SCOOP: Simaska victorious in Event 19 NLHE $215 buy-in

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If you're the kind of player who likes the opportunity to win a 600x return on your buy-in, then Event 19 of SCOOP was your kind of tournament.

The medium $215 buy-in edition of this NLHE tournament drew 4,395 players, creating a whopping prize pool of $879,000, of which $138,000 was targeted for the winner. The prize pool easily bested the $500,000 guarantee from PokerStars.

After a grueling 33 levels of play beginning on Sunday, the field was whittled down to about two dozen. Along the way, 585 players made the moolah, including Team PokerStars pros Mathew "chipstar1" Didlick in 323rd ($457.08), Nuno Coelho in 264th ($509.82), Kristian "CharismA3" Martin in 60th ($1,538.25), Joep "Pappe_Ruk" Van Den Bijgaart in 41st ($1,801.95) and Jan Heitmann in 39th ($1,801.95).

Day 2 play on Monday would narrow the field from three tables to one champion.

Simaska used the path to the final table as a time to build up a nice chip lead. Hands like this one didn't hurt: guccyka four bet all in for 1.8 million from the small blind and Simaska pushed all in for 7 million on a five bet. Simaska showed J♥ J♣ and guccyka held A♥ A♠. The flop brought a jack and guccyka exited in 12th while Simaska then held more than 9 million chips.

Ca2103 doubled through MakeMeMaster in a 6-million chip pot with AK vs. JJ before this double elimination hand set the final table and gave Simaska nearly 11 million in chips:

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So set the final table:

Seat 1 -- FouTight (1,788,533)
Seat 2 -- Knipser11570 (4,533,943)
Seat 3 -- Fred_Brink (3,392,441)
Seat 4 -- nicoji83 (3,698,196)
Seat 5 -- Simaska (10,698,901)
Seat 6 -- JopperHarryN (3,657,894)
Seat 7 -- ElRupert (5,068,985)
Seat 8 -- losttoriver (4,868,877)
Seat 9 -- ca2103 (6,242,230)


A classic race led to the first final table elimination. Playing 50,000/100,000 blinds with a 12,500 ante, ElRupert made it 200,000 from middle position with Q♣ Q♦ and FouTight raised all in with A♥ K♠ on the button. ElRupert called and won the hand when the board ran out J♠ 7♠ 5♦ T♥ 2♠. FouTight departed with $7,032 in his virtual pocket.

After having bluffed a busted straight draw on three streets, Knipser11570 found himself short stacked. Having doubled up once, his luck ran out when he pushed 724K all in with 7♥ 7♣ from middle position and Fred_Brink re-pushed for 3.5 million directly to his left holding J♥ J♦. Knipser11570 collected $10,987.50 for eighth after the board came 3♣ 6♥ Q♥ 6♠ 2♦.

JopperHarryN was next to exit, during the 70,000/140,000 blind level. Down to 1.25 million, JopperHarryN pushed from the cutoff with K♦ 8♦ and ElRupert re-raised all in for 1.78 million on the button with 9♠ 9♦. The flop of 7♦ 6♦ 2♠ brought a big sweat for ElRupert, but the turn and river of Q♣ 6♣ ended JopperHarryN's day in seventh, which was valued at $19,777.50.

Fred_Brink made a gutsy call to take down ElRupert. Still playing the 70K/140K level, Fred_Brink raised to 280,000 from the cutoff and ElRupert shoved from the big blind for 2.7 million. Fred_Brink called surprisingly quickly with K♦ Q♦ for most of his chips. ElRupert showed A♥ T♠, but lost the hand in which he was the slight favorite when the board came Q♥ 4♦ 8♠ 3♣ 3♦. ElRupert earned $28,567.50 for the sixth-place finish.

The final five

Simaska lost his grasp on the chip lead when his AJ ran into the AK of ca2103, then losttoriver made a big move on this hand:

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Nicoji83 took home the consolation prize of $37,457.50 for fifth.

An inopportune push proved the downfall of Fred_Brink. Playing the 150K/300K level with a 37,500 ante, losttoriver raised to 600,000 on the button and Fred_Brink made the all-in move for 4.9 million that was instantly called.

The hands:
Fred_Brink 8♥ 2♣
losttoriver 8♦ 8♠

The community cards brought no miracle and Fred_Brink was left to wonder "what if" as he counted his $50,542.50 fourth-place prize.

At this point action was paused so players could discuss a deal. The lowest-stacked Simaska was happy with the $96,000 he would have received based on the chip count, but both of his opponents wanted more so play continued.

Things began to turn in Simaska's favor again. He outflopped ca2103 on an ace high board with A♠ 7♣ against A♣ 4♦ to win one hand and then won another with A♥ J♣ versus ca2103's J♥ 9♠ when the board of J♦ T♠ 9♥ T♣ 7♠ counterfeited ca2103's two pair.

Simaska finished off ca2103 when the latter doubled the big blind by raising to 800,000 from the button. Simaska re-raised to 2 million in the small blind and ca2103 pushed all in for 7.7 million, which Simaska called. Simaska held A♦ Q♥ while ca2103 showed 4♥ 4♠. The board cruelly ran out 6♣ 8♣ 2♣ 9♥ A♠ to send ca2103 out the door in third, with $72,517.50.

As heads-up play began, Simaska held the chip lead over losttoriver, 26.6 million to 17.3 million and used aggression to his advantage, dropping losttoriver's stack under 10 million.

Finally, while still playing 200K/400K blinds, losttoriver made it 800K on the button and Simaska called. After a flop of J♦ 5♦ T♣, both players checked. The turn 8♣ induced fireworks. Simaska led out for 800,000 and losttoriver raised to 2.4 million. Simaska bet all in and losttoriver called all in for 9.2 million total. Simaska led with J♠ K♥, but losttoriver had both a open-ended straight and flush draw with 6♣ 9♣. The river was a blank 9♠ and Simaska claimed Event 19 Medium as well as the champion's timepiece.

Final table finishers:

1st -- Simaska ($138,003)
2nd -- losttoriver ($102,843)
3rd -- ca2103 ($72,517.50)
4th -- Fred_Brink ($50,542.50)
5th -- nicoji83 ($37,357.50)
6th -- ElRupert ($28,567.50)
7th -- JopperHarryN ($19,777.50)
8th -- Knipser11570 ($10,987.50)
9th -- FouTight ($7,032)

Tuscaloosa Johnny Kampis
@PokerStars in SCOOP