SCOOP: dean23price wins 2nd title in Event 27-M ($109 NLHE)
Doing great things is never easy, so it follows that doing great things more than once is even more difficult. Even with the recent run of players taking down multiple events, the history of the Spring Championship of Online Poker holds this up as truth; since SCOOP began in 2009, only 12 players had managed to win more than one tournament. As it turned out, Event 27-M would be the entry ticket for a 13th member of that elite club.
The first day of this Medium-level event saw 4,992 players put up the $109 buy-in, building a $499,200 prize pool and topping the guarantee by nearly $200K. A total of 630 places paid, with 461 of them doing so before the end of Level 25. Among those who earned their rewards in that timeframe were Toby "810ofclubs" Lewis (238th), David "SexSeen" Sands (211th), and Billy "patrolman35" Kopp (206th). Team PokerStars Pro's Matthieu "mattidm" De Muelder was the lone member of his squad to cash on Day 1, finishing in 566th place. Also making the money was Team Online's Anders "Donald" Berg (476th).
These ten players led the remaining field as the tournament went on break to end the day:
1. gutshtallin (Mexico) 526,436
2. happyaccount (Russia) 426,002
3. ThisIsUs93 (Sweden) 413,097
4. Ziggy014 (Canada) 399,134
5. jurata_PL (Poland) 390,494
6. Karet2 (Russia) 366,935
7. Mieses88 (Czech Republic) 344,783
8. phasE89 (Czech Republic) 342,069
9. yard_warrior (Jamaica) 339,918
10. Dodico (Brazil) 332,830
Day 2 begins
A total of 169 players returned to play with blinds of 1.4K/2.8K and a 350 ante. Of those with the biggest stacks coming back for Day 2, most would make strong runs at the final table. Only Jamaica's yard_warrior (134th place, $499.20), the Czech Republic's Mieses88 (89th, $673.92) and Russia's karet2 (45th, $1,023.36) fell far short of a chance at the title; all of the others advanced to at least the last three tables. Canada's Ziggy014 (26th), Sweden's ThisIsUs93 (25th), Mexico's gutshtallin (22nd), Russia's happyaccount (21st), and the Czech Republic's phaseE89 (20th) all earned $1,248 for their finishes, while Brazil's Dodico (18th) grabbed $1,497.60 for making the next-to-last table.
A number of other notables finished in the money on Day 2, including former WCOOP winner and SCOOP final tablist Steve "gboro780" Gross (141st, $474.24), three-time WCOOP winner Dan "djk123" Kelly (110th, $549.12), reigning EPT San Remo and WPT Prague champion Andrey "ThePateychuk" Pateychuk (74th, $723.84), two-time WPT winner Randal "RandALLin" Flowers (36th, $1,098.24), and 2010 Card Player Player of the Year Tom "kingsofcards" Marchese, who just missed the final table in 13th place ($2,246.40).
The final table began at four minutes after midnight ET with this lineup:
Seat 1: dean23price (7,766,504 in chips)
Seat 2: rku4 (4,658,789 in chips)
Seat 3: chr1spy (1,452,005 in chips)
Seat 4: Drew M Scott (4,058,693 in chips)
Seat 5: Zenit_07/08 (703,079 in chips)
Seat 6: Takezo1980 (1,325,895 in chips)
Seat 7: jurata_PL (1,719,222 in chips)
Seat 8: 00scottmcg00 (1,861,704 in chips)
Seat 9: gull666 (1,414,109 in chips)
Leading the way at the final table was the United Kingdom's dean23price, a Supernova player and the winner of Event 26-M during last year's SCOOP series. That $68K score was actually the fourth biggest payday of the UK player's online career, after a Super Tuesday win for $75K, 3rd in the Sunday Warm-Up for $76K, and 2nd in the Sunday Million for $205K. A win in this event would be good enough to push dean23price over the $2.1 million mark in PokerStars tournament earnings, which, along with the chip lead, surely made for excellent motivation. Another SCOOP winner was also at the final table, seated three spots to dean23price's left. Drew M Scott won Event 19-L, $27 Triple Stud, just three days ago. Outside of Drew M Scott and dean23price, everyone at the final table was in search of their very first SCOOP win.
A fast start
One of the former winners was the first to score an elimination. Drew M Scott opened for 80K in the cutoff and got calls from Zenit_07/08 on the button and jurata_PL in the big blind. When the flop came down 9♥ 9♠ T♥, jurata_PL led out for 123K and was quickly raised to 315K by Drew M Scott. At that point Zenit_07/08 shoved for 636K, clearing jurata_PL out of the hand and putting the decision back to Drew M Scott. Holding A♣ 5♠, the former SCOOP winner didn't have much to call with, but the price being offered - another 321K to call in a 1.37M-chip pot - was impossible to pass up. Zenit_07/08's K♠ K♦ was in great position for a double-up, but the A♥ turn and 3♥ river ended the Russian player's day in 9th place ($3,993.60).
Several orbits later, the lone member of Day 1's top ten to make the final table picked up easily the largest pot of the final table to that point, flattening the top of the leaderboard with this hand at the expense of dean23price:
Six hands later, with the blinds up to 22.5K/45K and antes at 5,625, jurata_PL would stack up again. This time the chips came at the expense of the table's short stack. The action had folded around to the Polish player on the button; after raising to 90K and seeing 00scottmcg00 move all-in for 479K from the small blind, jurata_PL made the call with K♠ 9♣. Up against 00scottmcg00's 6♣ 6♦, jurata_PL jumped into the lead on the K♣ 4♦ 3♦ flop and never looked back as the board ran out A♥-J♦. That made 00scottmcg00 the 8th place finisher ($6,240).
On the first hand back from the break at 12:55am ET, with blinds and antes still at 25K/50K/6.25K, another short-stacked player would be shown the exit. This time around it was chr1spy, who moved all-in for 1.27M chips from the small blind in response to an early-position raise to 100K by jurata_PL. The Polish player quickly called with J♥ J♣, which was well ahead of chr1spy's 8♦ 8♥. The board ran out A♠ T♠ 3♦ Q♣ 9♣, making chr1spy the 7th-place finisher ($11,232).
The demise of the short stacks continued on the very first hand of the 30K/60K/7.5K level. The UK's gull666 opened for 180K in the hijack, holding K♠ Q♦, and was immediately reraised to 330K by dean23price in the cutoff. gull666 called with 441K behind to see the flop of J♠ 5♦ 9♣ and immediately shoved, and dean23price called almost as quickly with A♣ T♠. Nine outs to win wasn't looking too bad for gull666, but the A♠ promptly appeared on the turn and took all but three of them away. Once the 4♦ hit the river it was all over; dean23price offered a "gg" while scooping the 1.67M-chip pot, and gull666 left in 6th place ($16,224).
Shifting back down
Two orbits later the trend of short stacks busting on all-in hands finally ended. Since gull666's exit Takezo1980 had been whittled down from 1.24M chips to just 800K, so when jurata_PL opened under the gun for 120K and Drew M Scott reraised to 300K the decision to shove all-in with A♥ K♥ was an easy one. jurata_PL isolated with Q♥ Q♣ and got Drew M Scott out of the way, but the 2♠ 2♣ A♣ 3♥ 8♠ board kept Takezo1980 in the game.
It was the first time in 31 hands that Takezo1980 had won a pot. Not only did the win give the Dutch player a new lease on life, but it served as a reset point for the table's momentum. Where all of the play in the early going had seen the bigger stacks methodically bust the shortest stacks, the five remaining players now found themselves clustered a little closer together. The incoming chip leader still held the big stack with 143 big blinds, but the others were sitting with stacks worth 32, 61, 86 and 92 big blinds, and they settled into a steady rhythm of play as they all looked to make the next pay jump.
The next all-in moment didn't come for another 16 minutes, and even then Takezo1980 doubled through dean23price with A♣ A♦ to the leader's A♥ K♣. But aside from that setback, the general trend was for dean23price to accumulate chips and the others to slowly bleed them. That trend continued all the way through to the break at 1:55am ET, which began after this 5.02M-chip pot:
After the break dean23price came out swinging, taking down four of the first six pots through well-timed aggression to climb up to 12.99M chips. With the other players all clustered between 2.6M and 3.5M and the blinds and antes now up to 40K/80K/10K, dean23price seemed to have all the leverage. He mostly sat back from there, though, while the other players took turns trying to get a leg up on each other.
All those confrontations resulted in one player or another backing down until jurata_PL and rku4 saw a four-way 8♦ 7♦ K♥ flop with Takezo1980 and Drew M Scott. Those two checked and jurata_PL led out for 289K, which only rku4 and Takezo1980 called. The turn was the 2♣ and when the action checked to rku4 the Russian player bet 678K. That cleared Takezo1980 out of the way, but jurata_PL check-raised all-in for 1.74M. rku4 made the call fairly quickly, turning up K♠ Q♥; that was ahead of jurata_PL's K♦ 5♦ but between the diamond flush draw and two-pair outs there were still a lot of cards to dodge on the river. The A♥ wasn't one of them, though, and jurata_PL finished in 5th place ($21,216).
The jump from 5th place to 4th would take even longer than the previous pay jump to arrive as all of the remaining players employed a full range of aggressive tactics to stay alive for the next 40 minutes. Finally the tournament was taken from its final four players down to its final two in this single hand:
Though both rku4 and Drew M Scott busted there, rku4 began the hand with fewer chips and thus took 4th place ($28,204.80). Drew M Scott, meanwhile, took 3rd place ($41,184), falling just shy of a second SCOOP win in a single week despite a strong performance throughout the tournament.
A pitched battle
As heads-up play began at 2:52am ET, dean23price had a little less than a 2-to-1 advantage over the last obstacle standing between the Supernova player and a second SCOOP title.
Seat 1: dean23price (16,237,674 in chips)
Seat 6: Takezo1980 (8,722,326 in chips)
Takezo1980 had been one of the tighter players at the final table, but the Dutch player demonstrated from the start that this heads-up match would be no cakewalk. dean23price claimed more pots before the break at 2:55am but the pots Takezo1980 won were worth more, helping to narrow the gap by 1M before the blinds and antes went up to 70K/140K/17.5K. The Dutch player stayed on the offensive after returning from the break, pulling to within 2.5M chips before actually seizing the lead with an big call on the river in this hand:
dean23price struck back quickly, winning seven of the next ten pots to retake the lead. Takezo1980 responded by winning two medium-sized pots (1.62M and 2.35M) and two big pots (4.7M and 4.2M) to reverse the chip counts from the start of the heads-up match. Now ahead 16.57M to dean23price's 8.38M, Takezo1980 appeared to be within reach of the win. Then dean23price opened on the button for a minimum raise to 280K, Takezo1980 three-bet to 697K, and dean23price shoved for 6.71M. Takezo1980 couldn't have called much more quickly with Q♠ Q♦, which was far ahead of dean23price's 7♠ 6♠ - at least until the board came 7♣ 5♥ 4♥ 8♣ 5♣ for a miracle straight and 13.47M-chip pot that gave the lead back to dean23price.
From there the blinds and antes rose to 80K/160K/20K and the finalists mostly traded small pots back and forth, until dean23price won a 7.84M pot by calling down a 1.74M-chip bet on the river of a 4♣ 5♠ 3♠ 7♥ 4♦ board, holding T♠ 7♦ to beat Takezo1980's 8♠ 7♠. That gave dean23price a chance to put the tournament away seven hands later with 8♣ 8♠ to Takezo1980's A♥ J♦, but an ace on the flop shipped the 14.52M-chip pot to the Dutch player. Soon enough they were even again, but dean23price's aggressive style paid off when Takezo1980 called with an inferior hand in an 11.76M-chip pot just before the blinds and antes went up again, this time to 100K/200K/25K. Now holding 16.7M chips to Takezo1980's 8.21M, dean23price was once again in the driver's seat.
This time, the UK player would stay there thanks to the 174th hand of heads-up play, which began 56 minutes after the first hand. It started with dean23price on the button, raising the minimum to 400K, and Takezo1980 calling from the big blind to see a flop of 7♣ 5♥ 2♦. Takezo1980 checked and then raised to 887K after dean23price put out a bet of 348K. Then dean23price put in a third bet, this time for 2M, and the decision fell back to Takezo1980. After dipping into the time bank Takezo1980 emerged with an all-in move for 9.73M chips, which dean23price called in short order. Takezo1980 held 3♥ 3♣, which had been ahead before the flop but was now trailing dean23price's T♦ 7♥. The 8♦ fell on the turn, the T♥ fell on the river, and Takezo1980 fell in 2nd place.
Despite coming up short after the back-and-forth heads-up duel, Takezo1980 earned a solid $58,156.80 on the $109 buy-in. As for dean23price, a second career SCOOP victory was worth $78,316.26, vaulting the UK Supernova into some pretty select company as only the 13th player ever to have won more than one SCOOP tournament. Given the way this final table went, not to mention the way things have been going throughout this series, it wouldn't be at all surprising to see dean23price claim another winner's watch before the last event plays out this weekend.
SCOOP Event 27-M: $109 NL Hold'em
4,992 entrants, $499,200 prize pool
630 places paid
1st place: dean23price (United Kingdom) $78,316.26
2nd place: Takezo1980 (Netherlands) $58,156.80
3rd place: Drew M Scott (Canada) $41,184
4th place: rku4 (Russia) $28,204.80
5th place: jurata_PL (Poland) $21,216
6th place: gull666 (United Kingdom) $16,224
7th place: chr1spy (Ireland) $11,232
8th place: 00scottmcg00 (United Kingdom) $6,240
9th place: Zenit_07/08 (Russia) $3,993.60
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