A runner-up finish in a big event can wreak havoc on your mind. Did you get unlucky? Or did you get outplayed? One thing’s for sure, you really really want to make sure you get the win next time you’re in a similar position.
Alexandros Kolonias knows this all too well. Not even a week ago, on Friday 6th May, the man from Greece (who lives in the UK) was heads-up against Romania’s Alex Papazian in the EPT12 Grand Final $25K high roller in Monte Carlo. Kolonias finished second that night, and even though the €805,900 he won would certainly have softened the blow the next morning, he must have been wondering when he’d get another shot at a big title.
Well, he didn’t have to wait long. Kolonias, playing under his PokerStars name ‘mexican222’, took down Event 9-H of SCOOP 2016 tonight for $66,140.41. He already has one SCOOP title – a win in a $530+R event back in 2014 for $144,400 – so we now have a new two-time SCOOP champion.
Kolonias came into Day 2 as the chip leader, and must have recognised a familiar face instantly. Eddy Maksoud, who finished fifth in that same EPT12 $25K high roller for €364,500, was also still in contention for this SCOOP title, playing under the obvious screen name of ‘eddymaksoud’. However, he’d eventually fall in 11th for $4,614.43.
That wasn’t a unique thing in this field though. Austria’s GeoManousos, Bulgaria’s vladobu6i, and Scott ‘Aggro Santos’ Margereson were all still alive and all have a Sunday Million win to their name. Of course, Margereson also has two WCOOP titles – both won in 2014 for a combined $351,000 ($215 NL Hold’em Sunday Warm-Up SE, and $320 NL Hold’em Turbo Zoom). The Brit was looking to win his first SCOOP title here today. Another Brit living in Mexico, Stephen ‘Woody1234321′ Woodhead, was also in the mix, looking to add a SCOOP to his two TCOOP titles, both of which came in $215 NL Hold’em events in 2015 and 2016.
Those who would also come close to the final table included Brazil-via-the-UK player Tom ‘tjbentham’ Bentham (ninth for $7,178.01), Canada’s EndlessJ (10th for $4,614.43), and Poland’s rudisf (12th for $4,614.43).
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GeoMansousos would leave in eighth. In the PLO Level 26, he limped for 10,000 from the small blind and then called a 30,000 raise from TheMuppet in the big. The flop came the 10♣6♦Q♠ and GeoMansousos led for 60,000, only to be put all-in, which he called with the 8♥3♦5♠9♦. TheMuppet had the 2♠Q♦J♦K♠, and the board was completed by the 9♥ and 5♥. That gave TheMuppet a nine-to-King straight, and GeoMansousos banked $7,178.01.
Scott ‘Aggro Santos’ Margereson won the same amount for finishing seventh. Margereson was short for the entirety of Day 2, and still almost managed to make it to the final table. However, when he moved all-in during the NL Hold’em Level 27 for 139,669 with the A♣Q♣, he was called by Alexandros ‘mexican222’ Kolonias with the A♥K♥, and there was no lady on board to save him.
The magnificent six
Aku1206 – 1,617,004
Tony ‘wwwBTHEREcom’ Gregg – 1,503,639
Alexandros ‘mexican222’ Kolonias – 668,445
Stephen ‘woody1234321’ Woodhead – 496,183
vladobu6i – 484,867
TheMuppet – 369,862
Stephen ‘Woody1234321’ Woodhead was the first to make an exit. In Level 28 (7K/14K) – a PLO level – he made it 42,000 to go and got two callers in Tony ‘wwwBTHEREcom’ Gregg and TheMuppet. We saw a 5♥3♠10♣ flop hit the virtual felt and woody1234321 continued for 133,000 after TheMuppet checked. That got wwwBTHEREcom out the way, but then TheMuppet raised it to 266,000. woody1234321 called off his last 67,913 and the cards were revealed.
Both had hit top pair, but woody1234321 would need to hit to stay alive. The 3♥ hit the turn, pairing the board, and the A♠ river cemented TheMuppet’s lead giving him Aces and tens. For sixth, Stephen ‘woody1234321′ Woodhead won $11,621.54, but for now he’ll have to wait for his first SCOOP title.
wwwBTHEREcom continued to hold a firm lead, but mexican222 closed the gap a little when he eliminated vladobu6i in fifth.
We’d moved forward a level and the players were now in the midst of half an hour of NL Hold’em. mexican222 opened to 36,000 and vladobu6i bumped it up to 92,387. It folded back around and mexican222 made the call. He’d then check the J♥Q♥J♠ flop, but call when vladobu6i moved all-in for 241,132. mexican222 had the K♠Q♠ and paired his Queen, while vladobu6i had an up-and-down straight draw with the 10♥K♦. The 2♠ turn took away some of those outs as mexican222 now had a flush draw too, and he’d hit it on the 7♠ river. vladobu6i was out in fifth for $18,115.93, and we settled in for a long four-handed session.
Gang of four
It would take what felt like forever (but was actually just a little over two levels) for us to get to three-handed. wwwBTHEREcom and mexican222 exchanged the chip lead time and time again; meanwhile, TheMuppet and Aku1206 jostled so not to be the shortest stack.
By Level 31 (NLHE) mexican222 had grasped the chip lead, and it was increased further when a mistimed bluff by wwwBTHEREcom saw a lot of his chip slide towards TheMuppet. The UK player made it 54,000 on the button and both wwwBTHEREcom and Aku1206 called from the blinds. That brought a J♦Q♥2♣ flop and wwwBTHEREcom led out straight away for 60,000 which only TheMuppet would call.
The Q♠ hit the turn and both checked, but when the 7♥ hit the turn wwwBTHEREcom check-raised from 96,000 to 221,000. TheMuppet called and showed the Q♦10♣ for trips, while all wwwBTHEREcom had was the A♦4♦ for complete air.
Even after that pot, though, TheMuppet remained one of the lower stacks and would eventually lose it all to bust in fourth. It was Level 32 (PLO, 14K/28K) and he min-opened to 56,000 only for wwwBTHEREcom to three-bet to 196,000. TheMuppet called.
The K♠10♠3♥ flop landed and wwwBTHEREcom bet enough to put TheMuppet all-in, who called with the Q♦5♦J♥10♥ for a pair on tens and an up-and-downer. wwwBTHEREcom had the K♥4♦9♦K♣ for top set, and after the 6♠ and 6♦ hit the turn and river that would improve to a full house. For fourth, TheMuppet collected $25,293.94.
Three-handed the stacks were fairly even, but there was never any mention of chopping. In one hand, Tony ‘wwwBTHEREcom’ Gregg and Alexandros ‘mexican222’ Kolonias chopped a massive pot worth more than three million when both had pocket aces in a PLO hand. “Dramatic!” Gregg typed into the chat. “[I] wanted a different outcome,” said Aku1206.
Well, it didn’t happen in that hand, but wwwBTHEREcom would be eliminated not long after in third place. It was the same level and the game was PLO. wwwBTHEREcom opened to 63,000 and Aku1206 called, before mexican222 raised it up to 252,000. Only wwwBTHEREcom called.
The two saw a 10♠4♦K♠ and mexican222 continued for 567,000. wwwBTHEREcom then moved all-in for 958,590 and was called.
It was a bluff shove from wwwBTHEREcom who had Ace-high and no draws, whereas mexican222 had pocket Queens and a straight draw. The turn was the 8♣ and the river the 6♣, and Tony ‘wwwBTHEREcom’ Gregg saw $36,744.57 added to his bankroll.
“A bit intimidating,” Aku1206 told mexican222 when heads-up play started. “you have position.”
Alexandros ‘mexican222′ Kolonias’ last heads-up battle (the aforementioned $25K high roller at the EPT12 Grand Final) didn’t go quite to plan, so he was surely looking for a redeemer. It wouldn’t be easy though; although he started with 3 million to Aku1206’s 2 million, just a few hands later the two were dead even and very deep-stacked.
Aku1206 managed to break away, and eventually had himself a 3 million to 2 million advantage. But then it all went wrong.
In a PLO hand, mexican222 limped and Aku1206 checked to see the 9♣4♣7♥ flop. Aku1206 bet 60,000 but was raised to 208,000, and he made the call. The turn came the 7♣ and now Aku1206 checked, only for mexican222 to bet 272,800. It was called. They saw the 2♦ land on the river and after a check mexican bet 770,874. Aku1206 called but mucked when mexican222 showed the 7♦K♠5♣7♠ for quad sevens. mexican222 won the next pot too for 697,000 more chips, and then the next hand would be the last.
mexican222 raised 80,000 which was called. The flop was the 2♠5♦J♥ and he continued for 88,000 after it was checked to him, but Aku1206 went nowhere. The turn came the K♦ and now Aku1206 led for 745,920, only to be raised all-in. He made the call.
Aku1206 was ahead on the flop with Jacks and fives, but mexican222 had taken the lead on the turn with Kings and Jacks. The river was the 8♠ and it was all over. Aku1206 won $49,049.73 for his runner-up finish, and now it’s him who’ll be looking to redeem himself with a win as soon as possible.
It didn’t take Alexandros ‘mexican222’ Kolonias long to bounce back and grab the top spot, after all! Congratulations to our winner, who banked $66,140.41 and became a two-time SCOOP champion!
SCOOP-09-H ($700 NL Hold’em/PL Omaha 6-Max) results
Prize pool: $341,810
Places paid: 60
1. Alexandros ‘mexican222’ Kolonias (United Kingdom) $66,140.41
2. Aku1206 (Finland) $49,049.73
3. Tony ‘wwwBTHEREcom’ Gregg (Canada) $36,744.57
4. TheMuppet (United Kingdom) $25,293.94
5. vladobu6i (Bulgaria) $18,115.93
6. Stephen ‘Woody1234321’ Woodhead (Mexico) $11,621.54
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Jack Stanton is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.