SCOOP: Barbero runs best in speedy Event 18-High, $2,100 FLHE Turbo

scoop2009_th.gifTwo hours and twenty-five minutes. That's all it took to complete SCOOP Event 18-High, $2,100 Fixed-Limit Hold'em Turbo. Most American baseball games take longer than that, and in SCOOP the stakes are much higher.

Final table host Ivan Demidov remarked, "The World Series Main Event should be held in this format." Why not? Instead of taking more than two weeks to produce a winner, the WSOP could have a winner in two hours. The purists in the game would complain that there was not enough skill involved, but everyone else would probably be ecstatic. Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero, who went on to win the event for $62,780, agreed with Demidov. "For sure," he said. "It's the only way I could win."

The SCOOP title capped an incredible start to the year for the Argentinian. In February he won LAPT Punda del Este in Uruguay for $279,330, and only last week he bagged the first ever PokerStars France Poker Series title in Beaulieu-sur-Mer for €40,123. No wonder he was happy, telling his Facebook chums: ""Did i just win a SCOOP tournament? This might be a dream... I don't wanna wake up."

Barbero was actually one of two Team PokerStars Pros, along with Barry Greenstein, to make the final table of an incredibly zippy tournament. Generally you would expect fixed-limit tournaments to take longer to complete than their no-limit counterparts, because you can't put your whole stack in at once. Despite that, this tournament was the shortest of the 2010 SCOOP so far and it wasn't even close.

Host Demidov had barely welcomed the final nine to the final table when D.J.777 busted in 9th place. D.J.777 opened with a raise pre-flop, holding pocket threes, and then was all in after Greenstein re-raised. Greenstein made pocket sixes work on a board of T♠ 9♣ J♥ K♥ T♣ to end D.J.777's day with $5,840 in prize money.

Six whole minutes went by before scarface_79 was eliminated in 8th place by steamraise. scarface_7 9 made a stand with two Broadway cards, K♥ T♠. steamraise had been dealt a pocket pair of 5♥ 5♠, which in a turbo tournament like SCOOP 18-High is good enough to go with. scarface_79 actually turned the lead in the hand, Q♦ J♠ Q♠ J♥, with the king kicker playing, but the river was a most unkind 5♣. It gave steamraise a full house and the best hand. scarface_79 exited in 8th place.

The very next hand, while some final tablists were still wishing scarface_79 "good game", Lou Fu was eliminated in 7th place. Lou Fu picked K♣Q♠ as the two cards that were worthy of Lou Fu's last chips. The problem was that Barbero had been dealt A♦Q♦. There was no suckout for Lou Fu.

The next hand after that saw another elimination (we told you this was a fast tournament!). Sect7G was dealt pocket nines and once again got all the chips in pre-flop. steamraise called with pocket eights and rivered a third eight, just as steamraise had done to scarface_79.

After that flurry of bust-outs, the final table was reduced from nine to five, taking a total of seven minutes to do so. The final five were no less shy about getting their chips in the middle. Teacuppoker was the next to go down, losing with a premium starting hand, A♠ Q♠, against DaCOOLeY's somewhat less premium K♣2♣. King on the flop, king on the river. What can you do?

Steamraise was the next to go, ground down by the unyielding limit increases. Barbero was the beneficiary of that elimination, actually building up what passed for a stack in the late stages of the tournament. Barbero, with the chip lead, had 14 big bets with limits at 16,000 and 32,000. His two remaining competitors, DaCOOLeY and Greenstein, had eight and two big bets, respectively. The tournament was not going to take much longer.

The short-stacked Greenstein was the next player to bust. With limits up to 20,000 and 40,000 Greenstein was dealt the smallest pair, 2♣2♥. That was good enough for the Bear. Almost any hand was a flip against deuces, yet it was still surprising to see DaCOOLeY turn over the premium A♦K♥. An ace on the flop was a dagger through the Bear's heart. He finished in third place.

That left two players to contend for the title and the $62,780 first-place prize: DaCOOLeY and Barbero. DaCOOLeY started with the chip lead, but found himself in second place after Barbero cracked his aces:

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Perhaps befitting the turbo nature of this tournament, the final hand was played fast and loose. Barbero opened pre-flop with a raise to 40,000 that DaCOOLeY called. The flop was three small, coordinated cards, 3♦5♦4♦. Barbero bet and then called a raise. The rest of the chips went in on the K♦ turn. DaCOOLeY showed a flush, J♦9♦, but Barbero had outs to a bigger flush with the Q♣A♦. The Q♦ that hit the river was one of those outs, ending the tournament and securing the victory for Barbero.


SCOOP Event 18-High $2100 Fixed-Limit Hold'em (Turbo) results:

1st place: Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero ($62,780)
2nd place: DaCOOLeY ($45,260)
3rd place: Barry Greenstein ($34,310)
4th place: steamraise ($25,550)
5th place: teacupppoker ($17,520)
6th place: Sect7G ($14,600)
7th place: Lou Fu ($11,680)
8th place: scarface_79 ($8,760)
9th place: D.J.777 ($5,840)

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP