SCOOP 2012: Mr-G450 is A-Number-1 in Event 28-Low, $27 Razz
Down to one big bet on sixth street of the final table bubble in a limit poker tournament and facing a bet, what would you do if things seemed hopeless? Would you toss that bet into the pot and pray? Or would you fold your chance at a stack-redeeming pot and hope that something good would come your way?
That was the choice facing TheGame131 in 2012 SCOOP Event 28-Low, $27 Razz. And although TheGame131 would not go on to win the tournament - an honor that went to Mr-G450 - TheGame131 would parlay the more unorthodox option into a runner-up finish.
Yes, it was razz day for the 2012 SCOOP. If there were one tournament on the SCOOP calendar where the guarantee might not be met, you'd be forgiven for thinking it would be razz. But once again PokerStars players proved PokerStars wise. But don't take it from me; take it from BLUFF Magazine editor-in-chief Lance Bradley:
@Lance_Bradley: Playing #SCOOP-28-L and can't believe there are 2,184 people who know how to play Razz.
That's right, 2,184 players registered for Event 28-low. 288 of them would make the money (though no word on Twitter whether Bradley was among them). Four members of the Red Spade Bridge counted themselves among the ranks of the 288. Team PokerStars Pros Marcin "Goral" Horecki (249th) and Liv Boeree (115th) had minor success. PokerStars Team Online players Roy "GodlikeRoy" Bhasin (35th) and Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen made it much deeper.
Petersen, in fact, was one of eight players at the final table.
Seat 1: Mr-G450 (3222610 in chips)
Seat 2: Ambullanz (2143155 in chips)
Seat 3: goldendevil1 (694200 in chips)
Seat 4: Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen (1144822 in chips)
Seat 5: baffana (1033236 in chips)
Seat 6: marodon (1358369 in chips)
Seat 7: TheGame131 (78458 in chips)
Seat 8: rolfgal (1245150 in chips)
Level 34: stakes 60k-120k, ante 12k
The chip average to start the final table was "standard" for a limit tournament, at 11 big bets. But one player had significantly fewer bets. TheGame131 came into the final table with 78k, less than a single big bet. But two quick double-ups on the first two hands pushed TheGame131 back up to 505k and a fighting chance.
When the stakes went up to 80k-160k, several players were one bricked hand from the precipice of ruin. roflgal suggested a straight 8-way chop that nobody seriously entertained - especially with baffana and Petersen on the short stacks. Petersen bricked out several hands in a row, finally making a stand with 8-2 / 3-Q against Mr-G450's 5-3 / 6-J. Petersen finished with a 10-8, a hand barely pipped by Mr-G450's 10-6. Petersen had entered the final table 5th in chips, but at late stages of a limit razz tournaments it doesn't take much to find yourself on the rail.
baffana's fortunes improved; goldendevil1's did not. baffana threatened to climb back to an average stack even as goldendevil1 ended the tournament in 7th place. 470k was looking awfully small with stakes up to 100k-200k-20k. A few antes and bring-ins later it was even smaller. Down to 172k, goldendevil1 three-bet all in with 10-4 / A. Mr-G450 had opened with 5-4 / 8 and called. By the river, Mr-G450's three-card eight turned into an 8-7; goldendevil1 only improved to a 9-4 and was eliminated in 7th place.
Limits went up again to 120k-240k as chips continued to fly around the table. TheGame131 wound up as the chip leader with more than 4 million chips. This, after folding a huge pot near the money bubble with just one big bet behind. That fold did not go unnoticed by rolfgal.
"61000 chips left in a big pot, on 30-60k and u folded, game, made u so far 1200$ more, WP!"
But TheGame131 wasn't finished. After sitting on the sideline while baffana eliminated marodon by running down marodon's three-card wheel, TheGame131 took care of Ambullanz the very next hand:
That hand pushed TheGame131 to more than 5 million in chips, double the nearest competitor. Quite a remarkable turnaround for a player down to a single big bet with 10 players to go. The question now: could TheGame131 complete a monumental comeback from a single big bet to become a SCOOP champion?
One thing quickly became clear: baffana could not. baffana suffered several second-best hands and wound up in the unenviable position of calling all in on fourth street holding 7-2 / K-J. Mr-G450 was baffana's opponent and showed a better hand, 2-3 / 7-7. That three-card 7 turned into a 10-7 by the river, while baffana barely improved to a Q-J. It wasn't enough to avoid a 4th-place finish.
As three-handed play began, rolfgal was the definite short stack, with about 1 million chips Mr-G450 and TheGame131 were both pushing 5 million. They played 3-handed for ten or fifteen minutes but rolfgal was unable to mount any serious challenge to the chip dominance of the other two players - especially after the limits climbed to 200k-400k. A three-card eight was too good to pass up at that point; rolfgal was all in by fifth street showing 8-5 / 3-10-6, a 10-8. TheGame131 had that beat with 9-6 / 7-A-4. Neither player improved by the river. rolfgal's tournament ended in 3rd place.
The chip stacks were almost dead even at the start of heads-up play. TheGame131 had a slight chip lead over Mr-G450, but that lead was less than one big bet. There was no talk of a deal.
Heads-up play lasted exactly 11 minutes. The big blow came after Mr-G450 ground out an 8-to-3 chip lead. TheGame131 raised over Mr-G450's bring-in, then put in a third raise after Mr-G450 raised back. Each player put 600k into the pot on third street. Fourth street saw Mr-G450 pair 6s, x-x / 6-6, while TheGame131 showed x-x / 5-9. Mr-G450 called all the way down from there, drawing into a board of 5-8 / 6-6-3-10 / 7 for and 8-7 low, while TheGame131's board came 6-A / 5-9-A-7-9 for a 9-7.
Losing that pot left TheGame131 with only 843k, or two big bets. From there it was six hands to the end, and ending no less bitter for TheGame131. An 8-5 low wasn't good enough to climb back into the match after Mr-G450 rivered a 7-6.
The ending had to be disappointing for TheGame131, but the $6,633.90 prize for finishing as the runner-up had to sit better than the $409.50 it seemed TheGame131 was destined to receive on the final table bubble.
And for Mr-G450, a self-professed razz regular? How about $9,377, a Movado watch, and the title of 2012 SCOOP Event 28-Low champion.
2012 SCOOP Event 28-Low, $27 Razz results:
Number of entrants: 2,184
Places paid: 288
1st: Mr-G450 (United Kingdom) ($9,377.42)
2nd: TheGame131 (Germany) ($6,633.90)
3rd: rolfgal (Norway) ($5,187.00)
4th: baffana (Russia) ($3,822.00)
5th: Ambullanz (Sweden) ($2,730.00)
6th: marodon (Moldova) ($1,638.00)
7th: goldendevil1 (Russia) ($1,092.00)
8th: Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen (Denmark) ($546.00)
Looking for more SCOOP reporting? Visit our special SCOOP 2012 coverage section.