SCOOP: danskemann denies DazzleO double, wins Event #22-M ($320 NLHE, 4-max.)

SCOOP logo.gifSmall blind. Big blind. Cutoff/Under the Gun. Button. Four-handed poker. No waiting.

And nowhere to hide.

It's a relatively rare game, found mostly only online. Or, of course, during the final stages of a tournament. Those seeking it out are generally more experienced short-handed players, possessed with plenty of postflop skills and a shared love of action.

Such was the case for SCOOP Event #22-Medium, the $320 buy-in version of four-max. NLHE, for which a large field of 1,146 came out to play. It was an impressive turnout, as the total prize pool -- $343,800 -- more than doubled the event's $150K guarantee. The top 144 finishers earned the right to divide up that bounty, $55,008 of which awaited the winner.

From 1,146 to 144

It took about four hours for the field to shrink down under 200 players, at which point just three Team PokerStars Pros remained: Pat Pezzin and Jonathan Duhamel (both of Team PokerStars Canada), and Lex Velduis (of Team PokerStars Netherlands). Alexis "J0hnny_Dr@m@" Zervos, one of those challenging for a spot on Team PokerStars Greece this year, was also still in the hunt to make the cash.

With the blinds 150/300, Veldhuis made a minimum-raise to 600 from the button and got called by Vitobrasil in the big blind. The flop came all diamonds -- 5♦8♦7♦ -- and Vitobrasil checked. Veldhuis bet 900, and his opponent promptly check-raised to 2,268. Velduis called the raise.

The turn was the 6♥, and when Vitorbrasil led for 2,668, Veldhuis responded by shoving all in with his last 8,531. Vitorbrasil snap-called, showing K♦J♦ for a king-high flush. Alas for the Dutchman, he held T♦9♥ for a suddenly-not-so-attractive-looking straight. No river card could save Veldhuis, who hit the rail in 186th.

Zervos would come up shy of the money as well, going out in 163rd. In the Greek player's elimination hand, "J0hnny_Dr@m@" had committed all of his chips following a 2♥3♠[10c] flop. Zervos held A♦[10d], better than his opponent Joao M.'s K♠[10s]. But a king spiked on the river, giving Joao M. two pair and sending "J0hnny_Dr@m@" out in 163rd.

The bubble burst shortly thereafter, at which time I_KAS_I was in first with more than 137,000, with Event #14-High winner Kroko-dill next with about 121,000. Those two were followed by needcashquik, fkasbergen, Benderivets, RutgerM, and the cleverly-named smellmuth, all of whom had more than 100,000.

O Canada

A little later they had reached the six-hour break, with ihaveAAdream having moved out in front with more than 216,000 and gregory6 the nearest challenger with 135,000 exactly. At that point 86 players remained, including the two Canadians Pezzin (in 15th) and Duhamel (in 46th).

About an hour-and-a-half later, the blinds were 700/1,400 when Duhamel open-raised from the small blind to 4,200, then danskemann reraised to 11,190 from the BB. The 2010 WSOP Main Event champ responded by pushing all in for 63,440, and danskemann made the call.

Duhamel showed 9♠9♠, ahead of danskemann's A♦Q♥. Duhamel's hand was still best after the 4♥3♠J♥ flop and K♥ turn, but the 3♥ river brought danskemann a better flush and sent Duhamel out in 39th ($1,564.29).


Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel

That left just Duhamel's fellow Canadian, Pat Pezzin, stand on guard for thee... er, for Team PokerStars.

A while later there were 20 left, with Bwd26 out in front with 611,168, lugd8 next with 556,770, Elduderino67 third with 471,393, and Pezzin in dead last, 20th place. Pezzin still had 30-plus big blinds, though, meaning he hadn't necessarily slipped into desperation territory. And he'd successfully hang on for some time further as qucumba (20th), I_KAS_I (19th), rbg187 (18th), $trateGema (17th), and C.K. (16th) all hit the rail, each earning $4,125.60 for their efforts.

That's when a hand arose at a three-handed table in which wex_69, with the blinds at 1,500/3,000, opened with a raise from the button to 6,125. Pezzin next pushed all in for 110,333 from the small blind, and H.Oussalé reraised all in over the top from the big blind, forcing out wex_69.

Pezzin had 6♠6♦, but had run into H.Oussalé's aces. The board came 5♣7♣9♣3♠K♥, and Pezzin was out in 15th ($4,125.60).


Team PokerStars Pro Pat Pezzin

boss_bobo (14th) and Pezzin's vanquisher H.Oussalé (13th) went out shortly thereafter (also earning $4,125.60), and they were down to a dozen, gathered around three four-handed tables.

Twelve players, one watch

Daniel "DazzleO" Ospina -- winner of SCOOP #4-Medium ($162 Badugi) -- next took out KvicKiller in 12th ($4,813.20) when his K♠K♦ proved best versus KvicKiller's T♥T♠. Then skyscraper77 became short and pushed with J♠9♣, getting a call from wex_69 who held 7♦7♠. The sevens held, and skyscraper was out in 11th ($4,813.20).

Next it was 7Be/\eC7 pushing all in from button for 7.5 big blinds with J♠T♣ and getting called by gregory6 in the big blind with A♦3♠. No pair for 7Be/\eC7 and an ace on the turn sent 7Be/\eC7 out in 10th ($4,813.20).

Then, after a minimum-raise from DazzleO to 12,000 from UTG, ludg8 shoved all in from the small blind for 338,481. DazzleO, sitting with about 1.34 million to start the hand, called with A♥J♦, behind ludg8's A♦K♠. But a jack flopped, and no saving king came for ludg8, sending him out in ninth ($4,831.20)

The final two tables

They'd played about 10 hours and 20 minutes, and with eight left DazzleO was out in front with 1,684,364. dede65 was next with 1,283,658, and danskemann far behind in third with 672,773. The blinds were still just 3,500/7,000, however, making the average stack 100-plus BBs deep, with even Bwd26 -- eighth of eight -- with a reasonably comfortable stack of 42-plus big blinds.

However, it would only be a few minutes before the next elimination. With the blinds still 3,500/7,000, dede65 raised to 17,500 from UTG, then Bwd26 shoved all in from the SB for 257,076. DazzleO folded, and dede65 snap-called, tabling A♠A♣. Bwd26 had A♦J♣, and five cards later was out in eighth ($7,563.60).

It would be another 20 minutes before the next bustout. DrUPSWING had been on a downswing, falling below 200,000 chips. Then, with the blinds at 4,000/8,000, Elduderino67 raised to 16,500 from the button and DrUPSWING reraised all in for 186,018 from the small blind. danskemann folded, and Elduderino67 called, showing 7♦7♥ to DrUPSWING's 3♠3♥. A third seven flopped, and two cards later DrUPSWING was typing "gl danske was fun" as he bowed out in seventh ($7,563.60).

Soon Daniel "DazzleO" Ospina was opening with a min-raise to 16,000 from UTG and dede65 called from the button. gregory6 then reraised all in for 312,000 from the small blind, getting a call from DazzleO and a fold from dede65.

gregory6 had A♠7♠ and would need help versus Ospina's A♥Q♥. No such help arrived, however, as the community cards came T♣K♦K♠Q♠Q♦. gregory6 was out in sixth ($7,563.60), meaning they were down to a three-handed table and a two-handed one.

With five left, it was left to poor dede65 to battle massive chip leader Ospina heads up. DazzleO, with about 3.2 million chips, had nearly 10 times the stack of dede65 when they began their tête-à-tête. dede65 fought gamely, even doubling up once with pocket sevens versus DazzleO sixes. But finally dede65's luck ran out after pushing his last 257,116 with Q♣J♠ and getting limp-called by DazzleO holding A♦Q♠. The board ran out Q♦A♠9♦8♥3♠, and they were down to the last four-handed table.


Seat 1: danskemann -- 1,329,864
Seat 2: wex_69 -- 248,500
Seat 3: Elduderino67 -- 548,052
Seat 4: DazzleO -- 3,603,584

The Final Four

Ospina was beginning the final table with more than 60% of the chips in play, in prime position to land his second SCOOP watch of the series. The blinds were 5,000/10,000 as the final table began, which meant DazzleO had more than 360 of them while short stack wex_69 was down to less than 25.

Soon those two got into a preflop raising war, with wex_69 min-raising from the button to 20,000, DazzleO making it 56,123 from the big blind, wex_69 pushing all in for 447,250, and DazzleO calling.

DazzleO J♦J♥
wex_69 A♠T♦

Yet another good hand for DazzleO, and when the board came nine-high -- 6♣9♣4♥4♣8♣ -- they were down to three.

Play continued for a few orbits, then chip leader DazzleO was the one to propose a possible deal, and the other two assented. At the time, DazzleO had 3,847,548, Elduderino67 1,138,042, and danskemann 744,410. The "chip chop" numbers were proposed, Elduderino67 didn't like them, and the three decided quickly to continue playing.

In the last hand before the 12-hour break, Elduderino67 suffered a hit to his stack in a big hand versus danskemann. danskemann had led the betting preflop and on all three streets as the board 4♣A♥3♠J♥5♦. Elduderino67 called preflop, the flop, and turn, then raised all-in on the river only to get quickly called by danskemann. Elduderino67 had K♣T♠ for a failed river bluff while danskemann had K♠2♣ for a wheel.

After that hand, the three went to the break with DazzleO still in front with nearly 3.6 million, danskemann now in second with 1.72 million, and Elduderino67 back down to a little over 405,000. When Ospina asked if the break was a longer one (i.e., 15-minutes), Elduderino67 confirmed that it was, cheekily adding "enough time to get off tilt ;)"

When play resumed, a sort-of-similar situation developed between danskmann and DazzleO. In this one, DazzleO opened with a 2x raise to 28,000 from the button and only danskemann called from the small blind. Both checked the 8♥4♦8♣ flop. The turn brought the 5♦. danskemann bet 45,900, DazzleO raised to 106,899, danskemann reraised to 239,000, and DazzleO called.

The river was the J♥. danskemann bet 379,090 this time, and DazzleO shoved all in. danskemann quickly called with the 1,156,450 he had left, showing 4♥4♠ for a flopped full house. DazzleO had but 6♣3♣ -- a busted draw and unfortunately-timed bluff. Now danskemann had the chip lead with more than 3.62 million, DazzleO was back down to 1.71 million, and Elduderino67 was still in third with a little under 400,000.

The blinds were at 8,000/16,000 when danskemann raised to 35,000 from the button, then Elduderino67 pushed all in from the small blind for 325,161. DazzleO folded, and danskemann made the call. danskemann had A♥7♥ and Elduderino67 K♣8♠. The flop came 5♦9♦J♥, changing nothing, but the K♥ on the turn put Elduderino67 in front. Then the A♣ fell on the river, swinging the hand back to danskemann and knocking out Elduderino67 in third.

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Heads Up

Heads-up play began with danskemann sitting with 4,068,063 to DazzleO's 1,661,937. The pair played a half-dozen hands without much change to their stacks, at which point the tourney was paused again to discuss a possible deal. "Chip chop" numbers were presented -- $47,301.36 for danskemann, $39,086.64 for DazzleO, with $3K left on the table -- and both players responded with requests for more.

Opsina then furthered his case, alluded to his earlier triumph in this year's SCOOP as he did:

DazzleO: why would i give u money. u have the least to lose
DazzleO: i already won a scoop, might as well win another
danskemann: i have lots of chips,and played alot at this stage
DazzleO: up to u
danskemann: yea i know
danskemann: congrats btw
DazzleO: thanks , whats it gonna be
DazzleO: 40k lets do it
danskemann: na lets do the deal as it is?
DazzleO: play ball then
danskemann: oki cool
danskemann: gl

Play resumed, and over the next 10 hands danskemann grabbed three medium-sized pots to knock DazzleO below 1 million. But then DazzleO managed a double-up with A♥K♥ versus danskemann's A♣[10s], and a few hands later had chipped back to 2.57 million to danskemann's 3.15 million.

The pair continued to battle, then -- close to 13 hours after the event began -- the final hand was played.

It began with danskemann opening for a minimum-raise to 32,000 from the button, DazzleO reraising to 132,000, and danskemann calling. The flop came 7♣4♦3♣. DazzleO bet 98,000, and danskemann didn't waste much time before raising to 231,900. DazzleO tanked for a bit, then pushed it up to 631,900 total. danskemann made the call.

The turn brought the T♥. This time Ospina checked, and danskemann fired 490,000 into the 1.53-million plus chip pot. DazzleO paused again, then pushed all in with the 1,811,296 he had behind. danskemann instantly called, showing 6♥5♥ for a flopped straight. DazzleO had 8♦7♥ for sevens, which meant the river 2♣ didn't matter. danskemann had won!

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Congratulations to danskemann for taking down Event #22-Medium, and to Daniel "DazzleO" Ospina as well for nearly winning a second SCOOP watch of the spring!

SCOOP Event #22-Medium, $320 No-Limit Hold'em (4-max.), Results:

1st: danskemann ($55,008)
2nd: DazzleO ($34,380)
3rd: Elduderino67 ($24,066)
4th: wex_69 ($16,846.20)

For highlights of SCOOP action, be sure to tune into "Inside SCOOP" over at, hosted by Joe Stapleton and Nick Wealthall.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in SCOOP