SCOOP 2014: Scott "BigRiskky" Clements wins 1st 'COOP, Rui "RuiNF" Ferreira 2nd in Event #09-H ($1,050 NLHE)

It took one day two nights, or two days one night, for a SCOOP-sized Super Tuesday to resolve the finishing order of 1,578 entrants lured to the register button by the nice, shiny one million dollar guarantee. Since the buy-in was four-figures, you can do the math, the prize pool was not an even seven-figures, but a bulging $1,578,000.

This was a tough field, with a slow structure. Thirty minute blind levels and every blind increment at that were on tap for those with the temerity to play high level poker for a prolonged period of time. Thankfully at the end of Day 1 everyone had made the money, no one would have to sleep on that insecurity. 180 were paid and 134 returned with an eye on the over quarter million dollar first place prize. Some huge names had cashed, including John "PearlJammer" Turned (175th, $2,051.40), Angel Guillen (153rd, $2,288.10), Andrew "Foucault82" Brokos (103rd, $2,998.20), Ryan "G0lfa" D'Angelo (58th, $3,945), Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas (49th, $4,260.60), and Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo (13th, $10,493.70). We could go on.

After an enormously long slog, over 38 hours of play, less a 14 hour break in the middle, Scott "BigRiskky" Clements faced off against Rui "RuiNF" Ferreira heads-up, less than twenty-four hours since the latter had won the preceding SCOOP-H event (a $700 Heads-Up tournament). It was Clements who went into the duel with the chip-lead and who came out of it with the title and a massive $263,604.90 cash.

Scott "BigRiskky" Clements has won many things, including both the Sunday Million and the Sunday 500 on PokerStars (to name a few). But today he added his first 'COOP title to an incredible poker resume. Rui Ferreira, meanwhile, has played forty-eight hours in what the kids like to call "beast mode." Keeping a high level of play throughout a two-day event is one thing, doing it while taking down a tough, tough heads-up tournament all through the first night, is another. Suffice to say Ferreira did not get as much sleep between Day 1 and Day 2 of this event as his competitors. And he had a lot more reason to be fatigued. But, had we to guess, over $270,000 in cashes was likely worth the toil.


Final Table Chip Counts

Seat 1: say wow (496,864 in chips)
Seat 2: El Braulin (557,046 in chips)
Seat 3: tinchoarce (1,726,207 in chips)
Seat 4: ImaLuckSac (572,213 in chips)
Seat 5: BigRiskky (1,319,289 in chips)
Seat 6: starwins :) (909,898 in chips)
Seat 7: RuiNF (1,310,396 in chips)
Seat 8: markovitsus (121,553 in chips)
Seat 9: Korn2005 (876,534 in chips)

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A slow, steady structure cannot prevent elimination, just defer its inevitability. Estonian player markovitsus had reached nearly the 1M chip mark during play with three and two tables left, but they ran pocket queens into aces and lost a flip with tens versus ace-king, you know, that banal evil of tournament inevitability. As a result they were short when the final table commenced. Shortly after things got underway RuiNF raised on the button to 20,000 and markovitsus moved all-in for 94,928 total with K♠ T♦. For the price it was a relatively straightforward call for RuiNF's A♦ 7♥.

Q♦ Q♥ 5♥ on the flop meant there would be a sweat with a jack or a nine turn, but the 4♦ was produced from the deck instead. The 6♠ river (the start of a theme), meant markovitsus 33 hour run had come to an end in ninth, worth $16,411.20.

The second shortest stack, say wow out of Belarus, opened a pot a good deal afterwards, to 24k (blinds up to 6k-12k). Two spots behind them was tinchoarce from Argentina, who made it 54k to go. When it folded around it was a quick shove from the 326k stack and an even quicker call, before the Argentina held the giant-killer A♣ A♦. It was a real cooler, Q♦ Q♠ for say wow in this spot and two thirds of a million betting units piled in the middle of the table. J♦ 6♦ 7♥ was the flop, with a 9♠ turn it would be your garden variety two-outer that say wow was looking for. No expressions of astonishment would come to mind when the board paired in a perfunctory fashion, the 6♠ meant they were eliminated eighth for $29,982.

Nothing had been going Denmark's starwins :) way (no, our grammatical liscence hasn't descended that far, the emoticon is in their screenname), but they had avoided climactic confrontations. With blinds up again, at 8k-16k Scott "BigRiskky" Clements opened one off the button to 32k and starwins :) had the perfect stack size to three-bet all-in, 413k. Unfortunately on this day Clements had J♥ J♣ to make the call and the at-risk player was looking from an ace from space (or anywhere, really), since they had A♥ J♠. Another no sweat board was waiting in the wings, a 6♣ 6♠ 2♥ flop, a T♥ turn, and a J♦ river were certainly none of what starwins :) had wished upon for. They were out seventh, a $45,762 payout some small consolation.

Kevin "ImaLuckSac" McPhee can rattle off a resume full of MTT triumph. But today was not his day as RuiNF and BigRiskky rode their momentum towards the final two spots. His elimination hand was a perfect example of this. Grinded down to 700k (still 39 big blinds) he flat-called a tinchoarce open in the cutoff seat with T♣ T♦ to watch RuiNF squeeze to 117k behind. Once the initial raiser got out of the way a four-bet back shove was ordered up for the squeezer's pleasure. Unfortunately for McPhee, it was to RuiNF's liking, he had woken up with an even bigger pair on this morning, K♣ K♥. Any ten would do as the board offered no other hopes, A♠ 4♣ 8♥, 4♦, K♠ the final five community cards. Sixth place and $61,542 would be awarded to McPhee's elaborate list of accomplishments.

With blinds up to 9k-18k, Korn2005's 260k would have to move into the middle sooner than later, five-handed play against gritty competition is no time to knit sweaters. So, when RuiNF raised the button to 36k and the Canadian short-stack found Q♦ J♥ an all-in was in order. For RuiNF's A♣ T♣, so was a call. The K♠ 9♠ 8♠ flop gave neither player a flush draw, but the three-card gutshot was added to Korn2005's wish list. This time the fates were in a brick-laying mood, producing a 5♣ turn and a 6♦ runout. Korn2005 had come all the way to fifth place and left with $77,332 in pocket.

Four-Handed Big Riskky Takes Over

At one point during four-handed play, Scott "BigRiskky" Clements was winning more pots than his three competitors combined. It was a surge at the perfect time by anyone's standards and it really picked up steam when tinchoarce raised the button to 50k with 1.4M chips behind. In the small blind, Clements three-bet to 151k, a larger sizing that one will often see out of position in these tournaments. The Argentine facing said three-bet was undeterred, bumping the price of poker to 400k. All-in. Call.

It was A♣ Q♥ for Clements, a very strong hand in four-handed play. But the true monster lurked, like Errol Childress on a lawnmower, on the button -- tinchoarce held K♥ K♦. The T♠ 4♠ 7♦ flop changed nothing. The 9♠ turn, this was like Clements' memory of a suck-out, and the memory was fading. But when the A♦ river came. tinchoarce was seeing black stars, and hoping time was not a flat circle, because suddenly the board's green pastures had turned all Carcosa. The Argentinian was out fourth, the possibility of reliving said bad beat aside, $107,304 being added to their PokerStars account was surely not a bad outcome.

Clements preflop magic was sustained after he raised the button and was three-bet from El Braulin to 175k. Seeing his opponent had 1.1M betting units behind, Clements moved all-in with A♠ 6♠, presumably hoping fora fold, but with the chance to win should he be called. Called he was. A chance to win, he had. Though maybe not as much as he would like, El Braulin had snapped with A♣ Q♠. The flop was a messy one for the Mexican players hopes of holding tight, 7♠ 5♠ 5♥ gave the chip-leader all sorts of possibilities to get half the pot back, or have things progress to heads-up. The J♠ turn was decisive news indeed. El Braulin had weathered a short-stack amid a tempest for a long time (the river was the J♥ if you were wondering), all the way to a massive $145,176 payout for third.

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Heads-Up

Chip Stacks

Seat 5: BigRiskky (6,253,414 in chips)
Seat 7: RuiNF (1,636,586 in chips)

Both players were riding momentum into the heads-up portion of this marathon, but only one could prevail. There was no broaching of a deal, but some well timed emoticons in the chatbox suggested that it was just about competition, nothing personal.

Early on RuiNF doubled up after calling a three-bet with ace-offsuit, A♥ 8♠, flopping top pair, and rivering aces up. Clements hero-called a river shove on A♣ 5♣ 6♦, J♦, 8♣ with Q♠ Q♥ after which he had his work cut out for him.

The two competitors then grinded it out. In fact, there was never a pot over 3M chips before the culminating 7M one. At one point RuiNF would have to double with pocket tens versus ace-rag to get back into a comfort zone to play postflop again, but for the most part, that's what the two did, saw flops and battled. While Clements cards were unavailable to the observer, he was winning more than his share of the pots, maintaining his lead, increasing the pressure, and forcing RuiNF onto their heels.

Then, it happened. The cooler.

RuiNF was at a high-water mark with 3.5M chips, still fighting valiantly after who knows how many tough decisions. He min-raised in position and was three-bet by Clements, who had been quite aggressive preflop. After he called the two saw a 7♠ 2♠ 5♦ flop, after which Clements checked, RuiNF bet 180k, and Clements raised to 434k. RuiNF called. The turn was the J♦ and another sizable shell came flying out of Clements' stack, this time for 645k. Ferreira was not budging and made the call.

The river was the J♥ and improved both players, an extreme unlikelihood, both on account of its rank and it being the case jack in the deck. The man known as "BigRiskky" had check-raised naked overcards, J♣ T♠, and moved all-in for value. The one at risk had flopped a flush draw and other possibilities with J♠ 6♠ and had backdoored perhaps the best of those -- trips. But trips were no good, and with 90% of the tournament's chips in the pot, Clements' ten kicker played. For the win.

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Scott "BigRiskky" Clements has won many things, including both the Sunday Million and the Sunday 500 on PokerStars (to name a few). But today he added his first 'COOP title to an incredible poker resume, along with $263,604.90 to his PokerStars account, and for those he deserves hearty congratulations!

Rui Ferreira, meanwhile, has played forty-eight hours in what the kids like to call "beast mode." Keeping a high level of play throughout a two-day event is one thing, doing it while taking down a tough, tough heads-up tournament all through the first night, is another. Suffice to say Ferreira did not get as much sleep between Day 1 and Day 2 of this event as his competitors. And he had a lot more reason to be fatigued. But, had we to guess, over $270,000 in cashes, $192,516 in this event, was likely worth the toil.

2014 SCOOP Event #09-H $1,050 NLH Super Tuesday SE - Final Table Results:
Entrants: 1,578
Prize Pool: $1,578,000
Places Paid: 180
1. Scott "BigRiskky" Clements (Canada) - $263,604.90
2. Rui "RuiNF" Ferreira (Portugal) - $192,516
3. El Braulin (Mexico) - $145,176
4. tinchoarce (Argentina) - $107,304
5. Korn2005 (Canada) - $77,322
6. Kevin "ImaLuckSac" McPhee (Canada) -$61,542
7. starwins :) (Denmark) - $45,762
8. say wow (Belarus) - $29,982.00
9. markovitsus (Estonia) - $16,411.20

Nine down, so many to go! There are 45 SCOOP events in all, each of which has three levels. Hence, a lot of scooping can still be had, if you take a gander at this year's schedule.

Gareth Chantler is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Gareth Chantler
@PokerStars in SCOOP