SCOOP 2013: ex6tenceLV wins 30 hour marathon Event #15-M ($82 NL Hold'em Ante Up)

Ex6tenceLV won event 15-M of the 2013 Spring Championship of Online Poker, earning $16,124.22 and a SCOOP watch in the process. It can be considered a thoroughly deserved victory for ex6tenceLV, who not only endured the seemingly unstoppable run of eventual runner-up WestCliff21, but also the unstoppable run of time, 29 and a half hours of it passing in an unforgivably endless contest.

This, after all, was an "Ante-Up" tournament in which the blinds remain at 5 and 5 throughout, with only the ante increasing, an idea thought to have been based on an early draft of Horace McCoy's They Shoot Horses Don't They?, in which contestants in a depression-era dancing contest hope to win first prize by staying on their feet the longest.

It's a device that injects innovation into a poker tournament while the players are slowly driven mad, losing all sense of time and place. There was also room for novelty, such as WestCliff21's stack at the start of the final table amounting to 541,077 big blinds. There was also the unusual sight of nine players each limping into a pot for $5 with $45,000 already in the middle.

With this lead WestCliff21 had seemed a certainty, gaining the lead ten-handed, when a pair of kings snagged the chips of g0epr0, who had led coming into the second day - a hand that made you spew coffee everywhere as your feet fell off the desk.

SCOOP 2013 Event 15-M Final table

That set him up and the others could only watch, albeit a line-up made up of some seriously good online players whose recent form suggested a long drawn out struggle ahead. Luckily, those looking for a format to intensify that struggle had come to the right place.

Seat 1 - vovtroy (Russia), 1,405,211
Seat 2- ex6tenceLV (Latvia), 608,953
Seat 3 - OMGjonyctt (United Kingdom), 170,275
Seat 4 - bryanusftw (Netherlands), 745,205
Seat 5 - apostolis20 (Greece), 642,033
Seat 6 - zemachess (Russia), 1,247,715
Seat 7 - JlaTuHoC (Russia), 189,272
Seat 8 - WestCliff21 (Germany), 2,705,388
Seat 9 - viking47 (United Kingdom), 1,210,913

JlaTuHoC doubled up three times and ex6tenceLV once before apostolis20 went out in ninth place, nearly two hours after play began - bryanusftw's pocket tens holding on against king-queen. A hand later OMGjonyctt followed, busted by zemachess, who would follow in seventh place some 75 minutes later, after ex6tenceLV had doubled twice more. Vovtroy exited 15 minutes later, all stand out hands amid long periods of inactivity. Vovtroy had found pocket threes but ran into a resurgent ex6tenceLV with pocket aces.

Down to five

With five left WestCliff21 still led with 3.5 million (that's 700,000 big blinds to those keeping score at home) to ex6tenceLV's 2.5 million. By now bryanusftw was the short stack, but he too managed to double up, leaving viking47 in peril, departing in fifth place with king-queen against the pocket kings of JlaTuHoC.

It was time for a deal in which it can only be assumed that all players agreed to keep playing for the rest of their lives. The numbers though were thrashed out in seconds. Nobody wanted to be the first to cry fatigue or boredom, which worked well at hurrying along a simple ICM chop. WestCliff21 piped up. "I can't believe we've been playing for 28 hours." Nobody else could believe it either. The host congratulated them all and reminded them of what was still at stake, a title and a SCOOP watch. "A watch?" asked WestCliff21, as though he'd just learned a valuable lesson.

Down to four

Play continued, JlaTuHoC out within ten minutes in fourth place against WestCliff21.

WestCliff21 now had more than half the chips in play, some 5.7 million to ex6tenceLV's 2.1 million, and short stack Bryan's 892,000, who was out minutes later, all-in with ace-jack against the queens of WestCliff21.

"He runs like hell," said ex6tenceLV, hardly surprising given that it felt like we were already in its seventh circle. WestCliff21's leads seemed insurmountable, but ex6tenceLV got stuck in for an extended period of heads-up play.

WestCliff21 stretched out his lead inch by inch, up to 6.7 million, then 7 million. But then ex6tenceLV doubled before taking the lead in a massive pot with a bet on the A♣6♣2♠Q♣ board, enough to force out WestCliff21, who conceded the narrow lead as players reached the 28th break of the tournament.

It went on, a toing and froing, with the scores level for only second before one or the other seized the lead. But by now ex6tenceLV seemed to have the edge momentum wise, taking his turn to stretch out to 6 million chips. But remember that deal to keep playing for ever and ever?

For WestCliff21 it was one part disbelief - could he really carry on his fight back, and another part further disbelief - how much longer could this last? The answer was indefinitely. As quickly as WestCliff21 seized the lead it was back in ex6tenceLV's hands...

... then all square again.

Despite best attempts to ensure it would, it couldn't last forever. After six hours and 32 minutes of day 2 play, WestCliff21 shoved in what would be the last hand of the day.

One likes to imagine players of this quality taking some satisfaction from performances of such a high calibre, but it was easier to imagine them running away from their computers screaming, never to be seen again. A deserved win for ex6tenceLV nonetheless. Congratulations to him. Now go get some rest.

PokerStars 2013 SCOOP Event #15-M $82NL Hold'em [Ante Up] results

Players: 1,794
Prizepool: $134,550.00
Places paid: 234

1. ex6tenceLV (Latvia), $16,124.22*
2. WestCliff21 (Germany), $15,782.22*
3. bryanusftw (Netherlands), $12,080.44*
4. JlaTuHoC (Russia), $14,644.08*
5. viking47 (United Kingdom), $6,391.12
6. vovtroy (Russia), $4,978.35
7. zemachess (Russia), $3,632.85
8. OMGjonyctt (United Kingdom), $2,354.62
9. apostolis20 (Greece), $1,345.50

* denotes four way deal.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in SCOOP