SCOOP: RunThisTable runs the table in $2,600 NLHE Heads-Up Event 21

scoop2009_thn.gifThe "medium" stakes version of Event No. 21, the No-Limit Hold'em Heads-Up tournament, was capped at 256 entrants, meaning the winner would have to win eight consecutive matches to take the title. With a buy-in of $2,500+$100, that meant the total prize pool was $640,000. Those winning three matches and losing in the round of 32 would earn $6,400, those making the Sweet Sixteen then losing would get $9,600, those losing in the quarterfinals would win $22,400, the two semifinal losers would get $51,200, the runner-up would take home $96,000, and the champion stood to get a cool $172,800.

All of the matches followed the same structure, with players starting with 5,000 chips and blinds beginning at 25/50 (with 10-minute levels). In other words, unlike in some heads-up tourneys, players would not be carrying their chips from match to match, but returned to a starting stack of 5,000 each time.

Match #1 (round of 256)

Some notable first round matches included AJKHoosier1 defeating foucault82, PickyTooth taking care of BeL0WaB0Ve, Sowerss beating Nordberg, and nitbuster ousting monika13. Three Team PokerStars pros were eliminated within the first 12 minutes or so: Dr. Fells took care of Peter Eastgate in about five minutes, bliiz knocked out Dario Minieri a couple of minutes after that, and ElMastermind just a few minutes more to eliminate Steve "stevejpa" Paul-Ambrose. Daniel "steamraise" Alaei beat another PS pro, William Thorson, in a match that took about 40 minutes. And PS pro Noah "Exclusive" Boeken was also bumped in the first round, with DaPokerGun needing about 50 minutes to do the job.

Other Team PokerStars pros fared much better in Round 1, with Gavin Griffin defeating Pot Odds 3, new PS pro Johnny Lodden knocking out SNo0oWMAN, Isabelle "NoMercy" Mercier beating floes, and Ivan Demidov taking about a hour and 15 minutes to eliminate FluffDog87. Also, Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso, whose heads-up prowess was firmly established by her runner-up finish in last month's NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship, was able to stage a comeback to defeat Roothlus.

Others making it through to the next round included Andy McLEOD, get crunk, lilholdem954, MrSmokey1, RaSZi, shaniac, and tsarrast. Terrence "Unassigned" Chan, fresh from his victories in not one but two SCOOP events yesterday, also made it through to Round 2. Finally, after nearly an hour-and-a-half goleafsgo41 finished off mossified84, and it was on to the second round.

Match #2 (round of 128)

The second round saw two Team PokerStars pros advance, and three fall. Winners were Gavin Griffin (who defeated rubentv) and Isabelle Mercier (who beat mr. steal). Meanwhile, Ibiza knocked out Ivan Demidov (in about 10 minutes), RunThisTable ended Vanessa Rousso's run (in 40 minutes), and RikkiTikki took about an hour to defeat Johnny Lodden.

By about five o'clock p.m. Eastern time, we were onto the third round. Others advancing included Andy McLEOD, djk123, Genius28, lilholdem954, nitbuster, steamraise, and tsarrast.

Match #3 (round of 64)

The third round represented the money bubble in this tournament, as all of the winners stood to make the cash. Both the remaining Team PokerStars pros came up short, with AndrewBoccia taking care of Isabelle Mercier, and toomuchneon beating Gavin Griffin.

In addition to those two, other advancing included 4pils&1pizza, Abnoe, allinstevie, AndrewBoccia, anenstef, any2cantu, bigdogpckt5s, chrisbond, DDBeast, deamon10, DiPollo, djk123, Dokosoko, ElMastermind, Genius28, ih8pp, iownoknp, jasjas11, MagicDeal, marzello, pokerjamers, Poly_Baller, RunThisTable, skilled_sox, snake8484, steamraise, stevieeee, TheDegeneral, tommygunz29, Tonimonntana, toomuchneon, and Vaga_Lion.

Match #4 (round of 32)

It took another hour-and-a-half or so for players to move through the fourth round. Among the matches here, RunThisTable eliminated Daniel "steamraise" Alaei. On the final hand of the match, RunThisTable had a 6,450-3,550 chip lead, and with the blinds 40/80 raised to 195 from the small blind/button, and steamraise called. The flop came 4♠7♥7♦. steamraise checked, RunThisTable bet 240, steamraise reraised to 560, and RunThisTable reraised again to 1,200. steamraise waited several seconds, then pushed all in for 3,345 and RunThisTable snap-called, showing 7♠A♦ for trips, crushing steamraise's A♥8♥. No miracles came to save Alaei, and RunThisTable moved on.

Joining RunThisTable in the next round were 4pils&1pizza, Abnoe, allinstevie, bigdogpckt5s, deamon10, ElMastermind, Genius28, ih8pp, MagicDeal, pokerjamers, Poly_Baller, snake8484, tommygunz29, Tonimonntana, and Vaga_Lion.

Match #5 (round of 16)

Poly_Baller was the first one through to the quarterfinals, quickly dispatching of ElMastermind. bigdogpckt5s took care of tommygun, then MagicDeal knocked out allinstevie.

4pils&1pizza next eliminated Genius28. In the final hand of their match, 4pils&1pizza had a slight edge, with 5,795 to Genius28's 4,205. With the blinds 40/80 and antes 10, Genius28 minimum-raised to 160 from the button, 4pils&1pizza repopped it to 560 from the big blind, and Genius28 called. The flop came 5♥9♠4♥. 4pils&1pizza checked, Genius28 bet 700, 4pils&1pizza check-raised all in for 5,225, and Genius28 made the call. Genius28 showed A♥T♥ for two overs and the nut flush draw, while 4pils&1pizza turned over T♠4♦ for a pair of fours. The turn was the 6♣ and the river the 3♣, and 4pils&1pizza was into the quarterfinals.

ih8pp next defeated pokerjamers, then Vaga_Lion eliminated snake8484. Abnoe had an edge on deamon10 when they got it all in the middle, with Abnoe holding T♦T♣ and deamon10 A♣K♠. The board came 2♦7♦8♦T♥K♦, meaning Abnoe ended with a flush and a spot in the quarterfinals. RunThisTable was the last one through, defeating Tonimonntana. After about six hours of play total, only eight of the original 256 remained.

Match #6 (Quarterfinals)

4pils&1pizza took care of Vaga_Lion in short order, advancing in just 14 hands. Abnoe knocked out Poly_Baller and ih8pp eliminated bigdogpckt5s not too long after that, and with less than ten minutes having elapsed it appeared we may have our quickest round of the tournament.

However, the hard-fought match between RunThisTable and MagicDeal would take a little while, extending about 45 minutes altogether (with a break in between). On the final hand, RunThisTable had 6,715 to MagicDeal's 3,285. MagicDeal minimum-raised to 200, RunThisTable shoved all in, and MagicDeal called. MagicDeal turned over A♣K♥ and RunThisTable 2♥2♣. The community cards fell T♦7♦8♠3♣T♠, and RunThisTable had made the final four.

Match #7 (Semifinals)

The final four pitted Abnoe against 4pils&1pizza in one bracket, and ih8pp and RunThisTable in the other. (Started about 9:22)

Abnoe and 4pils&1pizza traded the lead back and forth for the first 15 minutes of their match. They were nearly even when 4pils&1pizza minimum raised to 160 from the small blind/button, Abnoe reraised to 505, and 4pils&1pizza called. The flop came 7♦6♥5♦, and both players checked. The turn was the T♣. Abnoe bet 606, 4pils&1pizza raised to 1,520, and Abnoe called. The river brought the Q♦, completing a possible flush. Abnoe bet 2,700, and 4pils&1pizza called with the 2,654 remaining. Abnoe showed J♣A♦ -- a bluff -- and 4pils&1pizza showed Q♥K♣ for the rivered pair of queens.

That hand left Abnoe with just 622 chips, and Abnoe would shove all in three hands later with pocket sevens to Abnoe's A♠2♦. The flop brought an ace -- A♣2♥J♠ -- and the 9♦ and 4♥ on the river sealed it. Abnoe was out, and 4pils&1pizza awaited the winner of the other semifinal match.

In that one, RunThisTable jumped out to an early lead over ih8pp, and kept the advantage for most of the half-hour the pair battled. ih8pp had chipped back a bit and had 3,785 to RunThisTable's 6,215 when the following hand took place.

With the blinds 50/100, RunThisTable raised to 240 and ih8pp called. The flop came single-suited: 6♠A♠J♠. ih8pp checked, RunThisTable bet 300, and ih8pp called. The turn was the 4♦. ih8pp again checked, RunThisTable this time bet 700, and ih8pp again called. The river was the 9♣. ih8pp suddenly pushed all in for 2,535, and RunThisTable went into the tank for several seconds before making the call. ih8pp showed 9♠6♦ for two pair, but RunThisTable had the better two pair with J♦A♣. ih8pp was out, and RunThisTable was in the finals.

Match #8 (Finals)


Before the first hand was deal, the finalists had a quick conversation:

4pils&1pizza: hi there, want to split?
RunThisTable: it depends
4pils&1pizza: 50-50
RunThisTable: i don't want to even split it
RunThisTable: i like to gamble, let's play! gl
4pils&1pizza: u2

The match was on.

On the 25th hand of the match, 4pils&pizza took a 4,650-chip pot without a showdown to pull out to an early advantage. A dozen hands later, 4pils&pizza raised from the small blind/button 3x to 180 and RunThisTable called. The flop came 4♥Q♣T♣ and both checked. The turn was the 5♣. RunThisTable bet 300, and 4pils&pizza called. The river brought the 2♦. RunThisTable bet 690 this time, and 4pils&pizza made the call. RunThisTable showed J♦9♥ for the busted draw, and 4pils&pizza turned over J♠J♣ to claim the pot of 2,340.

A few hands later came a five-minute break, at which point 4pils&pizza had 7,535 to RunThisTable's 2,465. Wasn't looking too good for RunThisTable.

After the break, however, came a big hand in which RunThisTable was able to stifle 4pils&pizza's momentum. RunThisTable raised to 180, 4pils&pizza called, and the flop came Q♠7♦8♣. 4pils&pizza checked, RunThisTable bet 240, 4pils&pizza check-raised to 660, and RunThisTable called. The turn was the Q♦. This time 4pils&pizza bet 600, RunThisTable pushed all in for 1,565, and 4pils&pizza called. 4pils&pizza showed 9♦Q♣ for trip queens, but RunThisTable had 8♥8♦ for eights full of queens. The river was the 5♠, and RunThisTable had suddenly pulled back to nearly even.

Six hands later, RunThisTable raised to 215 from the small blind/button and 4pils&pizza called. The flop came T♣T♠4♣, and a raising war ensued resulting in all of RunThisTable's chips being put in the middle, and all but 1,210 of 4pils&pizza's. 4pils&pizza showed 4♥4♦ for the flopped full house, while RunThisTable showed T♥3♦ for trip tens. 4pils&pizza just needed for the hand to hold to win, but the turn -- 3♣ -- ruined that plan, giving RunThisTable the better boat. The river was the 9♠, and now RunThisTable had a major chip advantage.

It would take about a dozen more hands, and the end came on Hand #66 of the match. RunThisTable raised to 160, and 4pils&pizza called from the big blind. The flop came 7♣7♠8♦. 4pils&pizza checked, RunThisTable bet 160, 4pils&pizza raised to 560, RunThisTable reraised all in, and 4pils&pizza called with what was remaining behind.

4pils&pizza showed 6♠5♦ for an open-ender, while RunThisTable had 5♠7♥ for trip sevens. The turn was the 2♦ and the river the T♣, and RunThisTable had run the table!

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Here's how the payouts went:

SCOOP Event #21 $2,600 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em

1. RunThisTable ($172,800)
2. 4pils&1pizza ($96,000)
3-4. ih8pp, Abnoe ($51,200)
5-8. MagicDeal, Poly_Baller, bigdogpckt5s, Vaga_Lion ($22,400)
9-16. Tonimonntana, deamon10, snake8484. pokerjamers, allinstevie, tommygunz29, Genius28, ElMastermind ($9,600)
17-32. TheDegeneral, Dokosoko, anenstef, jasjas11, steamraise, iownoknp, marzello, any2cantu, toomuchneon, djk123, AndrewBoccia, chrisbond, skilled_sox, DDBeast, DiPollo ($6,400)

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in SCOOP