SCOOP 2012: Genius28 wins Event #31-H, joiso second, ElkY third ($2,100 8-Game)

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Watching the final table of the 8-Game tournament was a lesson in poker. Seeing the hole cards would be something any poker player could use to learn to be a better player. Six fine players fought so hard that was almost sweat beading up on my laptop screen. (That would have been terrifying but didn't happen.) Team PokerStars Pro ElkY did his best but had to accept third place, and Chris Lee and Alexander Kostritsyn battled in an epic heads-up match for the title. After nearly 1.5 hours, Lee emerged victorious, and Kostritsyn was left with another second place finish.

*****

For poker players who enjoy a challenge, HORSE used to be it. Five games, constantly changing, pretty tough lineup. Not anymore. These days, they like to up the ante, so to speak, and play the increasingly popular 8-Game mix. Starting with Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, the games then change to Limit Hold'em Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud, Stud Hi/Lo, No Limit Hold'em, and Pot Limit Omaha. If that's not a challenge, combined with 15-minute levels and a star-studded field, I'm not sure what is.

Event 31 was the 8-Game that players anticipated, and the high buy-in offered a $2,100 chance at a SCOOP title. Here's the resulting field and numbers:

Players: 107
Guarantee: $75,000.00
Prize pool: $214,000.00
Paid players: 12

The field was small but deadly, and it contained a number of Team PokerStars Pros. The first to exit was Martin Staszko, followed by Chad Brown and Team Online's Kristian "ChraismA3" Martin. A bit later, Team Online lost two more representatives when George "Jorj95" Lind exited in 47th and Anders "Donald" Berg took off in 43rd. Team Pros were next in the line of eliminations, as Jose "nachoberbero" Barbero exited in 33rd and George Danzer in 29th.

As play continued into the seventh and eighth hours, the field thinned slowly but surely. Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov exited in tenth place for $5,350.00, and Scott "BigRiskky" Clements took off in eighth place for $8,025.00.

It took over 45 minutes for the final table bubble to burst, but it did when short-stacked stevie444 pushed on a 8♦8♠6♠Q♣ board with J♥9♥. Joiso called with 7♥7♠, though, and that held up to the A♥ on the river. Stephen "stevie444" Chidwick departed in seventh place with $8,025.00.

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CHUFTY in charge

The final table began in Level 34, a Limit Hold'em round with 2,000/4,000 blinds. The players' starting stacks were as follows:

Seat 1: Ig123456789 (10,492 in chips)
Seat 2: Genius28 (121,422 in chips)
Seat 3: Kecinpulach (68,400 in chips)
Seat 4: ElkY (122,299 in chips)
Seat 5: joiso (70,228 in chips)
Seat 6: CHUFTY (142,159 in chips)

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Ig123456789 doubled up on the first hand of action, but another move came a few hands later. After a CHUFTY raise from the button, Ig123456789 called all-in for 2,738 chips. Genius28 raised, and CHUFTY called. They checked down the board of J♠K♥T♣5♣5♠, and Genius28 showed 7♥7♠. Both other players mucked their hands, and Ig123456789 had to leave the part in sixth place with $11,235.00.

A few minutes later, in the Omaha Hi/Lo round, Kecinpulach gets involved with a relatively short stack. Kecinpulach, ElkY, and joiso go to see a reraised flop of T♣9♣J♠. ElkY bet, joiso called, and Kecinpulach raised. When joiso bumped it up again, Kecinpulach moved all-in for 9,275 chips, and both players called. The 6♦ on the turn and 6♠ on the river completed the board, a bet from joiso on the river prompted a fold from ElkY. Kecinpulach showed J♣3♠2♣K♥ for two pair, but joiso had Q♦A♣8♥K♣ for the king-high straight. Kecinpulach, winner of a 2011 SCOOP, was denied one tonight and finished in fifth place with $14,980.00.

Deep stack poker

The final four chip stacks were:

Seat 2: Genius28 (131,410 in chips)
Seat 4: ElkY (108,024 in chips)
Seat 5: joiso (146,028 in chips)
Seat 6: CHUFTY (149,538 in chips)

Joiso took the reins and climbed toward the 200K mark while ElkY slipped below 100K but recovered. CHUFTY, on the other hand, suffered and became the shortest of the four stacks. That was only in the first 15 minutes, though. Genius28 then became the short stack, but at the 10-hour break, CHUFTY had 100,001 chips and joiso sunk down to 106,803. ElkY was the new chip leader and Genius28 was close behind.

CHUFTY chopped

After the break, CHUFTY had the most trouble, though he was able to double through ElkY to almost 60K. But his stack thinned quickly again, and in the Stud round, all 5,602 chips went into the pot against Genius28 and joiso. A bet a call took them to fifth and then sixth street, at which point a bet from Genius28 prompted joiso to fold. Genius showed 9♣5♣9♦A♠Q♣T♠8♠, and that pair of nines was good enough to beat the Q♠J♣T♦6♠7♣5♠4♦ hand of CHUFTY. Richard "CHUFTY" Ashby, winner of a 2010 WCOOP, was eliminated in fourth place tonight for $20,330.00.

Deeper stacks

Three-handed play started with these stacks:

Seat 2: Genius28 (166,500 in chips)
Seat 4: ElkY (110,797 in chips)
Seat 5: joiso (257,703 in chips)

ElkY lost ground quickly and hovered under the 100K mark for much of the first hour, though chipping up was a frequent-enough occurrence to keep him in action. Joiso, on the other hand, increased his lead, and Genius28 took a few of ElkY's chips as well but stayed far enough behind joiso that the former was comfortable enough.

ElkY eliminated

The last Team Pro standing was finally reduced to a stack of little more than 21K. In a Deuce to Seven hand, ElkY got involved with joiso. ElkY took one and joiso took two for a bet and a call, and joiso stood pat after that. ElkY took one card and was all-in, and took yet another one before showing 3♣4♥8♣2♠3♦. Joiso turned over 8♠4♠J♥7♣T♥, and that was enough to eliminated Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, who simply has too many accomplishments to list here, finished third in this tournament for $29,960.00.

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Tense battle

The final two competitors geared up for battle with these counts:

Seat 2: Genius28 (198,750 in chips)
Seat 5: joiso (336,250 in chips)

Genius28 was chipped down to less than 100K but battled back, hand by hand, through the Deuce to Seven round. By the time Limit Hold'em came into effect, Genius had a significant chip lead over joiso. The LHE round allowed joiso to make a comeback, though, and even the stacks.

By the time they began the Omaha Hi/Lo round, Genius28 was ahead by about 70K chips, but that lead increased as the level went on. By the time they made it to Razz, though, joiso climbed back up over 200K. But another level saw more difficulties for joiso, especially as they entered the last Stud round.

As the key hand began, joiso mentioned the elephant at the table in the chat box: " I have 3 second places in scoops ;) " But with a stack of less than 40K, it was going to take a big comeback to grab that elusive win. The two go through the motions on third and fourth streets until all of joiso's chips go in on fifth with A♣J♣4♣. Genius28 showed 3♥A♥7♣ with his call. When the hands were complete, they were:

joiso: 3♠K♣A♣J♣4♣Q♠Q♥
Genius28: 7♥7♦3♥A♥7♣8♥A♠

The full house eliminated Alexander "joiso" Kostritsyn in second place - a record of his plight was mentioned in this blog last year - and he took home $39,055.00 to ease the pain.

Chris "Genius28" Lee won Event 31-H and received $58,315.00 to go with the Movado watch and tournament title. Congrats!

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2012 SCOOP Event #31-H ($2,100 8-Game) Results:

Total players: 107
Paid players: 12

1st place: Chris "Genius28" Lee (Canada) - $58,315.00
2nd place: Alexander "joiso" Kostritsyn (Russia) - $39,055.00
3rd place: Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (UK) - $29,960.00
4th place: Richard "CHUFTY" Ashby (UK) - $20,330.00
5th place: Kecinpulach (Czech Republic) - $14,980.00
6th place: Ig123456789 (Ukraine) - $11,235.00

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

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in 2012