Though an Englishman, Tom “tjbentham” Bentham currently flies the Brazilian flag when playing on PokerStars where he’s been a longtime winner, including in pot-limit Omaha games.
In other words, there were two reasons why it wasn’t unforeseen to find Bentham leading at the end of Event #34-H’s first day, a $2,100 buy-in, six-handed pot-limit Omaha event attracting many of poker’s brightest stars. Nor was it surprising to see Bentham dominate the second and final day, either, leading wire-to-wire at the final table to take the title and a cool $189,200 first prize.
It was some final table, too, with Dominik “Bounatirou” Nitsche, Alex “alexo18” Manzano, and Julian “jutrack” Track among those Bentham had to overcome to earn the win. But Bentham has been finishing strong in tournaments for years, including way back when he qualified for an EPT event in Dublin where the photo below was snapped:
By the time Day 1 concluded Tuesday night the money bubble had burst with Andrey “Kroko-dill” Zaichenko (54th, $4,257), Dan “djk123” Kelly (50th, $4,257), Pascal “Pass_72” Lefrancois (49th, $4,257), and Team PokerStars Pro Andre “aakkari” Akkari (46th, $4,730) among the many familiar names cashing.
Just 33 players remained to begin Day 2, with many more familar names in the counts — including, as noted, Bentham in first position. Here’s how the top 10 looked to start the final day:
1. Tom “tjbentham” Bentham (Brazil) — 351,829
2. Benny “toweliestar” Spindler — 334,511
3. Alexander “AlexKP” Petersen — 298,373
4. Jason “jdtjpoker” Wheeler — 252,768
5. “T-Macha” — 248,689
6. MrBlond — 224,772
7. anteen — 220,269
8. Bryn “BrynKenney” Kenney — 177,104
9. Janne “Durian” Juutilainen — 171,038
10. Alexandre “BiatchPeople” Luneau — 168,334
Within an hour they were already down to 21 players, with Marko “BriDge2PaiN” Neumann (32nd, $5,676), Stephen “stevie444” Chidwick (31st, $5,676), Ludovic “ludovi333” Geilich (228th, $6,149), Nicolas “niccc” Chouity (23rd, $7,095), and Mayu “marroca5” Roca (22nd, $7,095) among the fallen.
An hour after that 14 were left, with Daniel “w00ki3z.” Cates (20th, $7,095) and Alexander “AlexKP” Petersen (17th, $8,987) on the rail. They were nearing the three-hour mark of Day 2 when anteen (14th, $8,987) and Alexandre “BiatchPeople” Luneau (13th, $8,987) had been knocked out to leave two six-handed tables, by which point Dominik “Bounatirou” Nitsche had ascended in the counts to grab away the chip lead.
no122 (12th), Benny “toweliestar” Spindler (11th), and ShipitFTW911 (10th) were the next players eliminated, picking up $13,244 apiece. Then GlassOfBeer (ninth), Jason “jdtjpoker” Wheeler (eighth), and Bryn “BrynKenney” Kenney (seventh) successively went out, earning $20,812 each.
With Tom “tjbentham” Bentham back in the chip lead and sitting with almost twice as many chips as the nearest challenger, the final table was underway.
Seat 1: Dominik “Bounatirou” Nitsche (United Kingdom) — 552,325
Seat 2: T-Macha (Netherlands) — 989,132
Seat 3: Alex “alexo18” Manzano (Chile) — 397,110
Seat 4: Julian “jutrack” Track (Germany) — 494,919
Seat 5: deuces85 (Canada) — 423,992
Seat 6: Tom “tjbentham” Bentham (Brazil) — 1,872,522
The blinds were 8,000/16,000 to start the final table, and they were still in that level when leader Tom “tjbentham” Bentham opened for 48,000 from the small blind and Dominik “Bounatirou” Nitsche called from the big to leave himself just over 400,000 behind.
Nitsche, of course, sports an extensive poker résumé despite his young age, with three WSOP bracelets, a Latin American Poker Tour Main Event title (earned in Argentina back in Season 2), a World Poker Tour win, and numerous other accomplishments both live and online, including seven previous cashes this SCOOP alone.
They pushed through the day’s five-hour mark. About 20 minutes after that the limits had increased when deuces85 opened with a pot-sized raise to 70,000 from the button, Tom “tjbentham” Bentham reraised from the small blind, and deuces85 called all-in with the 63,682 left behind.
deuces85 had A♥J♠5♠4♥ while Bentham showed A♠Q♥J♠7♦, and after the 2♣7♣7♠2♥5♥ runout Bentham’s trip sevens beat deuces85’s two pair, and the latter was out in fifth. That’s a seventh cash this SCOOP for deuces85, including four final tables.
About five minutes later it was another big winner on a PokerStars-sponsored tour, European Poker Tour Season 10 Prague Main Event champ Julian “jutrack” Track who opened to 70,000 from UTG and it folded arounds to Alex “alexo18” Manzano, like Nitsche an LAPT Main Event champion who won his title in São Paulo during Season 4. Manzano jammed for 190,191 from the small blind, earning a call from jutrack.
Manzano had the edge with K♣K♠6♥5♠ though Track had potential with K♥10♣9♠8♠. The community cards didn’t realize that potential, though, coming 2♦6♦6♣9♥8♥ to give Manzano trip sixes and knock Track out in fourth — a whopping 14th cash already for him this series.
The flop then came 2♥7♣7♥, Manzano went all-in for 175,994, and Bentham called again. Manzano had aces and sevens with A♣A♥8♣3♣, but Bentham had a lucky seven in his hand to make trips with J♥10♠9♦7♠. The turn was the 3♦ and river the 5♣, and suddenly they were down to two. Manzano departed with his sixth and best cash so far during this year’s SCOOP.
Bentham checked and T-Macha fired 24,000, prompting a check-raise to 120,000 from the chip leader. At that T-Macha pushed all-in for 266,504 total, and Bentham called.
Both players held hands full of middle-to-low cards, with T-Macha the one who’d flopped two pair to take the lead. T-Macha was making his eighth cash in this year’s SCOOP and first final table, and was hoping to get one step further to earn the win.
The turn brought the K♥ and no change, but the river was the 6♦, giving Bentham a better two pair with sixes and fives to earn him the title.
Congratulations to Tom “tjbentham” Bentham who after finishing ninth in Event #9-H ($700 NLHE/PLO) made it all of the way to the winner’s circle in this one to earn his first career SCOOP win. And kudos again to Brazil who extends its lead with a 15th SCOOP title so far.
SCOOP-34-H ($2,100 Pot-Limit Omaha, 6-max.) results
Prize pool: $946,000
Places paid: 54
1. Tom “tjbentham” Bentham (Brazil) $189,200.00
2. T-Macha (Netherlands) $140,008.00
3. Alex “alexo18” Manzano (Chile) $104,060.00
4. Julian “jutrack” Track (Germany) $71,896.00
5. deuces85 (Canada) $52,503.00
6. Dominik “Bounatirou” Nitsche (United Kingdom) $33.583.00
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.