SCOOP 2013: Jeff "jeff710" Hakim triumphs in Event #31-L, $27 NL Hold'em (Knockout)

With the possible exception of poker players who have a constitutional bias to playing so tight they can safely fall asleep at the table, everybody loves a knockout tournament. Though it is possible to run deep in tournaments without knocking anyone out, it's never a preferred path. So knockout tourneys add a little extra reward for playing good, aggressive poker, making sure that even players who don't go deep can still earn a little something for their time.

In Event #31-L, a no-limit hold'em knockout tournament, $20 of every $27 buy-in went to the regular prize pool and $5 to the bounty pool. A field of 16,764 players turned up yesterday afternoon to kick off the first day of play, building a total prize pool of $419,100 - $83,820 of which was set aside for bounties. After 40 levels of play they concluded Day 1 with only 35 players remaining.

The leader in KOs at the end of Day 1 was gosuopossum1 of the Ukraine, with 31 total. These 10 players led the chip counts:

anco197 (Germany) 7.43M, 18 KOs
AMG_hit (Russia) 7.02M, 12 KOs
Coll Bratr (Czech Republic) 6.70M, 15 KOs
Haifishmudda (Germany), 5.73M, 6 KOs
bahiaaj (Qatar) 4.96M, 20 KOs
KKremate (Brazil) 4.75M, 10 KOs
Silverearth (Austria) 4.23M, 11 KOs
Jeff "jeff710" Hakim (Canada) 3.76M, 5 KOs
ar_gio13 (Greece) 3.48M, 9 KOs
Gagarin007 (Russia) 3.08M, 11 KOs

gosuopossum managed to maneuver to 14th place ($1,005.84) and remained the KO leader through the end of the tournament despite not earning another one on Day 2. Meanwhile four of the top 10 leaders from Day 1 kept pace and made the final table, which started an hour and 49 minutes later after play resumed. They and these other five players came together with blinds and antes at 125K/250K/31.25K:

SCOOP-31-L final table.jpg

Seat 1: Gagarin007 (7,876,331 in chips)
Seat 2: Jeff "jeff710" Hakim (11,093,772 in chips)
Seat 3: leggo-boys (5,960,360 in chips)
Seat 4: R4lti (15,290,144 in chips)
Seat 5: blank seat (3,118,220 in chips)
Seat 6: NoNeed23Bet (10,887,734 in chips)
Seat 7: skarpet2 (6,914,596 in chips)
Seat 8: Silverearth (15,140,006 in chips)
Seat 9: Coll Bratr (7,538,837 in chips)

Austria's blank_seat came to the table with the shortest stack, worth just shy of 13 big blinds, and managed to tread water for the first dozen hands thanks to a couple of blind steals. On Hand #13, with the blinds and antes up to 150K/300K/37.5K, everything fell apart. Fellow Austrian Silverearth opened for 750K in early position and blank_seat jammed for 3.42M with A♦ K♠. It was a trivial call for Silverearth with A♠ A♥. The 2♣ 4♠ 4♣ flop presented no danger, and though the K♦ gave blank_seat a few outs on the turn none of them came home on the 9♣ river. That sent blank_seat packing in 9th place ($2,011.68).

Most of the pots after that first knockout continued to be taken down before the flop. Those that didn't tended to toward the United Kingdom's NoNeedTo3Bet or Canada's Jeff "jeff710" Hakim, who had come to the final table in third and second in chips, respectively. The next major confrontation didn't come until Hand #35 on the 250K/500K/62.5K level, when NoNeedTo3Bet opened for 1M under the gun with 5♥ 5♣. The Czech Republic's Coll Bratr responded with a third bet to 8.32M, holding A♣ J♥, and NoNeed23Bet made the call with 9.47M left behind. The 3♦ J♠ J♣ flop was all Coll Bratr needed, and the 9♦ turn and T♥ river officially shipped the Czech player the 17.89M-chip pot.

Just four hands later Russia's Gagarin007, who had slipped to 3.24M over the first several orbits, moved all-in before the flop with Q♣ Q♠. A flat-call from jeff710 didn't entice anybody else into the pot, so Hakim's K♣ K♥ were only up against the one opponent. The K♦ 7♣ 2♠ flop left Gagarin007 in need of running queens for four of a kind, but the 2♥ came on the turn and left the Russian player drawing dead. Like a dagger the Q♦ fell on the river, ending Gagarin007's tournament in 8th place ($3,017.52).

The very next hand saw the short-stacked leggo-boys of the Netherlands move in for 2.32M under the gun with K♥ T♦. Coll Bratr called from the small blind with A♥ 7♦ and won the 5.72M-chip pot after the board came 3♦ 3♥ 8♠ A♣ 2♣, sending leggo-boys to the rail in 7th place ($5,699.76).

Fifteen of the next 16 pots were all taken down before the flop as the blinds and antes went up to 300K/600K/75K. Then Sweden's R4lti and Silverearth collided in a pre-flop raising war that ended with R4lti all-in for 7.97M, holding A♥ K♣ against Silverearth's A♣ Q♦. The 6♠ 4♠ T♣ flop changed nothing, but the K♦ on the turn that paired R4lti also gave Silverearth a straight draw. The river was the Q♣, sending R4lti the 16.99M-chip pot and giving the Swede a way back into the mix after having lost half the chips from the start of the final table.

That pot was the second-biggest of the tournament up to that point, and it kickstarted some action - but none of it was friendly for R4lti. Two hands later NoNeed23Bet ate into R4lti's recently acquired riches after moving in for 7.12M with A♥ Q♦ and outrunning the Swede's T♥ T♣ for the 15M-chip pot thanks to an ace on the flop. The very next hand saw R4lti hammered by some pretty unfortunate timing:


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With that R4lti was eliminated from action in 6th place ($8,382).

Four down, four to go

The remaining five players were now stacked like so:

Seat 2: jeff710 (32,022,604 in chips)
Seat 6: NoNeed23Bet (14,326,154 in chips)
Seat 7: skarpet2 (8,419,396 in chips)
Seat 8: Silverearth (9,824,287 in chips)
Seat 9: Coll Bratr (19,227,559 in chips)

Nobody was in a big hurry to pick a big fight with anyone else. Only two of the next 21 pots got the flop, and none of them went past it. Finally, on Hand #82, the action folded to Silverearth in the small blind and the Austrian player shoved for 7.79M holding A♠ 7♦. Coll Bratr called from the big blind with A♦ K♠, which made a Broadway straight by the river of the 8♠ T♦ J♠ 4♠ Q♦ board to send Silverearth to the rail in 5th place ($11,734.80).

SCOOP-31-L final table four-handed.jpg

After just five hands of four-handed play the players agreed to look at the numbers for a potential deal. It took 13 minutes of haggling but they finally came to a solution that made everyone happy, leaving an additional $5,000 and the SCOOP champion's watch on the table for the winner. Even with the deal in place the tendency for the players to stay away from one another continued for eight more hands. Then came this pot, where jeff710 had a tough decision to make on the river:


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The right call gave jeff710 the 21.4M-chip pot, the biggest of the tournament, and boosted his stack to 38.07M just before the blinds and antes went up to 400K/800K/100K. About 14M of that bled away over the next 30 hands as Coll Bratr took over the chip lead with just over 28M. Then the Czech player caught a stroke of good luck on Hand #126, picking up A♠ A♥ in the small blind while Poland's skarpet2 held 6♣ 6♥ on the button; skarpet opened for 1.6M and then shoved for 17.96M after Coll Bratr three-bet to 3.6M. The board ran out K♥ 7♣ 3♠ Q♥ 8♥, Coll Bratr won the 37.13M-chip pot, and skarpet2 left in 4th place with $20,532.38 from the deal.

Just three hands later Coll Bratr picked up another massive pot thanks to a dominating pre-flop hand. NoNeedTo3Bet opened the betting on the button by moving all-in for 16.04M with A♥ 3♦, and Coll Bratr raised to isolate in the small blind with A♠ Q♣. The 9♣ Q♥ 4♠ flop put Coll Bratr in the lead, the T♣ turn left NoNeedTo3Bet drawing dead, and the K♠ eliminated the U.K. Player in 3rd place with $24,425.59 from the deal.

Pedal to the metal

As the final duel began, Coll Bratr held a solid chip lead:

SCOOP-31-L final table heads-up.jpg

Seat 2: Jeff "jeff710" Hakim (21,481,495 in chips)
Seat 9: Coll Bratr (62,338,505 in chips)

Undeterred by the disadvantage, Hakim won eight of the first nine pots. The earliest ones were insubstantial, but the seventh, worth 18.85M and won with a raise on the flop of a pot that had been three-bet before the flop, brought him back to within just two big blinds of the lead. The last was this monster that flipped the tournament on its head:


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That left Coll Bratr with just 1.97M chips, worth less than two big blinds at 500K/1M/125K. The Czech player managed to double up twice and steal another pot preflop, but the end would come just five hands after losing straight-under-straight. Coll Bratr called all-in from the big blind with J♠ T♣ after Hakim opened all-in on the button with K♠ 2♥. The board ran out 9♦ 5♣ A♥ 2♦ Q♥ and the tournament came to a close.

Coll Bratr took home $25,401.31 from the deal, an all-time high for the Czech player by nearly $10K. As for Jeff "jeff710" Hakim, the extra $5K on the table made for a total take of $34,245.09 - the third highest score of his career on PokerStars behind a 2008 win in the Sunday 500 and a third-place finish in a $109 rebuy tourney back in 2011. Then there's the champion's watch, which will no doubt be a nice reminder of his first SCOOP title.

SCOOP 2013 Event #31-L: $27 NL Hold'em (Knockout)
16,764 entrants
$335,280 regular prize pool, $83,820 bounty prize pool
2,250 places paid

1st place: Jeff "jeff710" Hakim (Canada) $34,245.09 + 12 KOs @ $5 = $34,305.09*
2nd place: Coll Bratr (Czech Republic) $25,401.31 + 20 KOs = $25,501.31*
3rd place: NoNeed23Bet (United Kingdom) $24,425.59 + 19 KOs = $24,520.59*
4th place: Skarpet2 (Poland) $20,532.58 + 9 KOs = $20,577.58*
5th place: Silverearth (Austria) $11,734.80 + 16 KOs = $11,814.80
6th place: R4lti (Sweden) $8,382.00 + 19 KOs = $8,477.00
7th place: leggo-boys (Netherlands) $5,699.76 + 17 KOs = $5,784.75
8th place: Gagarin007 (Russia) $3,017.52 + 14 KOs = $3,087.52
9th place: blank_seat (Austria) $2,011.68 + 4 KOs = $2,031.68
* - Denotes results of a four-way deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in SCOOP