SCOOP: gibralter11 rock-solid in Event 30-High ($1,050 PLO8) win

scoop2009_th.gifPoker writers generally dread covering two types of tournaments: rebuy tournaments and split-pot tournaments. Rebuy tournaments are the number one evil because the rebuys quadruple the number of chips in play, thereby extending the length of the tournament. Our jobs as reporters end when the tournament ends, giving us a vested interest in a speedy resolution to things.

Right behind rebuy tournaments are split-pot tournaments. Split-pot tournaments are fun to watch but it's much harder to eliminate someone when they have two ways to win. And so for tournaments like Event 30-High, $1,050 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, we fire up a pot of coffee and prepare to stay up all night.

Although there were plenty of split-pot events on the 2010 SCOOP schedule, there was only one Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo event. PLO8, as it's called, isn't included as part of any mixed game. If you wanted to play PLO8 then Event 30 was your one shot.

347 players signed up for Event 30-High, easily surpassing the $300,000 guarantee made by PokerStars. In this particular tournament, 45 players would be paid. Team PokerStars had 17 representatives in the field, but combined they put up a goose egg in payouts. Jason Mercier, who won a WSOP gold bracelet in 2009 in the hi-only version of PLO, came the closest to making the money. He bowed out in 50th place. But that's not to say that there weren't familiar names at the final table.

Event 30-High Final Table.JPG

Seat 1: 2mark (57,948 in chips)
Seat 2: kingkong814 (210,641 in chips)
Seat 3: 1016 (159,147 in chips)
Seat 4: Baller510 (171,491 in chips)
Seat 5: thret (151,267 in chips)
Seat 6: quadducks (426,059 in chips)
Seat 7: SickSick (174,579 in chips)
Seat 8: gibralter11 (254,079 in chips)
Seat 9: finsfan7 (129,789 in chips)

[Blinds started at 2,500 and 5,000.]

SickSIck was the first player to bust. The elimination came on a "sick" hand. SickSick led a flop of J♥ 9♣ 7♥, then called all in when gibralter11 raised with Q♠ Q♦ T♠ 2♠, an overpair and a straight draw. SickSick showed a massive combination draw, K♠ Q♥ T♥ 9♦. The turn and river were two baby clubs, allowing gibralter11's overpair of queens to scoop the whole pot and send SickSick to the rail in ninth place.

Small pots were the rule for several orbits. A single pre-flop raise was usually enough to take down the pot. 2mark may have been expecting just that for an under-the-gun raise, but Baller510 and gibralter11 both called. The hand was the last of the tournament for 2mark, whose turned heart flush was rivered by gibralter11's full house with no low on board.

The remaining seven players took turns as the short stack for the next hour without anyone busting. gibralter11 fared the best, building a tournament-leading stack of almost 500,000 chips. At the other end, thret fell all the way to 70,000 chips after losing an all-in battle with 1016.

Those two players eventually wound up in a pot together, with gibralter11 taking a relatively cheap shot at knocking thret out of the tournament. gibralter11's A♠ 2♦ 5♠ J♥ prevailed over thret's A♥ 6♠ 8♣ 8♠ by making two pair with no low on board, 9♣ K♥ Q♣ A♦ 5♣. gibralter11 extended the chip lead; thret finished in 7th place.

The chip lead wasn't safe for long. gibraltr11 tried to hit a home run by taking out 1016 after the two took a flop of J♥ 6♠ 7♥. gibralter11 bet pot with 3♥ 2♠ 5♥ 6♥, then called 1016's 250,000-chip shove with J♦ 4♥ A♣ K♥. gibralter11 had slightly the worse of it, and things didn't get any better on the turn or river. 1016 took over the chip lead.

As the hour got later and the stacks got shorter, nobody could seem to find an elimination. A massive three-way all in would surely produce one, right?

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Somehow, each of the three players came away with chips. But three hands later Baller510 called all in with A♦ 3♥ 4♥ 9♣ on a flop of 5♦ 4♣ J♦. gibralter11's A♠ 2♣ 6♠ 7♦ turned a straight and the nut low, good for both halves of the pot to - finally! - eliminate a player. kingkong814 followed in 5th place a few hands later when A♥ K♠ 9♠ 4♣ was out-flopped by finsfan7's similar hand, A♦ J♥ 9♦ 5♠ and neither player made a low.

The stacks of the four remaining players - 1016, quadducks, gibralter11 and finsfan7 - were almost dead even. They continued to play cautiously but ever so slowly finsfan7 became the definitive short stack. gibralter11 notched another elimination after finsfan7 moved all in on a flop of 6♥ T♥ 4♠, holding 6♠ 2♥ 5♥ Q♠. That was a good draw, but gibralter11 flopped an even better draw with A♥ K♥ 7♣ 5♠. The turn 8♥ gave gibralter11 the nut flush and the best low; both held after a blank on the river. finsfan7's tournament was over and gibralter11 had the chip lead once again.

It didn't take nearly as long for quadducks to slip into the Short-Stack Land, especially as blinds went up to 10,000 and 20,000. The elimination of quadducks was somewhat unusual for PLO8; quadducks showed down A♠ 8♣ 5♥ 2♠ against 1016's A♥ 9♠ 3♠ 2♣. Neither player made anything, a high or a low, on the board, and as a result 1016's ace-nine just barely out-kicked quadducks' ace-eight.

That left 1016 and gibralter11 heads-up for the SCOOP title and more than $67,000. 1016 started with a very slight 9-to-8 chip lead at 9:48am. They played to a stalemate for twenty minutes until this hand came up:

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It looked like the tournament was as good as over - until 1016 doubled, and then doubled again, to reset the counts to even. Gibralter11 had 1016 all in a third time, but 1016 rivered an emergency low to chop the pot. It was clear, however, that something was going to give soon.

At 10:20am, more than a half an hour after the heads-up match started, the two players were all in again on a flop of 3♣ J♥ 7♠. gibralter11 was in the lead with top two pair, A♣ J♦ T♣ 7♦, but no low draw. 1016 had a low draw, A♦ Q♣ T♠ 5♣, but not much for high. This time the board ran out A♠ 7♥, no help to 1016. 17 hours and 21 minutes after the tournament started, and after almost four full hours at the final table, gibralter11 finished with a full house, sevens full of aces, $67,144.50 in prize money, and the title of champion of SCOOP Event 30-High.

SCOOP Event #30-High $1,050 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo results:

1st place: gibralter11 ($67,144.50)
2nd place: 1016 ($50,315.00)
3rd place: quadducks ($38,170.00)
4th place: finsfan7 ($28,627.50)
5th place: kingkong814 ($19,779.00)
6th place: Baller510 ($15,268.00)
7th place: thret ($11,798.00)
8th place: 2mark ($8,328.00)
9th place: SickSick ($6,072.50)

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP