Aside from the $2,500 buy-in mixed hold’em event at the World Series of Poker, SCOOP’s Event #9-High is the richest mixed hold’em event of the year, live or online. Granted, the mix itself is a new one, introduced at the WSOP and the PokerStars tables only a few years back, but it presents an interesting conundrum for players. On one hand, there’s the wild three-bet-four-bet-shove-call action of contemporary six-max no-limit hold’em, and on the other, there’s the patience and finesse of limit hold’em, where a bet saved is a bet earned. Mixed hold’em is all about finding the right gear at the right time, and as we found out at the tables today, some players drive stick-shift better than others.
206 players put up $2,100 apiece, inching the $412,000 prizepool just past its $400,000 guarantee. 30 places were paid with first place set to earn $94,760. The field was peppered with familiar screen names, everyone from “TMay420” to “stevie444” to “t soprano” and “WhooooKidd.” More than a dozen Team PokerStars Pros bought in, including George Danzer, Anh Van Nguyen, Barry Greenstein, Chad Brown, Johannes Steindl, Victor Ramdin, Vanessa Rousso, and Noah Boeken.
With 14 players to go, three Team Pros were still in contention– Brazil’s Alexandre Gomes, Germany’s Sebastian Ruthenberg, and Canadian Pat Pezzin. Gomes busted in 14th place after running two pair into iCeVeNoM’s set, much to the disappointment of the crowded rail of Brazilians cheering him on with the omnipresent cry of “vamooooooo!” Sebastian Ruthenberg fell in 12th a short time later, leaving Pezzin as the last Team Pro standing.
Ryan “g0lfa” D’Angelo has been running hot to say the least. After winning two WCOOP bracelets last fall, he came in fifth at the PCA for a $700,000 score. He cashed the NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event in April and already has one SCOOP final table under his belt this year with a seventh-place finish in Event #2-M, NLHE (2-day). D’Angelo would have loved to add a second one, but came up just short tonight. After getting counterfieted on the river by Daniel “djk123” Kelly in a limit hold’em hand, he got the rest of his money in with J♦10♥ against Kelly’s A♣10♣ on a jack-high flop, but Kelly turned an ace to send him to the rail on the final table bubble.
With D’Angelo’s departure, our six remaining players arrived at the final table. Here’s how they stacked up:
Seat 1: jama-dharma (189,493 in chips)
Seat 2: iCeVeNoM (91,076 in chips)
Seat 3: Radioheads (57,148 in chips)
Seat 4: Pat Pezzin (342,967 in chips)
Seat 5: djk123 (126,052 in chips)
Seat 6: mement_mori (223,264 in chips)
The level of talent at this final table was staggering. Pat Pezzin, one of the newest members of Team PokerStars Pro, nearly won a WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 World Championship Limit Hold’em event last summer and cashed in the mixed hold’em event in 2007 and 2008. He’s no slouch at no-limit hold’em, either. He’s earned two runner-up finishes in the $215 rebuy in the last five months.
As for the rest? Denmark’s Mickey “mement_mori” Petersen was nominated for Rookie of the Year at the PokerStars Nordic Poker Awards this year and has multiple victories in the $109 Rebuy. Jama-dharma is one of the most successful limit hold’em cash game players on PokerStars and can often be found raking in chips at limits from $30-$60 to $200-$400. Radioheads made the final table of the Sunday Warm-Up on April 26th, finishing in fifth place for $38,250. Saul “iCeVeNoM” Khalili won the $530 buy-in NLHE triple shootout at the 2009 WCOOP. The 23-year old UCLA grad also has a $109 rebuy victory and a runner-up finish in the Super Tuesday on his poker C.V. Rounding out the sextet was two-time WCOOP bracelet winner Daniel “djk123” Kelly. As if that weren’t enough, he made another six-figure score in March when he came in second in the Sunday Warm-Up for $109,300.
Easy game, right?
While still recovering from his own deep run in this event, Alex Gomes popped back in to host the final table. Pat Pezzin congratulated him on his finish.
Pat Pezzin said, “thanks gomes….good showing urself”
Mement_mori gave up some ground to iCeVeNoM early on. In a no-limit hold’em hand, iCeVeNoM got all his chips in before the flop with pocket aces against pocket tens, earning a key double-up. That left Radioheads on the short stack, and with the action folded around to him on the button, he moved all-in for his last 19,000 and Pat Pezzin called from the small blind. Radioheads’ hand was caught in the cookie jar, his Q♦3♣ up against Pezzin’s K♥J♠. An ace-high flop and a king on the turn sealed up the hand for Pezzin and Radioheads exited in sixth place, earning $16,892.
Although djk123 was short-stacked on the bubble, he steadily worked his way up to the middle of the pack. Meanwhile, iCeVeNoM continued to pillage mement_mori’s stack, as evidenced in this hand.
As the game shifted back to limit hold’em and the betting limits rose to 5,000-10,000, both Pat Pezzin and jama-dharma went on a tear. At the beginning of the level all five players had six figure stacks and by the end, Pezzin and jama-dharma were the dominant chip leaders. Pezzin alone added about 135,000 to his stack during that level, going from 297,000 to 435,000.
In this hand, Pezzin picked up aces and got paid off in a big way:
Both djk123 and mement_mori were short-stacked by the end of that brutal level. Djk123 was the first to succumb, getting the rest of his chips in on a K♠6♦4♣ flop holding pocket fives. Jama-dharma looked him up with K♥J♣ and although djk123 picked up an open-ended straight draw on the turn when the 7♠ fell, he couldn’t fill it on the river and ended his run in fifth place. He earned $24,720.
Jama-dharma put mement_mori on the ropes a few hands later. He rivered two pair in a limit hold’em hand and from mement_mori’s exasperated reaction, one can only assume he had the best hand on the turn. Mement_mori was able to double up once, but jama-dharma took him out three hands later on the first hand of the 1,250/2,500/325 NLHE level. Mement_mori shoved from the small blind for 28,583 with 6♣9♥ and jama-dharma called with K♣6♠ in the big blind. Mement_mori’s dominated hand did not improve and he hit the rail in fourth place for a $32,960 score.
As play turned three-handed, jama-dharma held 509,000, Pezzin had 427,000 and iCeVeNoM was on the short stack with 93,000. ICeVeNoM won a key coinflip, however, his pocket sixes flopping a set and turning a boat against jama-dharma’s A♠K♦ to boost his stack over the 200,000 mark. A short time later, he took another big NLHE pot off jama-dharma, putting those two within 25,000 chips of each other.
ICeVeNoM’s comeback was short-lived, however. While jama-dharma continued to run hot and pulled within even of Pezzin, iCeVeNoM ‘s chip count sank. Down to 148,000 in chips, iCeVeNoM called jama-dharma’s 8,000 pre-flop raise and the two saw a K♥10♦2♠ flop. Jama-dharma led out for 11,000 and iCeVeNoM called. The turn was the Q♥ and jama-dharma checked. ICeVeNoM bet 27,111 and jama-dharma called. The river was the Q♦ and jama-dharma checked again. ICeVeNoM bet 42,125 and jama-dharma looked him up, turning over A♠K♠ for top two pair. ICeVeNoM had nothing but a busted draw with J♠7♠ and jama-dharma raked in the pot, leaving iCeVeNoM on only 60,000 in chips.
Although iCeVeNoM managed to double up twice, taking his stack back up to 240,000, he started bleeding chips again once the game switched back to limit hold’em. Jama-dharma ended up taking him out in third place when he turned two pair against iCeVeNoM’s top pair. All the money went in on the river, with the board reading A♠K♣8♣7♦5♦. It was K♠7♣ for jama-dharma and A♣9♦ for iCeVenom, whose SCOOP run ended with a $49,440 score.
With that, Pat Pezzin and jama-dharma were left to fight it out heads-up. Here’s a look at their chip count as the match began:
Seat 1: jama-dharma (459,602 in chips)
Seat 4: Pat Pezzin (570,398 in chips)
After 25 minutes of play, their stacks were virtually even, jama-dharma with 507,000 and Pezzin with 522,000. Then jama-dharma won five limit hold’em hands in a row, pilfering 150,000 chips from Pezzin’s stack. Of those five hands, jama-dharma only showed down once– Q-4 for trip queens. From there jama-dharma turned on the gas, winning 18 of the next 23 hands to send Pezzin’s stack plummeting to 117,000 while he was up to 912,000.
The game was limit hold’em and the stakes 10,000-20,000 when the final hand unfolded. Jama-dharma opened for a raise, Pezzin three-bet and jama-dharma called. Pezzin led out on the K♠J♣3♠ flop and jama-dharma smooth-called. The turn was the 9♣ and Pezzin fired again. Jama-dharma raised and Pezzin reraised all-in for 12,398 more. Jama-dharma called and turned over K♦2♦ for top pair, while Pezzin was looking for an ace or a club with A♣7♣. The river, though, was the 9♠ and jama-dharma took it down with two pair, kings and nines, earning his first SCOOP title and $94,760. Pat Pezzin had to settle for second, but earned $65,920 for a hard-fought battle.
SCOOP Event #9-High, $2,100 Mixed Hold’em (6-max) Results
1. jama-dharma ($94,760)
2. Pat Pezzin ($65,920)
3. Saul “iCeVeNoM” Khalili ($49,440)
4. Mickey “mement_mori” Petersen ($32,960)
5. Daniel “djk123” Kelly ($24,720)
6. Radioheads ($16,892)
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