SCOOP 2013: Jomppeli_32 jumps to a win in Event #30-L, $27 Razz

The turn of a single card can do you in no matter what form of poker you're playing, but there's probably no variant where the wrong card at the wrong time feels more brutal than Razz. Whether it's pairing your board on fifth street, watching an A-2-3 starting hand go south with the addition of a few face cards, or losing with a 6-4 to a player who started with a king in the door, few games can bring the pain like this lowball stud variant.

The pain never seems to stop players from showing up to play, though, and today was no exception. By the time late registration closed the field was up to 2,192 players, building a prize pool worth $53,813.60 and setting up a top prize of $9,243.37. After 10 and a half hours of play the final table finally arrived with the limits at 80K/160K and these eight players still in the running:

SCOOP-30-L final table.jpg

Seat 1: scroosko (1,568,065 in chips)
Seat 2: TomaszRa (611,552 in chips)
Seat 3: Kazerog (900,084 in chips)
Seat 4: Jomppeli_32 (871,384 in chips)
Seat 5: margenov (391,408 in chips)
Seat 6: erot1 (3,662,726 in chips)
Seat 7: Jesseb888 (2,292,277 in chips)
Seat 8: ViTaMin_F22 (662,504 in chips)

The early stages of the final table saw Finland's Jomppeli_32 surge to a stack of 1.97M chips, thanks to two pots worth 472K each and two more worth 312K each. The United Kingdom's TomaszRa, who had been second-lowest on chips coming into the final table, also managed to stack up. First TomaszRa doubled through Canada's Jesseb888 for a 696K-chip pot; both players had made hands by fifth street, but Jesseb888's 7-6 was beaten by TomaszRa's 6-5.

Then, on Hand #15, with limits now up to 100K/200K, TomaszRa opened the betting with the 4♦ showing. Russia's Kazerog raised to 200K, leaving just 192K behind and showing the A♥. All the rest of the chips went in the middle to build a 974K-chip pot with Kazerog holding (5♠ 2♦) / A♥ Q♠ against TomaszRa's (8♠ 2♥) / 4♦ 4♠. But Kazerog caught the Q♠, J♥, and 6♣ before pairing with the 5♣ for a J-6 low. TomaszRa showed down and 8-6 for the pot and Kazerog was out in 8th place ($538.13).

The very next hand saw another elimination. China's ViTaMin_F22 started off with (4♣ A♣) / 2♣ and called an opening raise to 100K by Jomppeli_32, who showed the 5♦. Jomppeli_32 caught the 8♥ on fourth and bet again; ViTaMin_F22 called after catching the J♥ and then got the last 430K in on fifth street with (4♣ A♣) / 2♣ J♥ 3♥ showing against Jomppeli_32's (A♠ 6♥) / 5♥ 8♥ 9♥. Jomppeli_32 didn't improve on that 9-8, but ViTaMin_F22 caught the Q♥ and paired with the 3♥ for a J-4 low to leave the tournament 7th place ($1076.27).

Only three more hands would pass before the next player was eliminated. Bulgaria's margenov, who had come to the table with the shortest stack, started with (2♣ 6♦) / 7♦ and raised to 100K after Jomppeli_32 called the bring-in; the Finn called that raise to make a 350K-chip pot and then called down the rest of the way as margenov's last 326K went in the middle on fourth, fifth, and sixth streets. The board ran out 2♦-J♦-T♥-A♦ to make a T-7 low for margenov, but Jomppeli_32's(3♦ 5♠) / 9♥ 2♥ K♣ 4♦ / (Q♠) was good for a 9-5 and the pot. That bounced margenov in 6th place ($1,614.40).

The fall of erot1

That left these five players still in contention with limits at 100K/200K:

Seat 1: scroosko (1,248,065 in chips)
Seat 2: TomaszRa (1,590,660 in chips)
Seat 4: Jomppeli_32 (3,048,560 in chips)
Seat 6: erot1 (3,608,726 in chips)
Seat 7: Jesseb888 (1,463,989 in chips)

Jomppeli remained the most active player at the table and chipped up over 3M. But it was Jesseb888 who won the biggest pot of the tournament so far against the incoming chip leader, Norway's erot1, after the limits had gone up to 120K/240K:

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Two hands later erot1 would suffer another blow, this time losing a 2.55M-chip pot to Jesseb888 after starting off with (A♥ 3♣) / 2♣ and finishing with an 8-7 low to Jesseb888's 7-6. That left the Norwegian player with 2.64M, down from a peak of 4.01M - but the bleeding didn't stop there. TomaszRa took two of the next four pots at erot1's expense, the first worth 1.59 with a 7-6 low and the second worth 2.29M with a 6-5 low. And that left erot1 with just 688K.

The hand just before TomaszRa's bigger win against erot1 saw the United Kingdom's scroosko get all-in for 342K on third street with (3♠ 8♠) / 7♦. Everything went south from there, with scroosko's board running out 7♥ Q♠ 7♠ / (5♣) for a Q-8 low. That didn't come close to beating Jomppeli_32's 9-7 with (7♣ 2♣) / 2♦ 5♦ 9♣ 5♠ / (Q♣), sending scroosko out in 5th place ($2,690.68).

The pace of play slowed dramatically four-handed with erot1 down to less than four big bets. The Norwegian player held on valiantly for the next 20 hands before getting all-in for 252K on third street with (6♦ 2♥) / 9♥ against Jesseb888's (6♣ 7♦) / A♣. The Canadian player made an 8-7 low by fifth street; that beat erot1's 9-8 with (6♦ 2♥) / 9♥ T♦ 5♥ Q♥ / (8♥) and sent the Norwegian player home in 4th place ($3,766.95).

From three to one - slowly

With the limits now up to 160K/320K, the last three players were stacked like so:

Seat 2: TomaszRa (2,068,660 in chips)
Seat 4: Jomppeli_32 (4,048,625 in chips)
Seat 7: Jesseb888 (4,842,715 in chips)

Over the next 65 hands Jomppeli_32 and Jesseb888 would take turns with the chip lead, but the constant was that TomaszRa's stack consistently hovered between two and four big bets. By the time TomaszRa finally ended up all-in it for the last time it was on third street for just a bit more than one big bet. With both of the other players involved TomaszRa had a chance at a decent little pot, but it wasn't to be:

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With that TomaszRa was out in 3rd place ($5,112.29) and the game was heads-up. Jomppeli_32 held 7.78M chips to Jesseb888's 3.17M but the match was far from over. The Finnish player kept Jesseb888 pinned for the first 18 hands before losing a pot that brought the two players to within less than one 40K ante of each other. The limits soon went up to 250K/500K and the swings began to become more pronounced. First Jomppeli_32 jumped back out front; then Jesseb888 took a turn with the lead.

SCOOP-30-L final table heads-up.jpg

The Finn retook the lead and moved the stacks back to where they'd been when the heads-up match first started. Jesseb888 dropped as low as 1.14M before going on yet another run to retake the lead. But the last 50 hands of the 124-hand match belonged to Jomppeli_32 - in particular the last five on the 300K/600K level, when Jesseb888's board paired too often. The turning point came on Hand #120 of the heads-up match:

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Two hands later Jesseb888 was left with 113K after losing out to a T-9 low with 5♦ 5♥ 2♣ J♠ showing. Jomppeli_32 hit an 8-7 low on Hand #124 to best Jesseb888's J-T and the tournament was complete.

For second place Jesseb888 earned $6,538.35, the third-best score of the Canadian player's career on PokerStars and the best in any non-hold'em game by more than $6,000. Meanwhile Jomppeli_32 won $9,243.37 and the SCOOP champion's watch - not bad for half a day's work.

SCOOP 2013 Event #30-L: $27 Razz
2,192 entrants
$53,183.60 prize pool
288 places paid

1st place: Jomppeli_32 (Finland) $9,243.37
2nd place: Jesseb888 (Canada) $6,538.35
3rd place: TomaszRa (United Kingdom) $5,112.29
4th place: erot1 (Norway) $3,766.95
5th place: scroosko (United Kingdom) $2,690.68
6th place: margenov (Bulgaria) $1,614.40
7th place: ViTaMin_F22 (China) $1,076.27
8th place: Kazerog (Russia) $538.13

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in SCOOP