SCOOP: Phatlat finishes first in Event #30-Medium ($109 PLO H/L)

SCOOP logo.gifMany say that Omaha is the new Texas hold'em. As the fields grow for PLO tournaments and cash games everywhere, it seems they might be correct. However, the hi/lo format to PLO doesn't seem to attract as many players.

Nevertheless, it is growing in popularity as more poker fans become comfortable with PLO in general. And hi/lo makes a tournament that much more interesting to play and/or watch. While there is always a high hand, the possibility of making a low hand, which brings split pots or sizeable one-way pots into play, creates excitement and intrigue. Players must implement a sometimes complicated strategy and keep an eye on both high and low possibilities in order to have a chance at success. Some say it's an addictive challenge.

SCOOP offered just such a challenge with Event 30, the PLO hi/lo offering. And the medium buy-in had a $100 + $9 buy-in for the players, as well as 120-minute late registration for a $75K guarantee. When the field was complete and the numbers announced, this is what we saw:

Players: 1,326
Guarantee: $75,000
Actual prize pool: $132,600
Paid players: 171

It took quite a long time to reach that money bubble - seven and a half hours. But play then picked up a bit as players were guaranteed a minimum of $179.01 for their efforts.

Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer just missed the money by a few spots, heading out in 185th place. But in the money, several players made deep runs. The first one to go with cash in account was Team Pro Rino Mathis of Switzerland in 121st place, followed by Nuno Coelho of Portugal. Team Online's Anders" Donald" Hoyer Berg accepted a 71st place finish, and the last Team Pro standing, Lex Veldhuis of Holland (pictured here) was gone in 62nd place.

SCOOP - Lex Veldhuis.jpg

Well into the 11th hour of the tournament, the field was reduced to a dozen players, but the elimination of lucasbarroso in 11th place instigated hand-for-hand play. Split pots saved the lives of several all-in players, but someone had to go. It happened when head27 and BEGEMOT13 got involved from the blinds. Head27 pushed all-in after a 8♥A♠Q♣ flop with A♦6♠Q♦2♥, and BEGEMOT13 called with Q♠Q♥6♥7♣. The set of queens held up to the 6♠ turn and T♦ river, and with no low, head27 was eliminated in tenth place with $1,140.36.

Creatiff111 holds slight lead over BEGEMOT13

Ten minutes before the 12-hour mark, the final table was set toward the end of Level 31, with blinds at 12,500/25,000. The starting chip counts of the nine players were:

Seat 1: BEGEMOT13 (1,343,526 in chips)
Seat 2: luchomatz (626,724 in chips)
Seat 3: MarcelezaBH (804,773 in chips)
Seat 4: iwonthurtyou (442,159 in chips)
Seat 5: phatlat (802,410 in chips)
Seat 6: thx_dealer (269,295 in chips)
Seat 7: HuEvOsS1 (420,120 in chips)
Seat 8: Creatiff111 (1,519,572 in chips)
Seat 9: takispan2010 (401,421 in chips)

2011 SCOOP - Event 30 Medium FT.JPG

Action was in full swing on the first hand of the table, as MarcelezaBH and luchomatz split a rather sizeable pot.

Two hands later, BEGEMOT13 and thx_dealer (from the big blind) chose to see a T♣4♥9♣ flop. Thx_dealer bet, and BEGEMOT13 raised with K♥A♣T♠2♠. Thx_dealer called all-in with J♦K♠Q♠K♦, but the kings failed to hold up to the T♦ on the turn. The 5♠ on the river ended it with BEGEMOT13's trip tens taking the pot and thx_dealer out in ninth place with $1,432.08.

Another battle of the blinds ensued, this time between phatlat and HuEvOsS1. The two got more involved after seeing the 5♦4♥5♣ flop, which prompted a bet from phatlat and all-in raise from HuEvOsS1 holding 3♠A♦2♦2♠. Phatlat called with A♥6♦J♣Q♣4♣, and the Q♣ turn and 4♣ river made a better two pair for phatlat. HuEvOsS1 bid adios to the table, leaving with $2,585.70 for the eighth place finish.

Takispan2010 was becoming very active in nearly every hand and finally received action via a raising war with Creatiff111. Takispan2010 eventually called all-in with A♣6♦A♠9♦, and Creatiff111 turned over J♠K♠A♥8♠. When the board came T♦K♣8♥K♥3♦, it gave Creatiff111 the full house for the high, and no low was in play. Takispan2010 was eliminated in seventh place with $3,911.70.

Next to do battle were Creatiff111 and luchomatz. Once the K♣K♥9♣ was on the board, luchomatz bet all-in for his last 3,574 chips. Creatiff111 check-called with A♦2♦8♦9♠ for the flopped two pair, and luchomatz had 3♣Q♥6♣A♥. The J♦ turn and 5♠ river left it at that, and luchomatz had to leave in sixth place with $5,237.70 in prize money.

Three hands later, it was iwonthurtyou that wanted action and started with a raise. Phatlat reraised, but BEGEMOT13 raise it up again. Iwonthurtyou called all-in, and phatlat folded out of the way. Iwonthurtyou was at risk with T♣2♠6♣A♦, and BEGEMOT13 showed A♣A♥4♦4♣. The board of 8♣A♠9♥T♥9♠ gave BEGEMOT13 the full house and left iwonthurtyou out in fifth place with $6,563.70.

Phatlat forges into first

It looked like Creatiff111 and BEGEMOT13 were unstoppable at the top of the leaderboard until phatlat made a risky move with A-3-T-2 against the 4-6-T-A of Creatiff111. Phatlat's hand made tens and threes on the board and doubled with a pot worth nearly 2 million chips.

MarcelezaBH doubled through BEGEMOT13 to stay alive, and the latter was ready to move it or lose it. Soon after, BEGEMOT13 got involved with new chip leader and big blind phatlat. A raise and reraise led to the 5♣8♣6♥ flop, at which point phatlat bet and BEGEMOT13 called all-in with Q♣A♦8♥Q♦. Phatlat showed 4♠2♠7♦A♠ and the flopped straight. The 9♦ and 5♠ finished the hand and left BEGEMOT13 out in fourth place with $9,016.80.

MarcelezaBH doubled again, this time through Creatiff111, and it was Creatiff111 next at risk. All three players went to see the flop as it came 9♦4♣T♣, at which point Creatiff111 bet all-in for little more than 500K. MarcelezaBH called, and phatlat folded out. Creatiff111 was on the line with 2♥6♥K♦K♠ with the kings, but MarcelezaBH had 5♣3♣A♠9♣ for the pair of nines and it improved to a full house with the 5♠ turn and 5♦ river. Creatiff111 departed in third place with $12,583.74.

Phatlat leads heads-up by 2-to-1

The final two players began their battle with these starting chip counts:

Seat 3: MarcelezaBH (2,065,453 in chips)
Seat 5: phatlat (4,564,547 in chips)

MarcelezaBH never gave up and eventually took a pot worth 1.35 million to come closer to evening the stacks. But phatlat was persistent.

The last hand came about just into the 13th hour. MarcelezaBH raised and phatlat called to see the 8♠3♣8♥ flop. MarcelezaBH bet out, but phatlat check-raised, which prompted MarcelezaBH to reraise all-in. Phatlat called with 6♦2♣8♦3♠ and the flopped full house, which beat the Q♥6♣Q♠4♣ and two pair of MarcelezaBH. Nothing changed with the 7♠ turn or 9♣ river, which pushed MarcelezaBH out in second place with $16,575.00.

Phatlat of Canada won the SCOOP title, watch, and $22,542.00 in cash. Congratulations!

SCOOP Event #30-M Results:

1st place: phatlat ($22,542.00)
2nd place: MarcelezaBH ($16,575.00)
3rd place: Creatiff111 ($12,583.74)
4th place: BEGEMOT13 ($9,016.80)
5th place: iwonthurtyou ($6,563.70)
6th place: luchomatz ($5,237.70)
7th place: takispan2010 ($3,911.70)
8th place: HuEvOsS1 ($2,585.70)
9th place: thx_dealer ($1,432.08)

Information about SCOOP is easy to find, especially if we provide the links! You can browse the tournament schedule, list of satellites, and the leaderboard, and you can check out the Inside SCOOP daily web show.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in SCOOP