SCOOP 2013: It's a reign of terror777727 in Event 13-M ($215 PLO Heads-Up)
Chances are, if you're a poker player, you know somebody who's a heads-up specialist. I sat next to one in a poker game two nights ago. These players love being involved in every hand that gets played and believe the psychological battle of heads-up play represents poker in its purest form. Those are the people that SCOOP 2013 Event 13-Medium, $215 PLO Heads-Up, was designed for. 959 of them registered for the event, and after 10 rounds of heads-up play terror777727 was anointed the champion.
PokerStars was represented by seven Team Pros and three Team Online players. Team Pros Chad Brown, Marcel Luske, Eugene Katchalov and Johnny Lodden all exited in the first round of play, as did Team Online player Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara. George Danzer, Richard Toth and George "jorj95" Lind made it to the second round before they faltered.
Marcin "Goral" Horecki (Round of 128, $498.68) and Team Online player Freddy "sirfreddy83" Torres (Round of 64, $878.44) brought home the cash for Team PokerStars in Event 13-M. Both were already on to other events when the quarterfinals kicked off at 2pm PokerStars today.
The quarterfinals picked back up at 2pm PokerStars time today. If Event 13-M had been a live tournament with a feature table, that honor in the quarterfinals would undoubtedly have gone to the match between Ezequiel "ezepoker90" Vasquez and Unkn0wn123. Vasquez won the opening event of last year's WCOOP, pocketing about $184,000 in the process. Unkn0wn123 took down the Super Tuesday event just last month for a shade north of $100,000.
Unkn0wn123 got the best of the match-up by taking down a medium-sized pot on the first hand of play and never looking back. The match was over inside of 20 minutes. On the final hand, Vasquez shoved the turn with top pair and an open-ended straight draw. Unkn0wn123 called with top two pair and moved on to the semifinals after the river blanked. Unkn0wn123's semifinal opponent would be terror777727, who needed an additional hour to knock off zumbapoker.
The other two quarterfinal matches pitted krendipont against Le Dolce and Lena900 against TonaaliAnttu. Lena900 advanced first in a match that was closely contested until the final few minutes. Le Dolce persevered to knock off krendipont
In the semis, Unkn0wn123 again jumped out to an early lead. terror777727 came roaring back, winning four out four medium-sized pots in the span of five minutes. Those pots pushed terror777727 into the chip lead. The Bulgarian player won 12 of the last 13 hands of the match to close out Unkn0wn123.
In the other semifinal match, Le Dolce was behind the 8-ball early. For the first 10 minutes of the match it seemed like Lena900 won almost every bpot. Le Dolce quickly slipped to about 1,000 in chips from the starting stack of 5,000. Yet Le Dolce managed to grind it all the way back over the next 10 minutes to reset the match. From there it was all Le Dolce.
Final - terror777727 v. Le Dolce
At the start of the final, Le Dolce asked if terror777727 was interested in a deal. terror777727's succinct answer was, "no, play" and so play they did. After about five minutes, however, with the stack still basically level, terror777727 had a change of heart.
terror777727: wanna look numbers?
Le Dolce: sure
Le Dolce: 1500-2000 for the winner?
Le Dolce: your call
terror777727: 2k is good
Like that, the difference between runner-up and champion when from $10,500 to $2,000 - and a SCOOP watch.
Even with the smoothed out payouts, terror777727 and Le Dolce both still seemed to play cautious at the start of the final. It was terror777727 who struck first in a pot that Le Dolce three-bet from the big blind pre-flop. On a 4♦A♠7♦ flop, Le Dolce bet 150 into the 360-chip pot. terror777727 raised to 390 and Le Dolce called. Both players checked the K♠ turn. When the river fell T♥, Le Dolce checked and called a bet of 690. terror777727 showed down A♦J♣6♣7♥ for two pair, aces and sevens. It was the winner and gave terror777727 a 2-to-1 chip lead in the match.
That's where the stacks stayed for another 10 minutes. terror777727 was put to the test in one spot, where Le Dolce raised pot (basically moving all in) of a 5♥5♣2♦9♥8♠ board after terror777727 had led for 560 into 740.
From there it was small pot after small pot. More of those small pots went to terror777727 than to Le Dolce. They allowed terror777727 to stretch the chip lead to 3-to-1, then 4-to-1. Le Dolce started the long climb back to the top with this pot:
The players went back to trading small pots. terror777727 once again seemed to get the best of things and began rebuilding the chip lead. 80 minutes into the match, terror777727's lead was 7-to-3. But Le Dolce showed a continued knack of winning the big pots and grabbed the chip lead back with a full double-up. The hand had almost no action until the turn, 3♠T♣6♠8♦. There Le Dolce bet 200, terror777727 raised to 680, Le Dolce three-bet, terror777727 four-bet and Le Dolce called all in. Le Dolce showed down 4♥4♠J♠8♥ for a pair of 4s and a few draws. terror777727 had a set of 8s, but the 9♠ on the river filled a spade flush for Le Dolce.
Le Dolce's chip lead was short-lived. A series of small pots push terror77727 back to a 5-to-4 chip lead, and then back-to-back big pots ended the tournament. First terror777727 made a large check raise, from 600 to 1,940, on the river of a 3♠9♦7♥Q♣6♠ board. Le Dolce called but couldn't beat 8♠5♠T♠K♠, a 10-high straight.
That hand restored terror777727 to a 4-to-1 chip lead. The next hand ended the tournament. terror777727 raised the button to 240. Le Dolce called, then checked a 4♣J♥8♣ flop. terror777727's bet of another 240 drew a pot-sized check-raise to 1,200 from Le Dolce. terror777727 made on more raise, which was enough for Le Dolce to call all in.
Le Dolce: A♣T♣9♠5♠
Each player had a club flush draw, although Le Dolce's was to the nuts. Both also had straight draws. In addition, terror777727 had a pair of 4s. That lowly pair proved to be decisive; the turn K♠ and river 6♠ didn't improve either player.
The final match took more than 90 minutes and was the 10th match in a row that terror777727 won in this heads-up PLO tournament. It was also the match that made terror777727 a SCOOP champion.
SCOOP 2013 Event 13-Medium $215 PLO (Heads-Up) results
Places paid: 128
* denotes 2-way deal
1st: terror777727 ($24,731.51)*
2nd: Le Dolce ($22,731.51)*
Ezequiel "ezepoker90" Vasquez ($5,140.24)
Heads-up PLO may not be your thing, but that's the beauty of SCOOP - it gives PokerStars players the chance to play nearly every conceivable poker variant at three different buy-in levels. Check out the point standings and the remaining events at the SCOOP home page.
Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.