SCOOP 2014: ftheplayer Studly in Event #12-L (Limit Stud)

Fans of No-Limit Hold'em will like how Stud gets started-- two hole cards, face down, secret only to whom is dealt them. Until the money goes in, of course. From there matters take a journey to a strange, alien land, where up-cards are not shared and betting is incremental. At some point, that increment doubles, befuddling rank amateurs. The SCOOP guarantee wizards were on their game once again, setting the bar at $25,000 to see the final prize pool reach $41,685.90. Thinking themselves studly, 1,698 players entered and 224 would make the money. Stud isn't a hyper-turbo, the structure made them work for it, but after eight hours and ten minutes ftheplayer of Norway had turned a $27 buy-in into $7,296.06 and was a title holder.

Team PokerStars was well represented, Elky, George Danzer, Naoya 'nkeyno' Kihara, Marcel Luske, Mement_mori, Goral, and GodLikeRoy all entering. All of them also failed to make the money, with the Australian Roy finishing the highest, meaning he spent the most time earning his goose egg. Time well spent no doubt!

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Sharky596 started this hand by raising the 12k bring-in to 40k, which holden1989 raised it to 80k. Sharky596 merely had the 7♥ showing, to holden1989's K♥, with no other hearts out, and continued with a call. A fascinating sequence ensued, both players paired their door card, the 7♦ and the K♦ respectively. A double bet is allowed in this circumstance, why we are not so sure, but we hear it dates back to 16th Century Italy. In any case, the double bet was deployed, and raised, until both players were all-in. Both players had made three of a kind on fourth street, so while the Russian holden1989 was at-risk, things looked promising for their hopes of continuing in the tournament. They drew hearts on fifth, sixth, and seventh, improving to a flush, but their opponent Sharky596 drew the J♦, the 2♣, and then the J♠, meaning their sevens were now full of jacks. For their eighth place finish, holden1989 received $416.85.

Brazilian Muka82 was far and away the shortest stack, with less than 100k, which was 2.5 small bets. ozzieowen Q♠, Sharky596 J♦, and Muka82 9♠ all saw fourth street, none improved, but the action went ozzieowen bets, Sharky596 calls, and Muka82 calls all-in.

Sharky596 [Jd 7s] 8♠
Muka82 [9s 7h] J♠
ozzieowen [Qs 5d] A♠

These were the boards showing on fifth street, at which point ozzieowen pressed on for 80k and Sharky596 got out of the way. It was a pair, the 9♦, for Muka82 on sixth, which was ultimately all they could table when all seven cards were turned up. Meanwhile ozzieowen already had two pair on fourth, queens and fives, then made another, of aces, to scoop. For seventh place Muka82 won $833.71.

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Swede on swede combat would be responsible for the next knockout. Mullemeck81 had the bring-in with the 4♥ once that cost had risen to 18k. Vasafisk raised to 60k with the T♥ and Mullemeck81 defended. Each played drew a seven on fourth, Vasafisk bet 60k again and Mullemeck81 called again. Another seven for Vasafisk on fifth and the betting increment doubled to 120k, just enough to put Mullemeck81 all-in, who had pulled five and called. When the 6♥ and Q♥ in the hole were uncovered, one could see why. Mullemeck81 had an open ended straight draw and a flush draw, either of which would be good unless Vasafisk filled up, they had tens and sevens.

Mullemeck81 shows Q♥ 6♥ 4♥ 7♦ 5♥ 6♣ 5♣
Vasafisk shows T♦ 3♥ T♥ 7♣ 7♠ Q♠ J♥

Mullemeck81 improved their hand on both sixth and seventh, but not in the way they would have preferred. Their two pair was bested, their place sixth good for $1250.57.

ftheplayer had moved past the 2M chip mark on heady play, making a break from the short-stack pack to contending for the title for the first time. On third street, the action was capped, Sharky596 only showing the 5♦ but certainly representing a big pair in the hole. Meanwhile ftheplayer held the Q♣ and with two other clubs showing in the door of noncombatants, one would presume a pair of the large variety was in their midst. Two innocuous fourth street cards, the 8♠ for Sharky596 and the T♠ for ftheplayer changed nothing -- the two players could not cap the betting faster, 60k to 120k to 180k and 240k would cap the action and Sharky596's stack. This was a big one, a million chip pot.

ftheplayer K♣ J♣ Q♣ T♠ .
Sharky596 A♥ A♣ 5♦ 8♠

It was aces versus the world. Losing would cost ftheplayer about a quarter of their chip-lead but it would cost Sharky596 everything. On this day the A♦ visiting ftheplayer on sixth street and that was all that mattered, they had completed a broadway straight to send Sharky596 out in fifth, which was good for a $2084.29 payout.

The next elimination was also a result of a third street capping, rnb333 going with the 2♠ on board, to ozzieowen's J♣. It took three bets to get the rest of rnb333's stack in on fourth street, again both players drew to seeming blanks, the 3♦ for ozzieowen and the 7♦ for rnb333. It turns out that the 7♦ had made a pair for rnb333, and the had a three-card flush in A♠ 7♠ 2♠ as a backup to that. Perhaps not a holding everyone would press the action with, but they were nevertheless ahead of the A♦ Q♠ J♣ 3♦ of ozzieowen. As is often the case in stud tournaments, the present of early street all-ins can reveal some unforseen draw outs or avenues to victory. On this day, in this hand, it was running tens for ozzieowen that overtook rnb333's sevens. Action was heating up as play had become short-handed, and rnb333 took up arms for that cause, but fell upon their sword, winning $2918.01 for fourth place.

Entering three-handed play Vasafisk was holding on with a bit more than 800k, ozzieowen had a dominant chip-lead with nearly 5M, and ftheplayer was knocking on the door of 3M. Over the next 35 minutes a simple narrative unfolded, ftheplayer won the pots, such that at one point three-handed, their chip lead was 10 to 1 to 1, 7M to 700k to 700k, in fact. That was short-lived.

The bring-in had risen to 36k, the small bet to 120k, which imperiled Vasafisk's stack quite quickly. In their ultimate hand, they began with 700k, and three-bet the ftheplayer-raise of ozzieowen's bring-in. That price was 240k, so when ftheplayer called, over one third of the short-stack's chips were in the middle. Again, a theme of this final table, the door cards were of little help, 6♥ for ftheplayer and 3♥ for Vasafisk with the 2♥ dead in ozzieowen's door. Vasafisk added another heart, the K♥, on fourth, pressed on, while their opponent bricked on the 2♣ and called. The 5♣ for the aggressor and the A♦ for the player elicited another bet, but this time a raise, and an all-in call. The mystery would be solved for all observing.

Vasafisk 4♥ 4♠ 3♥ K♥ 5♣
ftheplayer Q♣ A♣ 6♥ 2♣ A♦

Both players tabled pairs with no shared ranks, any of Vasafisk's kickers had their full retinue of outs. The Swede drew the 6♠ and the 3♠ to make babies up, but their northern neighbour drew to the Q♠ on sixth, meaning only a four would have done. Vasafisk was finishing in third after an outstanding showing and pocketed a substantial $3,960.16.

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Heads-Up

As mentioned, ftheplayer now had an enormous advantage. In the ultimate hand, ozzieowen had the T♠ and fewer than one big bet. ftheplayer had the Q♦ and all the chips in the world. Well, tournament at least.

ozzieowen: 5♣ 5♥ T♠
ftheplayer: 7♣ Q♣ Q♦

Well as fate would have it, it was still a terrible cooler, pair over pair with essentially random starting hands. Both players added ace kickers on fourth and then totally bricked out. After keeping their head buoyant early, ftheplayer made a huge late surge and ozzieowen was whisked away in second, winning $5,210.73.

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Congratulations and gratulasjonen to Norwegian ftheplayer, who earned it the hard way today, keeping track of up cards and down cards for over eight hours, while withstanding ups and downs that would earn any poker player's respect. For their first SCOOP victory they are $7,296.06 richer!

2014 SCOOP Event #12-L $27 Stud - Final Table Results:
Entrants: 1,698
Prize Pool: $41,685.90
Places Paid: 224
1. ftheplayer (Norway) - $7,296.06
2. ozzieowen (United Kingdom) - $5,210.73
3. Vasafisk (Sweden) - $3,960.16
4. rnb333 (Portugal) - $2,915.01
5. Sharky596 (United Kingdom) - $2,084.29
6. Mullemeck81 (Sweden) -$1,250.57
7. Muka82 (Brazil) - $833.71
8. holden1989 (Russia) - $416.85

Twelve SCOOPS in the books now, thirty-three SCOOPS remain! Check out this year's schedule so you can find the ice cream tournament (actually we're being told its Spring Championship of Online Poker) of your choosing.

Gareth Chantler is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Gareth Chantler
@PokerStars in SCOOP