SCOOP 2013: JKMatthews denies Horecki and "JC" to add SCOOP title to MM silverware in Event #38-L ($27 NL Omaha Hi/Lo)
SCOOP 38-L had everything the spectator might wish for in a final table - a dominating chip leader, known as JulianChrist no less; good humour, a Team PokerStars Pro and a winner adding SCOOP to MircoMillions silverware in the shape of JKMatthews, who took the title and a first prize of $10,100.16.
As during his MM56 victory, JKMatthews demonstrated the same style and panache that served him so well earlier in the year. His final table strategy seemed to be to let the others bash heads, while he waited for his moment. It worked, outlasting a field of 2,906 who had created a prize pool of $71,342.30, smashing the $40,000 guarantee.
Alas, it would not be a first SCOOP title for Team PokerStars Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki, who would bust in fifth place, but not before securing top spot on the SCOOP "Low" leader board.
The Final table of SCOOP 38-L
Here's how they lined up.
Seat 1 - JulianChrist - 3,982,285
Seat 2 - JKMatthews, 1,821,804
Seat 3 - Gags30, 221,595
Seat 4 - bolovic, 1,912,562
Seat 5 - LebenIsSchön, 1,675,984
Seat 6 - yurasov, 1,600,169
Seat 7 - nickosz, 379,396
Seat 8 - Goral, 2,248,852
Seat 9 - Raininkiwi, 595,478
Of the final nine Horecki stood out most, his avatar was draped in the full battle dress of a Team PokerStars Pro and Supernova. Horecki is something of a specialist when it comes to low buy-in events - twice named Player of the Year in Micro Millions, and even winning one of the smallest side events on offer at the recent EPT Grand Final. This was his turf.
Team PokerStars Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki in action on the EPT
Then there was chip leader JulianChrist, modestly named given that he was running like God. He was the chip leader with 4 million, who in the past two months had won four Omaha events online, form fit for a SCOOP final table.
The path to redemption, or at least a SCOOP watch, could be made only through the acceptance of JulianChrist, whose role was to cast judgement on the others as they moved all-in. He would call, usually ahead, sending them to a better place. At times JulianChrist was a superstar. Other times full of doubt. But with nine players left it was hard to see him not ascending to the esteemed height of SCOOP winner.
But then, SCOOP finals don't always go according to plan.
Gags30would happily watch as others busted before him. First Raininkiwi in ninth place, and then nickosz in eighth, one of five players from the last ten to be busted by JulianChrist.
Playing with a joker
By this stage LebenIsSchön was establishing herself as the table comedienne, joking about TV time, and using emoticons as convenient emblems for certain situations. Horecki laughed politely but Gags30 didn't understand the TV time joke, which may or may not have explained his decision to escape - or shove - on the next hand, a three way pot with Horecki and LebenIsSchön, who took the high and lo to send Gags30 out in seventh.
Yurasov stayed quiet during all of this, a silent threat given his record of big scores in big online events. The Belarusian seemed to have eternal life given his propensity to double-up. Although his longevity could have been down to the hi-low element, bringing with it a kind of one-step forward, two steps back format, with called all-ins usually split.
Silence is golden
As yurasov rose from the dead, Horecki fought well with the short-stack with two unanswered shoves, then a big hand against bolovic, who would depart minutes later in sixth place, mustering only ace-high against JulianChrist's two pairs.
Then Horecki departed in fifth. Having worked hard to get back into the game the Pole ran into big stack JulianChrist.
Up to now JKMatthews had played a patient game, laughing politely at LebenIsSchön little jokes, while refusing to call people a "donk", and in this game, that's as close to godliness as you can get.
JulianChrist - 7214982
JKMatthews - 3616982
LebenIsSchön - 1516834
yurasov - 2181202
LebenIsSchön had a crack first, handed a lifeline by JulianChrist, accidentally doubling with an "Oops" hand, a queens and deuces high hand with a 7, 5, 3, 2, A low. Then yurasov stepped up in dignified silence to shove all-in, without reply. Then JKMatthews took a turn, getting his chips in on the flop against JulianChrist, turning the nut flush while JulianChrist took the low.
It was becoming an extended game of rock-paper-scissors for yurasov, whose opponent also turned up the same rock. It was a frustrating period as yurasov tried everything the all-in button allowed, even surviving a three-way shove that resulted in millions of chips going into the pot...
...only to be returned to their rightful owner seconds later. LebenIsSchön called them "weirdos".
But LebenIsSchön fun was to end moments later when, with 600,000 already in the pot, JulianChrist shoved. LebenIsSchön, committed by now, called all-in, ultimately playing the set on the board against JulianChrist's full house deuces over aces. LebenIsSchön managed to type "nh" before vanishing.
Up to now JulianChrist had been happy for the others to bear him gifts, gold in the case of LebenIsSchön and then yurasov, who finally caved in third place with nothing against JulianChrist's nine-high straight. It meant heads up, and an almighty lead.
JulianChrist - 11.4 million
JKMatthews - 2.7million
JulianChrist suggested a deal. JKMatthews, looking at his own disadvantage, replied "seems unfair on you, I'd rather just play." It looked a wise choice. JKMatthews pegged back JulianChrist and then took the lead, before JulianChrist wrestled it back again.
With things all square they talked numbers, albeit in a garbled way that an English Only rule can sometimes bring with it. As JulianChrist kept typing "DEAL CHIPS" ("hmmm?" replied JKMatthews), a Portuguese moderator arrived to smooth out the message. A minor stumbling block however, as both agreed to the numbers suggested. Play continued, with a battle cry of "I still want that watch!" from JKMatthews.
Two minutes after the restart, and a minute before the break, JKMatthews got the hand he needed.
It gave him a six-to-one lead which, four minutes after the break, culminated in the winning hand.
A great victory for JKMatthews who earned the watch after all. He also takes the title and a first prize of $10,100.16. Congratulations again to him on the win.
PokerStars 2013 SCOOP Event #38-L ($27 NL Omaha Hi/Lo) results
Places paid: 378
1. JKMatthews (Australia), $10,100.16*
2. JulianChrist (Brazil), $9,592.26*
3. yurasov1990 (Belarus), $5,992.75
4. LebenIsSchön (Germany), $4,172.81
5. Goral (Poland), $3,103.39
6. bolovic (Switzerland), $2,389.96
7. Gags30 (Canada), $1,676.54
8. nickosz (Hungary), $1,034.46
9. Raininkiwi (New Zealand), $606.40
* denotes two-way deal
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.