SCOOP 2013: zeus-tseuji wins first for Japan in Event #29-L, $11 NL Hold'em
The SCOOP Low tournaments have a habit of drawing some pretty sizable fields, especially when the game at play is no-limit hold'em. That was the case once again in Event #29-L, a two-day tournament with $100,000 in guaranteed prize money. With a 5K starting stack and 15-minute levels, there was plenty of value to be had for an $11 buy-in.
The guarantee was left far behind when 18,102 players showed up, building a $181,020 prize pool and setting up a top prize of $19,534.41. By the time Day 1 came to a close there were only 217 players remaining, with the blinds and antes at 4K/8K/1K and these 10 players ahead of the rest:
KING BAIT 1.87M
Igor Stipan 1.37M
Team PokerStars Pro's own ElkY sat in 23rd place as play resumed, with a stack of 833K. But as it turned out, neither the decorated pro nor most of the players in the top 10 to start Day 2 would still be playing by the time the final table arrived. ElkY bowed out in 66th place ($190.07). Cyprus' sakiss99 was the only one to make it through. The closest any of the others came was Germany's Ansgar2000, the incoming chip leader who busted in 27th ($325.83).
These eight players came from behind to join sakiss99 at the final table, which kicked off at 11:45 p.m. ET:
Seat 1: RONNALDO 9 (7,441,610 in chips)
Seat 2: kuuuukk (10,221,671 in chips)
Seat 3: Celfhtd (21,114,140 in chips)
Seat 4: MYspearGUN (8,187,550 in chips)
Seat 5: sakiss99 (7,148,485 in chips)
Seat 6: SHUR43 (7,014,445 in chips)
Seat 7: zeus-tseuji (17,273,468 in chips)
Seat 8: DDrunkson (2,025,913 in chips)
Seat 9: darkarchon-8 (10,082,718 in chips)
The action started right away and never really let up. Russia's SHUR43 came in with the second-shortest stack at 6.31M, worth just under 16 big blinds at the 200K/400K/50K level, and wasn't ready to wait around. The third hand saw SHUR43 move all-in from the button with K♥ T♦, and Japan's zeus-tseuji re-raised to isolate with 8♣ 8♦. The Russian looked likely to be the first player eliminated as the flop and turn came 7♠ Q♥ 3♠ 6♦, but the K♠ on the river kept SHUR43 alive with 13.37M chips.
Two hands later the Russian player picked up a few more chips after opening for 800K and having Portugal's DDrunkson move all-in for 1.17M total on the button. SHUR43 made the call with A♥ K♣, which had DDrunkson's A♦ 9♥ dominated. The J♥ 9♠ Q♥ T♦ Q♦ board gave SHUR43 a Broadway straight and the 3.4M-chip pot, and DDrunkson was eliminated in 9th place ($1,086.12).
Five hands after that Mexico's RONNALDO 9 flopped extremely well and played the hand for maximum value:
Two orbits later, on the 250K/500K/62.5K level, Bulgaria's darkarchon-8 caught a bit of good fortune. After moving all-in for 3.85M under the gun with 6♣ 6♥ and having Cyprus' MYspearGUN move in over the top from the cutoff with Q♣ Q♦, the 6♦ on the flop kept the Bulgarian player alive. Despite being left with just 846K - less than two big blinds - MYspearGUN wasn't the next player out, thanks to a huge confrontation on the very next hand.
The betting opened with Norway's kuuuuuk moving all-in for 6.72M from early position and Russia's Celfhtd making the call from middle position. Once the action reached zeus-tseuji in the small blind, the Japanese player moved all-in for 14.2M. Celfhtd made the call with 8.5M left behind and the players showed these hands:
zeus-tseuji 9♠ 9♣
kuuuuk K♦ J♦
Celfhtd A♣ K♠
The 3♠ J♠ 9♦ flop was a great one for zeus-tseuji, whose set of nines became a big favorite to win the pot. The 7♣ turn and J♣ river made that happen, shipping zeus-tseuji the 36.13M-chip pot and knocking out kuuuuk in 8th place ($1,629.18).
MYspearGUN was now the clear short stack. The Cypriot player actually managed to triple up a few hands later with T♠ 5♦ against K♥ J♣ thanks to the 5♣ on the river, but at 1.88M that pot was worth less than four big blinds. Two hands later MYspearGUN moved all-in from the button for 1.5M with 9♠ 7♠ and ran into SHUR43's T♠ T♣ in the big blind. The J♣ 9♥ J♦ flop brought a few outs, and the 7♥ a few more, but the 2♠ sent MYspearGUN to the rail in 7th place ($2,715.30).
Only two hands later darkarchon-8 ended up all-in before the flop, having three-bet to 7.29M in the big blind after SHUR43 opened for 1M on the button. The Russian player made the call with 4♥ 4♠, which held up on the 5♣ 5♥ 8♦ T♣ A♥ board to knock darkarchon-8 out in 6th place ($4,525.50).
There was now a clear separation in the chip counts, with zeus-tseuji (34.95M) 15 big blinds ahead ahead of SHUR43 (27.82M) and with more than triple the chips of RONNALDO 9 (10.69M), Cyprus' sakiss99 (9.59M), and Celfhtd (7.44M). The blinds and antes soon rose to 300K/600K/75K and the pace of play slowed. Only one of the next 15 hands went to a flop. Finally the action folded to Celfhtd in the small blind and the Russian player raised the minimum to 1.2M. Sakiss99 moved all-in for 6.91M from the big blind with [Q♥ T♣ and Celfhtd made the call with 8♦ 8♠. The board fell J♥ 7♠ J♣ A♠ 7♥ and sakiss99 was gone in 5th place ($6,335.70).
The good times were short-lived for Celfhtd, though. Only four hands later a very similar hand came up: the action folded to the Russian player, who put in a small raise with a medium pocket pair (this time 7♠ 7♦) and called an all-in from the player in the big blind with overcards (this time SHUR43 with A♥ K♣). This time the flop wasn't so kind, falling K♦ 9♥ 2♣. The 6♥ turn and 9♣ sent the 29.08M-chip pot to SHUR43 for the chip lead and Celfhtd was out in 4th place ($8,145.90).
One more coin flip was needed to take the field down to the final matchup. It came 10 hands later when zeus-tseuji opened for 1.5M on the button with K♠ T♥ and called the 7.09M-chip all-in from RONNALDO 9, who held 7♣ 7♦. The Q♣ J♣ 4♥ flop brought a lot of outs to go with those overcards. The 5♦ wasn't any help but the A♣ on the river made a Broadway straight for zeus-tseuji, sending RONNALDO 9 out in 3rd place ($11,776.30).
A close contest
The chip counts were very close as heads-up play began:
Seat 6: SHUR43 (47,319,008 in chips)
Seat 7: zeus-tseuji (43,190,992 in chips)
The two traded small leads back and forth with each other until this pot gave zeus-tseuji a slightly bigger advantage:
Zeus-tseuji won most of the pots immediately after that one, but a run of seven out of eight pots after another 28 hands passed saw SHUR43 actually move back into the lead by a nose. Soon enough zeus-tseuji pulled back ahead by about 14M with the blinds and antes at 500K/1M/125K. The Japanese player managed to balance there for the next 25 hands. Then SHUR43 opened for 2M on the button, zeus-tseuji three-bet to 3.5M, SHUR43 four-bet to 7.05M, and zeus-tseuji called to see a flop of 3♦ 5♠ K♥. zeus-tseuji bet 6M into 14.36M and SHUR43 made the call, but the Russian declined to come along after zeus-tseuji led out for 20M on the 2♥ turn.
That 26.36M-chip pot gave zeus-tseuji a 64.97M-to-25.53M lead. And though the match went on another 29 hands, SHUR43 never got any closer than that again. Finally SHUR43 opened all-in for 20.2M on the button, holding K♥ 8♥, and zeus-tseuji made the call with A♥ 4♣. The Q♠ 5♣ T♥ T♣ Q♦ board did nothing for either player, giving zeus-tseuji the pot and the win.
SHUR43 collected $15,386.70 for two days of work, a fine reward especially considering how short-stacked the Russian player was to begin the final table. As for zeus-tseuji, who appears to be the first player from Japan ever to win a SCOOP event, the win was worth $19,534.41 and comes with a champion's watch to boot.
SCOOP 2013 Event #29-L: $11 NL Hold'em
$181,020 prize pool
2,475 places paid
1st place: zeus-tseuji (Japan) $19,534.41
2nd place: SHUR43 (Russia) $15,386.70
3rd place: RONNALDO 9 (Mexico) $11,776.30
4th place: Celfhtd (Russia) $8,145.90
5th place: sakiss99 (Cyprus) $6,335.70
6th place: darkarchon-8 (Bulgaria) $4,525.50
7th place: MYspearGUN (Cyprus) $2,715.30
8th place: kuuuuuk (Norway) $1,629.18
9th place: DDrunkson (Portugal) $1,086.12
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.