Kings getting snapped off is always ugly no matter how you look at it. But getting Kings cracked by flopped quads is just a kick in the gut. Filim0nas opened to 7,777, stevie444 bombed it all-in for 108,024 with 8♥8♣, and birddy420 snap-called all-in for 99,359 with K♥K♣. The board ran out 8♠8♦6♦7♥7♣. stevie444 flopped quad eights, which held up. Canada’s birddy420 got smoked in eighth place, which paid out $6,134.62.
Going from seven to six was a long slog that lasted in excess of two full levels or 72-minutes of real-life time. Filim0nas held the lead for the majority of that period until the once dominant stack (which had flirted with the 1M threshold) had diminished significantly. bigfox86 closed the gap against Filim0na by winning a pair of 250K. Filim0na coughed up the lead when bigfox86 dragged a 370K pot with two pair, which propelled bigfox86 into first overall with 777K. During the “slog”, the other five players took turns playing the role as the short stack, or keeping their heads above water in the middle of the pack.
raidalot eliminated in 7th place
The expected lull was broken finally by raidalot’s exit. raidalot was short for most of the final table, but managed to stay alive long enough to secure a seventh-place cash. Filim0nas limped for 5, raidalot bombed it all-in for 94,804, ImaLucSac called, and Filim0nas bailed. Heads-up. ImaLucSac led with 9♥9♠, but was racing against raidalot’s Q♥10♥. The board finished up 8♥7♠5♣4♣J♥. ImaLucSac’s pocket nines held up even though raidalot flopped a gutshot draw. raidalot whiffed and it was lights out. For a seventh-place finish, raidalot collected $8,861.12.
With six remaining… bigfox86 led the way with 789K, followed by ImaLucSac (406K), Filim0nas (377K), stevie444 (168K), OMGjonyctt (161K), and shurgar (146K).
stevie444 eliminated in 6th place
stevie444 got crippled when he four-bet shoved with Q♠Q♦ and lost a pot against shurgar’s A♥K♣. Classic confrontation that did not bode well for stevie444. stevie444 busted on the next hand in a 5-way pot. Everyone checked it down to the river. The board read 8♠5♥8♣A♥9♣ and Filim0nas won the pot with J♠9♦ for two pair. Stevie444 mucked his losing hand. For a sixth-place finish Stevie444 earned $11,587.62.
With five left in the hunt, OMGjonyctt was the shorty with 81K and bigfox86 was in first with 690K.
THE SLOG, PART II
Another slowdown occurred. Six to five took two hours, and spread out over four levels. You could have watched Rounders once between bustouts. bigfox86 held the lead during Level 30 and 31, before shurgar and Filim0nas caught up. Those three all hovered around 500K in chips and swapped the lead multiple times for the majority of Level 32. By Level 33, bigfox86 chipped up to 800K.
ImaLucSac eliminated in 5th place
ImaLucSac moved all-in for 135,696 with Q♣J♣, bigfox86 re-shoved for 973,419 with A♣K♦, and everyone else got out of the way. ImaLucSac flopped an open-ended straight draw, but never got there when the board ran out 10♦9♦5♣A♠J♦. ImaLucSac rivered a pair of Jacks, but it was not enough to beat bigfox86’s pair of Aces. ImaLucSac was dunzo and fell short in his quest for a second SCOOP title. For a fifth-place finish, ImaLucSac earned $15,268.40.
With four remaining, bigfox86 surged over 1.1M in chips, or more than half of total chips in play. shurgar was second with 403K, followed by OMGjonyctt (295K) and Filim0nas (217K).
Filim0nas eliminated in 4th place
During one of the last hands of Level 33, Filim0nas bit the dust. It was a family pot and everyone limped in. The flop was K♣Q♥2♠. bigfox86 checked, OMGjonyctt checked, Filim0nas fired out 10,010, shurgar bumped it up to 29,810, bigfox86 and OMGjonyctt both folded, and Filim0nas called. The 2♥ fell on the turn and both players checked. The 10♦ spiked on the river. With 79K in the pot, Filim0nas bet 39,820, shurgar over-shoved for 407,439, Filim0nas tank-called all-in for 103,357. Filim0nas flopped a pair of Kings and turned two pair with A♦K♠, but shurgar rivered a straight with J♥9♥. shurgar had flopped a straight draw and picked up a flush draw on the turn. For a fourth-place finish, Filim0nas took home $21,812.00.
With three to go, bigfox86 was ahead with 1.3M, shurgar was second with 630K, and OMGjonyctt was last with 136K.
OMGjonyctt eliminated in 3rd place
Rapid-fire bustout considering this final table’s pace. bigfox86 raised to 12,123 and OMGjonyctt called. The flop was J♣4♠9♣. bigfox86 fired out 14,675 and OMGjonyctt called. The Q♣ on the turn induced a check from both players. The 3♠ fell on the turn. bigfox86 bet 1M and OMGjonyctt called all-in for 99,442.
OMGjonyctt turned a pair of Queens, but bigfox86 turned a King-high flush to win the pot. OMGjonyctt busted in third place, which paid out $28,628.25
HEADS-UP: shurgar (United Kingdom) vs. bigfox86 (United Kingdom)
Seat 4: shurgar (576,061)
Seat 5: bigfox86 (1,473,939)
The Battle of Great Britain. bigfox86 held a sizable edge. But like the rest of the final table, heads-up was a slow and relentless match of wits and fortitude.
Early into heads-up, shurgar struck first blood and won a 1.3M pot. shurgar doubled up after smooth-calling with A♠A♦ against bigfox86’s pair of Jacks.The two flip-flopped from where they started.
During the first hour of heads-up play, shurgar primarly held onto a 2-1 lead. Whenever shurgar inched closer to 3-1 (1.5M to 500K), bigfox86 would counter-attack and get the margin back down to 2-1.
DEAL? NO, DEAL
The two decided to look at the numbers after bigfox86 won a couple of pots and chipped up to 823K. shurgar was still ahead with 1.22M. They had to leave $2,000 on the table to the eventual winner. The numbers floated were: shurgar ($45,716.93) and bigfox86 ($43,457.29). Although shurgar liked the numbers, bigfox86 rejected the numbers. bigfox86 requested, “Let’s keep playing. Sorry.” Without a deal in place, action resumed.
About 90 minutes into heads-up and seven hours into the final table, bigfox86 pulled almost even. bigfox86 regained the lead after winning a 494K pot uncontested on the river. bigfox86 chipped up to 1.2M and shurgar slipped to 851K. By the end of Level 37 or two hours into heads-up, bigfox86 extended a lead 1.5M to 500K. At that point, bigfox86 never looked back.
shurgar eliminated in 2nd place; bigfox86 wins SCOOP Event #12-H!
Going into the final hand, bigfox86 led with 1.8M to shurgar’s 248K.
shurgar opened to 13,505 and bigfox86 called. The flop was Q♦7♠2♠ and fireworks ensued. bigfox86 checked, shurgar fired out 22,505, bigfox86 check-raised to 51,311, shurgar shoved all-in for 225,985, and bigfox86 called. Both players flopped top pair, but bigfox86 held a better kicker with Q♥J♥ vs. shurgar’s Q♣4♦. The turn was the K♦ and the river was the 3♠. Neither card helped shurgar. bigfox86 won the pot and the tournament.
For a runner-up finish, shurgar took home $38,852.62.
Congrats to bigfox86 for winning SCOOP Event #12-H. First place paid out $52,321.60 in addition to a sleek champion’s watch courtesy of Movado.
SCOOP-12-H: $700 NL Hold’em (Ante Up)
Prize Pool: $272,650
Places Paid: 54
1. bigfox86 (United Kingdom) $52,321.60
2. shurgar (United Kingdom) $38,852.62
3. OMGjonyctt (United Kingdom) $28,628.25
4. Filim0nas (Germany) $21,812.00
5. ImaLucSac (Canada) $15,268.40
6. stevie444 (Mexico) $11,587.62
7. raidalot (United Kingdom) $8,861.12
8. birddy420 (Canada) $6,134.62
9. Turko_man (Finland) $4,525.99
Visit the SCOOP homepage for a schedule of remaining SCOOP events and satellite info. While you are there, check out the Leader Board to find out who is in contention for player of the series.
Pauly McGuire is an author and freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.