Panama may not exactly be known as a powerhouse in the poker industry, but there’s one player emerging as a genuine superstar of the online felt and his name is Victor “Puropoker123” Lemos.
Lemos is a former WCOOP and SCOOP champion, and just one day ago he secured his second SCOOP title with a big win in Event #28-H $2,100 Stud Hi-Lo. Today, Lemos rose to a whole new level, winning his second SCOOP title of this year’s series, and his third SCOOP overall, with an impressive victory in Event #31-H of the 2015 Spring Championship of Poker.
As expected it was a small but super tough field of 149 players for the $2,100 Fixed Limit Holdem 6-Max Event — a game for the true grinders of the virtual felt. They combined for a prize pool of $298,000 for almost three times the advertised guarantee.
Among the starters were Team PokerStars Pros Eugene Katchalov, Luka Kovač, Johnny Lodden, George Danzer, Bertrand Grospellier and Jason Mercier but they were bounced short of the money in this one. When former PokerStars Sunday Million winner Kyle “KJulius10” Julius was eliminated in 19th place, the remaining players were safely in the money and assured at least $3,874 in prize money.
Event #9-H champion Thomas “WushuTM” Muhlocker made it into the money in 16th place and he was followed to the virtual rail by the last remaining Team PokerStars Pro in Andre Akkari who busted 15th. Both took home the min-cash of $3,874.
After finishing eighth in Event #26-H just yesterday, former Aussie Millions champion Ami “UhhMee” Barer would again feel the pain of a deep run without a big score as he would bubble the final table in seventh place. After being forced to fold on the river in a big pot, UhhMee was back on the short stack before all in with K♥9♦ against Vandiesel’s A♦3♣. An ace on the turn was enough to eliminate UhhMee as our final table of six was formed:
Final Table Line Up
Seat 1: Victor “Puropoker123” Lemos (123,693 in chips)
Seat 2: ILYAK1717 (157,905 in chips)
Seat 3: toomuchneon (49,437 in chips)
Seat 4: Connor “blanconegro” Drinan (157,003 in chips)
Seat 5: Martin1213 (62,166 in chips)
Seat 6: Vandiesel (194,796 in chips)
The short-stacked toomuchneon was quick out of the gates, winning a nice pot with a flopped top pair against ILYAK1717 who barrelled off with just king-high. However the other short stack of the final table, Martin1213, wasn’t quite so fortunate.
In a three-bet pot, Martin1213 was the aggressor on the flop and turn before Connor “blanconegro” Drinan led out with a river bet on a A♥10♦Q♠7♦J♥ board. Martin1213 made the call but mucked when blanconegro tabled K♠K♥ for the rivered straight.
Martin1213 was crippled and all in preflop next hand with 6♥6♦ as Vandiesel made the call with A♠7♣. The board ran out 5♥3♣Q♦A♥10♦ finding an ace on the turn for Vandiesel to eliminate Martin1213 in sixth place for $13,410 in prize money.
toomuchneon would take a big hit after running into Vandiesel’s full house before being blinded down to the point of no return. toomuchneon was all in preflop for barely more than the big blind and picked up a couple of callers. Vandiesel and blanconegro built a side pot on the board of 6♠9♠A♦Q♣8♠ but it would be Vandiesel’s A♠9♦ two pair which proved too strong as both opponents mucked. toomuchneon took home $19,370 for fifth place.
A horror run for Connor “blanconegro” Drinan would quickly see him fall from comfortable stack to next eliminated. It started when blanconegro’s blind-versus-blind bluff with king-high was picked off by Vandiesel with a lowly bottom pair of threes.
Vandiesel would take another chunk the next hand without showdown, before ILYAK1717 would double through blanconegro with ace-king holding true against king-ten.
The fourth consecutive body blow in a row for blanconegro would give ILYAK1717 a second double up when blanconegro got aggressive with pocket nines with straight and flush draws. However ILYAK1717 had flopped the king-high flush, leaving blanconegro drawing dead.
blanconegro’s stack was decimated and he was all in moments later on a flop of 6♦8♣8♠. blanconegro held 6♥5♠ for two pair and was ahead when Vandiesel made the call with A♣Q♥. The 2♣ turn was safe but the river Q♦ paired up Vandiesel and eliminated blanconegro. Fourth place would be worth $25,330.
ILYAK1717 was the short stack of the remaining trio but a couple of quick pots evened up the ledger.
However it was Vandiesel who would go on a hot streak, winning a big pot from ILYAK1717 with a full house, before getting three streets of value with pocket tens on a queen-high board.
ILYAK1717 was again under pressure but a couple of impressive double ups allowed the Finnish player to stay in contention. First ILYAK1717 hit a set of jacks to better Vandiesel’s top pair of aces, before ILYAK1717 was all in with 10♣6♥ and flopped trip sixes to crack the pocket aces of Victor “Puropoker123” Lemos.
As valiant as the fight was, in the end it was ILYAK1717 who would be next to succumb. ILYAK1717 committed with K♦3♠ and flopped top pair, but the board of K♣Q♦8♣J♠A♦ gave Vandiesel a rivered pair of aces with 4♠A♥. ILYAK1717 was left to depart in third place for $38,740.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 1: Puropoker123 (400,363 in chips)
Seat 6: Vandiesel (344,637 in chips)
Heads-up Limit Holdem is not the sort of thing to draw a crowd, but with fairly even stacks and plenty of chips to work with, these two battled it out for around forty minutes before our champion was crowned.
Puropoker123 picked up the first few pots before Vandiesel went on a nice run winning 16 of the next 19 pots. Most of them were small as Puropoker123 wasn’t going to give up the lead easily.
A key pot would see a check-raise from Vandiesel on a 2♠2♦A♣5♦ board before leading out on the 5♥ river with another bet. This time, Puropoker123 put in a raise and Vandiesel paid to see Puropoker123 show Q♦5♣ for a backdoor full house.
That hand was a momentum turner as Puropoker123 continued to extend the advantage.
When Vandiesel ran a top pair of queens into Puropoker123’s pocket kings, Vandiesel’s stack was down into the red zone. Vandiesel found one double up with queen-jack against nine-seven, but was unable to claw back into contention.
The final hand would see a short-stacked Vandiesel three-bet all in preflop with 5♥A♠. Puropoker123 gambled with J♥4♥ and connected with the board of 7♣4♣9♠Q♠Q♥ to claim the win!
Vandiesel had a great run but just fell short at the final hurdle, taking home $51,150 for second place as Victor “Puropoker123” Lemos was crowned champion! The player from Panama collected $77,480, the watch and his third SCOOP title. Congratulations!
SCOOP-31-H: $2,100 FL Holdem 6-Max – $100K Guaranteed
Prize Pool: $298,000
Places Paid: 18
1. Victor “Puropoker123” Lemos (Panama) $77,480
2. Vandiesel (Canada) $52,150
3. ILYAK1717 (Finland) $38,740
4. Connor “blanconegro” Drinan (Mexico) $25,330
5. toomuchneon (Canada) $19,370
6. Martin1213 (Canada) $13,410
The Spring Championship of Online Poker is the biggest and richest tournament festival of the year, with millions in prize money to be won, a packed schedule, and separate buy-in levels designed to suit all bankrolls.
A total prize pool of $40 million is guaranteed with the series running right through until May 24th. Head to the SCOOP home page for more details.
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.