SCOOP 2015: Baby Federer comes up aces in Event #42-M, $2,100 NLHE (Heads-Up, High Roller)
If the buy-in for Event #42-M seems a bit on the high side, you're right. Where most of the SCOOP Medium-tier tournaments have buy-ins in the $200 range, the cost of admission for this High Roller, heads-up no-limit hold'em tourney was $2,100. That kept the field a bit more exclusive than your average Medium tournament, making Baby Federer's run past some very tough opponents for a SCOOP title that much more impressive.
The two-day tournament drew 280 players in all, building a $560,000 prize pool to be split among the top 32 finishers. The scheduled prize for the winner was $123,200, and by the end of Day 1 only eight players remained in the hunt for it when Baby Federer beat Jason Mercier to knock the Team Pro and Player Of The Series leader out in 9th place ($11,760). That set up four quarterfinal matches for Day 2: YurNas (Russia) vs easygoing45 (Germany), Viktor "Isildur1" Blom (United Kingdom) vs Baby Federer (United Kingdom), aroustamian (Russia) vs Empire2000 (Costa Rica), and Tochminator (Denmark) vs -Apollo-86 (United Kingdom).
Semifinal: -Apollo-86 (United Kingdom) vs. Empire2000 (Costa Rica)
-Apollo-86 advanced to the semifinal by defeating Eccentric_BG, supernova9, Torg0th, and Tochminator, while Empire2000 had to beat carrycakes, akut, weichhart, and aroustamian.
Their match lasted all of 39 hands. The first 35 of them comprised the 25/50 blind level and saw -Apollo-86 cut about 3,000 chips out of Empire2000's stack. Empire2000, whose first COOP final came way back in 2005, opened the 30/60 level by four-betting to take down a 1,080-chip pot without seeing a flop, chipping back up to what would end up being a high point of 7,560.
Three hands later -Apollo-86 opened for 174 on the button and called when Empire2000 three-bet to 540 in the big blind. Empire2000 led for 600 on the 6♦ 9♣ 3♠ flop and -Apollo-86 called, bringing the J♣ on the turn. This time Empire2000 check-raised all-in over the top of -Apollo-86's 752-chip bet and -Apollo-86 called immediately with 9♥ 9♠ for a set of nines. Empire2000 had Q♣ T♣ and plenty of outs going to the river, but the 4♥ came to bring Empire2000's tournament to an end in 4th place ($39,200).
Semifinal: Baby Federer (United Kingdom) vs. YurNas (Russia)
To make it to the semifinal, Baby Federer had defeated theNERDguy, Saauron1, Jason Mercier, and Viktor Blom. YurNas's path to the final went through ekziter, RPerfumo, caaaaamel, and easygoing45.
The first 21 hands of the 25/50 blind level went by without either player pulling away from the other. In fact, Hand #22 started with the two players less than 200 chips apart when YurNas opened for 125 on the button. Baby Federer re-raised to 475 and YurNas called to bring the 6♠ 2♥ 3♠ flop. YurNas called Baby Federer's 1,225-chip bet there before both players checked the A♣ turn, and then Baby Federer took the 3,400-chip pot down with a bet on the T♥ river.
Two more wins in the next six hands, including one worth 3,374 with an uncalled bet on the river of an A♠ 2♥ 6♣ 8♥ 7♦ board after check-raising on the turn, moved Baby Federer ahead of YurNas by more than 7,300 chips. They remained around that point for most of the next 40 hands and most of the 30/60 level.
The turning point came when Baby Federer called YurNas's button raise to 150 with 7♣ Q♥ and caught top and bottom pair on the 9♣ Q♣ 7♥ flop. Baby Federer check-raised to 600 there and then got calls after leading for 1,125 on the 8♦ turn and 2,550 on the K♦ river. YurNas mucked when Baby Federer showed two pair, and the Russian player's stack dropped to 3,407.
Baby Federer applied constant pressure and whittled YurNas's stack down over the next 23 hands, as did the 40/80 blinds. Finally YurNas moved all-in for 1,727 over the top of Baby Federer's 160-chip opening raise with A♥ 7♣. Baby Federer called with K♦ J♠ and was a mild underdog, albeit one with an inside straight draw after the T♥ 7♥ 8♦ flop. The 9♠ completed that draw on the turn, and the 5♦ river officially knocked YurNas out in 3rd place ($39,200).
Final: -Apollo-86 vs. Baby Federer
There was brief discussion of a deal as the final began, but within a few minutes the two competitors decided to play for the scheduled prizes instead. Their 81-hand match got a kick-start on Hand #6 when -Apollo-86 opened for 145 on the button and Baby Federer re-raised to 550 in the big blind. -Apollo-86 called that bet, 550 on the K♣ 8♦ T♦ flop, and 1,650 on the 6♣ turn, and folded when Baby Federer moved all-in on the 6♦ river.
That left -Apollo-86 with 6,835 chips, and Baby Federer's consistent aggression whittled that down to 4,790 by the end of the 25/50 level. Then -Apollo-86 flopped trip kings with K♣ 9♠ on the last hand of the level to get back to 6,653 as the 30/60 level began.
That level saw stretch -Apollo-86 lose 17 out of 22 pots at one point. Only three of them even reached four figures, and none was worth more than 1,800 chips, but the end result was that -Apollo-86's stack dipped to 3,050. Only winning six of the next 20 hands as the blinds went up to 40/80 dropped it further to 1,516 and had -Apollo-86 on the verge of elimination.
-Apollo-86 soon ended up all-in with A♥ 4♠ before the flop, facing Baby Federer's A♣ 7♠, but the two split the pot when the T♠ Q♥ 9♠ J♣ K♠ gave them both a Broadway straight. Two hands later -Apollo-86 would try again, this time calling all-in from the big blind with J♥ T♠ after Baby Federer raised with K♠ 7♣. A straight flush draw emerged by the turn of the 9♠ 8♠ 9♦ J♠ A♠ board, but that ace on the river made a better flush for Baby Federer and brought the tournament to an end.
-Apollo-86 collected $78,400 as the runner-up, topping a five-year old career high of $9,728. The champion's watch and $123,200 went to Baby Federer, who made the most of a tough path through the tournament to lay claim to one of the final heads-up titles of SCOOP 2015. Congratulations to both players on making it through a very tough field to earn those prizes.
SCOOP 42-M: $2,100 No-Limit Hold'em (Heads-Up, High-Roller)
Prize pool: $560,000
Places paid: 32
1. Baby Federer (United Kingdom) $123,200
2. -Apollo-86 (United Kingdom) $78,400
3. YurNas (Russia) $39,200
4. Empire2000 (Costa Rica) $39,200
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.