SCOOP 2014: Let's hear it for the old school! Ari "BodogAri" Engel wins Event #44-L, banks $187k ($109 NLHE Main Event)

Is it possible to be an old-school pro at only 30 years old? Among those who came of age in the boom era, there's a case to be made for Ari Engel. Still best-known by his online moniker "BodogAri," Engel has played poker for a living for the last decade and amassed over $ 2 million in online earnings plus another $1.4 million live. He has one entire hand full of WSOP-Circuit rings plus one for the other pinky. He has final tabled an EPT and the Sunday Million, run his own poker coaching center, and even survived Black Friday, decamping from Las Vegas to Toronto. Now he has a SCOOP watch to go with all those rings, and is the 2014 "low" Main Event champion, earning over $187,000 after a four-way deal.


Ari Engel, pictured at last year's EPT Prague

The $109 buy-in SCOOP Main Event drew an arena-sized crowd of 21,545 players, the prize pool topping out at $2,154,500.00. 2,700 places were paid with the winner taking home $215,456.69. David Williams, Joe Cada, Liv Boeree, Humberto Brenes, Jason Mercier, George Danzer and Nacho Barbero were just a few of the 40 Red Spades that joined this field. Four of them finished in the money: George "Jorj95" Lind III (2,263rd), Johnny Lodden (2,070th), Jonathan Duhamel (1,857th), and Jorge "Baalim" Limon (1,736th).

Day 1 concluded with 76 players remaining. Here's a look at the top of the overnight chip counts:

End of Day 1 top ten in chips

Denis405 (Slovenia) 15,509,331
JaffaCake (United Kingdom) 12,972,153
bads3ns3 (Russia) 11,429,672
NySySia (Netherlands) 11,282,772
emjkemjk (Canada) 9,346,101
Adolfina2 (Switzerland) 8,262,480
care3crep (United Arab Emirates) 6,974,596
camikater (Germany) 6,931,574
OanaPacurar (Romania) 6,867,098
jeppinho (Sweden) 6,286,962

Play resumed after a twelve and a half hour break and went on for another three hours before we reached the final table bubble. Blinds were 600,000/1,200,000 with ten players remaining and WoOoHoOo90 was the short stack, holding only 4.05 million. From under-the-gun, BodogAri opened for a min-raise to 2.4 million and WoOoHoOo90 three-bet to 3.6 million. BodogAri called and set WoOoHoOo90 all-in on the T♠8♣6♣ flop. WoOoHoOo90 called off his remaining 304,425, his A♥5♣ trailing BodogAri's pair of eights with 2♥8♥. WoOoHoOo90 did not improve on the 6♠ turn or the 4♥ river and went out one spot short of the final table.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: BodogAri (51,368,132 in chips)
Seat 2: camikater (71,728,625 in chips)
Seat 3: MAKKAPAKK (44,323,158 in chips)
Seat 4: sksjohny (23,161,309 in chips)
Seat 5: Didcot4 (35,763,463 in chips)
Seat 6: capinhabr (20,925,005 in chips)
Seat 7: jeppinho (48,794,993 in chips)
Seat 8: MoscowNo1 (10,898,912 in chips)
Seat 9: vlaviusz (16,211,403 in chips)

Didcot4 dies by the nines

Didicot4 was left with 13.8 million when he doubled up vlaviusz, his pocket nines falling to A♦J♣. Moments later he three-bet shoved from middle position with A♣2♠ and initial raiser BodogAri called with 9♠9♥. The nines were good for BodogAri on the 7♠4♦3♣K♠8♣ board and Didcot4's run ended in ninth place ($12,927.00).

capinhabr out in eighth, sksjohny succumbs in seventh

Capinhabr slipped below 10 million in chips and with the blinds up to 700,000/1,400,000, he open-shoved for 9.55 million from UTG. MoscowNo1 called from middle position, his 7♠7♣ racing with A♣T♣. Capinhabr did not improve on the K♦6♣2♣J♦9♦ board and departed with a $19,390.50 score for eighth place.

A short time later the action folded to MAKKAPAKK on the button and he opened for 2.8 million. Sksjohny raised to 12,880,000 from the big blind, MAKKAPAKK came back over the top for 22.96 million and sksjohnny called all-in. MAKKAPAKK's A♦K♣ held up against A♣J♣ and sksjohny hit the rail in seventh place, earning $32,317.50 off his $109 investment.

Only two hands passed before vlaviusz made it 3.52 million to go and BodogAri three-bet to 6.73 million. Vlaviusz four-bet to 11.2 million, BodogAri shoved and vlaviusz called, his J♣J♥ running into Q♣Q♠. The ladies held up for BodogAri and vlaviusz went out in seventh place, collecting $53,862.50.

MAKKAPAKK cracks camikater's queens

Jeppinho lost over half his stack when he ran pocket queens into MoscowNo1's pocket kings. Down to 13.8 million, he open-shoved from UTG with A♣8♣ and camikater called from the small blind with K♣J♣. Jeppinho turned an ace-high flush on the Q♦6♣5♣T♣K♠ board and doubled to 29.7 million.

Camikater was down to 61 million in chips, still a healthy 38 big blinds, when he looked down at Q♦Q♠. He raised to 3,440,000 on the button and MAKKAPAKK three-bet to 8 million straight. Camikater four-bet to 17,456,000, MAKKAPAKK shoved and camikater called all-in. MAKKAPAKK turned over A♥J♣ and promptly snapped off camikater's queens on the A♣K♥2♥ flop. Camikater lost one of his two outs on the 9♥ turn when MAKKAPAKK picked up the nut flush draw and the T♦ river sent him to the rail. For fifth place, camikater earned $75,407.50.

BodogAri closes the gap

MAKKAPAKK moved up to 178 million after that hand, more than twice BodogAri's 88 million in chips. However, BodogAri narrowed that gap significantly when he check-raised the river on a 6♥6♦5♠Q♥J♠ board and MAKKAPAKK folded.

MAKKAPAKK slipped to 140 million and gave up even more when MoscowNo1 shoved for 18.7 million. MAKKAPAKK called with A♥7♦ from the big blind, but did not improve vs. MoscowNo1's pocket sevens. Moments later, jeppinho three-bet shoved for 25.6 million pre flop and BodogAri called with K♣9♠. Although BodogAri flopped a nine, jeppinho's A♠T♠ rivered a ten to double his stack to 53.3 million.

Wait until your deal come 'round...

At that point, the final four agreed to pause the action and take a look at the numbers for an ICM or chip count chop. Here's a look at how they stacked up at the time:

MAKKAPAKK - 124,657,182
BodogAri - 114,191,494
jeppinho - 48,383,008
MoscowNo1 - 35,943,316

To get the negotiations rolling, final table host Andre Akkari presented the players with both sets of numbers. MAKKAPAKK was fine with any deal as long as he locked up $175,000, while jeppinho refused to give up one penny of his $136,418 ICM share. BodogAri was inclined to go with the chip count chop numbers, but sensing the deal was falling apart, proposed an alternative.

BodogAri: if moscow gives me and makka 4k each from icm- could that work for u3
BodogAri: moscow 119k is still huge
BodogAri: 170k for makka
MAKKAPAKK: 175 min
MAKKAPAKK: that 1k off chip
MAKKAPAKK: not unreasonable
BodogAri: 167k for me

Although MAKKAPAKK was still clamoring for a $175k share, they agreed to redo the math using BodogAri's proposal. After making sure MoscowNo1 was in agreement, Akkari came back with the following numbers.

HostMarvinT (Administrator): MAKKAPAKK:$170,207.27
HostMarvinT (Administrator): BodogAri:$167,669.27
HostMarvinT (Administrator): jeppinho:$136,418.37
HostMarvinT (Administrator): MoscowNo1:$119,442.65
HostMarvinT (Administrator): Left To Play for place 1: $20,000.00

MAKKAPAKK continued to insist on $175k, and it appeared as the whole deal would fall apart. But just as play was about to restart, MAKKAPAKK backed down and said he'd accept $172k. MoscowNo1 agreed to shave another $2k off his share to get him there and with $20,000 still up for grabs, cards went back in the air.

One and done for MoscowNo1

On the first hand back, MoscowNo1 shoved from position on a Q♣9♠2♦2♠ board after raising pre and betting out on the flop. MAKKAPAKK called, his Q♦J♠ leading MoscowNo1's A♥9♥. The river was a blank, the 4♠ and MoscowNo1 was out in fourth place, earning $117,442,65.

Don't stop 'til you get enough

Now, the chips really started flying around the table. BodogAri won a 7♣7♥ vs. K♠Q♠ flip and doubled to 180 million while MAKKAPAKK tumbled to 69 million. But only two hands later, jeppinho three-bet shoved for 74 million with pocket fours and doubled to 150 million when BodogAri's A♣K♠ did not improve. Jeppinho briefly held the chip lead until MAKKAPAKK snagged it back when his K♠6♣ flopped a king vs. jeppinho's pocket sevens. MAKKAPAKK doubled back up to 147 million, but lost almost all of it to BodogAri when his A♦Q♠ flopped a queen vs. pocket jacks.

BodogAri now held 75% of the chips in play with 245 million, while MAKKAPAKK was left with only 34.7 million. Two hands later, MAKKAPAKK doubled through jeppinho when his K♥6♦ held up against Q♠J♦, crippling the Swede to only 6.07 million. However, jeppinho remarkably doubled up three times in the next three hands, going from 6.07 to 55.5 million.

MAKKAPAKK fell back on the short stack and ultimately open-shoved on the button with J♦9♣ only to run into jeppinho's K♥K♠ in the small blind. MAKKAPAKK took third place, but walked away with the second-largest share of the prize pool ($172,207.27) thanks to the deal.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 1: BodogAri (240,926,872 in chips)
Seat 7: jeppinho (82,248,128 in chips)

BodogAri and jeppinho played five flopless hands before the rest of jeppinho's chips went in the middle on a T♠9♦3♠ flop. Although jeppinho turned over top pair, BodogAri flopped a set of nines and locked up his SCOOP title.

Congratulations to BodogAri on his SCOOP title and the largest tournament score of his decade-long career. He banked $187,669.27 for the win, while runner-up jeppinho earned $136,418.37.

SCOOP 44-L: $109 NLHE Main Event
Entrries: 21,545
Prizepool: $2,154,500.00
Places paid 2,700

1. Ari "BodogAri" Engel $187,669.27*
2. jeppinho (Sweden) $136,418.37*
3. MAKKAPAKK (United Kingdom) $172,207.27*
4. MoscowNo1 (Russia) $117,442.65*
5. camikater (Germany) $75,407.50
6. vlaviusz (Romania) $53,862.50
7. sksjohny (Czech Republic) $32,317.50
8. capinhabr (Brazil) $19,390.50
9. Didcot4 (United Kingdom) $12,927.00

*= reflects the results of a four-way deal that left $20,000 in play for the winner

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP