There were 111 tournaments before it. The Spring Championship of Online Poker was certainly not short on opportunities for players to find their games of choice at whatever limits their bankrolls allowed. But after two weeks of everything from PLO to stud, it was time for the straight no-limit hold’em action of the grand finale of SCOOP.
The Main Event offered three buy-in levels, but this was the medium-level tournament with a $1,050 buy-in and whopping $3 million guarantee. The attraction was obvious, as registration finally stopped with 3,675 players at the tables. That took the prize pool well over the guarantee to $3,675,000, which would pay out 495 top finishers and reserve $576,975 for the winner.
Play during Day 1 moved along throughout the afternoon and evening as casualties were significant in the early going. As the money bubble approached, a number of players exited in that hurtful way, after having exerted hours of effort but finishing just short of the money. One player in that category was Team PokerStars Pro Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu, who exited in 506th place. His frustration was palpable, as he conveyed on Twitter:
Gross. Came 506th it paid 495 in the 1k. Had KK vs AQ. Flop 10 2 2 Q 3 came 4 clubs he had the Ace.
Also likely a frustration candidate was Mr. Wheeler, who became the bubble player with his 496th place elimination. From there, players still standing were guaranteed a minimum payout of $1,690.50.
Speaking of Team PokerStars Pros, a number of them made it into the money and departed with some extra cash. Among them were:
Julian Thew – 425th place
George Danzer – 418th place (Event 4-M winner)
Joe Hachem – 304th place
Marcin “Goral” Horecki – 287th place
Lee “LeeNelsonP*” Nelson – 201st place
Chris “Money800” Moneymaker – 191st place
Steve “stevesbets” Jacobs – 189th place
Marcello Del Grosso – 159th place
Johannes Strassmann – 118th place
Thierry “BOKPOWER” van den Berg – 83rd place
Just into the 11th hour, Leo Fernandez joined the group of eliminated players, taking with him $6,615.00 for 61st place. But Lex “RaSZi” Veldhuis was going strong in the middle of the pack.
The final hour
Leading up to the final hour, quite a few changes took place at the top of the leaderboard. Level 31 saw cashclctor double through hook2120 to jump into first place, which was locked in through most of Level 32 as well. Several players stayed in the top five throughout that time, like 888_OCTV, NOREFUNDS42, and KJulius10, but many others came and went.
Level 32 brought a solid move from RaSZi, as he was seemingly tired of holding steady in the 20-something range on the board. The following hand pushed him into 12th place:
Only four tables remained as Level 32 came to a close, but the rate of elimination slowed tremendously as players seemed to be looking forward to regrouping and resting, maybe addressing a new strategy for Day 2.
RaSZI then made another move, this time to take on philter, who moved all-in with 8♣8♥. RaSZi called with A♣K♥, and the board of Q♦A♠3♦5♥4♥ knocked philter out and pushed RaSZi up into the top ten on the leaderboard.
But soon after, all hell broke loose with one hand. A preflop raising war between KJulius10 and RaSZi ended with the latter moving all-in preflop holding Q♦Q♣. KJulius10 snap-called with A♣A♥. The hand played out as follows:
KJulius10 soared into second place in the chip counts, but that was all she wrote for Lex “RaSZi” Veldhuis, who finished the tournament in 27th place with $9,371.25.
In the last few moments of play, BrandanZ left in 26th place, and dmon2323 was eliminated in 25th place, both also taking home $9,371.25 each.
The top ten remained virtually the same through the last few levels, with the exception of cooperz0311 making a jump into the top ten during the last minutes of play. The others were comfortable in their spots, and though cashclctor remained far in front of the rest, his lead was chopped a bit by KJulius10’s recent leap into second place.
Three tables remain
The tournament was paused at the end of Level 33 with 24 players remaining, all of whom were welcome to rest for 11 hours and 10 minutes before returning to the tables.
Play was set to resume at 5:00pm ET on Monday, May 17, at the beginning of Level 34 with blinds at 17,500/35,000 and an ante of 4,375. The 20-minute levels will continue through the end of play when only one player will be left standing with one of the most coveted titles in poker.
SCOOP Event 38-Medium (NLHE Main Event) Top Chip Counts for 05/16/10 (Day 1 of 2):
1st place: cashclctor – 4,559,905 chips
2nd place: KJulius10 – 3,633,777 chips
3rd place: NOREFUNDS42 – 2,710,483 chips
4th place: 888_OCTV – 2,528,373 chips
5th place: Mr.M.M0ney – 2,460,641 chips
6th place: broseph321 – 1,959,569 chips
7th place: Athanasios 9 – 1,778,758 chips
8th place: cooperz0311 – 1,730,464 chips
9th place: delaney_kid – 1,632,757 chips
10th place: Believer82 – 1,627,288 chips