SCOOP 2012: Chojjasd in charge after Event #40-L Day 1 ($109 NLHE Main Event)

SCOOP logo.gifThe numbers below say it all. This low buy-in version of the Main Event was a success, and it hasn't even played out yet. The final results will be in after Day 2 on May 21, but leading for the first day is Chojjasd. The player from Malta is no stranger to deep runs in the 2012 Spring Championship of Online Poker, but Chojjasd will be looking to keep this momentum going into the second day of action. But there are 87 others with a different idea. The final playdown will be interesting. Count on it.

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It's one thing to crush a guarantee. Tournaments on PokerStars frequently garner large fields that create prize pools to leave the guarantees in the dust. But this 40-L Main Event, well, it put the guarantee to simple shame. The initial figure of $1 million was nothing to sneeze at in the first place, but the prize pool set after three hours of registration on May 20 was ridiculous. In a good way, that is.

Players: 22,128
Guarantee: $1,000,000
Prize pool: $2,212,800
Paid players: 3,150

With those outstanding numbers in the record books, let's take a look at the first day of this two-day extravaganza.

The money bubble burst at 6 hours, 15 minutes into the tournament, and the unfortunate bubble player was bundzik out in 3151st place. On the happier end of that equation was rusleqpoker, who took home $154.89 for 3150th place.

The list of Team PokerStars players still in the field was solid but getting thinner by the hour. After the money bubble, Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas was the first to exit, walking away with $154.89 for 2739th place. Team Pro Chad "ChadBrownPRO" was the next to hit the rail in 2164th place ($221.28), followed by Team Online's George "Jorj95" Lind in 1960th ($243.40). Team Pro Celina Lin exited in 1626th place ($287.66), followed by fellow Team Pros Andre "aakkari" Akkari in 854th ($508.94), Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth in 472nd ($685.96), and Eugene Katchalov in 346th ($818.73).

Into the later levels of the night, three pros remained, and two of them were brothers. Team Pro Matthias "mattidm" de Meulder, one of the twins, had to say goodbye to the 40-L Main Event in 191st place but received $1,017.88 for it. Meanwhile, his brother Christophe "chrisdm" de Meulder (pictured here) and the infamous Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier pressed on in the midst of 150 remaining players.

Christophe de Meulder 2.jpg

Other notable bustouts from earlier in the tournament included the SCOOP champion of champions Shaun Deeb, who exited in 816th place for $508.94, as well as others who didn't cash in this one. The winner of this tournament in 2011, fittungen, did return to make a run at a repeat victory but fell short of that by busting in 13,348th place. The other 2011 Main Event champions - Goldenboys and Lrslzk - exited outside of the money as well.

Last two levels

There were a group of players set on staying in the confines of the top 10 on the leaderboard. Chojjasd was one of them, and after a takeover of the top spot from VolkovDmitri, Chojjasd became the first player to climb over the 10 million mark. It happened with this elimination:

RSS readers click through to see replay

But then 22illuminati jumped into the lead, though a big move from Alex71AMT took the number one spot. Skitzis was also moving toward the top. Marius2891 then took over just before the 11.5-hour break.

Chrisdm climbed a bit, surpassing ElkY as he did so, by eliminating a player in this fashion:

RSS readers click through to see replay

ElkY enjoyed a small boost at the end of the night. The last hand at his table started with Elky raising from middle position and jambeyang calling from the big blind. ElkY bet the 2♠4♦9♣ flop, and jambeyang check-called. The same action took place on the 5♠ turn, and the 6♣ river prompted yet another bet from ElkY. Jambeyang check-folded, and ElkY collected nearly 2.5 million chips to put him in 19th place for the night.

Bertrand Grospellier 2.jpg

On another table, Chojjasd was looking to hold the first place that was regained in the last level. When Diego.AKKA started the last hand at that table with a raise UTG, Chojjasd reraised, and Diego.AKKA called. The 3♣9♥K♣ brought a bet from Chojjasd and check-call from Diego.AKKA. The 4♠ turn brought another bet from Chojjasd, but Diego.AKKA folded, showing J♦J♠. Chojjasd didn't show but did collect more than 2.9 million to solidify that end-of-day chip lead.

The night ended at the end of Level 40, as scheduled. Players were given a break of more than 12 hours and asked to return on Monday, May 21. Level 41 - with blinds of 70,000/140,000 and a 17,500 ante - will welcome them back to play to the conclusion of the event. As they parted ways, the leaderboard reflected the top players of 88 remaining at 10 tables.

2012 SCOOP Event #40-L ($109 NLHE Main Event) Day 1 Results:

Total players: 22,128
Paid players: 3,150
Players remaining: 88

1. Chojjasd (Malta) - 11,720,410
2. bahia (Brazil) - 9,892.870
3. marius2891 (Romania) - 9,697,612
4. Alex71AMT (Russia) - 9,044,283
5. 22illuminati (Denmark) - 8,218,905
6. tibbs111 (Canada) - 7,662,034
7. Traderzz (Germany) - 7,407,510
8. N.Andris1 (Hungary) - 7,365,726
9. Fiskin1 (UK) - 7,163,196
10. R0BtheT0P (Switzerland) - 7,156,441

19. Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (UK) - 5,058,912
23. Team PokerStars Pro Christophe "chrisdm" de Meulder (Belgium) - 4,574,887

Looking for more SCOOP reporting? Visit our special SCOOP 2012 coverage section.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in SCOOP