SCOOP 2013: OptionNz wins $54K in five way deal of death Event #21-L ($27 NL Hold'em)

This was the type of SCOOP table that the finalists will talk about for years; albeit with a degree of legend. Maybe one day they'll re-unite to talk about it with 20 years of hindsight, their families having brought them to this unlikely reunion, begging them to let it go. "For God's sake Granddad, not again."

Some final tables are defined by play, others by a lack of it. This one however, won by German player OptionNz in about an hour and 40 minutes, will be defined by those 40 minutes, all of which were spent in the throes of a deal for the best share of the guarantee defying prize pool of $581,663.15.

Seat 1 - OptionNz, 93,268,887
Seat 2 - IMmaxValuee, 13, 697773
Seat 3 - DtownDevil20, 20,937,630
Seat 4 - Run Bad King, 14049015
Seat 5 - palingboer1, 4915152
Seat 6 - melchis4774, 7271872
Seat 7 - NicoBKK, 29779919
Seat 8 - serj_kh, 11981789
Seat 9 - Sun*RMC, 38927963

It came about when five-handed. First though melchis4774 departed in ninth place running ace-king into DtownDevil20's flush. Five minutes later palingboer1 ran ace-jack into DtownDevil20's set of sevens, heading for the rail, with IMmaxValuee following a minute later having found the same ace-jack and running it into the aces of Run Bad King.

SCOOP_21L_pic.jpg
SCOOP 21-L final table

That left six, led by OptionNz, who by now had pushed his stack up into nine figures. It would be 12 more minutes before DtownDevil20, who had been in the ascendant, filled the next vacancy. Crippled with kings against Run Bad King's ace-jack (that hand had a lot to answer for), he was soon ditched when his ace was out-kicked.

The Deal

It had started in high spirits. OptionNz, the massive leader, who had won a 65 million chip coup ten-handed, proposed they look at some numbers, like a time-share salesmen just giving the curious customers an idea of what they could have, no obligation.

First they had to all press "deal" at the same time, the magic icon in the corner of the screen only visible to those who have reached such an exalted state. It's not as easy as it sounds, so they played several "one more hands" before stopping.

Run Bad King, who had won an addition seven million in this short phase of confusion, kept reminding everyone to press the deal button. Serj_kh, the plucky short stack, who had been the scrappy terrier up to now, biting ankles and doubling up three times, kept typing "+1", which was taken to mean one more hand. But after the second time people ignored him and he relented. There also seemed to be some confusion over the word "deal", which, inconvenient as it is, has two meanings at a time like this.

Still dealing

And so it began, with OptionNz with nearly half the chips in play. Now all they needed was tournament host Mickey "mememt_mori" Petersen to show some numbers. But nobody could find him, presumably he was off mement mori-ing somewhere behind a laptop screen. Instead the moderator arrived to send some numbers through - $53,000 to OptionNz with $6,000 left to play for.

NicoBKK said that was a joke. "Option takes nearly all 1st position," said NicoBKK. "Let's play."

There's always something satisfying about a player refusing to deal, a flash of the heroic, combined with a streak of recklessness.

OptionNz: 51.5k
NicoBKK: 50? It's a freeroll for you. Common dude (sic).

Then Run Bad King got involved. Having been looking over the numbers he suddenly realised he was getting screwed.

"I'm only getting 10k better than Serj!" It was a painful, if honest statement. Poor serj_kh, the table whipping boy, whose efforts to double up and then keep playing were reminiscent of the team halfwit who just wants to play ball.

OptionNz: It's fair.
NicoBKK: You lose a flip, then what?

Still the deal

Run Bad King, still using serj_kh to make his point, said that OptionNz had double that of him, but he would get 20k more. He decided to bargain. "I want 38k" he said ($6,000 more), and asked for an equity chop. OptionNz countered that he would take 50,000. "Last call, or play idc."

I made a note to find a teenager to tell me what "IDC" meant later, because the chat box had gone quiet. The line was dead. Then new numbers were coming through, with OptionNz still getting more than others wanted, and everyone was wincing, waiting to see who would crack first.

Mustering all of his spontaneity, OptionNz immediately agreed. "Your decision. You get enough tbh." You wonder how much they appreciated this bit of advice.

Serj_kh agreed, after all, he just wanted to play ball. Run Bad King said he wanted $38k, expressing his displeasure by careful use of four asterisks. "Give me 35k and I will deal."

Serj_kh, the short stack, offered to give him 500 - it's always the poor that dip into their pockets first. OptionNz said he would give nothing. Run Bad King, appealing to his altruism, and said he should, given that he was getting first place money already. Sun*RMC said "no", but by now it was hard to decipher what he was saying no too.
"Horrible deal imo," said Run Bad King, in his opinion. "Should not be getting 50k".

NicoBKK: I agree with this number. I give nothing more.

OptionNz decided to turn up the mean. "agree on this or play can see ou cryin (sic) when bust with 17k."

NicoBKK said he had to give $2k more, reminding OptionNz that he too could finish with $17k. OptionNz refused.

Run Bad King: If you take 48 option I deal.

OptionNz said no, urging them decide because he wasn't giving away another cent, money which at this stage, was still hypothetical. "We can play idc."

And still the deal

More numbers were filtered through by moderators in a back room. Everyone held their breath again when OptionNz came out again with 50k.

Run Bad King: 50k too much
OptionNz: 1st deal or resume play
Run Bad King: It's giving you 1st place - not right. Stop being so god dam gready (sic). I want 35 min so 48k (for you).
Sun*RMC: 32
OptionNz: I don't get it everyone want summin different.
Run Bad King: If u agree to give me 2k option I deal with the 35k. To be honest option u cant expect to get 50k. That's 1st place without playing bearing in mind you could still get 17k.
NicoBKK: 28K or lets play.
OptionNz: Agree to first deal?
Run Bad King: Deal is supposed to suit everyone. Not just u.
It wasn't "fare", said NicoBKK, quickly retyping "fair," there never being a better time to pay attention to accuracy.
Run Bad King: Willing to go down to 48,000?
OptionNz: Not willing to give you 2k.
Run Bad King: Everyone else has said not willing to give you 50k.

So this bloke walks into a bar...

By now it was clear that we'd reached loggerheads, but also that nobody wanted to restart play without some serious money in their pockets. So OptionNz's new mood was bluster more than anything.

OptionNz: no one says what to do - all just want money. This is never gonna finish.

Sun*RMC, taking a leaf out of the Phil Hellmuth guide to popular diplomacy, typed "45/35/32."

OptionNz: No play. Go. Fck this u h (sic) guys annoying me
serj_kh: +1
Sun*RMC: Last time see numbers and play or agree.
Run Bad King: Mate, youre aswell (sic) just taking the 48 lol for what it's worth. Seen many people blow chip leads in tourneys.

Perhaps this old war story did something to OptionNz. Perhaps OptionNz had simply given up the will to go on spending his hypothetical cash, which was proving less fun than spending real cash.

Moderator Bryan asked for a moment, presumably to throw a pale of water over his computer. The new numbers came through - 48k for OptionNz, 35.8 for Run Bad King, 30k for Sun*RMC, 28k for NicoBKK and 22k for SERJ.

They all agreed, except for Sun*RMC.

Sun*RMC: one minute.

It felt like the future of the world depending on whatever Sun*RMC was working out off-screen. It could have been a bathroom break. It could have been the kettle boiling or the doorbell ringing. But what nobody wanted was for it to be a deal breaker.

Sun*RMC: Ok, I agree.

Across the land church bells rang out.

Run Bad King: Well done guys. gg
OptionNz: k I agree gg guys

"We have a deal!" exclaimed moderator Bryan, like he'd just delivered a breached pregnancy. Then attention turned to the potential encounter between OptionNz and Run Bad King.

It's a boy!

Picking off exactly where he'd left off serj_kh doubled, catching an ace on the river. It was good for a minute more of play before Sun*RMC sent him out with pocket kings, presumably with a grin on his face.

OptionNz - 104 million
Sun*RMC - 64 million
Run Bad King - 47 million
NicoBKK - 22 million

OptionNz was soon stretching out his lead, then got involved in a hand with Run Bad King. Was there Ill will? Was there some hangover clouding their judgement? Whatever happened, Run Bad King was headed for the rail.


With Run Bad King gone in fourth, NicoBKK followed a minute later. It left OptionNz was way out front heads up, 182 million to Sun*RMC's 51 million. Time for a fight back? The mood didn't feel right for it. OptionNz coasted to his win, playing one handed while he asked in the chat box for confirmation that the victory came with a SCOOP watch. Yes it did, was the reply, as if this was what he'd been holding out for all along. Then the chips went in.


It was one of those finals to enjoy. Superlative play is one thing but it rarely beats a good old fashioned bust up between competitors. That's what we got, and it proved a great show.

Congratulations to OptionNz on the performance, for the poker and the dramatics, winning $54,000, and the SCOOP watch.

PokerStars 2013 SCOOP Event #21-L ($27 NL Hold'em) results
Players: 23,693
Prizepool: $581,663.15
Places paid: 3,150

1. OptionNz (Germany), $54,000.00*
2. Sun*RMC (Russia), $30,107.46*
3. NicoBKK (Thailand), $28,313.22*
4. Run Bad King (United Kingdom), $35,892.38*
5. serj_kh (Israel), $22,894.76*
6. DtownDevil20 (Germany), $11,633.26
7. IMmaxValuee (Netherlands), $8,172.36
8. palingboer1 (Netherlands), $5,234.96
9. melchis4774 (Portugal), $3,489.97

* denotes five-way deal

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in SCOOP