SCOOP 2014: IcaLm stays calm to win Event #37-L ($27+1R1A NL Hold'em)

Some players may be distracted by the non-Hold'em games offered up during the 2014 Spring Championship of Online Poker but sometimes they just need a big No Limit Hold'em tournament. Event #37 was a great way to open up the final weekend of SCOOP action and the players responded.

Throw one rebuy, one add-on into the mix and the low version of the event gave players a huge return on investment. It cost a mere $27 for the 7,588 entrants to buy-in, rebuy, or add-on (if they were still around) and they created a huge $400,950 prizepool, more than double the guarantee. The event was expected to draw huge numbers and action was paused at the end of 40th level.

There were just 36 players remaining and andreeabour was the chipleader at the end of the day with professional T.J. "WhatArunAA" Slifka not far behind. The field quickly dropped six players at the restart before everyone settled down with their deep stacks. It took them nearly three hours of play on the second day to move them to the final table bubble and it was finally set when Israel's Rob1N_HooD was sent to the rail in 10th place.


Final Table chip counts:

Seat 1: maxxscam (1,991,824 in chips)
Seat 2: andreeabour (5,960,460 in chips)
Seat 3: wilobill (2,986,520 in chips)
Seat 4: fred_volpe (12,343,298 in chips)
Seat 5: Hailikisat (16,157,248 in chips)
Seat 6: CantStop42 (12,972,757 in chips)
Seat 7: WhatArunAA (16,472,852 in chips)
Seat 8: aynin (6,025,059 in chips)
Seat 9: IcaLm (6,749,982 in chips)

Blinds: 200k/400k with 50k ante

wilobill floats a boat, eliminated in 9th

Flipping coins for big cash isn't usually a fun proposition but that's exactly what happened early at the final table. wilobill began play with one of the shortest stacks, just over seven big blinds, and found a nice pair to get them in. He opened-shoved from middle position and watched as fred_volpe immediately shoved afterwards.

The isolation play worked and they were in a virtual dead heat with wilobill showing T♦T♥ against A♣J♣. Any thoughts of a comeback were quickly dashed on the A♠A♥5♣ flop leaving wilobill with two outs twice. He blanked the 3♠ turn and fred_volpe rivered overkill quads with A♦. It was a quick exit for wilobill in 9th but he picked up $3,107 for his troubles.

maxxscam conned, eliminated in 8th

Chris "maxxscam" Back was one of the more accomplished players to make the final table but was the shortest among them and sitting with under five big blinds. He has several big scores to his credit, including a WCOOP runner-up finish, but needed a lot of help to add a SCOOP title. Back wasn't able to get much moving and called all-in from the big blind after IcaLm raised from the small.

maxxscam: 8♦4♦
IcaLm: A♦5♦

Back was holding two live cards but missed the Q♠Q♥2♠ flop, any hopes of a backdoor runner-runner flush went away with the T♥ turn, and his tournament was complete when he blanked the K♠ river. Back was out in 8th place for $4,811 and a small bump to a big bankroll.

fred_volpe set up, eliminated in 7th

fred_volpe picked up chips in early action by winning a coin flip, but it was one of those near 50/50 situations which would be his undoing. He was holding a comfy stack when he ran into the aggressive leader. IcaLm open-shoved from the button, a not uncommon practice at this table, and fred_volpe called in the big blind.

fred_volpe: A♠Q♠
IcaLm: 4♠4♣

If he could pull a win in the hand, fred_volpe would take over the chiplead with a big double and had a brief glimpse of glory. He hit the flop but IcaLm hit it harder when it rolled out Q♣7♥4♦ giving the leader a near unbeatable set. fred_volpe needed a very specific run of cards to win the hand but was dead on the 5♠ turn to go out in 7th place for $8,820.

aynin has none, eliminated in 6th

If pocket Fours were good enough for IcaLm, it stood to reason they might be good enough for aynin. He found them a few hands later and moved all-in for 4,737,559 with 4♠4♦ to get folds from everyone except CantStop42 in the big blind with A♣T♣.

Another big hand for big money with a flip. The overcards of CantStop42 quickly jumped ahead on the A♥J♥6♥ flop and were safe from a flush with neither players holding hearts. The 7♦ turn had no impact on the outcome and the K♥ river finished things for aynin in 6th place for $12,830.

Hailikisat takes a seat, eliminated in 5th

The almighty JackAce looks pretty solid at a five-handed table, especially with just over 10 big blinds, and Hailikisat shoved with it from the button. His A♣J♠ was quickly reduced in strength when WhatArunAA called from the big blind with A♥Q♠.

Things went from bad to worse for Hailikisat when his dominating opponent got even better on the Q♦5♠2♣ flop. Hailikisat had almost the same, very slim odds of chopping the pot with a runner Wheel than running Jacks and was drawing dead after the 7♠ turn card. The hand may have looked pretty when he shoved but Hailikisat was the next sent out of the tournament, eliminated in 5th place for $16,839.

andreeabour dominated, eliminated in 4th

There was one player left out of most of the action and andreeabour was looking at three other players far ahead in the counts. The Greek was in last place by a large margin and found a spot to shove when action folded to him in the small blind. andreeabour made his move with K♣6♠ but was unlucky to have the chipleader to his left with A♥6♣.

A loss would barely impact CantStop42, not even moving him out of the lead, and he easily called to see the low 8♠5♦2♥ flop. The board paired the 8♣ turn to make no difference and the game was over for andreeabour when the river came 4♥. andreeabour was outkicked and out of the tournament in 4th place for $22,052.

WhatArunAA runs out of time, eliminated in 3rd

With the short stack out of the mix, the final three players paused the tournament to work out a deal. T.J. "WhatArunAA" Slifka was still in the hunt and his two Sunday Million victories, plus a final table this series, seemed to give him leverage to ask for extra cash. The two players wouldn't give up any of their piece to make him happy and they went back to work.

IcaLm immediately began taking chips from Slifka when play resumed and he was soon forced to take a chance. He was still sitting second in chips when he opened for his entire 21,510,481 stack with K♣6♥ and CantStop42 called with 5♥5♣.

Slifka had to be happy to see he was holding two overs but even happier when he hit the T♥7♥6♠ flop. His joy was short-lived when CantStop42 found one of the two remaining Fives on the 5♦ turn. The professional grinder had no recourse on the river and left the tournament in 3rd place for $32,076. Almost $18,000 less than he was asking for in negotiations.

IcaLm ends the battle to win Event #37-L

Seat 6: CantStop42 (30,164,842 in chips)
Seat 9: IcaLm (51,495,158 in chips)

IcaLm began heads up play with the lead but it was not dominant and they both had plenty of chips in relation to the blinds. That plus the quality of play meant a long, drawn out battle for the championship and they swapped the lead several times. Both made comebacks along the way but it took a fortunate river for IcaLm to end it.

The Ukranian grinder built a 3-to-1 lead against CantStop42 and min-raised from the button with A♠T♦. CantStop42 responded with a shove holding Q♠9♣ and it was an easy call with the tournament on the line. CantStop42 moved ahead on the 9♦7♥7♠ flop and stayed that way after the 3♣ turn.

It all came undone when IcaLm spiked the A♦ river to send CantStop42 out in the runner-up position for $45,106. IcaLm was in control for most of the final table and finished things off with a SCOOP title and a nice $60,990 for the feat.

SCOOP 37-L: $27 NL Holde'm (1R1A)
Entrants: 7,588 (4,749 rebuys, 3,995 add-ons)
Prize pool: $400,950.60
Places paid: 990

1. IcaLm (Ukraine) $60,990.21
2. CantStop42 (Canada) $45,106.94
3. T.J. "WhatArunAA" Slifka (Canada) $32,076.04
4. andreeabour (Greece) $22,052.28
5. Hailikisat (Estonia) $16,839.92
6. aynin (Germany) $12,830.41
7. fred_volpe (Brazil) $8,820.91
8. Chris "maxxscam" Back (Canada) $4,811.40
9. wilobill (Mexico) $3,107.36

Al Rash
@PokerStars in SCOOP