SCOOP: Heminsley hangs on, conquers Event 1-M ($215 NLHE 6-max)

Thumbnail image for SCOOP logo.gifThere's probably no game that typifies internet poker better than shorthanded, no-limit hold'em. A game that often only happens by chance in live poker rooms when there aren't enough players to fill out a table, 6-max NLHE has nonetheless lived a fruitful life online, where table size is easily. It's no surprise, then, that 6-max NLHE tournaments tend to be pretty popular, especially when there's big money up for grabs.

With $500,000 guaranteed in Event 1-M, at least 2,501 players would have to show up to push the prize pool higher. As it turned out, more than twice that number of players actually turned out for a shot at the first medium-level event of this SCOOP series: 5,423 of them, to be exact, building a total prize pool of $1,084,600 and setting a top prize of $165,403.72.

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Two members of Team PokerStars Pro managed to grab decent cashes, with Alex Kravchenko finishing 708th ($347.07) and Richard Toth finishing 446th ($422.99). But neither of them came close to the performance logged by Team Online's Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen. The EPT Copenhagen champion very nearly made the final six, making it all the way to the penultimate table before falling in 10th place. The $8,947.95 he won added to what has been an already excellent calendar year for the Danish pro, confirming that he's one of the most dangerous players in any SCOOP tournament.

Final table time

As the final table began, the players were seated - and stacked - like this:

Seat 1: tracyer (12,060,463 in chips)
Seat 2: SpeckBasu (6,977,232 in chips)
Seat 3: mandza17 (1,172,634 in chips)
Seat 4: com 157 (9,607,663 in chips)
Seat 5: Heminsley (8,243,728 in chips)
Seat 6: jonwayne69 (16,168,280 in chips)

With blinds and antes at 70K/140K/17.5K to start the final table, the cost per orbit was 315K per orbit. That meant there was room to maneuver for nearly everyone. Two-time Super Tuesday champion jonwayne69 was sitting tall in the saddle with 51 orbits' worth of chips, and even 5th-placed SpeckBasu's stack could make it through the next 22 orbits without playing a hand. The lone exception to the trend was mandza17, whose 1.17-million-chip stack could only stand three orbits. Still, with a guaranteed $16K on the table for everybody, and a $165K top prize awaiting the winner, the only sure thing was that there would be no sure things.

mandza17 down in 6th

For Croatia's mandza17, even a remotely decent hand would have been good enough to move all-in in the early going. Then mandza17 picked up A♥ K♠ in middle position - and with a raise to 280K up front from SpeckBasu, no less. mandza17 shoved for 875K, everyone else cleared out of the way, and SpeckBasu called with A♣ K♣. The majority of the time these two nearly identical hands will chop the pot, but unfortunately for the short stack that wasn't in the cards this time around. The flop came 5♣ 3♣ K♥, bringing a club flush draw, and though the J♠ turn was safe, the the 4♣ river filled out the flush. That meant an early finish for mandza17, with $16,629 to help ease the pain.

SpeckBasu spackled in 5th

Though the first elimination had come quickly, play slowed down considerably as the players jockeyed for position over the course of the next hour. During that time the leaderboard switched completely around, with the shortest stacks becoming the biggest and vice versa. There was, again, one exception: SpeckBasu. The German player, a former Sunday Million winner, had played spoiler to the short stack in the early going but had become the short stack himself as the day's fifth break approached.

With the blinds at 125K/250K with a 31.25K ante, Spain's com 157 opened for a minimum raise to 500K and the action folded to SpeckBasu in the big blind. The German player shoved all-in for 2.9 million with A♦ Q♦, and com 157 called with 7♥ 7♦ for a classic coin-flip situation. The 6♥ 3♠ 7♣ flop was all bad news, and the 9♠ turn and 8♠ river didn't change the story a bit. SpeckBasu was out in 5th place, earning $30,748.41.

Deal time

With the break approaching and each orbit now costing 500K, nobody was as well off as they had been to start the final table. They opted to discuss a deal, and not too long afterward they had come to an agreement: $116,365.99 to com 157, $113,868.99 to Heminsley, $90,822.55 to jonwayne69, and $86,455.69 to tracyer, with $10,000 left on the table for the winner. With an agreement in place, everyone was ready to play.

jonwayne69 takes 4th, pardner

With everyone guaranteed at least $35,000 more than the 4th-place finish had been originally been scheduled to award, there was little reason to expect the players to hold back. So it was no big surprise when com 157 opened the betting for a minimum raise to 500K, Heminsley put in a third bet to 1.5M, and jonwayne69 shoved for 9.59M. The opener folded, but Heminsley made the call for less than half his stack with A♦ 8♥. That was a fair sight behind jonwayne69's 9♠ 9♥, but the ace on the A♠ 4♠ 2♦ flop changed everything.After the K♠ turn and 4♥ river, the table was down to three players.

tracyer toppled in 3rd

Less than ten minutes later, with blinds and antes up to 150K/300K/37.5K, com 157 held a monster lead with 32.14M chips to Heminsley's 16.11M and tracyer's 5.97M. The short-stacked Hungarian player was looking for any excuse to shove, and A♦ J♠ was about as good as excuses come in those situations. com 157 was quick to isolate with A♣ T♣, and though that hand was a statistical underdog, it managed to come through in the end. The 9♠ 3♣ 9♦ flop and K♦ were safe for tracyer, but the T♠ on the river was a dagger through the heart of SCOOP title dreams.

com 157 comes down in 2nd

The chip lead belonged to com 157 as heads-up play began, with 38.11M chips to Heminsley's 15.47M, but the UK player managed to turn things over the course of the next ten minutes. Heminsley had 30.96M chips to his opponent's 23.26M now, and fate of the last $10,000 on the table would come down to this hand:

That missed draw made com 157 the runner-up, though holding the chip lead at the time of the four-way deal was still worth $116K. As for Heminsley, hanging on through a two-hour roller coaster of a final table resulted in a very big win and a place among the ranks of SCOOP champions past and present.

SCOOP Event 1-M: $215 No-Limit Hold'em (6-Max)
$500,000 guaranteed prize pool
5,423 entrants, $1,084,600 prize pool
720 places paid

1st place: Heminsley (United Kingdom) $123,868.99*
2nd place: com 157 (Spain) $116,365.99*
3rd place: tracyer (Hungary) $86,455.69*
4th place: jonwayne69 (United Kingdom) $90,822.55*
5th place: SpeckBasu (Germany) $30,748.41
6th place: mandza17 (Croatia) $16,269
* - Denotes results of a four-way deal

This event is just the tip of the SCOOP iceberg. The next two weeks are going to see a lot of players winning a lot of money - why not be one of them yourself?

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in SCOOP