SCOOP: uri1013 liquidates field in Event #11-Medium $215 PLO Heads-Up

SCOOP logo.gifThe infamous heads-up match between Johnny Moss and Nick the Greek, supposedly hosted near the entrance to Benny Binion's Horseshoe Casino in downtown Las Vegas in the early 1950s, pitted the two adversaries in a game of Five-card draw. Flash forward fifty years later to Binion's in 2003. Chris Moneymaker and Sammy Farha sat across the felt from one another and tested their wits at Texas hold'em to determine the next WSOP Main Event world champion.

Flash forward to 2011. Although players continued the tradition of playing heads-up to determine poker supremacy, the game format changed from Five-card Stud to Texas Hold'em to Pot-limit Omaha. Over the last few years, the biggest cash games in the virtual world have been played out at the PLO tables. It's a game with fewer edges but tests a player's range-reading capabilities. At the same time, PLO is popular among adrenaline junkies because of the juiced-up action. Four hole cards will do that to you. Heads-up PLO is exhilarating experience because matter how bad you're at in a hand, you're never really too far behind.

Heads-up PLO conjures up images of a silly and dangerous game I used to play with the neighborhood kids while growing up in New York City. In the summers, fireworks were easy to come by and my friends played a form of chicken with bottle rockets. It was more like an old fashioned duel -- two kids stood back-to-back in the middle of the playground, took ten paces, someone on the sidelines would yell, "Go!", and the participants whirled around quickly lit a bottle rocket in the direction at their opponent. "Bottle Rocket Chicken" was clearly one of the most unsafe game we conjured up. We stopped playing it after Jimmy McHugh almost lost his right eye.

Two decades later, whenever I think about heads-up PLO, I can't help but think how similar it was to shooting bottle rockets at one another. It takes amazing dexterity, foolish courage, and an intangible quality that Ernest Hemingway described as "grace under pressure," which was his poetic way of explaining "guts."

For Event #11-Medium $215 PLO Heads-Up, 638 wanted to see which one of them had the most guts. The top 128 players would split up the $127,600 prize pool, with $25,520 set aside to the winner.

Due to an uneven amount of participants, most of the field had a buy in the first round. Although several PokerStars players bought into Event #11-M, not a single one of them cashed. Team PokerStars Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki busted in the opening round. Other Team Pros followed suit in the second round including Noah Boeken, Jose "Nacho" Barbero, Pat Pezzin, Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas, and George Danzer. A couple of Team Online players also sucumded in the second round including Dale "Daleroxxu" Philips, Kristian "CharismA3" Martin, and Anders "Donald"Berg.

Four PokerSars players advanced to the third round, but that's as far as they'd go. Jonathan Duhamel, JP Kelly, Joep "Pappe_Ruk" Van Den Bijgaar, and Alexios "J0hnny_Dr@m@" Zervos all failed to make the money.

Bubble Boy honors went to Klaus-tro-fo, who busted out in 129th place when his seven-high straight lost to XX KARL XX's full house.

Almost 12.5 hours after cards went into the air, we were down to the final eight players: EvilWG, Liquid_PLO, MarkusG9, pilaa, sam2price, Sykoen, tiltjezz, and uri1013.

EvilWG eliminated in 8th place

EvilWG got crippled by a brutal a cooler -- boat over boat. On a board of 8♠5♠3♦5♣4♦, EvilWG got his entire stack all-in with Q♥Q♠5♥4♣ for a full house -- fives full of fours. However, Sykoen showed A♦J♦8♥8♣ for a bigger boat.

EvilWG attempted to make a stand when he shoved on a board of K♥T♦7♦9♣. He held K♠Q♥J♦5♥ for a straight, but a fortuitous 9♥ spiked on the river for Sykoen, who held A♠J♠9♠7♥ for a full house. Sykoen won the pot and EvilWG busted out in 8th place collecting $3,955.60.

sam2price eliminated in 7th place

The last British player standing, sam2price, hit the rail in 7th place after he got it all-in on a board of A♥4♥2♣9♦. Sam2price had flopped the Wheel, but when the A♣ fell on the river, tiltjezz improved to a full house -- Aces full of deuces. The pot went to tiltjezz and Sam2price was a goner. He collected $3,955.60 for 7th place.

MarkusG91 eliminated in 6th place

One of Lee Jones' super fans went deep in this event. I never knew Lee Jones had such a fervent following in Norway? MarkusG91 displayed a photo of Lee Jones for his avatar. The railbirds wondered if the photo was him. A playful MarkusG91 remarked, "u dont deserve to play here if u dont know who that is."


Homage to Lee Jones

His opponent, Liquid_PLO, sported an avatar featuring actor Robert Downey, Jr. from his role as Tony Stark in Iron Man. As much as Lee Jones has been an integral part of the poker industry, his presence was not enough to thrust MarkusG91 into the Final Four. He found himself in trouble after running into a set over set situation.

On his final hand, MarkusG91 flopped trip fives with a gutshot, but Liquid_Plo improved to a full house when the Q♠ fell on the river. Just like that, MarkusG91 was eliminated in 6th place and earned $3,955.60.

Pilaa eliminated in 5th place

Early on, pilaa got into trouble and should have busted sooner, but he avoided a sticky complication when his Aces held up (a true rarity in PLO and event in hold'em). He later doubled up with a flopped Brodway straight, but that was just postponing the inevitable.

On tthe most decisive hand of their match, pilaa shoved on the turn when the board read A♥9♦4♦T♥. He held a gutshsot, but backdoored trips. It wasn't enough to win because uri1013 rivered a boat fora timely doubled up. Pilaa went busto and won $3,955.60. for 4th place.

Sykoen eliminated in 4th place

Sykoen used up all his run good early in the match when he lost to a boat-over-boat situation, A♥K♥3♥3♣4♥. Sykoen got it all in with A♠A♣T♠6♥, and his Aces held up. However, uri1013 chipped away at Sykoen's after he flushed him out with an King-high flush.

For his final hand, Sykoen got into a raising war on a flop of 7♠6♠4♦. He flopped a set with K♥7♣7♦5♣, but uri1013 picked up redraws to both a nut-flush and a straight. The turn was the 9♣ and the river was T♣, which improved uri1013 to a ten-high straight. Uri1013 won the pot. Sykoen got knocked out in 4th place and won $7,656.00.

tiltjezz eliminated in 3rd place

Liquid_PLO and tiltjezz played an epic Final Four match. The two exchanged blows back and forth like two boxers punching each others' lights out. Tiltjezz took an early lead until he was involved in a cooler. Liquid_PLO and tiltjezz got it all-in preflop. Liquid_PLO was ahead with Aces against tiltjezz's (double-suited) Kings. The Aces held up and Liquid_PLO avoided elimination.

Just when it appeared as though Liquid_PLO was going to pull away, tiltjezz doubled up to pull even. He turned two pair an snapped off Kings. He instantly increased his stack to almost take a 9-1 advantage, but Liquid_PLO doubled up twice to keep his head above water. He eventually padded his lead on the hand in question when tiltjezz shoved preflop with K♦Q♣9♣3♦. He trailed Liquid_PLO's A♠K♠J♥8♦ from the get-go. Liquid_PLO improved to a pair on the flop, but also picked up a flush re-draw. Tiltjezz failed to improve, meanwhile, Liquid_PLO rivered a flush for a bit of over kill.

On his final hand, tiltjezz shoved pre-flop with A♦T♠5♠4♠. Liquid_PLO was ahead with A♠K♠J♥8♦. The board ran out A♦T♠5♠4♠4♣. All tiltjezz could muster up were a pair of fours with King-high. Meanwhile. Liquid_PLO improved his hand to a flush and dragged the pot. Tiltjezz finished in third place and collected $7,656.

What a remarkable comeback for Liquid_PLO. He was down to a little more than 1K in chips and stored back to regain the lead and eventually advance to the finals.

"No giving up for me," explained Liquid_PLO on his perseverance at the tables, "That's what my mama taught me."

Heads-Up Championship - Liquid_PLO vs. uri1013


After 14.5 hours we finally had a final table of two. Liquid_PLO chatted with special host "Daleroxxu." His appearance incited a bit of fear from the Team Online player.

Daleroxxu: stay out of my plo6mas games in the future :)

Liquid_PLO: hey dale if i win this, im going to give $500 to the homeless

Daleroxxu: That should buy you karma.

Liquid_PLO got off to a hot start when he won an early hand after flopping trip Jacks. Alas,on the 39th hand of heads-up play, uri1013 attempted to deliver a knock out blow. The action occurred on the flop. The board read T♠3♣2♥K♠. Uri1013 flopped trip treys, while Liquid_PLO flopped bottom set. All the money went in on the turn. When the 8♠ spiked on the river, Liquid_PLO was in troubles and down to his last 560.

Not one to give up so easy, Liquid_PLO battled back and even doubled up with a Jack-high straight. He could have been toast, but lasted 22 more hands than expected.

Liquid_PLO eliminated in 2nd place; uri1013 locked up victory

On the 64th hand of heads-up play, and over 15 hours into the tournament, we finally determined a winner. The action occurred on the flop of A♠T♥2♣. Liquid_PLO check-raised all-in and uri1013 called. Liquid_PLO showed two pair with A♦8♦5♥2♥. He was ahead of uri1013's A♣Q♠J♣5♦, who held a pair of Aces and a Broadway gutshot. The turn was the J♦, which improved uri1013's hand to a two-pair, Aces and Jacks. Uri1013's hand held up and Liquid_PLO got liquidated in 2nd place. For his troubles, Liquid_PLO won $12,760.

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Meanwhile, congrats to uri1013 from Israel for a well-served score of $23,520. He won his first SCOOP title and also picked up the coveted SCOOP winner's watch.

Final Eight Results - SCOOP Event #11-M PLO Heads-Up:
1st - uri1013 - $23,520
2nd - Liquid_PLO - $12,760
3rd - tiltjezz - $7,656
4th - Sykoen - $7,656
5th - pilaa - $3,995.60
6th - MarkusG91 - $3,995.60
7th - sam2price - $3,995.60
8th - EvilWG - $3,995.60

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Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in SCOOP