SCOOP: Kevin "BeLOWaBOVe" Saul Claims NLHE Victory in Event #31-High

SCOOP logo 2010.gifRebuy! Sure, the word doesn't have the same impact as in a live tournament, because...well...we can't hear anyone saying, "Rebuy!" But despite the process being a bit different in online poker, the outcome is the same: more chances to stay in the game, more chips in play. Excitement all around, really.

Event 31 (High) offered players some high limit action with the allowance of one rebuy and one add-on for the price of a $2,100 buy-in. Oh, and a little $1 million guarantee may have added a little incentive as well. There were 236 interested players overall, and after 155 rebuys and 167 add-ons, the prize pool added up to $1,116,000, which would be divided according to the finishes of the top 27 players.

As the tournament moved somewhat quickly through the day/night, the money bubble burst when busto_soon exited in 28th place. After that, the last Team PokerStars Pro, Vanessa "Lady Maverick" Rousso, finished in 20th place to represent the team. Other recognizable names followed, such as Event 5-H winner gcnmoo in 15th place, Event 17-M winner Shaun Deeb in 14th place, Sam "KingKobeVP" Stein in the 13th spot, EDWARDHOPPER in 12th, and Ravi "govshark2" Raghavan in 11th.

Hand-for-hand went on for several levels, throughout which short-stacked Kevin "BeLOWaBOVe" Saul carefully worked his way off the short stack to a more comfortable position. But it was during this very long period that a scenario took place in which SexSeen seemed to think the break had started, but another hand was dealt and his time bank whittled away while he was gone. The tournament was then paused for an extended period of time while the moderator looked into the issue. Ultimately, the answer was that there is no ability to return a player's time bank, and play would simply resume as normal. None of the players were very pleased about the actions or outcome.

Literally hours after the bubble play began, Vingtcent, SexSeen, and squee451 went to see a 2♦6♦3♣ flop. SexSeen led out with a bet, squee451 raised, and Vingtcent reraised all-in for 102,650 chips. SexSeen got out of the way, and squee451 called with 6♠4♠ for top pair and the straight draw. Vingtcent showed Q♦Q♥ for the overpair, but the 5♠ dropped on the turn to make the straight for squee451. The K♣ ended the tournament for Vingtcent, who finished with $19,530.00 for the tenth place finish.

Caio_pimenta and squee451 lead long-awaited final table

It was well into the twelfth hour of the tournament when the final table was reached, but the long levels made it only Level 22 with blinds of 1,500/3,000 with a 375-chip ante. The starting chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1: cdbr3799 (144,050 in chips)
Seat 2: caio_pimenta (358,954 in chips)
Seat 3: SexSeen (123,499 in chips)
Seat 4: BrynKenney (177,901 in chips)
Seat 5: sinergio (62,595 in chips)
Seat 6: calamitas (222,946 in chips)
Seat 7: bad_beat_bud (98,695 in chips)
Seat 8: squee451 (357,795 in chips)
Seat 9: BeL0WaB0Ve (127,565 in chips)

2010 SCOOP - Event 31-H Pic.JPG

Caio bids ciao after monster loss

It took awhile for big pots to develop. A great deal of caution was being used by the players at the final table, which was understandable with only the top three spots paying out six figures.

But when a large pot did turn up, it involved the two biggest stacks at the table. The hand started with caio_pimenta raising and squee451 calling to see a 6♠3♥T♦ flop. A bet from squee451 was check-called by caio_pimenta leading to the J♠ turn. The same action preceded the 3♣ showing up on the river, at which point squee451 bet all-in for 342,219 chips. Caio_pimenta check-called with T♠9♣ for two pair, but squee451 called with 6♦6♣ and the full house. That 619K-chip pot went to squee451, and former Sunday Million winner Cesar "caio_pimenta" Pimenta went from chip leader to ninth place finisher, which was worth $22,320.00 in prize money.

BeLOWaBOVe climbing steadily but squee451 stays ahead

With some of the shorter stacks ready to move, BeLOWaBOVe was finding the cards and the confidence to call. The first incident came about when BrynKenney moved all-in preflop with A♥Q♠, and BeLOWaBOVe called with 5♥5♠. The board came 4♠7♠4♣8♣7♦, and BrynKenney, winner of Event 8-H, was gone in eighth place with $33,480.00, just a few spots shy of a second SCOOP title.

A few hands later, SexSeen decided to tussle with BeLOWaBOVe preflop in a raising situation that prompted the latter to move all-in and SexSeen to call for his tournament life. SexSeen showed T♠T♥, but BeLOWaBOVe had him dominated with Q♥Q♣. The flop came 4♠2♥Q♦, giving BeLOWaBOVe the set, and the 2♦ on the turn only made it into a full house. The K♠ on the river was a formality and formally sent David "SexSeen" Sands out in seventh place with $44,640.00.

From working a very short stack on the final table bubble, BeLOWaBOVe built his stack to a solid second place on the leaderboard. Even so, it was squee451 who soared.

When sinergio finally pushed his last 19,361 all-in with Q♦T♦, squee451 called with 7♣7♥ and found another seven on the 5♠7♦4♠ flop. The J♣ turn changed nothing, and though the Q♣ on the river gave sinergio a pair, it wasn't better than the set belonging to squee451. Sinergio left in sixth place with $55,800.00.

And then squee451 hit a monster pot. It began with calamitas pushing all-in for 104,979 chips and bad_beat_bud reraising all-in for 119,827 chips. Squee451 called both players with A♠Q♦, bad_beat_bud showed A♥J♥, and calamitas turned over K♦J♣. The board produced 3♣7♥9♣4♠A♣, and squee451 scooped all the chips, leaving calamitas out in fifth place with $66,960.00 and bad_beat_bud, winner of Event 23-M only days before, out in fourth with $97,650.00.

Final three talk it out

The last three players agreed to stop the tournament to discuss a potential deal, and after nearly a half hour of discussions, they decided on the following breakdown:

Seat 1: cdbr3799 (189,875 in chips) = $150,000.00
Seat 8: squee451 (977,489 in chips) = $198,000.00
Seat 9: BeL0WaB0Ve (506,636 in chips) = $175,000.00

They would play for $21,050 to be awarded the ultimate winner, and the tournament was restarted.

BeLOWaBOVe suffered some chip loss upon returning to play, especially when cdbr3799 doubled through him, but BeLOWaBOVe came back to double through squee451 to stay alive.

Cdbr3799 was left wanting to move again and did so preflop with A♣J♣. BeLOWaBOVe showed A♥A♦, which only turned into a full house on the 8♥5♦2♣A♠8♠ board. That eliminated Chris "cdbr3799" Dombrowski in third place with $150,000.00.

BeLOWaBOVe tries to squeeze out a win

Heads-up action began with the following chip counts:

Seat 8: squee451 (799,103 in chips)
Seat 9: BeL0WaB0Ve (874,897 in chips)

Squee451 hit some hands right from the start and took over the lead, so it was up to BeLOWaBOVe to make the comeback. And though there were several key hands that allowed him to make that happen, it was the following hand that put BeLOWaBOVe in a solid lead:

RSS readers click through to see replay

It didn't take long from there. The two got involved to see a 7♣4♣6♦ flop, and a bet and call led to the 9♥ on the turn. BeLOWaBOVe bet again, but this time squee451 raised all-in for 524,581 chips. BeLOWaBOVe called with K♣9♠ for the pair of nines, and squee451 showed Q♥4♥ for the pair of fours. BeLOWaBOVe only improved to two pair when a K♦ came on the river, and squee451 had to settle for a second place finish to follow up his Event 22-H win earlier in the series. Tonight's score was $198,000.00.

Kevin "BeLOWaBOVe" Saul came back from a rather small chip stack earlier in the night to play a patient yet aggressive game. He took control during the heads-up battle and grabbed the SCOOP title, along with a substantial payout of $196,050.00.

Kevin Saul.jpg

SCOOP Event 31-High (NLHE w/Rebuy) Results for 05/14/10:

1st place: Kevin "BeLOWaBOVe" Saul ($196,050.00)*
2nd place: squee451 ($198,000.00)*
3rd place: cdbr3799 ($150,000.00)*
4th place: bad_beat_bud ($97,650.00)
5th place: calamitas ($66,960.00)
6th place: sinergio ($55,800.00)
7th place: SexSeen ($44,640.00)
8th place: BrynKenney ($33,480.00)
9th place: caio_pimenta ($22,320.00)

*denotes the results of a three-way chop agreement

The Spring Championship of Online Poker has only a few days left on the schedule, but numerous events remain with corresponding qualifiers to offer seats at a fraction of the price. Check out the SCOOP website for details and PokerStars.TV for series highlights.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in SCOOP