SCOOP 2014: bigdog6391 defeats Sorel 'zangbezan24' Mizzi heads-up to win Event #2-H [$2,100 NL]

"Yesterday I was in Monaco and today I'm in Brazil! Readdddy to explore some unexplored terrain," Sorel Mizzi tweeted the other day.

Ah, the life of a tournament pro. One day you're in Monte Carlo playing in a High Roller event at the EPT Grand Final... and the next day you're on holiday in South America. Sorel 'zangbezan24' Mizzi managed to find time to play a two-day Event #2-H and attempt to secure a second SCOOP title (he had won a limit hold'em SCOOP event in 2010). This event wasn't exactly a pushover with a deeply-stacked field featuring a who's who of high-stakes grinders and well-respected MTT regulars.

Early on Day 2, Mizzi jumped into the lead and lost it with two tables to go, but regained a slim advantage by the time the final table began. The final nine included suarez_BG (who won a SCOOP event in 2012) and Cejakas14 (who binked a 2012 TCOOP heads-up event), yet Mizzi dominated the early stages final table. With six to go, the remaining players attempted to discuss a money deal but negotiations broke down. Mizzi semi-joked that his opponents should've taken his counter-offer otherwise he'd have to bust all of them. The potential chop never happened, and Mizzi almost pulled off exactly as he predicted. He liquidated all of but one them... bigdog6391.

It looked like this was going to be Mizzi's day to shine until bigdog6391 rained on his parade. Thailand's bigdog6391 pulled off a remarkable come-from-behind victory at a final table that lasted over 5.5 hours. During a brutal heads-up battle, bigdog6391 got hot at the right time to cap off a stunning upset. In the process, bigdog6391 thwarted Mizzi's chance at winning a second-career SCOOP crown.

SCOOP Event #2-H $2,100 NL Hold'em was a two-day event and attracted 1,073 runners. They boosted the prize pool to $2,146,000, which exceeded the $1.25 million guarantee. The top 126 places paid out with $386,280 set aside to the eventual champion.


Second place for Sorel 'zangbezan24' Mizzi

A trio of PokerStars Team Online were grinding their way to a potential SCOOP crown: Randy 'nanonoko' Lew, Mickey 'mement_mori' Petersen, and Andre 'acoimbra' Coimbra. None of them cashed.

Team Poker Stars Pros playing for a chance at a coveted SCOOP title included Liv Boeree, George Danzer, Jonathan Duhamel, Eugene Katchalov, Andre Akkari, Lex Veldhuis, Angel Guillen, Max Lykov, Joe Cada, Jake Cody, and Nacho Barbero.

With 140 players to go on Day 1, a pair of Team Pros were still alive and in the hunt for the money: Jonathan Duhamel and Eugene Katchalov. Only one of them would make the cut. Katchalov busted on the cusp of the money bubble when he attempted to triple up. Katchalov made a final stand with A♦J♦ but was pitted against Q♦Q♠ and A♣A♥. Katchalov flopped a nut flush draw and turned a pair of Jacks, but he whiffed on the river. Katcholv went home in 134th place and missed the money by eight spots.

The money bubble burst and Duhamel locked up a min-cash. Duhamel met his fate with less than an hour to go at the end of Day 1 when he shoved on the button with K♠6♣ but lost to 1dönertasche's A♦6♥. Duhamel went busto in 68th place, which paid out $5,579.60.

In addition to Sorel 'zangbezan24' Mizzi, several notable online regulars cashed in Event #2-H including: ImaLucSac, ImaLuckSac, djk123, milswi47, Ti0373, Belabacsi, Roothlus, rubenrtv, floes, MONSTER_DONG, A. Saout, Mr. Tim Cam, takechip, and ch0ppy.

At the end of Day 1 (at the completion of Level 22), only 43 players remained . Two-time WCOOP bracelet winner, Ti0373 (Russia), ended Day 1 as the chip leader with 721,808.

SCOOP Event #2-H End of Day 1 - Top 10 Chip Counts:
1. Ti0373 (Russia) - 721,808
2. xekpoker (Brazil) - 670,589
3. wilhasha (Sweden) - 647,235
4. woody1234321 (United Kingdom) - 582,484
5. bigdog6391 (Thailand) - 396,829
6. KornHizzle20 (Canada) - 347,031
7. PokerNoob999 (United Kingdom) - 344,430
8. pain-bg (Bulgaria) - 343,260
9. sexygee (United Kingdom) - 330,285
10. venced0r (Germany) - 329,782

Play resumed on Day 2 at the start of Level 23 (Blinds 2.5K/5K and a 625 ante). Ti0373 went to work right away and attempted to become the first player to accumulate a stack in excess of 1 million. Yet, Sorel 'zangbezan24' Mizzi surged to the top of the leader board early on Day 2. With 28 to go, zangbezan24 and woody1234321 both passed 1 million. End of Day 1 chip leader, Ti0373, eventually bowed out in 13th place. With 11 players remaining, bigdog6391 roared into the top spot and closing in on 2 million.

TheMuppet unceremoniously bubbled off the final table in 10th place after getting into a preflop raising war with zangbezan24. TheMuppet made a final stand with A♥Q♥ but zangbezan24 woke up with K♦K♠. The board ran out 9♠7♥6♥4♦J♠ and zangbezan24's pocket cowboys held up. TheMuppet earned $21,460.00 for tenth place. With nine to go, the final table was set and zangbezan24 regained the overall lead with 1.8 million.


SCOOP Event #2-H - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: suarez_BG (1,178,078)
Seat 2: Cejakas14 (489,197)
Seat 3: xekpoker (692,460)
Seat 4: PedroKL (1,538,013)
Seat 5: Educa-p0ker (1,157,329)
Seat 6: Sorel 'zangbezan24' Mizzi (1,860,196)
Seat 7: woody1234321 (1,778,985)
Seat 8: bigdog6391 (1,608,267)
Seat 9: wilhasha (427,475)

The final table commenced during Level 32 with blinds at 12.5K/25K and a 3,750 ante. Sorel 'zangbezan24' Mizzi held the big stack with 1.82M, but woody1234321 was right behind with 1.77M and bigdog6391 was lurking with 1.6M. A couple of players had stacks fewer than 500K, but the shortest of them was wilhasha with 427K.

Both zangbezan24 and suarez_BG were former SCOOP champs and seeking a second title. Meanwhile, Cejakas14 had won a TCOOP and looked to add a a second COOP victory with a win in Event #2-H.

wilhasha eliminated in 9th place

It did not take long before we saw our first elimination. Shorty wilhasha min-raised to 50,000, xekpoker bumped it up to 75,000, and wilhasha called. The flop was T♦5♦2♠. wilhasha checked, xekpoker fired out 225,000, wilhasha check-raised all-in for 402,475, and xekpoker called.

wilhasha: A♥T♥
xekpoker: K♦J♦

Although wilhasha flopped top pair, xekpoker picked up a flush draw. The turn was the K♣ and xekpoker seized the lead with a pair of Kings. The river was the J♥ and xekpoker improved to two pair -- Kings and Jacks. wilhasha failed to improve and xekpoker dragged the pot. Sweden's wilhasha became the first player to exit the final table and earned $25,752.00 for ninth place.

Educa-p0ker eliminated in 8th place

Almost two levels played out before another player hit the road. Short-stacked Educa-p0ker open-shoved for 427,329 with Q♦J♦ and bigdog6391 snap-called from the big blind with A♥Q♠. The flop was K♣9♣4♦ and Educa-p0ker picked up a gutshot straight draw. The turn was the A♠ and bigdog6391 improved to a pair of Aces, while Educa-p0ker was still drawing to a straight. The 4♣ fell on the river, which did not help Educa-p0ker. bigdog6391 won the pot and Educa-p0ker busted out in eighth place, which paid out $42,920.00.

With seven players remaining, zangbezan24 held the lead with 3.1 million and xekpoker was last with 730K. zangbezan24 chipped up to over 4 million and at one point held almost 40% of all remaining chips.

xekpoker eliminated in 7th place

Two levels later, another short-stack bit the dust. zangbezan24 opened with a min-raise to 100,000, xekpoker bombed it all-in for 189,363 with A♣4♦ and zangbezan24 called with 7♥6♥. The flop was 8♦5♦5♥ and zangbezan24 picked up an opened-ended straight draw. The turn was the 3♦ and xekpoker picked up a gutshot Wheel draw. The 9♣ spiked on the river and zangbezan24 filled in a nine-high straight to win the pot. xekpoker could only muster up a pair of fives and was knocked out in seventh place, which paid out $64,380.00.


With six to go, action was paused to discuss a deal. zangbezan24 was out in front with 3.8M, woody1234321 was second with 2.1M, suarez_BG third with 1.5M, PedroKL fourth with 1.1M, bigdog6391 next-to-last with 1.0M, and Cejakas14 last with 976K. zangbezan24 requested to "also see chipcount deal numbers" and bigdog6391 quickly asserted, "Don't bother calculating chip count deal. I won't be accepting that."

"ICM favors short stacks," responded zangbezan24.

They had to leave $25,000 on the table for first place and the ICM numbers were floated: zangbezan24 ($268,982.84), woody1234321 ($222,000.17), suarez_BG ($194,306.97), PedroKL ($177,037.85), bigdog6391 ($170,739.39), and Cejakas14 ($164,938.18).

Everyone liked the ICM deal, except zangbezan24. "Not taking under 281K. Sorry boys."

The rest of the table was split over giving him more money. Although suarez_BG mentioned "I can pay Sorel 2K just because he is more famous than me lol. But not more."

"Last offer," said zangbezan24. "2k each or I bust you all."

A couple of players rejected zangbezan24's counteroffer. Without a deal in place, play resumed.

PedroKL eliminated in 6th place

One of the shorties, PedroKL moved all-in for 1,104,078 with K♠J♣ and zangbezan24 called with J♦J♥. Ouch. PedroK ran into Jacks, but had one overcard. The flop was T♠9♦4♠ and PedroK picked up a gutshot. The 4♣ was the turn and the river was the 9♣. PedroK failed to improve and zangbezan24 won the pot with two pair -- Jacks and nines. PedroKL was knocked out in sixth place, which paid out $85,840.00.

With five to go, toward the end of Level 37, zangbezan24 racing toward 5 million before he slipped back to 3.8M. He doubled up bigdog6391 when bigdog6391's K♥Q♠ outflopped zangbezan24's A♠T♥.

suarez_BG eliminated in 5th place

Bulgaria's suarez_BG was seeking a second SCOOP title, but zangbezan24 made sure that was not going to happen. During Level 38, short-stacked suarez_BG moved all-in for 1,142,902 with A♣8♠ and zangbezan24 called with A♥K♣. The board finished up A♦9♥5♣5♦K♠. suarez_BG's two pair -- Aces and fives -- were no match against zangbezan24's better two pair -- Aces and Kings. zangbezan24 won dragged the pot and got his stack back over 4M. For fifth place, suarez_BG took home $108,158.40.

With four to go, zangbezan24 sat on the big stack with 4.1M, bigdog6391 was second with 2.7M, Cejakas14 third with 2.2M, and woody1234321 brought up the rear with 1.6M.

Cejakas14eliminated in 4th place

A pattern emerged. Whenever a short-stack moved all-in, zangbezan24 mercilessly picked them off. Cejakas14 was super-short (stack was worth 596,701) and made a valiant final stand with 8♣7♦ against zangbezan24's T♦9♣. The board ran out A♠Q♠Q♥8♦A♥. Although Cejakas14 turned two pair (and zangbezan24 picked up a gutter), the river was the A♥ and it was counterfeit city. Alas, zangbezan24 won the pot with a better two pair -- Aces and Queens -- and a higher ten-kicker. Cejakas14 was knocked out in fourth place, which paid out $155,585.00

woody1234321 eliminated in 3rd place

It wasn't pretty. zangbezan24 claimed another victim when yet another short-stack tried to double up but fell way short of the mark. woody1234321 bombed it all-in for 1,353,910 and zangbezan24 insta-called with Q♦Q♣. Yikes, woody1234321 ran A♥6♥ into Queens. The board ended up 7♠6♦2♦3♦2♠. Although woody1234321 flopped a pair of sixes and rivered two pair, that hand was not good enough to win. zangbezan24's Queens held up and he won the pot with Queens and deuces. zangbezan24 sent another opponent to the virtual rail and surged to over 6M. For a third-place performance, woody1234321 earned $208,162.00.

HEADS-UP: bigdog6391 (Thailand) vs. zangbezan24 (Canada)
Seat 6: zangbezan24 (6,456,323)
Seat 8: bigdog6391 (4,273,677)

With two to go, bigdog6391 trailed 6.4M to 4.2M. zangbezan24 personally eliminated five consecutive players and only one player, actually one "big dog" stood in his way from achieving a second SCOOP title.

Early into heads-up, zangbezan24 won 10 out of 12 pots and chipped up to 7.5M while bigdog6391 slipped to 3.2M. With all the momentum in the world, it seemed only a matter of time before zangbezan24 shipped the tournament. However, bigdog6391 was not going to lie down so easily. bigdog6391 and zangbezan24 eventually rumbled and got it all-in preflop: bigdog6391's Q♥Q♠ vs. zangbezan24's A♠T♠. bigdog6391 flopped a set, which held up, and bigdog6391 avoided an elimination by doubling up in a 6.1M pot. For the first time in several hours, zangbezan24 coughed up the lead and slipped to 4.6M. Alas, bigdog6391's reign was short-lived. Four hands later, zangbezan24 regained the top spot.

The lead swapped back and forth a couple of times before bigdog6391 attempted to pull away. In one of the most decisive hands of the final table, bigdog6391 four-flushed zangbezan24 with Q♣J♥ against zangbezan24's T♠9♠. bigdog6391 flopped a Broadway gutshot and zangbezan24 took the lead with a pair of tens. Although zangbezan24 turned two pair, bigdog6391 picked up more outs with a flush draw. The river filled in bigdog6391's flush and he won the pot. bigdog6391 was back on top with 7.8M, while zangbezan24 slipped to under 3M.

bigdog6391 chipped away and boosted his stack to over 9M, while zangbezan24 was on the ropes with 1.5M. Just when it looked like bigdog6391 was ready to deliver a knockout blow, zangbezan24 doubled up with A♦A♠ against bigdog6391's Q♥6♥. Heck of a time to get Aces. zangbezan24 staved off an elimination and chipped up to 3.4M. zangbezan24 won the next three hands and trimmed the deficit: 6M to 4.7M. A determined zangbezan24 won 8 out of 9 pots to regain a thin margin: 5.7M to 5M. But bigdog6391 got it all back and zangbezan24 slipped to under 3M once again.

Sorel 'zangbezan24' Mizzi eliminated in 2nd place; bigdog6391 comes-from-behind to win SCOOP title!

zangbezan24 was really in trouble. Down to under 2M, bigdog6391 knew it was time to take out zangbezan24 once and for all. On the final hand... zangbezan24 min-raised to 280,000 and bigdog6391 called. The flop was K♦7♥4♦. bigdog6391 checked, zangbezan24 fired out 225,000, and bigdog6391 called. The turn was the A♦. bigdog6391 check-called a 400,000 bet by zangbezan24. The 5♣ fell on the river and fireworks ensued. bigdog6391 checked, zangbezan24 shoved all-in for 1,008,360, and bigdog6391 called.

bigdog6391: K♥4♣
zangbezan24: 9♦6♠

zangbezan24 whiffed on a diamond draw and bigdog6391 dragged the pot with two pair -- Kings and Fours.

For a gutsy runner-up performance, Sorel 'zangbezan24' Mizzi earned $278,980.00.

Congrats to the newest SCOOP champion, Thailand's bigdog6391, who collected $386,280.00 for first place in Event #3-M.

View the final hand in the replayer:

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SCOOP-02-H: $2,100 NL Hold'em
Entrants: 1,073
Prize pool: $2,146,000
Places paid: 126

1. bigdog6391 (Thailand) $386,280.00
2. Sorel 'zangbezan24' Mizzi (Canada) $278,980.00
3. woody1234321 (United Kingdom) $208,162.00
4. Cejakas14 (United Kingdom) $155,585.00
5. suarez_BG (Bulgaria) $108,158.40
6. PedroKL (United Kingdom) $85,840.00
7. xekpoker (Brazil) $64,380.00
8. Educa-p0ker (United Kingdom) $42,920.00
9. wilhasha (Sweden) $25,752.00

Visit the SCOOP homepage to view a schedule of remaining events.

Pauly McGuire is an author and freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in SCOOP