SCOOP: liberace turns in virtuoso performance in Event #5-low, $16.50 NLHE 4X shootout

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Liberace knows a thing or two about stamina. Last fall, in the 2008 WCOOP $5,200 Main Event, liberace clawed his way to the top of the 2,185-strong field in the 17 hours it took for the tournament to play out over two days. Though he finished just short of the title in second place (those honors went to ckingusc), he did end up taking the lion's share of the prize pool thanks to a five-way deal, earning over $1.375 million for his finish. Tonight, liberace was back with a vengeance, looking to take down a bracelet once and for all. It took 14 1/2 hours, four single-table tournaments and the patience of a saint to get there, but he did, topping another massive field to take down a SCOOP title.

9,058 players bought in to this $16.50 NLHE 4X shootout, creating a $135,870 prize pool. As only 100 spots were paid, it took over eight hours to reach the money, after two full rounds of play. Places 11-99 earned $523 and change on their $16.50 investment, while $24,796.28 would go to the winner. The roomy structure of this event allowed for a ton of play, each of the first three rounds clocking in at over four hours each. Team PokerStars Pro was represented by Vanessa Rousso, Andre Akkari, Chad Brown, Leo Fernandez, Chris Moneymaker, Peter Eastgate, Alexandre Gomes, and Katja Thater. Though none of them cashed, Thater won her first table but busted off her second, exiting in 864th place.

The final table bubble was a lengthy one, thedylan1 and Frapela playing heads-up for nearly an hour before getting it all in pre-flop, Frapela in a dominating position with A♥Q♠ over thedylan1's A♣7♣. The flop, however, gave thedylan1 the nut flush draw when it came down J♦3♣2♣ and the 7♥ on the turn paired his kicker. The river was the 6♣ and after a grueling twelve hours of play Frapela earned the unenviable title of final table bubble boy.

At the start of Round 4, each player carried over their 5,000,000 chips earned at their previous table. Blinds started at 25,000/50,000.

Seat 1: PokerThun (5,000,000 in chips)
Seat 2: FouTight (5,000,000 in chips)
Seat 3: pgppgp (5,000,000 in chips)
Seat 4: jonny2jabs (5,000,000 in chips)
Seat 5: BPV3 (5,000,000 in chips)
Seat 6: Chip Lohnson (5,000,000 in chips)
Seat 7: ParaMarc (5,000,000 in chips)
Seat 8: noxqsez (5,000,000 in chips)
Seat 9: thedylan1 (5,000,000 in chips)
Seat 10: liberace (5,000,000 in chips)

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Thedylan1, last to finish his third-round match, was the first player eliminated from the final table. Thirty minutes into play, with blinds at 30,000/60,000, the action was folded to noxqsez. who min-raised to 120,000 from the small blind. Thedylan1 reraised to 365,500 from the big blind only to have noxqusez retaliate with a four-bet to 1,200,000. Thedylan1 flat-called. The flop came down T♣5♥T♠ and noxqsez immediately moved all in for his remaining 3,675,000, leaving thedylan1 to a decision for all his chips. After letting his time bank tick down to the last second, thedylan1 called. The cards went on their backs revealing quite a cooler-- thedylan1's Q♣Q♦ trailing noxqsez's K♦K♥. The turn was the 9♥, the river was the 2♥ and thedylan1 hit the rail in 10th place, collecting $1,902.19.

Next to depart was ParaMarc, who opened with a button raise to 285,000 and got a call from liberace in the big blind. Liberace led out for 400,000 on the J♣T♦5♦ flop and ParaMarc came along with a call. The 8♠ fell on the turn and liberace led again, this time for 1,000,000. ParaMarc pulled the trigger and made a stand, moving all in for 3,100,357 and liberace made the call, revealing J♠T♣ for top two pair. With T♥7♠, ParaMarc's last remaining hope was a nine to make a straight, but the river fell the 3♣, eliminating him in ninth place for a $2,581.54 take. With that monster pot, liberace took the chip lead with over 12.4 million.

Forty-five minutes would pass before the next elimination, and it would again be at the hands of liberace. With the blinds up to 80,000/160,000 with a 20,000 ante, pgppgp open-shoved for 2,248,845 and liberace snap-called from the button, his K♠K♦ leaving pgppgp's K♥Q♦ in dire shape. The board ran out 9♠3♣2♠A♠3♠, liberace making an ace-high flush to take out pgppgp in eighth place. Pgppgp earned $3,396,76 for his long day's work.

Only two hands later, BPV3 made his last stand, moving in for 2,316,000 with K♦Q♥ and getting a call from second-in-chips FouTight with A♥T♣. Neither player improved on the 5♣3♦2♠7♥9♠ board, FouTight taking it down with ace high and bouncing BPV3 from the tournament in 7th place for a $4,279.91 score.

Perhaps the length of the day and the early morning hour was getting to our remaining players, as they began dropping like flies from here. Still sitting at the top of the pack, liberace got involved in a hand that would develop into a major pot, flat-calling jonny2jabs' middle position opening raise from the button. Both players checked the K♠K♣4♥ flop and jonny2jabs checked again when the turn came the 9♣. Liberace bet 800,000 only to have jonny2jabs come over the top with an all-in check-raise. It was bad timing, though for the Brit as liberace insta-called, rolling over K♦Q♣ for trips. Jonny2jabs' pocket eights were toast as the river fell the 6♦ and he hit the rail in sixth place, earning $5,434.81.

Liberace claimed his fourth scalp of the final table only two hands later. He opened for 500,000, Chip Lohnson moved all in for 3,404,725 and liberace called, finding himself in a race situation with 6♥6♣ against A♥J♠. The coinflip fell in liberace's favor, though, the board running out K♦8♦7♣5♥T♥ to KO Chip Lohnson in fifth place.

Down to four players and the blinds up to 100,000/200,000 with a 20,000 ante, FouTight held the lead with 18.9 million, liberace was right behind him with 15.1 million, while PokerThun and noxqsez held 9.9 million and 6 million respectively. PokerThun was the first to suggest a four-way chop but that idea was quickly quashed by liberace.

FouTight took a huge beat about twenty minutes later, losing about 2/3 of his stack to noxqsez. FouTight opened for 650,000, noxqsez moved all in for over 8.5 million from the small blind and FouTight made the call, his A♣T♥ dominating noxqsez's A♥9♦. Fortunes were reversed on the flop, though, when it came down 9♥7♠5♦, pairing noxqsez's kicker. The turn was the J♠, the river was the J♥ and noxqsez raked in the largest pot of the tournament thus far at a whopping 17,441,700. FouTight was left with 5.1 million after the hand.

"Time for another comeback" he wrote.

FouTight, however, would only last two more orbits, moving all in for 3,539,875 and getting a call from noxqsez. FouTight's pocket fours were racing with noxqsez's A♣5♥, but the A♠Q♦3♣ flop left him in critical condition. The turn was the 9♦, the river was the 3♥ and FouTight was eliminated in fourth place, earning $9,578.84, a tidy return on his $16.50 investment indeed.

PokerThun did his best to keep the pots small and grow his stack as play turned three-handed, but couldn't gain any traction. Opening from the small blind for 900,000, noxqsez called the raise from the big and they saw a 6♦4♥3♣ flop. PokerThun checked, noxqsez moved all in with a massive overbet of 17.2 million and PokerThun made the call for his remaining 6.4 million, turning over A♠Q♥. Noxqsez, though, had hit top pair with 6♣7♠, and PokerThun couldn't catch up on the 4♠ turn or the 9♦ river, exiting in third place for a $12,839.72 payday.

As heads-up play commenced between liberace and noxqsez, their chip counts looked like this:

Seat 8: noxqsez (25,577,775 in chips)
Seat 10: liberace (24,422,225 in chips)

With their stacks nearly even, noxqsez tried to convince liberace to make a deal, but liberace stuck to his guns and refused again.

noxqsez: chip count chop and play for the 2K?

liberace: play

noxqsez: OK

After a 14+ hour marathon of a tournament, heads-up play lasted a scant 25 hands despite their deep stacks relative to the blinds. Liberace struck first, taking a nearly 2-1 chip lead after this hand where noxqsez was forced to fold to a hefty river bet.

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This trend continued during their next three confrontations, each a 6 million chip pot, with liberace betting the river and noxqsez giving up his hand, unable to call. Liberace pulled ahead to 42.2 million while noxqsez was on the ropes with 7.7 million.

On the final hand, noxqsez opened for 900,000 from the small blind, liberace raised to 2.1 million, noxqsez four-bet all in for 6.38 million and liberace called. Liberace was in front with A♥J♥, noxqsez needing to hit the flop with K♠T♠. Though the flop gave everyone a sweat when it came down Q♦J♦2♠, pairing up liberace but giving noxqsez hope with an open-ended straight draw, the turn came the 2♣ and the river the4♥. At last, liberace was no longer a bridesmaid, earning a SCOOP title, and $24,796.28. For his runner-up finish, noxqsez took home $17,255.50.

Results for SCOOP Event #5-low, $16.50 NLHE 4x-Shootout

1. liberace $24,796.28
2. noxqsez $17,255.50
3. PokerThun $12,839.72
4. FouTight $9,578.84
5. Chip Lohnson $6,725.57
6. jonny2jabs $5,434.81
7. BPV3 $4,279.91
8. pgppgp $3,396.76
9. ParaMarc $2,581.54
10. thedylan1 $1,902.19

There is still plenty of time to get in on all the SCOOP action. Whether you're busto or robusto, there are satellites for every bankroll running day and night. To check out the full tournament schedule, hit up the SCOOP page. The SCOOP player of the series race is also on-- follow your favorite players on the leaderboard page. And if you missed any of the action, has all the highlights.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP