SCOOP 2013: Spindler spanks spangled final, scores 2nd SCOOP title (Event 1-H, $2100 NLHE 6-max)

After a year of waiting, SCOOP is back. It kicked off in style yesterday, just as the EPT Grand Final Main Event and High Roller Event were coming to an end in Monaco. Today, the first SCOOP 2013 winners were crowned - and one of them is both an EPT champion and a former SCOOP champion. Benny "toweliestar" Spindler took down SCOOP 2013 Event 1-High, $2,100 NLHE (6-max), to get the SCOOP party started, earning $301,040 - a few EPT High Roller buyins - and a SCOOP watch in the process.

2013_scoop_benny_spindler_win_ept_sanremo_highroller.jpgSpindler, seen here after his EPT9 Sanremo High Roller win, will add another SCOOP watch to his jewelry collection

848 players registered for the first "high" event of the SCOOP 2013 calendar. They generated a prizepool of almost $1.7 million. 96 players would divvy that prize pool up. The minimum payout of $4,240 paled in comparison to the top prize of $301,040 that Spindler won, but it was better than a kick in the teeth (as most things are).

The Team PokerStars Pros and PokerStars Team Online players couldn't resist the allure of big buy-in, short-handed poker. The Red Spade was represented by 17 different players in the field, but only Team Online players George "jorj95" Lind and Randy "nanonoko" Lew hit paydirt. Each man made it inside the 96-player money bubble but was eliminated by the time the field had collapsed to 12 six-handed tables.

Event 1-High was a two-day affair. By the time Level 21 (and Day 1) ended, only 40 players remained. They were led by ReadOnYou, Ami "UhhMee" Barer, and Ti0373, a double winner in WCOOP 2012. On Day 2, Ti0373 would bow out first, in 23rd place. ReadOnYou reported to the rail a few tables later, in 12th place.

Barer went the deepest of the three, but busted just short of the final table, in 8th place. He and JC "PrtyPsux" Alvarado got 70 BBs in pre-flop on a flip, ace-king versus pocket 9s. Alvarado's 9s flopped a set and faded Barer's runner outs to put Alvarado in good shape on the final table bubble. When bustoville went busto a few hands later by running pocket 10s into €urop€an's pocket aces, the final table was set:

Event 1-H final table.png

Seat 1: bbbbb33 (610066 in chips)
Seat 2: JC "PrtyPsux" Alvarado (1788342 in chips)
Seat 3: Amadi_017 (715994 in chips)
Seat 4: akut (425604 in chips)
Seat 5: Benny "toweliestar" Spindler (2832218 in chips)
Seat 6: €urop€an (2107776 in chips)

Level 29: Blinds 7k-14k, ante 1750
Average: 1.41 million (100 BBs)

Strong resumes but eliminations all the same

The final table of Event 1-High wasn't quite as accomplished as the recent EPT Grand Final Main Event final table in Monte Carlo, but it still had its shares of accolades. Spindler was a SCOOP champion in 2009; bbbbb33 was a WCOOP champion in 2010. €urop€an has made several MicroMillions and TCOOP final tables, while akut and Alvarado have a WCOOP and a SCOOP final table, respectively, to their credit.

Spindler started off with the chip lead and wasted no time putting it to work with raises, 3-bets and 4-bets. Spindler's stack increased to more than 3 million without showdown, while other players like akut struggled to hang on. akut doubled once, with aces against €urop€an's ace-queen, but that only prolonged the agony for akut.

On the last hand before the 4pm break, with the blinds at 8k-16k, akut open-shoved for 193k from the small blind with J♠8♠. akut was probably hoping to get through Spindler's big blind, but Spindler called with A♦T♠. Neither player connected with an all-small board, allowing Spindler's ace kicker to drag the pot and send akut to the rail in 6th place.

After the break €urop€an sniffed out a river-raise bluff by Spindler to cruise into the chip lead. Alvarado sat comfortably in 3rd place, while bbbbb33 and Amadi_017 competed for short stack honors.

Spindler would later fight back to become the top chip stack at the table by snapping off a bluff himself:

Five become two in a flash

The status quo held through the 5pm break. With blinds at 10k-20k and about to go up, Amadi_017 opened from first position to 44,200. Spindler, the next player to act, made it 96,500 to go, folding the action back to Amadi_017, who moved all in for 554k. Spindler called with two queens, a hand that was crushing Amadi_017's two 8s. A harmless board of 7♥6♠7♠T♠J♦ sent Amadi_017 to the rail in 5th place and gave Spindler a decided chip lead over the other three players. Yet another river bluff by Spindler went down in flames to €urop€an, who took the chip lead back as short-stacked bbbbb333 and Alvarado looked for an opening to make a move.

Alvarado finally found his, getting all in pre-flop with A♣Q♣ against Spindler, who tabled pocket 4s. The pair won this round on an all-small board. The next hand, bbbbb33 had the best of it all in pre-flop with pocket kings versus €urop€an, who tabled pocket 6s. A 6 on the turn, however, ended bbbbb33's tournament just one hand after Alvarado. That one hand was worth an extra $51,000 for bbbbb33's 3rd-place finish.

€urop€an began heads-up play with a slight chip lead over Spindler, 4.6 million to 3.9 million. The two players paused the tournament at that point to work out some kind of chop.

"Well played buddy," said Spindler.
"Same," replied €urop€an.

Chop numbers would have given $254,501 to €urop€an and $249,562 to Spindler. Spindler pushed for an even chop but €urop€an wasn't having any of it.

"I'll give you 250k and that's it," said €urop€an. Spindler wouldn't budge off an even chop.

"251 I'll come halfway that's my last offer," said €urop€an. Spindler still refused; play resumed.

1k holdout becomes 50k

For about half an hour not much changed. Then, just before the 6pm break, Spindler made a massive all in shove on the river, for about double the sizable 1.5-million chip pot. €urop€an folded, allowing Spindler to grab the heads-up chip lead for the first time.

Full value from pocket kings - taking a 1.5-million chip bite out of Spindler's stack by betting every street - gave €urop€an the first significant chip lead of the heads-up match by about 2-to-1. Not to be outdone, Spindler doubled back with a turned set of 4s against €urop€an's flopped pair of queens to open a 3-to-1 chip lead of his own.

From there Spindler put the pedal to the metal, grinding €urop€an down to under 1 million in chips. On the final hand of the tournament, €urop€an opened to 70k, then four-bet shoved for 851k after Spindler three-bet to 175k. Spindler quickly called with pocket 7s and was in the lead against €urop€an's A♥6♣. The 9♥8♦7♦ flop brought something for everyone: a set of 7s for Spindler, and an up-and-down straight draw for €urop€an. The 9♠ that paired the board on the turn shut the door on €urop€an and ensured that Spindler would be a SCOOP champion.

SCOOP 2013 Event 1-High $2100 NLHE (6-max) results

Players: 848
Prizepool: $1,696,000
Places paid: 96

1st: Benny "toweliestar" Spindler ($301,040.00)
2nd: €urop€an ($223,024.00)
3rd: bbbbb33 ($169,600.00)
4th: JC "PrtyPsux" Alvarado ($118,720.00)
5th: Amadi_017 ($84,800.00)
6th: akut ($50,880.50)

That's one event in the books for SCOOP 2013. But it's hardly the only event on the schedule. There are 43 other events taking place between now and May 26, each with a low, medium and high buy-in. Check out the schedule and other SCOOP related goodies at the SCOOP home page.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP