SCOOP 2014: MillánKiller sweeps past favorites to win Event #22-L ($27 NL Hold'em)
Some final tables have a narrative arc. The story pans out one way or another, settling on a satisfying conclusion. These can be long or short, it doesn't matter, but the story is neatly concluded and everyone is able to make sense of the world.
The danger comes when a last minute glitch appears and changes everything. Suddenly your three act play becomes three acts with extra time added on, during which all hell breaks loose. The script is thrown aside and everything is improvised. Nobody knows who will be left standing as the curtain comes down, but, when applied to poker, everyone is suddenly back in with a shot.
Like MillánKiller, winner of Event 22-L tonight, coming out of nowhere when things got a bit weird, to win a first SCOOP title and a first prize of $41,979.02.
It's been a good SCOOP so far for MillánKiller, who a few days ago finished sixth in Event #12-M, a stud event. Today that premature departure was corrected.
Here's how things looked at the start.
Seat 1. !HR4C_ROKU (Austria) - 20,550,436
Seat 2. Reg163 (Russia) - 15,647,326
Seat 3. holla@yoboy (Mexico) - 49,301,857
Seat 4. MillánKiller (United Kingdom) - 39,662,142
Seat 5. GBullzz (Netherlands) - 13,152,884
Seat 6. HeeltydSpeel (South Africa) - 29,602,708
Seat 7. Ko4a777 (Russia) - 13,597,570
Seat 8. Rulja318 (Ukraine) - 6,422,037
Seat 9. Sanex29 (Portugal) - 27,128,040
It would be a lengthy final table, with nearly two hours passing between MillánKiller's win and the first elimination, that of Rulja318, who was dispatched by Sanex29 with pocket nines. Rulja318 had shoved for 4 million with ace-ten but come out wanting.
Soon enough HeeltydSpeel would be joining him on the rail, finding pocket queens with which to shove but being coolered by holla@yoboy's pocket kings in a 60 million chip pot.
Holla@yoboy's to win?
This put holla@yoboy into the lead, and there he would stay. At least, that was what the script's first draft seemed to call for. With 82 million and the chip lead holla@yoboy now set about making life awkward for everyone else.
For one player though the real awkwardness came not from an opponent but something much closer to home.
!HR4C_ROKU returned from the break, or rather didn't return, showing himself to be "disconnected". Somewhere in Austria right now is a man still wandering around in a daze, probably talking to himself, possibly carrying a laptop, trying to get online. A short while ago it was a desperate attempt to regain control of the stack he'd left to its own devices. Now, it'll be to log on to see how much he cashed out for. Please, if you see this man, be gentle.
The first few hands back from the break took an age as the software allowed !HR4C_ROKU the time permitted, pausing the clock for additional seconds. Then players got used to the pattern of a 30 second pause each time the action reached the now idle !HR4C_ROKU. His stack had been close to 20 million when the connection went dead. Now, for the short stacks at least, the task was to outlast him.
Outlasting the man who wasn't there
Ko4a777 didn't quite manage it. Reg163 managed to double up, and so did Ko4a777. But Ko4a777 would then clash with another short stack GBullzz. Ko4a777 must have been delighted with a flopped set of kings. But the river made GBullzz a straight.
It was a setback for Ko4a777 who would be on the rail just minutes later. Holla@yoboy, by now sitting with more than half the chips in play, called Ko4a777 ace-king shove with a pair of sevens. It was a race that Ko4a777 would not win. Out in seventh.
!HR4C_ROKU's disconnection woes continued and Reg163, in the seat to his left, was doing his utmost to act big with a stack fast diminishing. It worked, with Reg163 tripling up (albeit to a mere six million), which would enough to outlast !HR4C_ROKU who would leave with a whimper in sixth place. All in for less than an ante his six-five, played in his absence, was no match for holla@yoboy's pocket queens.
This freed up Reg163 to relax a little. He shoved with ten-five and doubled when holla@yoboy turned over ten-four. It would be a momentary pause in an otherwise downward surge. He'd be out in fifth place moments later.
GBullzz had been on the defensive. But in the next four minutes he'd double up three times to keep himself in contention.
Sanex29 shoved once without reply and then again with queen-nine of diamonds. Holla@yoboy came calling once more with ace-eight. Everything held to send Sanex29 out in fourth.
The emergence of MillánKiller
Up to now there had been very little to say about MillánKiller who, as the new short stack, looked likely to follow the usual format and go out next. But a double up through holla@yoboy, with queen-eight against holla@yoboy's ace-jack - a queen hitting the flop - gave him something to play with three-handed.
holla@yoboy - 142 million
MillánKiller - 33.4 million
GBullzz - 41 million
The script, which we referred to earlier, now had holla@yoboy completing this dominant display to claim his prize. But some 45 minutes would pass before that plan was left in tatters.
MillánKiller's surge had now well and truly begun. Another double up came, again against holla@yoboy, as he flopped the nut flush. Then holla@yoboy had the lead taken away from him by GBullzz's pair of queens. GBullzz now had the advantage with 85 million as holla@yoboy, with 63 million, slipped to third. With the lead now his GBullzz suggested a deal.
GBullzz - 83 million
MillánKiller - 59.9 million
holla@yoboy - 74.4 million
There was a discussion, some protests on holla@yoboy's behalf -- who insisted on the same as GBullzz -- and then play resumed. Soon GBullzz and holla@yoboy were level with MillánKiller adopting the role of spectator. But just as time began to drag and the final flirted with boredom, a thrilling hand came along, folded by holla@yoboy, which seemed to nail the momentum firmly in the GBullzz camp.
But again, that script. Useless. MillánKiller had merely been waiting. The next hand would catapult him into the lead.
MillánKiller had come from out of nowhere. All of a sudden the title, so long the domain of holla@yoboy's, and then GBullzz's, was stripped from them, the latter busting in third place by MillánKiller, who outkicked an all-in GBullzz jack-nine vs jack-eight to take matters to the heads-up stage.
MillánKiller - 156 million
holla@yoboy - 60 million
Holla@yoboy would never come close to regaining the advantage. It was now all MillánKiller, who brought Event 22-L to an end ten minutes later, with aces and eights.
It wasn't always pretty, but it was unpredictable, and sometimes that makes for the best finals. Congratulations to MillánKiller on a well-deserved win. The full results are below.
SCOOP 22-L: $27 NL Hold'em
Prize pool: $533,815.20
Places paid: 3,150
1. MillánKiller (United Kingdom) -- $41,979.02*
2. holla@yoboy (Mexico) -- $38,888.68*
3. GBullzz (Netherlands) -- $38,888.68*
4. sanex29 (Portugal) -- $21,352.60
5. reg163 (Russia) -- $16,014.45
6. !HR4C_ROKU (Austria) -- $10,676.30
7. Ko4a777 (Russia) -- $7,500.10
8 .HeeltydSpeel (South Africa) -- $4,804.33
9. Rulja318 (Ukraine) -- $3,202.89
*denotes three-way deal.
SCOOP is now in full swing with plenty of events still to play. Check out the 2014 SCOOP homepage for a full schedule as well as results thus far in the online tournament series.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.