SCOOP: AJB444 prevents a Grinder repeat, taking down Event #18-low, $55 limit O8

SCOOP logo.gif Less than 24 hours after taking down a SCOOP title in the $320 Seven-Card Stud event, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi had built himself another commanding chip lead, his stack nearly triple that of his closest competitor with three tables remaining in Event #18-low, $55 Omaha hi/lo. With the aggressive and tricky WPT champion sitting on such a massive stack, the prospect of him winning back-to--back SCOOP events was a very real possibility. However, as we know all too well in tournament poker, fortunes can turn around in an instant, and after a difficult run in heads-up play, Mizrachi would have to settle for second place tonight, Omaha hi/lo tournament veteran AJB444 coming from behind to take down the title. Fittingly enough, both players now have a first and a second place SCOOP finish to their credit, AJB44's runner-up finish coming in Event #13-Low, $22 Razz.

2,561 players came out for this event, creating a $128,050 prize pool. 432 places were paid, first place prize money set at $20,103.86. Representing Team PokerStars Pro in the field were Chris Moneymaker, Katja Thater, Marcin Horecki and Friend of PokerStars Darus Suharto, though unfortunately none of them finished in the money.

Here's how the final nine stacked up as the final table got underway:

Seat 1: scalpelexis1 (428,368 in chips)
Seat 2: litharis (904,244 in chips)
Seat 3: The Grinder (3,997,588 in chips)
Seat 4: msutter (1,771,170 in chips)
Seat 5: AJB444 (757,409 in chips)
Seat 6: smoofbettor (471,992 in chips)
Seat 7: BigHuddy (1,792,556 in chips)
Seat 8: tarnishdhalo (1,752,717 in chips)
Seat 9: get crunk (928,956 in chips)


As one of the two shortest stacks coming into the final table, smoofbettor didn't have much room for error with the betting limits sky-high at 80,000-160,000. Smoofbettor saw a few flops but didn't connect, and ended up putting his last 81,992 in pre-flop against The Grinder and BigHuddy, who continued betting on the side. The flop came down J♠9♦3♦ and BigHuddy bet out. The Grinder raised and BigHuddy called. The 9♥ came on the turn and BigHuddy slowed down, checking over to The Grinder, who put out 160,000. BigHuddy called and off they went to the river... the 8♥. Both players checked, BigHuddy turning up Q♦3♥3♣2♠ for threes full of nines. The Grinder's A♦J♦8♣4♣ for jacks up was no good, and smoofbetter mucked his hand as well, exiting in ninth place for a $1,024.41 payday.

Near the bottom of the remaining pack, AJB444 picked up A♥A♦3♣8♣ and decided to smooth-call The Grinder's pre-flop raise. The Grinder led out on the K♠5♠4♥ flop, AJB444 flat-calling once again. The turn was the J♦ and Grinder bet out again, AJB444 coming along with a call. The 2♥ on the river was nothing short of AJB444's perfect card and The Grinder did his bidding for him, leading out for another 160,000. AJB44 raised all in and The Grinder called, showing K♥5♥3♦2♣-- he'd flopped two pair and a straight draw, cracking his opponent's aces, but the deuce on the river made AJB444 a wheel. He scooped the pot, doubling through The Grinder and on the very next deal, went to war with tarnishdhalo, making another wheel with K♦J♦3♣2♣ on an A♦5♥4♦J♣K♣ board. The two pots took him from 667,000 to over 2.2 million just like that.

Less than an orbit later, msutter scored a double-knockout, eliminating two players on the same hand. Scalpelexis1 led off the pre-flop action, raising to 160,000 and both msutter and tarnishdhalo called. Tarnishdhalo checked the J♥5♣4♥ flop, scalpelexis1 putting out a continuation bet that was called by both opponents. When the 6♠ hit the turn, tarnishdhalo decided to lead out for 160,000, scalpelexis1 called all in, msutter raised to 320,000 and tarnishdhalo called. Tarnishdhalo's last 725 chips went in on the river when it fell the 2♣, his pair of deuces and 6-5 low with A♥K♠9♥2♦ no match for msutter's six-high straight for high and wheel for low with A♠3♦5♠8♠. With A♣A♦7♦6♦ for a pair of aces and a 6-5 low, scalpelexis1's hand was toast as well and msutter scooped the pot, eliminating both his opponents and sending his stack up over the 3 million mark. Since scalpelexis1 started with fewer chips, he took home eighth place honors and $1,664.66 while tarnishdhalo earned $2,945.16 for seventh place. .

Litharis was down to 379,000 when he made what would end up being his final move. After litharis put in a pre-flop raise to 200,000, The Grinder three-bet to isolate and the rest of the table folded. Litahris four-bet all in for his last 79,000 and The Grinder called, turning up A♦K♣J♣6♣ to litharis' A♠J♠T♠8♣. The board ran out T♣8♦5♣Q♠4♣, Though litharis flopped top two pair, the Grinder's king-high flush draw came in on the river to take litharis out in sixth place. He earned $4,224.66 for his finish.

At this point, get crunk assumed the role of short stack, but did manage to double up through BigHuddy when he rivered trip aces for high and BigHuddy's low draw failed to materialize. He continued his hot streak, doubling again only a few orbits later when he flopped a set and turned a full house against msutter, sending his chip stack up to 2.64 million. Bit by bit he blinds ate away at BigHuddy's stack and with 384,000 remaining, he got all in pre-flop against AJB444, his K♠J♣7♣2♠ up against A♥K♥Q♣5♠. The A♦9♦9♠ flop all but sealed up the hand for AJB444, the turn and river pairing tens to send BigHuddy home in fifth place for a $5,506.16 score.

Just as BigHuddy was making his exit, Team PokerStars Pro Noah "Exclusive" Boeken stopped by the final table to wish The Grinder good luck.

Exclusive: keep grinding out those low buyin SCOOP events!
The Grinder: lol
The Grinder: lol
The Grinder: can't win the big ones

With four players remaining, The Grinder, AJB444 and msutter were all closely bunched together in the chip count with 3.7-3.8 million apiece while get crunk was hanging on with 1.5 million. However, get crunk would lose half of those chips to The Grinder on the first deal of four-handed play when he hit two pair queens and eights only to lose to The Grinder's flopped set of tens. Get crunk did his best to mount a comeback but would ultimately fall to AJB444. Get crunk called AJB444's pre-flop raise as well as his lead bet on the T♦4♣4♠ flop. When the Q♣ came on the turn AJB444 bet out again, get crunk raising all in for his remaining 441,184 and earning a call. Though get crunk had queens up with A♠Q♠9♥5♦, AJB444 had him beat with K♦K♣6♣2♦ for kings up. The J♣ on the river changed nothing and get crunk hit the rail in fourth place, good for a $7,262.88 take.

Though The Grinder came into the final table with an overwhelming chip lead and looked set to vacuum up the rest of his opponents' stacks, at this point, the chip count picture had been significantly altered. After knocking out get crunk, AJB444 was up to over 8.5 million while The Grinder held 3.5 million and msutter was the short stack with 711,000. Three-handed play would last all of one hand, msutter committing the last of his chips on a Q♠4♠2♦ flop against The Grinder. Though msutter had hit top pair with K♣Q♣T♦8♣, The Grinder woke up with A♦A♣9♣4♥. It looked like msutter would get a stay of execution when the Q♦ spiked on the turn, making him trips, but in a cruel turn of fate, the A♥ hit the river, making The Grinder aces full and eliminating msutter in third place. He collected $10,630.72 for his finish.

AJB444 held about a 2 to 1 chip lead over The Grinder as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 3: The Grinder (4,233,597 in chips)
Seat 5: AJB444 (8,571,403 in chips)

After exchanging a few mid-size pots, The Grinder was able to take a slim chip lead over AJB444. With the betting limits up to 160,000-320,000, The Grinder opened for a raise, AJB444 three-bet and The Grinder called. AJB444 led out on the J♦8♣4♣ flop, The Grinder raised, AJB444 three-bet and The Grinder called. The 9♣ landed on the turn and AJB44 led again. The Grinder put in another raise and AJB444 smooth-called. AJB444 check-called one more bet from The Grinder on the T♣ river, The Grinder rolling over T♠7♦5♣2♣ for the flush. The pot put The Grinder's stack at 6.7 million to AJB444's 6.1 million.

Unfortunately for The Grinder, things didn't stay that way for long. AJB444 won nine out of the next ten pots to put The Grinder on the ropes with less than 1.5 million in chips.

First, AJB444 made a queen-high straight on a board where there was no possible low to take down a 2.8 million chip pot:

Three hands later, AJB444 flopped trip eights and rivered a low to scoop this 2.2 million pot:

Finally, he crippled The Grinder when he turned a jack-high flush and an 8-7 low:

On what would be the last hand of the tournament, both players limped in and saw a Q♥8♥2♦ flop. AJB444 bet out and The Grinder called. The 2♠ on the turn paired the board and AJB444 led at it again. The Grinder raised, AJB444 called and off they went to the river. It was the T♦ and AJB444 bet another 320,000. The Grinder called all in for less, revealing K♠Q♠5♠3♠ for queens and deuces but it was no match for AJB444's queen-high straight with J♠9♥7♥6♦. With neither player making a low, AJB444 scooped the pot, ending The Grinder's hopes of back-to-back SCOOP victories. To go with his SCOOP title, AJB444 earned $20,103.86 and a Champion's Watch while The Grinder added $14,981.86 to this till for his runner-up finish.

Results for SCOOP Event #18-Low, $55 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo

1. AJB444 ($20,103.86)
2. Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi ($14,981.86)
3. msutter ($10,630.72)
4. get crunk ($7,362.88)
5. BigHuddy ($5.506.16)
6. litharis ($4,225.66)
7. tarnishdhalo ($2,945.16)
8. scalpelexis1 ($1,664.66)
9. smoofbettor ($1,024.41)

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP