SCOOP 2013: EPT London champ Ruben "rubenrtv" Visser wins Event #44-H, $1,050 NL Hold'em Wrap-Up (Turbo, 3x-Chance)
There was never any doubt that Event #44-H, the $1,050 version of the SCOOP Wrap-Up, would draw a tough field. SCOOP is one of the most popular tournament series here at PokerStars and this tournament was the last chance to earn a champion's watch at the High buy-in level for this year. It was also guaranteed to build a healthy prize pool, with two rebuys available for every player if they should go broke during the first 90 minutes of play. But perhaps most importantly, its turbo structure meant the whole tournament would be play out in just a few hours.
With all those things going for it, Event #44-H drew a starting field of 955 players. Collectively they made 604 rebuys, boosting the total prize pool for the tournament to $1,559,000 - nearly four times the original guarantee. In all 108 spots were paid, with $282,179 set aside for the winner.
There was more on the line than just big cash, though. Shaun Deeb, last year's SCOOP Player of the Series, came into the day fourth in this year's race and was still going in this tournament with just two tables left. He earned 30 points in the standings when he busted in 11th place, which unfortunately for him won't be nearly enough to catch up to leader George Danzer's 655 points.
By 8:34 p.m. ET the blinds and antes were up to 25K/50K/6.25K and this lineup sat down to play for the title:
Seat 1: Steve "mcnallyville" McNally (956,795 in chips)
Seat 2: Femmeonfelt (164,482 in chips)
Seat 3: David "davidv1213" Vamplew (1,029,970 in chips)
Seat 4: Ruben "rubenrtv" Visser (1,308,674 in chips)
Seat 5: deamon10 (699,663 in chips)
Seat 6: ocropTi (1,258,086 in chips)
Seat 7: Zach "nofingclue11" Clark (717,048 in chips)
Seat 8: John "kleath" Leathart (700,314 in chips)
Seat 9: a.S.e High (959,968 in chips)
Fittingly for the last High buy-in tournament of the series, this final table was filled with heavy hitters. In Seat 1 was Steve "mcnallyville" McNally, a past Super Tuesday and Wednesday Quarter Million winner. In Seat 3 sat this year's EPT London champion and former WCOOP event winner, Ruben "rubenrtv" Visser; on his left in Seat 4 was the 2010 EPT London winner, David "davidv1213" Vamplew. The lineup was rounded out by 2009 SCOOP Event #5-H champion deamon10 (Seat 5), 2012 TCOOP #15 champ ocropTi (Seat 6), two-time SCOOP final tablist Zach "nofingclue11" Clark (Seat 7), and 2012 SCOOP #14-H winner John "kleath" Leathart (Seat 8).
Nobody at the table was in a comfortable position. Even chip leader Ruben Visser had just 26 big blinds, so it's no big surprise that the pace of play before the flop tended toward either blind steals or all-in confrontations. With that dynamic it didn't take long for the first player to bust. Canada's short-stacked Femmeonfelt drew the big blind on Hand #7 and called all-in for a total of 118K with 9♦ 5♣ after mcnallyville raised from the small blind with J♦ 3♥. The Q♣ 6♠ 7♠ flop offered the Canadian player a few more outs to an inside straight, but the 3♣ turn and 2♠ river sent Femmeonfelt out in 9th place ($19,995.20).
Just five hands later, with the blinds and antes up to 30K/60K/7.5K, Zach "nofingclue11" Clark ran into a bit of a cooler. The action folded to Clark in the small blind, where he moved all-in for 498K with 8♦ 8♥; John "kleath" Leathart woke up with K♦ K♠ and made the call. The J♣ 6♠ 9♥ 6♦ Q♦ board changed nothing, kleath won the 1.05M-chip pot, and Clark was gone in 8th place ($34,453.90).
Only four more hands would go by before mcnallyville opened for 160K with K♠ J♥ from the cutoff on the 40K/80K/10K level. deamon10 three-bet all-in for 549K from the big blind with A♠ 8♣ and mcnallyville made the call, catching an immediate reward on the 4♣ K♥ T♥ flop. Running cards or an ace would have saved deamon10, but the turn was the 9♠ and the river the 4♠, sending the former SCOOP winner to the rail in 7th place ($49,108.50).
The quick pace kept up as just two more hands would pass before the next knockout. It was another blind-versus-blind confrontation as kleath opened all-in from the small blind with A♠ K♥ and Romania's a.S.e. High called for 713K total in the big blind with K♠ J♥. The dominated hand picked up some outs to a straight on the 6♦ A♥ Q♣ flop, but they didn't come home as the board ran out 3♣-5♦ to eliminate a.S.e. High in 6th place ($64,698.50).
A five-handed deal
With play now five-handed and the blinds and antes still at 40K/80K/10K, the chip stacks looked like this:
Seat 1: mcnallyville (2,239,690 in chips)
Seat 3: davidv1213 (904,970 in chips)
Seat 4: rubenrtv (1,407,424 in chips)
Seat 6: ocropTi (1,240,586 in chips)
Seat 8: kleath (2,002,330 in chips)
Everyone agreed to look at the numbers for a deal, and it didn't take long for them to agree to split the prize money up according to ICM. Within 10 minutes of pausing the game they were back in action with $8,000 and the final champion's watch on this year's SCOOP schedule left for the winner.
The very first hand back from the deal saw the two EPT London champions at the table clash. The two were in the blinds and David Vamplew got the action going by moving all-in for 804K from the small with A♦ 9♦. Ruben Visser called in the big with A♥ Q♥ and both players paired on the 5♠ A♣ 6♣ flop. The 4♦ on the turn left Vamplew in need of one of the three nines left in the deck, but the A♠ fell instead and he left in 5th place with his $133,422.80 share from the deal.
Just 20 hands into the final table, five players were already gone. Steve McNally was in danger of being crippled on Hand #26 after moving all-in with A♠ 6♦ from the small blind and having John Leathart call all-in for 1.69M from the big blind with A♥ Q♦, but the 3.8M-chip pot was split after the board came 5♦ 3♦ 9♣ 9♠ 5♥. Only Ruben Visser was able to break up the pace of play with this rare display of post-flop poker on Hand #29:
Four hands later Visser, with blinds and antes up to 50K/100K/12.5K, claimed a much more substantial pot. He opened the betting with a minimum raise to 200K, holding A♠ 9♣, and then made the call with about 1M left behind after Germany's ocropTi moved all-in for 1.71M with K♥ J♠. The German player and former SCOOP winner got no help from the Q♥ 7♦ 6♠ flop but did pick up a few extra outs on the 9♥ turn. None of them came home when the river was the 6♣, sending ocropTi out in 4th place with a $161,081.83 share from the deal.
That left Visser with 4.62M chips to McNally's 1.90M and Leathart's 1.26M. On Hand #39 Leathart became the first all-in player at risk during the final table to survive the confrontation after moving all-in with K♦ 2♠ and getting a call from McNally with Q♥ J♦. The board came 8♠ T♣ 3♣ 2♦ 6♥ to ship Leathart the 1.91M-chip pot and leave McNally with 1.25M. Two hands later those chips went in the middle before the flop from the button with J♥ T♦; Leathart called with A♠ T♠, which held up on the 6♥ 8♣ 3♥ 9♣ 9♥ board to send McNally out in 3rd place with $186,478.79.
First-time SCOOP winner guaranteed
With blinds and antes still at 50K/100K/12.5K, the heads-up match between two players seeking their first SCOOP titles was set:
Seat 4: Ruben "rubenrtv" Visser (4,635,480 in chips)
Seat 8: John "kleath" Leathart (3,159,520 in chips)
Leathart had the biggest share of the prize money locked up at $181K but was at a slight disadvantage of 16 big blinds to start heads-up play. After he and Ruben Visser split the first eight pots evenly, Leathart made a little headway with three pots in a row, pulling the two players' stacks to within a single big blind of each other. But that was as close as Leathart would get to a comeback. Visser stole the next pot before the flop with a three-bet and then won the only pot of the heads-up match with any betting after the flop:
Visser took the next pot, worth 1.2M, with another pre-flop three-bet and then stole the blinds from the button on Hand #56. That had the reigning EPT London champ up to 5.48M and ready to apply maximum pressure to earn his first SCOOP win. On Hand #57 Leathart opened for a minimum raise to 240K and Visser responded by shoving with 8♠ 6♣. Leathart made the call and was on the heavy side of a coin flip with 4♣ 4♠, but Visser increased his out on the 9♦ 5♠ K♦ flop. Leathart remained safe on the 3♥ turn, but the 7♦ gave Visser his straight, the pot, and the SCOOP Wrap-Up win.
Though he was unable to add a second SCOOP title to his resume, the $181,005.82 John "kleath" Leathart earned from the five-way deal represents the biggest score of his career at PokerStars, and more than double his previous best. And though the $168,957.76 share of the deal that Ruben Visser earned was a bit smaller than Leathart's, it was also the best of his career at PokerStars, just surpassing the $152K he won for conquering WCOOP Event #26 back in 2008. He's now just one TCOOP title away from the elusive Triple COOP.
SCOOP 2013 Event #44-H: $1,050 NL Hold'em Wrap-Up (Turbo, 3x-Chance)
955 entrants, 604 rebuys
$1,559,000 prize pool
108 places paid
1st place: Ruben "rubenrtv" Visser (Netherlands) $168,957.76*
2nd place: John "kleath" Leathart (Mexico) $181,005.82*
3rd place: Steve "mcnallyville" McNally (Mexico) $186,478.79*
4th place: ocropTi (Germany) $161,081.83*
5th place: David "davidv1213" Vamplew (United Kingdom) $133,422.80*
6th place: a.S.e. High (Romania) $64,698.50
7th place: deamon10 (Denmark) $49,108.50
8th place: Zach "nofingclue11" Clark (Mexico) $34,453.90
9th place: Femmeonfelt (Canada) $19,995.20
* - Denotes results of a five-way deal
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.