SCOOP 2012: PetjeXL topples Team Pro Nacho Barbero in Event #16-L ($27 NLHE 2x-Chance Turbo)

SCOOP logo.gifFour months ago, PetjeXL missed out on a TCOOP title by one spot, his runner-up finish in Event #17 ($109 NLHE 1R1A) earning him nearly $75,000. It was his largest-ever tournament score on PokerStars, outdoing the $70k he won for third place in the Sunday Warm-Up, but was still a bittersweet finish he was no doubt looking to improve upon. As PetjeXL hit the final table of Event #16-L, he had already bobbed and weaved his way through 12,572 players-- a miracle in and of itself-- but still faced one extremely powerful adversary.

Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero's accomplishments on the live circuit have been well-documented here on the PokerStars Blog and often served with a heaping dose of puns on his name. He won back-to-back titles during Season 3 of the Latin American Poker Tour and picked up a high roller title at the EPT London only a few months later. What you might not know is that Barbero is also an accomplished online MTT player as well. Case in point-- he's already a SCOOP titleholder, having won the $2,100 limit hold'em event in 2010. Barbero was poised to take down his second SCOOP title tonight, but it was PetjeXL's turn to shine as he came from behind during heads-up play to take the top spot and the $62,255.69 first-place prize.

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Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero

Event #16-L had a double-chance format. Should a player lose all their chips, they were permitted to buy back in one more time. The 12,572 entrants ended up making 5,669 rebuys, pushing the prize pool up to $456,025. Nearly two dozen members of Team Pro and Team Online were in the field and eight of them cashed including Anders "Donald" Berg (1,526th), Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (1,264th), George Danzer (783rd), Jude Ainsworth (723rd), Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen (532nd), Matthias De Muelder (368th), and Martin Staszko (54th).

Barbero was the dominant chip leader with two tables remaining, but lost it to emoe119 when the field was down to 11. Emoe119 widened his lead when mick davy three-bet shoved A♦4♦ right into his pocket kings on the final table bubble, the cowboys holding up on a ten-high board.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: emoe119 (24,338,704 in chips)
Seat 2: nachobarbero (13,446,249 in chips)
Seat 3: PetjeXL (12,019,886 in chips)
Seat 4: R0BtheT0P (4,422,404 in chips)
Seat 5: shaundeeb (6,761,016 in chips)
Seat 6: Darryn83 (4,426,848 in chips)
Seat 7: -Homer_Jay-t (12,837,500 in chips)
Seat 8: vandir4rek (3,308,176 in chips)
Seat 9: Highmach (9,644,217 in chips)

Short-stack shenanigans

With the blinds up to 400,000/800,000, even the chip leaders were playing 20 big blind poker and the short stacks were eaten away with every ante posted. Vandir4rek had two-thirds of his remaining 1.2 million committed in the big blind when he put the rest of his chips in the middle, Nacho Barbero having opened for a min-raise. Barbero's A♥J♠ flopped a jack against vandir4rek's K♦7♠, sending him home with $2,850.15 for ninth place.

Down to only three big blinds, Darryn83 could have quite easily gone out next, but managed instead to double up twice; his K♦T♣ held against PetjeXL's K♣4♣ and his A♣J♦ flopped an ace to snap off emoe119's Q♠Q♣. Rather, it was R0BtheT0P who landed in trouble when he shoved from the small blind with Q♣3♥ and ran into shaundeeb's K♦J♥. Left with little more than half of the 1M big blind, R0BtheT0P called all-in against emoe119, his 9♠3♣ falling to A♦T♣ when an ace hit the flop. R0BtheT0P departed in eighth place, banking $4,560.25 for his troubles.

Nacho KOs five in a row

Although Barbero had regained the chip lead by this point, emoe119 was still in third position with 15.7 million to Nacho's 20.1 million. Dealt A♠9♠ under-the-gun with two smaller stacks in the blinds, emoe119 open-shoved, only to have Barbero snap-reshove behind him and reveal J♠J♥. Emoe119 did not improve and found himself suddenly on the rail in seventh place.

In addition to Barbero, there was one more famous face among the final six-- Shaun "shaundeeb" Deeb, who less than 48 hours ago won his second SCOOP title in Event #10-H ($2,100 Stud). Deeb took the time to affirm his support for Barbero in this chat box exchange:

shaundeeb: rooting for you nacho
nachobarbero: me too
shaundeeb: lol
nachobarbero: ty bro
nachobarbero: i am rooting for u after me
shaundeeb: i can beat that
nachobarbero: stick it in good
nachobarbero: lol
shaundeeb: Im so tight

Amidst this conversation, Deeb doubled through Barbero, his pocket jacks easily trouncing J♦7♠ when they flopped a set. However, despite the double-up and picking up A♠A♥, he wasn't long for this final table. In a double elimination hand, Barbero snapped off Deeb's aces and -Homer_Jay-t's A♣9♦ when his 8♣T♦ turned a queen-high straight. -Homer_Jay-t started the hand with fewer chips and took sixth place ($13,680.75) while Deeb finished fifth ($18,241.00).

Once again, Barbero held a dominant chip lead, his 59.7 million three times as much as second-place PetjeXL's 19.7 million. Darryn83 was back down to 2.6 million, and although his 2♠4♣ flushed away Barbero's 3♥3♦ when four spades hit the board, he couldn't hang on for much longer. Darryn83 shoved his remaining 4.86 million with K♠J♥ and Barbero called from the big bilnd with 2♦5♦. Although the A♣Q♠4♥ flop was good for Darryn83, Barbero hit running fives to make trips and sent him to the rail in fourth place.

The next deal of the cards saw PetjeXL call Barbero's shove and double up to 34.5 million, his A♦7♦ holding against 3♣7♣. With only 6.6 million and the blinds up to 700,000/1,400,000 Highmach was caught between two giants and went out a few hands later after shoving with K♣3♥ from the small blind, only to have Barbero wake up with pocket queens in the big. Highmach's third-place finish earned him $31,921.75, by far his largest-ever tournament score on PokerStars.

Heads-up chip counts:

Seat 2: nachobarbero (56,782,358 in chips)
Seat 3: PetjeXL (34,422,642 in chips)

Heads-up could have been over in all of three hands, Barbero calling PetjeXL's shove with K♦6♣ on a K♠T♣7♠ flop. PetjeXL turned over K♥3♠, but they split the pot when the turn and river came the 5♥ and the Q♠. PetjeXL gained traction on Barbero, picking up a 21 million pot when he four-bet shoved a T♥9♠2♦ flop and got a fold. Barbero, however, pulled back out when his 6♠8♠ turned a flush and got two streets of value.

PetjeXL had 22.4 million to Barbero's 68.7 million when one hand turned it all around for the Dutchman. He limped in from the small blind and Barbero made it 4.8 million to go. PetjeXL shoved for 22.2 million and Barbero called. PetjeXL's 7♥8♥ was in dismal shape against Barbero's J♠J♥, but they were instantly snapped off when the flop fell T♣8♠7♠. Barbero couldn't hit a nine or a jack and PetjeXL raked in the 45 million pot to pull their chip counts even.

From there, PetjeXL steadily chipped away at Barbero, moving up to 57 million when he flopped top pair against Barbero's middle pair. It finally came down to two ace-high hands getting it in pre-flop, PetjeXL's A♣9♦ dominating Barbero's A♦4♦. Both turned top pair, but PetjeXL's kicker played when the board paired eights on the river:

Congratulations to PetjeXL on his first SCOOP title. He took home $62,255.69 for the win while runner-up Nacho Barbero earned $44,006.41.

2012 SCOOP Event #16-L ($27 NLHE (2x Chance Turbo) results:

1. PetjeXL (Netherlands) $62,255.69
2. Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero (Argentina) $44,006.41
3. Highmach (Unted Kingdom) $31,921.75
4. Darryn83 (Canada) $22,801.25
5. shaundeeb (Mexico) $18,241.00
6. -Homer_Jay-t (Brazil) $13,680.75
7. emoe119 (Russia) $9,120.50
8. R0BtheT0P (Switzerland) $4,560.25
9. vandir4rek (Russia) $2,850.15

Shaun Deeb's fifth-place finish tonight moved him up to tie Viktor "Isildur1" Blom for the top spot on the SCOOP leaderboard. Check it out on the SCOOP page, where you can also find a complete schedule of events and satellites.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP