SCOOP 2012: tua133 comes up big in Event 29-Low, $11+R NLHE (Big Antes)

SCOOP logo.gifBy now, if you read the PokerStarsBlog at all, you've probably read about how Shaun Deeb is absolutely dominating the Player of the Series race. He's made a joke out of it, really, by crushing souls in the stud events. There are still 10 low, medium and high events to go, but it looks like Deeb will run away with the Player of the Series title.

But poker isn't always about domination. Ask tua133 about that. You see, tua133 is a new SCOOP champion, having taken down 2012 SCOOP Event 29-Low, $11+$ NLHE (Big Antes). But tua133 didn't dominate the final table. tua133 used skillful survival and opportunism to grab the Movado watch.

Poker is very much a game of numbers, so try these numbers on for size: 9,995 entries. 11,891 re-buys. 7,032 add-ons. A total of $289,180 into the prize pool, smashing yet another SCOOP guarantee. Of those 9,995 entries, 1,260 would see monetary reward before Day 1 of the two-day event was done.

Day 1 lasted 40 levels. By the time those 40 levels expired, the field of 9,995 had been compressed to just 22 survivors. Gone were Team PokerStars Pros Marcin "Goral "Horecki (315th, $112.78) and Viktor "Isildur1" Blom (763rd, $72.29) and Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero (1046th, $57.83). PokerStars Team Online player Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen made a final table in Event 28-low yesterday, but in this event he barely squeaked into the money (1232nd, $52.05).

Team Online player George "jorj95" Lind survived to Day 2, however. He started the day 4th in chips, just trailing three players who were all within one big blind of each other: tollefishy (7,961,590), MrWeesy (7,861,943) and JBzzzr (7,821,817). Tollefishy and JBzzr made the final table; MrWeesy (13th) and Lind (14th) did not.

2012 SCOOP 29-low final table.jpg

Seat 1: tua133 (7071955 in chips)
Seat 2: tucaluc (4718510 in chips)
Seat 3: gmanrom (25066745 in chips)
Seat 4: DrUPSWING (3701550 in chips)
Seat 5: allinnchic (6834815 in chips)
Seat 6: JBzzzr (36446294 in chips)
Seat 7: bliblablupbp (5795079 in chips)
Seat 8: Aik2k (3077720 in chips)
Seat 9: tollefishy (8105332 in chips)

Level 45: blinds 125k-250k, ante 50k
Average: 11,202,000

The chip average to start the final table was 11.2 million, or 45 big blinds, but only two players were above that average: gmanrom and chip leader JBzzzr. The medium and short stacks would have to do quite a bit of jockeying if they hoped to put themselves in position to mount a serious run at the SCOOP title.

The first consolidation of the shorter stacks occurred about fifteen minutes into the final table. Blinds were up to 150k-300k with a 60k ante, and bliblablupbp open-shoved the small blind for almost 6 million. Aik2k, sitting in the small blind with 2.4 million and A♣T♠, called all in. That ace-ten was a better hand than bliblablupbp's K♥9♣, and even flopped better by making a pair of 10s, 8♦T♦7♦. The Q♥ turn card changed nothing, but a J♠ on the river give bliblablupbp a king-high straight to knock out Aik2k in 9th place.

tucaluc was the next player bound for the rail. tucaluc's 2.3 million chips weren't many at the 200k-400k level. They went in pre-flop from second position with A♠7♠. Big stack gmanrom called with pocket 10s and never had to sweat on a jack-high, no-spade board. Two hands later it was DrUPSWING's turn to downswing all the way to zero. The basic story was the same: a short stack of 1.5 million chips that went into the middle pre-flop with T♣8♣ and couldn't best tollefishy's A♠9♥ on a board of 5♥4♣Q♠3♠2♣.

With six players remaining, JBzzzr remained the dominant chip leader and gmanrom was comfortably in second. The other four players, despite some consolidation amongst themselves, all had 20 big blinds or fewer to their names. Two of them, tollefishy and tua133, clashed in the 250k-500k level:

RSS readers click through to see replay

That loss left tollefishy with just 800k in chips, which went into the middle the next hand with another unsuited king. allinnchic, in the big blind, was dealt an unsuited ace and called. tollefishy did not improve, exiting the tournament in 6th place.

The chip disparity between JBzzzr and the rest of the table persisted, even moreso after JBzzzr took a big pot off of 2nd-place player gmanrom. JBzzzr had almost 60% of the chips in play, with each of the other four players having roughly 10% (10 million) each.

tua133 was the player to break the four-way deadlock and build a head of steam. First pocket queens held against gmanrom's pocket 10s for a double-up to 20 million that crippled gmanrom to about 2 million in chips. Then bliblablupbp opened all in for 6.9 million from the button with A♦2♦ and ran right into tua133's A♣Q♠. tua133 flopped a queen, then hung on as the board developed a flush draw, Q♣5♥K♦9♦. The river was a harmless 9♣, knocking bliblablupbp out in 5th place. tua133 finished off gmanrom a few hands later.

The three-handed battle saw tua133 continue to build chips, mainly at JBzzzr's expense, while short stack allinnchic looked for good spots. Shoving all in for 21 million on a T♠4♦8♦ flop with T♣9♠, over the top of a continuation bet of 1.7 million from tua133, must have looked like one of those good spots to allinnchic. Turns out, it wasn't - tua133 snap-called with 4♠4♣, a set of fours. The turn 7♠ was a hopeful card for allinnchic, giving allinnchic an up-and-down straight draw, but improving to two pair with the 9♣ on the river wasn't enough. allinnchic's tournament ended in 3rd place.

That huge pot gave tua133 the chip lead starting heads-up play by about a 5-to-4 margin. tua133 inquired about the possibility of a deal, but JBzzzr politely responded, "no ty. gl."

So they played. And not for very long. tua133 increased the the chip lead to about 5-to-3 through a series of very small pots. On the final hand of the tournament, in the 400k-800k level, JBzzzr opened to 1.6 million, tua133 three-bet to 4.1 million, JBzzzr four-bet to 7.9 million and then tua133 five-bet shoved for 62.9 million. JBzzzr elected to call off 29.6 million more with A♣9♥. tua133 showed 4♥4♠ and the two were off to the races. Fours won this particular race, K♠8♠Q♠7♥J♥.

Was it the most dominating final table performance ever? No, it was not. But poker isn't always about dominance. Just as often it's about skillful survival and opportunism. tua133 demonstrated both skills at the final table of Event 29-Low and for that reason tua133 is a new SCOOP champion.

2012 SCOOP Event 29-Low, $11+R NLHE (Big Antes) results:

Number of entrants: 9,995
Places paid: 1260

1st: tua133 ($42,544.38)
2nd: JBzzzr ($31,086.85)
3rd: allinnchic ($21,688.50)
4th: gmanrom ($14,459.00)
5th: bliblablupbp ($11,567.20)
6th: tollefishy ($8,675.40)
7th: DrUPSWING ($5,783.60)
8th: tucaluc ($3,180.98)
9th: Aik2k ($2,241.14)

Looking for more SCOOP reporting? Visit our special SCOOP 2012 coverage section.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP