SCOOP: Elite Event #16 $3,150 Stud field conquered by jmonnett

scoop2009_thn.gifToday's $3,150 Stud SCOOP event had a $150,000 guarantee before registration began, and like so many other SCOOP events so far it eventually wound up breaking that guarantee. But this tournament only topped it by one entry when 51 players were seated at the tables at the end of late registration, bumping the prize pool up to $153,000.

To be fair, the field was an elite one. If there weren't Team PokerStars Pro members like Greg Raymer, Daniel Negreanu, or Barry Greenstein at a table, there were WSOP bracelet holders like Steve "MrSmokey1" Billirakis, previous SCOOP winners like Andy McLEOD, and even one player who fit into both categories, Daniel "steamraise" Alaei. The fact that none of these esteemed players made the money (Greenstein came the closest in 10th place) was testament to how tough this field really was.

Eliminations didn't come easily, but by 11:57 p.m. ET a final table of eight players came together:

Seat 1: in_da_riva (33,124 in chips)
Seat 2: Lenny (6,212 in chips)
Seat 3: ozenc (47,984 in chips)
Seat 4: NEWYLUCK (13,248 in chips)
Seat 5: Hoss_TBF (56,294 in chips)
Seat 6: jmonnett (41,285 in chips)
Seat 7: skalexjung (17,924 in chips)
Seat 8: grapenuts (38,929 in chips)

SCOOP-16-H final table.jpg

Two unlucky players would still miss out on the money, leaving the last six to divide the spoils among themselves, but not for some time. Lenny, the incoming short stack, staved off elimination at three consecutive showdowns and would eventually claim the chip lead with more than 60K in his stack. Exactly 88 minutes (and 99 hands) after the final table began, he would also eliminate both short stacks on the same hand. With the stakes at 1600/3200 and antes of 160, ozenc began the hand with just 4 chips, while grapenuts had 2,747; they both fell victim to Lenny's K♠ 4♣ 4♠ Q♦ 5♣ 2♥ 2♠ for fours up and the tournament was in the money.

Lenny held the lead with 86K at that point, but he was unable to ever press his advantage any further. Instead he lost the majority of his confrontations over the course of the next 66 hands until, with stakes of 2K/4K and antes of 200, he was all-in on third street with 9♦ K♠ Kd] against NEWYLUCK's 8♣ A♦ Q♦. NEWYLUCK caught an ace on fifth, all he would need to send Lenny home in sixth place with $8,415.

Just a few minutes later the stakes went up to 2.5K/5K with 250 antes, and Hoss_TBF - who finished in second place last night in Event #14, $5,150 NLHE 6-max - had a stack worth 27K. After firing bets on third and fourth streets, he check-called all the way down with a board showing Q♣ 3♣ 4♥ 5♠ but mucked his cards when he couldn't beat NEWYLUCK's buried pair of nines. Down to just 4K after that hand, Hoss_TBF would exit shortly afterward in fifth place with $11,475.

With four players remaining skalexjung was in second position with 70K in chips, but he would suffer a poor run at the wrong time. First he built a large pot holding a pair of eights and a backdoor flush draw against in_da_riva, only to have in_da_riva catch a pair of aces on sixth street to knock skalexjung down to 48K. Then, with 67K in the pot and his board reading
4♣ A♠ 2♠ 7♣ he would muck his cards on seventh street after betting out and being raised by NEWYLUCK with a board of 9♣ 4♦ 2♦ J♠. Despite managing to double up once, skalexjung would leave the tournament in fourth place with $15,300 when his split pair of nines was run down when jmonnett drew a jack on sixth street to make a higher pair.

That left the three remaining players relatively close in chips - NEYWLUCK had the lead but jmonnett and in_da_riva were within three big bets of each other. The character of the game changed completely; where before there had been carefully considered bets on most streets, now everyone fired bullets with reckless abandon. Unsurprisingly this led to a constantly shifting chip lead, with each player trying on the crown before passing it to his left for the better part of the next 30 minutes.

But as is always the case, someone had to make an exit. With the stakes at 3K/6K with 600 antes, the pressure was high enough on every hand that it could have happened to anyone. But after trading back and forth with his opponents for so long, in_da_riva would finally slip in the chip counts when jmonnett's split pair of sixes evolved into three of a kind on the river, good enough to top his mucked board of 7♦ 5♥ 9♥ 5♠. A few minutes later jmonnett would make tens and fives by fourth street and get paid off by in_da_riva's lonely pair of sixes, and on the next hand in_da_riva would exit in third place with $22,950 courtesy of NEWYLUCK's pair of jacks against his own pair of deuces.

When heads-up play began, jmonnett held the chip lead:

Seat 4: NEWYLUCK (72,366 in chips)
Seat 6: jmonnett (182,634 in chips)

He turned up the heat even further than he had three-handed, at some points almost seeming as if he didn't have any buttons on his screen that didn't say 'raise.' The aggressive approach proved to be the best one; jmonnett consistently took down pots on third and fourth streets and generally whittled NEWYLUCK down, so that even when he lost the occasional pot he still had a bigger chip lead than when the heads-up confrontation began.

In fact, only once in the course of the 71 hands the two played did NEWYLUCK go above his incoming stack of 72K, and he only managed to take three pots worth more than six big bets. The rest of the time it was the jmonnett show. On the final hand, after three hours and 15 minutes of final table play, jmonnett made a pair of eights on fifth street and managed to dodge NEWYLUCK's gutshot draw and pair of deuces to close out a skillful performance with a SCOOP win.

Final table results
1. jmonnett - $56,610
2. NEWYLUCK - $38,250
3. in_da_riva - $22,950
4. skalexjung - $15,300
5. Hoss_TBF - $11,475
6. Lenny - $8,415

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in 2009