SCOOP: bg_atlanta sprints to the finish in Event #23-L, $11 Turbo NLHE with Rebuys

scoop2009_thn.gifWithin the small circle of nerds and degenerates that make up the majority of the poker media (and I mean that in the warmest way possible), some of us like to gamble on how long certain stages of a tournament will last. It usually goes something like this. You're at a live event. It might be in Las Vegas, it may be in some far-flung corner of the world like Punta del Este, Kiev or Copenhagen. One wise guy sets a line on a prop. It could be how many players will be left at the end of Day 2, how many Scandis in garish hoodies will make the final table or how many hands will heads-up play take. Willing media donkeys, each with their own creative way of calculating such probabilities, put down a few dollars, euros, pesos, kronors, or the promise of free beers on the over or the under. And in the end, someone collects, everybody drinks, and no one's net worth is hurt too badly It's pretty much a win-win situation.

Well, when it came to the total running time of SCOOP Event #23-L, let's just say the under took it.

It took only five hours and 16 minutes to go from 8,591 starters to a champion. And that included a one-hour rebuy period where busted players could purchase a fresh starting stack for the bargain-basement price of $11. That's an average of 27 eliminations per minute, or three full tables. The field made a mammoth 21,597 rebuys and 5,666 add-ons, pushing the prize pool up to $358,540--more than double the $150,000 guarantee. 1,440 places were paid with first place set to earn $50,202,61.

Team PokerStars Pro was well-represented in the field with an international bunch including Eric Assadourian, J.P. Kelly, Martin Hruby, Leo Fernandez, Lex Veldhuis, Jan Heitmann, Henrique Pinho, Dennis Phillips, Marcin Horecki, Barry Greenstien, Marcello Del Grosso, Richard Toth, Veronica Dabul, Johnny Lodden, Jorge Arias, George Lind III, Joep van den Bijgaart, Anh Van Nguyen, and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. Earning cash finishes were Alvaro Ballesteros (995th), Johannes Steindl (864th), George Danzer (859th), Hevad Khan (480th), and Victor Ramdin (344th).

The final table bubble was extremely fruitful for bg_atlanta, who score a key double-up during hand-for-hand play. Just as DonkysLoveMe lost the rest of his stack when MOOSE86CCHS' flopped two pair against his top pair, over on the other table bg_atlanta was facing an all-in raise from KAYA634, who shipped 11,482,420 in the middle and had bg_atlanta covered. With DonkysLoveMe already guaranteed a tenth-place finish since his stack was smaller at the start of the hand, bg_atlanta decided to go for it, and called off his remaining 8,730,682 with A♥9♠. It turned out to be the best hand, KAYA634 flipping up K♦Q♣. The board ran out A♣Q♥6♦T♥8♣ and bg_atlanta doubled up to more than 20 million in chips as we headed to the final table.

Final table starting chip counts:

Seat 1: MOOSE86CCHS (26,878,766 in chips)
Seat 2: KAYA634 (2,251,738 in chips)
Seat 3: bg_atlanta (20,086,364 in chips)
Seat 4: PokinStaR (8,015,788 in chips)
Seat 5: partyhair (18,060,727 in chips)
Seat 6: NotAble2Fold (13,499,884 in chips)
Seat 7: smotpoker23 (15,920,000 in chips)
Seat 8: Daxquel (3,092,748 in chips)
Seat 9: HighNetWorth (11,087,985 in chips)

SCOOP Event 23-L final table.jpg

The final table players were quite an eclectic group. Right at home with the turbo structure was Jon "partyhair" Cunz, a poker instructor from Brisbane, Australia, who specializes in multitable turbo SNGs. HighNetWorth was coming off a deep run in Event #20-Medium, where he ended Day 1 as the chip leader with 65 players remaining and ultimately finished 19th. MOOSE86CCHS had been at a SCOOP final table once already this year. He too flourished in one of the two-day NLHE events, finishing Day 1 in Event #2-Low as the chip leader and ending his run in ninth place.

With the blinds up to 700,000/1,400,000 and a 175,000 ante, the average stack was 13.2 million--less than ten big blinds. Things got cooking on the seventh hand of play with a double elimination. With a bit less than 1.4 million remaining, KAYA634 was already all-in from the big blind when the cards were dealt. The action folded around to HighNetWorth on the button, who raised to 2.8 million. MOOSE86CCHS three-bet shoved for more than 24.6 million from the small blind, and HighNetWorth called all-in for 8.6 million. KAYA634's 7♠9♦ paled in comparison to HighNetWorth's Q♥Q♦, which really paled in comparison to MOOSE86CCHS' K♦K♣. The board ran out J♠5♥2♣T♦6♥ and MOOSE86CCHS scooped the 25.6 million-chip pot, eliminating KAYA634 in ninth place and HighNetWorth in eighth. They earned $2,438,07 and $3,585,40 respectively.

One hand later, NotAble2Fold open-shoved for his last 13 million with pocket eights, but bg_atlanta woke up with pocket queens in the small blind and made the call. No funny business on the flop and bg_atlanta raked in another huge pot while NotAble2Fold hit the rail in seventh place. He took home $7,170.80.

With that, our six remaining players went on a five-minute break and they returned to a double-KO on the first hand back. Holding about 38 million in chips, MOOSE86CCHS opened for 4.2 million. PokinStaR called all-in for his last 3.8 million on the button, and partyhair shoved for 16.6 million. MOOSE86CCHS made the call, turning up A♠J♣. Partyhair showed T♦T♠ and PokinStaR revealed K♠4♠. MOOSE86CCHS made a pair of jacks on the Q♥J♦7♠ flop and neither of his opponents improved on the 8♠ turn or the 3♥ river, giving him the 39.5 million pot. PokinStaR earned $10,756.20 for sixth place while partyhair collected $14,341.60 for fifth.

Down to less than 5 million with the blinds at 800,000/1,600,000/200,000, Daxquel knew he needed to make a move. He shoved with K♠9♠ and MOOSE86CCHS called with a dominating hand, K♦T♠. Daxquel, however, was able to flop a nine and double through to 12.7 million. Two hands later, he did it again, only this time he was in the dominating position, his A♠Q♣ holding up against MOOSE86CCHS' A♥7♥. Suddenly he was up to 22.3 million and back in this thing.

But as it goes in no-limit hold'em, things can turn around in an instant. Daxquel couldn't spike his kicker a second time when he got the rest of his chips in with A♣J♦ against not one, but two dominating hands:

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With six big blinds left, smotpoker23 three-bet shoved for 12.6 million over MOOSE86CCHS' open-limp. MOOSE86CCHS made the call, having laid a nice trap with his A♦T♦. Smotpoker23 needed some help on the board with K♠5♣ and hit two pair when the flop came down K♦J♦J♣. MOOSE86CCHS, however, picked up straight and flush draws. The 2♠ was a safe card for smotpoker23, but MOOSE86CCHS hit his flush on the river with the 7♦, ending smotpoker23's run in third place for a $25,814.88 score.

It took only 27 hands to go from nine players to two and it would only take 22 more to finish the whole thing. The chip counts were relatively even as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 1: MOOSE86CCHS (57,324,280 in chips)
Seat 3: bg_atlanta (61,569,720 in chips)

MOOSE86CCHS went fast out of the gate, running his chip count up to 79 million while bg_atlanta fell to 40 million. However, bg_atlanta was able to even things back up on this hand, where he forced a fold from MOOSE86CCHS on the river:

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Bg_atlanta kept the pressure on and shot back up to 73 million after this hand. Bg_atlanta opened for a min-raise to 4 million and MOOSE86CCHS defended his big blind. MOOSE86CCHS check-raised bg_atlanta's 4 million bet to 8 million on the Q♦J♥4♦ flop, but bg_atlanta made the call. The turn came the 9♠ and MOOSE86CCHS led out for 6 million. Bg_atlanta called and they went to the river, which fell the A♣. Both players checked, bg_atlanta turning up the winner with J♦8♠ for a pair of jacks. MOOSE86CCHS could only show a pair of nines with 6♥9♣.

Apparently, when you poke a moose in the antlers, it roars back at you, which is exactly what happened two hands later. Bg_atlanta opened for 5 million and MOOSE86CCHS called. The flop came down 7♦7♠4♠ and MOOSE86CCHS checked to bg_atlanta, who bet 5 million. MOOSE86CCHS called and the A♠ hit the turn. MOOSE86CCHS checked again, bg_atlanta fired out 10 million and MOOSE86CCHS came over the top for the rest of his chips, 37.5 million in all. Bg_atlanta gave up his hand, and the chip lead, as MOOSE86CCHS raked in the 40.6 million pot.

Undeterred, bg_atlanta went on to win the next seven consecutive hands, taking his stack up to 66.3 million while MOOSE86CCHS held 52.5 million. And only 49 hands and 28 minutes after the final table got underway, it was all over:

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Congratulations to bg_atlanta, our newest SCOOP champion. For the win, he earned $50,202.61. And let's not forget about runner-up MOOSE86CCHS, who made his second SCOOP final table and is $36,571.08 richer after only a bit more than five hours' work.

SCOOP Event #23-Low, $11 Turbo NLHE with Rebuys Results

1. bg_atlanta ($50,202.61)
2. MOOSE86CCHS ($36,571.08)
3. smotpoker23 ($25,814.88)
4. Daxquel ($17,927.00)
5. John "partyhair" Cunz ($14,341.60)
6. PokinStaR ($10,756.20)
7. NotAble2Fold ($7,170.80)
8. HighNetWorth ($3,585,40)
9. KAYA634 ($2,438.07)

Have you locked up your seat in the SCOOP Main Event yet? Visit the SCOOP page for more information and a complete schedule.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP