SCOOP 2014: James "Andy McLeod" Obst adds second SCOOP title to his Triple Crown in Event #26-H ($2,100 Stud Hi/Low)

By the numbers, the high buy-in installment of Event 26 of the SCOOP might have been the choice for title-hunters, garnering a mere 86 entrants. On further reflection, between big names and stud specialists, oh and did we mention a $2,100 barrier for entry, this event might not have been such an appealing proposition. An litany of samurais, Mike "SirWatts" Watson, Kevin "ImaLucSac" McPhee, Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo, Nick "TheTakeover" Shulman, Dan "djk123" Kelly, BrynKenny, and Ola "Odd_Oddsen" Amundsgaard, to pluck some at random, all missed the money, along with Team PokerStars Pros George Danzer, Elky, and Eugene Katchalov.

The latter two, Elky (14th) and Katchalov (16th), staples of the four-figure stud tournaments, played over six hours for a painful return on their investment, as the top 12th players were paid. At the end it was Australia's James "Andy McLEOD" Obst who took it all down for $46,870 sans chop. Obst had already captured the 'COOP Triple Crown, winning a SCOOP, a TCOOP, and a WCOOP. Easy game right? Well Obst did not have the easiest route to take at this final table. But he stuck to his guns, put his head down, and grinded it out, for the win.


Triple COOP King James Obst added a jewel to his crown

For much of the meat of the tournament renowned tournament and mixed game professional Mike "GoLeafsGoEh" Leah led the pack. Leah has been on a tear of late, which is his typical move concerning tournaments of the poker variety. However, his downfall would be a tad too swift for his own liking, at least according to our twitter machine:

"Mike Leah ‏@GoLeafsGoEh
Sitting 1/11 in SCOOP-26-Med but Blow'ed up real good and stone bubbled the high in 13th place after being 1/20 #doh #stud #spewtastic

It was 13th for Leah, awarding the goose's egg, while 12th place (Ukn0wn123 of Uruguay) received a tasty $4,730.

Final Table Chip Counts

Seat 1: Crazy Elior (81,648 in chips)
Seat 2: Andy McLEOD (103,873 in chips)
Seat 3: highland (55,079 in chips)
Seat 4: marroca5 (80,355 in chips)
Seat 5: TheHood (6,520 in chips)
Seat 6: vovtroy (28,983 in chips)
Seat 7: inspecta (37,454 in chips)
Seat 8: MUSTAFABET (36,088 in chips)


Australia's TheHood had been all-in the final table's first hand, but scraped out the low against MUSTAFABET to prolong what would seem inevitable, as they were all-in four more times in the first baker's dozen shuffles. In their ultimate hand they brought it in showing the 5♣ with two aces already out across the table, vovtroy a fellow short stack called with the 8♣ and big stack marroac5 called as well, 5♦ in hand. After betting fourth and fifth, marroac5 did not like the way things were developing and ducked out. That left

TheHood: X-X-5♣-3♠-2♠
vovtroy: X-X-8♣-K♣-T♣

TheHood had lead out for 3,200 on fifth and was raised to 6,400. The called, leaving themselves just 2,800 to check-call all-in on sixth after they drew to the Q♠, vovtroy adding the 4♦. Bad news was in the offing as the larger stack had 2♣ 6♣ in the hole for the made flush. But they did not have the high-side clinched, TheHood had the K♠ in the hole, meaning they could make a better flush with any spade. They also had the 5-4-3-2 to vovtroy's 8-6-4-2 unmade low. We are no experts in Stud Hi/Low equity but even with some outs dead, TheHood had 30% equity in the pot going to seventh, with a decent number of scoops possible.

TheHood: 3♦
vovtroy: 7♥

It was brick city for TheHood, vovtroy's card irrelevant and the Australian was first out at the final table in eighth, cashing $5,590.

It was at this point that James "Andy McLEOD" Obst lost his chip-lead to surging marroca5, who would breach 140k with the next elimination.

Two aces out again, but this time one in marroca5's hand, when they raised the 600 bring-in of MUSTAFABET (5♣) to 2,000 and received a cold-call from inspecta (6♥), second last to act, who was quite short with 11,894. MUSTAFABET came along and all inspecta lead out with the 6♥ before MUSTAFABET raised to 4,000, presumably thinking the chip-leader had drawn poorly with the J♠. But marroca5 cold-called the two-bet and inspecta, sporting an Alberta Einstein avatar, took the opportunity to reopen the action to 6,000. Call call. Got all that? Here is how it looked on fifth

Pot: 26,800
inspecta (3,894 behind): X-X-6♥-7♥-K♣
MUSTAFABET (94,588): X-X-5♣-6♦-2♦
marroca5 (124,192): X-X-A♦-J♠-9♣

marroca5 had the lead showing an ace, checked, and inspecta was all-in for their last chips. Both opponents called and both put in another bet of 4,000 on sixth and seventh, at the behest of the perhaps well-named MUSTAFABET. MUSTAFABET tabled a 8-6-5-3-2 for the low, while marroca5's tabled pair of aces somewhat outrageously held for the high, the 9♥ inspecta drew to on sixth apparently completing no draw. The Norwegian was ut i syvende (out in seventh) for $7,310.

Crazy Elior of the United Kingdom did seem rather crazy, as it was indicated they were playing this tournament on their mobile phone, brought it in with the rather low 2♠ for 600 before Canadian highland and their 7♥ raised it up to 2,000. marroca5 (3♠) called and MUSTAFABET popped it to 4,000. Crazy Elior rather sanely stepped aside, but highland and marroca5 did no such thing. A lot of low spades were out when highland paired their door card with a 7♣ fourth street, then oddly check-called with more than their stack in the pot after marroca5 bet 2,000 showing 3♠ A♣. It was on fifth that highland (6♥) woke up, leading into the perceived bricks of marroca5 T♣ and MUSTAFABET K♣. On sixth the threesome fell one short as MUSTAFABET did not like their 8♦ (or was working on behalf of the tournament recapper's sanity). It was heads-up and all-in.

highland: (5♥ 3♣) 7♥-7♣-6♥-Q♣
marroca5: (2♥ 2♣) 3♠-A♣-T♣-6♣

marroca5 was behind on both counts, but drawing better both ways, and the 5♣ card was a killer, scooping the 44k pot to make a nut flush and completing a 6-5-3-2-A low. For their sixth place run, unlucky on seventh this time, highland received $9,030.

It was a long slog from there on out, the man with the picture of himself and Joe Hachem getting buddy-buddy, Australian James "Andy McLEOD" Obst, fell as low as 20k, the short-stack of the five remaining players, before surging back to six-figure territory at the expense of both Crazy Elior and vovtroy.

Crazy Elior was short enough that they put each of their 8k chips in on third with the T♠ showing to MUSTAFABET's A♦. Everyone else was out of the way when the UK player with the anonymous avatar got the bad news:

Crazy Elior: 4♦-T♦-T♠

There would be no improvement on board for either side and that meant Crazy Elior was dispatched in fifth, grossing $12,040 for a near five-figure profit on their effort.

Unlike in No-Limit Hold'em, rarely is there a climactic clash that busts an important stack. Whittling is the name of the game. And whittled vovtroy was, to less than 14k in fact, when they put in the second-bet to 6,000 after Andy McLEOD had made it 3,000 on third. Action got capped at 12,000 which left no room for anything else on fourth but an all-in.

vovtroy: (A♦ 5♦) 6♠-8♦
Andy McLEOD: (Q♣-Q♦) 9♥-7♥

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The at-risk player would find another five and another eight for eights-up, but a better two pair was in the cards for James Obst's burried ladies, his J♣ on fifth finding its partner the J♠ on sixth. With that the Russian was filed fourth for $16,340.


Sometimes high hands get low and sometimes low hands get high. When high hands clash and the potential for a split disappears, that is most often when the short-stack becomes imperiled. That circumstances, along with a higher ante (up to 800) and a bring-in up to 1,200 led to the downfall of MUSTAFABET's decimated stack. It looked harmless on fourth when their A♥ 9♦ looked strong in the face of the 2♣ Q♠ of marroca5. But marroca5 stuck around to turn an ace of their own, the A♠. The K♣ certainly wasn't going low for MUSTAFABET and this had all the makings of a high versus high confrontation (as previously mentioned) when the big-stack led fifth for a committing 8,000. It was all-in on sixth for the shorty, who had drawn the 6♥, which, while they had no low possibility, made a four-card flush with the J♥ and 5♥ they had in the hole. The 3♦ was a true brick and their A-K-J high was pipped by the A-K-Q high of marroca5 (who connected with the king-ball on seventh, of course). An exit to forget we are sure for the capital competitor MUSTAFABET, who earned $24,080 for third place.

It was down to two and there would be no manufacturing of a chopped pot here. James Obst may not have entered the 45 hand heads-up match with the chip-lead (it was 225k to 205k) but he got to work quickly on just that. Sometimes someone just gets the best of it and with massive momentum Obst seemed to win every scoop while marroca5 was on their heels, merely chopping the biggest pots. The ultimate hand began with a 408k to 23k advantage for the decorated Aussie, who brought it in for 1,500 with the 3♥. It was a raise to 5,000 from the 5♥ of their opponent, a two-bet to 10,000, a three-bet in turn to 15,000, and the 20,000 chip cap was reached on third. This had all the looks of a straight cooler with marroca5 effectively all-in.

Andy McLEOD: (5♦ 7♥) 3♥-6♥
marroca5: (Q♥ Q♦) 5♥-T♦

Boom. What a card on fourth for the overwhelming chip-leader. The 9♠ on fifth would miss their straight draw and low draw, but the 4♠ on sixth completed both, marroca5's unimproved pair of queens drawing dead for half the pot. After the boards completed Mr. Obst had completed what some would refer to as a shellacking, and had 430,000 chips in his stack to show for it, marroca5 none. The Colombian would lick their wounds with $31,820 for second place.

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Congratulations to James "Andy McLEOD" Obst, who outmaneuvered one of the toughest fields of SCOOP 2014, an 86 player collection of poker studs, to add to his tremendous 'COOP resume, and feast on a tasty $46,870!

2014 SCOOP Event #26-H $2,100 Stud Hi/Low - Final Table Results:
Entrants: 86
Prize Pool: $172,000
Places Paid: 12
1. Andy McLEOD (Australia) - $46,870
2. marroca5 (Colombia) - $31,820
3. MUSTAFABET (United Kingdom) - $24,080
4. vovtroy (Russia) - $16,340
5. Crazy Elior (United Kingdom) - $12,040
6. highland (Canada) -$9,030
7. inspecta (Norway) - $7,310
8. TheHood (Australia) - $5,590

SCOOP is rounding into its final stretch this weekend. Check out this year's schedule to get in on the action before it is too late!

Gareth Chantler is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Gareth Chantler
@PokerStars in SCOOP