SCOOP 2015: Ilari "Fabahaba" Tahkokallio stages mighty final table comeback

Having to fend off a two-time SCOOP champ, a Team PokerStars Online Pro, a TCOOP title holder, AND come back from being the short stack entering the final table is by no means an easy feat. But in #E27-M, that was exactly what the winner of this tournament would have to do.

The game in question was a $109 Pot-Limit 5-Card Omaha Hi/Lo [6-Max] tournament with rebuys, and the player who took it down was Finland's Ilari "Fabahaba" Tahkokallio, for a 1st place prize of $30,495.

Some familiar names who would make deep runs to cash included Christopher "NigDawg" Brammer (35th - $882.75), still fresh of his first SCOOP title win, and Team PokerStars Online pro Roy "GodlikeRoy" Bhasin (62nd - $545.70). Eugene Katchalov, George Danzer, Calvin "cal42688" Anderson and Kevin "ImaLuckSac" MacPhee all fell just short of the money.

With just two tables of six coming back to the virtual felt for Day 2, there was one red spade - Team PokerStars Online player Naoya "nKeyno" Kihara, who was second in chips. Kihara has made two SCOOP final tables in the past, but it was Tahkokallio who was out in front with 12 left. Tahkokallio was runner up at EPT6 Berlin back in 2010 for $813,000, and is an accomplished online player too.

Meanwhile, ApKTuk was chasing a third SCOOP title, having only been denied it just two days ago in another Pot-Limit 5-Card Omaha SCOOP event, in which the player from Estonia finished 2nd for $18,723.37. Other notable names still remaining in the field included üä-qaypö.wsx - an Austrian player who took down a TCOOP event in 2014, as well as Leif "drawgle17" Force. When all was said and done, ApKTuk would have to wait for that SCOOP triple, and when we got down to the final table of six here's how the players stacked up:

Seat 1: üä-qaypö.wsx (Austria) - 709,386
Seat 2: Phokingjok3r (Canada) - 932,912
Seat 3: Team PokerStars Online Pro Naoya "nKeyno" Kihara (Japan) - 1,847,660
Seat 4: alex987 (Russia) - 1,025,493
Seat 5: Leif "drawgle17" Force (Mexico) - 860,394
Seat 6: Ilari "Fabahaba" Tahkokallio (Finland) - 270,155

SCOOP2015_e27m_finaltable.jpg

Kihara had a big chip lead - one he'd continue to build on as we lost our first player.

Leif "drawgle17" Force out in 6th ($5,136)

With the blinds at 20,000/40,000, Force opened from the cut-off to 140,000. He only had 207,739 to start the hand, so with just 67,739 behind, it was safe to assume he was committed to this pot. He'd soon have to be as üä-qaypö.wsx moved all-in for 428,011 total, which was called.

Leif "drawgle17" Force: T♥3♣6♦A♠K♦
üä-qaypö.wsx: 8♣A♥3♠J♣2♥

The flop came 4♠9♥8♥, making üä-qaypö.wsx an almost 80% favourite to take down the entire pot. When the J♥ landed on the turn it made üä-qaypö.wsx the nut flush, before the 9♣ fell on the river. There was no low hand, and Leif "drawgle17" Force was the first player to leave the final table.

alex987 eliminated in 5th ($8,025)

The blinds had risen to 25,000/50,000 by the time we lost the next player. In the hand, Phokingjok3r raised UTG to 105,000, before alex987 three-bet to 325,000 on the button. It folded around to the original raiser who bet enough to put his opponent all-in, which alex987 called for 698,558 total.

alex987: 2♣A♠A♥3♦9♣
Phokingjok3r: K♠Q♦A♦5♠7♦

The first three cards on the board were J♦9♦K♣, giving Phokingjok3r a crazy amount of cards to hit. It wouldn't take long as the 2♦ arrived on the turn, and the A♣ river didn't change anything. alex987 was our 5th place finisher.

No second COOP title for üä-qaypö.wsx; gone in 4th ($11,235)

With a TCOOP title already under the belt, Austria's üä-qaypö.wsx was hoping to add a SCOOP title to the resume tonight, but it wasn't to be. After opening to 210,000 on the button from a stack of 321,500, Naoya "nKeyno" Kihara called from the big blind. The flop was the 8♥K♣6♦ and Kihara bet enough to put his opponent all-in, who called holding 2♠A♣Q♣Q♦5♦, whilst Kihara had 4♦6♥3♠8♣A♦.

At this juncture it was a close race - and üä-qaypö.wsx had a 48.2% chance of survival. However, the 2♦ changed matters significantly, and the 4♠ river gave Kihara a 6,4,3,2,A low as well as twom pair - eights and sixes - to scoop the entire pot. Now we were down to three.

Three-handed play

Here's how the players stacked up entering three-handed play:

Phokingjok3r -- 2,601,270
Naoya "nKeyno" Kihara -- 2,336,625
Ilari "Fabahaba" Tahkokallio -- 753,105

Things can change mighty fast, however. Having already doubled up once through Phokingjok3r, Fabahaba made it 160,000 on the button (blinds 40,000/80,000) and Kihara called. The flop fell 2♣2♥8♠ and Kihara checked to the raiser, who bet 143,000. Kihara check-raised once again, this time to 789,000 and was met with a shove all in for 1,269,905 total. Kihara called and his Q♠4♥2♦4♣A♦ was behind Fabahaba's 2♠K♠A♣J♥3♠. The turn was the 5♠ and the river the 6♠, meaning Fabahaba's high (king-high flush) and low (6,5,3,2,A0 were best.

Just a few hands after being the shortest stack, Ilari "Fabahaba" Tahkokallio was now a big chip leader.

SCOOP2015_e27m_3handed.jpg

Team PokerStars Online Pro Naoya "nKeyno" Kihara busts in 3rd ($16,451.25)

Kihara limped from the small blind and Fabahaba made to 240,000 to see a flop. We got the call and saw a flop of T♣9♦J♠. Kihara checked and faced a bet of 480,000 from Fabahaba - more than half his remaining stack. He opted to shove for 815,920 total and got a call.

Naoya "nKeyno" Kihara: Q♠9♥2♠A♦4♦
Ilari "Fabahaba" Tahkokallio: 2♠A♥T♥J♥A♣

Despite currently trailing, Kihara was actually a favourite to win the hand. The 9♣ on the turn certainly helped, giving him trip nines and an 86.8% lock on the hand, but the J♣ on the river changed everything, giving Fabahaba a full house. Bad luck for Naoya "nKeyno" Kihara, but we're sure he'll be back for another deep run in an upcoming SCOOP event.

Kihara_Day2_.jpg

Team PokerStars Online Pro Naoya "nKeyno" Kihara

Heads up chip counts

And then there were two.

Ilari "Fabahaba" Tahkokallio -- 4,012,430
Phokingjok3r -- 1,678,570

Phokingjok3r looked to be staging something of a comeback, getting his stack up to around the 2.5M mark, before Fabahaba took over once again. With 4.4M against 1.1M, here's how the final hand played out.

Phokingjok3r is our runner up ($22,470)

The blinds were now 50,000/100,000 and Fabahaba min-opened the button, only for Phokingjok3r to three-bet for half his stack to 600,000. The bet was called and the flop came 2♣T♥9♥. A quick all-in was called by Fabahaba and thre hands were:

Phokingjok3r: 3♠7♣A♦8♠[6h[
Fabahaba: 2♦9♣4♣A♣3♣

The chip leader was ahead for the high and had a great shot at a better low and finishing off this tournament. The 3♦ turn and 5♦ river did just that, giving Fabahaba a straight -ace to five; a 5,4,3,2,A low; and $30,495 for the win and his first SCOOP title. Congratulations Ilari!

SCOOP-27-M: $109+R PL 5-Card Omaha Hi/Lo [6-Max], $100K Gtd
Entrants: 572 entries, 595 rebuys, 438 add-ons
Prize pool: $160,500
Places paid: 72

1. Ilari "Fabahaba" Tahkokallio (Finland) -- $30,495
2. Phokingjok3r (Canada) -- $22,470
3. Team PokerStars Online Pro Naoya "nKeyno" Kihara (Japan) -- $16,451.25
4. üä-qaypö.wsx (Austria) -- $11,235
5. alex987 (Russia) -- $8,025
6. Leif "drawgle17" Force (Mexico) -- $5,136

Jack Stanton is a journalist and freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Jack Stanton
@J_W_Stanton in SCOOP