SCOOP: bad_beat_bud delivers as advertised and wins Event 23-M, $109 NLHE Turbo

scoop2009_th.gifStart your engines. It's turbo no-limit hold'em day at the 2010 SCOOP, and that means an incredibly fast tournament - even with rebuys included.

1,838 entries. 4,207 rebuys. 1,367 add-ons. The average player spent about $400 on this super fast-paced tournament. Team PokerStarsPro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier almost made the final table, but couldn't fade variance long enough to avoid a 12th-place finish. Instead, these players comprised the final, blessed nine:

Event 23-M Final Table.JPG

Seat 1: fishfinder22 (3,574,377 in chips)
Seat 2: fumbo420 (713,068 in chips)
Seat 3: TherookieQQ9 (2,449,162 in chips)
Seat 4: bastet2004 (2,730,832 in chips)
Seat 5: bad_beat_bud (6,176,604 in chips)
Seat 6: Skämmes (5,185,752 in chips)
Seat 7: pool_shark_1 (1,692,960 in chips)
Seat 8: sheets (1,081,605 in chips)
Seat 9: Supa4real (1,365,640 in chips)

Final table blinds started at 125,000 and 250,000 with an ante of 31,250. In other words, for more than half the table the best strategy was to push and pray. There was no time for table talk, no time to discuss any kind of deal. Just get your chips in there already.

Because turbo tournament push the action hard, opening ranges widen considerably. It's not uncommon to see some bad beats throughout the course of a tournament. Indeed, that's probably the most helpful advice anyone can offer in a turbo tournament: don't take any bad beats.

On the third hand of the final table, bad_beat_bud lived up to the name. bad_beat_bud and pool_shark_1 got the chips in pre-flop. pool_shark_1 was at risk, but looking strong with A♣ K♣ against bad_beat_bud's A♠ Q♥. It turned out that pool_shark_1 hit a king that would have better stayed buried in the deck. The board came J♣ J♠ T♣ K♦ A♥ to give bad_beat_bud Broadway. pool_shark_1 exited in 9th place.

The next hand brought the next elimination, as you would expect from a turbo format. It was more what internet players would call "standard"; Skämmes had Q♠ K♦, Supa4real had pocket tens. A king on the flop retired Supa4real in 8th place.

Skämmes collected a second scalp by again winning a flip (always a key to winning poker tournaments). Skämmes again had a king, K♦ 9♦, against the two eights of sheets. Cue up a nine on the flop and no further help for sheets. Two flips, two scalps for Skämmes.

Short stacks, tall blinds and fast levels call for fast play. TherookieQQ9 was the next player to put their tournament life on the line, with A♠ T♣. Fishfinder22 called with K♥ J♣, a flip of sorts in its own right. TherookieQQ9 had the best end of it, but didn't connect with the board. Fishfinder22 caught a river jack to send TherookieQQ9 back to the minors in 6th place.

fishfinder22 wasn't lucky a second time, however. fishfinder22 didn't have that flip-winning mojo when T♦ T♣ was out-flopped by bad_beat_bud's A♥ J♠. It was a pot worth 12,000,000 chips that increased bad_beat_bud's count to 16,000,000 and ended fishfinder22's tournament.

With that new ammunition, bad_beat_bud went into overdrive. None of the other three players had more than 3,000,000. bad_beat_bud took down eight pots in a row, including the application of another bad beat, this time to fumbo420. bad_beat_bud raised all in for the eighth time in a row. Fumbo420 called with A♦ 9♠ against the dreaded "two live cards" of bad_beat_bud, J♠ 4♠. The flop gave each player a pair, J♥ A♠ K♥. The turn T♣ was safe for fumbo 420, but the river fell a nasty 4♦to give bad_beat_bud two pair and the best hand.

Skämmes, who had been very lucky up to this point at the final table, was the next to falter. Skämmes lost with 5♠ K♠ against bastet2004's A♥ 3♣, then wound up all in a few hands later with 2♦ J♠. It was a case of horrible timing, as bastet2004 had been dealt pocket kings. Skämmes was all but fitted for a toe-tag after a flop of A♣ 9♠ K♦.

That elimination left bad_beat_bud and bastet2004 to battle for the SCOOP title. bad_beat_bud had the decided edge, 19.2 million in chips to 5.7 million. bastet2004 doubled up once, on the fourth hand of heads-up play, but the tournament ended on the 11th hand of heads-up play. Surprisingly, the chips went in after the flop, the only hand of the whole final table for which that was true.

Blinds were up to 250,000 and 500,000, with stacks of 15.4 million for bad_beat_bud and 9.5 million for bastet2004. Moving all in pre-flop wasn't the best strategy with such "deep" stacks. bastet2004 opened the button to 1.5 million and bad_beat_bud called. Both players checked a flop of 5♦ J♦ 8♣. The turn was the 9♣. bad_beat_bud checked, then check-raised all in after bastet2004 bet 2 million. bastet2004 called for the rest of the chips with A♦ 9♠, but it was no good. bad_beat_bud had craftily checked top pair on the flop, J♣ T♦, then turned up-and-down to go with it. The river blanked to bring a speedy end to the final table.

17 minutes after bringing the chip lead to the final table, bad_beat_bud left as the champion, earning $118,592 for a dominating performance. Congratulations to all the winners!

SCOOP Event 23-Medium $109 No-Limit Hold'em [Turbo, Rebuy] results:

1st place: bad_beat_bud ($118,592)
2nd place: bastet2004 ($88,944)
3rd place: Skämmes ($66,708)
4th place: fumbo420 ($47,547.98)
5th place: fishfinder22 ($33,354)
6th place: TherookieQQ9 ($25,942)
7th place: sheets ($18,530)
8th place: Supa4real ($12,971)
9th place: pool_hsark_1 ($7,412)

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP