The 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker moved into the second weekend and Event #23 drew a lot of interest with fast-fold action and short-handed tables. The high buy-in version of the tournament drew some talented players and created a stacked final table. Former WSOP Circuit Main Event champ Robert “pokerguru740” Kuhn conquered them all in the end for a $130,000 payday and he added a second SCOOP title, the first coming in the 2015 SCOOP $2,100 6-Max tournament.
Kuhn defeated MITS 304 heads-up for the win and the Cypriot was unable to pick up a second COOP on top of his WCOOP Razz title from last September. While MITS 304 did not finish with a win, the 80 points he picked up for second place should be enough to move him to the top of the Overall and High Player of the Series leaderboard depending on the results of other events finishing up.
The quick moving tournament drew 312 players to the $400,000 guaranteed prize pool up to $624,000 with the last 42 earning a piece. The tournament played under Zoom rules until only three tables remained and they went to the normal format at that point. The fun part of monitoring of a Zoom tournament was watching big, interesting names jump up and jump down and jump off the leaderboard without a clue how it was happening. Everything was a mystery, we could only guess what was going on with three hours of late registration and another hour to get them in the money with 42 players remaining.
Put another 30 minutes off the clock and they dropped out of hyperdrive into a standard tournament with 18 players remaining where we could see the action. No more bouncing around with three tables and they were stuck with their tablemates while levels climbed from fifteen to 30 minutes long.
Team Pokerstars had a nice showing in the quick-action tournament. Jason “jcarverpoker” Somerville made his way down to the last four tables but had to settle for 24th place cash. Liv Boereee looked like she was going on a nice run after pushing her short stack up with three tables remaining but fell short of the final table in 11th place.
As fast as the action was during the Zoom portion of the tournament, they really pumped the brakes when it switched to a standard format. The average stack was well over 50 big blinds to give them plenty of room to move and it took nearly as long to get from 312 players to 18 as it did from 18 to the final table six.
They were finally down to one table when SCOOP 2009 winner Chris “SLOPPYKLOD” Klodnicki, Super Tuesday winner Ivan “Negriin” Luca, and 2016 PCA Main Event champ Mike “SirWatts” Watson hit the rail. Double WCOOP champ nilsef went out in seventh place when his K♦Q♣ couldn’t catch against A♣J♥ to join them as one.
Seat 1: IAmSoSo (527,943 in chips)
Seat 2: MITS 304 (354,866 in chips)
Seat 3: Robin “robinho” Ylitalo (247,699 in chips)
Seat 4: Kenny “kenny05” Smaron (798,099 in chips)
Seat 5: Robert “pokerguru740” Kuhn (1,022,698 in chips)
Seat 6: Aiden “whereisdonny” Tam (168,695 in chips)
Blinds: 4,000/8,000 with a 800 ante
whereisdonny? Watching from the rail
The stacks continued to deepen with very long levels, up to 65 big blind average at the start of the final table, but that didn’t stop them from mixing it up in a big, early pot.
Wasting no time, they began the first hand of the final table with chip leader Kuhn opening to 17,600 and picking up three callers to the Q♥5♣2♠ flop. One check, a bet of 27,720 from Kuhn, and Aiden “whereisdonny” Tam put in a raise.
The other two players released and Kuhn bet enough to put Tam all in. It was a quick call and Tam saw his monster was in trouble. Tam tabled K♥K♦ but he was dominated by Kuhn’s flopped set 5♥5♦. Nothing changed on the J♠ turn or A♦ river to get them down to five players in one hand.
The elimination of Tam also meant the 6-Max Zoom SCOOP was guaranteed to have a multi-COOPer by the time it was complete.
No third COOP for Ylitalo
Double TCOOP champ Robin “robinho” Ylitalo, one PLO 6-Max and one 8-max turbo to prepare him for the format, was the only player with a stack in any kind of danger and he made a move at the five-handed table with an ace.
MITS 304 moved all in from the small blind and Ylitalo called at risk in the big blind to race away. The Swedes’ A♦9♥ needed to catch against 7♦7♣ but it was the small pair smashing the 7♥2♠2♣ flop. Ylitalo was less than 1% to come back and was drawing dead to fifth place after the 5♥ turn.
IAmSoSo is gone gone
The short-handed format seemed to fight back against the deep stacks and half of the final table was gone with only one level in the books. And it was a tough beat to make it happen.
Kenny “kenny05” Smaron opened for a min-raise and WCOOP 2015 PLO Championship winner IAmSoSo shoved 24 big blinds in from the big blind. Smaron called the shove to put IAmSoSo in a great spot for a double with A♥Q♥ against A♣8♥.
But the 8♣2♠2♥ flop was not nice to IAmSoSo and Smaron stayed ahead on the 5♣ turn and 6♠ river for IAmSoSo’s unkind exit in fourth place.
pokerguru740: YOU PLAY THAT ****
The rest of the table seemed to be a little surprised at the A♣8♥ call.
Seat 2: MITS 304 (555,049 in chips)
Seat 4: Kenny “kenny05” Smaron (904,309 in chips)
Seat 5: Robert “pokerguru740” Kuhn (1,660,642 in chips)
Blinds: 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante
kenny05 done dirty
Kenny “kenny05” Smaron won the $2,100 Zoom tournament during the 2015 SCOOP series and came close to backing it up. He put his chips in good only to see them shipped to his neighbor. The three players had no reason to get too frisky and it took five bets for Kuhn to have Smaron all in at risk.
Smaron made an easy call with K♥K♣ to dominate Kuhn’s A♠J♥. Right up until the A♣J♠3♥ to leave him with two outs or some miracle running cards. The 5♦ turn did not save him and the 2017 PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event Champion was eliminated after the 7♠ river to set up the heads-up battle.
Seat 2: MITS 304 (730,361 in chips)
Seat 5: Robert “pokerguru740” Kuhn (2,389,639 in chips)
Kuhn wins tough battle for the title
MITS 304 had some making up to do at the start of the match and was able to do just that. He pulled even, then ahead of Kuhn before a cooler reset the numbers back to the start. They saw a Q♦10♥9♣ flop and quickly put the chips in the middle with bad news for MITS 304. He had the wrong end of a flopped straight with J♣8♠ against Kuhn’s K♥J♠ to switch the lead.
That wasn’t the only big swing and the two traded the chips back and forth until one tough, final hand. MITS 304 limped his button and moved all in after Kuhn raised it up. There was a quick call and both tabled pocket pairs with Kuhn’s 8♣8♥ dominating 5♦5♣. MITS 304 caught a set on the flop but so did Kuhn when it came 10♥8♠5♥. The 9♥ turn left MITS 304 looking for one saving out but blanked the 2♦ river to end the tournament.
It took nearly 90 minutes to settle the matter between the last two players and it was a well-fought match. MITS 304 will have to settle for the $95,472 runner-up prize along with control of Player of the Series race. Kuhn picked up a second SCOOP title along with a very nice $131,040 score.
SCOOP-23-H ($2,100 6-Max, Zoom) results
Total prize pool: $624,000
Places paid: 42
1. Robert “pokerguru740” Kuhn (Mexico) $131,040
2. MITS 304 (Cyrpus) $95,472
3. Kenny “kenny05” Smaron (Costa Rica) $71,760
4. IAmSoSo (Sweden) $49,920
5. Robin “robinho” Ylitalo (Sweden) $37,440
6. Aiden “whereisdonny” Tam (Thailand) $24,960