SCOOP 2012: greezhool great in Event 2-High, $2100 NLHE

SCOOP logo.gifWhat happens when you put three wild cards into the mix at a SCOOP final table with six players who combine for multiple *OOP and Sunday Million final tables and an EPT championship? The wild cards finish 1-2-3, of course.

2012 SCOOP Event 2-High, $2,100 No-Limit Hold'em, was a two-day event with $1,000,000 guaranteed. The 966 players the event attracted nearly doubled the guarantee and created a prize pool of more than $1.9 million. The top four players all stood to become hundred-thousandaires, with the winner banking almost $350,000. The red spade was well represented, with a combined 27 Team PokerStars Pros and PokerStars Team Online players in the mix. Only two of the Team Pros made the top 108 and were in the money: Viktor "Isildur1" Blom finished 100th ($4,057) and Angel Guillen finished 55th ($5,796). Maxim Lykov just missed the cut, finishing six spots out of the money in 114th place.

But let's get back to those wild cards and those talented players they faced off against at the final table.

SCCOP 2012 Event 2-High final table.jpg

Seat 1: cassiopak (1021453 in chips)
Seat 2: @cey@lone (693698 in chips)
Seat 3: greezhool (893630 in chips)
Seat 4: pokerpro_kk1 (1755393 in chips)
Seat 5: pyszalek (710143 in chips)
Seat 6: Toby "810ofclubs" Lewis (1356054 in chips)
Seat 7: 7Be/\eC7 (1024125 in chips)
Seat 8: SamSquid (1473578 in chips)
Seat 9: LukeFromB13 (731926 in chips)

Level 31: blinds 10k-20k, ante 2500

Lewis, of course, was the EPT champion, having won EPT Vilamoura in September 2010. He also won Event 16 in the inaugural TCOOP a few months ago. Each of the other five players reached at least one Super Tuesday, Sunday Million, or *OOP final table previously, most of them multiple times.

A cautious start

The players were extraordinarily deep, with an average stack of more than 50 big blinds - which would be great for a live tournament final table, never mind an online tournament. There was also no clear-cut chip leader. Obviously pokerpro_kk1 had the lead (and the support of Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari from the rail) but as Level 31 progressed the stacks became even more level.

No surprise, then, that it took 58 minutes before the first all in was called. Near the end of Level 32, pyszalek, down to 482k in chips, three-bet to 98,900 from late position after greezhool opened with just more than a minimum-raise. greezhool shoved with A♣K♦ and pyszalek snap-called with pocket 10s. A paired jack-high board was good enough to double pyszalek back up to about 1 million.

At that point, the short stack (@cey@lone) had 705k and the big stack, SamSquid, had 1.4 million. Everyone else was bunched in between at somewhere between 33 and 50 big blinds. Team PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov joked, "Same stacks guys, chop it!" and even final table host and Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein commented, "This is the most balanced final table I've ever seen."

pokerpro_kk1 came into the final table as the chip lead but repeatedly ceded ground over the course of the first 90 minutes. Some of that ground was ceded to Lewis, who took down a decent pot with an uncalled river raise:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Early in Level 33, 7Be/\eC7 jumped into the chip lead. Pre-flop, pyszalek was the aggressor with a raise to 67,500 that was called by 7Be/\eC7 from the button and LukeFromB13 in the big blind. All three players checked a 4♦6♠Q♦ flop. When the turn came the K♥, LukeFromB13 bet 117,685. That was enough to fold pyszalek, but 7Be/\eC7 raised to 254,240. LukeFromB13 dipped into the time bank for 70 seconds before calling to the 8♣ river. LukeFromB13 checked, then called a half-pot bet of 324,240 from 7Be/\eC7, who showed a set of 4s, 4♣4♥, to collect the massive pot.

The two short stacks went to war shortly thereafter. LukeFromB13, from first position, shoved for 361k with pocket 5s. pokerpro_kk1, the player who started with the chip lead, re-shoved from middle position with A♣K♠, but pokerpro_kk1's misfortunes continued as the board came all small cards, 3♣3♠4♠6♦T♦. LukeFromB13 climbed above 700k while pokerpro_kk1 dropped to less than 200k and became the new short stack.

But pokerpro_kk1 soon had company near the bottom, when fellow Brazilian cassiopak ran pocket kings into greezhool's pocket aces. Aces held, propelling greezhool to 2.1 million and the chip lead and dropping cassiopak to less than 300k. The two Brazilians were neck and neck at the bottom.

"Both Brazilians got cold-decked," noted Greenstein. "Vamoo count going down."

Cold-decked doesn't begin to describe it for pokerpro_kk1, who shoved for 123k with A♦9♥. Early position player SamSquid, who opened to 63,000, called with T♦9♣, then paired 10s on the turn of a 5♠7♣J♠T♥Q♦ board to knock out the final table chip leader in 9th place, 88 minutes after the final table began.

Play picks up and a deal is made

Play continued without much change until LukeFromB13 doubled through Lewis. Lewis opened pre-flop for slightly more than the minimum, then snap-called after LukeFromB13 shoved for 720k. Lewis had the pair, 9♣9♥; LukeFromB13 had the Big Slick. This round went to Big Slick, 8♣K♣6♠K♠7♣, and Lewis became the short stack with about 310k.

cassiopak didn't fare as well as LukeFromB13 in a similar situation a few moments later. cassiopak had the 9s; SamSquid had ace-jack and paired both cards on a 7♦A♦Q♣K♠J♠ board to knock cassiopak out in 8th place. Both of the Brazilians were gone. There would be no more "Vamo!" calls.

After the 10pm break, the players returned to continue the battle. Lewis, still the short stack, shoved A♦4♦ from early position for 463k. LukeFromB13 woke up a few positions behind with A♥J♠ and called the shove. A flop of J♥5♣A♠ left Lewis drawing practically dead. Two cards later he was out in 7th place.

SCOOP-2-High-Toby-Lewis.jpg

Toby Lewis - 7th place

The tourney progressed into Level 35, blinds 20k-40k, ante 5k. That's when the two shortest stacks, @cey@lone and pyszalek, got it in the middle pre-flop. @cey@lone had the lead with pocket 7s, but it was a flip against pyszalek's A♠9♠. The board came all small, 3♦6♠6♥3♣5♥, no help for pyszalek. @cey@lone collected the pot to knock pyszalek out in 6th place.

The biggest hand of the tournament happened just a few moments later between big stacks 7Be/\eC& and SamSquid. Take a look:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Despite that hit, 7BE/\eC7 battled back, doubling through SamSquid once and eventually climbing back up to about 1.6 million. By that time, in Level 36 (25k-50k-6250), four of the five players were just below the 1.9 million-chip average with between 1.5 million and 1.8 million. SamSquid had the lead with 2.9 million. They decided to pause and consider a deal.

With four stacks so close, the chop numbers were roughly even, with each of those stacks getting slightly better than 3rd place money and SamSquid getting about $40,000 above that, with $20,000 as the set-aside. All agreed on the numbers. A five-way deal was made, leaving the SCOOP bracelet and the set-aside to go to the champion.

The floodgates fail to open

You might think, that with $1 million of the prize pool accounted for and only $20,000 up for grabs, that play loosened up after the deal. In fact, the five players continued battling, seemingly giving no quarter. @cey@lone played most aggressively and was the beneficiary of the continued tight play with an increase in chips to 2.5 million.

That aggression backfired, however, when @cey@lone picked up pocket 10s and the other big stack, SamSquid, picked up pocket kings. All the chips went in pre-flop after a series of raises, with SamSquid's kings flopping a set and surviving to the river against @cey@lone's inside straight draw. @cey@lone, down to about 250k, tripled up all in with Q♣7♦ against 7Be/\eC7's A♠Q♦ by flopping a seven. The fight continued, with grezhool trending downwards to join both players near about 1 million in chips even as blinds increased to 30k/60k.

It was finally 7Be/\eC7 who broke the deadlock by busting out in 5th place, opening all in pre-flop for 953k with pocket deuces. Big stack SamSquid called with pocket 7s and held, T♠7♣4♦4♣4♠. A few hands later, LukeFromB13 followed 7Be/\eC7 to the rail, losing first with ace-eight to greezhool's pocket 10s and then shoving 9♦6♦ into @cey@lone's A♠K♥. LukeFromB13 never came close to the 2nd board, bowing out in 4th place.

From three to the champ

A double-up by @cey@lone with pocket aces, through SamSquid's pocket 10s, delineated the final three stacks into clear 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, with SamSquid in front and greezhool pulling up the rear. But then greezhool doubled through SamSquid and the final three players were all very close to 3 million in chips. Three hands later, SamSquid, previously the prohibitive favorite, engaged in a pre-flop raising war with @cey@lone, who put in the last raise, all in to 3.7 million. SamSquid called with A♠T♦ and was racing pocket 7s. The 7s held 4♦8♥9♣3♣5♣ to send a very deserving SamSquid to the rail in 3rd place.

That left greezhool and @cey@lone to duke it out for the bracelet, with greezhol starting as a 3-to-1 chip underdog. All it would take for greezhool was one double-up to reset the stacks. That double-up came when the two players got all in pre-flop, greezhool showing K♥Q♥ and @cey@lone showing an ace, A♠T♦. The queen flopped; no ace ever hit the board. Game on.

From there greezhool ground out pots until the chip advantage was 2-to-1 in greezhool's favor. One lucky bad beat later, greezhool was the champion:

RSS readers click through to see replay

greezhool, @cey@lone and SamSquid were three wild cards coming into the Event 2-High final table. But a patient game got each first to five-handed play, where a large chop ensured them all a good payday, and then to three-handed play. From there greezhool played the strongest to nab the victory and an extra $20,000. A little luck didn't hurt either.

2012 SCOOP Event 2-High, $2,100 NLHE results (including five-way deal):

1st: greezhool ($220,517.13)*
2nd: @cey@lone ($193,218.28)*
3rd: SamSquid ($234,193.06)*
4th: LukeFromB13 ($187,073.39)*
5th: 7Be/\eC7 ($194,753.14)*
6th: pyszalek ($80,178.00)
7th: Toby "810ofclubs" Lewis ($60,858.00)
8th: cassiopak ($42,697.20)
9th: pokerpro_kk1 ($24,729.60)

There are 119 more events in the 2012 SCOOP. How many will you play? Check out the schedule, the results, and all of the stats at the SCOOP homepage.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP