SCOOP: Called shot! YouPayMyF458 promises and delivers in Event 11-Low

scoop2009_thn.gifYou don't often see someone predict victory and then deliver. Babe Ruth comes to mind. Joe Namath. YouPayMyF458?

You bet. After failing to interest his final table opponent, gasi555 in a deal, YouPayMyF458 promised a win -- and delivered.

Reaching the final table of 2011 Scoop Event 11-Low required winning 11 heads-up matches of pot-limit Omaha. Consider the variance inherent in the game and you'll quickly realize that going 11-0 is no small feat. It requires a tremendous amount of skill and a healthy dosage of good fortune.

This event was capped at 4,096 players, and although it didn't draw that many, it did easily surpass the $40,000 in prize money guaranteed by Pokerstars. 3,124 players registered, which meant that more than 900 players received a first-round bye. Not a bad way to start if you were that fortunate.

To make the money, a player had to reach Round 5, when 256 players would remain. Of the 11 combined Team PokerStars Pro and PokerStars Team Online players in the tournament, two managed that feat: Kristian "CharismA3" Martin ($62.48), who was eliminated in Round 5; and Joep Van Den Bijgaart ($374.88), who was eliminated in Round 8, the Round of 32.

Each match started with stacks of 5,000 and blinds at 10 and 20.

Semi-final no. 1: pafata89 v. gasi555

The play in the early stages of this match was cautious. Each player seemed to be feeling the other out, unwilling to commit too many chips to any one pot. They did get all the chips in on the river of a 5♠ T♠ K♣ K♥ Q♠ board in Level 2, but each player had kings full of queens for a chopped pot.

The match stayed relatively level, with neither player able to open a lead larger than 5,500-to-4,500 until the blinds went up to 80 and 160. At that point, again merely through a series of small pots that didn't go to showdown, gasi555 took control and opened a 7,000-to-3,000 lead.

That lead quickly became a problem for pafata89 as blinds increased to 100 and 200, and then 125 and 250. pafata89 couldn't afford to sit back and throw away the marginal (and less than marginal) hands. Then, down to about 1,800, pafata89 opened pre-flop to 750. gasi555 three-bet and the chips were in. pafata89's Q♣Q♥2♠7♥ made two pair, queens and nines, 2♠7♣J♦9♦9♥ against gasi555's unimproved A♠5♠K♥4♥ to double up to 3,600. Add a few small pots to pafata89's stack and the counts were basically level heading into 150/300.

It took only one hand. pafata89, down to 3,375, opened the button with a minimum-raise to 600. gasi555 three-bet the big blind to 1,800 and pafata89 elected to call. On a flop of 6♦9♠J♥, gasi555 bet pot. pafata89 called all in with A♦6♠T♦4♦, a pair of sixes. gasi555 showed a pair of kings, K♥K♠J♦8♦. Kings held as the turn and river fell 5♥ and J♣. pafata89 was out in 3rd place and gasi55 was into the final.

Semi-final no. 2: Vedic.Knight v. YouPayMyF458

YouPayMyF458 small early lead, no major pots. In level 3 YouPayMyF458 showed a bluff to keep Vedic.Knight guessing. The pot was raised pre-flop, with YouPayMyF458 check-calling 120 on the flop and 280 on the turn. At the river, J♦6♣3♥2♣9♥, YouPayMyF458 checked a third time, then raised Vedic.Knight's bet of 320 to 1,920. Vedic.Knight snap-folded, prompting YouPayMyF458 to show 3♣4♣7♦8♦, a pair of treys.

"Nice bluff," acknowledged Vedic.Knight.

"Thanks," YouMayMyF458 replied. "Obviously in that spot you can't have much." YouPayMyF458 opened a 7,000-to-3,000 lead. That seemed to pave the way for YouPayMyF458 to lean on Vedic.Knight, and lean, and lean some more. There weren't any big pots, but suddenly Vedic.Knight was teetering, down to just 1,066 in chips.

The final hand of the match was button-raised by YouPayMyF458 to 120. Vedic.Knight called from the big blind, then check-called 160 on an ace-high flop, 9♠6♥A♣. With just 786 left behind, Vedic.Knight check-raised all in on the 8♥ turn. YouPayMyF458 called with 5♠3♥7♣Q♦, a turned 9-high straight. Vedic.Knight showed a pair of aces and a draw, A♥2♥J♦T♦. The river bricked out the 4♦ to send YouPayMyF458 onto the finals.

SCOOP 11-Low final table.JPG

Finals: YouPayMyF458 v. gasi555

At the start of the final table YouPayMyF458 was begging both gasi555 and the table host to pause play to consider a deal. gasi555, however, did not respond at all, not even to decline. The table host confirmed that gasi555 was not chat-banned and allowed play to continue. After five minutes of trying, YouPayMyF458 finally gave up and resolved to win.

"Ok, you know what," said YouPayMyF458, "I'll own you now. No deal. You lose. I promise you."

YouPayMyF458 did open an early 6,000-to-4,000 lead, and the two finalists showed no fear about mixing it up. They were first all in during Level 3. Each had the nut straight on a board of 7♥J♥9♦3♣, but YouPayMyF458 was freerolling a heart flush draw to win the match. The river came the 3♦ to chop the pot.

Small pot by small pot, and with a high measure of aggression, YouPayMyF458 added to the lead. By the 40/80 level YouPayMyF458 was up 8,000-to-2,000. It seemed that if gasi555 showed the slightest weakness, YouPayMyF458 would fire at pots, sometimes on multiple streets. gasi555 often folded to that aggression.

YouPayMyF458 whittled gasi555 down to a tiny stack twice. Two times gasi555 doubled back up to about 2,500, first with a single pair against YouPayMyF458's pair-and-flush-draw combo that failed to improve, then when each player flopped aces up (but gasi555 has the bigger second pair, of course).

The fourth time that gasi555 was all in, there was no question about the double-up. The players got the chips in on the turn of a 6♠6♣A♦5♥ board. YouPayMyF458 showed a very strong 6♥4♠2♠3♦, but was drawing dead to gasi555's full house, A♣6♦4♦7♥. The double up pushed gassi555 all the way back up to 4,700 and reset the match.

Limits increased to 80 and 160. A single pot to showdown had become much more critical. YouPayMyF458 regained the lead by getting full value on all streets from turned aces up and rivered top two pair on the non-threatening 3♣5♠8♥A♥K♠.

From there it was all pedal to the metal for YouPayMyF458. From 3,000 chips, gasi555 was quickly ground down to 1,500, then to 800. The end came when gasi555 went with A♠J♦6♣4♦ pre-flop and YouPayMyF458 called with A♣T♣T♠2♥. Lots of drama in this one: YouPayMyF458 was ahead on the 8♦3♠9♥ flop; behind when the A♥ hit the turn; and a SCOOP champion with the T♦ river.

YouPayMyF458 promised -- and delivered -- the Event 11-Low championship.

2011 SCOOP Event 11-Low $22 Pot-Limit Omaha [Heads-Up] results:

1st: YouPayMyF458 ($10,621.60)
2nd: gasi555 ($5,623.20)
3rd: pafata89 ($3,436.40)
4th: Vedic.Knight ($3,436.40)

Don't just sit on the sidelines reading about the winners! Become a winner yourself. More than half of the 2011 SCOOP schedule still awaits. Check out all of the upcoming tournaments, browse the leaderboard, and more all at the SCOOP homepage.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP