SCOOP 2013: Chance "ChanceCU" Kornuth shows poker's a skill game, wins Event #36-M ($215 NLHE 1R1A)

There have been a number of already-decorated players who have proven themselves again by doing well during this year's SCOOP, and Event #36-M, the $215 no-limit hold'em "1R1A" event, gave us yet another example. "What's the chance?" some might ask, that another WSOP bracelet holder would be winning a SCOOP watch -- like David "Whooookidd" Baker did just yesterday -- but knowing that poker is a skill game, we know such occurrences shouldn't be surprising.

Speaking of chance, it was ChancesCU -- a.k.a. the accomplished pro player Chance Kornbuth -- who again helped further the cause for poker being a skill game by winning Event #36-M and a nifty $112,558.29 first prize.

From 1,430 to 18

The tourney offered players the option to take a single re-buy if needed then an add-on after two hours of play. Most did both, as 1,030 re-buys were snapped up and 909 add-ons taken, thus building a total prize pool of $673,800 -- close to twice the event's $350K guarantee, with the top 180 finishers scheduled to split the loot.

By the six-hour mark they were down to just over 300 players remaining, with Chance "ChanceCU" Kornuth having already opened up some space between himself and the rest of the field by building a stack of more than 142,000, nearly 40,000 ahead of the chasing pack.

Team Online member Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen was also on the front page of the counts at that point, claiming a spot just inside the top 20, with Team PokerStars Pros Chad "ChadBrownPRO" Brown, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Lex Veldhuis, and Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero also still with chips.

About an hour-and-a-half later they'd played down to 180 players and the cash, with talonaquiles having moved out in front with more than 227,000. All five of the red-spade sporting PokerStars team players were still there, too, with Veldhuis having moved up and into the top 10.

Play continued into the evening, with Chad Brown hanging on with a short stack for a while before busting in 109th ($1,212.84). The field shrunk below a hundred, then just before the nine-hour break Jose Barbero met an untimely end in 74th place ($1,482.36) after running A♣K♥ into IfoolU's A♥A♠. Shortly thereafter Mickey Petersen hit the rail as well in 71st ($1,549.74) after getting his short stack in with A♣9♦ against ElyaGer727's J♥9♥, then watching three hearts flop to give his opponent a winning flush.

The field was whittled further down to 50 players, with both ElkY and Veldhuis having moved into the top 10 of the counts while Rhys "floppinhel" Jones had pushed into the lead with more than 540,000. Soon enough the two Team PokerStars Pros and one-time kickboxing opponents found themselves at the same table chatting about StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Dota 2 as the tourney continued and field continued to shrink.

By the 12-hour mark just 25 were left, with Chance "ChanceCU" Kornuth back in first (with nearly 790,000), Grospellier in seventh (with just under 500,000), and Veldhuis in 20th (with almost 245,000). An hour after that they were down to 18, with Kornuth still on top as the only player over 1 million chips with ElkY in fourth position and Veldhuis in 12th.

Kornuth continued to build on his lead over the next hour as the next six players fell, with Mike "munchenHB" Telker (18th), TUM19 (17th), and alexandrapau (16th) each earning $3,234.24, and Nick "FU_15" Mamoine (15th), *krasav4ik* (14th), and triantafill (13th) taking away $4,480.77 apiece.

From 12 to 9

It was just after the 13-hour break that Veldhuis ended up committing the last of his chips -- just under five big blinds -- with K♥9♣ against ChanceCU's K♣J♥, and when the board rolled out 4♣2♥4♠5♣T♥, Veldhuis was out in 12th. Veldhuis tweeted the news afterwards:

@RaSZi: "Busted in 12th. Painfully carddead for the last 2-3 hours. Pretty crazy. Still good day though I guess. Big day tomorrow. #scoop"


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Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis


Soon after ChanceCU also knocked out Shyam "G's zee" Srinivasan in 11th, then Grospellier found himself all in for his last 15 big blinds or so with A♠Q♥ against IfoolU's 7♣7♦. The board came 4♠6♥9♦K♦2♥, and ElkY was out in 10th. He, too, reported his bustout shortly thereafter via Twitter:

@elkypoker: Almost forgot how #heartbreaking it is to run deep and bust. Bubbled the FT of #SCOOP2013 39-M AQ<77 button vs bb... #sosick #sleeptoforget


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Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier


Meanwhile, the final table had already begun.


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Seat 1: Chance "ChanceCU" Kornuth (Mexico) -- 2,388,255
Seat 2: IfoolU (Sweden) -- 1,625,148
Seat 3: GearUp777 (Austria) -- 1,067,561
Seat 4: Cosita Rica (Costa Rica) -- 397,887
Seat 5: fish2013 (Belarus) -- 464,463
Seat 6: T.J. "1BigAceHole" Ulmer (Canada) -- 1,914,185
Seat 7: skyboy69 (Portugal) -- 1,015,172
Seat 8: TIITTIIT (Canada) -- 544,749
Seat 9: snejokCoxx (Russia) -- 689,580

From 9 to 6

A couple of orbits would pass at the final table, then three eliminations would come in short order.

First with the blinds at 15,000/30,000, Cosita Rica -- winner of the Women's Sunday tournament almost exactly one year ago in late May 2012 -- open-shoved from the small blind and fish2013 called all in for 405,088 from the big blind. It was A♥3♣ for Cosita Rica and K♦J♠ for fish2013, and when the board came 2♦Q♣5♥8♥A♣, fish2013 was out in ninth.

By then IfoolU had become crippled after losing a big one with A♥K♦ versus GearUp777's Q♦Q♣, and just three hands after fish2013's elimination was open-pushing for just 45,895 and getting a caller in snejokCoxx from the big blind. IfoolU had K♥Q♥ and snejokCoxx A♣6♠, and when the 8♣T♠5♣2♥6♥ board brought no improvement for IfoolU, they were down to seven.

Just a half-dozen hands after that, snejokCoxx raised a little over 2x to 62,700 from UTG, TIITTIIT open-raised all in for 332,874 from the big blind, and snejokCoxx called, showing 8♣8♦ to TIITTIIT's A♣5♥. The community cards came J♣2♥9♦, then 6♠, then T♣, and TIITTIIT was eliminated in seventh.

Not long after that snejokCoxx scored a big double-up through Chance "ChanceCU" Kornuth in a hand that saw Kornuth six-bet shove and snejokCoxx call for just over 1.8 million. snejokCoxx had Q♠Q♥ while Kornuth had but T♦5♦, and when the queens held snejokCoxx took over the chip lead and kept it through the 14-hour break.

From 6 to 3

After that break they'd play another 10 minutes, and then three more eliminations came in rapid succession.

With the blinds at 20,000/40,000, GearUp777 raised all in for 184,655 from under the gun and got two callers in snejokCoxx (small blind) and ChanceCU (big blind). Both of GearUp777's opponents then checked down the A♠2♠A♥ flop, Q♠ turn, and Q♣ river, and when Kornuth showed K♦6♠ for the two pair on board plus a king kicker, snejokCoxx showed 5♠5♥ and GearUp777 mucked. The hand went to ChanceCU, and GearUp777 was out in sixth.

Next it was Chance "ChanceCU" Kornuth open-shoving from the small blind and Cosita Rica calling all in for 465,974. ChanceCU had K♦J♥ while Cosita Rica was hoping to hold with A♥8♠. Her hand remained best through the Q♥8♣3♦ flop and 9♠ turn, but the J♦ fell on fifth street to give ChanceCU a better pair, and Cosita Rica was knocked out in fifth.

Just minutes later T.J. "1BigAceHole" Ulmer opened with a min-raise to 80,000 from UTG, snejokCoxx reraised to 210,000 from the small blind, Ulmer four-bet to 390,000, snejokCoxx shoved, and Ulmer called all in for 1,062,537 more.

snejokCoxx: K♦K♣
1BigAceHole: A♦Q♥

The flop was 3♥9♠J♦ and turn the J♣, leaving Ulmer still needing an ace to survive. But the 4♥ came on the river, and 1BigAceHole's run had ended in fourth.

From 3 to 2 to Chance

Three-handed play had just begun with the trio stopped the tournament to talk about a possible deal, with snejokCoxx well in front with 6,088,254, skyboy69 next with 2,378,922, and ChanceCU third with 1,639,824. Figures were produced and the discussion was amiable, but no deal could be agreed upon and so play continued.

Those three pushed on into the tourney's 16th hour, with skyboy69 chipping up to challenge snejokCoxx for the lead for a time before slipping back just under 2.5 million and into third position behind ChanceCU with just over 3 million and leader snejokCoxx with a little more than 4.5 million.

That's when a hand arose in which snejokCoxx min-raised to 120,000 from the button, Kornuth three-bet to 275,000 from the small blind, then skyboy69 made it 477,777 to go from the big blind. snejokCoxx folded, then ChanceCU shoved and skyboy69 called with the 1,985,875 left behind.

Kornuth had Q♦8♦ and needed to improve versus skyboy69's A♠Q♣. The 9♦K♣J♦ flop kept skyboy69 in the lead but provided ChanceCU a number of outs to win. The turn was the 7♣, then the 2♦ fell on the river, giving Kornuth a flush and sending skyboy69 railward in third.


RSS readers click through to view replay


That hand gave Kornuth the edge to begin heads-up play with 5,688,652 to the 4,418,348 of snejokCoxx. Ultimately the pair would battle for another 20 minutes, with ChanceCU initially building on his lead, then slipping back and seeing snejokCoxx grab the advantage for a few hands before a huge double-up occurred that pushed Kornuth again well out in front.

In that one Kornuth called a snejokCoxx four-bet before the flop, then the pair raised back and forth after the first three community cards came 9♠5♦5♣ flop to build the pot even further. The turn then brought the Q♦ and Kornuth check-called his opponent's shove, showing 5♠4♠ for trip fives, better than snejokCoxx's K♥K♣. The river was a deuce, and suddenly Kornuth was up over 9.7 million while snejokCoxx had fallen to less than 340,000. Take a look:


RSS readers click through to view replay


They'd play a few more hands after that, but soon snejokCoxx was open-pushing for 679,392 from the button with J♦3♥ and Kornuth calling with K♥6♣. The board came Q♠6♠A♣A♦K♦, giving ChanceCU two pair and the title!

Like Veldhuis and Grospellier did earlier, Kornuth also delivered a tweet to his followers once Event #36-M ended (more happily) for him.

@ChancesCards: #kablamo


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Chance "ChanceCU" Kornuth, Event #36-M champion


Congratulations to Kornuth for topping a huge field of 1,430 to earn a six-figure first prize and a shiny SCOOP watch to go along with the WSOP bracelet he won in 2010!

PokerStars 2013 SCOOP Event #36-M ($215 No-Limit Hold'em, 1R1A) results

Players: 1,430
Re-buys: 1,030
Add-ons: 909
Total prize pool: $673,800.00
Places paid: 180

1. Chance "ChanceCU" Kornuth (Mexico) $112,558.29
2. snejokCoxx (Russia) $82,203.60
3. skyboy69 (Portugal) $61,989.60
4. T.J. "1BigAceHole" Ulmer (Canada) $45,818.40
5. Cosita Rica (Costa Rica) $33,016.20
6. GearUp777 (Austria) $26,278.20
7. TIITTIIT (Canada) $19,540.20
8. IfoolU (Sweden) $12,802.20
9. fish2013 (Belarus) $7,007.52

As Veldhuis tweeted, it's a big day tomorrow for SCOOP, with lots on the schedule including the $21,000 NLHE Heads-Up High Roller (Event #40-H) that everyone will be watching. Check the SCOOP site for all of the scheduling details.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in SCOOP