SCOOP 2014: JJ@mess cleans up in Event #21-M ($215 NLH Turbo Zoom)

Zoom poker is fun, no way around that. There's a reason the fast-fold game continues to grow in popularity as the tournaments provide near constant action except for breaks or an unfortunate elimination. Players are bounced around tables as fast as they can hit the fold button and a Turbo structure only pushed things faster.

The middle stakes version of Event #21 gave players a chance at a $300,000 guarantee for just a $215 buy-in. The players came out in force and the numbers grew to 2,699 entrants and less than 500 were still around when registration closed. The prize pool climbed to $539,800 and the final 342 players took a piece of it with the winner slotted to grab $85,288 for the win.

Before anyone could say "Zoom poker", enough players were out of the tournament to put them in the money. The structure provided players with plenty of chips to work their magic and the average stack hovered around 25 to 30 big blinds despite bumping the blinds up every five minutes. Things slowed down when the field reached 24 players and the tournament reverted to a standard freezeout format.

Bulgarian vladobu6i was the last player in the event to miss the final table by going out in 10th place when his K♦J♥ couldn't find any luck against A♣T♣. JJ@mess began the final table with the chiplead and was looking to add a SCOOP title to his previous Sunday Million title from 2011. Also in the mix were former SCOOP/TCOOP champion Simon "ministerborg" Ravnsbaek and paranoik333 looking for his second SCOOP title after winning 2013 SCOOP Event #3-L.


Seat 1: JJ@mess (3,087,273 in chips)
Seat 2: Spowi07 (1,360,426 in chips)
Seat 3: Ceenwinski (1,214,153 in chips)
Seat 4: Reefypoopoo (1,456,735 in chips)
Seat 5: paranoik333 (628,309 in chips)
Seat 6: YukoEgawa (1,471,910 in chips)
Seat 7: KuuL (1,512,879 in chips)
Seat 8: PICKLED EGG (1,750,377 in chips)
Seat 9: ministerborg (1,012,938 in chips)

Blinds: 25,000/50,000 with 6,250 ante

Reefypoopoo runs aground, eliminated in 9th

The final nine players gathered together quickly but they took their time to get things heated up. Play carried through several levels before the first major hand occurred and dropped the tournament by one player.

Reefypoopoo began the hand with an open-shove for 914,676 from the cutoff and earned folds until KuuL called from the big blind. Reefypoopoo was in a virtual coin flip with A♠J♥ against 8♠8♦ and missed on the Q♠4♠4♣ flop. Outs to a gutshot were in the mix when the turn came T♦ but none manifest themselves on the 5♠ river. Reefypoopoo was the first final table player eliminated going out in 9th place for $4,588.

YukoEgawa gets aced, eliminated in 8th

It took many rotations to get the first big hand at the final table but just one more to get another. YukoEgawa may have thought it was a good spot to shove from the button after every else folded but he ran into PICKLED EGG in the big blind. YukoEgawa made the move with J♠8♥ and PICKLED EGG easily called with A♥K♦.

YukoEgawa had two live cards but dropped way behind when PICKLED EGG hit the A♣6♣2♠ flop. This left YukoEgawa needing to go runner-runner perfect for the miracle but it wasn't meant to be and was drawing dead on the 9♥ turn. The unimportant Q♦ completed the board and YukoEgawa was sent out in 8th place for $7,827.

ministerborg assimilated, eliminated in 7th

Someone lit a fire under the players as they only paused two more hands generating the next seven-digit pot. Simon "ministerborg" Ravnsbaek has big results both live and online, including a win during the EPT Prague stop in Season 9, and was looking to add a second SCOOP title. It wasn't meant to be with an unlucky turn.

KuuL opened the action from under the gun and Ravnsbaek shoved over the top for his final 763,688 with 7♠7♥. KuuL called with A♠J♣ and missed the two overs on the T♣8♠8♣ flop but got there on the A♥ turn. That card left Ravnsbaek with just two outs to stay alive and missed it on the J♥ river to send the Dane out in 7th place for $13,225.


Simon "ministerborg" Ravnsbaek

PICKLED EGG is scrambled, eliminated in 6th

With the ice firmly broken, most hands involved one player shoving all-in and it was just a matter of finding someone to call for a double or bust. paranoik333 pushed one of those hands looking to get back in the mix for a second SCOOP title and found an interesting way to stay alive. He was in trouble with J♥9♦ against a suited Slick from KuuL. The virtual dealer was kind enough to run a full house on the board and the Russian could fight some more hands.

With the bonus poker time, paranoik333 took a breather and let two other players mix it up. PICKLED EGG opened with a shove from under the gun for just 445,185 and chipleader JJ@mess called as the next to act. The rest of the table let their hands go and PICKLED EGG had a chance to double with A♣5♣ against Q♠J♦.

PICKLED EGG's brief glimpse at survival was dashed when JJ@mess found a favorable J♥7♦3♠ flop. PICKLED EGG was left looking for an Ace but missed the T♦ turn and 3♣ river to go out of the tournament in 6th place for $18,623.

Spowi07 is jacked up, eliminated in 5th

Sometimes it's good to be the king, or chipleader, and JJ@mess used his chips as pressure to win pots. When bullying didn't work, sometimes it was just luck to get him there. Action folded to him in the small blind when he shoved with J♠2♥ and Spowi07 called from the big blind with 6♦6♣.

A loss wouldn't damage JJ@mess too much but he needed help to win. That help came quickly when the flop ran out K♠J♥9♦ leaving Spowi07 looking for a set to stay alive. Neither remaining Six came on the 8♥ turn or 7♦ river to send Spowi07 out of the tournament in 5th place for $24,021.

paranoik333 not paranoid, eliminated in 4th

paranoik333 was on borrowed time thanks to a lucky board but was soon back in the action looking to move up the leaderboard. He was the low man on the list and took his next shot with a shove from the small blind for 1,559,118 with 5♥4♣.

KuuL looked him up from the big blind with A♦T♥ and moved further ahead when they both hit the A♣9♠5♣ flop. paranoik333 had a few outs to stay alive but couldn't miracle them on the 8♠ turn or 6♠ river. The Russian had a good chance to add anther SCOOP title was a few spots short in 4th place for $31,578.

Ceenwinski can't deal, eliminated in 3rd

The tournament was left with three players and two of them had some big numbers to their credit while one was in rarified air. A quick bit of research turned up very little on Ceenwinski except his biggest cash prior to this tournament was for $26.17 (not a typo). His attempt to get the other players to make a deal to chop the remaining prize pool was expected but unsuccessful.

Ceenwinski was far behind the two leaders and moved all-in from the small blind for 979,112 with Q♥8♦ to get a call from KuuL with K♣9♠. Ceenwinski needed help and found it on the Q♦T♦6♥ flop before the first hint of a problem on the 9♦ turn. It was a tough beat for the low stakes grinder when the river came 9♣ to send Ceenwinski out in 3rd place for $45,883. A fine jump in bankroll.

JJ@mess is not a mess, wins Event #21-M

Seat 1: JJ@mess (7,179,388 in chips)
Seat 7: KuuL (6,315,612 in chips)

The final two began heads up play with similar stacks and a long, drawn out battle was anticipated, instead the entire deal was settled in just 15 small-ish hands. There were two major pots played before they two got everything in the middle and the champ found a fortunate river.

KuuL shockingly shoved from the button with 7♦5♥ and JJ@mess called off with A♣4♠. It was a big move by KuuL and he took huge strides to grab a large lead after hitting the 7♥6♥2♠ flop. The 8♣ provided JJ@mess with additional gutshot outs but he sealed the deal with the over card A♦ river.

It was a rough way for the tournament to end for KuuL but he had to settle for a runner-up finish and $64,058 while JJ@mess became the latest SCOOP champion for $85,288.

SCOOP 21-M: $215 NL Hold'em (Turbo, Zoom)
Entrants: 2,699
Prize pool: $539,800
Places paid: 342

1. JJ@mess (Czech Republic) $85,288.55
2. KuuL (Bulgaria) $64,058.06
3. Ceenwinski (Netherlands) $45,883.00
4. paranoik333 (Russia) $31,578.30
5. Spowi07 (Austria) $24,021.10
6. PICKLED EGG (Brazil) $18,623.10
7. Simon "ministerborg" Ravnsbaek (Denmark) $13,225.10
8. YukoEgawa (Denmark) $7,827.10
9. Reefypoopoo (Mexico) $4,588.30

Al Rash
@PokerStars in SCOOP