A lot of poker players can talk the talk, but how many of them can also walk the walk? Guys like Hellmuth, Negreanu, Matusow and Tony G love the banter at the table but they can then back it up with world-class results. Perhaps one trash-talker who is well on his way to matching some of the best in the world is British young gun Luke "lb6121" Schwartz. He's had some ups and downs in recent years, but if you've ever seen Schwartz on TV, when he brings his best, it can be pure entertainment when he talks and scintillating to watch him play. Today, Schwartz got the balance just right with an impressive victory in Event #29-H of the 2014 Spring Championship of Online Poker.
A total of 138 players turned out for the $2,100 Fixed Limit Holdem 6-Max Event. A six-figure prize pool was guaranteed but that was almost tripled with $276,000 in the middle to be divided among the top 18 finishers.
There were plenty of red spades in the field with Team PokerStars represented by the likes of Luka Kovač, Bertrand Grospellier, Ike Haxton, Eugene Katchalov, Andre Akkari, Nacho Barbero and George Danzer. Unfortunately they missed out on the money stage of this event as it was a slow grind to burst the pesky bubble.
All eyes were on the short-stacked Shannon "basebal1b" Shorr who was grinding down, hoping to see some mistakes on other tables. basebal1b was almost down to the felt, with just three big blinds, when he finally found pocket aces just in the nick of time and landed a double up against Shhh00kem's ace-queen.
However it was all for nought as again basebal1b blinded down to the point of desperation before his queen-ten couldn't get past jadajadamasa's pocket eights. basebal1b was the bubble in 19th place as the remaining players all locked up at least $3,588 in prize money.
It would be a real crawl towards the final table with several hours of grinding before MachineGunMK's A♠8♠ was outflopped by Luke "lb6121" Schwartz' J♥T♣ to see our final table of six formed as follows:
Final Table Line Up
Seat 1: alex987 (223,455 in chips)
Seat 2: Paul "paulgees81" Volpe (77,703 in chips)
Seat 3: Mike "SirWatts" Watson (121,456 in chips)
Seat 4: Luke "lb6121" Schwartz (87,037 in chips)
Seat 5: aramesko (104,898 in chips)
Seat 6: DannStarr (75,451 in chips)
alex987 held a healthy chip lead, but the final table blinds kicked off at 1,500/3,000 so there was still plenty of room to move for all of our final six participants.
DannStarr made an early full house to clip the wings of Luke "lb6121" Schwartz before Mike "SirWatts" Watson's pocket kings got three streets of value against Paul "paulgees81" Volpe's pocket jacks.
lb6121 recovered some chips, making two pair with ace-king against aramesko, and when aramesko couldn't call a river bet against alex987, aramesko was left in some trouble on the short stack.
aramesko hung in there and waited for a spot to strike. Limit poker is not the sort of game where you can just shove all-in preflop and steal the blinds. aramesko had to wait for a hand.
Eventually aramesko found A♠Q♥ on the button and committed to the pot. The action was capped preflop against DannStarr in the small blind, before the last chips were in the middle with a bet and raise on a flop of 3♠7♥K♦. DannStarr revealed T♥T♠ and aramesko would need some help to stay alive. The turn was the 8♣ and river a repeat 8♠ to leave aramesko to depart in sixth place for $12,420 in prize money.
An interesting clash between alex987 and paulgees81 would see heavy action on the river, and a sigh of relief from paulgees81 after tank-calling the final bet:
Again it was a grind for the five remaining players, but at least there was plenty of friendly banter in the chat box with most of the guys seemingly knowing each other pretty well.
paulgees81 found aces again to win another nice pot, this time from lb6121, but most of those chips were sent back to alex987 who also found the pocket rockets.
lb6121 was able to land a double up in a hand with heavy action preflop. alex987 opened, paulgees81 three-bet, Mike "SirWatts" Watson got into the action with a cold four-bet from the small blind, before lb6121 cold-called it in the big blind. alex987 folded and paulgees81 called before lb6121's last chips were in against SirWatts on the K♠J♦J♥ flop. lb6121 showed A♣K♦ against SirWatts' A♠Q♦ and when the J♠ turn and 8♣ river completed the board, lb6121 was back in business as alex987 lametented folding king-jack which would've made quads!
It didn't bother alex987 who continued to pound on his opponents and extend his chip lead. SirWatts barrelled three streets with an open-ender that missed with alex987 calling it down with two pair, to leave SirWatts in some trouble.
With a little over two big blinds, SirWatts raised with K♥4♥ from under the gun and then called for the rest when alex987 three-bet with a dominant A♠K♣. The board would arrive 8♦9♠9♦Q♣5♣ to leave Mike "SirWatts" Watson to leave us in fifth place for $17,940.
Paul "paulgees81" Volpe would be next to fall in a hand that was capped preflop against lb6121. paulgees81 fired bets on each street before being all in on the river on a board of T♦4♠6♠5♠8♠ holding J♥J♠ for a jack-high flush but lb6121 had run him down with A♣Q♠ for a queen-high flush. paulgees81 headed to the rail in fourth place for $23,460.
At this point, the idea of a potential deal was raised:
DannStarr said, "any deals?"
lb6121 said, "we can see the numbers i dont mind"
lb6121 said, "alex do u wanna look at the numbers"
alex987 said, "no"
DannStarr said, "ok :)"
alex987 said, "on tilt"
Which of course, sparked some friendly banter from the ever-chatty Luke Schwartz:
lb6121 said, "your too clever is the problem"
lb6121 said, "u just outplayed everyone"
lb6121 said, "so intellegent"
lb6121 said, "is how u won that pot"
lb6121 said, "u used brain power"
lb6121 said, "and won"
DannStarr got back down to business, making a nice queen-high straight with a couple of bets on the river against alex987 which wouldn't have helped any tilt issues.
Both lb6121 and DannStarr were taking some chunks out of the runaway chip leader, until the two shorties collided with each other when lb6121 flopped a set of eights with heavy betting action to leave DannStarr under pressure.
lb6121 then finished the job in a three-bet pot on a flop of 7♠8♥9♥. DannStarr was committed all in with A♦4♠ and was in front of lb6121's K♥6♥ but would have to fade a tonne of outs to stay alive. The Q♥ smacked the turn to give lb6121 the flush and leave DannStarr drawing dead. The meaniningless river was the 9♦ to see DannStarr depart in third place for a very nice $35,880 score.
Heads-up Chip Counts
Seat 1: alex987 (397,374 in chips)
Seat 4: Luke "lb6121" Schwartz (292,626 in chips)
alex987 said, "now we can see numbers Bro?OK?"
lb6121 said, "ok"
The two quickly agreed to an ICM split of the prize money which would leave $2,000 and the SCOOP title in the middle to play for.
Many of the early heads-up pots were passed back and forth before lb6121 started to get the edge in a couple of the bigger pots. lb6121 made two pair with kings and queens to get plenty of value, before alex987 flopped quad threes and was paid off on every street.
However two of the biggest pots of the tournament went the way of lb6121 within three hands to switch the momentum around to the Brit. The first was capped preflop with lb6121's pocket tens holding true, before flopping trip sevens and getting raises in on the flop and turn.
The final blow would see alex987's last chips in preflop with Q♦J♣ against lb6121's A♥8♠. The board would brick out 5♣6♦T♥5♠3♥ to leave ace-high in front to give lb6121 the win!
It was a great tournament for alex987 who takes home the most money thanks to the deal with $60,565.60 for second place. However our champion is Luke "lb6121" Schwartz who collects his second SCOOP title and $59,494.40 in prize money. Congratulations!
SCOOP-29-H: $2,100 FL Holdem [6-Max] - $100K Guaranteed
Prize Pool: $276,000.00
Places Paid: 18
1. Luke "lb6121" Schwartz (United Kingdom) $59,494.40*
2. alex987 (Russia) $60,565.60*
3. DannStarr (Poland) $35,880.00
4. Paul "paulgees81" Volpe (Canada) $23,460.00
5. Mike "SirWatts" Watson (Canada) $17,940.00
6. Aramesko (Russia) $12,420.00
* denotes heads-up ICM deal
If you missed out today, then don't worry as there are plenty more opportunities for you to grab yourself a slice of the SCOOP pie. There are 45 different events, all with low, medium and high buy-in levels to suit players of all budgets. A total prize pool of $40 million is guaranteed with the series running right through until May 18th. Head to the SCOOP home page for more details.
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.