SCOOP: villepn lays waste to final table of Event 14-H, $5,200 Omaha Hi/Lo

scoop2009_th.gifThe idea of the game is to scoop. Scoop the pot. Win the high with no low on board or win both the high and the low. Scoop. Scoop to win a SCOOP.

A group of 67 players signed up to scoop in Event 14-H, $5,200 Fixed-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo. They were prepared to troop throughout the day, and never droop, while they attempted to scoop. Their opponents were trying to throw them for a loop. Nine there were who were able to successfully scoop. The rest, including Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown, who finished two spots off the money, might have muttered a form of "Oh poop."

Nine in the money

Event 14-High Final Table.JPG

As the final table started with limits at 1,000 and 2,000, there were several players critically short, including Team PokerStars player George Lind:

Seat 1: alexandra5 (34128 in chips)
Seat 2: TheHood (68569 in chips)
Seat 3: amichaiKK (54022 in chips)
Seat 4: Andy McLEOD (47563 in chips)
Seat 5: who's bad (12820 in chips)
Seat 6: MyRabbiFoo (34644 in chips)
Seat 7: villepn (72146 in chips)
Seat 8: crazyjanie (3428 in chips)
Seat 9: Jorj95 (7680 in chips)

Surprisingly, who's bad was the first player eliminated. After a few tough losses, who's bad was down to 3,660 in chips. who's bad three-bet pre-flop and was called by Lind and by amichaiKK. The rest of the chips went in on a flop of all tens. amichaiKK was in there with a full house, J♣ 8♥ K♥ K♣, very bad news for who's bad, who had neither a ten nor a pair, A♣ 7♦ 6♣ 8♠, and couldn't make a low. who's bad was drawing stone dead on the flop, an exceedingly tough feat in Omaha Hi/Lo.

crazyjanie was the next player to the rail. At one point crazyjanie was down to just 678 chips before staging a rally. But the chips evaporated from crazyjanie's stack as quickly as they condensed, and then crazyjanie was once again all in, after a flop of K♥ 9♥ J♣. Lind was the only other player to take the flop and made the easy call with 2♥ 2♦ Q♥ A♣, a pair of deuces with a heart draw and a Broadway daw. He was drawing against crazyjanie's T♦ J♠ 4♠ A♦, a pair of jacks with a Broadway draw. The A♥ on the turn ended the hand, as once again an eliminated player was drawing dead.

villepn gathers steam

Andy McLEOD had been in control for most of the lead-up to the final table, but things quickly turned sour. The crippling blow was running into villepn's flopped set of deuces that turned Broadway. After that, time and chips were short for Andy McLEOD. villepn finished the job in a pot that was capped by Andy McLEOD pre-flop. He had single-suited aces, A♥A♦ Q♦ T♠, but villepn out-flopped those aces by making two pair on the 3♣ 7♠ J♣ with J♥ A♣ 3♦ K♠. Two pair held through the river to end Andy McLeod's tournament.

For a while it looked like Lind was the player with the most momentum at the final table. He increased his short stack all the way to almost 45,000 after scooping amichaiKK with trip fives and a 6-5 low, but then Lind, like Andy McLEOD before him, started bleeding chips.

It all came crashing down in another capped pot pre-flop, and once again the villain was villepn. Lind made his stand with 4♥ 4♦ A♣ 2♥. That was problematic when the flop came all Broadway cards, T♣ Q♠ J♦ and villepn rolled over K♥ J♥ T♥ A♠ for a flopped straight. Lind wasn't quite drawing dead until the turn and river fell Q♥ and 3♣. He exited in 6th place.

A force to be reckoned with

Each of those eliminations gave villepn plenty of ammunition. villepn started flexing, splashing around and pulling away from the field. There were no massive pots; just plenty of small- and medium-sized winners. By the time the limits rose to 2,000 and 4,000, villepn had more than half of the chips in play. TheHood was in 2nd place with about 90,000; and the rest of the chips were spread evenly among amichaiKK, alexandra5, and MyRabbiFoo.

MyRabbiFoo was the shortest of all and hung on for a long time. But things looked especially grim after MyRabbiFoo's low didn't come in against alexandra5. Down to 4,104 in chips, MyRabbiFoo went with [10d] 5♦ 4♣ 2♦. amichaiKK got in there with [10c] 2♥ K♣ 3♣ and picked up the whole pot with a wheel and the nut flush, A♦ 4♥ Q♣ 5♣ A♣. It was one of the few pots that villepn didn't win, but that surely was little consolation for MyRabbiFoo, who hit the rail in 5th place.

villepn continued to pull away, turning the tournament into a race for 2nd place. villepn took a big chunk of alexandra5's stack after flopping trip sevens, turning a straight and then rivering the second nut low. alexandra5, like MyRabbiFoo, hung on through several all-in confrontations but never got back over the hump. alexandra5 picked a strong hand for the final battle, 5♦ 3♣ A♠ 2♥, but villepn's 3♠ T♠ T♣ 9♣ buried that hand for high by flopping a ten and turning another, 5♣ T♥ 2♠ T♦. alexandra5 needed any non-pairing low card on the river to get half the pot and stay alive, but the river was a bright red king, K♥.

The race for second place

villepn turned into a wrecking ball. Three-handed, villepn had 215,000 of the 335,000 chips and didn't slow down. 240,000. 260,000. 280,000. villepn's count kept climbing while his opponents drifted closer to the unending night. TheHood and amichaiKK looked like they were playing for 2nd place, down to 30k each. A great river helped villepn cripple TheHood:

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It was over for The Hood a short time later when villepn scooped yet another pot against an all-in player by making two pair, queens and eights, and an 8-6 for low.

At the start of heads-up play, limits were 2,500 and 5,000. amichaiKK was facing a 7-to-1 chip deficit. Knowing that the tournament would likely soon end, amichaiKK, a prolific tournament player, took a moment to salute his friends and fans.

"I want to say thank you for all the Israelies and the Swiss that supported me in my hard time last few months," he said. "And the Americans too, obviously. Probably I will finish second place in a big tournament again... but I will be happy with second place all my life."

amichaiKK was right about finishing in second place. Five hands after amichaiKK's speech, villepn lowered the boom:

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It was as thoroughly a dominating final-table performance as we've seen in a long time. villepn definitely deserves to savor a well-earned victory - and the six-figure payday that comes with it.

SCOOP Event 14-High $5,200 Fixed-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo results:

1st place: villepn ($100,500)
2nd place: amichaiKK ($67,000)
3rd place: TheHood ($50,250)
4th place: alexandra5 ($33,500)
5th place: MyRabbiFoo ($25,125)
6th place: Jorj95 ($18,425)
7th place: AndyMacLEOD ($15,075)
8th place: crazyjanie ($13,400)
9th place: who's bad ($11,725)

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP