The 2021 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) moved up another gear on Monday night, with prize pools already now past $10 million. Where did it all go? Read on…
• Bujtas takes big one, beating Holz again
• Five for Brazil as South Americans make presence felt
• Montenegro on the SCOOP board
• Spraggy calls it, calls, loses. Throws up.
BEHIND THE HEADLINESBujtas bullies his way to third title: The cameras and commentators of the PokerStars Twitch and YouTube channels focused last night on the final table of the $10,300 8-Max High Roller, which featured an all-star cast playing for the lion’s share of a $1.16 million prize pool. It was a frantic affair — five players were knocked out in the first hour — and the chip lead changed hands among the final four often. When all was said and done, however, the man who led the final table at its outset, Laszlo “omaha4rollz” Bujtas, ended as the man with all the chips, winning $254,256 and his third career SCOOP title. Despite the name, suggesting a preference for the four-card variant, Bujtas now has two hold’em wins in SCOOP and a third in 5-Card Draw. This was bigger by some measure and was, in fact, the biggest single score of his online career, beating the $212,557 he picked up for a win during WCOOP in 2015. Even more impressive: Bujtas had to beat Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz heads up, condemning Holz to a second runner-up finish in two nights. (He also came second yesterday.) Michael “imluckbox” Addamo was third and Simon “C.Darwin2” Mattsson was fourth.
Europeans take charge in high buy-ins…: Three other tournament winners picked up six-figure scores last night as the majority of events starting on Sunday concluded. “Nethos“, of the Czech Republic, booked a major win in the Sunday Million Special Edition, which had a $215 buy-in and a prize pool of $2.45 million, the largest of SCOOP so far. That tournament attracted 12,243 entries, including all of the game’s best-known names, but most had departed by the final stages. Nethos somehow managed to cling on despite being down to a reported three big blinds with 21 players left, but went on a surge through the last three tables. Nethos eventually beat the UK’s “PokerDave476” heads up and claimed $200,070, including $66K in bounties. The other two huge wins went to players in Eastern Europe. Romania’s “kreiNt” beat a final table that also featured Mikita “fish2013” Badziakouski and Timothy “Tim0thee” Adams to win the $1,050 Sunday Warm-Up for $113,891. Not long later, “ludako123” of Bulgaria overcame the likes of Conor “1_conor_b_1” Beresford, Artem “veeea” Vezhenkov and Adrian “Amadi_017” Mateos to win the $1,050 NLHE 8-Max and $121,552.…while Brazilians take the rest: While it’s cheering to see so many varied flags on the leader board already, there’s also something ominous about how well Brazilians have started this SCOOP series. Four titles headed to South America on Monday night, bringing the country’s total to five, with Monday’s quartet all from low buy-in events. It’s difficult enough to win one SCOOP event, which why all the multiple champions in this series deserve special notice. It’s even harder to win multiple events at the low or medium buy-in tournaments, where field sizes are enormous and variance is at its highest. Let’s acknowledge the achievements, then, of José da Costa Neto, or “neto gol” as he is known on PokerStars. Last night, he won a third career SCOOP title in the $22 PLO 6-Max, having previously won a “low” designation Stud Hi/Lo event, in 2016, and a “medium” NLHE Super Knockout, in 2012. He beat 1,791 entries in the Stud, 3,664 in the hold’em, and last night was the last man standing from a field of 6,294 entries. That was worth $17,894 and brought his career earnings to $2.76 million, according to Pocket Fives. When you also note that his average cash is $369, you’ll find a dedicated medium-stakes grinder with bags of talent across many variants. Hats off.
First SCOOP heads to the Adriatic: Dejan “dejanlc357” Kaladurdevic‘s win in the $530 buy-in SCOOP-02-H PKO SCOOP Kickoff put a new flag on the countries leader board, not just for this SCOOP series but for all time. Until Kaladurdevic’s victory, no player from Montenegro had claimed a title through the first 12 years, but when Kaladurdevic beat “Alex Bez” of Brazil heads up, he not only won $78,406, including bounties, but also put a marker down for the small European country. Montenegro becomes the 77th country to win a SCOOP title. See our year-by-year guide for the other 76.
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With most of the Sunday Majors wrapping on Monday night, the stat tracker is now ticking upward at great pace. Prize pools are close to $10 million, winners have taken more than $1 million between them, and there have been close to 130,000 entries. With another 18 tournaments starting tonight, there will be no let up.
Entries: 129,884 (inc. 23,832 re-entries)
Prize pools: $9,552,828
First place payouts: $1,308,943 (inc. $211,546 in bounties)
Tournaments completed: 17
Tournaments ongoing: 9
Tournaments starting today: 18
(Note: Stats from completed tournaments only)
Spraggy is not going to look back at this hand with any great affection, but he does manage to name Sami “LrsLzk” Kelopuro’s cards at one point. It’s just it means that it’s doom for our boy…
Meanwhile Mason “Pye_Face21” Pye is an avowed mixed games aficionado and he is well placed going into Day 2 of the $22 HORSE event. He’s sitting 26th of 124 left in that one. Here’s a big pot he won in a Stud event. These kinds of things help a lot.
COUNTRIES LEADER BOARD
As noted above, the vast majority of titles won on Monday night went to one of two geographical regions: Central/Eastern Europe, or Brazil. While countries from the former section all have their own flags, the Brazilians are already swarming. There’s clear air at the top of the early countries leader board, and it would surprise no one if they lead all the way to the end.
5 titles – Brazil
2 – Czech Republic, Russia, UK
1 – Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Montenegro, Romania
PLAYER PROFILES AND INTERVIEWSWe’ve been taking a look back at some of SCOOP’s most decorated performers. Here’s our series of SCOOP’s greatest players of all time:
It’s Tuesday, which is always Super on PokerStars. The Super Tuesday Special Edition is SCOOP-13-M and has a $1,050 buy-in, but either side of it are tournaments with $109 and $10,300 required to enter. The latter is expensive, but there’s a $1 million guarantee. This is also a good night for anyone who wants to go back to the old school. There’s a 5-Card Draw event kicking off. Add in some 6-Max PLO and a Win The Button event and you’ve got an incredible line-up. That’s 18 tournaments in all.
10.30am: SCOOP-11: NLHE 8-Max PKO
Buy-ins: $5.50, $55, $530
Guarantees: $35K, $150K, $250K
12.05pm: SCOOP-12: NL 5-Card Draw PKO
Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
Guarantees: $15K, $25K, $50K
1.05pm: SCOOP-13: NLHE 8-Max Super Tuesday
Buy-ins: $109, $1,050, $10,300
Guarantees: $400K, $850K, $1 million
2.15pm: SCOOP-14: PLO 6-Max
Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
Guarantees: $30K, $100K, $300K
3.30pm: SCOOP-15: NLHE
Buy-ins: $22, $215, $2,100
Guarantees: $100K, $250K, $350
5.05pm: SCOOP-16: NLHE 6-Max Turbo Win The Button
Buy-ins: $11, $109, $1,050
Guarantees: $40K, $125K, $175
(All timings are ET)
LEADER BOARD LATEST
It’s still just a little bit early to be checking in on the Player of the Series leader boards, but here’s a reminder of what’s on offer to the most consistent performers through this SCOOP series.
1st – $5,000 + Trophy
2nd – $2,500
3rd – $1,500
4th – $1,000
5th – $500
6th-10th – $300
11th-20th – $150
1st – $10,000 + Trophy
2nd – $7,500
3rd – $5,000
4th – $2,500
5th – $1,500
6th-10th – $1,000
1st – $15,000 + Trophy
2nd – $10,000
3rd – $5,000
Overall Player of the Series
$25,000 + Trophy
WATCH! WATCH! WATCH!
PokerStars’ streaming army will be out in force during this SCOOP, with all of Lex Velduis, Spraggy, Fintan “easywithaces” Hand, Arlie “Prince Pablo” Shaban, Mason “Pyefacepoker” Pye and Georgina “GJReggie” James certain to be playing most, if not all, days.