SCOOP 2013: ARMEN1US accomplishes Event 24L victory ($11 NLHE/PLO)

The ups and downs that come with PLO are inevitable, and the mix of that game with NLHE is challenging. MrSax00beat entered final table play with the chip lead and increased it, but ARMEN1US overcame more chip fluctuations to end up in the heads-up battle against MrSax00beat. And the strong chip lead at the beginning of that match was enough to take ARMEN1US right into the winner's circle.


There is no question that the game of No Limit Hold'em remains as popular as ever among all types of players, but it has had to allow room at the top for Pot Limit Omaha. While PLO is not as commonly known or played as NLHE by any means, players are getting to know it as they once did with Hold'em. The rise of PLO in past years has been something too big to ignore. And it is why it makes perfect sense to include a NLHE/PLO mix in any good online poker tournament series, especially one like the Spring Championship of Online Poker.

Event 24 was that opportunity for fans of both games to show their proficiency in both as well. The low buy-in offered players the chance to grab a SCOOP title for only $11. And the prize money was guaranteed at $50K as well, which was quite a good chunk of money for the reasonable buy-in, even thought that amount soared well past the guarantee when registration closed. The final numbers for this event were:

Players: 8,232
Guarantee: $50,000.00
Prize pool: $82,320.00
Paid players: 1,080

There were two Team PokerStars Pros who made it through the money bubble and onward. Of them, Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby was the first to exit in 618th place, and none other than the Flying Dutchman was on his way to another deep run. Team Pro Marcel Luske fell short of yet another major final table, though, and finished in 347th place for $31.28.

Marcel Luske.jpg

Meanwhile, other stars in the game of poker were working their way toward SCOOP fame. Hand-for-hand play began near the 10.5-hour mark of the tournament, and the final table bubble burst when BetterToFold moved all-in during PLO with 4♣T♣A♥A♦. AfraocOG was along for the ride with J♣K♦8♥K♠, which became a full house on the K♥4♥3♣3♠5♣ board. BetterToFold exited in tenth place with $452.76.

MrSax00beat leads but it's crowded at the top

The final table was set in Level 38, with blinds of 60,000/120,000 for PLO. The players and their initial chip stacks were as follows:

Seat 1: AfraocOG (6,351,144 in chips)
Seat 2: viljoo (5,345,596 in chips)
Seat 3: ARMEN1US (2,134,867 in chips)
Seat 4: doublegandt (5,017,769 in chips)
Seat 5: sacred7 (1,256,126 in chips)
Seat 6: MrSax00beat (6,834,598 in chips)
Seat 7: CrazyLissy (6,763,838 in chips)
Seat 8: shakentoucan (6,265,034 in chips)
Seat 9: Sphyraena (1,191,028 in chips)

2013 SCOOP - 24L final table.JPG

MrSax00beat took some large initial pots, though, to extend the lead, but CrazyLissy did the same and rose to the chip lead before the level even finished. But despite efforts of players like CrazyLissy and shakentoucan, MrSax00beat took pots like one worth more than 6.2 million from shakentoucan to climb back to the top and soar well beyond the reach of others. MrSax00beat soon pushed over the 14 million-chip mark.

Then there were some double-ups. Sacred7 doubled through shakentoucan, and the latter doubled through AfraocOG. Sphyraena did it through MrSax00beat, and ARMEN1US doubled through doublegandt.

Doublegandt needed to recover chips from that ARMEN1US hand and moved all-in from middle position with 3♠3♣ in the NLHE round. CrazyLissy reraised from the small blind to isolate, which worked, and showed A♣J♥. The board came J♠6♦K♠K♦5♦, and doublegandt's lesser two pair warranted elimination in ninth place, which was worth $637.98.

On the very next hand, AfraocOG made a move, starting with an UTG raise. ARMEN1US reraised, and AfraocOG reraised all-in holding T♥T♦. ARMEN1US did one better with J♠J♦. The board of J♣8♣6♣T♠4♦ gave both players sets, but the jacks were good enough to eliminate AfraocOG in eighth place with $987.84.

Two hands after that, in PLO, sacred7 moved all-in UTG with Q♣A♣T♥8♠. Shakentoucan called, as did ARMEN1US in the big blind. Those two players checked down the board as it came 2♦8♣K♦J♦2♣, and shakentoucan turned over K♣9♥7♥T♦ for the best two pair. Sacred7 departed in seventh place with $1,769.88.

Sphyraena doubled through MrSax00beat again but remained one of the shortest stacks of the six remaining players. So, a few hands later, the same two players engaged in a preflop raising war until Sphyraena finally called all-in with K♠7♦T♠K♦. MrSax00beat showed J♠T♦Q♠5♦, which turned into a full house on the Q♣T♣Q♦3♣8♥ board. Sphyraena had no choice but to accept sixth place and the $2,551.92 that went with it.

The fall of a shakentoucan

Shakentoucan had a solid run near the top of the leaderboard, but with losses like this, it was tough not to feel frustrated:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Just a few hands later, shakentoucan was all-in from the posting of the small blind in NLHE. ARMEN1US and CrazyLissy were still in the hand, but when the flop showed 7♥7♦T♠, CrazyLissy bet, and ARMEN1US folded. CrazyLissy showed K♥Q♥, and shakentoucan turned over K♦T♦. But the turn and river came 5♠ Q♦, giving CrazyLissy the best two pair. Jesse "shakentoucan" Johnston, who finished third in SCOOP Event 6M, took fifth place in this one for $3,375.12.

ARMEN1US then doubled through CrazyLissy in this hand:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Two hands later, CrazyLissy doubled back through ARMEN1US to stay in action, and then did it again through MrSax00beat.

Final four forge a deal

The last four players in the tournament paused the action to discuss a deal. After receiving chip-chop numbers and making some slight adjustments, they did agree to the following payouts, which exclude an extra $1K and SCOOP watch for the winner:

Seat 2: viljoo (5,803,096 in chips) = $6,117.70
Seat 3: ARMEN1US (12,927,197 in chips) = $8,614.68
Seat 6: MrSax00beat (12,856,069 in chips) = $8,590.59
Seat 7: CrazyLissy (9,573,638 in chips) = $8,004.28

Only a few hands after play resumed, CrazyLissy doubled again through MrSax00beat in PLO, but ARMEN1US continued to climb to retain the chip lead. Viljoo doubled through ARMEN1US, while MrSax00beat was on the low end of the four chip counts. But MrSax00beat doubled through viljoo and then again through CrazyLissy.

Viljoo was the next one to move, doing it with T♥Q♣3♦9♦ against the A♠2♥7♠8♦ of MrSax00beat. The board of K♦5♠T♣2♣7♥ gave MrSax00beat two pair and all of the chips, leaving viljoo out in fourth place with $6,177.70.

On the very next hand, CrazyLissy got into a hand with ARMEN1US to see a raised flop of K♠2♦A♠. ARMEN1US bet, and CrazyLissy check-raised. When ARMEN1US pushed it again, CrazyLissy pushed all-in with 5♦Q♠J♠J♣. ARMEN1US called with 9♥A♣A♦T♠ and pulled off the full house on the river, which beat the flush of CrazyLissy, pushing the latter out in third place with $8,004.28.

A fight to the finish

Heads-up play then began with these chip counts:

Seat 3: ARMEN1US (32,001,515 in chips)
Seat 6: MrSax00beat (9,158,485 in chips)

MrSax00beat never gave up but never made much progress in the battle. With MrSax00beat finally whittled down to less than 6 million chips in NLHE, ARMEN1US challenged with an UTG all-in raise. MrSax00beat called with A♦7♦, and ARMEN1US showed 2♣2♥. The flop of 8♠T♠4♠ helped neither player, nor did the J♦ on the turn. The 2♦ on the river only gave ARMEN1Us the set of deuces and eliminated MrSax00beat in second place with $8,590.59.

ARMEN1US of Germany won the SCOOP title, watch, and $9,614.68. Congrats!

PokerStars 2013 SCOOP Event #24-L ($11 NLHE/PLO) results:
Players: 8,232
Prizepool: $82,320
Places paid: 1,080
(Payouts reflect four-way deal)

1. ARMEN1US (Germany) $9,614.68*
2. MrSax00beat (Austria) $8,590.59*
3. CrazyLissy (Russia) $8,004.28*
4. viljoo (Finland) $6,177.70*
5. Jesse "shakentoucan" Johnston (Canada) $3,375.12
6. Sphyraena (Australia) $2,551.92
7. sacred7 (Norway) $1,769.88
8. AfraocOG (Peru) $987.84
9. doublegandt (Canada) $637.98

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Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in SCOOP