SCOOP: German pride for xandyLx in Event 3-Medium victory

scoop2009_thn.gifIt's said that poker players share playing styles by nationality or geographic region. Scandinavians are aggressive. Asians are more prone to gamble. Americans tend to be nittier than most.

What to make, then, of Germany and Canada's performances in 2011 SCOOP Event 3-Medium, $55 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em with Rebuys? Those two nations accounted for six of the final seven players in this event. Germany's xandyLx mounted a heroic comeback from an ultra-short stack with five players left to win the whole thing.

Do Canadians and Germans know some secret about six-handed NLHE that they aren't sharing with the rest of the world?

The entries, the rebuys and add-ons combined to generate a prize pool of $480,950, making first prize just short of $75,000. Life-changing money? Maybe not. But we're betting that most people wouldn't turn down the opportunity to pick up a chunk of change of that magnitude.

The little red spade had a tough time in this tournament. Team Pro Bryan Huang and Team Online player Kristian "CharismA3" Martin each squeaked into the money with a minimum cash of $245.28, but that was it for the 17 Team PokerStars players that registered for Event 3-Medium.

In its wisdom, PokerStars opted to make this event a two-day affair. 33 levels of 20 minutes each on Day 1 pared the field of 3,586 down to just 20 players. They returned on Day 2 and needed another two hours and twenty minutes of play to reach the final table. paulitschMC was the unlucky final table player, running pocket kings into UhhMee's pocket aces. That left these six players to battle it out:

SCOOP 3-Medium final table.JPG

Seat 1: snake8484 (10443672 in chips)
Seat 2: UhhMee (8977476 in chips)
Seat 3: Bandano (3415517 in chips)
Seat 4: zwuerbs (4926425 in chips)
Seat 5: p0cket00 (3188421 in chips)
Seat 6: xandyLx (2711489 in chips)

snake8484 and UhhMee, who both call Canada their "home and native land", were first in second in chips at the start of the final table. They quickly got to work extending their respective leads on the other four players. At one point they rattled off 12 of 14 pots between the two of them.

The lone Dutch player, Bandano, was the first player eliminated. After UhhMee opened yet another pot to 240k at the 60k / 120k / 15k level, Bandano re-raised all in for 2.5 million. UhhMee had the goods, a pair of jacks, and bested Bandano's pair of 9s on a board of A♠5♣7♦T♦J♥.

UhhMee took over the chip lead and narrowed the final table to five players, each German or Canadian. The Canadians had 26 million of the roughly 33 million chips in play. xandyLx noted the uphill battle the Germans faced.

"Gonna be difficult against 3 Canadian guys zwuerbs," xandyLx said. zwuerbs responded with a smiley face. If only they had known how snake-bit snake8484 would turn out to be, they might not have thought the challenge so great.

snake8484 played four all-in pots at the final table - and lost them all. Two times snake8484's ace-queen was up against a dominated hand: first the A♦9♦ of p0cket00, then the K♦Q♣ of zwuerbs. Each time snake8484's opponent paired a kicker after the flop to drag the pot.

A few orbits later snake8484 ran pocket kings into zwuerbs' pocket aces. The hand vaulted zwuerbs to 11.9 million and the chip lead. snake8484 dropped to 1.8 million.

After the end-of-hour break, xandyLx added to zwuerbs' German blitzkrieg. p0cket00 tried limping the small blind, then re-raising all in for 4.2 million after xandyLx raised the big blind to 560k. xandyLx snap-called with pocket queens, which held against p0cket00's A♣3♣ to cripple p0cket00 to 497k.

p0cket00 doubled up three times in short succession, long enough to watch snake8484 bust out in 5th place. snake8484 open-shoved with pocket treys and was called by UhhMee with K♦Q♠. Since nothing went right at this final table for snake8484, it was no surprise to see the board roll out 4♥ J♥ T♠ Q♦ J♦ to pair queens for UhhMee.

p0cket00's double-up good fortune ended a few hands later in 4th place when a three-bet all-in shove with K♥J♦ over zwuerbs' open raise ran right into xandyLx's pocket kings in the big blind. There was no miracle this time around for p0cket00. A board of Q♣ 9♠ 9♦ 8♦ Q♥ sent p0cket00 packing.

After the Canadians began the final table seemingly in control, the tide had turned drastically. Starting three-handed play, the two Germans were still alive and had leveled the score:

Seat 2: UhhMee (11759303 in chips)
Seat 4: zwuerbs (8297297 in chips)
Seat 6: xandyLx (13606400 in chips)

The Germans attempted to broker a deal, but UhhMee replied with a curt "no ty" and play continued. It was a wise move as zwuerbs busted a short time later in this great hand:

RSS readers click through to see replay

The elimination of zwuerbs left two players at the final table: one German (xandyLx) and one Canadian (UhhMee). At the start of heads-up play, UhhMee had 19.0 million chips to xandyLx's 14.6 million. Blinds were 80k / 160k / 20k. xandyLx won the first sizable pot to level the counts and again asked if there was any chance for a deal.

"No ty gl," replied UhhMee. UhhMee then fired off 12 of 14 winners, including three streets of value with trip 7s on a board of 7♥ 4♣ 6♠ 7♠ T♦, to take a 2-to-1 chip lead. xandyLx battled back and leveled the stacks again without going to showdown, then took over the lead in similar fashion. They continued battling until xandyLx finally took the upper hand with this sizable pot:

RSS readers click through to see replay

It was all xandyLx from there. Flopping a nine-high straight six hands later holding 8♥5♣, and getting value on all three streets, surely didn't hurt. The lead grew to 29.7 million to 3.9 million with blinds at 100k / 200k / 25k. It was insurmountable a few hands later after UhhMee's K♣Q♦ failed to improve against xandyLx's A♣5♣ all in pre-flop.

The comeback was complete. xandyLx brought home the gold for Germany in the face of staggering odds and earned almost $75,000 and a SCOOP watch to boot.

2011 SCOOP Event 3-Medium $55 No-Limit Hold'em [6-Max, Rebuys] results:

1st: xandyLx ($74,548.85)
2nd: UhhMee ($54,587.82)
3rd: zwuerbs ($40,159.32)
4th: p0cket00 ($25,730.82)
5th: snake8484 ($15,630.87)
6th: Bandano ($8,416.62)

Today is only Day 3 of the 2011 SCOOP series. There are still 13 more action-packed tournament days to follow. Stay up on all the SCOOP news, results and schedule at the SCOOP homepage.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP