SCOOP 2012: kleath ousts theczar19, wins Event #14-H ($700 NLHE Ante Up)

SCOOP logo.gifWatch the final table of a typical NLHE event and you'll see players working average stacks anywhere between 25 and 45 big blinds. Watch a turbo final table and that number will drop to 10 or 15. Say what you want about sky-high blinds, "shove-monkey" poker and "standard" spots, but you're usually on your way in an hour or two.

This event was a whole other ballgame. Kiss the blinds goodbye and say hello to antes. The Ante Up format takes preflop play and turns it inside-out. Giant blinds aren't flying around the table every few hands, they remain at 5/5 for the duration with only the antes increasing. The slow structure and deep stacks led to a methodically played two-day tournament that finished with a five-hour final table-- something more akin to live play than online. In the end, however, it was a consummate online grinder who rose to the top of the field, Malta's kleath earning his first SCOOP title and more than $41,000.

372 players paid the $700 price tag on Event #14-H, creating a $249,240 prize pool. 45 places were paid, with first place set to earn $48.227.94. Eleven members of the Red Spade army were in the mix, among them Eugene Katchalov, Andre Akkari, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, and Jason Mercier. The only one to make the money, however, was George Danzer.

As Day 1 play drew to a close, Danzer was at the back of the pack with 14 players remaining. Four players limped in an tRaMp$d0PrAy raised to 2,860. Lechuckpoker and Rens02 both called. Danzer looked down at K♣T♥ and shoved for 43,432, no doubt hoping to take it down right there. Although tRaMp$d0PrAy got out of the way, lechuckpoker called with pocket eights. Danzer grabbed the lead when he hit top pair on the K♥9♣6♥ flop and retained it when the 4♣ hit the turn, but lechuckpoker spiked his two-outer on the river, the 8♦ falling to make him a set and send Danzer to the rail in 14th place.

ept berlin_day 1b_george danzer.jpg

Hold me closer, George Danzer. Take my bad beat blues away.**

Play was suspended after 21 levels with 11 players remaining and resumed this morning at 11am EDT. It took an hour and 25 minutes to lose two more players. Ultimately it was RB79s who finished as the final table bubble boy, running Q♣Q♠ into Rens02's A♦A♣.

SCOOP Event 14-H FT.jpg

Final table chip counts:

Seat 1: Rens02 (338,651 in chips)
Seat 2: tRaMp$d0PrAy (139,654 in chips)
Seat 3: Face333X (160,600 in chips)
Seat 4: lechuckpoker (363,632 in chips)
Seat 5: joacowalter (318,353 in chips)
Seat 6: theczar19 (188,538 in chips)
Seat 7: kleath (167,353 in chips)
Seat 8: julianherold (100,878 in chips)
Seat 9: 1BigAceHole (82,341 in chips)

Lost races, cracked aces, and runner-runner straights

This marked the second final table appearance for joacowalter in the 2012 SCOOP; he won Event #5-H for more than $200,000 less than a week ago. He moved out to the chip lead in the first hour when his A♥5♥ flopped the nut flush draw and filled it on the turn. Joacowalter got three streets of value from Rens02 and moved up to 517,000 while Rens02 fell to 130,500.

TRaMp$d0PrAy lost most of his stack early on when 1BigAceHole's K♣J♦ rivered a king against his A♣Q♥. Down to 29,000, and the ante up to 1,500, tRaMp$d0PrAy picked up A♦T♠ and three-bet shoved behind Rens02's 6,459 opening raise. Rens02 called with 9♦9♥, the pocket pair holding up to eliminate tRaMp$d0PrAy in ninth place.

About ten minutes later, Rens02 snapped off pocket aces to claim the rest of Face333X's stack. Joacowalter opened the betting with a raise to 7,500, 1BigAceHole three-bet to 17,200 and Rens02 cold four-bet to 32,968. Face333X shoved for 86,656, joacowalter and 1BigAceHole ducked out of the way, and Rens02 called, turning over 7♣8♣ to Face333X's A♥A♠. Rens02 hit a miraculous Q♥7♥7♦ flop, his trip sevens sending Face333X to the rail in eighth place.

Moments later, theczar19 was looking down the barrel of a gun. His K♥J♥ was up against joacowalter's K♠T♥ on a K♣T♦5♥ flop and he was two cards away from a seventh-place finish. The Q♣ on the turn gave him a gutshot straight draw and the A♣ on the river filled it, theczar19 hitting running cards to make a Broadway straight and double up to 311,000.

joacowalter and lechuckpoker jam into aces, kleath crushes 1BigAceHole

Two hours of final table play resulted in the completion of only 60 hands. Kleath suggested making a seven-way deal, but Rens02 but the kibosh on it, telling his opponents he was enjoying himself. Moments after the deal talk evaporated, joacowalter ran pocket kings into julianherold's pocket aces. Joacowalter fell to only 72,500 while julianherold took the chip lead with 385,000.

Although joacowalter doubled through kleath three hands later when his pocket nines held on against pocket fives, he was out by the end of the level. After three-bet shoving for his last 100,000 from UTG+1, joacowalter was in a pickle when Rens02 reshoved behind him and julianherold called.

Rens02 A♦A♥
julianherold J♠J♦
joacowalter A♣T♥.

Rens02's aces held up on the K♦Q♠9♣4♣9♥ board and won the 613,000 pot. Julianherold was left with 174,000 and joacowalter was eliminated in seventh place, earning $8,474.16.

Lechuckpoker met a similar fate, losing over two-thirds of his stack when he four-bet shoved with pocket sevens, only to run headlong into kleath's pocket aces. Down to 55,500, he put the rest of his chips in the middle with 8♣8♥ but they were no match for julianherold's 9♣9♠. Lechuckpoker departed in sixth place, banking $10,966.56.

The increased pace continued for at least a few more hands, 1BigAcehole three-betting to 12,800 with K♣Q♥ only to be met with a shove from kleath. 1BigAceHole called off his remaining 119,000 and was no doubt delighted to see kleath's Q♣J♣, but he flopped a jack and turned a queen, the board running out J♠3♣2♦Q♠6♠ to send him home in fifth. He picked up $14,206.68 for his efforts. Kleath had this to offer in the chat box:

kleath: gg chirps
kleath: u put me in the cage
kleath: but i snagged the key

The final four

Two and a half hours after the final table began, four players remained. None are strangers to a big-money final. Rens02 won the Sunday Million for $234,000 in March 2011. Julianherold final tabled the Super Tuesday last month. Kleath has made the Super Tuesday final table as well and took down the $109 rebuy twice. And Bryan "theczar19" Piccioli, a consummate grinder if there ever was one, has more online MTT wins than we can count. They slugged it out for another hour and forty-five minutes before kleath cracked julianherold's K♣K♥ with K♦9♦ to eliminate him in fourth place.

Four hours and fifteen minutes of final table play behind them, and the antes still relatively low at 4,000, the final three agreed to pause the action and discuss a deal. After looking at both chip-count chop and ICM numbers, the trio agreed to the former, striking a deal that left $1,500 in play for the eventual winner.

Action resumed, and on the first hand back theczar19 opened for 7,645 on the button. Rens02 three-bet to 22,887 and they saw a 9♣4♥3♣ flop. A raising war broke out and all the money went in, Rens02 five-bet shoving for 531,031 and theczar19 calling all-in for 220,078. Rens02 turned over A♦4♣ for middle pair, while theczar19 held K♣Q♣ for a flush draw. The 9♦ on the turn was a blank for both players, but the K♥ on the river made theczar19 top two pair, taking him up to 952,775 in chips while Rens02 was left with 83,500.

"Guess I made a deal at the right time lol," Rens02 quipped.

A few hands later, Rens02 committed the last of his chips with A♠5♠ but could not improve against theczar19's A♦K♦. Rens02 finished in third place, his share of the deal totaling $35,825.65.

Heads-up chip counts:

Seat 6: theczar19 (1,004,788 in chips)
Seat 7: kleath (855,212 in chips)

Even with only a tiny percentage of the prize pool left in play, heads-up play still took over thirty minutes. Kleath hacked away at theczar19's stack, moving up to more than a million in chips until theczar19 turned a Broadway straight and cut kleath's stack in half. Kleath doubled back when he turned two pair and got all his chips in against theczar19's straight and flush draws, moving back into the chip lead with 1.1 million. The lead swung back and forth dozens of times, neither player willing to let go.

Theczar19 had a 1.1 million to 706,000 lead over kleath when they saw a 9♦5♠3♥ flop. The czar19 check-raised kleath's 16,270 bet to 52,345 and kleath called. When the K♥ hit the turn, theczar19 led out for 78,465, kleath raised to 212,212, and theczar19 looked him up. The river was the T♣ and theczar19 checked over to kleath. Kleath moved all-in for 428,886 and theczar19 called, turning over A♥K♦ for top pair. Theczar19 could only show J♣T♦ for a pair of tens and kleath picked up to 1.4 million pot.

It was all over on the next hand. Although theczar19 had the best of it preflop and on the flop, kleath hit a miracle ten on the river to make a Broadway straight and lock up the win:

Congratulations to kleath on a hard-fought battle and his first SCOOP title. He earned $41,391.90 while runner-up theczar19 banked $34,566.59.

2012 SCOOP Event #14-H ($700 NLHE Ante Up!) results:

1. kleath (Malta) $41,391.90*
2. theczar19 (Mexico) $34,566.59*
3. Rens02 (Netherlands) $35,825.65*
4. julianherold (Germany) $20,562.30
5. 1BigAceHole (Canada) $14,206.68
6. lechuckpoker (United Kingdom) $10,966.56
7. joacowalter (Uruguay) $8,474.16
8. Face333X (Germany) $5,981.76
9. tRaMp$d0PrAy (Cyprus) $4,361.70

*= reflects the results of a three-way deal that left $1,500 in play for the winner
**= with apologies to Joe Stapleton, Nick Wealthall, and Sir Elton John

There's still another week of SCOOP action on the books. Head over to the SCOOP page for a full schedule and satellite information.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP