SCOOP: $253K score for Event #20-H champion CuCbKu (NLHE $2,100)

SCOOP logo.gifSCOOP time means a break for the Sunday Million, a.k.a. the biggest weekly online no-limit hold'em tournament in the world. In its place, PokerStars presented players a variety of options on Sunday, including a couple of two-day-long, "High" buy-in versions of NLHE fun guaranteeing big money and tough fields.

The latter of these that began yesterday, Event #20-High, drew a total 673 runners, creating a whopping $1,346,000 prize pool. That was the second-biggest of this year's SCOOP overall -- just a touch behind Event #2-Medium's $1,375,400 -- and well above the tourney's $1 million guarantee.

The top 81 finishers got paid, with $253,048 due the winner. While a final-table deal could change things, that first prize offered the possibility of the single-biggest payday thus far in the 2011 SCOOP!

Day 1

After two hours of play, Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel was in the top five in chips, just behind leaders zwuerbs and NORTE. By the four-hour mark it was Grayson "spacegravy" Physioc of Team PokerStars Online who'd moved to the top of the leaderboard. "Currently first in chips in the $2k scoop event," tweeted Physioc, adding "would be nice to take this down!"

Two hours later, 251 of the original 673 entrants remained, led by NoLimit4Me1, goleafsgo41, and pappadogg. At that point Leo Fernandez was the Team PokerStars Pro with the most chips (in 34th), followed by Physioc who'd slipped to 48th and Duhamel in 95th.

At the eight-hour mark, 125 remained, by which point both Duhamel and Physioc had been knocked out. Meanwhile, pappadogg had moved out in front with more than 145,000, ahead of GCWV (137,605) and Kaninschen (134,295).

Ivan Demidov (Team PokerStars Russia) had more than 70,000, good for a better-than-average stack and the 35th-place position. Fellow PS pros Richard Toth (Hungary), Angel Guillén (Mexico), Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth (U.K. & Ireland), and Fernandez (Argentina) were still alive as well.

But Demidov would quickly slide, hitting the rail short of the cash in 105th, soon to be joined by Fernandez (93rd) and Guillén (90th). The money bubble burst just before the 10-hour mark, with suken12, Mike "Pipedream17" Dietrich, and ger85 at the top of the counts.

As play wound down for the evening, Jude Ainsworth and Richard Toth were both eliminated in quick succession, finishing 30th and 31st (respectively) to give each a $6,057 score. A little while later, in one of the very last hands of Day 1, Rick "ThEcLaiMEer" Trigg used pocket aces to eliminate IamUnwritten in 25th place ($7,470.30), and soon the remaining two dozen players took a ten-plus hour break to regroup for Day 2.

Day 2

When play resumed on Monday, yosef12 led the way with 660,959, followed by Niki "kovi99" Kovacs (542,672), ThEcLaiMEer (519,173), nikolay76 (454,701) and 1-ronnyr3 (445,379).

Within the first hour of play the field had been trimmed to 16, the first six to go out earning $7,470.30 and the last two $10,095. Eliminations were as followed: supfoolio (24th), Jason "StatusUp" Lavallee (23rd), Kaninschen (22nd), Mike "Pipedream17" Dietrich (21st), goleafsgo41 (20th), SCOOP #1-High winner B4d3m3!st3r (19th), joserivas397 (18th), and snake8484 (17th).

Over the next hour, just three more players hit the rail. Jonathan "Poker Own U" Bardier went out in 16th, earning $10,095, followed by yosef12 (15th) and andredos (14th), both of whom took $12,787. And it would take a little over an hour more to lose four more, with RAZA14 going out in 13th ($12,787), followed by RFFPOKER (12th), Jeff "jeff710" Hakim (11th), and Sisa4ok (10th), all of whom earned $15,479.

The final nine was set:


Seat 1: 1-ronnyr3 -- 1,364,923
Seat 2: sukin12 -- 616,295
Seat 3: ThEcLaiMEer -- 939,127
Seat 4: nikolay76 -- 327,040
Seat 5: RAKUTE -- 1,274,300
Seat 6: de bluffer -- 162,068
Seat 7: CuCbKu -- 564,136
Seat 8: Lottenice -- 562,324
Seat 9: kovi99 -- 919,787

de bluffer rebuffed in 9th

Just five hands into the final table, the blinds were 6,000/12,000 when the action folded around to the table's short stack, de bluffer, who jammed all in for 142,568 from the small blind. CuCbKu took up the offer from the BB, tabling A♣Q♣ to de bluffer's 7♣5♣. The board ran out K♦5♥J♣3♠T♣, giving CuCbKu a Broadway straight and sending de bluffer out as the first final table elimination.

nikolay76 nixed in 8th

About 15 minutes later a huge pot developed involving nikolay76, CuCbKu, and sukin12. The blinds were 7,000/14,000. nikolay76 opened with a raise to 28,999 from early position, and CuCbKu called from a couple of seats over. It folded around to sukin12 in the big blind who called as well.

The flop came 2♦3♣9♠, prompting a check from sukin12. nikolay76 continued for 55,999, CuCbKu called, and sukin12 stepped aside. The turn brought the K♥ and another bet from nikolay76, this time for 126,000. CuCbKu called once more.

More than 470,000 sat in the middle when the river brought the 4♦, and nikolay76 pushed his last 264,040 in. CuCbKu quickly called, showing 3♠3♦ for a flopped set of treys. nikolay76 had but K♠J♦ for kings, and they were down to seven.

sukin12 sunk in 7th

About 20 minutes more went by, during which time sukin12 had become the short stack when he opened with a min-raise to 28,000 from middle position. Rick "ThEcLaiMEer" Trigg, sitting to sukin12's left, then reraised to 61,200, and it folded back to sukin12 who made it 123,456 to go. ThEcLaiMEer -- with about 200,000 more than his opponent, responded by shoving all in, and sukin12 called with the 337,841 he had left.

sukin12 T♦T♣
ThEcLaiMEer A♣Q♠

The flop came Q♦J♣2♠, giving ThEcLaiMEer a pair of queens and the big advantage. The turn was the 3♣ and the river the K♦, and sukin12 was out.

RAKUTE wrecked in 6th

The remaining six played on, reaching the four-hour mark of Day 2 with CuCbKu out in front with 1.93 million, 1-ronnyr3 next with almost 1.23 million. ThEcLaiMEer and RAKUTE were next with more than a million each, while Lottenice and kovi99 had become the short stacks.

Soon after they returned, Niki "kovi99" Kovacs asked if perhaps the others were interested in an early deal, but it was decided to play on. Meanwhile, with the blinds at 8,000/16,000, RAKUTE was opening for 40,000 from middle position and CuCbKu reraised to 99,500 right behind. It folded back around to RAKUTE who made it 300,000 to go, CuCbKu pushed all in for nearly 1.9 million, and RAKUTE called with the 760,550 he had left.

Bad timing for RAKUTE, who turned over Q♦Q♥ to CuCbKu's A♦A♠. The board ran out jack-high -- 3♣4♠J♣9♥3♠ -- and RAKUTE had been eliminated.

1-ronnyr run out in 5th

Niki "kovi99" Kovacs was soon in decent position to double-up with A♣A♥ through ThEcLaiMEer's A♠K♠. But the board came 4♣3♠2♣J♦5♣, resulting in a split pot. Play carried on into the sixth hour of Day 2, and kovi99 was soon all in again, this time versus CuCbKu. But both players held [A][K] and five cards later another big pot was split.

Play pushed forward into Level 32, where the blinds were 12,500/25,000. CuCbKu -- still the chip leader with almost 2.8 million now -- opened for 51,000 from the cutoff seat, and it folded around to 1-ronnyr3 who had a little over 1.23 million in the big blind. 1-ronnyr3 made it 127,500, and CuCbKu called.

The flop came all babies -- 4♠6♥3♥ -- and 1-ronnyr3 led for 102,000. CuCbKu raised to 245,000, then 1-ronnyr3 pushed all in and CuCbKc made the call. 1-ronnyr3 had A♥Q♥ for a flush draw, while CuCbKc had flopped a set with 6♣6♠. The turn and river came 2♦2♣, improving CuCbKc to a boat and sending 1-ronnyr3 to the rail.

ThEcLaiMEr's chips claimed, out in 4th

Just three hands later, ThEcLaiMEer min-raised to 50,000 from UTG, and CuCbKu was there again to do battle, this time reraising to 115,000. It folded back to ThEcLaiMEr who pushed all in for 850,337 total, and CuCbKu quickly called, showing A♣K♥ and hoping to pair up against ThEcLaiMEer's T♦T♠.

The flop was good for CuCbKu, coming K♦2♥7♣ to give him a pair of kings. The turn was the 9♥ and the river the 5♥, and Rick "ThEcLaiMEer" Trigg was out in fourth.

Lottenice iced in 3rd

At that point CubCbKu enjoyed a commanding lead with over 4.77 million, well ahead of Lottenice's nearly 1.42 million and kovi99's 538,998.

Niki "kovi99" Kovacs once more brought up the idea of perhaps making a deal. He let 100 seconds or so go by from his time bank, and getting no response typed "ok... then i will win it without a deal." He and Lottenice exchanged wishes of good luck, and play resumed.

kovi99 soon set to work to achieve his goal, doubling through Lottenice. kovi99 got it all in preflop with K♠Q♥ versus the latter's pocket eights, a queen flopped, and kovi99's hand held.

Some time later the blinds were up to 17,500/35,000 when Lottenice opened for a raise to 70,000 from the button. kovi99 folded, then CuCbKu reraise to 200,000 from the big blind. Lottenice made it 379,000, CuCbKu pushed all in, and Lottenice called with the 992,520 left behind.

CuCbKu showed K♣K♥ and was looking to dodge an ace versus Lottenice's A♥K♠. An ace did flop, but so did the case king (!) as the flop came K♦Q♣4♥. The turn was the 9♥ and river the 3♥, and after six-and-a-half hours of play on Day 2, they were heads up.

RSS readers click through to see replay

kovi99 KO'd in second; CuCbKu champ!

Heads-up play began with CuCbKu well out in front with 4,978,549 to Niki "kovi99" Kovacs's 1,751,451. The pair played nine relatively cautious hands, during which CuCbKu edged out a little further to more than 5.44 million to kovi99's 1.28 million. That's when the end arrived.

With the blinds 20,000/40,000, CuCbKu opened for 80,000 from the small blind/button, kovi99 made it 200,000, CuCbKu pushed all in, and kovi99 quickly called. kovi99 showed 4♦4♣ and CuCbKu A♣8♦. The flop came J♦T♣8♠, pairing CuCbKu and leaving Kovacs in dire straits. The turn was the 6♣ and the river the 9♣, and CuCbKu had won.

RSS readers click through to see replay

Congrats to CuCbKu for taking down the biggest score yet at this year's SCOOP -- more than a quarter million dollars! And let us not forget the much-coveted SCOOP watch to go along with it.

SCOOP Event #20-High, $2,100 No-Limit Hold'em, Results:

1st: CuCbKu ($253,048)
2nd: kovi99 ($184,402)
3rd: Lottenice ($135,946)
4th: ThEcLaiMEer ($102,296)
5th: 1-ronnyr3 ($71,876.40)
6th: RAKUTE ($57,205)
7th: sukin12 ($43,745)
8th: nikolay76 ($30,285)
9th: de bluffer ($20,190)

We've crossed the halfway point and are careening toward the three big Main Events (SCOOP #38), some more two-day affairs scheduled for this coming Sunday. Meanwhile, check out the SCOOP page for info on the many other events yet to come, as well as all the results and stats from what has transpired thus far.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in SCOOP