SCOOP 2013: MLiz magnificent in Main Event with victory in Event #43-L [$109 NL]

According to the Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come." Instead of driving out to the middle of nowhere to watch a bunch of ghosts play baseball in a corn field, PokerStars created the Spring Championship of Online Poker. SCOOP has become one of the most popular festivals of internet poker and this year's numbers across the board prove its continuing success.

Israel's MLiz faded a massive field of 23,045 to take down the low version of the SCOOP Main Event. For that modest investment of $109, players had a rare opportunity to boost their bankrolls with a six-figure payday. MLiz walked away with a juicy score worth $189,015.34.

"If you build it, they will come." SCOOP Main Event #43-L $109 NL was a two-day event and attracted 23,045 runners. The prize pool was a whopping $2,304,500, which smashed the $1 million guarantee. The top 3,150 places paid out with $230,458.95 originally set aside for the eventual champion.

PokerStars Team Pros trying to take down the Main Event included David Williams, Andre Akkari, Chad Brown, Jake Cody, Marcin "Goral" Horecki, Angel Guillen, Bryan Huang, Chris DeMuelder,Rhino Mathis, Jan Heitman, Jason Mercier, Lex Veldhuis, Vivan Im, Ike Haxton, Leo Fernandez, Theo Jorgensen, Johnathan Duhamel, Max Lykov, Eugene Katchalov, Joe Cada, Ivan Demidov, Alex Kravchenko, Liv Boeree, and Marcel Luske.

Team PokerStars Online seeking a SCOOP title included Pessagano, mement_mori, nanonoko, jomane, shaniac, frosty012, and nkeyno.

Only two notables cashed: Team PokerStars Online Caio "Pessagno" Pessagno (43rd) and PokerStars Team Pro ElkY (468th).

With roughly 200 players remaining on Day 1, Pessagno rocketed to 2nd in chips after dragging a 6.2 million pot. On a board of T♠6♣6♠2♥T♥, Pessagno got raised on the river by p1ngp0ngpr0 and called all-in. Pessagno held A♣6♥. He had flopped trips and rivered a boat. p1ngp0ngpr0 tabled 2♠2♦ and lost with a smaller boat. With 100 to go, Pessagno lost a couple of pots and slipped to 2.2 million.

At the end of the first day, Pessgano was still alive with 2.18 million in chips, good enough for 60th out of 90 overall.

Day 1 of the SCOOP Main Event #43-L ended at the completion of Level 40. Only 90 players remained. Poland's Pawel.Mpl held the chip lead with 13.5 million. Rounding out the Top 5 in chips were: sydens (12.4 million), The Don Bot (11.9 million), sirgiannis1 (10.6 million), and Alessoo (9.3 million).

Action went quick on Day 2. Team Online Pessagno chipped up immediately during the first orbit of day 2. Pessagno took out bezya with A♥Q♠ vs. A♠9♦ and dragged a 3.6 million pot. That hand thrust Pessagno into the Top 25 overal with 4.5 million. Unfortunately that's as high as he'd get.

Team Online's Pessagno run came to and end when he busted in 52nd place. He met his demise in a three-way pot. He held A♣K♠ vs. 1-ronnyr3's Q♠Q♦ vs. fifou123's K♦K♥. The board ran out 7♠3♥2♠7♣8♦ and Pessagno's Big Slick failed to improve. For a 52nd-place finish, Pessagno took home $3,226.30.

With 27 players remaining on the last three tables, tonn22 seized the lead with 38.2 million (roughly 10 million more than his closest competitor). With 18 to go on the final two tables, Pawel.Mpl regained the lead and rocketed to 62 million.

With 10 to go, Pawel.Mpl chipped up to 83 million and action went hand-for-hand. Short-stacked TWOcc doubled up twice against Pawel.Mpl, who slipped to 60 million. Russia's murzik36 bubbled off the final table in tenth place when he ran A♠9♠ into yuricougar's A♦K♥.


SCOOP $43-L Main Event - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: yuricougar (52,354,188)
Seat 2: tonn22 (27,887,644)
Seat 3: Thru Ya City (22,987,330)
Seat 4: TWOcc (43,621,820)
Seat 5: boomerangP (18,096,222)
Seat 6: Pawel.Mpl (60,787,067)
Seat 7: MLiz (38,294,621)
Seat 8: Cha444 (23,001,092)
Seat 9: sirgiannis1 (58,645,016)

The final table commenced during Level 54. Blinds were 1M/2M with a 250K ante. Pawel.Mpl still retained the big stack, while boomerangP was the short stack.

boomerangP eliminated in 9th place

Short-stacked boomerangP opened to 14,895,632, MLiz raised to 27,791,264, and boomerangP called all-in for 1,950,590 more. MLiz was way behind with T♣T♥ against boomerangP's A♠A♦. The board ran out K♦J♠3♥8♥T♠ and MLiz rivered a set of tens to win the pot. boomerangP had Aces snapped off and became the first player to exit at the final table. For a ninth-place finish, boomerangP collected $13,827.00.

tonn22 eliminated in 8th place

Short-stacked tonn22 open-shoved for 11,275,314 and Thru Ya City re-raised all-in for 37,599,660 to isolate. Everyone else got out of the way. Heads-up. Thru Ya City led with 9♦9♥ versus tonn22's 6♥6♣. The board ran out K♠Q♥2♦5♦K♣ and Thru Ya City's nines held up. The Netherlands' tonn22 was knocked out in eighth place, which paid out $20,740.50.

With seven remaining, sirgiannis1 held a slight lead over Pawel.Mpl (71 million to 68 million).

TWOcc eliminated in 7th place

Short-stacked TWOcc open-shoved for 11,808,228, and Pawel.Mpl called. Pawel.Mpl held K♠K♥ while TWOcc made a final stand with T♠3♠. The board ran out Q♠7♣4♣6♦T♥ and Pawel.Mpl's pocket cowboys held up. TWOcc bounced in seventh place, which paid out $32,378.22.

With six remaining, Pawel.Mpl jumped back into first overall with almost 86 million.

sirgiannis1 eliminated in 6th place

We saw the next bustout occur in the largest pot of the tournament (up until that moment). An escalating raising war was ignited by sirgiannis1, who min-raised to 6 million, MLiz bumped it up to 18 million. sirgiannis1 four-bet all-in for 58,182,586, and MLiz called. Classic race. MLiz was flipping with A♥K♠ versus sirgiannis1's J♥J♦. The board ran out T♣T♦8♥A♣4♥ and MLiz's Big Slick improved to win the 120+ million pot with two pair -- Aces and Tens. Greece's sirgiannis1 was set to the virtual rail in sixth place and he took home $46,090.00.

With five players remaining, MLiz chipped up to 144 million, or more than twice as much as Pawel.Mpl in second with 56 million.


Action was paused for over thirty-three minutes so the final five could discuss a deal. The supercomputer at PokerStars HQ spit out the ICM numbers: MLiz ($169,015.34), Pawel.Mpl ($132,594.02), Cha444 ($124,437.18), Thru Ya City ($117,577.40), and yuricougar ($114,622.40). They had to leave $20,000 on the table for the eventual champion. Pawel.Mpl instantly rejected the initial ICM numbers and wanted more money.

"145K & snap agree," was Pawel.Mpl's response.

The final five tried to re-negotiate the terms of a new deal with Pawel.Mpl securing $10K more (or $2.5K from each player), but MLiz rebuked that notion. Then Pawel.Mpl tried to get $3.5K out of the other three players.

Thru Ya City joked "lol now I know what greed feels like."

Pawel.Mpl counter offered for $3.3K and they found some middle ground. The new deal looked like this: MLiz ($169,015.34), Pawel.Mpl ($142,494.02), Cha444 ($121,137.18), Thru Ya City ($114,277.40), and yuricougar ($111,322.40). They also left $20,000 on the table for the winner along with a champion's watch.

Everyone agreed to the modified deal and action resumed.

Thru Ya City eliminated in 5th place

With a deal in place and everyone eager to get back to playing cards, we saw a quick-fire bustout. MLiz opened to 9 million, Thru Ya City shoved for 48,749,973, and MLiz called. Coin flip. Thru Ya City was racing with A♥J♦ versus MLiz's 8♦8♣. The board ran out 8♥6♣6♥5♠T♥ and MLiz dragged the pot with a full house. Thru Ya City was knocked out in fifth place, which paid out $114,277.40.

yuricougar eliminated in 4th place

On the very next hand, we saw another elimination. Cha444 min-raised to 6 million, yuricougar bombed it all-in for 24,816,687, and Cha444 called. Cha444 was ahead with K♠T♠ against yuricougar's K♥7♥. The board ran out Q♠T♦6♥J♥J♦, and Cha444 won the pot with two pair -- Jacks and tens. For a fourth-place performance, yuricougar earned $111,322.40.

Pawel.Mpl eliminated in 3rd place

Pawel.Mpl open-shoved for 32,130,543 and MLiz called. MLiz led with 3♥3♠ against Pawel.Mpl's K♠4♦. The board ran out 8♥3♣3♦2♦J♣ and MLiz won the pot with quads! MLiz flopped quad treys too. Poland's Pawel.Mpl took home $142,494.02 for a third-place finish.

HEADS-UP: MLiz (Israel) vs. Cha444 (Indonesia)
Seat 7: MLiz (240,078,945)
Seat 8: Cha444 (105,596,055)

MLiz held the overall advantage, but Cha44 was close enough that a double up would give him the chip lead.

Cha444 eliminated in 2nd place; MLiz ships SCOOP Main Event #43-L!

The heads-up battle lasted 15 minutes. For most of their match, neither player gained any significant ground. The final knockout almost came out of nowhere. MLiz held a 229M to 116M lead. Both players woke up to big hands and bombed it all-in preflop. MLiz opened to 12 million, Cha444 came over the top all-in for 115,721,555, and MLiz called.

MLiz: J♥J♦
Cha444: A♠K♣.

Cha444 was racing for his tournament life with Big Slick versus Jacks. The board ran out 8♠3♣3♦6♣9♣. MLiz's pocket Jacks held up and dragged the pot. Cha444 was knocked out in second place.

For a gutsy runner-up performance, Cha444 collected $121,137.18.

Congrats to MLiz for winning the "low" version of the SCOOP Main Event. Israel's MLiz earned $189,015.34 for first place and also won a cool Movado champion's watch.

View the final and winning hand through the innovative replayer:

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2013 SCOOP Event #43-L $109 NL Main Event - Final Table Results:

Entrants: 23,045
Prize Pool: $2,304,500
Places Paid: 3,150

1. MLiz (Israel) - $189,015.34 **
2. Cha444 (Indonesia) - $121,137.18 **
3. Pawel.Mpl (Poland) - $142,494.02 **
4. yuricougar (Netherlands) - $111,322.40 **
5. Thru Ya City (Russia) - $114,277.40 **
6. sirgiannis1 (Greece) - $46,090.00
7. TWOcc (Switzerland) - $32,378.22
8. tonn22 (Netherlands) - $20,740.50
9. boomerangP (Canada) - $13,827.00

** denotes a five-way deal

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Pauly McGuire is an author and freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in SCOOP