SCOOP: flashdisastr scores final knockout in Event #12-H ($2,600 NLHE KO)

SCOOP logo.gif "Those $500 for the KO make me go crazy sometimes."

So said Alexander "joiso" Kostritsyn at the start of the final table of Event #12-High, the $2,600 no-limit hold'em knockout event for which players receive a $500 bounty for each opponent they eliminate.

Speaking of crazy, Kostritsyn is having one crazily successful week. On Wednesday the Russian took runner-up in Event #10-High ($3,150 Stud), then the very next night finished second again in Event #11-High ($2,100 PLO Heads-Up). And by making his third consecutive final table in a "High" event, "joiso" was hoping to score that one, ultimate knockout and land that elusive SCOOP watch.

Day 1

A total of 277 came out for this one, creating a total prize pool of $554,000, $138,500 of which would be applied to bounties. That meant the $250,000 guarantee was easily met. The top 36 finishers would receive cash prizes in addition to whatever bounties they'd collected, with $113,293 due the winner.

A number of Team PokerStars Pros (and a couple of challengers to join the team) participated in Event #12-H -- 10 altogether. But all 10 saw their $500 knockout bounties claimed during the course of the first day of play.

Maxim Lykov of Team PokerStars Russia was all-in during the fifth 30-minute level with A♦Q♦ against Willy Banaan's A♥K♠ and ThEcLaiMEer's pocket jacks. An ace flopped, and Willy Banaan ended up with the pot and Lykov's bounty after eliminating him in 211st.

Shortly after, I'am_Sound took Martin "AABenjamin" Hruby's bounty, using A♠Q♣ to top Hruby's K♣J♦ and knock the Czech player out in 207th. Then Exan13 outraced Marcin "Goral" Horecki, flopping an ace with A♦K♣ versus Horecki's J♣J♥ to send the Polish pro out in 161st.

Two challengers to join Team PokerStars Greece, Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas and George "gkap13" Kapalas, would next join the march to the rail, with Kalfas running tens into youaremelon's aces to go out in 147th and Kapalas losing with A♥Q♠, also succumbing to pocket aces -- held by Mattssons -- to finish 127th.

They'd reached Level 9, where 2010 WSOP Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel (Team PokerStars Canada) was soon KO'd by smokrokflock to finish 126th. Once more pocket aces proved best after Duhamel got all of his chips in preflop with J♦J♠ against smokrokflock's A♣A♦. And in Level 10 it was Vadim Markushevski (Team PokerStars Russia) failing in 109th with A♥K♠ against snowking_95's pocket sixes.

At that point -- about five-and-a-half hours into play -- there were 100 left. MindFeeling led with more than 60,000, with flashdisastr and venced0r the only other players with more than 40,000.

Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth was the next Team PokerStars Pro to go after the Irishman became short and pushed with 6♦5♦, but couldn't overcome rivermanl's Q♥Q♣, going out in 98th. Mattssons -- who'd claimed Kapalas' bounty -- grabbed another after knocking out Pat Pezzin (Team PokerStars Canada) in 51st place when Pezzin's A♦J♠ failed to outdraw against Mattssons' pocket jacks.

Just Netherlander Lex Veldhuis was left to represent Team PokerStars. Veldhuis had battled gamely for much of the day. Early on he made a big fold in a hand that was featured on the Friday, 5/13 episode of "Inside SCOOP." Here's that hand, sans Veldhuis's cards being shown:

RSS readers click through to see replay

How do we know "RaSZi" made a big fold? Because afterwards he tweeted about it, pointing to his posted hand history that showed he'd held Q♣9♣! Suspecting his queen-high flush was no good, he let it go... and was right.


Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis

Later on the Dutchman was all in for his tourney life with pocket eights and against an opponent with pocket queens, but managed to flop quads to survive. Alas, only a dozen spots from the cash, Veldhuis was all in again, this time with A♣K♦ against flashdisastr's A♠A♦. No happy flops for Veldhuis this time, who was eliminated in 49th.

The money bubble approached, and once the field had shrunk to 37 players and hand-to-hand play commenced, it soon became evident to all that a short-stacked SeeYouWrong was for whatever reason sitting out. SeeYouWrong was finally blinded and anted away -- zugzwang16 being the fortunate recipient of the bounty -- and they were down to 36.

At that point flashdisastr was in the lead with more than 166,000, IkBenEenBaas next with over 151,000, and MindFeeling the only other player in six digits with about 122,000. All three would still be around in the middle of Level 21 when Gambit360 got the bounty for knocking out villepn in 10th, thus making the final table:


Seat 1: IkBenEenBaas -- 218,751
Seat 2: G's zee -- 47,592
Seat 3: Improved -- 32,070
Seat 4: Gambit360 -- 345,240
Seat 5: MindFeeling -- 95,606
Seat 6: flashdisastr -- 295,009
Seat 7: venced0r -- 140,980
Seat 8: entim -- 82,911
Seat 9: joiso -- 126,841

There was still about 45 minutes of play scheduled before play would stop. All nine remained with chips as they neared the end of the scheduled stopping point, at which time some suggested the possibility of playing through rather than wait for Day 2. A couple objected, however, and thus the plan was nixed.

That being settled, Timothy "entim" Boyle had a question for the moderator:

entim: Is there a complimentary buffet

Alexander "joiso" Kostritsyn had a response ready:

joiso: yes u can everything u want during the tournament for free
joiso: just sent bills to
joiso: signed by a waiter

The night soon concluded. In one of the last hands of Day 1, a big preflop all-in occurred between IkBenEanBaas with A♦K♣ and Gambit360 with A♠K♠, but no flush came and the pot was split. "phew," typed IkBenEenBaas, and soon the final nine were off to enjoy some well-earned rest.

Day 2

Here's how the stacks looked when play resumed Friday afternoon:

1. Gambit360 -- 304,615
2. flashdisastr -- 279,559
3. joiso -- 273,225
4. IkBenEenBaas -- 199,274
5. venced0r -- 98,255
6. MindFeeling -- 78,151
7. entim -- 60,461
8. G's zee -- 56,165
9. Improved -- 35,295

The interruption in play meant we had a redraw for seats as well, resulting in the following arrangement: Gambit360 (Seat 1), Improved (Seat 2), flashdisastr (Seat 3), Gambit360 (Seat 4), joiso (Seat 5), entim (Seat 6), G's zee (Seat 7), venced0r (Seat 8), IkBenEenBaas (Seat 9).

It took about 20 minutes for the first elimination of Day 2 to come. With the blinds 1,250/2,500, flashdisastr raised to 5,676, then Kostritsyn called from the button. The table's shortest stack Timothy "entim" Boyle then reraised all in for 32,961 from the small blind, forcing a quick fold from G's zee in the BB. flashdisastr thought for a while, then called the reraise, prompting "joiso" to repop it up to 79,200. flashdisastr again tanked for a while before stepping aside.

Boyle showed K♣J♦ and Kostritsyn K♦Q♥, prompting IkBenEenBaas to type "wow" at the sight of their hands. The board ran out Q♣5♣5♥6♦4♠, and Kostritsyn had claimed Boyle's bounty, knocking "entim" out in ninth.

It was after that hand Kostritsyn typed the line explaining how "those $500 for the KO make me go crazy sometimes." Twenty minutes later he'd have a chance to go for another bounty when he open-raised for 3x to 9,000 from the small blind and saw G's zee push all in from the big blind for his last 29,340. Kostritsyn quickly called, showing A♣5♦ and hoping to catch versus G's zee's 9♦9♠.

G's zee was ahead through the turn -- K♣6♥4♠K♦ -- but the A♦ fell on the river, sending G's zee out in eighth and giving Kostritsyn another $500.

On the very next hand, it folded around to venced0r who limped in from the small blind, then IkBenEenBaas raised to 8,625 from the BB. venced0r responded by pushing all in for 67,250, and IkBenEenBaas called, showing J♠J♣. venced0r had A♦9♥, pairing the 9♣8♠3♣ flop but failing to improve after the 5♦ turn and K♦ river. Six remained.

On the last hand before the first break of Day 2, IkBenEenBaas would pick up his second bounty at the final table. IkBenEenBaas raised to 6,600 from UTG+1, and it folded to Gambit360 who reraised to 18,750 from the big blind. IkBenEenBaas then made it 45,250, Gambit360 called, and the flop came T♣K♦5♥. Gambit360 checked, IkBenEenBaas bet 36,250, and Gambit360 called. The turn brought the K♠ and another check-call from Gambit360, this time for 63,250.

The river was the 3♦. Gambit360 checked one more time and IkBenEenBaas bet 165,000, just a bit more than the 158,484 Gambit360 had behind. The call was made, and Gambit360 showed A♠A♣, not enough against IkBenEenBaas's A♥K♥ for trip kings, thus sending Gambit360 out in fifth.

After that hand, IkBenEenBaas was well out in front with more than 706,000, with flashdisaster (283,239) and joiso (258,239) his nearest challengers while both MindFeeling and Improved were sitting with less than 100,000.

Those five would battle for the next 45 minutes, then in the space of three hands came a wild tourney-changing sequence -- one for which it would be fair to use that "crazy" adjective again.

With the blinds up to 2,500/5,000, joiso opened with a min-raise to 10,000 from UTG, and IkBenEenBaas, sitting to Kostritsyn's left, called. MindFeeling then made it 30,000 to go from the button, forcing out the blinds. Both joiso and IkBenEenBaas called.

The flop came T♥Q♣7♦. Kostritsyn led for 20,000, IkBenEenBaas called the bet, then MindFeeling pushed all in for 72,562. joiso got out, but IkBenEenBaas quickly called, showing 7♥7♠ for a flopped set of sevens. MindFeeling couldn't have been feeling too well at the sight of his opponent's hand, having A♠A♣, and after the K♣ turn and 8♣ river they were down to four.

Two hands later came another big one. Improved started things by open-pushing all in from UTG for 54,840. flashdisastr then reraised all in for 202,538 from the button, and Kostritsyn called from the small blind with the 112,982 he had left. Chip leader IkBenEenBaas stepped aside, and the three players' hands were turned over:

joiso K♦K♠
Improved A♣8♥
flashdisastr Q♠Q♥

The flop came Q♣7♠4♣ -- another saving set for the lesser pocket pair! -- and after the 4♠ turn and 6♥ river flashdisastr had scored two knockouts, with Improved going out in fourth and Kostritsyn in third.

RSS readers click through to see replay

The two remaining players immediately asked to pause the tourney and discuss a deal, with IkBenEenBaas well ahead with 1,004,640 to flashdisastr's 380,360. The "chip chop" numbers were proposed: $101,374.29 for IkBenEenBaas, $90,019.71 for flashdisastr, with $5K and the watch left on the table.

The game within the game began:

IkBenEenBaas: pffff
flashdisastr: what u mean pfff?
IkBenEenBaas: massive chiplead...
flashdisastr: cant get less then icm lol
IkBenEenBaas: hmm

Finally IkBenEenBass agreed to the numbers, adding afterwards: "i actually was fine all the time but didnt want u to beg for more, pwnd." flashdisastr had a rejoinder: "would have dealed for less than icm anyway," to which IkBenEenBass replied "nice bluff."

Play resumed. After just a few hands there arose a strange one in which IkBenEenBass fired over 250,000 into a 34,438-chip pot after a K♣K♠6♥ flop, then folded after flashdisastr reraised all in for just 100,000 or so more. "misclick," was the explanation from IkBenEenBass.

After a few more hands the players were nearly even, which meant that with the blinds still at 2,500/5,000, each had more than 130 big blinds with which to compete for the extra $5K and coveted SCOOP watch.

A half-hour later, flashdisastr survived a harrowing all-in with pocket tens versus IkBenEenBass's A♥J♣. An ace flopped, but a ten came on the turn to save flashdisastr. After another half-hour, IkBenEenBass had built his lead back up again, with about a 2-to-1 advantage. After another 30 minutes of play, flashdisastr had climbed back into the lead and past the 1 million-chip mark, and IkBenEenBass was in the danger zone.

Finally, two hours after heads-up play had begun -- and after IkBenEenBass had already survived a couple of all-ins -- the final hand took place.

With the blinds at 5,000/10,000, IkBenEenBaas made a minimum-raise from the button to 20,000, then flashdisastr pushed all in. IkBenEenBaas quickly called with the 238,971 he had left, tabling 4♦4♣, but found himself well behind flashdisastr's 6♥6♦. The board came 7♠K♣9♣3♠8♥, and flashdisastr had won.

RSS readers click through to see replay

Congratulations to both flashdisastr and IkBenEenBaas for chopping, and flashdisastr for making it through that grueling heads-up battle to win the SCOOP watch (plus a couple more bounties -- IkBenEenBaas's and his own).

SCOOP Event #12-High, $2,600 NLHE Knockout, Results (not counting knockout bounties; *reflects two-way deal):

1st: flashdisastr ($95,019.71)*
2nd: IkBenEenBaas ($101,374.29)*
3rd: joiso ($62,602)
4th: Improved ($47,090)
5th: MindFeeling ($32,132)
6th: Gambit360 ($24,930)
7th: venced0r ($19,390)
8th: G's zee ($13,850)
9th: entim ($10,526)

Check elsewhere on the PokerStars blog for more reports on the 2011 SCOOP, and don't forget about the SCOOP site where you can find the remaining schedule, results and stats, and more.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in SCOOP