SCOOP 2013: T 54 T 97s goes worst-to-first in Event #20-H, $2,100 NL Hold'em (Turbo, Zoom)

There's no older saw in tournament poker than the one about "a chip and a chair." As long as you're in the game, the reasoning goes, you can still win. More often than not anybody who catches himself thinking that ends up busting out pretty quickly, especially when it comes to the final table. But every now and then a player catches just the right cards at just the right time and manages to find a way back into contention - or even to victory. Such was the case in tonight's tournament, a $2,100 Turbo Zoom event where a two-time SCOOP final tablist made the most of some good fortune early on and rode that to the promised land.

The prospect of a big payday for a few hours' work drew a healthy crowd of 463 players, building a prize pool of $926,000 and setting aside cash for the last 54 standing. Team PokerStars Pro's Johnny Lodden nearly made it to the money but fell just short in 57th place. Fellow Team Pro Jose "Nacho" Barbero fared a bit better, becoming the first player to cash in 54th place ($4,630). That left just one Team Pro, Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso, in the running.

After just two hours and 34 minutes, she and these other eight players sat down to the final table with blinds and antes at 4K/8K/1K:

Seat 1: T 54 T 97s (70,592 in chips)
Seat 2: Nick "FU_15" Maimone (439,623 in chips)
Seat 3: Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso (97,210 in chips)
Seat 4: Erebgil_bg (239,530 in chips)
Seat 5: FaKeOrReaL (390,155 in chips)
Seat 6: A.Saout (171,245 in chips)
Seat 7: Maroonlime (218,210 in chips)
Seat 8: Chris "NigDawG" Brammer (526,295 in chips)
Seat 9: IFiNishfish (162,140 in chips)

SCOOP-20-H final table.jpg

The second shortest stack at the table belonged to Rousso. She moved all-in on the very first hand and stole the blinds and antes but had to stay out of the way for the rest of the orbit. By the time she was on the button again the blinds and antes were up to 5K/10K/1.25K Rousso found a chance to move all-in again and took it. She three-bet for 85K after Portugal's T 54 T 97s opened for 40K, and things went pretty crazy after that:

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Despite starting with the best of three hands, Rousso ended third-best. With that she finished in 9th place ($15,371.60). And thanks to some very well-timed quads, T 54 T 97s had a new lifeline in the tournament.

Erebgil_bg out in 8th

The next orbit saw Nick "FU_15" Maimone move into the chip lead, just ahead of two-time online Triple Crown winner Chris "NigDawG" Brammer. But Brammer struck back on Hand 18 thanks to some good timing, opening for the minimum of 24K with A♣ A♥ and then making the easy call after Bulgaria's Erebgil_bg moved all-in for 176K with 8♣ 8♦. The 9♣ 3♠ 2♦ Q♥ K♦ board never gave the underdog a hint of help, Brammer chipped up to 745K, and Erebgil_bg exited in 8th place ($20,835).

IFiNishfish finished in 7th

Chris Brammer continued to chip up after that, but T 54 T97s took center stage with a few consecutive wins. On Hand 28 the Portuguese player called all-in for 86K before the flop with A♥ J♠, which held up against the A♣ 8♦ of Finland's IFiNishfish for a 201K-chip pot. That left IFiNishfish with just 40.8K, all of which went in the middle before the flop on Hand 29 with 8♣ 8♠. T 54 T 97s made the call with A♠ K♥, which took the lead on the K♣ 6♣ T♠ flop and held up through the 6♦ turn and 3♦ river to send IFiNishfish out in 7th place ($30,095).

A.Saout slips away in 6th

Hand 30 saw T 54 T 97s win a 201K bet with an all-in move on the flop, moving up to a solid fourth place with 377K. Just ahead in third was Canada's FaKeOrReaL with 390K. The Canadian player soon jumped into second place on Hand 37 after picking up J♣ J♦ in the big blind and calling after the United Kingdom's A.Saout moved all-in for 153K with A♦ T♣. The 3♥ 8♦ T♠ flop gave A.Saout a few more outs, but the 8♥ turn and 5♣ spelled the end of the line in 6th place ($39,355).

Nick Maimone gone in 5th

FaKeOrReaL and Chris Brammer ran the table over the next two orbits, taking eight of the next 10 pots. Then T 54 T 97s, quiet since those three consecutive wins earlier on, broke out with two more big pots on the 8K/16K/2K level. On Hand 50 the action folded to Brammer in the small blind, and he jammed with 8♦ 7♦; T 54 T 97s called for 245K with A♠ K♥ and won the 532K-chip pot after the board fell 4♥ 5♥ 2♠ J♠ 5♣. Then on Hand 51 it was T 54 T 97s who jammed from the small blind, with K♦ Q♣; Nick Maimone made the call with A♣ T♥ and was still ahead after the flop came J♥ 5♥ 9♥. The Q♦ on the turn left Maimone in need of an ace, a king, or a heart, but the J♣ fell instead. That sent Maimone to the rail in 5th place ($51,856).

Maroonlime's end of the line in 4th

That win boosted T 54 T 97s to 933K, more than 230K ahead of FaKeOrReaL back in second place, and the Portuguese player put that lead to good use by winning seven of the next 10 pots. By Hand 67, T 54 T 97s was up to 1.06M chips and the other three players were stuck together between 367K and 484K at the 10K/20K/2.5K level. The deadlock finally broke when Canada's Maroonlime moved all-in under the gun for 481K with A♣ Q♦ and FaKeOrReaL called for less with the tournament on the line, holding A♥ K♦. The J♦ 8♥ 3♥ 3♣ 9♣ helped neither player, and Maroonlime was left with just 117K after FaKeOrReaL scooped the 749K-chip pot.

On Hand 69, Maroonlime moved all-in for 92K over the top of T 54 T 97s' minimum raise to 40K. The Portuguese player called with A♠ 8♥, which won the coin flip against Maroonlime's 6♥ 6♣ after the board came 4♥ K♣ 2♥ 8♠ J♠. With that Maroonlime was out in 4th place ($74,080).

FaKeOrReaL falls short in 3rd

T 54 T 97s now had the lead with 1.16M chips, ahead of FaKeOrReaL with 774K and Chris "NigDawG" Brammer with 371K. T 54 T97s again put the big stack to good use, winning five of the next six pots. Then, on Hand 76, Brammer moved all-in for 392K from the button with A♥ T♠. FaKeOrReaL called all-in for 367K with 9♥ 9♣ and fell behind once the flop came T♦ 8♥ 2♥. The Q♠ and A♣ didn't improve FaKeOrReaL's hand and the Canadian player was left with just 101K on the 12.5K/25K/3.12K level. On Hand 77, FaKeOrReaL jammed before the flop with A♥ 4♣ and Brammer called with A♣ K♣. Neither player improved on the J♦ 5♦ 6♦ 6♣ T♥ board and FaKeOrReaL finished in 3rd place ($97,230).

Career-best scores for both the heads-up players

That left this situation at the start of heads-up play:

Seat 1: T 54 T 97s (1,403,679 in chips)
Seat 8: NigDawG (911,321 in chips)

SCOOP-20-H final table heads-up.jpg

The two remaining players took a quick look at the number for a possible deal, but they soon agreed to continue playing for the scheduled prizes instead. Chris Brammer did manage to win four of the 15 pots during the heads-up match, but all of the significant ones went to T 54 T 97s. Finally, on Hand 92, Brammer opened for the minimum raise of 50K on the button and T 54 T 97s three-bet to 116K in the big blind. Brammer thought for a few moments and then moved all-in for 517K with K♠ Q♣. T 54 T 97s made the call with A♣ Q♠, and the dominating hand held up to end the tournament as the board fell T♥ 4♥ 8♦ 3♦ J♦.

After just three hours and 16 minutes, second place had earned Chris "NigDawG" Brammer a career-best PokerStars score of $131,955, topping previous wins in the Super Tuesday ($64K) and Sunday Rebuy ($59K). As for T 54 T 97s, the third career SCOOP final table was the charm. The win was worth $177,699.40, almost three times as much as the Portuguese player's previous best and all the more memorable from having started the final table with the shortest stack.

SCOOP 2013 Event #20-H: $2,100 NL Hold'em (Turbo, Zoom)
463 entrants
$926,000 prize pool
54 places paid

1st place: T 54 T 97s (Portugal) $177,699.40
2nd place: Chris "NigDawG" Brammer (United Kingdom) $131,955
3rd place: FaKeOrReaL (Canada) $97,230
4th place: Maroonlime (Canada) $74,080
5th place: Nick "FU_15" Maimone (Honduras) $51,856
6th place: A.Saout (United Kingdom) $39,355
7th place: IFiNishfish (Finland) $30,095
8th place: Erebgil_bg (Bulgaria) $20,835
9th place: Vanessa "Lady Maverick" Rousso (Canada) $15,371.60

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in SCOOP