SCOOP: Supa4real is really super in Event-6 High

scoop2009_thn.gifYou might have played it as a child, sitting around someone's kitchen table. It was the game of choice in the Old West - or at least the Old West that's depicted by Hollywood on our television and movie screens. You remember it: 5-Card Draw.

5-Card Draw isn't nearly as popular as it was once but that didn't stop 61 players from investing $1,050 each in 2011 SCOOP Event 6-High, Pot-Limit 5-Card Draw. Without any worries of aces hidden up sleeves or irate losers pulling out guns to exact retribution, it was Supa4real who ended at the top of the pack and earned the $18,300 first-place payday.

Only 9 players cashed in this event. The players that carried the Banner of the Red Spade - aka Team PokerStars Pro and PokerStars Team Online - faced quite a challenge. Six answered the clarion call: Jude Ainsworth, George Danzer, Pat Pezzin and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier for Team PokerStars Pro; Kristian "CharismA3" Martin and Anders "Donald" Berg for Team Online. All except ElkY fell short of the money, Berg painfully so when he exited in 11th place.

Hand-for-hand play on the money bubble took an hour to produce a single elimination. Once head27 bubbled, the next ten minutes produced two quick in-the-money eliminations. Then it was back to a grueling hand-for-hand process for another 45 minutes before gnetaren busted in 7th place to create a final table.

SCOOP 6-High final table.JPG

Seat 1: mystie45 (30992 in chips)
Seat 2: 1diego_35 (25649 in chips)
Seat 3: flfjord (67837 in chips)
Seat 4: He Duda (22204 in chips)
Seat 5: ElkY (84214 in chips)
Seat 6: Supa4real (74104 in chips)

The dam bursts

ElkY entered the final table in command as chip leader. But with blinds were at 500 / 1,000 / 250, and only two rounds of betting per hand, the other players' stack sizes would ensure plenty of play. The game felt more like about winning a series of small and medium pots, rather than doubling up in one hand and running over the table. There seemed to be nuances to the betting flows and (most importantly) the pattern of discards.

For an idea of what constitutes a "typical" pot to showdown in 5-card draw, check out this hand between He Duda and Supa4real:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Thus it was eyepopping a few hands later to see Supa4real and mystie45 get a total of 71,084 chips into the middle before the draw. mystie45 opened from under the gun with a minimum-raise, the standard open. ElkY called in the small blind before Supa4real three-bet the big blind to 7,200. That in and of itself was somewhat unusual. More unusual: a four-bet to 25,800 from mystie45. Most unusual: a dip into the tank for a minute before a shove from Supa4real. With three-quarters of mystie45's stack already in the middle, a call was warranted and made.

Supa4real quickly discarded and drew two cards. mystie45 then tanked for more than a minute trying to decide what to do. Finally mystie45 settled on drawing 1 card and holding onto a 4-flush, 7♣2♣K♣Q♣. mystie45 bricked the draw by pulling the 6♦, but it didn't matter. Supa4real rolled over 5♦4♣5♠5♥5♣ for quad fives to knock mystie45 out in 6th place. Supa4real was the new chip leader, the first player to have more than 100,000 in chips.

During the next orbit, flfjord tagged ElkY twice to drop the Team Pro from 2nd place to 3rd place. The first hand never went to showdown. On the second hand, ElkY drew three to flfjord's one, then called a post-draw bet of 7,200. flfjord showed trip jacks, J♥J♣J♦2♦8♦, to overtake ElkY in the counts.

Supa4real showed no signs of slowing down either, putting in another open-raise from under the gun. This time 1diego_35 was the three-bettor. Supa4real called and drew three to 1diego_35's one. The post-draw action went check, bet 8,588 and call. At showdown Supa4real's kings and treys, 3♥K♣A♥K♠3♦, came out ahead of 1diego_35's sixes and fours, 4♥7♠6♦4♠6♠.

That hand was only the prelude for a bigger loss by 1diego_35 at the hand of ElkY. ElkY three-bet pre-draw, then made a healthy bet of 14,100 after drawing one to 1diego_35's three. It was a bit of deception, perhaps, on ElkY's part. He rolled over trip fours, 9♠4♥K♠4♣4♠, to drag the pot and cripple 1diego_35 to about 1,000 in chips. Three hands later 1diego_35 was out in 5th place.

While ElkY, Supa4real and flfjord were ripping up the felt, He Duda continued to circle the drain. Being the short stack limits a player's options just as much in 5-Card Draw as it does in any other poker variant. He Duda's stack was ground down to just 1,500 before the chips all went into the middle. Supa4real and ElkY conspired to make sure they didn't come back out. He Duda and Supa4real drew 3 each; Elky took 2. After Supa4real and ElkY checked down the side pot, Supa4real's pair of kings, K♠K♦J♥9♣A♠, sent He Duda out in 4th place.

Play or chop?

At the halfway point of the final table, Supa4real had a commanding lead:

Seat 3: flfjord (105106 in chips)
Seat 5: ElkY (55618 in chips)
Seat 6: Supa4real (144276 in chips)

flfjord broached the idea of a chop. "You wanna just play or chip count? I have work in 4 hours."

ElkY was first to reply. "I don't care really but I kinda wanna win." Supa4real agreed, and so they played on. flfjord got the best of the next major pot, one that was four-bet pre-draw by Supa4real to 16,975. flfjord called and drew one. Supa4real drew 2, then bet 25,200 after flfjord checked. flfjord called with jacks and deuces, 2♠2♠6♥J♥J♣, and dragged the pot against Supa4real's pair of aces, A♠A♦Q♣8♠3♦.

It all came crashing down for ElkY in this massive pot in which Supa4real drew three into a well-concealed hand:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Although ElkY doubled up twice after that to get back up to about 20,000 in chips, he ran trip 10s into Supa4real's trip jacks to exit in 3rd place.


The chip counts were basically level at the start of heads-up play: Supa4real for flfjord and 151,231 for flfjord. Blinds increased to 800 / 1,600 / 400 as each player wished the other player good luck and began their battle for the SCOOP title.

The players spent the better part of the next half hour passing chips back and forth without much change in the counts. One would open a small lead; the other would level things. The other would take the small lead; the first would level things. As the stalemate continued the players became chatty.

"This was fun. We have to do this another time also," said flfjord.

"Yeah, kinda," replied Supa4real. "It's the second time I play 5-card to be honest but I like the game dimension."

After the 15-minute break at the 12-hour mark, Supa4real appeared to play more aggressively. It paid dividends. A series of bold bets and raises allowed Supa4real to open a 237k-to-67k chip lead, largely without having to go to showdown. With blinds up to 1,250 / 2,500 / 625, one of the two players was finally at a quantifiable disadvantage. flfjord seemed to be sinking quickly, unable to counter Supa4real's aggression. Of course, as so often is the case in these situations, when the two players did go to showdown Supa4real turned up with the goods more often than not.

In the end, two big pots sealed flfjord's fate. Both involved players dipping into their time banks for more than 60 seconds.

First, Supa4real opened pre-draw to 5,000, then called a three-bet to 12,500. flfjord drew one card; Supa4real took three. After the draw was completed flfjord tried a bet of 17,500. Supa4real instantly raised to 65,000, enough to set flfjord all in with a call. flfjord tanked for about 60 seconds but ultimately folded.

Three hands later the roles were reversed. flfjord opened to 5,000 pre-draw with Supa4real calling and drawing three. flfjord also drew three. After the draw, Supa4real led for 7,500. flfjord instantly moved all in for 33,606 total. Supa4real tanked for 60 seconds before calling with a pair of aces, A♦A♣Q♥T♠9♦. It was good! flfjord produced only a pair of treys, 3♣3♠8♣Q♣J♦, and was eliminated in 2nd place.

Supa4real was super. For real.

2011 SCOOP Event 6-High $1,050 Pot-Limit 5-Card Draw results:

1st: Supa4real ($18,300.00)
2nd: flfjord ($12,200.00)
3rd: ElkY ($9,150.00)
4th: He Duda ($6,100.00)
5th: 1diego_35 ($4,575.00)
6th: mystie45 ($3,355.00)

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