SCOOP: kuufer surges past Brenes, Moorman in Event #31-M, $215 NLHE (1R, 1A)

SCOOP logo.gifAsk any online MTT grinder what's the toughest tournament on PokerStars and chances are the answer won't be the Sunday Million. It won't be the SCOOP Main Event or the Nightly Hundred Grand or even the WCOOP $10k High Roller H.O.R.S.E. (though that one is up there). It's the $215 rebuy, a weekly event where a who's who of the best no-limit hold'em tournament players online go up against their peers to determine who reigns supreme, at least for that week. Making the final table of the $215 rebuy is an accomplishment in itself, and a win is like earning your commander's stripes in the world of online MTTs.

Today, a SCOOP-sized edition of the $215 rebuy played out and the field was just as thick with top pros and online geniuses. 1,595 players entered Event #31-M, a $215 no-limit hold'em event with one rebuy and one add-on (the cool kids call it "cubed"). After 1,139 rebuys and 1,095 add-ons, the prize pool hit $753,800. 216 places were paid with first place set to earn $123,660.89. Team PokerStars Pro was out in force with Barry Greenstein, Johnny Lodden, Tony Hachem, Noah Boeken, Marcello Del Grosso, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Jan Heitmann, Alex Kravchenko, Jorge Arias, Andre Coimbra, Diego Brunelli, Marcin Horecki, Lex Veldhuis, George Lind III, Vanessa Rousso, Victor Ramdin, Martin Hruby, Grzegorz Mikielewicz, Henrique Pinho, Anh Van Nguyen, Chad Brown, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Joep van den Bijgaart, Katja Thater, Veronica Dabul, Karlo Lopez and Nichoel Peppe all participating.

Peppe finished just short of the money after losing a coinflip to Shaun "shaundeeb" Deeb. With the blinds at 500/1,000/125, JasonGray opened for 2,230, Peppe shoved for 17,965, and Deeb shoved behind her for 29,969. JasonGray folded and the cards went on their backs, Deeb with A♣K♠ and Peppe holding pocket sevens. Although the percentages were nearly equal going into the flop, sometimes it's the order in which the cards come out that makes a hand excruciating. All looked good for Peppe to double up until an ace hit the river, Deeb "wafflecrushing" her in 235th place.

Veronica Dabul suffered a similar fate, getting her short stack in the middle with pocket fives and earning a call from Rayan "rkruok" Nathan with A♥7♥. Dabul was ahead until the river, when Nathan spiked a seven to send her to the rail in 214th place.

Earning the Team Pro last longer was Puerto Rican Team Online Pro Karlo Lopez, who finished in 172nd place. Other notable finishes included Scott "icallseat3" Sitron (20th), Rayan "rkruok" Nathan (17th), and Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo who fell just short of the final table in 12th place.

Heavenwalker bubbled the final table after moving all-in from the button for his last 134,242 with K♦3♠ and getting called by I_M_ICM with A♥8♣ in the small blind. The 7♠4♣2♥ flop didn't help him, but the K♥ on the turn sure did, leaving I_M_ICM drawing only to one of the three remaining aces. With online poker being online poker, wouldn't you know it, the A♠ appeared on the river, delivering the deathblow to Heavenwalker, who exited in tenth place.

This final table was quite an internationally diverse group with the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Austria, Costa Rica and New Zealand all represented. It also included a couple of familiar faces-- World Poker Tour champion Alex Brenes, and Chris "Moorman1" Moorman, who has multiple victories in the $109 rebuy on PokerStars and is widely considered to be one of the top online MTT players in the world.

Here's a look at the chip counts as the final table commenced:

Seat 1: Alex "TIJO" Brenes (475,168 in chips)
Seat 2: UcfChamp (2,454,964 in chips)
Seat 3: daa_grinch (718,121 in chips)
Seat 4: turataika (659,346 in chips)
Seat 5: Chris "Moorman1" Moorman (1,611,223 in chips)
Seat 6: zdravko (528,338 in chips)
Seat 7: bikolano (761,292 in chips)
Seat 8: I_M_ICM (1,866,116 in chips)
Seat 9: kuufer (2,232,432 in chips)

SCOOP 31-M final table.jpg

The final table lost its first player one orbit in. Moorman1 opened from under-the-gun for 40,000, bikolano reraised to 96,000, and after the action folded back around to Moorman1, he four-bet to 196,500. Bikolano flat-called and they saw a 9♣9♦3♦ flop. Moorman1 led out for 202,750, bikolano moved all-in for 606,792, and Moorman1 called, turning up Q♥Q♦. Bikolano was in deep trouble with his 7♠7♦ and couldn't catch up, the turn and river falling the 3♥ and the J♠ to send him home in ninth place. Bikolano earned $7,538 for his finish.

Six minutes later, short-stacked zdravko found a hand to go on, opening for 40,000. UcfChamp three-bet to 112,000, zdravko shoved for 478,338 and UcFChamp called, turning up A♣Q♦ to zdravko's Q♥Q♠. Zdravko got quite unlucky on the flop, an ace falling to end his tournament with an eighth-place finish for $13,191.50.

Turataika was probably hoping his pre-flop re-shove wouldn't get called, after moving all-in for 575,346 with J♣T♣ behind UcfChamp's 52,775 opening raise. However, his opponent made the call, turning up pocket nines for a virtual coinflip. The pair held up on the A♠Q♣5♥A♥3♠ board and turataika was out in seventh, collecting $20,729.50 for the day's work.

Alex "TIJO" Brenes had played very few hands thus far at the final table, picking up some blinds and antes here and there to maintain his chip stack. Down to about 21 big blinds, Brenes open-shoved for 444,168 from the cutoff holding A♥4♥ but Moorman1 looked him up, making the call from the big blind with pocket sevens. Moorman1 hit a set on the K♥7♠2♣ flop and although Brenes picked up a wheel draw when the 3♠ hit the turn, he couldn't find a five on the river, the T♣ falling instead to end Brenes' SCOOP run with a sixth-place finish and a $28,267.50 score.

alex brenes.jpg

Alex "TIJO" Brenes

With Brenes gone, daa_grinch was left on the short stack and was nearly out the door when a lucky river card counterfeited UcfChamp's small pair to give daa_grinch a much-needed double-up:

RSS readers click through to watch replay

Moorman1 continued his aggression, chipping up past the 3 million mark. However, on this hand, he made what appeared to be a tough river fold, costing himself about 500k in chips. Moorman1 opened for 62,500 from the button and kuufer defended his big blind. Kuufer checked the A♥9♥6♦ flop over to Moorman1, who bet 85,750. Kuufer came in with a raise to 187,655 and Moorman1 called. The 5♥ on the turn put a potential flush on the board and kuufer took the lead, betting out 264,655. Moorman1 called. The river fell the 3♦ and kuufer continued to fire, making it 678,995 to go. Moorman1 gave up his hand, sending the million chip-plus pot across the table.

That hand took Moorman1 down to about 2.4 million and about ten minutes later he lost another 600,000 when UcfChamp flopped aces up and Moorman1 paid him off. Now a distant third in chips behind kuufer and UcfChamp, there was no better time to make quads, which is exactly what he did in this hand against I_M_ICM:

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That hand took Moorman1 back up to 3.6 million while I_M_ICM was left hanging by a thread with only 55,000. Although I_M_ICM was able to triple up to 173,000 on the next hand, he couldn't win another all-in, busting out in fifth place when his K♠T♥ failed to improve against Moorman1's A♣8♥. He took home $35,805.50 for his efforts.

Daa_grinch managed to hang on for quite a long time with his short stack and had to be delighted when he picked up A♠A♥ four-handed. He opened for 67,890 from the button and kuufer did his bidding for him, reraising to 2.88 million. Daa_grinch snap-called for the rest of his chips and found himself an 86% favorite against kuufer's K♣J♥. The J♣6♣4♦ flop meant daa_grinch wasn't out of the woods yet, and the J♦ sent him further down the rabbit hole, now drawing only to the two remaining aces. The river was the 3♣ and daa_grinch went out in fourth place in cruel fashion. Hopefully his laptop didn't go flying out the window (or into the pool...or down the stairs...) after that beat, but just in case it did, he has another $50,504.60 in the bank for a new one.

The chip counts were pretty even three handed, kuufer in the lead with 4.2 million, Moorman1 close behind with 3.9 million, and UcfChamp with 3.1 million. Ucfchamp asked his opponents if they were interested in looking at chip count chop numbers at that point and although kuufer agreed to take a gander, Moorman1 wanted to continue playing.

Moorman1 was the first to suffer a setback during three-handed play. He opened for 75,000 from the button, then called UcFChamp's three-bet to 180,000. UcfChamp led out for 180,000 on the T♣9♠3♦ flop and Moorman1 flat-called. The turn was the 5♦ and UcfChamp took another shot, betting 300,000. Moorman1 called again and they both checked the Q♥ on the river. UcfChamp turned up pocket kings and Moorman1 mucked.

These two hooked up in another big pot only a few minutes later and it followed almost exactly the same pattern--Moorman1 making an opening raise, UcfChamp three-betting from the small blind, and Moorman1 calling. UcfChamp led out on the A♣J♦Q♣ flop for 270,000 and Moorman1 called, but he couldn't part with another 360,000 on the turn when the 3♣ fell. With that pot, UcfChamp took the chip lead with 4.3 million while Moorman1's stack fell to 2.6 million.

UcfChamp kept charging ahead, picking up a 3.35 million pot from kuufer to take his chip count up to nearly 6 million. Left on the short stack with 2.1 million, kuufer made a move against Moorman1, three-betting his 100,000 pre-flop raise to 276,665. Moorman1 came back over the top, shoving for 3,489,336 and kuufer called, turning up A♠Q♣ to Moorman1's 7♣7♥. Kuufer hit a queen on the Q♥6♠6♦4♦K♣ board and doubled up to 4.28 million while Moorman1 fell to 1.35 million.

Moorman1 decided to make a stand with pocket eights, three-betting kuufer's opening raise, then calling all-in after kuufer shoved. Kuufer turned over A♦9♥ and hit an ace on the A♥J♣3♣ flop, leaving Moorman1 in dire shape. The turn was the T♣, the river was the 7♥ and Moorman1 exited in third place, earning $67,842.

Chris Moorman.jpg

Chris "Moorman1" Moorman

Kuufer had almost a 2.5-1 chip lead over UcfChamp as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 2: UcfChamp (3,305,770 in chips)
Seat 9: kuufer (8,001,230 in chips)

Kuufer and UcfChamp stuck to small-ball poker for quite a while before a substantial pot developed. Kuufer opened for 84,655, UcfChamp three-bet to 200,000 and kuufer called. UcfChamp made a 240,000 c-bet on the 9♣7♣4♥ flop that kuufer looked up, then led again for 480,000 when the J♠ hit the turn. Kuufer called again and the 5♣ fell on the river. UcfChamp fired one more time, making it 680,000 to go, and kuufer called. UcfChamp rivered two pair with 5♥7♥ and took down the 3.2 million pot.

However, UcfChamp wasn't nearly done fighting, and he evened up the chip counts in short order on this hand, where he saw through kuufer's bluff:

RSS readers click through to watch replay

After that hand, the stacks were virtually even again, 5.58 million for kuufer and 5.72 million for Ucf Champ. They went back to small-ball for another level or so of play before UcfChamp made a proposal.

UcfChamp said, "even chop?"
UcfChamp said, "play for the 10k"
kuufer said, "one sec"

But before kuufer could answer, it was all over in two massive pots.

On the first hand, kuufer opend for 104,995 and UcfChamp called. The flop came down 9♠7♦4♠ and UcfChamp check-raised kuufer's 112,255 bet to 250,000. Kuufer called and the 5♣ fell on the turn. Ucf Champ bet 400,000 and kuufer called. When the 2♠ hit the river, UcfChamp slowed down and checked, opening the door for kuufer to make a 982,500 bet. UcfChamp called, only to watch kuufer roll over K♠T♠ for the second-nut flush.

Two hands later, with UcfChamp sitting behind 3.98 million in chips to kuufer's 7.33 million, kuufer opened for 124,995. UcfChamp reraised to 360,000 and kuufer made the call. UcfChamp led out for 360,000 on the Q♥J♠T♣ flop and kuufer smooth-called. The turn was the 3♥ and UcfChamp decided to go for the gusto, shoving for his remaining 3,253,660. Kuufer made a very easy call, turning over K♥9♥--he'd flopped the joint and turned a flush re-draw while all UcfChamp could hope for was a queen or a jack on the river to make him a full house with Q♠J♣. The river, however, was the T♠ and kuufer took down the pot along with his first SCOOP title and $123,660.89. For his runner-up finish UcfChamp earned $90,456.00.

SCOOP Event #31-M, $215 NLHE (1R, 1A) Results

1. kuufer ($123,660.89)
2. UcfChamp ($90,456.00)
3. Chris "Moorman1" Moorman ($67,842.00)
4. daa_grinch ($50.504.60)
5. I_M_ICM ($35,805.50)
6. Alex "TIJO" Brenes ($28,267.50)
7. turataika ($20,729.50)
8. zdravko ($13,191.50)
9. bikolano ($7,528.00)

The SCOOP Main Event is only two days away. Have you won your seat yet? Head over to the SCOOP page for more information and a complete schedule of the remaining events.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP