SCOOP 2012: Pollopopeye pulls off Event #8-H win, Staszko takes third ($1,050 NLHE)

SCOOP logo.gifWhen a player enters the final table with a dominating chip lead, others can be intimidated. When that player holds the lead throughout most of the action, the feeling is that he or she cannot lose. But Pollopopeye paid no mind to caecilius' chip counts, only to the intention of winning. And after a stellar and long heads-up match, Pollopopeye came through and claimed that title for an extraordinary two-day effort.

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It didn't take a genius to know this tournament would be big. The $1,050 buy-in attracted the higher stakes players, and the $600K guarantee attracted anyone who could win a satellite to get into the action. So, Event 8 was scheduled as a two-day tournament, knowing this would be one of the bigger events in the 2012 SCOOP series thus far.

And it was. The first day of Event 8-High offered three hours of late registration, and the final numbers that resulted were incredible:

Players: 1,328
Guarantee: $600,000.00
Prize pool: $1,328,000.00
Paid players: 153

After the first eight hours of play on Day 1, the field was reduced to fewer than 200 players. To that point, some of the recent bustouts of Team Pros included Jonathan Duhamel in 268th place, Lex Veldhuis in 229th, and Leo Fernandez in 221st. The money bubble was in sight, and it burst at the very end of the night as kabutze finished in 154th place and SFisch4 took home $1,992.00 for 153rd place. With the 149th place elimination of Bear4rms, play was stopped.

As for the Team PokerStars Pros, there were several remaining in the Event 8-H field, including Ana Marquez, Martin Staszko, Maxim Lykov, and Matthias de Meulder. Eugene Katchalov was ranked 19th on the leaderboard and led the pack of Team Pros at the end of the night.

Day 2

As the second day of play began, action was in Level 17 with 400/800 blinds and a 100 ante. The top ten chip counts out of 148 remaining players were as follows:

a$$ou - 133,407
treezer - 131,749
DYBYDX - 128,933
modogrinder - 120,393
Flying Smile - 117,103
kleath - 110,897
SKWINNER - 106,389
Adrian900123 - 102,142
cobrastyle15 - 100,982
caballou - 99,901

It took little more than an hour to reduce the field to less than 100 players, and Team Pros Maxim Lykov and Ana Marquez were among those eliminations. The next 50 players to exit included names like THAY3R and USCphildo, and Team Pro Matthias de Meulder was eliminated in 53rd place.

Team Pro Eugene Katchalov was doing quite well until about four or five hours into Day 2, at which point he exited in 32nd place for $4,913.60. That left Team Pro Martin Staszko (pictured below), still working a relatively short stack but holding enough blinds to hang on. He did just that and stuck with it as play continued toward the final table.

Martin Staszko 2.jpg

Hand-for-hand play didn't begin until 9.5 hours after play restarted on Day 2. With the 11th place elimination of sammycon23, action intensified until 1Il|1Il|1il| got involved with caecilius to see a raised 2♠K♦T♠ flop. A series of raisers led to 1Il|1Il|1il| moving all-in with K♠9♣, and caecilius called with A♥K♥ for two pair with the better kicker. The 4♣ and 2♥ ended the hand and eliminated 1Il|1Il|1il| in tenth place with $11,819.20.

Caecilius dominates in chip lead

After much anticipation, the final table began in Level 34, with blinds of 4,500/9,000 and a 1,125 ante. The players' starting stacks were as follows:

Seat 1: Pollopopeye (615,082 in chips)
Seat 2: caecilius (3,135,074 in chips)
Seat 3: swordfish007 (451,046 in chips)
Seat 4: Ruxandescu (522,107 in chips)
Seat 5: B4d3m3!st3r (489,232 in chips)
Seat 6: M. Staszko (358,735 in chips)
Seat 7: Flying Smile (418,797 in chips)
Seat 8: compris (188,075 in chips)
Seat 9: onesixty8 (461,852 in chips)

2012 SCOOP FT - 8H.JPG

In a change of pace, the second hand of the final table produced action. Flying Smile started with a raise from middle position, and swordfish007 called from the big blind. The flop came K♥4♠Q♠, and Flying Smile led out with a bet. Swordfish007 check-raised, and Flying Smile raised again. When swordfish007 pushed all-in, Flying Smile called all-in with Q♣Q♥ for the set of queens, and swordfish007 showed A♠J♣ for the straight draw. The J♠ on the turn brought flush possibilities as well, and the 9♠ made that spade flush. Flying Smile exited in ninth place with $14,608.00.

Compris was the next of the short stacks at risk, pushing all-in from the small blind for 211,700 chips with A♥J♣. Swordfish007 called with 8♥8♦, and that pocket pair held up to the 6♥T♠K♦9♦3♠ board. Compris never improved and had to leave in eighth place with $25,896.00.

Team Pro Staszko hangs on

Onesixty8 had a rough time at the table and was reduced to little more than 100K chips. Those went all-in UTG with K♥J♣, and Team PokerStars Pro Martin Staszko called from the big blind with A♥9♥. The flop of J♦7♦9♣ gave onesixty8 top pair, but the A♣ hit on the turn to give M. Staszko two pair. The Q♥ on the river changed nothing and sent onesixty8 out in seventh place with $39,176.00.

B4d3m3!st3r shoved preflop from the big blind with A♠9♦, but original raiser caecilius called with a dominating A♣Q♠. The board blanked with K♦5♣8♦3♥2♠, and the queen kicker played to eliminate B4d3m3!st3r, winner of a 2011 SCOOP title in sixth place with $52,456.00.

M. Staszko doubled through caecilius, though the latter remained the undisputed chip leader with nearly 3 million chips:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Pollopopeye's turn to climb

Ruxandescu was the next player at risk, doing it with A♣4♠ aginst the Q♣Q♥ of Pollopopeye. The board of 7♠6♠6♦4♥2♠ only increased Pollopopeye's hand to the best two pair, and Ruxandescu was ousted in fifth place with $65,736.00.

Swordfish007 and Pollopopeye got into a serious preflop raising war that ended when swordfish007 pushed all-in with 5♣5♥ and Pollopopeye called with J♠J♥. Nothing about the 3♥7♣A♣A♠T♥ board changed anything, and swordfish007 had to swim off in fourth place with $92,428.80.

Rebounding caecilius

In danger of losing the chip lead to Pollopopeye, caecilius got aggressive during three-handed play and too some big pots from both competitors. Shorter-stacked M. Staszko was hurt most by the 1.4 million-chip pot loss, but the Team Pro had been nothing but a model of patience throughout the entire tournament, so picking spots so close to the end was not a problem.

Team Pro over and out

M. Staszko was left with a very short stack and chose to push his 233,944 all-in with 7♥6♥. Pollopopeye called, and original raiser caecilius folded. Pollopopeye showed A♥T♠ and improved to top pair on the 9♣T♣2♥ flop. M. Staszko was live with the inside straight draw, but neither the Q♦ nor the 9♠ made it. Team PokerStars Pro Martin Staszko finished the tournament in third place with $126,160.00.

Quiet, calculated heads-up match

The last two players began their battle with these stacks:

Seat 1: Pollopopeye (2,204,670 in chips)
Seat 2: caecilius (4,435,330 in chips)

A few rounds in, caecilius took a pot worth more than 1.2 million chips, and Pollopopeye was reduced to a further deficit. The two battled in silence, without a single comment between them, nor a request for deal talks or even so much as an "lol." It was all quiet on the heads-up front.

But just as caecilius moved ahead, Pollopopeye had a double-up waiting in the wings. It came in handy here and nearly evened the stacks:

RSS readers click through to see replay

After one hour of heads-up play and stacks remaining nearly even, Pollopopeye asked if there was an interest in seeing some chop numbers, but caecilius was clear that the intention was to play. "I'm all set, thanks though," was the response in the chat box. And so, they played on.

Eventually, Pollopopeye took some big pots to jump into the lead. Exactly 13 hours after the day started and nearly 1.5 hours into the heads-up match, a big hand developed. Caecilius raised, and Pollopopeye called to see a J♠2♠8♦ flop. Caecilius bet, and Pollopopeye check-raised. Caecilius called and the 5♦ was delivered on the turn. Another bet from caecilius was followed by a check-call from Pollopopeye, and the T♠ came on the river. Caecilius bet again, and Pollopopeye raised all-in. Caecilius thought for more than a few minutes before finally calling with J♦5♠ for two pair. But Pollopopeye turned over Q♠8♠ for the spade flush, and caecilius had to settle for second place and $166,000.00.

Pollopopeye of the UK won the SCOOP 8-H title, a Movado watch, and $229,212.80 in cash. Congrats!

2012 SCOOP Event #8-H ($1,015 NLHE) Results:

1st place: Pollopopeye ($229,212.80)
2nd place: caucilius ($166,000.00)
3rd place: Team PokerStars Pro Martin "M. Staszko" Staszko ($126,160.00)
4th place: swordfish007 ($92,428.00)
5th place: Ruxandescu ($65,736.00)
6th place: B4d3m3!st3r ($52,456.00)
7th place: onesixty8 ($39,176.00)
8th place: compris ($25,896.00)
9th place: Flying Smile ($14,608.00)

The Spring Championship of Online Poker home page contains all of the tournament results, schedule of upcoming events and their satellites, and a leaderboard for the 2012 Series.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in SCOOP