SCOOP: Canada's PokerKai brings his "eh" game in Event #4, $1,575 NLHE 2XC turbo

SCOOP logo.gifAfter yesterday's marathon of twelve-hour deep-stacked tournaments, the speed and gambool of today's NLHE turbo event was a welcome change of pace for everyone. 552 players turned out for the $1,575 buy-in installment of SCOOP Event #4, creating a prize pool of $1,251,000 after 282 of them exercised their second-chance "rebuy" (in this double-chance tournament, players were allowed to buy back in one time only for an additional $1,500 should they lose all their chips before the first break). 63 places were paid with the winner taking home a whopping $237,690.

Team PokerStars Pro was well-represented in this event with Peter Eastgate, Leo Fernandez, Andre Akkari, Marcin Horecki, William Thorson, Alexandre Gomes, Humberto Brenes, Steve Paul-Ambrose, Ivan Demidov, Vanessa Rousso, Victor Ramdin, Katja Thater, Gavin Griffin, Alex Kravchenko, Dario Minieri, and Chad Brown all buying in. Though none of the Team Pros went on to cash, Friend of PokerStars Darus Suharto, he of the sixth-place finish in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, came in 18th in this event, collecting a $10,008 payday.

With the average stack between 12 and 13 big blinds, speed indeed would rule the day at this final table, which took a scant 79 hands to arrive at a winner, 35 of them played heads-up. Here's how the chip counts looked as we hit the final table:

Seat 1: buck21 (499,847 in chips)
Seat 2: PokerKai (1,355,102 in chips)
Seat 3: ch0ppy (394,207 in chips)
Seat 4: slammedfire (148,930 in chips)
Seat 5: xxjondxx (444,238 in chips)
Seat 6: Yo Burger (159,889 in chips)
Seat 7: yayaya (181,739 in chips)
Seat 8: Chowdahhead4 (287,514 in chips)
Seat 9: gibralter11 (698,534 in chips)

SCOOP Event 4 FT.jpg


Ch0ppy managed to double up on the fourth hand of the final table. PokerKai opened for 400,000 and ch0ppy called all in for 334,207, revealing a pair of kings in the hole that crushed PokerKai's 6♥6♣. No six on the board for PokerKai, and ch0ppy increased his stack to a much-healthier 747,164. From there, the players went on a five-minute break and once they returned, the action proceeded at a breakneck pace.

First to fall was Chowdahhead4, who called all in from the big blind after ch0ppy moved all in from middle position. Though Chowdahhead4 was ahead with A♣K♠ against ch0ppy's 9♥T♦, the board ran out 7♥Q♥7♣T♥3♦, ch0ppy spiking a ten on the turn to eliminate him in ninth place. For his efforts today, Chowdahhead earned $20,766.60.

On the very next deal, slammedfire got his remaining 75,805 all in before the flop with A♦4♠ against gibralter11's K♦Q♠, but a king on the flop ended his run in eigthth place for a $28,147.50 score. Before special guest host Greg Raymer could even congratulate slammedfire on his final table run, yayaya was all in for his last 92,364 and got two callers in PokerKai and gibralter11, who checked down the 2♠Q♦Q♠9♥9♣ board. PokerKai showed K♠T♠ for queens and nines with a king kicker and it was good enough to take down the pot and send yayaya home with $40,657.50 for seventh place.

There was nary a second for our final six to take a breath as another all-in unfolded on the next hand. Xxjondxx moved all in from UTG for 355,488 and ch0ppy made the call, his A♣T♠ dominating xxjondxx's A♥4♥. Ch0ppy hit a ten on the flop and xxjondxx hit the rail in sixth place, earning $53,167.50.

After four all-ins and four eliminations in four hands you think that they might slow down now? Au contraire! Critically short-stacked, Yo Burger doubled through gibralter11 on the next hand when his K♣8♥ hit an eight on the flop and a king on the turn to best his opponent's A♦6♦. The two hooked up again on the following deal, Yo Burger shoving for 158,528 with K♠7♥ and gibralter11 calling from the big blind with J♦4♦. Gibralter11 made two pair on the 4♠2♠2♦ flop, but Yo Burger caught up on the turn when the 7♠ fell. The 8♠ on the river gave Yo Burger a flush to boot and he earned a second-double up.

"Good news guys," announced Greg Raymer from the rail. "You're up to an avg stack of 20bb!"

At this point, Yo Burger, gibralter11 and buck21 were all sitting on ten big blinds while PokerKai and ch0ppy were up to the 1.4-1.5 million range. Additionally, as Yo Burger pointed out, four of the five remaining players were Canadian, gibralter11 the lone Yankee left.

Newly minted Team PokerStars Pro Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck was also sweating the action and offered some words of encouragement for her friend ch0ppy.

"GLGL ch0ppy, in Canadian dollars this could be like 1 bagillion?" she joked.

Unfortunately for ch0ppy, he'd double up buck21 at a critical time when his K♣Q♠ couldn't improve against buck21's A♣J♥. Buck21 went on to take down five consecutive pots, chipping up to nearly 1.1 million, leaving Yo Burger and gibralter11 as the short stacks. Yo Burger would be the next to exit, moving all in over the top of PokerKai's pre-flop opening raise. PokerKai called, his A♥9♥ dominating Yo Burger's A♦4♥. A nine hit the flop, another hit the turn and Yo Burger was eliminated in fifth place, collecting $68,805.

One hand later, gibralter11 shoved for 373,558 and buck21 made the call from the button. Buck21 had his opponent dominated, his A♥J♠ holding up against Q♦J♣ to take gibralter11 out in fourth place creating an all-Canadian final three. Gibralter11 earned $97,578 for less than four hours of work.

With the final table now three-handed, the stacks were back up to the 20-30 big blind range, with most pots taken down with a pre-flop raise or reraise. Much to Maridu's dismay, ch0ppy ended up finishing in third place, getting his money in pre-flop with K♥T♠ and finding his hand dominated by PokerKai's A♥T♣. A ten hit the flop, but there was no king on the turn or river to safe the man from Waterloo, who exited the tournament $128,227.50 richer.

PokerKai had a commanding chip lead over buck21 as heads-up play commenced. Here's a look at their stacks:

Seat 1: buck21 (1,045,552 in chips)
Seat 2: PokerKai (3,124,448 in chips)

The second hand of heads-up brought their first major confrontation... and a serious cooler. Check out how this hand played out:


Their chip counts were a bit more even after that, buck21 with 1.95 million to PokerKai's 2.2 million. The two exchanged small pots for a couple of levels, the blinds climbing all the way up to 60,000/120,000 with a 15,000 ante. PokerKai won a few small pots, griding up a bit of a chip lead and got his stack back up to where he started heads-up play after this hand while buck21 was back below the 10 big blind mark.



On what would be the last hand of the tournament, buck21 moved all in for 1.3 million from the small blind with 6♥7♠ and PokerKai called with A♣8♦. The ace-high held up on the K♥J♥3♣2♥Q♣ board and PokerKai notched the win, earning a SCOOP title, $237,690, and bragging rights among his fellow Canadians. For his runner-up finish buck21 received $175,150.

Results for SCOOP Event #4-High, $1,575 NLHE (2XC-Turbo)

1. PokerKai ($237,690.00)
2. buck21 ($175,140.00)
3. ch0ppy ($128,227.50)
4. gibralter11 ($97,578.00)
5. Yo Burger ($68,805.00)
6. xxjondxx ($53,167.50)
7. yayaya ($40,657.50)
8. slammedfire ($28,147.50)
9. Chowdahhead4 ($20,766.60)

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP