SCOOP: }{IIIIIX} swims upstream, clinches victory in Event #21-L, Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha

scoop2009_thn.gifFish. Donkey. Pigeon. Yes, some people call them pigeons and they're mostly French. Poker players have hundreds of words in dozens of languages for bad players and a lot of them end up in PokerStars screen names. However, our newest SCOOP champion took it one step further when coming up with his online alias.

Meet }{IIIIIX}. He's from Northern France and that's a keyboard drawing of a fish if you couldn't tell. Who are we kidding-- we can't tell what the heck that thing is either the way we had to spell our winner's name in this report in order to get it to show up in print. He draws his fish using "><" symbols instead of braces, but here's the thing about HTML, kids. It reads anything inside those things as a command. Ergo, the braces. Sorry, buddy.

However you want to say it verbally (Fish? Fishy? Poisson? We've got a problem here like the one with Prince's symbol.) }{IIIIIX} out-swam the rest of the pack, topping a field of 5,978 in Event #21-low, a half pot-limit hold'em, half pot-limit Omaha affair. The $89,670 prize pool blew past the $75,000 guarantee. 1,080 places were paid with first place set to earn $13,455.49. Fifteen Team PokerStars pros were in the field, including Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Gavin Griffin, Jan Heitmann, Johannes Steindl, Jorge Arias, Mandy Thomas, Marcin Horecki, Nuno Coelho, Thierry van den Berg, Marcel Luske, George Danzer and Martin Hruby. Three earned cash finishes: Barry Greenstein (738th), Juan Maceiras (626th) and Lex Veldhuis (451st).

The game was pot-limit Omaha as the final table bubble burst. Vichyn88 opened for 300,000 from the cutoff and fombeus three-bet to 950,000 from the big blind. Vichyn88 came back over the top for 1.6 million and fombeus called all-in for his last 328,000, showing A♠Q♣J♣3♥. Vichyn88 turned up A♥K♣K♦5♣ and although fombeus flopped a pair of queens, Vichyn88 turned a set of kings to sent his opponent to the rail in seventh place.

With that, we were left with our final table of nine. Here's how they stacked up:

Seat 1: }{IIIIIX} (2,803,963 in chips)
Seat 2: riskaversive (5,103,245 in chips)
Seat 3: redlarsred (5,117,083 in chips)
Seat 4: LencsA (2,678,333 in chips)
Seat 5: Tnoyes (1,168,356 in chips)
Seat 6: Jonaz (2,655,297 in chips)
Seat 7: Copie1690 (1,952,815 in chips)
Seat 8: Vichyn88 (3,936,370 in chips)
Seat 9: strategy act (4,474,538 in chips)

SCOOP 21-L final table.jpg

On the opening hand of the final table, we had our first elimination. The game was still pot-limit Omaha when Copie1690 raised to 200,000 and }{IIIIIX} three-bet to 750,000. Copie1690 called the additional 550,000, then moved all-in for 1.2 million on the A♣K♠3♦ flop. }{IIIIIX} called, turning over A♠A♦T♠2♦ for top set while Copie1690 had a straight draw with Q♣J♥T♣9♣. The turn was the 3♠, the river was the 4♠, and }{IIIIIX} took down the pot with aces full, eliminating Copie1690 in ninth place.

About ten minutes later, Jonaz opened for 333,333 and got a customer in LencsA. LencsA checked the K♠J♥2♠ flop to Jonaz, who bet a menacing 666,666. LencsA pulled the trigger and moved all-in for 2.33 million and Jonaz made the call, his A♣K♦Q♥T♣ (top pair and a straight draw) up against LencsA's wrap and flush draws with Q♠T♠T♥9♣. The turn was a blank, the 6♦, but LencsA hit his flush on the river, the 5♠ falling to send Jonaz to the rail in eighth place.

Seven hands later we had our seventh place finisher. With about 3.3 million to start the hand, Vichyn88 opened for a min-raise to 240,000 and second-in-chips redlarsred three-bet to 780,000 from the big blind. Vichyn88 called and they saw a 9♥8♣3♣ flop. Redlarsred led out for 1,080,000, Vichyn88 shoved for 2.51 million and redlarsred called, showing an overpair with A♣K♠K♥J♣ while Vichyn88 had middle pair and a flush draw with A♦K♣Q♣8♥. The 5♥ on the turn was no help for Vichyn88, nor was the 5♠ on the river, and he exited in seventh place, earning $1,927.90.

Tnoyes had been on an extremely short stack since the bubble, but had managed to hang on through three eliminations. With the game back on hold'em, Tnoyes was down to only a little more than three big blinds. He moved all-in for 508,356 from the button and both strategy act and }{IIIIIX} called from the blinds. Both active players checked the T♥7♦2♦ flop. The turn was the 5♥, and strategy act check-folded to }{IIIIIX}'s 800,000 bet. The cards went on their backs, }{IIIIIX} having turned a set with pocket fives to leave Tnoyes drawing dead with K♣J♣. The inconsequential river card fell the 4♠ and Tnoyes departed in sixth place, earning $2.779,77 for his short-stack ninja skills.

With five players remaining, }{IIIIIX} was the short stack with 2.3 million--only a little more than 11 big blinds. It was looking grim for }{IIIIIX} when he got those chips in pre-flop with K♥K♣Q♣6♠ only to run right in to LencsA's A♦A♥7♣7♠. However, the poker gods intervened, putting a king on the flop to give }{IIIIIX} a crucial double-up to 5 million.

LencsA was unable to recover and went out a short time later in fifth place, redlarsred claiming the rest of his chips:

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Redlarsred began pulling away, increasing his stack to 17.3 million over the next several hands, while riskaversive couldn't get anything going, his chip count slipping to 1.2 million. The game switched back to pot-limit hold'em, and holding A♥7♦, riskversive opened for the maximum, 1,050,000. Redlarsred looked down at A♦Q♥ and set him in, riskaverse making the call. There were no miracles for riskaversive on the 5♠3♣2♠2♣T♠ board and he ended his run in fourth place for a $4,752.51 score.

}{IIIIIX} had his work cut out for him as play turned three-handed. Redlarsred was the dominant chip leader with 19 million, strategy act was in second with 7.2 million, and }{IIIIIX} held only 3.7 million. His stack had slipped all the way to 2.2 million before he was able to double through strategy act, his pocket fives flopping a set against strategy act's A♣K♥. Then, a few hands later he was able to chip up to 8 million when he forced a fold from the chip leader in this PLO hand:

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After twenty minutes, }{IIIIIX} had fallen back to 4.6 million in chips. He opened a pot-limit hold'em hand for 1 million, and redlarsred, still the chip leader with over 20 million, three-bet to 3 million. }{IIIIIX} shoved and redlarsred called with A♦K♠, only to discover he'd run into aces. }{IIIIIX} took down the 9.6 million pot.

A few hands later, }{IIIIIX} claimed the chip lead. The game was back to PLO and }{IIIIIX} raised to 1.2 million from the small blind. Redlarsred called from the big blind and they saw a A♣J♣9♥ flop. }{IIIIIX} bet 800,000 and redlarsred called. The turn was the 3♦ and }{IIIIIX} checked. Redlarsred fired out 1.6 million and }{IIIIIX} called. When the 6♦ hit the river, }{IIIIIX} check-called another bet from redlarsred, this time for 3.6 million. Redlarsred turned over K♣K♥Q♣3♥, but }{IIIIIX} had flopped two pair with A♠9♣7♣4♠ and doubled up to 18 million. Redlarsred was down to 9.8 million, and strategy act had 5.5 big blinds with 2.2 million.

Strategy act committed those last chips two hands later with A♠J♦T♥4♠, but redlarsred woke up with A♥A♦Q♣6♠. The board ran out J♣7♣6♥3♥Q♠ and redlarsred took it down with two pair, queens and sixes.

With strategy act out in third, play was heads-up between what Phil Hellmuth would call "two idiots from Northern Europe," France's }{IIIIIX} and Denmark's redlarsred. Here's how their chip counts looked as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 1: }{IIIIIX} (17,379,920 in chips)
Seat 3: redlarsred (12,510,080 in chips)

It only took six more hands before we had a winner. Redlarsred opened for 1.2 million from the button and }{IIIIIX} called from the big blind. }{IIIIIX} checked the T♣8♣5♥ flop over to redlarsred, who bet 2 million. }{IIIIIX} came in with a check-raise, re-potting to 8.4 million. Redlarsred shoved for 11.9 million and }{IIIIIX} called.

}{IIIIIX} T♦9♣8♦4♥
redlarsred 9♦7♣6♣4♠

Although }{IIIIIX} was ahead on the flop with top two pair, redlarsred was actually close to a 2-1 favorite to win with his straight and flush draws. The turn was the K♠, no help to redlarsred, who still had outs with half the cards in the deck. He needed a club, a four, a six, a seven, or a nine, but didn't get there on the river. It was the Q♠, and }{IIIIIX}'s tens and eights held up to earn him the SCOOP title and $13,455.49. For his runner-up finish, redlarsred took home $9,986.87.

SCOOP Event #21-Low, $16.50 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha Results

1. }{IIIIIX} ($13,455.49)
2. redlarsred ($9,986.87)
3. strategy act ($7,173.60)
4. riskaverse ($4,752.51)
5. LencsA ($3,676,47)
6. Tnoyes ($2,779.77)
7. Vichyn88 ($1,927.90)
8. Jonaz ($1,076.04)
9. Copie1690 ($694.14)

The SCOOP Main Event is only a few days away. Have you won your seat? Check out the SCOOP page for more information.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP