SCOOP 2015: ApKTuK earns second career SCOOP O/8 title in Event #19-L, $27 FL Omaha Hi/Lo (8-max)

There has been a rash of repeat winners this first week of SCOOP 2015. There's Jason Mercier, of course, who grabbed two titles in back-to-back nights, and Calvin Anderson, who topped Shaun Deeb's previous record total by taking his sixth title. It's been a fun time for covering these tournaments with so many familiar names adding to their collection of fine watches. The latest to join that club is Estonia's ApKTuK, who earned in Event #19-L not just a second SCOOP win after a five-year wait, but a second in a variant of Omaha Hi/Lo.

The low buy-in version of Event #19 kicked off at 5:00 p.m. ET with late registration until 7:30 p.m. By then the field had 1,883 players, the top 240 of whom would share in the $46,227.65 prize pool. A final table berth was worth a minimum of $462.27, with $8,091.19 awaiting the champion. It wasn't until 1:39 a.m. ET that ApKTuK and the other seven finalists consolidated to one table:

Seat 1: Rostofff (2,424,654 in chips)
Seat 2: R1gO*FF (892,302 in chips)
Seat 3: pinguinho (1,555,772 in chips)
Seat 4: crarambo86 (1,436,614 in chips)
Seat 5: Toni_Run (222,114 in chips)
Seat 6: BlackmoneyX (1,147,872 in chips)
Seat 7: ApKTuK (887,645 in chips)
Seat 8: Titanic27 (848,027 in chips)

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Surviving rough seas

With 60K/120K stakes in play, nobody holding more than 13 big bets and the shortest stack held less than two. That one belonged to Brazil's Toni_Run, who managed to survive the first dozen hands despite getting next to nothing to work with. Finally the Brazilian opened Hand #13 with a single raise, enough to end up all-in with Q♦ Q♣ 2♣ 2♠. ApKTuK called in the small blind and Titanic27 did the same in the big blind. ApKTuK ended up all-in on the turn with A♠ J♠ 8♠ 3♦, which had already made trip eights and an A-3 low with the board reading 8♣ 6♥ 5♥ 8♦. Titanic27 would split the low half of the main and side pots on the 7♠ river with A♦ T♥ 7♥ 3♥, ApKTuK's three of a kind won the high halves, and Toni_Run was gone in 8th place ($462.27).

ApKTuK was still in trouble with 343K, and the Estonian had to survive a gauntlet of all-in split pots before finally tangling on Hand #30 with the next shortest stack while both players held less than three big bets' worth of chips. That stack belonged to pinguinho, who was coming off a final table in SCOOP Event #13-M two days earlier. That one ended in second place, but this encore appearance wasn't destined to last quite that long.

ApKTuK opened with a raise to 160K and both Titanic27 in the cutoff and pinguinho in the big blind decided to come along. Everyone checked through the Q♠ 3♥ 2♣ flop before pinguinho check-raised ApKTuK all-in on the 8♠ turn. ApKTuK called with A♦ K♠ 8♦ 2♠ for eights and deuces. That turned into a flush on the 6♠ river, beating pinguinho's pair of queens with A♠ K♣Q♦ T♥ for the 1M-chip pot to leave the Australian player with just 64K.

Those chips went in the middle next hand with Q♦ J♠ T♠ 6♣. That made a pair of tens on the 5♣ 2♣ T♥ 9♣ K♥ board, losing out to BlackmoneyX's nut flush with A♣ A♠ K♣ Q♥ to retire pinguinho in 7th place ($924.55).

That scooped pot gave BlackmoneyX 1.2M chips, well ahead of the 543K ApKTuK had after calling and losing with A♦ J♦ J♥ 2♠. The Estonian survived all-in after all-in with split pots before finally scooping one to get back to 786K. But on the next hand BlackmoneyX would fall behind for good after calling a button raise by Russia's R1gO*FF and check-calling bets as the board came down 5♦ 6♠ A♣ 2♦ 7♣, mucking when the Russian showed 4♣ 3♣ 7♦ 7♥ for a seven-high straight and the nut low for the 1.45M-chip pot.

Four hands later opened the betting with a raise and was all-in for 263K on the 8♦ 7♥ J♣ flop. Rostofff and R1gO*FF split the pot with an 8-7 low and two pair, queens and jacks, after the 3♠ and Q♠ river, while BlackmoneyX mucked and departed in 6th place ($1,386.82).

Riding out the storm

With 100K/200K stakes and five players left, things were tighter than ever:

Seat 1: Rostofff (1,572,887 in chips)
Seat 2: R1gO*FF (2,359,018 in chips)
Seat 4: crarambo86 (2,866,614 in chips)
Seat 7: ApKTuK (1,011,966 in chips)
Seat 8: Titanic27 (1,604,515 in chips)

ApKTuK lost about half those chips before pulling off another survival act, doubling in the big blind by scooping with A♦ 4♦ 3♥ 2♣ for the nut flush on an A♥ 6♦ K♦ J♠ Q♦ board against Rostofff's aces and queens with A♣ Q♥ J♥ 2♦.

It was the next hand that did the major damage to Rostofff, though. The Russian raised under the gun and got three callers to see a K♥ 2♠ 8♦ flop. they all checked through to the A♥ turn , where ApKTuK bet 200K, Rostofff raised to 400K, R1gO*FF called the 400K cold, and ApKTuK called with 373K left to see the 4♣ river with 2M in the pot. ApKTuK check-raised Rostofff's bet all-in, and both Rostofff and R1gO*FF called to set up a three-way showdown. The only cards that went face-up were ApKTuK's 6♠ 5♥ 3♥ 3♦, which made a wheel straight to scoop the 3.12M-chip pot.

Left with 136K and whittled down to 36K on the next hand after paying the big blind, Rostofff somehow survived the next 14 hands before ending up all-in with A♣ Q♠ 9♣ 3♣ in a heads-up pot against Titanic27, who had top pair and flush and straight draws with K♥ 5♠ 4♥ 2♠ and the board reading 8♠ 6♠ K♦ 2♥. The 3♠ on the river made Rostofff an 8-6 low, while Titanic27 made a flush for the high and a 6-5 low. With that, Rostofff busted in 5th place ($2,311.38).

R1gO*FF had the shortest stack now at 661K and like the earlier finishers managed to survive a few all-in spots. But 12 hands later the Russian player was holding A♣ Q♣ J♣ 3♦ for aces and deuces with no low, which couldn't beat Titanic27's trip deuces with T♣ 5♣ 4♥ 2♥. The 1.86M chips went toTitanic27, and R1gO*FF finished in 4th place ($3,235.93).

The stakes climbed to 160K/320K just a few hands later and Estonia's crarambo86, on the button with a stack worth less than three big bets, opened for a raise and ended up committing four bets against Titanic27 before the 2♠ 4♦ 8♣ flop, holding 6♦ K♠ 3♠ 2♦. The other 59K went in after it and the turn and river came 9♥ Q♣ to leave the Estonian player with a lone pair of deuces and an 8-6 low. Titanic27's A♠ 5♦ 3♥ 2♣ also had just a pair of deuces for the high, though with a better kicker. With an 8-4 to take the low, that meant crarambo86 was out in 3rd place ($4,391.62).

Safe harbor in sight

Heads-up play began at 2:43 a.m. with ApKTuK looking at an uphill battle to earn a second career SCOOP title:

Seat 7: ApKTuK (1,471,296 in chips)
Seat 8: Titanic27 (7,943,704 in chips)

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Back-to-back scoops a few minutes in - first with A♥ 9♦ 6♦ 2♦ for a 7-5 low and the nut flush on a 4♦ 7♥ 5♦ 5♠ J♦ board, and then with T♦ 8♣ 7♦ 6♣ for a ten-high straight and 8-7-6 low on a 9♦ 7♥ T♣ 3♣ A♥ board - helped ApKTuK more than double up to 3.39M. Two more scoops over the next five minutes had the Estonian and Titanic27 within less than one big bet of each other.

By the time the break arrived at 2:55 a.m., ApKTuK had managed to charge into the lead with 6.43M to Titanic27's 2.98M. The Dane's stack dropped as far as 1.18M before a run of blind steals and a pot where ApKTuK was quartered with just a 7-6 low while Titanic27 sported that and a pair of aces with a better kicker for the high. That helped to spark a comeback that stretched over 32 hands, seeing the stakes rise again to 200K/400K and Titanic27 retake the lead with 5.26M to ApKTuK's 4.14M.

That turned out to be the high point for Titanic27, though, as the match lasted 12 more hands, all of them won by ApKTuK. The driving force was a 3.2M-chip pot with 8♠ 6♠ 4♣ 3♦, which caught trip sixes on a 6♥ 6♣ 9♦ flop. Five hands later the Dane was putting half a stack in the middle with a raise to 400K on the button and committing the rest as a fourth bet all-in after ApKTuK re-raised in the big blind.

It was a dead heat between Titanic27's K♠ 6♠ 6♥ 2♥ and ApKTuK's 8♥ 7♥ 4♠ 2♠ until the flop came 7♦ J♥ Q♥. That gave the Estonian a pair of sevens and a better flush draw than Titanic27, which added up to an 85 percent chance to win a second career SCOOP title. The T♦ turn and T♣ river changed nothing but the percentage, writing this tournament's final entry in the SCOOP annals.

Ten hours and 15 minutes after the tournament began, Titanic27 collected $5,778.45 for finishing the runner-up, second best all-time for the Danish player only to a WCOOP final table appearance back in 2010. As for ApKTuK, the Estonian player survived a crazy ride at the final table for $8,091.19 and a second career SCOOP champion's watch. Congratulations on returning to the SCOOP winner's circle after a long absence!

SCOOP 19-L: $27 Fixed-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo (8-max)
Entrants: 1,883
Prize pool: $46,227.65
Places paid: 240

1. ApKTuK (Estonia) $8,091.19
2. Titanic27 (Denmark) $5,778.45
3. crarambo86 (Estonia) $4,391.62
4. R1gO*FF (Russia) $3,235.93
5. Rostofff (Russia) $2,311.38
6. BlackmoneyX (Norway) $1,386.82
7. pinguinho (Australia) $924.55
8. Toni_Run (Brazil) $462.27

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in SCOOP