SCOOP: Eifffel climbs to the top of Event 15-High

scoop2009_thn.gifTechnically, turbo tournaments are not "flippaments", as such term is generally understood. However, they are definitely "rungoodaments". Nobody who plays much poker at all has any illusion about the luck needed to run through a 307-player turbo MTT field.

That was the challenge that players faced in 2011 SCOOP Event 15-High, the $1,575 NLHE Double Chance Turbo event. Players had just one safety net: a single rebuy that they could take in the first 90 minutes of play only if they went broke. 140 players exercised that option, creating a prize pool of $670,500.

It was a great day for Team PokerStars. Of the 19 Team Pros and Team Online players that entered Event 15-High, six were among the 36 players that were paid. JP Kelly and Pieter de Korver squeaked into the money with min-cashes; Gualter Salles went out with three tables left; and Toni Judet (17th), Jude Ainsworth (16th), and Noah Boekken (13th) all made the final two tables.

Turbo tournaments are tough at that stage. Luck plays a large role in the outcome, and none of Team PokerStars were lucky enough to be among these final nine players:

Event 15-High final table.JPG

Seat 1: Bananazoo (183159 in chips)
Seat 2: taeyfrka23 (55610 in chips)
Seat 3: Eifffel (531596 in chips)
Seat 4: SoulMaster7 (50700 in chips)
Seat 5: PADANG-PRO (457228 in chips)
Seat 6: mement_mori (284114 in chips)
Seat 7: Improved (165254 in chips)
Seat 8: mikki696 (260583 in chips)
Seat 9: calamitas (246756 in chips)

Turbo charged to the max extreme

Turbo final tables are always frenetic. Event 15-High was no exception. Blinds started at 10k / 20k / 2500 with an average stack of 250k. The whole final table took just 32 minutes to play out.

The all-in raises started on the first hand, when Improved doubled with pocket 10s against PADANG-PRO's ace-queen. taeyfrka23 and SoulMaster7 were all in on the second hand, but chopped ace-queen and ace-nine on a double-paired board.

It was until the fourth hand that the first elimination came. calamitas raised all in from the button against two shorter stacks in the blinds. Bananazoo called from the small blind with A♠Q♦ against calamitas' mighty 4♥2♥. A perfect sweat flop of 6♥4♣A♥ hit the board. Bananazoo was drawing dead when a third heart, T♥ hit the turn, and finished in 9th place for $12,739.50

A few hands later it was PADANG-PRO's turn to sweat, calling all in from the blinds with Q♦J♦ against Eifffel's K♦4♦. The sweat: 8♦9♦Q♥. PADANG-PRO had top pair and a flush draw, but Eifffel had an overcard and better flush draw. The turn blanked 5♣; the river gave 6♦ gave both players a flush. Eifffel's flush was best and sent PADANG-PRO to the rail in 8th place, $16,726.50 richer.

Dragging that pot increased Eifffel to 881k. That count ballooned to more than 1 million after Eifffel rattling off three more pots in a row.

SoulMaster7 was down to less than a big blind a few hands later. Those scant chips went into the pot with Q♥J♦, a hand significantly ahead of big blind Eifffel's J♣4♠. A four hit the flop, however, to give Eifffel a pair. SoulMaster7 never improved and bowed out in 7th place.

With blinds at 15k / 30k / 3750, and down to just 102k in chips, A♥T♦ probably looked like a monster to mikki696 in the big blind against mement_mori's button raise. Not so much; mement_mori had the goods, a pair of aces A♣A♦. mikki696 was drawing dead by the turn and out in 6th by the river.

taeyfrka23 had even fewer chips than mikki696. One hand after mikki696's elimination, taefryka23 was at risk for 78k with 6♠T♠. calamitas, the only other player in the pot, showed down J♠T♥ and made two pair, T♦3♥3♦4♦J♥, to end taefryka23's run in 5th place.

Deal or no deal?

With four players left and an average stack of 19 big blinds, mement_mori suggested discussing a deal. The other players did not respond. Blinds quickly rose to 20k / 40k / 5k, with Eiffel in control:

Seat 3: Eifffel (1038370 in chips)
Seat 6: mement_mori (417577 in chips)
Seat 7: Improved (392266 in chips)
Seat 9: calamitas (386787 in chips)

It was basically a push-or-fold game. Improved pushed those 10 big blinds from the button with A♥9♥ and ran right into calamitas' A♠J♠. calamitas just barely had Improved covered. Both players blanked on the board, sending Improved to the rail.

mement_mori tried to broker a deal a second time, but Eifffel refused. "Let's just play."

Two hands later mement_mori was gone after opening all in from the small blind with K♠5♣. Not only did calamitas have mement_mori dominated with A♦5♦, but an all-diamond flop of 8♦6♦9♦ gave calamitas the nuts and a hammer lock on the hand.

The last two finalists were about even in chips. calamitas started heads-up play with 1.15 million; Eifffel had 1.07 million. Blinds were up to 25k / 50k / 6250.

"Deal?" calamitas asked Eifffel as heads-up play started.

"No," was Eifffel's one-word response.

After a few hands calamitas was up to 1.4 million versus Eifffel's 765,000. That's when Eifffel began open-shoving every button. Four times in a row Eifffel shoved. After the fourth time Eifffel also shoved the big blind after calamitas opened the button with a min-raise to 100k. Each time calamitas folded.

calamitas started in on the button-shoving tactic, and ran into calamity:

RSS readers click through for replay

From there it was over in three hands. On the third hand, Eifffels shoved the button with Q♥9♠ and calamitas called with A♥J♠. A nine on the flop was all the help Eifffel needed to win the race to the finish, and grab a SCOOP title, in Event 15-High.

2011 SCOOP Event 15-High $1,575 No-Limit Hold'em [2x Chance, Turbo] results:

1st: Eifffel ($137,117.25)
2nd: calamitas ($100,575.00)
3rd: mement_mori ($75,766.50)
4th: Improved ($56,992.50)
5th: taeyfrka23 ($38,889.00)
6th: mikki696 ($30,172.50)
7th: SoulMaster7 ($23,467.50)
8th: PADANG-PRO ($16,762.50)
9th: Bananazoo ($12,739.50)

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