SCOOP 2012: Comeback kings never giving up

SCOOP logo.gifNever give up.

Parents say it. Coaches scream it. Teachers beg of it. You...probably don't listen. Why would you? It's a worn out old phrase that is hard to believe if you don't see it in action.

Never give up.

That's what they say. Keep trying. Don't quit. Believe.

It's easy to discount it all, especially in poker. Beaten to hell by a two-outer, left with ten percent of the average stack, it feels pretty good and cathartic to shove the rest of it in blind. What's the use, right? It's not like you have a chance at winning anyway.

Today, the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker entered its fifth day, and across the wide landscape of tournaments, we have witnessed a veritable orgy of lost causes. We've seen people throw the foundation of their stacks on sacrificial altars in such ways that it almost seems like they enjoy it. They are the poster children for the Give Up movement.

But, we have also seen glory. We have seen tenaciousness. We have seen such downright stubbornness that the mules on the nearby farm are expressing admiration.

Consider the story of Alex "blackbeaty" Kell, winner of the very first event of this year's SCOOP. The tournament had barely begun when he lost 75% of his stack. It was the type of place your average player might just sigh and start looking for another tournament. Instead, Kell, a 21-year-old from northern Germany, stood his ground.

"i just tried to play my a-game," he said.

He had some experience in this land of the short-stacks. Recently at EPT Berlin, he made it to Day 2, but with only 25,000 chips. Worse, when he got to the tournament room, he couldn't find his table. After ten minutes of running around, he realized why. He was on the TV table with ElkY and Viktor "Isildur1" Blom. The result: Kell eliminated Blom, left the TV table with 135,000, and finished in the money.

In the first SCOOP event, the result of his tenaciousness was a lucky double up that eventually propelled him to the SCOOP title. He has since cashed five more times and currently sits in fourth place on the Player of the Series leaderboard.


Alex "blackbeaty" Kell

If that's not enough reason to keep trying, then consider the story of Oscar Lima Bayo, aka Sr Amarillo. The winner of the SCOOP Event 5-M reached the final table in the middle of the pack, but on the very first hand had queens cracked by king-queen. He had just about one big blind left in his stack .

What happened?

He didn't give up and rallied for the $100,000 win and SCOOP title.

"I look back two years and I can't belive the goals I'm hitting," he said. "Working on what you love is something that not everyone can say they do, but fortunately I do. I'm just looking forward to improving my game and always looking up for higher targets."


Oscar "Sr Amarillo" Bayo

SCOOP continues for another ten days. If you're already starting to feel tired and like you might just give up, consider Kell and Bayo. They felt that way, too, and today they have a SCOOP title on their resume.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in SCOOP