SCOOP 2012: As the Stars tweet
On Sunday, May 6, PokerStars kicked off the 2012 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), a series of 40 events, which offers three buy-in levels, for a total of 120 tournaments. With $30,000,000 guaranteed the year prior, anticipation was high for this year's series, especially among members of Team PokerStars Pro.
Perhaps no one was more excited for the long grind more than online sensation, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, who was taking a break from his usual cash-game surrounding. "Gon bad in cash games lately, so looking forward to play many nice scoops now! #SCOOP2012 @PokerStars," he tweeted prior to the May 6 kickoff.
Now, Blom may have been running bad in the cash games, but nothing could have been further from the truth in tournaments. In SCOOP 2-M $200 N0-Limit Hold'em, the Swede was one of 8,240 entrants looking to claim a share of the $1,648,000 prize pool. Much to the delight of the railbirds, Blom made it all the way to the final table and went on to square off against "RaisingRay91" in heads-up play with a 4-1 chip lead.
In the fifth hand between the two, "RaisingRay91" opened with a raise on the button and was met with a three-bet by Blom. "RaisingRay91" responded with a four-bet shoved for 30 big blinds with and Blom called with the superior . The board ran out and Blom won his first-ever SCOOP title, not to mention the $247,200 first-place prize.
Then, just a day later, Blom conquered a field of 486 players in SCOOP 3-H: $500 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Max with Rebuys for $160,000 and his second title. "Nice to win the two scoops, can't have a single winning day in PLO tho, don't know what I'm doing wrong there. #SCOOP2012," Blom said in a tweet, showing that even in victory, the allure of cash games were on his mind.
Daniel Negreanu was another pro excited for action, thought he couldn't play right away. "Playing my first #SCOOP2012 2-7 Single Draw NL playing all three, the $11 $109 and $1050," Negreanu tweeted. Unfortunately for him, he didn't have things exactly right: "Haha OMG I have been playing the wrong game this whole time! It's 5 card draw HIGH oops! Too funny."
Once he knew he was playing SCOOP #6-H: $1,000 No-Limit 5-Card Draw, Negreanu quickly got busy navigating the 84-player field. "11 players left 5 Card Draw #SCOOP2012 and I'm chip leader with a decent lead. This game is way more fun than its given credit for."
Negreanu went on to make the final table, where he was joined by "Maestro Shao" and fellow Team Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier; in fact, the triumvirate were the last men standing. Then, when the blinds were blinds were 1,250/2,500, "Maestro Shao" opened for 5,500 from the small blind and Grospellier reraised all in for 110,561 from the BB. "Maestro Shao" made the call and took two cards while Grospellier took just one. The latter showed for two pair, but it no good against the of his opponent.
After the hand, Grospellier tweeted: "Sick fished out to finish 3rd... oh well good luck to @realkidpoker . was lots of fun anyways. #SCOOP2012."
Likewise, that prompted Negreanu to take to his own account: "I'm heads up for a SCOOP bracelet. He has the lead after busting @elkypoker," though his enthusiasm didn't last long: "Another 2nd HA! Had him all in with KK vs JJ lost then a big one with AATT vs 444. Oh well. No more SCOOPs for me this week unfortunately."
Despite Kid Poker's runner-up finish, the members of Team PokerStars Pro were on a roll in this year's SCOOP with many others having their eyes firmly fixed on obtaining online glory. Here's just a small sample of the excitement whipped up on Twitter in the last week:
Jason Mercier: "Gonna be playing #scoop2012 starting on thursday. Really excited! Haven't played an online tourney in 13 months #soundslikeimDUE"
Liv Boeree: "Landed in Amsterdam... Only a few hours til home and two weeks of Scooping the #SCOOP2012."
Jude Ainsworth: "Roll on the SCOOP. Feeling good today can't wait to start playing"
Chad Brown: "playing in 1knlh @pokerstars scoops. wsop champion pius heinz is at my table. i final tabled the 215 badugi last night coming in 6th place."
Victor Ramdin: "#Scoop5 i just made my 1st cash of the series still in the 215 turbo and a few other tourneys here on PokerStars"
Eugene Katchalov: "Playing day 3 of #SCOOP2012 today. Never played 5 card Draw NL before but I like it!"
There are plenty of SCOOP tournaments remaining on this year's schedule, so be sure to take part and test your talents against the game's best.