SCOOP: Don't cry for garompon; Argentinian wins Event #14, $5,200 NLHE 6-max

scoop2009_thn.gifWith a $1,500,000 guarantee, the shining star in today's SCOOP schedule was Event #14's high stakes tier, the $5,200 No Limit Hold'em 6-max tournament. But with a slow structure that included 30-minute levels and a 5,000-chip starting stack, it was no surprise that 331 players showed up to boost the prize pool to a total of $1,655,000.

A full complement of players from Team PokerStars Pro took a shot at the first place prize of $364,100, including Daniel Negreanu, Dario Minieri, John Duthie, Ivan Demidov, Hevad Khan, and William Thorson. While none of them managed to make the top 36 spots, their teammate (not to mention defending WSOP Main Event champion) Peter Eastgate represented their number in the cash with a 24th place finish.

Twelve hours and 10 minutes after the tournament began the final table bubble was burst. In the "what are the odds of that" category, just as things were getting started, gator94 noted in chat that he and fellow final table short stack agriffrod had started at the same table at the beginning of the tournament. With blinds at 1K/2K with a 250 ante, here's how the table stacked up:

Seat 1: <x||||||>< (194,208 in chips)
Seat 2: Hoss_TBF (311,605 in chips)
Seat 3: garompon (398,061 in chips)
Seat 4: Sifosis (529,181 in chips)
Seat 5: gator93 (117,972 in chips)
Seat 6: agriffrod (103,973 in chips)

SCOOP-14-H final table.jpg

In the early going agriffrod opened for 4,755 under the gun. garompon then reraised on the button, making it 14K, and made the call when agriffrod shoved for a total of 98K. It was T♦ T♣ for agriffrod against garompon's K♣ K♦, and the 8♣ 3♣ 2♣ 5♣ K♥ board ended agriffrod's journey in sixth place with $66,200.

Twelve minutes later it looked like <x||||||>< might be the next to exit - at least until the cards were turned over: he and Hoss_TBF both turned over unsuited A-J on a board of J♣ 7♦ T♠ J♦ 9♦ and chopped the 320K pot. Instead of a quick strike, it would be another 30 minutes of back-and-forth poker before the next elimination.

Sifosis would flop a set with 7♦ 7♣ on a board reading T♥ A♠ 7♥, but the J♦ gave <x||||||><'s 8♦ 9♦ a straight and doubled him up at his Sifosis' expense. Left with just 37,676 in chips, Sifosis moved all-in two minutes later with 4♣ 4♥ and got a call from garompon with A♠ Q♥. The board ran out [Qd 8c Ks Ac] 2♦ and Sifosis finished in fifth place with $99,300.

With the stacks deep at the now four-handed table, the players settled into a bit of a rhythm before Hoss_TBF opened up a lead. <x||||||>< would also grab a few good-sized pots to even up with Hoss_TBF when the 15-minute break came around at 5:58 a.m. ET. As the blinds rose to 2K/4K with a 500 ante, the remaining players' chip counts were:

Seat 1: <x||||||>< (624,565 in chips)
Seat 2: Hoss_TBF (618,038 in chips)
Seat 3: garompon (310,650 in chips)
Seat 5: gator93 (101,747 in chips)

gator93 had been running uphill throughout the final table just to stay within striking distance of the leader, often times through an all-in three-bet before the flop to claim pots uncontested. Eventually he timed his move wrong, shoving for 102K with A♠ 6♣ and running into garompon's A♥ Q♥. The board came down 7♦ 2♠ 8♣ 8♠ A♦ and gator93 left in fourth place with $132,400.

The next 20 minutes would see all three remaining players hunker down for the long haul, as each of them had at least 90 big blinds in his stack. Then came this hand that took the field down to two:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Just like that, <x||||||>< was out in third place for a prize of $190,325. Meanwhile, the heads-up chip counts were:

Seat 2: Hoss_TBF (586538 in chips)
Seat 3: garompon (1068462 in chips)

After 33 hands of heads-up play without much change, the players agreed to chop the remaining prize money according to chip count and leave $25,000 and the champion's watch on the table. That meant that whatever else happened, a guaranteed $303,295.52 was earmarked for garompon, with $288,846.98 going to Hoss_TBF. But the deal didn't guarantee a fast finish to this tournament. Both players were still deep-stacked, and there was also the matter of that extra $25,000.

For the next hour and 45 minutes, both competitors would take turns holding the chip lead, playing hundreds of hands heads-up with the title on the line. The last portion of the duel saw garompon take back the lead and slowly grind his opponent down, culminating with A♦ 8♦ holding up against Hoss_TBF's K♦ T♠ at 8:53 a.m. ET. After 16 hours and 23 minutes, Event #14 had finally drawn to a close, and Argentina could claim a high stakes SCOOP champion

Final table results (reflecting two-way deal)

1. garompon - $328,295.52
2. Hoss_TBF - $288,846.98
3. <x||||||>< - $190,325
4. gator93 - $132,400
5. Sifosis - $99,300
6. agriffrod - $66,200

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in SCOOP