SCOOP: Wrasse outlasts the field in Event #7, $10,300 H.O.R.S.E.

scoop2009_thn.gif We have to admit it -- we've been waiting all week for SCOOP Event #7, $10,300 H.O.R.S.E. That was partially because this event was one of the feature events of the whole series and was likely to draw a star-studded field. But mainly it was because, as writers, we were excited about the idea of cramming as many "high H.O.R.S.E." references into the final table recap as we could. What we didn't know was that, at the final table, we would see more swings than we would watching Charles Barkley on a golf course.

PokerStars made an ambitious $750,000 guarantee for today's high H.O.R.S.E. event. At post time, it looked like PokerStars might have to make good on the guarantee. But several late registrations rode their high horses into the tournament, with the number of players finalizing at 80. That made a prize pool of $800,000 to fight for, with only one table -- the final table -- seeing any of that money.

Team PokerStars represented more than 10% of the field but all were out of contention before the field had even been trimmed in half. Alexandre Gomes started the elimination parade in 66th place and was quickly followed by his good friend Andre Akkari in 63rd place. We hope Isabelle Mercier, Dario Minieri and Daniel Negreanu at least had a last-longer bet, because their clustered 56th, 55th and 54th place finishes (respectively) would have made that bet very exciting to sweat. The same goes for Greg Raymer (49th), Humberto Brenes (45th), Chad Brown (44th) and Ivan Demidov (42nd). Demidov's elimination in 42nd place cleared the way for a player who was not a member of Team PokerStars to ride to a high H.O.R.S.E. victory.

After what is 7x6 and MyRabbiFoo had an epic struggle to see who would receive the ignominious title of bubble boy (MyRabbiFoo), we had a table of eight happy players that were in the money. The champion had to wade his way through this very formidable final table:

Seat 1: nitbuster (79,175 in chips)
Seat 2: SixthSenSe19 (50,141 in chips)
Seat 3: Wrasse (74,978 in chips)
Seat 4: RAYNEE. (87,433 in chips)
Seat 5: pusteblume (18,686 in chips)
Seat 6: skalexjung (54,797 in chips)
Seat 7: what is 7x6 (5,794 in chips)
Seat 8: xianggangdao (28,996 in chips)

SCOOP 7 High Final Table.JPG

Despite bringing the fewest chips to the final table, what is 7x6 was not the first player out. That honor went to pusteblume, who was crippled when nitbuster turned a small two pair against him in hold'em with 6♠ 5♠. The loss of that pot left pusteblume was less than one big bet. He doubled up once, but went out five hands later when his A♥ K♥ was outflopped by RAYNEE.'s A♠ 7♠ on a Q♥ 7♣ 7♦ flop. pusteblume never caught up on the turn or river and was eliminated in 8th place, earning $32,000.

After pusteblume's elimination, what is 7x6 hit a small rush to give himself some breathing room. In fact, the chips became somewhat evenly spread around the time after the Omaha Hi/Lo and Razz rounds. Going into Seven-Card Stud, skalexjung and what is 7x6 were the shorter stacks with roughly 35,000 chips each. Everyone else had between 60,000 and 75,000.

skalexjung was the player who took the worst of it in Seven-Card Stud. He started with split [ks ]6♦ / K♥ against RAYNEE.'s buried queens, Q♥ Q♦ / J♥. skalexjung rivered a second pair, but kings up was no good; RAYNEE made trip queens on fifth street.

It was looking grim for skalexjung, but he was dealt split kings again shortly thereafter. He then rivered a diamond flush against RAYNEE., whose buried queens had turned into queens and nines by sixth street. Like that, skalexjung had all of his chips back.

Action moved into Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo, a split-pot game. It provided the most action the final table had seen in an hour. nitbuster called a hand all the way to the river against SixthSenSe19 with what looked like a combination low and straight draw, x-x / 7♠ 8♥ 9♥ K♦ / x. He folded for the last bet on the river to SixthSenSe19's x-x / Q♣ 8♣ Q♦ J♦ / x, apparently having missed everything. It left nitbuster with 21,000 chips at limits of 2,500 and 5,000.

Before he could bust, xianggangdao beat him tot he punch. xianggangdao was crippled by Wrasse. The two went all the way to the river, with Wrasse showing down 3♥ 3♠ / 2♦ 5♣ K♣ 5♠ / T♦, two pair, fives and threes. xianggangdao mucked his x-x / A♣ J♣ K♦ 4♠ / x board. He was left with just 6,296 chips, all of which were in the middle two hands later against RAYNEE. RAYNEE. took both halves of the pot with a seven-high straight and a six-five for low, 5♦ A♦ / 4♠ 3♦ 6♦ 4♣ / 7♥, against xianggangdao's pair of sevens with no low, 7♠ A♥ / 5♣ T♥ 9♣ 7♦ / 2♥. xianggangdao's seventh-place elimination netted him $36,000.

A massive three-way pot contested among Wrasse, SixthSenSe19 and what is 7x6 resulted in the sixth-place finisher. what is 7x6 was showing x-x / J♦ 8♠ A♠ on fifth street when his last chips went in the middle against SixthSenSe19's x-x / T♥ 2♣ 6♦ and Wrasse's x-x / K♣ T♠ 7♣. Wrasse led the betting the rest of the way with split kings, rivering a third king to take the high half of the pot. SixthSenSe19 rivered a six-five for the low half of that pot. That meant the music was stopped, and what is 7x6 had no chair. He was out in sixth place, earning $44,000 for the privilege.

More importantly for the remaining players, the series of Stud Hi/Lo hands were a bit of a rush for SixthSenSe19. Entering the limit hold'em round, SixthSenSe19 was the first player to be the far and away chip leader with roughly 175,000. Wrasse, his next closest competitor, had about 100,000. nitbuster was sixth of the six remaining players. He got his chips in the middle in the limit hold'em round with Q♦ J♦ and was against two players: skalexjung and RAYNEE. nitbuster flopped the best hand, trip jacks on a flop of [jc ]7♠ J♠, but RAYNEE. made a flush draw with T♠ 4♠. nitbuster dodged spades when the turn fell 8♦, but it gave RAYNEE. a few more outs. The river was a most unkind A♠. RAYNEE. took down the pot with a spade flush and sent nitbuster crashing out of the tournament in 5th place.

SixthSenSe19 kept firing in the Omaha Hi/Lo round. Havin built up an almost three-to-one chip lead over Wrasse, his nearest competitor, andwith skalexjung and RAYNEE. both very short, SixthSenSe19 began to play almost every single pot. He was never able to get the knockout punch he needed. He and Wrasse took on RAYNEE. in a pot that was capped preflop. Here's how it went down:

That pot give RAYNEE. a huge lift into the Razz round, which claimed the fourth-place finisher, skalexjung. He got to experience that unique razz frustration when his wheel draw, A♠ 2♣ / 4♦ 3♥, failed to improve to anything better than king-five as he hit a pair, then a king, then a second pair. Wrasse was in there with him, showing 2♠ 3♦ / 6♦ Q♦ A♥ when all the chips were in. He didn't need to improve, as it turned out, but he did anyway by rivering the 7♥ for a seven-six low. skalexjung walked away with $80,000.

"Look at numbers?" SixthSEnSe19 asked his two remaining opponents. He was the chip leader with 167,000. Wrasse had about 140,000 and RAYNEE. was bringing up the rear with 90,000. Despite his short-stacked status, RAYNEE. summoned the guts to suggest an even three-way chop, leaving $20,000 aside for the winner. That offer was roundly rejected.

The three continued play, with several small pots going Wrasse's way. He took a slight chip lead entering Seven-Card Stud, then widened it to greater than two-to-one. All of the chips were going his way, it seemed. Yet with limits of 4,000 and 8,000, and with SixthSenSe19 retaining 110,000 in chips and RAYNEE. sitting behind about 70,000, there was still much work to be done.

SixthSenSe19 was bleeding chips away, seemingly unable to stop his tailspin. He tried to run a stone bluff on RAYNEE. with 6♠ J♣ / T♣ A♥ 5♣ 7♦ / 2♣, but RAYNEE. took a chance with a pair of kings that turned out to be good, K♠ Q♣ / 6♦ K♥ 8♣ 7♥ / 9♦. With that pot sliding away from him, SixthSenSe19 became the new short stack. He was all in and behind against RAYNEE. three different times, but each time managed to river his card. The third and final time crippled RAYNEE. to 28,000 and was the most brutal. The chips were all in on sixth street, with RAYNEE. showing aces and eights against SixthSenSe19's pair of jacks. SixthSense19 caught a jack on the river to make trips.

That had to have been a deflating loss for RAYNEE. He was left with very few chips. He made his stand three hands later in Stud Hi/Lo with four spades, T♠ 4♠ / 9♠ K♠. He improved to a pair of kings on sixt street, but SixthSenSe19's board developed 8♦ 5♦ / 2♥ Q♦ 8♠ 5♠ / 9♥ to make two pair, eights and fives. He eliminated RAYNEE. in third place, leaving himself in a position to battle Wrasse for the honor of being high H.O.R.S.E. champion.

Wrasse started heads-up play with the chip lead, 275,000 to SixthSenSe19's 125,000. He quickly widened that lead to more than five-to-one, leaving SixthSenSe19 with about 63,000 chips and limts of 4,000 and 8,000. But in fixed-limit poker, big swings are common. SixthSenSe19 was able to battle back to 150,000 chips for a heads-up reset.

The tournament began In limit hold'em; it was therefore fitting that it ended in limit hold'em. SixthSenSe19 dropped to 50,000 in chips when his Q♥ 9♠ was outkicked by Wrasse's Q♣ [10d] on a board of 3♦ Q♠ 7♠ 6♥ 7♦. Wrasse then amped up his aggression, stealing enough blinds to grind SixthSenSe19 down to 18,054. Those chips were all in on a flop of Q♦ T♥ 3♣. Neither player connected, but SixthSenSe19's A♦ 8♥ was ahead of Wrasse's 4♠ K♦. Yet for all the luck SixthSenSe19 displayed earler at the final table, it finally deserted him. The board ran out 9♥ J♥ to give Wrasse a king-high straight and the SCOOP #7 high H.O.R.S.E. victory.

SCOOP Event #7-High H.O.R.S.E. Results:

1st place: Wrasse ($260,000)
2nd place: SixthSenSe19 ($168,000)
3rd place: RAYNEE. ($120,000)
4th place: skalexjung ($80,000)
5th place: nitbuster ($60,000)
6th place: what is 7x6 ($44,000)
7th place: xianggangdao ($36,000)
8th place: pusteblume ($32,000)

That's seven SCOOP events that have now run their course. Fifteen remain. You can find the schedule on the SCOOP page and can track the results of the top performers on the leaderboard page. has also been hard at work putting together their usual fantastic video coverage of the SCOOP series.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP