SCOOP 2012: It's a SCOOP forhayley, Russian wins 4-max title (SCOOP-23-M $215 4-max)

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In an epic heads-up battle that lasted 154 hands Russian forhayley overcame a ten to one deficit to defeat Luke 'LFmagic' Fields, who once again had to settle for second place in a SCOOP event.

Four-max might be a relatively new poker format but the players, 2205 of them, turned out in their droves to create a prize pool of $441,000 that more than doubled the guarantee of $200,000. Amongst the 280 who shared the prize pool were Team Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki (271st), Team Online's Shane 'shaniac' Schleger (259th) and current overall SCOOP leaderboard leader Shaun 'shaundeeb' Deeb (268th).

At the start action was, as expected, fast. It took just five hours for 2205 to become 200, but another five hours to reach the final five. A quirk of this format is that the final table is the only juncture at which the table is not four-max as it starts with five players to avoid an imbalance of three on one table and two on another during hand for hand play.

So hand for hand play began with half a dozen left and would last 27 minutes. The unfortunate six place finisher was Hattenaf from Denmark. He five-bet all-in with K♠Q♠ but ran into swordfish007's pocket kings. This pot meant that swordfish007 - who finished fourth in SCOOP-08-H $1,050 NL Hold'em - would go to the final table as chip leader.


The final four five

Final table chip counts

Seat 1: forhayley, 2,228,010
Seat 2: LFmagic 1,534,775
Seat 3: pkrbt 894,617
Seat 4: wywrotX 1,871,262
Seat 5: swordfish007 4,496,336

Oo Oo Oo it's magic

It was a deepstacked final table as blinds were just 8,000 - 16,000 ante 2,000 when the final table got underway, but it took just five hands for the first significant action to take place as LFmagic doubled through swordfish007, queens against tens all-in pre-flop.

Although this double up didn't give LFmagic the chip lead from this point on he was very much the pilot, dictating the action and seemingly involved in all the significant pots.

luke fields.jpg

Luke Fields, pictured at UKIPT Nottingham Feb 2011

Five become four
The shortest stack coming to the final table was Sweden's pkrbt and he was the first to exit. With blinds at 10,000 - 20,000 ante 2,500 he three-bet all-in for 629,563 with A♥4♣, forhayley made a brave call with pocket fives and the pair held up on the board of J♣4♠K♥3♠2♥, pkrbt collected $9,371.25 for his deep run.

Down to four and with stacks close:

Seat 1: forhayley 2,938,993
Seat 2: LFmagic 2,975,050
Seat 4: wywrotX 2,013,316
Seat 5: swordfish007 3,097,641

Talks of striking a deal began:

swordfish007: u guys wanna look at numbers or not?
wywrotX: would not mind taking a look
LFmagic: happy to have a peep
forhayley: sorry guys, dont wanna make any deal
LFmagic: np
swordfish007: alright good luck
wywrotX: cool
wywrotX: more fun this way

With a deal shot down play continued.

Magic action
As previously mentioned, the UK's LFmagic was involved in most pots and the major battles were taking place against Canada's wywrotX.

The opening salvo was a mere four million chip pot in which both players held king-jack on a board of K♣5♦J♠6♦6♣. Amazingly they would chop another 1,750,000 pot soon after when both holding king-jack. But this was the appetiser for what was to come.

With blinds now 17,500 - 35,000 ante 4375 wywrotX found himself as the short stack with just under a milllion. He min-raised to 70,000, it folded to LFmagic in the big blind who set him all-in and he made the call.

wywrotx: 9♣9♦
LFmagic: 2♣2♦

The board came A♣A♥4♣3♦9♥ and the Canadian took a chunk from LFmagic, but just 10 minutes later the magic man would get his man.

Wrot can you do?

With all the history that wywrotx and LFmagic had created between them at this final table you might expect the former's exit hand to involve some deep thinking levelling war, fact is it was just a cooler.


Premium versus Premium

Jacks into queens four-handed meant wywrotX was sent packing in fourth, winning $14,636.79.

Three is the magic number
As three handed play began the stacks looked like this

Seat 1: forhayley 3,871,610
Seat 2: LFmagic 5,287,655
Seat 5: swordfish007 1,865,735

For much of the final table swordfish007 had taken a back seat, letting the others duke it out, during three-handed play he would be in the thick of it though, perhaps sensing that it was now or never.

But it was mostly bad news as he took two big hits. First he 4-bet folded button versus small blind against forhayley, then on the river with the board reading J♥A♠J♣5♣5♠ with 1,000,000 in the pot and 1,467,690 back he folded to LFmagic's bet of 1,500,000.

Although he managed to double through LFmagic with pocket sevens against A♠Q♠ on a board of 6♥7♣K♣5♣K♦ the reprieve would not last long as LFmagic found himself on the right side of a cooler once again.

With blinds at 20,000 - 40,000 ante 5,000 swordfish007 made it 80,000 to go with A♥Q♣, LFMagic three-bet to 200,000 with A♦K♠, swordifsh007 moved all-in and LFMagic called. The board ran 2♠5♠T♥6♠T♦ and just like that we were heads-up.

As heads-up began LFMagic had the advantage with 8,069,642 to forhayley's 2,955,358, with blinds still at 20,000 - 40,000 ante 5,000 there was still plenty of room to play.

Although forhayley won his fair share of pots, heads-up was a one way tide chip wise as LFmagic won the significant pots. He had ground forhayley down to just 874,333 over 42 heads-up hands, when we had the first all-in showdown. It was all-in pre-flop and the players showed:

LFmagic: A♣2♣
forhayley: 4♥4♦

The pair held up as the board ran 2♦[10c][10s]6♥Q♥.

14 hands later forhayley did it again, he'd been knocked back down to just over a million when he found pocket fives and LFmagic had A♣8♦, again the pair held up.

Tide turns
The momentum was now with forhayley he closed the gap to 4,750,000 plays 6,250,000 as momentum swung his way. He then took the chip lead after he picked off a LFmagic three-barrel bluff.


Not a magic river for LF

Another double double
Then came the key hand of the 164 heads up battle, as if LFmagic is to be believed he was this time on the wrong end of the cooler.

Holding T♣9♣ forhayley flopped a straight on a K♣Q♥J♣ flop there was betting on the flop the J♠ turn and the 4♠ river, where LFmagic called and mucked.

Upon seeing forhayley's hand he said: "ommfg, had AJ, is that real. Have you 10-1,some blow this."

Indeed that pot meant that the chipstacks at the start of heads-up play were now reversed with forhayley holding a 8.7m to 2.3m chip lead.

But LFmagic was not done, it was his turn to double up twice as the short stack.

23 hands later down to just over 1,100,000 he was all-in and at risk for the first time during heads-up play. Forhayley set him in from the small blind with Q♣4♠, LFmagic called all-in with K♦[10s]. A board of A♥8♥7♦5♣7♣ gave him the double up.

Another 23 hands passed before he would score another double up. During those hands forhayley had held the upper hand and LFmagic was down to just under 1,500,000. From the button forhayley min-raised to 120,000, LFmagic moved all-in for 1,467,692 and forhayley made the call.

LFmagic: 7♥7♣
forhayley: J♠T♦

The board ran K♦K♣6♦K♥8♣ and meant stacks were now close to 8,000,000 for forhayley and 3,000,000 for LFmagic.

Maxed out
This gargantuan heads-up battle continued for another 20 hands before yet another cooler sent the title to Russia.

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River of dreams for the Russian

A rivered straight against two pair saw all the chips fly in on the river. The pot, the title and $68,125.68 were shipped to Russia as forhayley took down this 4-max event.

Final table payouts:

1st - forhayley, Russia, $68,125.68
2nd - LFmagic, United Kingdom, $41,511.33
3rd - swordfish007, Germany, $24,065.37
4th- wywrotX, Canada, $14,636.79
5th - Pkrbt, Sweden, $9,371.25

Number of players: 2205
Number of players paid: 280
Total prizepool: $441,000

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Nick Wright
@PokerStars in SCOOP