SCOOP 2012: gmcrafter leads, bleu329 chasing after Day 1 in Event 32-H ($2,100 PLO/8)

Thumbnail image for SCOOP logo.gifThere is probably no more fitting game for the Spring Championship of Online Poker than pot-limit Omaha hi/lo, where scooping pots instead of splitting them is the path to success. You can scoop while you SCOOP, and if you SCOOP really well you can scoop up some serious cash.

A total of 140 players agreed with that sentiment today, putting up $2,100 apiece for a chance at the latest High-level SCOOP tournament title. That built a $280,000 prize pool and set up a top prize of $64,400.

As we've all come to expect from the SCOOP-High events, this tournament drew a formidable field of top pros. How formidable, exactly? Enough that all-world Team PokerStars Pro member ElkY was the first player eliminated. If that's not a tough field, such a thing doesn't exist. He was joined on the rail by fellow Team Pro members Nacho Barbero, Eugene Katchalov, Martin Staszko, George Danzer, and Theo Jorgensen, all ending their days early. Team Online's representatives in the field - George "Jorj95" Lind, Henrique "Henrique.P" Pinho, and Roy "GodlikeRoy" Bhasin - also struck out.

Past performance, future results

And then there was the slew of past SCOOP winners from all around the poker world who came close but couldn't cash. If you've ever paid attention to the fine print in investment ads, you know that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results - and the next-to-last table before the money bubble was proof of that. Event 29-M champ Dan "djk123" Kelly had spent a fair amount of time hovering right behind bleu329 throughout the day but found himself near the bottom of the field in the company of 2011 SCOOP Event 35-H winner (and Team Online member) Anders "Donald" Berg, Event 28-H winner Shawn "buck21" Buchanan, Noah "Exclusive" Boeken, and 2010 SCOOP Event 14-H champ villepn. With the lone exception of villepn, who squeaked in with a handful of big blinds remaining and climbed into a 15th-place finish ($6,020), all of these former champions fell short of a cash in this event.

The chip leader for the bulk of Day 1 was bleu329, the SCOOP-30-H champion who was the first player in this event to cross both the 30K- and 40K-chip marks. As other players took turns moving ahead and falling back behind, the player from Thailand managed to stick around the top reaches of the leaderboard throughout the day. As the final table bubble loomed several others had chipped up by eliminating other players, but bleu329 held steady despite some serious technical issues that he explained in chat once the final table came around:

kuhns89: i rly thought u went to bed bleu ;)
bleu329: the power went out at my place like 2 hours ago so i had to drive to a friends
bleu329: then his internet went out and i had to come home and hope my power was back lol
caprioli: that sucks
caprioli: gl with your conexion now
bleu329: ty

With less than an hour of play remaining on Day 1, the Event 30-H champ was joined by these players - including a two-time SCOOP champion - in fighting for the top prize and the SCOOP champion's watch:

2012 SCOOP-32-H final table.jpg

Seat 1: Mafews (44,086 in chips)
Seat 2: PICKLED EGG (94,490 in chips)
Seat 3: Aquasces1 (58,346 in chips)
Seat 4: kuhns89 (72,377 in chips)
Seat 5: bleu329 (78,682 in chips)
Seat 6: Lyndon360 (96,955 in chips)
Seat 7: gmcrafter (88,735 in chips)
Seat 8: Rodrigo "caprioli" Caprioli (107,734 in chips)
Seat 9: Lovos111 (58,595 in chips)

With blinds at 800/1,600, nobody was in grave danger of busting soon based on chip count alone. But danger always lurks regardless of how many chips you have in an action game like PLO/8. That danger can end your tournament, but on the flip side it can also be of great benefit when someone else comes out on the wrong end of a pot against you. Three players would experience the former, while one player in particular would experience the latter.

Out come the wolves

The first big confrontation of the final table came with blinds at 1,000/2,000 and saw the United Kingdom's Mafews raise under the gun to 3,520 with A♦ Q♥ 2♠ 3♠ and then call a reraise to 11,360 from Lovos111, who sat in the big blind with A♠ A♣ 8♥ 6♥. The rest of Mafews' chips went in on the T♦ 8♦ 3♦ flop and it looked likely that the two would chop the pot, but the 4♥ turn and 5♣ river made a wheel straight to claim the 88,972-chip pot for Mafews.

Eight hands later, Lovos111 would double up with A♣ Q♣ 2♠ 3♣ against Lyndon360's A♥ 2♣ 6♣ 8♠. But on the following hand the Swedish player's A♠ 7♠ Q♥ 3♥ would be no match for PICKLED EGG's K♣ Q♠ T♥ 9♣ on a board of 7♥ J♠ T♠ Q♣ A♣. With no more chips, Lovos111 hit the rail in 9th place ($7,000).

Less than an orbit after the first elimination another player would be reduced to less than ten big blinds. This time it was Germany's kuhns89, whose A♠ T♠ 7♠ A♦ was ahead of Aquasces1's A♣ K♥ J♠ 2♠ before the flop and then again when the money went in the middle on the 7♣ 3♣ Q♣ flop, but failed to hold up when the A♥ turn and T♦ river made a straight for Aquasces1. Two hands later kuhns89 picked up another pair of aces and doubled a 12K stack, but the third time didn't prove to be the charm; bleu329's A♣ 7♣ 9♥ 2♥ triumphed over A♥ A♠ K♠ 6♦ for a 53K-chip pot and kuhns89 was out in 8th place ($8,400).

The very next hand saw yet another short stack bust out holding a pair of aces in the hole. This time it was Lyndon360, who, holding reraised gmcrafter's under-the-gun bet to 13K. gmcrafter called to see a flop of 7♥ 5♣ 5♠, called a 16K bet from Lyndon360, and then again called when Lyndon360 shoved for 38K after the K♠ hit the turn. The 2♥ 3♣ 5♥ 7♣ in gmcrafter's hand was ahead of Lyndon360's A♣ A♥ 9♥ 5♦, and it stayed there when the river was the Q♦. Lyndon360 took 7th place ($11,200), and gmcrafter stacked up to 175K as the field shrank to just six players.

No third title this time

Those six players all wanted to play through without returning for a second day of play, but the hard-coded break couldn't be skipped. Instead they continued through to the end of Level 20 - but not without striking another player from the rolls. The benefit once again found its way to gmcrafter, who stacked up to 333K in this hand at the expense of Rodrigo Caprioli, ending the Brazilian's quest for a third SCOOP title in 6th place ($14,000):

RSS readers, please click through for replay

Less than ten minutes later Day 1 came to a close, with these five players remaining in contention:

gmcrafter (Chile) 359,484 chips
Aquasces1 (Canada) 147,292 chips
bleu329 (Thailand) 101,344 chips
Mafews (United Kingdom) 58,172 chips
PICKLED EGG (Brazil) 33,708 chips

2012 SCOOP-32-H end Day 1.jpg

They'll be returning at 1pm ET today for the scheduled Day 2, starting on Level 21 with blinds at 1250/2500. With a difference of nearly $48,000 between 5th place and 1st - not to mention the prestige of winning a SCOOP event, and a nifty watch to boot - they'll have plenty to play for.

SCOOP Event 32-H: $2,100 PL Omaha Hi/Lo
$250,000 guaranteed
140 entrants, $280,000 prize pool
18 places paid

1st place: TBD $64,400
2nd place: TBD $44,800
3rd place: TBD $34,020
4th place: TBD $25,200
5th place: TBD $16,800
6th place: Rodrigo "caprioli" Caprioli (Brazil) $14,000
7th place: Lyndon360 (New Zealand) $11,200
8th place: kuhns89 (Germany) $8,400
9th place: Lovos111 (Sweden) $7,000

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

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in SCOOP