SCOOP 2013: kuhns89 cracks the code in Event #26-L, $11 PL Courchevel Hi-Lo (Turbo, 1R1A)

Courchevel Hi-Lo was just introduced here at PokerStars a few months back, making this year's SCOOP the first big Stars tournament series to feature the game. If you're an action player and you're not familiar with this Omaha variant, trust me when I say that you're going to fall in love with it. Courchevel Hi-Lo plays like five-card Omaha Hi-Lo with one important twist: the first community card is shown before the pre-flop betting begins. The game makes for lots of big pots, with huge swings on what sometimes seems like the turn of every card.

For Event #26-L, a turbo Courchevel Hi-Lo tournament, the 3,209 players who registered were given the option of taking one rebuy and one add-on in the first 90 minutes; 2,290 of them exercised the first option and another 529 took the add-on, building a $60,280 prize pool. They fell quickly; the tournament was on the final table bubble after just four hours. With the elimination of the United Kingdom's puggie06 in 9th place, these eight players were still in the running for the first SCOOP Low title in this game:

SCOOP-26-L final table.jpg

Seat 1: Tonimonntana (2,729,260 in chips)
Seat 2: chris777444 (1,359,027 in chips)
Seat 3: kashl (3,209,280 in chips)
Seat 4: kuhns89 (2,672,034 in chips)
Seat 5: hort336 (1,431,116 in chips)
Seat 6: olligol123 (1,570,660 in chips)
Seat 7: reginatr (2,816,651 in chips)
Seat 8: exxu (2,295,972 in chips)

With the blinds at 150K/300K and still rising every five minutes there was no time to waste. Germany's kuhns89, who finished third in an eight-game SCOOP event in 2011, got out in front of the pack on Hand #3,. The German player three-bet all-in for 2.67M with 8♦ 9♠ Q♠ 5♥ 8♥ in the hole and the 8♠ showing on the board. Russia's kashl, who had opened the betting called with 2♦ 7♦ 6♥ A♠ 3♦ and had the line on any possible low. But the board ran out 8♠ 4♠ T♠ K♣ K♥ and kuhns89's eights full of kings were good for the 5.94M-chip pot.

Four hands, four eliminations

On Hand #5 Poland's olligol123 became the first player to cash out of the final table. With the A♠ showing before the flop, the Polish player moved all-in for 1.37M with T♠ 7♦ 6♦ 7♣ A♦. Germany's exxu called with 2♠ 3♠ 5♥ 6♠ 2♥ and had lots of outs after the A♠ 4♦ 9♦. The 8♣ on the turn locked up the low for exxu, and the 3♥ on the river made a wheel to scoop the 2.94M-chip pot. That sent olligol123 out in 8th place ($557.59).

The very next hand, Hand #6, saw kuhns89 strike again. With the 5♣ showing before the flop, the German player opened for a pot-sized raise to 1.4M with Q♦ 2♣ 8♣ 9♣ A♥ in the hole before calling an all-in bet of 3.17M by Austria's Tonimonntana. The Austrian player's 3♣ 5♠ 4♥ K♣ 5♦ was good for three of a kind with that first card alone but never improved any further. But kuhns89 had hit a wheel straight after the board came 5♣ K♥ 3♥ 4♦ 2♥, which scooped the 6.55M-chip pot and sent Tonimonntana to the rail in 7th place ($1,144.71).

Hand #7 saw kashl, still short-stacked after the earlier confrontation with kuhns89, all-in from the big blind for 387K on the 400K big blind. Only Canada's chris777444 called, from the small blind. kashl's 6♣ 7♦ 3♠ 7♥ 9♣ was good for two pair and an A-3 low after the board fell 3♣ 4♥ Q♣ 9♦ A♥, but chris777444's 3♥ 7♠ 2♦ 2♥ 3♦ grabbed the high half of the pot with trip treys and the low with A-2. That sent kashl to the rail in 6th place ($1,808.40).

Hand #8 saw kuhns89 take another player out. The German player opened for 1.2M with the J♦ showing before the flop, and Canada's hort336 called for less from the big blind with J♣ 2♥ 6♣ K♣ T♠. That was good for two pair, jacks and tens, on the J♦ 3♦ 9♦ T♦ 4♣ board. But kuhns89 caught a jack-high straight with 8♥ 3♥ 3♣ 7♥ J♠. There was no low and hort336 was gone in 5th place ($3,014).

Deal, anyone?

That left the table stacked like so with blinds at 200K/400K:

SCOOP-26-L final table 4-handed deal.jpg

Seat 2: chris777444 (1,946,273 in chips)
Seat 4: kuhns89 (10,254,444 in chips)
Seat 7: reginatr (2,216,651 in chips)
Seat 8: exxu (3,666,632 in chips)

After playing out two more hand the remaining players agreed to look at the numbers for a possible deal. While they were waiting a few of them chatted about the experience of playing Courchevel Hi/Lo during SCOOP with their final table moderator, Team Online's Fredy "sirfreddy83" Torres:

chris777444: 1st time playin this lol
chris777444: worked out
exxu: haha me too
sirfreddy83 (TeamOnline): :) good job
sirfreddy83 (TeamOnline): is very funny
chris777444: lol thx
exxu: but best game :o

Within just a few minutes they had to come to an agreement that left $1,000 on the table for the winner. As you might expect, it didn't take long to get down to business with a deal in place. Hand #12 saw exxu open the betting before the flop for 1.4M with the 3♣ showing and then call all-in after kuhns89 put in a three-bet to 3.6M. exxu's 4♥ T♥ A♣ 7♣ 4♦ was good for a Broadway straight on the 3♣ J♦ Q♠ A♥ K♥ board; kuhns89 showed just two pair, kings and threes, and exxu took the 6.33M-chip pot.

reginatr retires in 4th

Those two players split the next pot, but another one would leave after Hand #14. With the 2♠ showing before the flop and the blinds now up to 250K/500K, kuhns89 opened for a raise to 1.75M and then called after Canada's reginatr moved in for a total of 2.11M. reginatr held 3♣ A♠ 8♦ 3♠ 6♥, which was good for two pair on the 2♠ K♠ 2♥ 7♣ 9♥ board, but kuhns89's 8♠ K♥ 2♦ J♠ A♦ made deuces full of kings. The full house was good, there was no low, and reginatr took $6,075.48 from the deal and left in 4th place.

chris777444 captures 3rd

The next four hands were all split pots; exxu was involved in one against kuhns89 and three others against chris777444. On Hand #19, with the T♣ showing before the flop, chris777444 opened the betting for and effective all-in bet of 1.75M and exxu was ready to tangle once again. The Canadian player's 5♥ 9♦ 7♣ 3♦ 8♣ was good for a flush after the board came T♣ T♠ K♣ K♦ Q♣, but exxu's 4♦ 5♠ T♥ K♥ 7♥ made tens full of kings. The full house was good again, and chris777444 left with $5,604.41 from the deal in 3rd place.

exxu exits in 2nd

After one big split pot and a blind steal by kuhns89, the two Germans played some rare post-flop poker on Hand #22. With the J♦ showing, exxu raised to 1.5M and kuhns89 called to see the full flop of J♦ T♠ 3♦. exxu bet 3M and then called all-in after kuhns89 raised the pot; exxu held K♦ 9♣ 4♣ A♣ A♠ for a pair of aces, but kuhns89 had flopped two pair with 4♥ Q♦ 3♣ J♥ 5♣. The 3♥ on the turn made a full house for kuhns89 and left exxu in need of another ace on the river, but the J♣ came instead and the tournament was complete.

For a player who'd never ventured into the Courcehvel Hi-Lo waters before, exxu did quite well with $6,305.90 from the four-way deal. Meanwhile kuhns89 made up for a third-place SCOOP finish two years ago with the win tonight, taking home the champion's watch, a little more than $8,100 from the four-way deal, and another $1,000 for the win. That's a total take of $9,141.99, the third-best of the German player's career. Not bad for a turbo tournament in a heavy action game!

SCOOP 2013 Event #26-L: $11 PL Courchevel Hi/Lo (Turbo, 1R1A)
3,209 entrants, 2,290 rebuys, 529 add-ons
$60,280 prize pool
440 places paid

1st place: kuhns89 (Germany) $9,141.99*
2nd place: exxu (Germany) $6,305.90*
3rd place: chris777444 (Canada) $5,604.41*
4th place: reginatr (Canada) $6,075.48*
5th place: hort336 (Canada) $3,014
6th place: kashl (Russia) $1,808.40
7th place: Tonimonntana (Austria) $1,144.71
8th place: olligol123 (Poland) $557.59
* - denotes results of a four-handed deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in SCOOP