SCOOP 2013: Luciano S.H saves best for last in Event 21-M ($215 NLHE)

Tournament poker does not require that the winner of a tournament be the player who knocks out the most opponents. It simply requires that the winner be the person who acquires all of the chips. Luciano S.H proved that in SCOOP 2013 Event 21-M, $215 NLHE, by letting a Romanian opponent notch almost all of the knockouts at the final table. Then, staring down an almost 3-to-1 chip deficit, Luciano S.H played inspired poker to claw all the way back to a SCOOP championship.

Event 21-M was a two-day affair. None of the Team PokerStars Pros or PokerStars Team Online players made Day 2. The Team Pros were led into the money by João "jomane" Nunes, who ran the deepest but bowed out in 319th place ($519.64). Joining Nunes on the right side of the 765-player money bubble were Dag Palovic (547th) and Christophe de Meulder (670th).

The 69 Day 1 survivors reassembled at 11am PokerStars time on Monday to play out the rest of the tournament, each having guaranteed himself or herself $1,771.50 in prize money. Almost $185,000 was waiting at the end for the winner. McMang, fanaticbluff and mendezoo started Day 2 at the top of the counts. fanaticbluff would bubble the final table on a flip when pocket 8s got outflopped by A♣T♣, but McMang -- a 2010 SCOOP winner -- and mendezoo were still in the hunt for the top prize when the tournament collapsed to its final table of nine.

Event 21-M final table.png

Seat 1: koivu18 (3407568 in chips)
Seat 2: Mr.Buster (5582460 in chips)
Seat 3: kingroler (9852832 in chips)
Seat 4: t8ofDiamonds (4134542 in chips)
Seat 5: HochuBablo (5822187 in chips)
Seat 6: McMang (2676854 in chips)
Seat 7: mendezoo (11416795 in chips)
Seat 8: CAPOH0GG1N (7921184 in chips)
Seat 9: Luciano S.H (8235578 in chips)

Level 40: blinds 60k-120k, ante 15k
Average: 6.5 million (54 BBs)

Slow and steady

After starting Day 2 3rd in chips, mendezoo brought the chip lead to the final table, but at roughly 70 big blinds, it was a vulnerable chip lead. McMang was the shortest stack at the table but could afford some patience with about 15 big blinds.

Patience, in fact, was the name of the game in the first 75 minutes of the final table. In that time, CAPOH0GG1N took over the chip lead from mendezoo and not a single player busted.

CAPOH0GG1N climbed as high as 20 million in chips, more than double the stack of 2nd-place player kingroler. It only got better for CAPOH0GG1N. With one minute left in the 125k-250k level, CAPOH0GG1N opened pre-flop from the button to 4.5 million, enough to cover both blinds. Big blind koivu18 called all in for 1.78 million with pocket 7s but was out-flipped by CAPOH0GG1N's K♠9♦ when both a king and a nine flopped. After 75 minutes, the final table was finally down to eight players.

Blinds moved up to 150k-300k, putting pressure on almost all of the remaining players. From second position, McMang squeezed out Q♣J♠ and moved all in for 2.45 million. That raise made it all the way to the small blind, where kingroler was waiting to roll over kings. Those kings held up to send McMang to the rail in 8th place.

It was as if the floodgates had been opened; t8ofDiamonds followed McMang out of the tournament a few hands later. t8ofDiamonds was eliminated by CAPOH0GG1N after being crippled by HochuBablo when HochuBablo's A♠8♠ spiked a river 8 to overtake t8ofDiamonds' A♦K♠. That hand left t8ofDiamonds with just 494k. From there the end was a mere formality.

CAPOH0GG1N continued to extend the chip lead, building as high as 25 million, while the other five players seemed to just pass the chips back and forth amongst themselves. Blinds increased to 200k-400k, dropping the average stack of 9.84 million to about 25 big blinds. No player except CAPOH0GG1N exceeded that average.

While the shorter stacks tried desperately to hang on, CAPOH0GG1N was a relentless bully. Time and again CAPOH0GG1N made massive pre-flop raises and re-raises, putting opponents to the test for all of their chips. None seemed inclined to measure up to that test, so CAPOH0GG1N's stack continued to soar. It got even more of a bump when mendezoo shoved K♦9♦ for 2.03 million and CAPOH0GG1N re-shoved with A♦7♠. The board rolled out J♦J♥A♠A♥T♦ to push CAPOH0GG1N ever higher and end mendezoo's run in 6th place.

Mr.Buster: that guy kicks asss
Mr.Buster: capo is hot
Mr.Buster: Romanian crusher

kingroler seemed to wave the white flag at that point by suggesting the players consider a chip-chop deal. The four short stacks indicated in chat their interest in a deal, but CAPOH0GG1N, with about 60% of the chips, offered only a curt, "no".

It was a wise choice. CAPOH0GG1N kept owning souls at the final table. Mr.Buster felt CAPOH0GG1N's full wrath after three-bet shoving the small bling for 3.73 million over CAPOH0GG1N's open-raise. CAPOH0GG1N snap-called with pocket kings, leaving Mr.Buster's A♦5♦. An ace flopped, but so did a king. CAPOH0GG1N's full house busted Mr.Buster in 5th place, A♥K♠Q♥Q♣9♥.

CAPOH0GG1N moved up to 41.6 million in chips. kingroler, in 2nd place, had 8.5 million.

Deal time

The players tried to see if there was a deal to which CAPOH0GG1N would agree.

Luciano S.H: hey capo...if u get 170k...can we make a deal in 3?
CAPOH0GG1N: 170 would do.
Luciano S.H: are u guys ok about it? Hochu and king
Kingroler: we can have a look

The four players agreed to pause the tournament. After cutting $170,000 out of the prize pool for CAPOH0GG1N, a chip chop for the remaining players appeared to offer $111,189.19 to kingroler, $98,765.94 to Luciano S.H, and $94,534.20, with $12,000 left for the champion. Everyone quickly agreed to that deal.

It didn't take long for CAPOH0GG1N to resume wreaking havoc. HochuBablo shoved the button for 3.56 million in the 250k-500k level with A♠7♣. CAPOH0GG1N called with A♦6♦ and rivered a 6-high straight, K♣3♦5♦4♠2♠. When Luciano S.H took care of kingroler a few hands after that, the tournament finally was down to heads-up play.

Come from behind

CAPOH0GG1N had all the momentum and 70% of the chips when heads-up play began. Despite that, Luciano S.H persevered. The heads-up battle continued past the 30-minute mark, with neither player willing to submit and relinquish a claim to the last $12,000 in prize money and the champion's Movado watch. First one player edged ahead. Then the other. CAPOH0GG1N tried calling Luciano S.H all the way down again on a 9♥J♦2♦K♦K♥ board, but this time Luciano S.H had the nut flush, A♦6♦.

That hand gave Luciano S.H a 4-to-1 chip lead. Luciano S.H needed only nine more hands to close out the tournament. On the final hand, CAPOH0GG1N tried one of those big three-bets that had worked so well when the table was full, re-raising all in for 13.9 million after Luciano S.H opened the button for the minimum 1.2 million. Luciano snap-called with that same A♦6♦; CAPOH0GG1N could only muster up Q♥6♠. Ace-high was enough on a 4♣T♦K♥4♥8♦ board to send CAPOH0GG1N to the rail and Luciano S.H to the winner's circle.

CAPOH0GG1N did most of the heavy lifting at the final table and was richly rewarded in the 4-way deal as a result. That's not enough to become a SCOOP champion, however. SCOOP requires players to go all the way, something that Event 21-M champion Luciano S.H was able to do and CAPOH0GG1N was not.

SCOOP 2013 Event 21-M $215 NLHE results

Players: 5,905
Prizepool: $1,181,000
Places paid: 765
* denotes 4-way deal

1. Luciano S.H (Brazil) - $110,765.94*
2. CAPOH0GG1N (Romania) - $170,000.00*
3. kingroler (Slovakia) - $111,189.19*
4. HochuBablo (Russia) - $94,534.20*
5. Mr.Buster - $50,192.50
6. mendezoo (Norway) - $38,382.50
7. t8ofDiamonds (Germany) - $26,572.50
8. McMang (Sweden) - $14,762.50
9. koivu18 (Canada) - $9,448.00

The race for the SCOOP Player of the Series is heating up as the festival moves into its second week. Check out the point standings for each buy-in level and the schedule of remaining events and qualifiers at the SCOOP home page.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP