SCOOP 2013: thefish01x is the shark in Event 16-M ($215 FL Omaha Hi/Lo)

If you had locked up $20,000 for yourself in a $215 tournament, and were playing for only $2,000 more, how hard would you fight? Would you spend another hour after the deal playing heads-up poker, trying to snag that last $2,000 as skillfully as possible? Or would you let luck decide the outcome?

In SCOOP 2013 Event 16-Medium, $215 FL Omaha Hi/Lo, thefish01x and Kid Blaast decided to take the former route, rather than the latter. They battled for more than an hour before thefish01x emerged victorious and captured a first SCOOP title (and Movado watch).

Long prior to that heads-up match, Red Spades littered the ranks of the vanquished in Event 16-M. An aggregate of 14 Team PokerStars Pros and PokerStars Team Online players entered Event 16-M and failed to make the money. They included the likes of Chad Brown, Marcel Luske, Jason Mercier and Freddy Torres. Team Online player George "jorj95" Lind squeezed his way into a min-cash ($341.64) with his 86th-place finish.

Lind and all the rest of the PokerStars players were outperformed by one Team Pro who's been on this stage several times before: George Danzer. Danzer was cruising through the field and had an above-average stack with two tables left. He caught the wrong side of variance at that point and quickly plummeted. He held on until 13 remained before finally busting ($1,182.60).

The double elimination of elkijs and mapof on the final table bubble meant that the final table started eight-handed.

Event 16-M final table.png

Seat 1: Jason "Taknapotin" Somerville (218494 in chips)
Seat 2: albertozi (334895 in chips)
Seat 3: Kid Blaast (249759 in chips)
Seat 5: thefish01x (306908 in chips)
Seat 6: HK_LUX_HK (609502 in chips)
Seat 7: xAlusticx (803690 in chips)
Seat 8: Ami "UhhMee" Barer (155352 in chips)
Seat 9: Nonnos44 (606400 in chips)

Level 27: Stakes 20k-40k
Average: 365,000 (9 big bets)

xAlusticx started with the chip lead, but thanks to the double elimination on the final table bubble Nonnos44 also had a large stack.

Barer and Somerville came into the final table as short stacks and went to war almost immediately. Somerville got the best of the encounter when his A♠A♦A♥2♥ scooped Barer's A♣6♣Q♠5♠. Most of the chips went in on a two-club, two-small flop, but Barer bricked everything all the way to the river. He busted in 8th place a few hands later.

Somerville's work wasn't done there. He doubled through HK_LUX_HK to pull himself closer to, though still a few big bets short of, an average stack. thefish01x also made a strong upwards climb, courtesy of an ace-high flush and a 6-low that scooped xAlusticx.
Somerville continued his upward trajectory after the 12am break. A key pot for Somerville was this three-way pot against xAlusticx and Nonnos44 that went to the river but not to showdown:

Kid Blaast knocked Somervile back a few pegs by rivering a heart flush to become the first player to crest the million-chip mark. Somerville seemed undaunted, while much of the rest of the table seemed just to be trying to hang on.

Nonnos44 got the best of it among the other players and overtook Kid Blaast for the chip lead by notching yet another double elimination. HK_LUX_HK and xAlusticx were both severely short on chips. Three pre-flop bets was enough to put HK_LUX_HK all in; one more on a 3♣J♠8♣ flop ended the betting for xAlusticx. Nonnos44 covered them all and went for the double kill with Q♣Q♥4♦T♦, a hand that was ahead of HK_LUX_HK's A♥2♦3♦2♠ but behind xAlusticx's A♦A♠3♥9♣. A lucky 9♥ on the turn gave Nonnos44 a queen-high straight, and a board pairing 8♦ on the river knocked HK_LUX_HK and xAlusticx out.

The next hand the stakes went up to 30k-60k. That spelled trouble for albertozi and Somerville, both of whom had slipped below 200k. Somerville made his final stand with A♦K♦Q♠2♣ but lost to the unstoppable Nonnos44's Q♦T♦9♦6♥ when Nonnos44 rivered trip tens. Somerville earned $6,898.50 for 5th place.

SCOOP 2013 Jason Somerville.jpg

Somerville (left) finished in 5th place

Four-handed, Nonnos44 had the chip lead. The other three players were close to even. All agreed to consider a chip-chop modification of the payouts. They each agreed to chip-chop numbers that would give them around $15,000 each and would give Nonnos44 more than $19,000. Nonnos44 tried to negotiate for more.

Nonnos44: guys I'm sorry but I have more than 1/3 of total chips
Nonnos44: if kid blaastt and thefish you accept to take 15k each and take the rest then I accept
Kid Blaast: no sorry the deal is a good deal
thefish01x: either this or we play on
Nonnos44: ok sorry guys if you don't accept this then we play
thefish01x: ok play on

The stacks changed in a hurry, as they are wont to do with limits at 30k-60k. albertozi wound up with the short straw after getting scooped by Kid Blaast 's Broadway straight. The hand crippled albertozi to 36k. Two hands after that, albertozi was watching from the rail as the 4th place finisher, Kid Blaast was the new chip leader, and thefish01x and Nonnos44 were level with each other.

Nonnos44 was the first player to stumble. thefish01x turned a set of kings on a T♣T♦2♠K♥J♣ board to win a million-chip pot against Nonnos44. That loss left Nonnos44 with about 200k in chips. It didn't take long for Nonnos44 to hit the rail in 3rd place.

At the start of heads-up play, Kid Blaast and thefish01x were about as dead even as two players can be: 1.67 million for Kid Blaast, 1.61 million for thefish01x. They agreed to chip-chop and take $20,000 each, leaving $2,000 for the champion.

The two players battled for another hour without much change. Twice Kid Blaast was perilously short, but twice Kid Blaast battled back all the way to level stacks.

After the 2am stack, Kid Blaast ran out of double-up comebacks. thefish01x rattled off four straight pots to finally close out the match. The big blow came during a raised pot in which both players checked the 7♣4♦2♠ flop. thefish01x bet the 4♥ turn and the Q♦ river. Kid Blaast called both bets but couldn't bet 5♦9♠Q♣A♠, two pair for his and a 7-low.

Kid Blaast made a final stand the next hand with J♠3♠7♣4♦. thefish01x flopped a set of 5s with 5♣5♦6♥K♣ and never looked back.

Sometimes after deals are made, the players shove their chips into the middle loosey-goosey, not wanting to battle for the last bits of remaining prize money. In Event 16-M, Kid Blaast made thefish01x work for every dollar of the $2,000 champion's set-aside. For that, thefish01x is a deserving SCOOP champion.

SCOOP 2013 Event 16-M $215 FL Omaha Hi/Lo results

Players: 657
Prizepool: $131,400
Places paid: 90

1st: thefish01x ($22,142.49)
2nd: Kid Blaast ($20,234.01)
3rd: Nonnos44 ($13,140.00)
4th: albertozi ($9,855.00)
5th: Jason "Taknapotin" Somerville ($6,898.50)
6th: xAlusticx ($5,584.50)
7th: HK_LUX_HK ($4,270.50)
8th: Ami "UhhMee" Barer ($2,956.50)
9th: mapof ($1,852.74)

There are still 28 events - each with three different buy-ins - available in SCOOP 2013. Check out the point standings and the remaining events at the SCOOP home page.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP