SCOOP 2013: They were out to get paranoik333 in Event 3-L ($5.50+R NLHE, 6-Max, Action Hour)

It's a hard thing to go wire-to-wire in an online poker tournament. With fields of thousands, just making it to the final table takes a blend of skill, stamina and luck. Today one player tried to go wire-to-wire on Day 2 of SCOOP 2013 Event 3-Low, $5.50+R NLHE (6-Max, Action Hour), but Russian player paranoik333 made sure that didn't happen. Whether or not paranoik333 was wearing a tin foil hat, we'll never know.

Back in the day, when PokerStars first started running SCOOP tournaments, the structures were so good and the turnout so high that many of the events ran for far longer than anybody should be asked to sit at a computer. The lesson was quickly learned that some SCOOP events, like Event 3-L, needed to be two-day events.

When play concluded yesterday, 115 of the 17,403 starters remained in the field. They were led by Shaunn1, Romanicco and tilt9. Things didn't go as well for Romanicco on Day 2, as Romanicco hit the rail in 35th place ($687.11). tilt9 made a deeper run, bowing out in 15th place and earning $1,374.23.

Shaunn1, on the other hand, maintained the chip lead from 115 players left almost all the way to the final table of six:

Event 3-L final table.png

Seat 1: Marvelle (25746216 in chips)
Seat 2: paranoik333 (29463777 in chips)
Seat 3: Vitorbrasil (28553542 in chips)
Seat 4: doismell? (86821027 in chips)
Seat 5: Tvorogok (8894373 in chips)
Seat 6: Shaunn1 (23786065 in chips)

Level 62: Blinds 250k-500k, ante 62.5k
Average: 33.9 million

Tvorogok came into the final table as the extreme short stack but doubled through chip leader doismell? in the early-going. Shaunn1, who led Day 2 for so long, had work to do as the 5th-place stack. But really, it was 5 stacks that were neck-and-neck and one - the stack belonging to doismell? - that stood significantly above the rest.

Fortunes began to change. Marvelle tried to bluff paranoik333 out of a pot, but shut down on the river after paranoik333 got stubborn with top pair. Shaunn1 probably thought doismell? was being a big-stack bully by betting a T♣2♣T♠ flop, checking a 2♠ turn, and betting 4.235 million on an 8♦ river. Turned out doismell? had A♠T♦ for a full house.

On the last hand before the 3pm break, Marvelle's frustration surely came to a head. Dealt pocket aces, Marvelle opened for the minimum, 1.2 million. A series of raises ensued between Marvelle and Vitorbrasil, resulting in a Vitorbrasil shove that Marvelle quickly called all in. Vitorbrasil showed down pocket jacks, then flopped a set, 2♣J♣K♣. The turn and river were both bricks that ended Marvelle's run in 6th place.

paranoik snapped off a bluff by doismell? to jump out into sole possession of 2nd place:

A few hands later, near the end of the 400k-800k level, Shaunn1 got all in with ace-king against Tvorgok's pocket kings and was in danger of faltering in 5th. An ace on the flop saved Shaunn1's tournament and left Tvorogok with fewer than 6 million chips. Those chips went into the middle on the last hand of the level, with K♠J♥. doismell? got in there with A♠5♦ and dragged the pot. Tvorogok finished in 5th place, earning $5,701.53.

For the third time at the final table, Shaunn1 suggested looking at chop numbers. Shaunn1 wanted to do that at the start of the final table and after Marvelle was eliminated. Each time the table said no. This time around doismell? and Vitorbrasil were amenable, but paranoik333 held out.

About 10 minutes later, Shaunn1 asked again. The reason why? Vitorbrasil was eliminated in 4th place by paranoik333. This one had collision written all over. paranoik333, who had been active with raises and 3-bets, opened for the minimum 2 million. Vitorbrasil 3-bet; paranoik333 4-bet. Vitorbrasil made a stand for 32.5 million with A♣J♥, perhaps theorizing that paranoik333 wouldn't call without a monster. It turned out that paranoik333 did have a monster - pocket kings. A queen-high board left Vitorbrasil without a chair at the table.

paranoik333, by the way, still refused to look at deal numbers.

To start three-handed play, doismell? still led, followed by paranoik333 in 2nd place and Shaunn1 in 3rd. A lucky river card allowed doismell? to beat paranoik333 out of a 24-million chip pot and open a 2.5-to-1 chip lead over both of the other players.

As the three players batted the chips around, Shaunn1 tried again.

Shaunn1: can we see numbers paranoik?

There was still no reply from paranoik333. With the blinds up to 600k-1200k, paranoik333 used a few medium-sized pots to build up to 71.8 million. Shaunn1 dipped down to 33.7 million, while doismell? still led with about 97 million.

Yet with blinds as high as they were, swings of 20 million chips became common. Shaunn1 went on the offensive with flop raises in a few hands, but paranoik333 shut that down by moving all in over the top of a Shaunn1 raise. Shaunn1 didn't call but the pot was big enough to nudge paranoik333 into the chip lead.

A few hands later, Shaunn1 finally moved back into the chip lead, for the first time since two tables remained, with a sizable uncalled river bet:

Shaunn1 also renewed the requests for a deal as the swings grew more wild:

Shaunn1: come on guys numbers
doismell?: agree
Shaunn1: not worth it
doismell?: para?
Shaunn1: just a look para?
paranoik333: maybe in aa break

A break started less than a minute later, prompting paranoik333 to agree at long last to consider a deal. At that point, with blinds at 700k-1400k, Shaunn1 had 75.6 million, paranoik333 had 73.5 million, and doismell? was the short stack with 54.0 million.

The chip-chop numbers gave a shade north of $28,000 to Shaunn1 and paranoik333, and just less than $26,000 to doismell?. All three players quickly agreed to that proposal, leaving just the champion's set-aside of $4,000 to play for.

From there the end came quickly. Shaunn1 and paranoik333 got their stacks in the middle on a flip, 8s for paranoik333 against the ace-jack for Shaunn1. A flopped 8 put a quick end to that duel.

Shaunn1's elimination left doismell? at about a 3-to-1 chip disadvantage against paranoik333 to start heads-up play. The stacks stayed that way until the final hand of the tournament. paranoik333 started that hand as the button and opened to 2.8 million. The action then went three-bet, four-bet shove, call all in, with doismell? at risk for 43.3 million. doismell?'s A♦Q♠ had a slight advantage against paranoik333's K♦9♠, but a 9 on the flop left doismell? struggling for outs. They never came.

I'm sure paranoik333 doesn't believe online poker is rigged (it's not). But after a SCOOP 2013 victory today, paranoik333 might just believe in a boom switch - for playing one's best in online poker's brightest spotlight.

SCOOP 2013 Event 3-L $5.50+R NLHE (6-Max, Action Hour) results (* denotes 3-way deal)

Players: 17,403
Prizepool: $305,385
Places paid: 2400

1st: paranoik333 ($32,270.77)*
2nd: doismell? ($25,835.74)*
3rd: Shaunn1 ($28,530.64)*
4th: Vitorbrasil ($9,925.01)
5th: Tvorogok ($5,701.53)
6th: Marvelle ($3,612.70)

Get up to the minute point leader standings, results and a schedule of qualifiers for upcoming SCOOP events at the SCOOP home page.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in SCOOP