SCOOP 2013: hownorez has way after three-way chop, wins Event #41-M ($215 NLHE 4-Max)

The four-handed events always guarantee lots of action, and there was no lack of such in Event #41-M, the $215 buy-in version of the 4-max. no-limit hold'em event. Scheduled as a two-day affair, it would begin on Saturday afternoon and conclude early Sunday evening, with hownorez of the Czech Republic ultimately emerging from a huge field of 1,777 players to earn the win and one of the last SCOOP watches of 2013.

hownorez won the tournament after having made a three-way chop at the final table while the short stack, ultimately earning a $37,843.50 prize for finishing first. That was just a little more than second-place finisher zebest_666 of Canada who took away $37,297.21, and in fact third-place finisher 360flip019 -- another Canadian -- managed to earn $40,397.81 in the end.

Those three thus claimed the largest shares of the $355,400 prize pool, just over the $350K guarantee for the event.

Day 1

It took almost exactly five hours on Day 1 to play down to 224 players and the money, at which point Raistj, SSSMBRFC2/C, and de bluffer occupied the top positions in the counts. Team PokerStars Pros Henrique "Henrique.P" Pinho and Richard Toth had both grabbed spots on the first page of the leaderboard by then, too, with both sitting inside the top 25.

It would take another four hours after that for the tourney to reach the end of Level 24 and the scheduled stopping point for Day 1. By then just 27 players remained sitting around seven tables, with phounderAA the overnight chip leader.

Among the cashers on Saturday was Team Online member Randy "nanonoko" Lew who took 197th ($469.12). Both Team PokerStars Pros Toth and Pinho went out as well, with Toth taking 158th ($575.74) and Pinho 149th ($611.28). Their teammate Liv Boeree also made the money, lasting until near the end of the night to finish 56th ($1,236.79).

That left just Team Online member Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen as the only red spade-wearing player left among the final 27, returning to a short stack in 24th position.

Day 2

During the first hour of Day 2, ten players fell as cocojamb0 moved out in front and Petersen continued to hang on with a below average stack. Halfway through the second hour of play 17 had become 13, and that's when Petersen found himself trading raises with Sklifus in a hand that eventually saw mement_mori all in for nearly 40 big blinds with Q♠Q♣ against Sklifus's K♥K♦.

The board brought no improvement for Petersen, who typed "nh, gl guys" before departing in 13th place for a cash of $2,580.20.


Team Online member Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen

The final 12 were positioned around the last three four-handed tables. At one of the tables zebest_666 discovered some connectivity problems, and took to the chat box.

zebest_666: u guys laggin a bit?
theczar19: no im playing pretty tight
zebest_666: :)

Whatever style each employed -- tight or LAG -- all 12 made it to the day's two-hour break with Petersen's vanquisher Sklifus having moved in front with more than 1.71 million, at the time about 600,000 clear of Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin in second position.

It didn't take long, however, for more to hit the rail, as sneshanka (12th), km_freestyle (11th), progre69 (10th), and StoyanB (9th) each went out during the next half-hour to earn $3,472.25 apiece. Soon after cocojamb0 (8th) and Bryan "theczar19" Piccioli (7th) followed, each taking away $5,085.77.

They approached the three-hour break of the day, with chip leader zebest_666 -- sporting a mean-looking cat avatar -- again offering some commentary:

zebest_666: i really have to pee
zebest_666: but my litter box is in the other room
zebest_666: miao my life
FaceStealer: lol

Soon the break came and play resumed, with zebest_666 reporting a successful restroom (or litter box) visit, adding "now im gonna play with this ball of wool."

Soon after Sklifus knocked out FaceStealer (6th, $3,472.25) after the latter failed to win with A♦9♦ versus Sklifus's K♦K♣. The remaining players were reassembled around a single five-handed final table, and for the only time in the tournament play continued in a format other than four-handed.


Seat 1: 360flip019 (Canada) -- 1,989,600
Seat 2: Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin (Mexico) -- 878,542
Seat 3: hownorez (Czech Republic) -- 1,554,950
Seat 4: Sklifus (Russia) -- 1,140,891
Seat 5: zebest_666 (Canada) -- 3,321,017

Sklifus took a hit not long after the final table began to slip down around a half-million chips, then was down a little further to 412,815 when a hand arose in which Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin opened with a 2x raise to 40,000 from the button. It folded to Sklifus in the big blind who shoved all in, and Griffin called.

Griffin had A♣6♣ while Sklifus had 4♠4♥. The small pocket pair was still best through the J♥9♣7♣ flop and Q♦ turn, but the J♣ fell on fifth street to complete theASHMAN103's flush, and Sklifus was out in fifth.

Soon after it was 360flip019 min-raising to 40,000 from the button, then Griffin reraising to 120,000 from the small blind. It folded back to 360flip019 who four-bet to 246,300, theASHMAN103 reraised all in for 1,367,257, and 360flip019 called.

theASHMAN103: A♣K♠
360flip019: Q♥Q♣

The board came jack-high -- 3♣5♠6♣7♥J♠ -- meaning 360flip019 had won the flip and Griffin was out in fourth.


Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin

The final three played on for a while, with 360flip019 moving up over 4 million, zebest_666 maintaining a stack of just over 3 million, and hownorez hovering around 1.7 million. That's when the trio opted to pause the tourney to talk about a possible deal.

"ICM" figures were produced, and when 360flip019 responded with a request for more, zebest_666 quipped "want my grandkids with that too?"

360flip019: k
360flip019: and i do want your grandkids, zebest
360flip019: they will be ugly.
360flip019: but they will be ours
zebest_666: they ll be cats

They continued to barter, with zebest_666 at one point offering to take 360flip019 out for a beer should the latter ever visit Montreal.

"beer with a cat is valuable," argued zebest_666.

Eventually both 360flip019 and hownorez indicated they were okay with the "ICM" figures. "kk one sec," typed zebest_666. "need to do numbers on my catculator."

At last zebest_666 agreed as well, and with $7,000 still on the table for which to play -- along with the coveted SCOOP watch, of course -- the tourney was resumed.

The day's four-hour break came and went, and about 15 minutes later a huge hand developed between zebest_666 and 360flip019 that saw zebest_666 all in and at risk on the turn.

The board showed 8♣3♣A♠5♠, and zebest_666 had 9♠7♠ for a flush draw and gutshot straight draw. Meanwhile 360flip019 had K♠3♠ for a pair plus a better flush draw. The river then brought the 9♥ to give zebest_666 the 5.66 million-chip pot and the lead.

About 15 minutes after that, hownorez raised 2x to 60,000 from the button, then 360flip019 reraised to 172,400 from the big blind and hownorez called.

The flop came Q♥9♥Q♠, and when 360flip019 led for 135,000, hownorez called. The turn was the 2♥, and this time 360flip019 checked. hownorez bet 287,000, and 360flip019 stuck around.

The river was the 2♦, and 360flip019 checked once more. hownorez responded by pushing all in for a little over 1.16 million, a bet that represented a few thousand more than what 360flip019 had left.

360flip019 thought a while, then made the call, showing A♥J♠ for the two pair on board plus an ace kicker. But hownorez had flopped the world with Q♦9♦ -- a full house -- and they were down to two.

"Now that's a flop," typed zebest_666 as heads-up play began. The pair wished each other luck, with zebest_666 enjoying a lead to start their duel with 5,374,488 to hownorez's 3,510,512.

It took just a few hands for hownorez to close the gap and then nudge into the chip lead, then a while after that a big hand developed that saw the pair build a pot of more than 1.8 million by fifth street as the board came K♣5♥T♣7♥A♣. On the river, hownorez led for 630,000, and when zebest_666 raised to 1,555,545 hownorez tanked for some time before finally calling.

hownorez had K♥7♦ for two pair, and had made a good call as zebest_666 had but 5♦4♦. A few hands later they'd reached the five-hour break of Day 2, with hownorez up to 6,624,407 and zebest_666 down to 2,260,593.

hownorez kept chipping up as zebest_666 slipped down under 1 million. Then with the blinds at 20,000/40,000, zebest_666 raised 2x from the button, hownorez called, and the pair saw the flop come 7♥4♣8♠.

hownorez checked, zebest_666 continued for 54,000, hownorez check-raised to 120,000, zebest_666 pushed all in for 775,328, and hownorez called.

hownorez: J♥8♥
zebest_666: T♥6♣

hownorez had flopped top pair while zebest_666 had a double-gutshot draw. The turn was the 3♥ and river the 2♣, and after five hours and 20 minutes of play on Day 2, hownorez had won the title.

Congratulations to hownorez for coming from behind at three-handed to win SCOOP #41-M! And kudos to zebest_666 and 360flop019 as well for making it to the three-way deal and earning paydays resembling hownorez's, with 360flip019 taking away the most of the three.

PokerStars 2013 SCOOP Event #41-M ($215 No-Limit Hold'em, 4-Max) results (*reflects three-way deal)

Players: 1,777
Total prize pool: $355,400
Places paid: 224

1. hownorez (Czech Republic) $37,843.50*
2. zebest_666 (Canada) $37,297.21*
3. 360flip019 (Canada) $40,397.81*
4. Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin (Mexico) $12,630.91
5. Sklifus (Russia) $8,088.90

With the last events of the 2013 Spring Championship of Online Poker having begun today, we've already heard the news that the prize pools for this year's tournaments have exceeded $75 million, making it the largest online poker series ever! Check the SCOOP site for further details on this year's historic series!

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in SCOOP