SCOOP 2016: Henkjinho91 hangs on, beats fuddebuf after heads-up deal in Event #29-L ($27 NLHE)

May 17, 2016

Sometimes making a deal at the end of a tournament can make the game move faster – the stakes are exactly the same for everyone in on the deal, and at the end of a long event players can often ready to make a play or hit the hay. Then there are the occasions where nobody is ready to quit playing just yet and the lack of money pressure means the freedom to play your best game of poker until one player comes out ahead. Sweden’s Henkijnho91 drew one of the latter in Event #29-L and came out ahead after a well-contested, 49-minute duel with Mikael “fuddebuf” Hansen.

The field of 14,068 players on Day 1 built a $345,369.40 prize pool. Their number was reduced to just 165 over the first 32 levels of play, with 1,635 players cashing out in the process. Even though they returned with an average stack of 35 big blinds, Day 2 moved along briskly, trimming would-be competitors from the field at a rate of two every three minutes for nearly four solid hours. Three of the players who were in the top nine to start the day – Peirak started in third place, Sahar888 in sixth and AMasta89 in eighth – weathered the process that brought the tournament to the final table, which would end up taking nearly as long as the entire Day 2 lead-up to finally reach its resolution.

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Seat 1: guix2x (28,059,859 in chips)
Seat 2: Peirak (9,866,254 in chips)
Seat 3: ICyberU (42,409,314 in chips)
Seat 4: chaka tej (14,955,148 in chips)
Seat 5: Mikael “fuddebuf” Hansen (29,401,018 in chips)
Seat 6: Ph4N (12,936,218 in chips)
Seat 7: AMasta89 (47,013,695 in chips)
Seat 8: Henkijnho91 (49,692,157 in chips)
Seat 9: Sahar888 (47,026,337 in chips)

The leaderboard was crowded at the top with four players over 70 big blinds apiece, and the two players with under 25 big blinds were only relatively short-stacked. Without immediate pressure on them, more pots were played out to the river without anybody playing for all their chips. And when the shorter-stacked players did move all-in, they won, at least in the early going. In the first half-hour of the final table there were wins for TCOOP 2013 winner Ph4N, Peirak, and fuddebuf that kept those players from collecting the first payout. The run had to end sooner or later, though, and chaka tej was the unfortunate player to break the streak. The Polish player re-raised all-in with A♠ K♦ on the button after ICyberU opened with 7♦ 7♥, failed to pair on the 4♦ 2♥ 5♣ J♣ 8♣ board, and was gone in 9th place ($2,072.21).

Both Peirak and TCOOP 2016 finalist guix2x would manage to fend off elimination not once but twice in the following half-hour. But neither was able to do much more than subsist after those wins, and both eventually slipped back down into double-up-or-die territory. guix2x ended up going first, calling all-in for 12.2M after AMasta89 jammed over the top of Ph4N’s opening raise. Ph4N folded and guix2x’s J♣ J♠ fell to A♥ K♠ on a 8♣ K♦ 2♣ 9♦ 8♦ board, sending guix2x out in 8th place ($3,108.32).

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The blinds and antes climbed to 800K/1.6M/200K and Peirak’s stack continued to dwindle, dipping below 9M before the Russian player picked up A♣ Q♥ on the button and moved all-in over the top of Henkjinho91, who had opened the betting in middle position with K♦ 10♠. Henkjinho91 called and caught a pair of tens on the 3♦ 10♣ 3♥ 5♠ 7♦ board, sinking Peirak in 7th place ($6,562.01).

Sahar888 doubled up on the next hand with A♥ K♥, calling all-in after TCOOP 2014 winner AMasta89 open-shoved with A♠ J♣. AMasta89 caught two pair on the flop, but the K♦ on the turn made a bigger two pair to give Sahar888 the 42M-chip pot. That left AMasta89 in rough shape with 10M chips, and four hands later the German player opened the betting on the button for all 10M with A♣ K♥. This time Sahar888 had J♣ J♥ and caught a set on the turn of the 8♠ Q♠ 9♥ J♠ 4♣ board, knocking AMasta89 out in 6th place ($10,015.71).

About 15 minutes later ICyberU opened all-in for just shy of 30M, holding 7♥ 7♠, and fuddebuf, the past Sunday Million, Super Tuesday, WCOOP, TCOOP, and twotime SCOOP finalist, was the only caller with K♥ Q♣ on the button. The race was fuddebuf’s from the A♥ K♣ Q♠ flop on, and once the 8♠ turn and 2♦ river had come and gone, ICyberU was gone in 5th place ($10,015.71).

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That pot gave fuddebuf a buffer at the top of the chip counts with 133M and nobody else holding more than 74M, and it grew further a few hands later after sahar888 moved all-in for 26.5M on the button with Q♦ 8♣. fuddebuf isolated with K♦ J♦ and promptly fell behind when sahar888 made two pair on the 9♦ 8♦ Q♥ flop, but the 10♣ turn made a king-high straight. The board paired on the river, but with the 9♥ and not a queen or an eight, so Sahar888 left in 4th place ($16,923.10).

fuddebuf was poised to run away with the tournament, holding 184M chips, but Henkjinho91 doubled through the Danish player on the very next hand when Henkjinho91’s A♦ 8♥ had a better kicker than fuddebuf’s 10♠ 8♣ for three of a kind on the 6♥ 8♦ 5♣ 8♠ A♠ board. The buffer from moments before had disappeared just like that, and Henkjinho91 now had the lead with 129M to fuddebuf’s 119M.

Ph4N had been hanging on to a short stack quite successfully since the very start of the table, but that run soon came to an end. The Romanian player moved in on the button with 5♦ 5♥ and couldn’t even get a coin flip – Henkjinho91 called with Q♦ Q♠ in the small blind. The J♠ K♣ 9♣ 2♠ A♥ brought no help, and Ph4N’s run ended in 3rd place ($23,830.48).

A Scandinavian duel

Henkjinho91 immediately asked if fuddebuf wanted to pause the tournament to look over the numbers. fuddebuf said, “I will probably want a little bit extra if we do. If you are cool with that then we can look,” and Henkijnho91 replied, “we can discuss but I’m not giving up much.” And he didn’t give up much at all, driving a hard bargain – but not so hard that the two players couldn’t pass the time with some friendly sports chat:

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Within 10 minutes they were back in play, and they would remain there for nearly 40 minutes more. Henkijnho91 took a larger lead on the first pot back, semi-bluffing with a gutshot straight draw before backing into top pair on the river and getting paid. That kept the Swedish player ahead by a 2-to-1 margin for about 10 minutes. Then fuddebuf strung eight wins together, capped by a 60M-chip pot. The Danish player limped on the button and called Henkijnho91’s re-raise to 8.4M, then called another 7.2M on the 3♠ 3♥ 5♣ flop. Henkijnho91 checked the 6♣ turn and called fuddebuf’s 14M-chip bet, but check-folded on the 10♥ river, giving fuddebuf the 156M-to-124M chip lead.

fuddebuf extended that lead by about 55M before both a hand came up where the board made a straight for both players. fuddebuf turned a seven-high straight with 4♣ 4♦ and the board reading 3♣ 6♥ 5♦ 7♥, but Henkijnho91’s 9♣ 8♠ had a nine-high straight with the same cards. Henkijnho91 flat-called the Danish player’s 11.2M-chip bet before getting all-in after the K♦ river and taking down a 195M-chip pot.

fuddebuf got back to within striking distance of the lead a bit later, doubling to 125M with J♥ J♠ against K♥ J♦, and slowly crept back until they were separated by just one big blind. Then the 49-minute heads-up match would come to an end when they both picked up big hands and went to war, fuddebuf with K♠ K♦ and Henkjinho91 with A♥ Q♣. All the chips went in before the flop and fuddebuf was just one card away from the win with the board reading 4♥ 3♦ 8♦ 7♣, but the A♠ river made aces for Henkjinho91 to close out the tournament.

It was the second career runner-up SCOOP finish for fuddebuf, after taking second in a SCOOP 2013 event. And it’s the first COOP title for Henkjinho91, who earned a total of $41,154.42 after the winner’s cash, plus a nifty Movado watch, for the victory. Congratulations on the win!

SCOOP-29-L ($27 NL Hold’em) results
Total prize pool: $345,369.40
Places paid: 1,800

1. Henkjinho91 (Sweden) $41,154.42*
2. Mikael “fuddebuf” Hansen (Denmark) $36,200*
3. Ph4N (Romania) $23,830.48
4. Sahar888 (Russia) $16,923.10
5. ICyberU (Finland) $13,469.40
6. AMasta89 (Germany) $10,015.71
7. Peirak (Russia) $6,562.01
8. guix2x (Brazil) $3,108.32
9. chaka tej (Poland) $2,072.21
*Reflects the results of a two-way deal that left $4,000 in play for the winner

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