SCOOP: Chilax Chuck chomps all the chips in Event 17-Medium, $162 PLO

scoop2009_thn.gifIt's a dream scenario for any poker player. Come into the final table of a major tournament with more than half the chips in play. That's the situation Chilax Chuck faced at the final table of 2011 SCOOP Event 17-Medium, $162 Pot-Limit Omaha with rebuys. By firing, and firing, and firing some more, Chilax Chuck easily notched four of the last five eliminations to win the tournament claim the SCOOP watch.

It was quite a tournament. 577 players. 717 re-buys. 424 add-ons. 78 players paid and $48,963 to the winner. The chance to play some pot-limit gambooool, with a re-buy safety net, brought out 16 members of Team PokerStars Pro and PokerStars Team Online. Three made the money, but the best performance by far was put in by Russian Team PokerStars Pro Vadim Markushevski, who made a push all the way to the final table.

SCOOP 17-Medium final table.JPG

Seat 1: Markushevski (228612 in chips)
Seat 2: Chilax Chuck (3177717 in chips)
Seat 3: djalminha (498213 in chips)
Seat 4: SmuldersN (1194896 in chips)
Seat 5: chinaman84 (516920 in chips)
Seat 6: painhead (385642 in chips)

Chilax Chuck not afraid to fire

Blinds were at 6k / 12k to start the final table. Chilax Chuck had more than half the chips in play.

Markushevski came into the final table as the short stack but got to work right away, doubling through Chilax Chuck on the first hand. He managed to get all in pre-flop from first position with 8♠K♠K♦3♥ against Chilax Chuck's 9♥9♣Q♦Q♠. The board came full of spades, 4♥2♠4♠7♠5♣, to secure the double-up for Markushevski with a flush. He also won the second hand at the final table to climb to about 600k in chips.

Those early pots gave Markushevski enough chips to eliminate painhead about an orbit later. painhead opened pre-flop from under the gun with a pot-sized raise that Markushevski and Chilax Chuck both called. painhead and Markushevski got the chips in on a T♣A♠9♣ flop, each with a drawing hand. painhead showed down K♥T♥J♣8♣, a pair of tens and straight and flush draws. Markushevski showed the same pair of tens and some straight draws of his own with K♣Q♥J♥T♠. The 8♠ peeled off on the turn, improving Markushevski to a queen-high straight; painhead bricked out the river and hit the rail.

For the first three orbits of the final table, Markushevski won five pots; Chilax Chuck won every pot that Markushevski didn't. Every single one. While the other players sat on the sidelines, Markushevski and Chilax Chuck continued to contest pots.

SmuldersN was the 2nd-place stack coming into the final table and seemed content not to get involved much and to wait for strong hands. That paid off in a huge hand against Chilax Chuck, who potted from the button pre-flop. SmuldersN called out of the blinds, then patiently check-called bets of 64,000, 144,000, and 384,000 against the aggressive Chilax Chuck on a board of 7♥3♦7♦J♠7♣. Chilax Chuck showed down 2♦3♠4♥5♥ for trip 7s with a 5 kicker. Smulders N dragged the massive pot with A♦A♥T♣9♣, a full house, and climbed to 1.6 million.

Chilax Chuck kept firing, still sitting behind a massive stack of more than 150 big blinds, and quickly rebuilt. It was almost unfair when Chilax Chuck was dealt single-suited aces and djalminha pulled A♣K♣J♥6♥. Chilax Chuck opened. No surprise there. djalminha three-bet, Chilax Chuck four-bet and they were off. The case ace flopped, A♦5♣J♠. The 9♣ turn gave djalminha some hope, with outs to a club flush. Yet djalminha had the wrong end of boat over boat and hit the rail in 5th place after the river fell J♦.

Markushevski got a huge boost by dragging the main pot in a three-way all-in (after the flop!) against Chilax Chuck and SmuldersN:

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"I had a freeroll to a higher straight," noted Chilax Chuck after the hand. "It would have been sick. Heads up 5 million versus 300k." Instead play continued four handed.

chinaman84 climbed to more than 600k in chips thanks to a double-up but then lost a monster pot to Chilax Chuck. The action was checked three-ways on a raised flop of 9♣T♦5♠. Chilax Chuck potted the turn 3♦ for 130,000, folding SmuldersN. chinaman84 called to the river 5♦. Chilax Chuck potted again, 390,000 total, causing chinaman84 to dip into the time bank for almost two minutes. chinaman84 finally called, but mucked in the face of Chilax Chuck's full house, 5♥6♠8♣9♦.

Five hands

After that loss, chinaman84 managed one double-up and won a small pot. Then a lightning strike from Chilax Chuck ended the tournament in the space of five hands.

First, double-suited aces, A♥3♥A♠7♠, didn't hold all in pre-flop for chinaman84 against Chilax Chuck's 7♦8♥T♥T♣. A board of Q♣6♠K♠9♥5♣ unkindly gave Chilax Chuck a 9-high straight. chinaman84 was eliminated in 4th place.

The next hand, Chilax Chuck dispatched Markushevski in a pot that Markushevski four-bet to 440,000 pre-flop. Chilax Chuck led a K♦J♠7♦ flop for 900,000, a bet that covered Markushevski's remaining 592,52. Markushevki put those chips at risk with A♦K♥5♥4♠, a pair of kings. Chilax Chuck showed down K♠J♥8♥3♣, two pair, kings and jacks. The board stayed clean for Chilax Chuck with the 7♣ turn and 2♠ river. Markushevski was out in 3rd place.

At the start of heads-up play, Chilax Chuck had 5.0 million and SmuldersN had 990k. The first hand was won by Chilax Chuck with a single pre-flop raise. Chilax Chuck also won the second hand with a river bet that went uncalled. The tournament ended on the third hand.

Chilax Chuck had the button again and opened for pot, 60,000. SmuldersN called, then checked a 9-high flop, 2♥5♥9♠. The action then went: bet pot; raise pot; re-raise pot; call all in. Chilax Chuck showed a pair and a flush draw, 8♥9♦T♣Q♥. SmuldersN had a bare pair of queens, Q♦Q♠3♥2♠. It was Chilax Chuck all day after the turn 4♠ and river 9♥ improved Chilax Chuck to trip 9s.

Run like that, and poker's an easy game.

2011 SCOOP Event 17-Medium $162 Pot-Limit Omaha (6-max, Rebuys) results:

1st: Chilax Chuck ($48,963.00)
2nd: SmuldersN ($36,078.00)
3rd: Markushevki ($26,414.25)
4th: chinaman84 ($18,039.00)
5th: djalminha ($12,885.00)
6th: painhead ($8,014.47)

Check out what else is going on during 2011 SCOOP by visiting the SCOOP homepage.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP