SCOOP 2015: "Donger Kim" defeats Lichtenberger to win Heads-Up title ($21,000 NL H Heads-Up, High-Roller)

The High-Roller Heads-Up tournament is one of the most anticipated events on any series schedule and this one brought out some of the top heads-up players around. There were bracelet winners and COOP champions and heads-up cash wizards mixing it up in a tournament they could get behind.

The tournament drew 33 players which created an odd situation at the start of the tournament. There are always an odd number of entrants when these types of events get underway with a group of players getting a free pass on the first match. The second round matches would include 32 players meaning every single player received a first round bye except Negriin and 26071985.

Those two players battled for over three and a half hours while the rest of the field sat on their thumbs waiting on the outcome. This also meant they would only have to win two matches to cash in the tournament. 26071985 won the match to set up the second round but was unable to make it further.

It was a fine list of players batting in the third round with the winner guaranteed a piece of the $676,500 prize pool including Jason Mercier going for his fourth SCOOP title of the series.

Jake "JLlama" Abdalla versus Lottenice
Alex "Kanu7" Millar versus Trueteller
Ben "Ben86" Tollerene versus Dong "Donger Kim" Kim
Michel "FreeLancerZZ" Dattani versus Jason Mercier
Doug "WCG|Rider" Polk versus Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro
Andrew "RunThisTable" Lichtenberger versus Vladimir "vovtroy" Troyanovskiy
AceSpades11 versus Educa-p0ker
RPerfumo versus VbV1990

Mercier was unable to get past Dattani and 2013 SCOOP Heads-Up High-Roller Champion Ben "Ben86" Tollerene also fell short. Lichtenberger and heads-up specialist Doug Polk were among those moving along as well as Dong Kim, Dattani, Lottenice, Trueteller, AceSpades11, and VbV1990.

Quarterfinal Round

Lottenice versus Trueteller
Dong "Donger Kim" Kim versus Michel "FreeLancerZZ" Dattani
Andrew "RunThisTable" Lichtenberger versus Doug "WCG|Rider" Polk
AceSpades11 versus VbV1990

Lottenice was the first to move forward to Day 2 and deeper in the money with a quick defeat of Trueteller. Their match took just 30 minutes to complete and it ended when Lottenice laid a bit of a beat to shut it down. Trueteller moved all-in after the 6♣5♥2♥ flop with Q♥6♦ and Lottenice called with the (for now) inferior T♠6♠. The turn was of no consequence but the river T♣ sent Trueteller out.

VbV1990 wasn't far behind Trueteller heading out the door after an unsuccessful river bluff. VbV1990 check/raised a bet from AceSpades11 after the T♣9♠3♣ flop then fired two big bets on the K♦ turn and A♣ river until he was all-in with the unimproved Q♣6♠. AceSpades11 called with the 8♣4♣ flush to advance as well.

Two quick matches and two taking their good ol' time with plenty of room to maneuver. Kim was the next to move on after he beat Dattani in a 90-minute battle. It ended for them with a coinflip, Kim's 3♣3♠ hung in there to beat Dattani's A♣9♦ to leave just one match to be determined.

Polk had a close call in the previous round and he had a tough draw to face 2009 SCOOP Heads-Up winner Lichtenberger. Polk wasn't able to come back from an early deficit and finally moved his short stack in the middle with Q♣J♦. Lichtenberger called with the better A♥J♠ but that changed on the Q♥T♥4♦ flop. Lichtenberger was only behind for a moment, right up until the A♠ hit the turn.

Polk's elimination set the lineup for Day 2.


Doug "WCG|Rider" Polk comes up short of the final four

Semifinal Round

AceSpades11 versus Andrew "RunThisTable" Lichtenberger
Lottenice versus Dong "Donger Kim" Kim

Lichtenberger was the first to advance to the final table when he made quick work of AceSpades11. He took command of the match in a hand that saw AceSpades11 the aggressor throughout. The two saw a flop of A♥8♠7♦ and AceSpades11 bet out 436. He led out for another 1,255 after the T♥ turn and 2,457 on the 4♠ river. Lichtenberger called the entire way down with A♣K♥. AceSpades11 tabled the unimproved K♠Q♣ to send the 9,000 pot to Lichtenberger.

It ended in a limped pot that saw AceSpades11 get all-in with the board reading J♥7♦5♣8♥T♦. His two pair 7♣5♠ was no good when Lichtenberger showed 6♥4♦ for a straight and ticket to the final.

The second match finished 10 minutes later and Kim was in charger from the start. The final hand against Lottenice saw Kim take a similar line as Lichtenberger, letting his opponent get himself in trouble. Kim checked every street until the board read T♣T♦2♥Q♠6♣ then check/raised the river to put Lottenice all-in. He called with Q♥4♥ but he was no good against Kim's trip Tens J♦T♥ and the final was set.

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Final Round

Andrew "RunThisTable" Lichtenberger versus Dong "Donger Kim" Kim

The final match of the tournament started off with a bang. Kim took a big hold on the game just seven hands into it when they put in four bets and 1,350 each before the 9♥8♦6♣ flop. They both checked and Kim led out of 1,755 after the 3♠ turn. Lichtenberger called to see the Q♥ river and called when Kim moved all-in.

Kim showed J♣T♣ for the rivered straight to crack the A♦A♣ of Lichtenberger and take a huge lead 19,150 to 850. Lichtenberger tried to come back and had several chances but it didn't take long for Kim to finish it off. Lichtenberger was able to hang on for 24 more hands but it ended in a race on the last hand.

Lichtenberger: 7♥7♠
Kim: A♥J♠

Lichtenberger was ahead for the stay alive double and dodged the T♣4♣2♣ flop. The K♠ added a gutshot draw for Kim and he popped it on the Q♥ river for Broadway to lock up his first SCOOP title. Lichtenberger is no stranger to online and live poker success but had to settle for a 2nd place result. He will be comforted by the $135,300 added to his bankroll.


Andrew "RunThisTable" Lichtenberger falls in quick match

Kim was involved in an interesting heads up challenge against Nick "TCfromUB" Frame earlier this year and can now call himself a major online tournament champion. He earned $236,775 for his efforts and top spot in one of the most anticipated events of the series.

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Dong "Donger Kim" Kim earns first major online title

SCOOP 42-H: $21,000 NL Hold'em (Heads-Up, High-Roller)
Entrants: 33
Prize pool: $676,500
Places paid: 8

1. Dong "Donger Kim" Kim (South Korea) $236,775.00
2. Andrew "RunThisTable" Lichtenberger (Canada) $135,300.00
3. Lottenice (Denmark) $67,650.00
4. AceSpades11 (Canada) $67,650.00
5. Doug "WCG|Rider" Polk (Australia) $42,281.25
6. Michel "FreeLancerZZ" Dattani (Portugal) $42,281.25
7. VbV1990 (Russia) $42,281.25
8. Trueteller (Russia) $42,281.25

Al Rash
@PokerStars in SCOOP