If three-handed play was Bacardi 151 mixed with a Fireball shot at Hakkasan in Vegas, the heads-up match was a relaxing 20 year single-malt scotch, enjoyed on a deck at a lakeside cabin with only the occasional loon warbling in the background.
The Spring Championship of Online Poker’s Event #54-H ending was equal parts thrill ride and long-form soap opera. With a massive $1.7 million prize pool and four six-figure spots it is no wonder why this final table attractive several railbirds. In the end compris would overtake gardze_wami heads-up and win $320,420.00 and the Event #54-H title.
Read on below for the details on compris’ triumph.
A peek at the day one leaderboard one familiar name in the later part of the 2017 SCOOP series sat up top. Chance “ChanceCU” Kornuth would start off the day looking for his second title of the series after knocking off Team PokerStars Pro Andre “akkari” Akkari for the Event #39-H win. Narrowly missed the Event #41-H final table, then he would take the chip lead into the Event #45-H final table (accompanied by excellent lyrics from Pauly McGuire’s recap) but eventually bowing down to u1ker and finishing as the runner-up.
Chance would still be going strong five hours into day two with ten players left but Philipp “philbort” Gruissem took over chip leader duties, followed closely by former Super Tuesday and Sunday Warm-Up winner bar-bar9999.
Much like Event #41-H, Kornuth was not able to catch some luck at the end, flipping pocket fours against gardze_wami’s ace-five which flopped trips and rivered a boat. Despite the loss, Kornuth would add another $19,918.00 in tenth place and started up hand-for-hand play.
At the last hand before the fifth hourly break, Ziv “zivziv” Bachar finally made a stand with less than two BBs, calling all-in on Gruissem’s raise. Compris would join the party but after check-calling the flop and turn, finally let Gruissem take the pot showing a flopped two pair and rivered full house. Bachar’s ace-deuce was not up to the task, starting up the final table below:
Seat 1: compris (2336964 in chips)
Seat 2: xPastorcitox (559702 in chips)
Seat 3: bar-bar9999 (2896628 in chips)
Seat 4: Philipp “philbort” Gruissem (4643809 in chips)
Seat 5: gardze_wami (2384793 in chips)
Seat 6: dirty.brasil (1016218 in chips)
Seat 7: kalashn1kovv (1495706 in chips)
Seat 8: Ami “UhhMee” Barer (1986180 in chips)
The slow blind escalation and plenty of chips (average around 70BBs) meant to settle in with Netflix and finally watch all the Black Mirror episodes. But, a couple of players had a quick exit pointing more towards a faster race towards the $320K for the winner.
As with most high buy-in final tables, Barer was not the only multiple -COOP champion with a seat under the spotlights. 2012 WCOOP Event #20 and SCOOP 2016 Event #43-L winner dirty.brasil would be gunning for a third -COOP title.
Fifteen minutes into the final eight dirty.brasil would raise getting Gruissem to call from the big blind. With the connected board 5♥ 9♦ 10♥ Gruissem would check-raise all-in after dirty.brasil’s continuation bet. Holding top pair 10♦A♦ dirty.brasil made the call clutching to the lead against Gruissem’s straight draw 8♣7♣. Queen on the turn Q♣ did nothing but the 6♠ river shipped $25,980.00 to dirty.brasil in eighth place.
On the next hand Gruissem was not done asserting his chip lead as xPastorcitox shoved around 11BBs from middle position and Gruissem made the call with A♣Q♥ from the small blind. Bad news for xPastorcitox’s Q♦K♥ as the dominated hand failed to overturn on the A♠ 9♣ 3♦ 8♣ 4♠ board ending xPastorcitox day two in seventh place ($38,970.00).
Third time’s a charm? It was for Gruissem who is barreling through this final table like someone who has dinner plans at a Michelin three-star restaurant. A half hour after xPastorcitox took leave, kalashn1kovv would try to stand up to the bulldozer by three-betting all-in over his raise. But, Gruissem was not playing the role of bully and snap-called with queens Q♦Q♠. Kalashn1kovv has been in this position before making it to final tables in all three -COOP tournament series but has not been able to close the deal. Holding J♣A♠ kalashn1kovv watched that -COOP title dream float away again on the K♠ 4♣ Q♥ 5♣ 8♣ board earning $60,620.00 in sixth place.
While fairly quiet during this series, Ami “UhhMee” Barer comes into this final table with two SCOOP titles (2012 – Event #33-L and 2014 – Event #19-H) along with a World Championship of Online Poker and the 2014 Aussie Million Main Event wins.
In the next half hour Gruissem’s chips would get redistributed a bit after bar-bar9999 looked up the chip leader on the river and snagged a 2.67 million chip pot. Ten minutes later with the blinds up to 30K/60K ante 7.5K Gruissem continued to be aggressive by opening for 138K but this roused up Barer and compris who both shoved all-in. Despite covering both, Gruissem declined to go for the double KO as Barer’s pocket eights 8♣8♥ was all-in for his tournament life against compris’ Q♠A♠. The eights never made it pass the flop 7♠ A♥ 7♣ K♦ 4♦ as Barer claimed $86,600.00 in fifth place.
The big prizes (all players were assured six-figures at this point) attracted quite the crowd as over 1,500 railed the final four despite the eerie silence of the chat box.
Mid-way through the eighth hour bar-bar9999 fell behind the other players holding under 20BBs in the big blind facing a button min-raise from gardze_wami. A small ace 2♦A♥ was enough to shove as gardze_wami quickly called with tens 10♠10♣. A ten in the door looked to close things up but a turned flush draw gave a little sweat 10♥ 7♣ 3♥ 6♥ 4♣ before handing $129,900.00 over to bar-bar9999 in fourth place.
Heavy six-figures still waiting for the final three and Gruissem did not deviate from his aggressive game one bit. In the biggest pot of the tournament thus far, after a four-bet pre-flop and shove by gardze_wami on the river with the board showing 10♠ 8♥ K♠ 4♠ K♥, Gruissem turned over 2♠Q♠ for the winning flush over gardze_wami’s trips earning 9.9 million chips. Then two hands later he tried to pressure compris with a three-bet and two bullets, but compris did not bend taking down a 3.6 million chip pot.
If that was not enough action, shortly before the eighth hourly break Gruissem and gardze_wami decided to flip pre-flop for a 7.5 million chip pot with blinds at 50K/100K ante 10K. Gruissem’s sixes held on the flop, but a turned and rivered ace for gardze_wami’s ace-jack shipped the pot.
Gruissem did not waver on this setback as the second hand back from the break Gruissem would limp from the small blind as gardze_wami shoved from the big. Philipp made the call with deuces 2♥2♦ as gardze_wami looked to ace-jack again J♦A♥. A harsh way to go out as no ace nor jack hit the board, but the discounted two pair 8♣ 6♦ 8♥ Q♦ 6♠ sent Gruissem $173,200.00 in third place.
Still no peep from either player as they seem determined to hand over $300K to the Event #54 champion. Gardze_wami would start off with a 11.7 million to 5.5 million chip lead with blinds holding at 50K/100K ante 10K.
This reporter managed to slam a drink during Gruissem’s exciting endgame run that lasted all of five minutes but our final two would slow down considerably (along with my consumption of adult beverages) with smaller pots often reaching the river.
A false alarm came up as it looked like they were ready to discuss a deal despite no chatting as compris battled back to take the chip lead ten minutes into the new hour. But, after a message and a pause, still no chat from either player and play continued.
Nearly cracked aces, fade a flush draw with one to come. Both players would have each other all-in with one card that would have ended it. Heading into the third hour of heads-up play no deal on the table, and determination shown by both not to gamble for pre-flop flips.
Then, shortly before the hourly break with compris holding a 12.1 million to 5.2 million chip lead and blinds at 100K/200K ante 25K the players found a river card they both liked. A standard min-raise from the button by compris as both checked the flop. 500K on the turn from gardze_wami was called then with the board showing Q♦ 4♠ K♦ 5♥ Q♣ gardze_wami bet one million as compris shoved holding trips 10♠Q♥. The overbet worked as gardze_wami called all-in with the turned pair 7♠K♥.
No compromise and perseverance would lead compris to $320,420.00 and the SCOOP 2017 Event #54-H title!
SCOOP-54-H ($2,100 NLHE 8-Max) results
Prize pool: $1,732,000
Places paid: 112
1. compris (Sweden) $320,420.00
2. gardze_wami (Poland) $230,875.60
3. Philipp “philbort” Gruissem (Malta) $173,200.00
4. bar-bar9999 (Netherlands) $129,900.00
5. Ami “UhhMee” Barer (Canada) $86,600.00
6. kalashn1kovv (Malta) $60,620.00
7. xPastorcitox (Argentina) $38,970.00
8. dirty.brasil (Canada) $25,980.00
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