SCOOP: MCMATTO was the master of the 2-day Event 08-H $3,150 NLHE

SCOOP logo.gifLate last night - early morning for most in the U.S. - the high stakes Event 8 tournament stopped at the end of Level 22 with 12 hours of play in the books. But there were 34 players left... Who would win? Would Daniel Negreanu pull off a stunning comeback from his short stack? Oh, the drama!

Kidding aside, the break was a much-needed rest period for those who were still in the game and looking at the possibility of many more hours of play to reach the final table. Players generally like two-day events because they can fend off exhaustion moves and mistakes made because of that need for sleep. Thus, the 34 players returned for Day 2 of their Event 8 tournament with a renewed vigor and possibly some updated strategy to make the most of their many hours at these tables.

To refresh your memories about the stats of this tournament, the $3,150 buy-in high level of Event 8 attracted 915 players. That number wasn't enough to surpass the guarantee, so the $3 million offered by PokerStars kicked in as the prize pool. The final 99 players reached the money, with Team PokerStars pro Andre Akkari finishing deep in 50th place for $10,200.

Daniel "Kid Poker" Negreanu was still in the running in Day 2, but not before a roller coaster ride of a first day that took him from solid chip position all the way up to third in chips, courtesy of a 314K chip pot. But not long after, he admittedly misclicked to get into a 500K pot with 4-3 and lost the hand to be relegated to the 100K mark. From there, he went up and down but finally finished the day in 32nd chip position out of 34 players.

The one who ended the day in the best position, however, was hadouk3n, who finished with a 2-to-1 lead over nearest competitor Choron. And that brought us to Day 2, which began with Level 23 with 2,500/5,000 blinds and a 625 ante.

Action began with some of the shorter stacks looking to make moves, and Mrjackdawson was the first to go in 34th place. He was followed by the last Team PokerStars Pro standing, Daniel Negreanu, in 33rd place. Other notable bust-outs included Boosted J in 25th and fouruhaters in the 19th spot.

As the final table approached and two tables remained less than two hours into the day's action, play slowed to a near crawl, as the money jumps became pretty significant and a SCOOP title edged ever closer. hadouk3n lost his chip lead but still held on in the fourth spot on the leaderboard, while pokerjamers jumped to the top of the board. Choron maintained second position, and rubenrtv still sat in third. But hadouk3n climbed into third by eliminating actionDJ in 14th place, and then he went further to take second by eliminating The Camel in 13th place.

After KingKobeMVP finally eliminated the ultra-short-stacked __2cb__ in 12th place, and after numerous double-ups and more than 30 minutes of play, pokerjamers took out ragen70 in 11th place. That brought them to hand-for-hand play, which finally ended with tunnny pushing his very short stack of 137,662 into the pot preflop with pocket nines. But Choron called with pocket tens, and the board came down K♦ A♦ 8♦ 2♥ 2♦ to eliminate tunnny on the final table bubble. That tenth place finish was worth $33,000.

And the final table was set with chip counts as follows:

Seat 1: KingKobeMVP (642,861 in chips)
Seat 2: Choron (1,302,043 in chips)
Seat 3: nofingclue11 (263,740 in chips)
Seat 4: rubenrtv (1,110,771 in chips)
Seat 5: pokerjamers (2,381,291 in chips)
Seat 6: MCMATTO (871,427 in chips)
Seat 7: Skint Paddy (893,200 in chips)
Seat 8: hadouk3n (1,313,956 in chips)
Seat 9: mahoney3 (370,711 in chips)

SCOOP Event 8 - High final table screen shot.JPG

The solid lead was held by pokerjamers going into nine-handed action, but it was one of the short stacks who had some extra support. Team PokerStars Pros Victor Ramdin and Noah Boeken both wrote wishes of good luck in the chat box directed at mahoney3.

In the first hour, exactly no monster hands took place, no players doubled up, and not much changed with the top few stacks. Part of the reason was certainly because the difference between ninth place and eighth place was $27,000, which is nothing to discount. And potentially life-changing money of $550,500 taunted them all from the first place payout section of the tournament lobby, making none of them want to push all-in with anything less than a stellar hand. So, they played on.

A short time later, there was one hand that brought hadouk3n down from the top of the chip counts to near the bottom, courtesy of Skint Paddy:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Then things took another turn. pokerjamers and Choron got involved in a pot that resulted in the 1.1 million chips being shipped to pokerjamers and Choron becoming one of the shorter stacks at the table. Soon after, Choron was in the big blind and went to see a flop with MCMATTO that came down 7♥ T♣ 5♣. MCMATTO put in a bet, and Choron check-raised. MCMATTO responded by pushing all-in, and Choron called all-in for his tournament life holding K♦ T♦. MCMATTO had him dominated with the set, which turned into a full house when the 5♥ came on the turn. The 4♥ on the river changed nothing and sent Choron out in ninth place with a $39,000 consolation prize.

Over the course of the next 45 minutes, hadouk3n managed to double through MCMATTO with pocket aces versus the latter's A-K. But it was another double-up that led to an elimination. nofkingclue11 doubled through KingKobeMVP and left KingKobeMVP with very few chips left behind. After a few folds, he finally pushed for his last 55,350 from the small blind with T♠ 7♦ and got a call from nofingclue11 holding K♦ 4♠. The board came A♥ 5♣ 9♣ 6♥ A♦ to end the hand and eliminate KingKobeMVP in eighth place with $66,000.

Side note going well into the second hour of the final table with seven players remaining: According to the Random House dictionary, the definition of "slow" as an adjective is "taking or requiring a comparatively long time for completion."

The opposite of slow, in the fictional poker dictionary, is moving all-in. That was what mahoney3 finally decided to do preflop after an initial raise from Skint Paddy. The 317,836 of mahoney3 went in with A♣ 3♥, but Skint Paddy called with the dominating A♥ T♣. The board brought a ten on the flop of the 6♦ T♦ 5♥ 6♥ Q♦ board to send mahoney3 out in sixth place with a $96,000 prize.

Over the course of the next hour, it was MCMATTO's time to shine. After doubling through pokerjamers to take a significant chip lead that neared the 3-million mark, he seemed unstoppable. Since rubenrtv had been looking for some action, MCMATTO decided to give it to him, and some betting and raising led them to the 6♣ 4♣ 8♥ flop. rubenrtv led out, but when MCMATTO raised, rubenrtv responded with an all-in move with pocket tens. MCMATTO called with 8♣ 7♣ and the flush draw. rubenrtv's hand was good when the 4♠ turn, but the 3♣ came on the river to give MCMATTO the flush. That left rubenrtv out with a sixth place finish and $126,000 in cold, hard, virtual cash.

Skint Paddy finally ran out of steam and pushed all-in from the big blind for just under a million chips. MCMATTO called from the small blind with A♥ J♦, which dominated the A♣ 9♠ of Skint Paddy. The flop of 9♦ 3♥ 7♥ looked good for the all-in player, but a J♣ on the turn gave the advantage back to MCMATTO. The K♥ hit on the river to end it and send Skint Paddy packing in fifth place, for which he received $156,000.

The ever-struggling but hanging-in-there nofingclue11 was able to double through hadouk3n to get some life back into his stack, but he remained the short stack with less than 1 million chips. MCMATTO furthered his chip lead and sat with over 5 million, while pokerjamers and hadouk3n persevered in the 1.5 million chip range. With blinds escalating through Level 34 - 17,500/35,000 and a 5,000 ante - it would be time for the shorter stacks to move in the next hour.

It was nofingclue11 who quietly chipped up while hadouk3n slipped. Finally, hadouk3n pushed all-in preflop with A♣ J♣, and he was called by nofingclue11 and his pocket sevens. The board started with 9♦ K♣ 7♣ which gave trips to nofingclue11 but the flush draw to hadouk3n, but the 2♥ on the turn and T♥ weren't helpful to the short stack. hadouk3n was forced out in fourth place with $223,500.

The final three players decided to discuss a chip-chop and pause the game to see some numbers, though it seemed unlikely from their comments that a deal would be easily struck. Various disagreements about numbers caused the host to restart play, but the players continued to talk and asked for another pause in the action. Shockingly, the three came to an agreement that would leave $60,000 out for the winner and award the players as follows:

Seat 3: nofingclue11 (2,180,479 in chips) = $390,000
Seat 5: pokerjamers (1,974,014 in chips) = $380,000
Seat 6: MCMATTO (4,995,507 in chips) = $410,500

The cards were then back on the screen. And it wasn't long before pokerjamers lost a few more chips and decided to move. The hand began with a raise from MCMATTO and reraise from nofingclue11. pokerjamers then pushed with pocket jacks, and nofingclue11 made the call with A♦ Q♥. The board came 7♦ T♠ K♦ 8♠ Q♠, and the queens took it, leaving pokerjamers with a third place finish and agreed-upon amount of $380,000.

Heads-up action began as follows:

Seat 3: nofingclue11 (3,796,493 in chips)
Seat 6: MCMATTO (5,353,507 in chips)

And nofingclue11 came out as the aggressor, quickly chipping up to almost even the stacks. Another sizeable pot, this one worth nearly 1 million chips, allowed nfingclue11 to take over the chip lead. MCMATTO also tried to apply the pressure, but most moves were met by raises that he couldn't seem to call. And when nofingclue11 won a pot worth close to 3 million chips, MCMATTO was put into a position of moving fairly soon.

But play continued for nearly an hour, with nofingclue11 not letting up. That was until one hand changed everything. The turning point was a double-through on the part of MCMATTO, which played out as follows:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Only a few hands later, nofingclue11 pushed his stack of little more than 1 million all-in after a preflop raising war, and he showed A♦ 5♦, but MCMATTO called with A♣ 8♣. The board came 6♦ 7♥ 7♠ T♥ 2♥, and nofingclue11 was relegated to a second place finish and the $390,000 that went with it.

MCMATTO took his time but ultimately claimed victory in the tournament, taking with him $470,500 and the champion's watch for the accomplishment. Congratulations!

SCOOP Event 08-High Top Ten (Final):

1st place: MCMATTO ($470,500.00)*
2nd place: nofingclue11 ($390,000.00)*
3rd place: pokerjamers ($380,000.00)*
4th place: hadouk3n ($223,500.00)
5th place: Skint Paddy ($156,000.00)
6th place: rubenrtv ($126,000.00)
7th place: mahoney3 ($96,000.00)
8th place: KingKobeMVP ($66,000.00)
9th place: Choron ($39,000.00)

*based on 3-way chop agreement

With nearly a week left in the series, opportunities still abound for players to win seats through around-the-clock satellites. Visit the SCOOP page for all of the details, the leaderboard page to track your favorite players (or yourself), or the site for all of the event highlights.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in SCOOP