SCOOP: Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro seizes SCOOP Main Event title in Event #38-H ($10,300 NLHE)

SCOOP logo.gifFrom the moment the 2011 SCOOP schedule was released, the fact that the Main Event would crown its champions on May 23 did not go unnoticed. Eight years ago tonight, a 28 year-old accountant defeated a slick Vegas veteran in the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event, turning a $39 investment on PokerStars into $2.5 million and igniting the worldwide poker boom. In one way or another what happened that night at Binion's propelled all of us to where we are now. Certainly we wouldn't be talking about online events with $10,000 buy-ins and seven-figure prize pools if not for the Moneymaker effect.

Eight years ago tonight, Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro was a 16 year-old student in Finland without the faintest idea that one day he'd be better-known by the alliterative moniker "Lars Luzak" and trading six-figure cash game pots on a regular basis. Since emerging on to the high-stakes scene in 2007, Kelopuro has won and lost millions online playing nosebleed-stakes no-limit hold'em and pot-limit Omaha. However, despite banking over $200,000 in live earnings including two deep EPT runs, he's never been looked at as a serious force in tournaments. All that changed tonight, though, as Kelopuro joined Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth and Ryan "toetagU" Fair in the SCOOP $10K Main Event champions' club.


Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro, 2011 SCOOP $10K Main Event champion

380 players put up $10,300 apiece for a shot at the title, creating a $3.8 million prize pool that smashed through the $2.5 million guarantee. 45 players earned a share of it with first place set to receive $735,300. More than two dozen members of Team PokerStars bought in, including Liv Boeree, Ivan Demidov, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Maxim Lykov, Humberto Brenes, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, Lex Veldhuis, JP Kelly, Alexandre Gomes, Leo Fernandez, Noah Boeken, Johannes Strassmann, and Jonathan Duhamel. Three Team Pros made the money, Ville Wahlbeck squeaking past the bubble in 45th place, Nacho Barbero finishing up in 34th place, and Joe Hachem making it to Day 2 where he just missed the final table, exiting in 11th place.

The final table bubble popped when Lrslzk opened for 16,500 from the cutoff and nikov moved all-in for 170,633 from the big blind. Lrslzk snap-called with pocket kings, nikov in dire shape with K♦6♦. The board ran out A♠7♦4♥6♠5♦, nikov departing in tenth place as the final table was set.

SCOOP Main Event 38-H FT.jpg

Two players who already won SCOOP events this month advanced to the final table; Hernan "HN Kakaroto" Novick shipped Event #10-H ($3,150 seven-card stud) and danksemann won Event #22-M ($320 NLHE 4-max). Here's how they stacked up as action commenced:

Seat 1: danskemann (482,370 in chips)
Seat 2: 810ofclubs (284,144 in chips)
Seat 3: HN Kakaroto (95,527 in chips)
Seat 4: Lrslzk (1,032,309 in chips)
Seat 5: GotURead (202,616 in chips)
Seat 6: StigR (550,966 in chips)
Seat 7: altiFC (192,964 in chips)
Seat 8: Tagult (589,209 in chips)
Seat 9: el_klonkador (369,895 in chips)

Double, toil, and trouble

GotURead scored a double-up on the first hand of the final table, his pocket jacks holding up against 810ofclubs' pocket nines. Left with less than 100,000, 810ofclubs open-shoved preflop and got a call from Lrslzk in the big blind. 810ofclubs needed serious help on the board, his J♠9♠ up against A♦2♠, but the poker gods complied, bringing him a spade on the flop, another on the turn, and a third on the river. Back up to a healthier 206,000 at 4,000/8,000 blinds, 810ofclubs opened for 18,000 from the cutoff with pocket threes but was quickly put to a decision for nearly half his stack when HN Kararoto shoved for 79,527 on the button. 810ofclubs made the call only to watch HN Kakaroto turn over J♥J♦. Things looked grim until the river, when the 3♠ spiked, 810ofclubs two-outerting a set to send HN Kakaroto to the rail in 9th place. He earned $66,500 for his finish.

Next to succumb was el_klonkador, who three-bet shoved for 329,895 after Tagult opened for a min-raise to 24,000. Tagult insta-called with A♣A♦, el_klonkador in poor shape with 2♣2♦. Both players flopped sets on the A♠T♠2♥J♠6♦ but the end result was the same, el_klonkador hitting the rail in eighth place for a $91,200 score.

Cold four-bet can't freeze Finn

With 16 big blinds left, GotURead was probably waiting for a moment just like this, picking up Q♣Q♥ after 810ofclubs opened for 27,000 and Lrslzk reraised to 58,500. GotURead shoved for 195,057, drawing a fold from 810ofclubs. Lrslzk, however, decided to gamble with 9♣T♣. GotURead maintained his lead on the J♥J♠5♦ flop, he held it on the turn when the 7♦ fell, but couldn't survive the river, the 8♦ landing to make Lrslzk a jack-high straight. GotURead's Main Event came to an end with a seventh-place finish, an extra $129,200.00 lining his pockets.

EPT Vilamoura champ Toby "810ofclubs" Lewis out in sixth place

With that elimination, Lrslzk tied the surging Tagult for the chiplead. Next, Lrslzk went to work on 810ofclubs, snagging more than half his stack in this hand when he caught running straight cards on the turn and river (again):

810ofclubs slipped below 250,000 after that hand, Tagult claiming the rest of his chips when he called 810ofclubs' three-bet shove with pocket deuces. 810ofclubs turned over A♣3♦, but did not improve on the T♥9♣6♥5♦Q♣ board. He earned $167,200.00 for sixth place.

Five still fighting

Five-handed play dragged on for the better part of two levels. Table short stack altiFC doubled through StigR when his K♦Q♦ rivered top pair against pocket threes, moving up to half a million in chips. Left with less than ten big blinds, StigR moved his chips in preflop with pocket tens and got a call from Lrslzk with pocket eights, final table host Ivan Demidov calling the play live on the air during an interview on Inside SCOOP. The tens held, StigR doubling to 319,000.

AltiFC was the first to propose a deal, his four opponents quickly agreeing to have a look at numbers. When the action was paused to do the math, the chip counts looked like this:

Tagult - 1,116,214
Lrslzk - 821,451
danskemann - 736,270
StigR - 603,384
altiFC - 522,681

Demidov brought back the chip count chop numbers and after one small adjustment (StigR gave up about $1,500 to altiFC), everyone agreed to the deal, leaving $50,000, the title, and the SCOOP champion's watch at stake.

danskemann down, altiFC foiled, StigR sacked

Shortly after action resumed, StigR and danskemann went to war on a T♦8♥2♥ flop, StigR check-raising danskemann's 41,900 bet to 121,055. Danskemann fired back with a three-bet to 219,999, StigR shoved, and danskemann called off his last 296,000. StigR needed a heart with 4♥6♥, danskemann holding the lead with T♣7♣ for top pair. StigR hit his flush on the turn, though, the Q♥ falling to leave danskemann drawing dead. StigR zipped into the chip lead while danskemann was left with 210,000.

Those chips went in a few hands later, danskemann three-bet shoving from the small blind holding A♠K♣ and Tagult making the call with A♥Q♠. Tagult hit top two pair on the A♦Q♦T♠ flop, leaving danskemann drawing only to a king or a jack. The turn and river, however, fell the 9♦ and the 7♥, danskemann departing in fifth place with $430,002,05.

Only two hands later, altiFC made his stand with 4♦4♥, moving all-in for 472,681 after Lrslzk opened for 40,500. Lrslzk called with pocket tens and flopped a set, the board running out K♦T♣7♠8♣2♠ to send altiFC to the rail in fourth place. His share of the loot came out to $369,581.05.

Three-handed play hadn't gone on for more than a couple of minutes before a massive pot unfolded between StigR and Lrslzk. With the blinds at 12,500/25,000, Lrslzk opened for 51,000 on the button and StigR three-bet to 150,000. Lrslzk called and they saw a K♦6♠5♦ flop. StigR led out for 150,000 and Lrslzk called. The turn brought the 5♥ and StigR instantly shipped in his last 921,768. Lrslzk called, turning over K♣J♠ for two pair while StigR showed J♦8♦ for a flush draw. StigR missed the river, however, the 5♠ falling to make Lrslzk fives full of kings. StigR exited stage left $390,000.00 richer as Lrslzk and Tagult went heads-up for $50,000 and the watch.

Finland vs. Germany

Heads-up chip counts:

Seat 4: Lrslzk (2,659,525 in chips)
Seat 8: Tagult (1,140,475 in chips)

Lrslzk started heads-up play with a 2.3 to 1 lead and quickly chipped up to 3.3 million after having a full house paid off on the river. Whittled all the way down to 382,000, Tagult staved off elimination when his K♣Q♦ held up against Lrslzk's Q♠J♦ in a preflop all-in, then picked up a 565,000 pot after flopping trip eights to take him back over a million. The chip counts were essentially back to where they were when heads-up started until Lrslzk took down this 1 million-chip pot with only a pair of fours and a busted flush draw:

Tagult was left on 578,000 after that hand and slipped to 413,000 before doubling up with A♥9♠ against Lrslzk's K♠T♥. Tagult continued to chip up, reaching 1.3 million before Lrslzk swooped in and picked off a bluff. On a flop of 6♥5♠3♦, Lrslzk check-called Tagult's 48,888 bet, then check-called another 135,225 when the 8♥ hit the turn. The river was the J♥ and Lrslzk checked a third time, Tagult firing a final 375,000 bullet. Lrslzk looked him up with A♦8♠ for second pair, Tagult showing only Q♥7♦ for a stone bluff.

Lrslzk took his chip count back over 3 million on that hand, but Tagult managed to find one more double-up. With the board reading 8♥5♦3♠4♣, Tagult bet 145,000, Lrslzk raised to 328,645, and Tagult shoved for 810,497. Lrslzk called, turning up A♣2♥ for a wheel, but Tagult had him with 6♥7♥ for an eight-high straight. The river fell the T♣ and Tagult raked in the pot, moving up to 1.84 million in chips while Lrslzk was left with 1.96 million.

After more than 90 minutes of heads-up play, these two were virtually deadlocked. However, as we all know, in no-limit hold'em, everything can turn around on a dime. The final hand started innocently enough, Tagult min-raising to 80,000 on the button. Lrslzk three-bet to 194,500, Tagult four-bet to 385,555, Lrslzk shoved for 2.08 million and Tagult made the call, turning up K♥K♦ to Lrslzk's A♠Q♣. The sun was shining on Finland, however, the flop coming down A♥J♠2♦ to pair Lrslzk's ace. The J♥ came on the turn and now only a king would save Tagult. But it was not to be, the river falling the T♥ to seal Lrslzk's SCOOP Main Event victory. Although runner-up Tagult missed out on the title, he collected the most money at the final table, earning $540,125.82 as a result of the five-way deal while Lrslzk banked $504,691.09 for the win.

Congratulations to Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro on a fantastic run!

SCOOP Event #38-H ($10,300 NLHE Main Event) results
1. Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro (Finland) $504,691.09*
2. Tagult (Germany) $540,125,82*
3. StigR (Norway) $390,000.00*
4. altiFC (Germany) $369,581.05*
5. danskemann (Norway) $430,002.05*
6. Toby "810ofclubs" Lewis (United Kingdom) $167,200.00
7. GotURead (Netherlands) $129,200.00
8. el_klonkador (Sweden) $91,200.00
9. Hernan "HN Kakaroto" Novick (Uruguay) $66,500.00

*=reflects a five-way deal made at the final table

Kelopuro's victory brought the 2011 SCOOP to a close after 16 days, 114 tournaments and more than $40 million in prize money dispersed. For all of us at the PokerStars Blog, it's been a pleasure sharing the SCOOP with you over the last couple of weeks. To catch a final final wrap-up of all the action, including the results of the TLB race, make sure to catch the final episode of "Inside SCOOP" tomorrow at 22:00 GMT.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP