SCOOP: Ricebällchen Wins Event #9-L $22 Mixed Hold'em 6-Max

scoop2009_thn.gifI tried to come up with a comparison of Mixed Hold'em to the biathlon, mainly because I find that winter sport utterly fascinating -- a contest testing your ability to ski long distances coupled with the ability to shoot rifles with deadly accuracy. In that regard, Mixed Hold'em is the biathlon of SCOOP -- the NL side is obviously the thrill of discharging a weapon at the smallest of targets, while limit side takes on the tedium of long-distance skiing in the middle of the forest.

If you are German or simply love to drive fast, then Mixed Hold'em is like driving on the Autobahn, where speed limits do not exist, only to come across random intervals where speed limits are strictly enforced.

Mixed Hold'em tests your ability to speed and weave through traffic, which reminds me a lot like driving on a Los Angeles freeway, where at any given moment you could be whizzing by a truck at 70 mph and then seconds later you're caught in a traffic jam, eagerly anticipating the traffic to dissipate so you can let it rip and return to driving without any hindrances.

OK, I'll spare you any more similes about Event #9-Low $22 Mixed Hold'em 6-Max and we'll get down to the nuts and bolts. This event attracted 6,385 runners, who contributed to a prize pool worth $127,700. The top 1,080 places paid out with $19,159.95 going to the eventual champion. Since this event is six-handed, all of the final table players were guaranteed to win at least $1,915.50.

PokerStars Team Pros taking a shot at the Mixed Hold'em event included Vanessa Rousso, Victor Ramdin, Marcel Luske, George Danzer, Alex Kravchenko, JulianThew, Theirry van den Berg, Anh Van Nguyen, nanonoko, NicP, nuno coelho, JorgeArias, Jorj95, J.Steindl, and Henrique.P, and Pappe_ruk.

Unfortunately for Team PokerStars, the majority of pros did not fare well in this event. Alex Kravchenko was the only pro who cashed. He finished in 682nd place.

alex_kravchenko_mixed_winner.jpgAlex Kravchenko at the EPT San Remo

With 100 players remaining, davj95 held the chip lead and became the first player in the tournament to pass the 1 million chip mark.

1 Percent

With 99% of the field decimated and 60 players to go, davj95 retained his lead as he surged past 2.4 million in chips. After leading the field for several hours, the blood-thirty chase pack finally caught up to davj95 with 40 players remaining. All of a sudden, he wasn't the only player with a big stack.

Jockeying for Position

Cisus and blanko1tda1 traded the lead back and forth, while davj95 slipped to third in chips. Meanwhile, blanko1tda1 and davj95 were forced to play together at the same table. Although they avoided clashing against one another, that task was difficult due to the short-handed nature of the event. As a result, the two sharks fed off each other while Cisus snagged the lead, becoming the fist player to pass the 3 million mark.

With 20 players remaining, M.A.POKER-V. seized the lead pushing toward 4 million. Former front-runners Cisus and davj95 slipped to the bottom of the pack as the short stacks.

Here Come the Russians

When the final three tables were set, M.A.POKER-V. held onto the lead despite slipping to 3.3 million. Three Russians were still left in the field, and all of them in hot pursuit of M.A.POKER-V., particularly Lucky Boy180, who was second in chips and well within striking distance. Eric "AceQuad" Brix, who shipped the Sunday Million in January of this year, was silently lurking in the Top 5.

Tales from the Final Two Tables

With 12 players remaining, M.A.POKER-V. held off the Russian assault and retained the lead with 4.5 million. However, he was unable to break free from Lucky Boy180 or AceQuad, both of whom were not far behind.

AceQuad's stack took a hit during a round of limit when he flopped a full boat with pocket eights, only to discover that blanko1tda1 flopped a bigger boat with jacks. AceQuad slipped to 2.6 million, meanwhile blanko1tda1 momentarily snagged the chip lead with 4.5 million.

AceQuad bounced right back after making what the kids would call "a sick call" with just Queen-high in a hand against M.A.POKER-V.

Lucky Boy180 got a taste of the limelight when he rocketed into the lead after winning 10 out of 19 pots, en route to becoming the first player to pass 5 million in chips.

When the final two tables were set, the action had slowed down for a couple of levels, and then three players busted in the blink of an eye. SHUshu4u was the first to go in 12th place, when his two-pair lost to 666Zombie666's Broadway straight. Davyj95 lost a race to X_B_L and bused out in 11th place. Short-stacked AnjaysMatze ran his eights into nines and bailed in 10th place.

I Feel the Need for Speed

With nine to go, it was ricebällchen's turn to take the top spot with over 5 million, but the German's tenure was short-lived because it was time for AceQuad's big surge. During a round of NL, the young American won two hands. The first one put him in the lead and the second pushed him past 6 million. On the first hand of note, AceQuad induced a river-bluff from his nemesis M.A.POKER-V., and he picked up that pot with two-pair. On the second hand, he dragged a 2.3 million pot against blanko1tda1.

AceQuad seized control and he continued speeding for the rest of the NL round. He raced past 7 million in chips as easily as blew by 6 million. By the time the format had switched back to limit, AceQuad had dusted the field. He snatched the lead and improved his stack from 5 million to 7 million.

X_B_L went on a heater at the other table, which was playing 4-handed (with nine players remaining). At one point, X_B_L was the short stack, but he pummeled ricebällchen's and added most of the German's big stack to his own. X_B_L soon found himself zipping past AceQuad into the lead.

Lucky Boy180 fell apart during a round of limit and he busted in 9th place. With 8 to go, both tables were playing four-handed with AceQuad back in the chip lead with 6.5 million. He quickly busted Beckersen81 in 8th place when his A♣9♦ held up against K♥5♣.

When play reached the final table bubble (with seven to go for this 6-max event), the action went hand-for-hand. AceQuad, M.A.POKER-V., and blanko1tda1 were forced to play three-handed at their table, while ricebällchen, 666zombie666, X_B_L, and TheHo85 battled it out four-handed.


The Bubble Boy honors went to blanko1tda1. On his exit hand, he opened. M.A.POKER-V. three-bet him and blanko1tda1 called. The flop was J♣9♥5♦. M.A.POKER-V. bet 800,000 and blanko1tda1 called. The turn was the 4♥ M.A.POKER-V. bets 1.36 million and blanko1tda1 shoved all-in for his last 2.19M. M.A.POKER-V. had him covered and called with Q♥Q♦. Blanko1tda1 was behind with T♦9♣. The river was a brick and Blanko1tda1 bubbled off the final table in 7th place.

Final Table Set

E9L_FT.jpgThe Final Table

Event #9-L: $22 Mixed Hold'em (6-max) Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: AceQuad (6,006,462)
Seat 2: ricebällchen (4,992,126)
Seat 3: 666zombie666 (5,935,381)
Seat 4: X_B_L (3,607,651)
Seat 5: M.A.POKER-V. (7,676,743)
Seat 6: TheHo85 (3,706,637)

M.A.POKER-V. began the final table as the chip leader. Dutch Team Pro, Ruben "Rubenrtv" Visser, stopped by to wish everyone good luck.

Ricebällchen the Zombie Killer

I'm a sucker for a B-horror zombie movie. I'm also terrified of zombies, which is why I added a machete to my "disaster" closet, because you never know when you might come across and wave of zombies during the apocalypse. Ricebällchen didn't show any semblance of fear with 666zombie666, because I'm assuming he too has a machete in his arsenal. The two clashed and the result was not pretty. Action folded to Ricebällchen on the button, and he min-raised. 666zombie666 three-bet and Ricebällchen called. The flop was 6♣3♠3♣ and fireworks ensued. 666zombie fired out 500,000. Ricebällchen had him covered and shoved all-in for almost 6.2 million. 666zombie666 called for his last 2.77 million. Ricebällchen had pocket kings and 666zombie666 was in trouble with queens. Talk about a cooler. Ricebällchen won the pot and 666zombie666 became the first place to depart the final table, collecting $1,915.50 for 6th place.

After disposing of the 666zombie666, Ricebällchen was out in front with over 10 million in chips. Not to be outdone, AceQuad picked up two pots to push past 10 million, as Ricebällchen coughed up the lead.

Ho Down

TheHo85 was shot-stacked and hit the rail in 5th place when he lost a race. He four-bet shoved with 7♠7♣. X_B_L called with A♠J♠. An ace on the flop was all X_B_L needed to win the hand. TheH085 did not go home empty handed, securing $3,192.50 for a fifth place finish.

With four to go, M.A.POKER-V. held the slightest of leads...

Seat 1: AceQuad (8,853,023)
Seat 2: ricebällchen (7,005,946)
Seat 4: X_B_L (7,208,038)
Seat 5: M.A.POKER-V. (8,857,993)

M.A.POKER-V. initiated a discussion about a deal, "$11,000 for everyone?" However,AceQuad was the only player to reject the deal, stating "Not yet." The final four played on, but that did not deter M.A.POKER-V. from still talking about a deal in the chat. He made a counter offer of $10,000 to everyone after AceQuad lost the lead. AceQuad was still not interested. And they played on.

Ricebällchen Rising

Ricebällchen topped out at 12 million during a round of limit, good enough for the overall lead. When play switched to NL, AceQuad jumped back into the lead when he won a 2.67 million pot with Ace-high holding Big Slick against ricebällchen. However, ricebällchen didn't back down. He won consecutive pots against AceQuad totaling 7.6 million. Ricebällche's stack improved to 16 million, while AceQuad dropped to 5 million.

Meanwhile... M.A.POKER-V. slipped to under 2 million and struggled to keep his head above water, and finally won a couple of small pots during a round of limit.

AceQuad Falls

X_B_L opened, AceQuad three-bet to 1 million from his big blind and X_B_L called. The flop was A♥T♣6♠ and both players checked. The turn was the J♦. AceQuad checked. X_B_L bet 1.4 million. AceQuad check-raised all in for his last 2.4 million or so. X_B_L had him covered and called. Unfortunately, AceQuad picked a wrong spot because X_B_L was ahead with a Broadway straight. AceQuad needed a queen on the river to chop it up, but he whiffed and bailed in 4th place. He won $5746.50.

RSS readers click through to see replay

Once AceQuad busted, the three players paused play to discuss a deal. At that point, Ricebällchen held the chip lead with 17.2 million, followed by X_B_L with 10 million and M.A.POKER-V. brining up the rear with 4.1 million. M.A.POKER-V. didn't like what he was offered for a chip chop. He demanded at least $13,000 (instead of $11,245), even though he was super-short compared to his opponents.

"Lick that man," quipped X_B_L. "I'm not getting anything less than what was offered."

M.A.POKER-V. asked for $12,000. X_B_L rejected it once again. "You're getting greedy bro."

Unable to reach a decision, the final three played on. Two hands later, M.A.POKER-V.'s tournament was over. M.A.POKER-V. raised from the button. X_B_L shoved from the big blind and M.A.POKER-V. called.

X_B_L: T♠A♦
M.A.POKER-V.: A♥8♠

X_B_L's hand held and M.A.POKER-V. was out in third. He won $9,577.50. Maybe he should have accepted the deal?

The Final Two: X_B_L vs. ricebällchen

Once it got heads up, the final two agreed on a deal since they were so close in chips. They had to play out for $500, so first would win $16,294.18 and the runner-up would take home $15,774.27.

Heads Up Chip Count:
Seat 2: ricebällchen (16,867,820)
Seat 4: X_B_L (15,057,180)

X_B_L struck first and won a 10 million pot with a pair of queens. Alas, Ricebällchen got some of it back his K♥8♥ outflopped's X_B_L's A♠T♥. X_B_L led 18.5 to 13.4 million, but he would only win one more hand for the rest of the tournament. Ricebällchen went on a tear during limit to build his stack to 25 million and take almost a 5-1 advantage over X_B_L.

On the final hand...

X_B_L raised preflop and ricebällchen called. The flop was K♥T♥8♦. Ricebällchen checked. X_B_L bet 500K. Ricebällchen check-raised to 1 million. X_B_L re-raised. Ricebällchen capped it with a four-bet at 2 million, and X_B_L called. The turn was the 7♠. Ricebällchen led out for 1 million. X_B_L raised to 2 million. Ricebällchen re-raised. X_B_L shoved for the last of his chips. Ricebällchen called.

ricebällchen: K♠7♣
X_B_L: T♠9♥

Ricebällchen was ahead with two pair, but X_B_L had a couple of outs for a straight. The river was the 2♠, and Ricebällchen's hand held up. He won the pot and X_B_L exited in second place and won $15,774.27.

It took over 13 hours, but Ricebällchen outlasted a field of 6,385 and won $16,294.18. The German is the newest SCOOP champion.

You can view the final hand here...

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Event #9-L $22 Mixed Hold'em 6-Max Final Table Pay Outs:
1. Ricebällchen (Berlin) - $16,294.18*
2. X_B_L (Edmonton) - $15,774.27*
3. M.A.POKER-V. (Szekszard) - $9,577.50
4. AceQuad (Circle Pines) - $5,746.50
5. TheHo85 (Nijmegen) - $3,192.50
6. 666zombie666 (GetInTheRing) - $1,915.50

* Denotes a deal among the final two players.

There's still plenty of time to get in on all the SCOOP action. Check out our SCOOP page for more information and a full schedule of events.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in SCOOP