SCOOP 2015: apostolis20 wins second COOP, $203K in heads-up deal in Event #45-L, $109 NLHE Main Event

With more than $76.5 million in prizes awarded and a slew of top flight-performances by players from aorund the world, SCOOP 2015 has been an incredible series all the way around. The only way to close out such a series properly is to have a blowout Main Event - or in this case, three of them.

The low-tier Main Event was a $109 affair with 15,000-chip starting stacks, 15-minute blind levels, and a $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool. The final tally was more than double that at $2,216,400 thanks to the 22,164 players who turned up for a shot at the $221,653.09 top prize.

All but about 400 of them were eliminated in the first 32 levels, after which play paused for the night. Day 2 resumed at 2:30 p.m. and it would take more than five hours of poker to whittle that field down to the final table bubble. Jason "jakoon1985" Koon survived a coin flip there after moving all-in with 2♣ 2♦ against Duderino911's opening raise with A♥ Q♠. Duderino911 called but couldn't hit, even after picking up a Broadway straight draw on the flop, and Koon won a 55.1M-chip pot for the second largest stack when the final table began a few hands later:

Seat 1: GrovSnus (31,269,744 in chips)
Seat 2: sge_fr3ak (17,361,308 in chips)
Seat 3: Jason "jakoon1985" Koon (54,870,898 in chips)
Seat 4: Apostolis "apostolis20" Bechrakis (43,111,567 in chips)
Seat 5: Titanic27 (37,133,607 in chips)
Seat 6: TTo6eDiTe/\b (21,676,506 in chips)
Seat 7: Balomiker (43,462,770 in chips)
Seat 8: Duderino911 (24,737,241 in chips)
Seat 9: CrazySezya (58,836,359 in chips)

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Blinds and antes were at 600K/1.2M/150K, putting the shortest stacks between 14 and 20 big blinds with a $6,700+ pay jump awaiting whoever could avoid being the first to go. As it turned out, they didn't have to wait long for that jump.

Hand #2 opened with a minimum raise to 2.4M from Duderino9111 in middle position, followed immediately by a re-raise to 5.22M by CrazySezya. Duderino911 jammed for 24.4M with A♠ Q♣ and CrazySezya called right away with A♥ K♠. A back-door flush draw on the flop was the closest the 6♠ J♠ 4♣ 4♦ 9♦ board came to helping Duderino911, and the player from Austria left in 9th place ($13,298.40).

CrazySezya won the next major pot, too, on Hand #13, setting the tone for the final table. The Ukrainian player opened for the minimum of 2.8M under the gun and then shoved all-in after Jason Koon had called and TTo6eDiTe/\b moved all-in for 19.4M in the small blind. Koon folded T♥ T♠ face-up, leaving CrazySezya's A♥ Q♦ heads-up against the A♣ J♠ held by TTo6eDiTe/\b. CrazySezya made two pair by the river of the 3♥ 2♣ Q♠ 6♣ 3♦ board, and with an unimproved hand TTo6eDiTe/\b was gone in 8th place ($19,947.60).

Jason Koon broke CrazySenya's domination of the action and ended up in another coin flip, but it didn't go as the one that led him to the final. He opened Hand #21 with 5♣ 5♥ in early position and called when GrovSnus re-raised all-in for 15.6M with A♣ J♦, but the Swede made two pair on the turn and river of the K♠ 6♦ 8♥ J♥ A♠ board to stay alive. That merely sent Koon's stack to back where it had begun the final table, though, mostly thanks to a 14.8M-chip pot won with an uncalled bet on the river of a pot several hands earlier.

After two orbits of blind-stealing, GrovSnus chipped up a little further after opening with Q♠ Q♥ and calling Titanic27's all-in raise on the button with A♥ T♥. Titanic27 caught a ten on the flop of the T♦ 5♠ 9♠ K♣ 8♦ board but otherwise didn't improve, and left in 7th place ($31,140.42).

Steamrolling

CrazySezya was involved in another major pot on the next hand, this time in the small blind with T♥ T♠ against apostolis20, who picked up Q♦ Q♠ in the cutoff and four-bet all-in after opening for the minimum and have CrazySezya three-bet to 8M. The board came 5♦ A♦ 8♥ 4♠ A♣, the queens held, and apostolis20 doubled to a second-place chip stack of 75.8M.

A little over 20 hands later, CrazySezya would pick up T♠ T♥ against another opponent's pocket pair once again. The Ukrainian player raised under the gun and then re-shoved after Balomiker shoved for 33.4M in the big blind, driving away original caller apostolis20, who folded 9♠ 9♥ face-up. Balomiker turned over K♥ K♣ but only kept the lead until the flop came 6♥ T♦ 8♠. Running cards for a straight to chop or a king to win could have kept Balomiker alive, but the Q♥ and 7♥ came instead and Balomiker departed in 6th place ($44,328).

CrazySezya's hit parade kept rolling five hands later when GrovSnus opened under the gun with Q♥ Q♦ and four-bet all-in for 31.3M when CrazySezya three-bet from the big blind with A♥ K♣. The Ukrainian called and promptly made top pair, which held up through the entire A♣ 6♦ 3♠ 7♣ 4♥ board to eliminate GrovSnus in 5th place ($66,492).

Four of the five knockouts so far had come by CrazySezya's hand, and the next one would as well. The Ukrainian opened the action with an all-in bet from the small blind, holding A♥ J♦, and sge_fr3ak called all-in for 7.3M in the big blind with A♠ 8♣. CrazySezya's kicker played when the board fell A♣ Q♣ 3♥ T♦ Q♦, earning the 15.7M in the middle and knocking out sge_fr3ak in 4th place ($88,656).

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In just 71 hands the blinds and antes had risen to 1M/2M/200K and the field had been reduced from nine to these three:

Seat 3: Jason "jakoon1985" Koon (67,921,819 in chips)
Seat 4: Apostolis "apostolis20" Bechrakis (88,984,934 in chips)
Seat 9: CrazySezya (175,553,247 in chips)

There was some brief discussion of a deal at this point, but within just a few minutes they decided amicably to keep playing. For 15 hands they no single pot tipping the scales at 10 big blinds. Then CrazySezya raised the minimum to 5M on the button with 7♣ 7♦ and four-bet all-in when apostolis20 re-raised to 13.5M. apostolis20 called with A♥ Q♠ and doubled to 133M with two pair after the board came 6♣ 2♠ A♠ 3♥ 6♦.

Just five hands later came an even bigger pot. It kicked off with apostolis20 raising the minimum to 5M on the button, a bet answered by CrazySezya's three-bet to 12.3M in the small blind. Jason Koon then thought for a few seconds and moved all-in for 81.8M. That squeeze with Q♣ J♣ drove apostolis20 out of the pot, but CrazySezya wasn't going anywhere with A♣ A♠. Koon caught a flush draw on the 8♣ 6♦ 7♣ flop and picked up more outs on the J♠ turn for a 29.5-percent chance headed to the river. The T♥ wasn't any help, though, and Jason Koon left the tournament in 3rd place ($110,820).

Deal talk came up again at this point, and with only a handful of big blinds separating the two players they decided to split the remaining money straight down the middle. That gave each one a guaranteed $183,176 and left an extra $20,000 on the table for the winner, a sum that would take 53 hands to disburse.

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CrazySezya hand done most of the heavy lifting so far and got the better of the early pots, too, climbing as high as 204M. Then apostolis20 inched into the lead with two pots worth 50.9M and 41M in a three-hand span. Another 64M-chip pot won with an uncalled bet on the turn of a 7♦ 6♠ 4♠ 4♦ board three hands after that moved apostolis20 up to 203.5M. Two more worth 50.9M and 45.5M in the next seven hands left CrazySezya with only 84.1M chips, only about 10 big blinds ahead of where the Ukrainian had been at the start of the final table before knocking six players out.

apostolis20 sat back on that 57-big-blind lead until CrazySezya shoved for 55.5M on the button with K♦ 6♦. apostolis20 called with K♥ Q♣ and the queen played when both players made a pair of kings on the 9♠ 5♥ J♦ K♠ 3♥ board. apostolis took the 112M chips in the middle and the tournament came to a close.

CrazySezya wasn't able to lay claim to the title after leading much of the final table, but taking the chip lead into the heads-up deal was worth $183,176.88 to the Ukrainian player, topping a previous career best of $3,080 set last summer. The extra $20K on the table made a total prize of $203,176.89 for Apostolis "apostolis20" Bechrakis, well over twice his previous best after finishing as runner-up in the Super Tuesday in late 2013. It's also a second COOP title for him after winning a no-limit hold'em shootout during TCOOP 2013. Congratulations to both players on closing out another huge Spring Championship of Online Poker in style!

SCOOP 45-L: $109 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event
Entrants: 22,164
Prize pool: $2,216,400
Places paid: 3,150

1. Apostolis "apostolis20" Bechrakis (F.Y.R.O.M.) $203,176.89
2. CrazySezya (Ukraine) $183,176.88
3. Jason "jakoon1985" Koon (Canada) $110,820
4. sge_fr3ak (Germany) $88,656
5. GrovSnus (Sweden) $66,492
6. Balomiker (Germany) $44,328
7. Titanic27 (Denmark) $31,140.42
8. TTo6eDiTe/\b (Belarus) $19,947.60
9. Duderino911 (Austria) $13,298.40

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in SCOOP