SCOOP: Itbdone dusts the field in Event #36-M, $215 H.O.R.S.E.

scoop2009_th.gifEveryone has a weak game. A limit hold'em shark can be confounded by razz. A stud specialist may dread Omaha hi/lo and split-pot wizards might find their stomachs clenching when a stud high hand comes up. But here's the thing about H.O.R.S.E. You can't hide from your weak game. It's right out there, on display. You're forced to play it at least once every five levels and if your opponents are thinking players, it'll become glaringly obvious to them where your weaknesses lie. There's a reason so many top pros consider H.O.R.S.E. the truest test of a player's mettle. Stacks can't be won or lost on a single hand. And like today's Preakness stakes, H.O.R.S.E. can often be a game of inches.

829 players signed up for an afternoon of limit poker, creating a $165,800 prize pool. 104 places were paid with first place set to earn $31,087,50. Among the Team PokerStars Pros in the field were Victor Ramdin, Lex Veldhuis, Chris Moneymaker, Vanessa Rousso, Greg Raymer, Chad Brown, Maria "maridu" Mayrinck and Barry Greenstein, who finished thisclose to the money in 107th place. Two Team Pros made cash finishes-- George Danzer (90th), and Sebastien Sabic (89th).

The final table bubble burst on a hand of Razz, eleach86 getting the rest of his chips in on fifth street, showing (X) (X) A♦4♦Q♥ against MissHerpes' (X) (X) 5♥A♥K♣. MissHerpes caught the 6♥ on sixth street and improved to a 7-6-5-4-A low while eleach86 could only show down Q-T-4-2-A. Eleach86 departed in ninth place as we moved to the final table.

Final table starting chip counts:

Seat 1: Crispy86 (640,446 in chips)
Seat 2: e1mdopp (88,500 in chips)
Seat 3: MissHerpes (1,568,718 in chips)
Seat 4: Itbdone (325,911 in chips)
Seat 5: Spokey (399,612 in chips)
Seat 6: Mungy (262,925 in chips)
Seat 7: Nicolak (433,580 in chips)
Seat 8: Rendall 11 (425,308 in chips)

SCOOP 36-M final table.jpg

Mungy was the first player to run into serious trouble, getting his chips in before the flop on a limit hold'em hand. Crispy86 opened for a raise to 50,000, Mungy three-bet to 75,000 and Crispy86 four-bet him all-in. Mungy called and found himself in great shape, his A♦K♥ up against Crispy86's Q♥3♥. However, Crispy86 flopped the nut boat on a heaven-sent Q♣Q♠3♠ flop. The turn was the 8♦, the river was the 6♦, and Mungy's stack was decimated. The 8,354 he was left with amounted to less than one-third of a small blind. Those chips went in on the next hand, where Mungy's 2♦3♠ promptly ran into Itbdone's A♦A♥, ending his tournament in eighth place.

E1mdopp arrived at the final table as the short stack but managed to rebound twice from the brink of elimination. However, with 178,500 in his stack, he called Rendall 11's 63,616 all-in four bet on third street, showing the 4♣ against Rendall 11's 5♥ in Razz. Although e1mdopp had a draw to a 7-4 low by sixth street, he double-paired on the river, Rendall 11 taking down the pot with T-7-6-5-3.

With the 6,000 antes rapidly eating away at what was left of e1mdopp's stack, he committed the rest of his chips on this Razz hand against Itbdone and ended his run in seventh place:

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This razz level was also a crazy ride for Rendall 11, who went from nearly down to the felt, to back up to half a million, then down to the felt again, then back up to 330,000 before facing elimination again on this stud hand.

Itbdone (X)(X) 3♠8♣
MissHerpes (X)(X) J♣9♣K♣4♣ (X)
Rendall 11 (X)(X) K♦Q♥J♦8♥ (X)

Itbedone brought it in for 12,000, Rendall 11 completed to 40,000, MissHerpes called and Itbedone called as well. Rendall 11 made the high board on fourth street and led out, MissHerpes making the call while Itbedone folded. Rendall 11 check-raised MissHerpes on fifth street, then called all in when faced with a three-bet. Both players had made hands on fifth street Rendall 11 revealing T♦A♦ in the hole for a Broadway straight while MissHerpes had him drawing dead with 2♣T♣ for a king-high flush. MissHerpes raked in the pot, sending Rendall 11 to the rail in sixth place for a $5,803 score.

On the very next hand, Crispy86 got the rest of his chips in on fifth street in stud against Itbdone, who rivered a straight to end Crispy86's shot at a second SCOOP title (he won Event #27-M, $215 Razz early Thursday morning). For his fifth-place finish, he added another $8,290 to his bankroll.

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With Crispy86's elimination, Nikolak was left as the shortie, holding only about 300,000 compared to the million-plus stacks of his three opponents. When the game switched to stud hi/lo, Nikolak got involved in a pot with Itbedone, who had already claimed three scalps at the final table.

Itbdone (X)(X) 8♥7♥8♦Q♥ (X)
Nikolak (X)(X) A♦8♠3♦Q♣ (X)

Itbdone had the bring-in for 12,000, Nikolak completed, and Itbdone called. Nikolak led out on fourth street and Itbdone called. Itbdone made an open pair of eights on fifth street while Nikolak picked up another low card, Itbdone led out and Nikolak called. Both players caught queens on sixth street, Itbdone continuing to lead and Nikolak looking him up. Itbdone bet again on the river and Nikolak called off his last 46,176 having rivered a pair of aces, but no low. Itbdone didn't have a low either, but he did hit a queen on the river to make two pair, eliminating Nikolak in fourth place.

With the betting limits up to 50,000/100,000 and just over 4.1 million chips in play, it was really anybody's game when play turned three-handed. Spokey had about a million in chips, MissHerpes had 1.4 million and Itbdone was in the lead with 1.6 million.

The Omaha hi/lo level was not kind to MissHerpes. Starting the level with about 1.5 million, MissHerpes was down to 179,000 by the time the game changed over to Razz. Meanwhile, Itbdone flourished, going from 1.6 million to more than 3 million. MissHerpes was able to gain a little steam in Razz, chipping back up to 500,000, but was crippled on this hand against (guess who?) Itbdone.

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Left with 41,000 in chips, the rest of MissHerpes' stack went in on third street on the next hand of Razz, and both Itbdone and Spokey called. MissHerpes could only manage a K-8 low, no match for Spokey's 8-6-4-3-2 and hit the rail in third place.

Here's how the chip counts looked as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 4: Itbdone (2,505,424 in chips)
Seat 5: Spokey (1,639,576 in chips)

Itbdone was quick out of the gates, winning eight of the first 11 hands and boosting his chip count by about 500,000. After the two took a short break, Itbdone continued to whittle away at Spokey's stack, finishing him off on a hand of stud high. Although Spokey was behind to start with split sixes against Itbdone's split sevens, he caught up on sixth street when he made two pair. However, Itbdone hit a perfect river card to wrest away the pot and take down the title:

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Congratulations to Itbdone, who eliminated five of his seven final table opponents on his way to earning a SCOOP title and $31,087.50. For a valiant fight, runner-up Spokey took home $22,383.00.

SCOOP Event #36-Medium, $215 H.O.R.S.E. Results

1. Itbdone ($31,087.50)
2. Spokey ($22,383.00)
3. MissHerpes ($16,580.00)
4. Nicolak ($12,435.00)
5. Crispy86 ($8,290.00)
6. Rendall 11 ($5,803.00)
7. e1mdopp ($3,730.50)
8. Mungy ($2,487.50)

Wondering how some of your favorite players fared during SCOOP? Head over to the SCOOP page and check out the leaderboard.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP