The high-stakes events in SCOOP are always worth keeping an eye on. They regularly offer the same type of huge prizes usually reserved for the biggest Sunday Majors, and of course their fields are stacked with the best online poker players in the world. They’re also often the site of breakthrough cashes for well-regarded players, and the first high-stakes SCOOP tourney of 2015 didn’t disappoint there, awarding a $207,720 prize to Mexico’s TheDegenFund after 16 and a half hours of poker.
Day 1 saw 1,154 players sign up and build a $1,154,000 prize pool. They played 22 levels in all, taking nearly 15 to make it to the money. EpicEpicEpic busted in 136th place just five minutes before the eighth break of the day, after flopping top pair and rivering trip queens with A♦ Q♥ only to discover that OshriAK had made a queen-high straight on the turn with J♣ 10♣.
By the end of the day another seven levels of poker had been played, for 22 total, and 114 players had collected payouts. That left a field of just 20 players to return for a second day of play. Argentina’s TEENageTuRtL led the way with 614,145 chips, while Germany’s Tenebrus321 was the short stack with 116,204 chips. Players were back to their seats at 8 a.m. ET on Monday for the second day of play, and after two hours and 48 hours of play on Day 2, both players were gone.
In fact, TEENageTuRtL was the last player eliminated before the final table, after moving in with A♠ 2♠ for a pair of deuces and being run down by Sweden’s BaDoBiDoBiDo, who had begun Day 2 in 18th place out of 20 remaining players. BaDoBiDoBiDo’s A♦ 10♠ hit with a ten on the river, knocking TEENageTuRtL out in 10th place ($10,963).
The blinds and antes were 6K/12K/1.2K as the final kicked off at 9:48 a.m. ET with these nine players:
Seat 1: TheDegenFund (1,275,196 in chips)
Seat 2: Praytush “Shane Gamble” Buddiga (807,234 in chips)
Seat 3: Wazaahun (364,103 in chips)
Seat 4: losttoriver (514,819 in chips)
Seat 5: USoGotPwned (371,518 in chips)
Seat 6: RigasDinamo (266,387 in chips)
Seat 7: BaDoBiDoBiDo (1,327,490 in chips)
Seat 8: Luke “LFmagic” Fields (357,261 in chips)
Seat 9: readas_reada (485,992 in chips)
Three of the nine were having a second go at winning a SCOOP title. losttoriver had waited the longest for another chance, having finished second in 2011’s Event 19-M, one year longer than Luke “LFmagic” Fields (2nd in 2012’s Event #23-M) and another year longer than USoGotPwned (2nd in 2013’s Event #41-H). All had their work cut out for them as they trailed the leaders, BaDoBiDoBiDo and TheDegenFund, by several dozen big blinds.
The leaders were active in the early going. BaDoBiDoBiDo took the chance to knock Latvian short stack (and past Sunday Warm-Up winner) RigasDinamo out on Hand #8, calling for 277K in the big blind with A♥ 10♦ after RigasDinamo shoved with A♣ 4♠ in the small. But a pair on the river of the 5♠ 7♦ K♥ Q♥ 4♦ board kept the Latvian alive with 569K.
Those chips came back to BaDoBiDoBiDo five hands later when the Swede raised to 35K in early position with Q♥ Q♦ and called Wazaahun’s all-in raise to 295K in the big blind. The Hungarian player’s A♦ Q♣ picked up an inside straight draw on the 10♣ J♣ 6♠ flop but got no help from the 10♠ turn or 6♦ river, and with that Wazaahun left the tournament in 9th place ($13,848).
With those wins BaDoBiDoBiDo had moved ahead of the pack with 1.68M. TheDegenFund was closest with 1.16M and everyone trailed further behind, but the two leaders would switch places just three hands later in the first major pot of the final table.
TheDegenFund opened for 81K in middle position and got calls from past TCOOP & WCOOP finalist Praytush “Shane Gamble” Buddiga in the hijack and BaDoBiDoBiDo in the big blind, building a pot worth 263K. The flop came Q♦ 3♥ 7♥, BaDoBiDoBiDo bet 36K, TheDegenFund called, and Shane Gamble folded, bringing the 5♥ on the turn.
BaDoBiDoBiDo checked, and after using some of the time bank, TheDegenFund bet 175K. BaDoBiDoBiDo called, swelling the pot to 688K, and the 4♠ came on the river. BaDoBiDoBiDo put out a 32K blocker bet, and after dipping into the time bank again, TheDegenFund raised to 324K. BaDoBiDoBiDo thought for a while before calling and then mucked as TheDegenFund showed K♥ 10♥ to drag the 1.33M-chip pot, moving into the lead with 1.88M as BaDoBiDoBiDo fell to second place with 1.06M.
The 8K/16K/1.6K level closed out a few hands later after LFmagic doubled to 616K with K♦ K♣ against RigasDinamo’s 8♣ 8♥ and TheDegenFund check-called two barrels from losttoriver to win a 322K-chip pot with a turned pair of jacks. The next few orbits went by without much action until Hand #37, when TheDegenFund (A♣ J♦) and losttoriver (A♦ J♣) split 285K each.
Full speed ahead
That pot didn’t move the chip stacks much but it got the action going again. Two hands later RigasDinamo called and survived all-in with A♣ 10♣ after losttoriver jammed on the button with K♦ 8♦. Left with 93K, losttoriver shoved under the gun four hands later, holding A♣ 4♠. TheDegenFund was the lone caller with 8♦ 8♣ and won the pot on a Q♦ Q♥ 10♠ 2♠ 5♦ board, bouncing losttoriver in 8th place ($23,080).
Five hands later RigasDinamo was in the action again after raising to 40K in the cutoff and getting a call from readas_reada in the BB. With 104K in the pot, the flop came 9♥ Q♦ 10♦ and both players checked. readas_reada check-called 40K on the J♦ turn to put 184K in the pot, and then check-called all-in for 176K on the 9♣ river with K♦ 5♣ for the king-high straight. RigasDinamo showed down A♦ 6♦ for the nut flush, though, and grabbed the 536K-chip pot as readas_reada departed in 7th place ($34,620).
Three hands later the blinds and antes were up again, this time to 12.5K/25K/2.5K. USoGotPwned celebrated by coming over the top of TheDegenFund’s 51K opening raise on Hand #53, raising all-in for 245K with A♠ 8♦. TheDegenFund called with A♦ 10♠ but lost out on the 542K-chip pot when the 9♠ 10♣ 4♣ 7♦ J♣ board gave USoGotPwned a jack-high straight.
TheDegenFund got those chips back just a few hands later after LFmagic opened for 50K on the button, shoving for 2.5M in the small blind with 6♦ 6♠ and putting LFmagic to the test. Holding A♥ J♦, he finally decided to call all-in for 574K, building a 1.18M in pot. The K♦ 6♣ 8♥ flop all but killed Fields’ hand, and it was officially dead on the K♥ turn. With the 5♦ river making it official, LFmagic’s second SCOOP final table ended in 6th place ($46,160).
Other than a split pot on Hand #68 between TheDegenFund’s A♣ K♦ and USoGotPwned’s A♠ K♥, the rest of the level passed without incident. The blinds and antes jumped to 15K/30K/3K on Hand #91, and two hands later BaDoBiDoBiDo limped for 30K under the gun with Q♣ Q♠. Shane Gamble followed suit on button, but USoGotPwned used some credit with the time bank before raising all-in for 668K with K♦ K♠. BaDoBiDoBiDo called, Shane Gamble folded, and the kings held up on the 10♣ 9♠ J♦ 9♣ 5♥ board to eliminate BaDoBiDoBiDo in 5th place ($57,700).
Cruising to the finish
That 1.3M-chip pot have TheDegenFund a dominant lead as four-handed play got underway:
Seat 1: TheDegenFund (3,519,151 in chips)
Seat 2: Shane Gamble (561,276 in chips)
Seat 5: USoGotPwned (1,359,405 in chips)
Seat 6: RigasDinamo (330,168 in chips)
RigasDinamo was able to siphon some of those chips off on Hand #109 after TheDegenFund raised to 61K in the cutoff with A♥ Q♥ and the Latvian woke up in the big blind with Q♣ Q♠. But everything won in that pot, and nearly the rest of it as well, disappeared on the next hand in a standard-issue final table cooler. RigasDinamo picked up J♣ J♠ in the small blind and re-raised all-in for 622K over the top of Shane Gamble’s opening raise to 67K. Shane Gamble was happy to call all-in for 561K with A♦ A♣ and took down the 1.16M-chip pot when the board came 7♥ A♥ 2♣ 6♣ K♥ board.
Left with just 61K, RigasDinamo doubled up once before winding up in the small blind with K♠ 6♠ on Hand #114. The Latvian raised all-in for 120K but lost out to the big-stacked TheDegenFund’s turned pair of sevens with 7♠ 3♠ on the 10♥ A♥ 4♥ 7♥ 2♠ board, leaving in 4th place ($83,088).
Things were a bit tighter than before for TheDegenFund, who still had the lead at 3.06M but faced two opponents within one double-up of causing real trouble. USoGotPwned had the best of it at 1.47M to Shane Gamble’s 1.22M, but both players lost ground over the next 26 hands as TheDegenFund applied pressure and stacked up over 4 million chips.
By Hand #140, USoGotPwned was down to 619K and opened the pot with an all-in raise from the small blind, holding Q♦ 8♦. TheDegenFund called with A♥ 8♠ and made an unnecessary pair of aces on the river of the 6♦ 2♥ 4♣ 10♣ A♣ board to knock out USoGotPwned in 3rd place ($110,784).
Shane Gamble was now the final obstacle between TheDegenFund and a SCOOP title, and with 1.01M chips to the leader’s 4.75M he had a big hill to climb. After splitting 12 pots of heads-up poker mostly down the middle, the two ended up flipping a coin for the tournament on Hand #153. TheDegenFund had the edge with 10♥ 10♠ against Shane Gamble’s A♥ K♦ and ended the tournament when the tens held up on the 6♦ 8♣ 4♦ 6♥ 4♠ board.
A COOP title may have eluded Shane Gamble once again in this event, but the $148,058.20 prize for second place will provide plenty of buy-ins for more shots at a champion’s watch. As for TheDegenFund, years of success in PokerStars tournaments culminated with the $207,720 win here in Event #1-H. That $150K+ more than the player from Carmen Del Playa’s previous biggest PokerStars cash, a chop in the Sunday Warm-Up in November 2014, and it comes with the pride of being a SCOOP champion and a nice little batch of points on the Player of the Series leaderboard. Congratulations to both players on a very profitable tournament!
SCOOP 01-H: $1,050 No-Limit Hold’em
Prize pool: $1,154,000
Places paid: 135
1. TheDegenFund (Mexico) $207,720
2. Praytush “Shane Gamble” Buddiga (Canada) $148,058.20
3. USoGotPwned (United Kingdom) $110,784
4. RigasDinamo (Latvia) $83,088
5. BaDoBiDoBiDo (Sweden) $57,700
6. Luke “LFmagic” Fields (United Kingdom) $46,160
7. readas_reada (Austria) $34,620
8. losttoriver (United Kingdom) $23,080
9. Wazaahun (Hungary) $13,848
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.