SCOOP: 14 players remain, xxjondxx leads in Event 22-H $10,300 NLHE Main Event

SCOOP logo.gifEvery tournament series has its main event. After days filled with hold'em, stud, mixed games, heads-up events, and even razz for those so inclined, it all comes down to the big one. It's the tournament that everyone wants to win, a title that every poker players wants to hold, and prize money that anyone could use.

The Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) was a bit different. Instead of one main event, it offered three. As all of the events in this unique series presented three options to players - buy-ins at a high, medium, and low level - so did the main event. There were three opportunities for players with various bankroll situations to compete in their own big one, the lowest being a $109 buy-in, the medium level requiring $1,050, and the high stakes event with a $10,300 price tag. This was the latter.

Tournament organizers wisely made the main event a two-day affair, cutting off the tournament after 22 levels, which roughly translated into 12 hours of play. With the players in mind, those who would be competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars, there would be a break in the action before Day 2.

But our concern here is Day 1. It was certainly an exciting one. The $10K buy-in brought high stakes players and satellite winners alike to the felt, and the final number showed there were 502 of them altogether. That pushed just past the $5 million guarantee to create a prize pool of $5,020,000 and set the first place prize at an astounding $963,338.00. For those of you who aren't into the math portion of this recap, it's nearly a million dollars!

The tough part would be making it into the money. Only 54 spots paid, so the majority of the field would play for hours today without anything but online poker memories and a few hand histories to show for it. But that was what made it so exciting...trying to get into those 54 places, but more importantly, all the way to the final table that would be watched by online poker fans from around the world.

There were numerous Team PokerStars Pros in on the action, including Peter Eastgate, Vanessa Rousso, Hevad Khan, Alex Gomes, Noah Boeken, Leo Fernandez, Dario Minieri, Chad Brown, Greg Raymer, Daniel Negreanu, JC Alvarado, William Thorson, Bertrand Grospellier, Barry Greenstein, John Duthie, Andre Akkari, Humberto Brenes, Ivan Demidov, and Victor Ramdin. Unfortunately, none of them made it to the money, and Dennis Phillips was the last one to be eliminated in 102nd place...still a bit from that cash zone.

When the money bubble burst, courtesy of bubble player D0ntAstic who left the tournament in 55th place, that made way for Daniel "steamraise" Alaei to make it to 54th place, where he exited with $25,100 for the effort. Still remaining in the field at that point were a number of high-profile, well-respected players, including two Team PokerStars members.

Steve Paul-Ambrose finally found his way out in 40th place, which was worth $27,610 in prize money. Ylon Schwartz was not far behind, as he took a tumble in 36th place for a $30,120 payout. Schwartz's departure was documented here:

RSS readers click through to see replay

With that, the field diminished more quickly than some anticipated. As Level 21 came to a close, there were only three tables remaining with 20 players among them. And for quite some time, there were two players fighting card for card to take the chip lead. PearlJammer and j.thaddeus sat atop the leaderboard and kept their lead substantial enough that no other player was able to crack into the top two for the remainder of the evening.

As the night/morning began to wind down, THAY3R accepted a 21st place finish, Taknapotin left in 20th, FA_Morgath in 19th, MezmerizePLZ in 18th, hafizzle in 17th, N00000ooooo in 16th, and Vandiesel in 15th, the last of which happened at the hands of the fastest mover of the last level, xxjondxx. The elimination of Vandiesel happened like this:

RSS readers click through to see replay

As numerous players doubled up in the last level - MazeOrBowie, pokerjamers, teacuppoker, Moorman1, and ragen70, one competitor had his sights set only on the top of the leaderboard. Though PearlJammer and j.thaddeus held tight in the top two spots for quite some time, and Chowdahhead4 came to hold a solid third place position, it was xxjondxx who consistently chipped up and took the lead.

And that's where it stood when the overnight break kicked in. xxjondxx sat in first place, trailed closely by PearlJammer and j.thaddeus, Chowdahhead4, and actionDJ.

All of the chip counts for Day 2's returning players are below, and they will begin play in Level 23 with blinds at 2,500/5,000 and a 625 ante. The average player's stack is 358,571, but it is no-limit hold'em, and anything can happen. The final 14 competitors will return on Monday, April 13, at 16:30pm ET to play for the win.

SCOOP Event 22-High Survivors (Day 1):

1. xxjondxx (663,843)
2. PearlJammer (639,019)
3. j.thaddeus (624,273)
4. Chowdahhead4 (616,156)
5. actionDJ (561,682)
6. Moorman1 (481,702)
7. Tecknowledgy (270,525)
8. teacuppoker (241,291)
9. pokerjamers (211,112)
10. ragen70 (173,464)
11. Magisterium (163,154)
12. BriDge2PaiN (157,339)
13. MazeOrBowie (115,471)
14. $teveyMoney (100,969)

Tune in to the PokerStars blog for the live updates portion of this event as the SCOOP champion is determined. In the meantime, visit the SCOOP page for general information, the leaderboard page to track your favorite players (or yourself), or the site for all of the event highlights.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in SCOOP