SCOOP 2012: Drew M Scott eats Nacho's stack and wins second title in Event #38-M $215 H.O.R.S.E.

SCOOP logo.gifOnce the final table was set, chip leader Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero looked poised to go wire-to-wire in Event #38-M $215 H.O.R.S.E.

Enter Drew M Scott.

Drew M Scott was seeking a second SCOOP title (he won Event #19-L six days earlier) and was going to do everything in his power to stop Nacho and add another Movado champion's watch to his collection.

Nacho and Drew M Scott embarked in bare knuckle brawl that spilled over from Razz into Stud. The two slugged it out in a heads-up match for the ages. When their fracas was settled, Drew M Scott emerged as the victor and won a second SCOOP event. With his second win, Drew M Scott joined an elite club of multiple 2012 SCOOP champions that included Shaun Deeb (4 titles), PokerStars Team Pro Viktor "Isuldur1" Blom, bleu329, and joacowalter.

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PokerStars couldn't think of a better day to host a H.O.R.S.E. tournament. Today marked the 137th running of The Preakness -- the second leg of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown -- and one of the most prestigious events in the sporting world. Contests involving horses dates back to ancient civilizations and horse racing was dubbed the "Sport of Kings" sometime in the 17th Century. For a thousand years, horse breeders mastered the art of manipulating genetics to create the ultimate specimen with superlative speed, strength, resilience, speed, agility, speed, heart, and speed. Did I mention the speed element? Race horses weren't bred to lazily trot around the track; they run on one speed -- maximum overdrive.

Poker's version of H.O.R.S.E. employs an opposing philosophy from their Equus counterparts. Slow and steady wins the poker race. The limit format of H.O.R.S.E. eliminates the push-monkey hyper-agggro factor that runs rampant in PLO and NL MTT's. H.O.R.S.E.

The premier H.O.R.S.E. players -- the true thoroughbreds of online poker -- are versatile combatants who show no weaknesses and excel at all five games. Poker thoroughbreds are merciless and ruthlessly exploit their opponents' liabilities as soon as the game switches. Poker thoroughbreds maintain their cool when confronted with treacherous situations, but most importantly, poker thoroughbreds minimize tilt during frustrating, eye-gouging rounds of Razz.

Event $38-M $215 H.O.R.S.E. attracted 547 horses. Only the top 72 places paid out, which meant that 475 eliminated horses were shipped off to the glue factory. The prize pool for Event #38-M was $109,400 with $20,676 set aside for the champion.

Team PokerStars Pros who participated in this event included familiar thoroughbreds like ElkY, Eugene Katchalov, Nacho Barbero, Chad Brown and Henrique Pinho. Team PokerStars Online thoroughbreds in the mix included George 'Jorj95' Lind, Roy 'GodlikeRoy' Bhasin, Shane 'shaniac' Schleger and Mickey 'mement_mori' Petersen.

Nacho Barbero (2nd place) and Eugene Katchalov (8th place) were the only Team PokerStars Pros who cashed. Both subsequently advanced to the final table, but neither could muster up a win.


Jose "Nacho" Barbero

The action stalled toward the money bubble but perked up again when the bubble finally popped at 72. Katchalov caught a heater and passed 100K. He entrenched himself in the top 3 while Nacho hung out in the middle of the herd.

With 54 remaining, Katchalov and Nacho were 1-2 in chips. Nacho rocketed to the lead pack during a round of Omaha Hi/Lo. Nacho turned the Wheel holding A♦7♥4♦2♦ and scooped a a pot against xxNoellexx. With 40 to go, the chase pack swallowed up Nacho and Katchalov, yet they managed to stay in the top 10.

With 27 remaining on the last three tables, Katchalov and Nacho chipped back up to third and fourth respectively and passed the 200K mark, while doohmisclick took a turn in the top slot with 250K.

Several notable players were squeezed out during the consolation from three tables to two tables including Scott "BigRiskky" Clements (27th), Xuan "xx23xx" Liu, Karl Marx (23rd), Mike "SirWatts" Watts (18th), and David "betudontbet" Emmon (17th). During that stretch, Nacho started to percolate during LHE and won six out of eight pots. He seized the top spot and raced past 400K, while Katchalov was shadowing him in second with 280K.

When the final two tables were set, Katchalov and Nacho were seated next to each other. Nacho retained the overall lead with 450K, while ozenc, Drew M Scott, and Katchalov jockeyed for position in the immediate chase pack.


With nine players remaining on the cusp of the final table, Nacho kept his spot up top, but Katchalov started bleeding chips and he sunk to next to last in chips.

H.O.R.S.E. final tables are eight-handed. Unfortunately, Wanzenkoenig unceremoniously bubbled off the final table in ninth place. During a round of LHE, betting was capped pre-flop between Wanzenkoenig and Looptroop. On a flop of T♠T♣8♥, Looptroop bet 16,000, and Wanzenkoenig shoved all-in for 19,072, and Looptroop called. Looptroop was ahead with J♥J♣ against Wanzenkoenig's A♦Q♣. The turn was the 8♠ and the 8♣ fell on the river. Looptroop won the pot with a bigger boat and Wanzenkoenig hit the road.


Event #38-M $215 H.O.R.S.E. - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: nilsef (291,107)
Seat 2: ozenc (40,575)
Seat 3: Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov (156,156)
Seat 4: Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero (655,781)
Seat 5: Drew M Scott (327,151)
Seat 6: Mikleler (359,130)
Seat 7: osten (562,444)
Seat 8: Looptroop (342,656)

Event #38-M featured ten minute levels, so each game was played at least once per every hour. Nacho began the final table as the leader and ozenc brought up the rear as the short stack.

TWICE IS HARD: Eugene Katchalov eliminated in 8th place

During a round of Omaha Hi/Lo, the first player bit the dust.

Looptroop kicked off the hand with a raise to 32,000, nilsef called, but Katchalov raised to 48,000. Both Looptroop and nilsef called. The flop was J♥9♥5♣. Katchalov bet 16,000. Both Looptroop and nilsef called. The 6♣ on the turn enticed fireworks. Katchalov moved all-in for 28,156, and both Looptroop and nilsef called. The T♠ fell on the river and both Looptroop and nilsef checked. At showdown, nilsef mucked.

Katchalov: A♣K♠K♦4♥
Looptroop: A♦J♦T♥2♦

Without a qualifying low, Katchalov's Kings were no good and Looptroop won the pot with two pair -- Jacks and tens. Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov was knocked out in eighth place and earned $1,914.50.

JEALOUS AGAIN: ozenc eliminated in 7th place

During Razz, ozenc lost a decisive pot when his 9-7-6-5-A faltered against Nacho's 9-5-4-3-2. Virtually crippled, ozenc busted out shortly after. when Looptroop's 6-5-3-2-A took out ozenc's Q-10-7-6-5. For a seventh place finish, ozenc collected $2,735.

SISTER LUCK: Looptroop eliminated in 6th place

During a round of Razz... Nacho and Looptroop rumbled. The results were fatal.

On third street, Looptroop raised 20,000 with (X-X)8♦, Nacho bumped it up to 40,000 with (X-X)4♣, and Looptroop called.

On fourth street, Looptroop bet 20,000 with (X-X)8♦3♣, and despite a pair of fours showing, Nacho called with (X-X)4♣4♦.

On fifth street, Nacho fired out 40,000 with (X-X)4♣4♦6♣, and despite pairing an eight, Looptroop called with (X-X)8♦3♣8♣.

On sixth street, Nacho bet 40,000 with (X-X)4♣4♦6♣3♠ and Looptroop called with (X-X)8♦3♣8♣A♥.

On the river, Nacho fired out 40,000 and Looptroop called all-in for 34,236.

Nacho showed 2♦A♠4♣4♦6♣3♠7♠ for a 6-4-3-2-A low. Looptroop flipped over 4♠A♣8♦3♣8♣A♥2♠ for an 8-4-3-2-A low. Nacho won the 378K pot and Looptroop was dunzo. For a sixth-place finish, Looptroop took home $3,829.

With five players remaining, Nacho passed the 1 million mark and was sitting pretty with 1.1 million.


Nacho coughed up the lead for the first time since the final table commenced. Nacho's big stack came under assault during a round of Stud Hi/Lo. Without a qualifying low, nilsef won a 632K pot with trip Aces, holding 6♥A♥A♠A♦Q♣7♦3♦. Nacho slipped to 666K, while nilsef leap-frogged into first with 874K.

When the game switched to LHE, Nacho didn't waste any time and quickly launched a counterattack to regain the lead. Nacho won a pair of 300K pots and elbowed nilsef out of the top spot.

COULD I'VE BEEN SO BLIND: Mikleler eliminated in 5th place

During a round of LHE... Drew M Scott opened to 50,000, Mikleler bumped it up to 75,000, and Drew M Scott called. The flop was A♥8♠8♥. Mikleler bet 25,000 and Drew M Scott called. The turn was the Q♥. Mikleler bet 50,000, Drew M Scott raised to 100,000 and Mikleler called all-in. Mikleler's 9♣9♥ were in trouble against Drew M Scott's A♣5♣. The turn was 2♣. Drew M Scott won the pot with Aces up. Mikleler was knocked out in fifth place, but earned $5,470.

HARD TO HANDLE: osten eliminated in 4th place

The high-paced action continued during LHE when yet another player was liquidated. Short-stacked osten opened to 50,000, Drew M Scott three-bet, osten shoved all-in for 84,452, and Drew M Scott called. Drew M Scott was ahead with J♣6♣ versus osten's 8♥6♥. The board ran out K♠5♦2♦A♣2♥. Drew M Scott won the pot and osten's run was over. For fourth place, osten collected $8,205.

With three to go, Drew M Scott took command of the lead with 1.1 million. Nacho was not far behind with 928K, and nilsef was the shortest stack with 532K.

THICK N' THIN: nilsef eliminated in 3rd place

The game switched to Omaha Hi/Lo and tragedy struck in a multi-way pot. The hand began innocent enough when nilsef opened to 60,000, Nacho called from the small blind and Drew M Scott called from the big blind. The flop was 9♣5♣3♦. Nacho checked, Drew M Scott bet 30,000, nilsef called all-in for 22,725, and Nacho called 30,000. The turn was the 5♦, and both Nacho and Drew M Scott checked. The J♥ on the river induced another check-check. Without a qualifying low, nilsef mucked his hand. Drew M Scott won both the main pot and side pot with J♣T♠9♥4♠ for two pair -- Jacks and nines. Nacho's lost the pot with T♥8♥3♠2♠ for an inferior two pair. Germany's nilsef busted out in third place and earned $11,158.80.

HEADS-UP: Drew M Scott (Canada) vs. Nacho Barbero (Argentina)
Seat 4: nachobarbero (1,406,017)
Seat 5: Drew M Scott (1,328,983)

Nacho held the lead, but it was very slim.

The game switched to Razz and on the first hand, Drew M Scott landed the first punishing blow. Nacho lost a gut-wrenching pot when his 7-6-4-3-2 couldn't match up against Drew M Scott's 7-5-4-2-A. Drew M Scott won 732K for that pot, then proceeded to win the next two hands. He improved to 2.1 million as Nacho slipped to 690K.

Nacho responded by winning a 552K pot with 7-6-5-4-3 against Drew M Scott's 8-7-5-4-3. Nacho stopped the bleeding for the moment and was prepared to make a comeback. Nacho unleashed his counter-offensive and won ten out of the next 13 hands. Nacho was buoyed by another 552K pot which he won with 7-6-5-4-3. Nacho and Drew M Scott were almost dead even.

SHE TALKS TO ANGELS: Nacho Barbero eliminated in 2nd place; Drew M Scott wins SCOOP title

Alas, Nacho's comeback was thwarted when Drew M Scott won ten out of the next 14 hands. Nacho met his fate during Stud.

On third street, Nacho was dealt (X-X)J♠. Drew M Scott had the bring in with (X-X)2♦ for 12,000. Nacho bumped it up to 40,000. Drew M Scott re-raised to 80,000. Nacho moved all-in for 117,017. Drew M Scott insta-called.

Drew M Scott: K♣K♦2♦J♥7♥3♣6♣
Nacho: 4♠6♠J♠A♦Q♥5♠8♦

Nacho whiffed on a flush draw and ended up with only Ace high. Drew M Scott won the hand with a pair of Kings.

Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero busted out in second place. He earned $15,151.90 for a sensational runner-up performance, but Nacho was heavily disappointed. Moments after his elimination, Nacho popped into the chat box at Shaun Deeb's final table in Event #38-High and said, "I don't know how you do it. I keep coming in second."

Drew M Scott shipped the H.O.R.S.E. tournament and won $20,676.60. This is Drew M Scott's second SCOOP title inside a week, which means he can now wear a watch on each wrist. Congrats!

Event #38-M $215 H.O.R.S.E. - Final Table Payouts and Results:
Entrants: 547
Places Paid: 72

1. Drew M Scott (Canada) - $20,676.60
2. Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero (Argentina) - $15,151.90
3. nilsef (Germany) - $11,158.80
4. osten (Norway) - $8,205
5. Mikleler (Russia) - $5,470
6. Looptroop (Sweden) - $3,829
7. oznec (Austria) - $2,735
8. Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov - $1,914.50

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

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in SCOOP