SCOOP 2015: Kelvin_FP:AR thwarts win to eat's double 'COOP in Event #7-L ($7.50+R NLHE)

Hang around the poker world long enough and you'll hear about the curse of the Day 1 chip leader. The theory lies somewhere on the spectrum between moderate paranoia and old wives' tale, but goes a little something like this-- finish Day 1 with the chip lead and your chance of winning is virtually nil. Maybe crazy-aggressive play contributed to that lead (it will catch up with you tomorrow!) Perhaps it was that two-outer on the river (your run-good is OVER) or that flush card when you needed it the most (math math math you'll never hit one again!)

Tonight, Brazilian poker pro Kelvin "Kelvin_FP:AR" Kerber stomped out the curse of the Day 1 chip leader. Although he arrived at the final table with the third-shortest stack, Kerber neutralized his biggest threat, India's Aditya "Donkab0mber" Sushant, who controlled 26% of the chips in play as the final table commenced. Donkab0mber knew a thing or two about defeating big fields-- he finished second in the Sunday Million back in June 2013 for a $168k score and made the final table again last December during a Special Edition weekend that saw the Million's field swell to over 31,000 players. Also standing in Kerber's way was Moldova's win to eat. The first WCOOP bracelet winner from Moldova, win to eat no doubt would have loved to have also been the first Moldovan to take home a SCOOP watch. Despite the obstacles in front of him, Kerber prevailed and emerged with his first SCOOP title and over $25,000 in prize money for his efforts.


Kelvin "Kelvin_FP:AR" Kerber, Event #7-L champion

Event #7-L's 8,634 players made 13,445 rebuys and 5,799 add-ons, resulting in a $190,127.96 total prize pool. 1,080 spots were paid with $28,525.06 up top. After 36 levels. 54 players remained and advanced to Day 2. Topping the overnight counts was Kelvin_FP:AR, with 6,891,073.

It took another two hours to whittle the field from 54 to the last ten, and blinds were up to 150,000/300,000 on the final table bubble. On one table, thegreatdon made it 600,000 to go from UTG and FLORENSIA moved all-in for 3.07 million from the small blind. Thegreatdon snap-called, his A♣A♦ up against Q♦J♦. FLORENSIA did not improve on the A♥8♦9♠8♣5♥ board while thegreatdon made aces full. However, on the other table, chip leader Donkab0mber opened for 700,000 and c0rl30n3_89 shoved for 9.8 million from the small blind with A♠Q♣. Donkab0mber called, and his T♦T♣ held up on the K♥8♣6♥9♠6♦ board. Since c0rl30n3_89 had more chips to start the hand, he took ninth place, while FLORENSIA exited on the final table bubble.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: Daconetty (4,048,018 in chips)
Seat 3: Kelvin_FP:AR (5,773,581 in chips)
Seat 4: thegreatdon (16,557,791 in chips)
Seat 5: win to eat (15,585,232 in chips)
Seat 6: i1611 (2,692,568 in chips)
Seat 7: Ridiculiouss (11,341,153 in chips)
Seat 8: suckout91 (14,329,067 in chips)
Seat 9: Donkab0mber (24,904,590 in chips)

Donkab0mber entered the final table with nearly 25 million in chips and was up to 40 million in short order. First, he took down a 14 million pot vs. suckout91, who fired all three streets only to be met with a river shove on the K♣6♠2♣Q♦J♥ board. Suckout91 open-folded A♣7♣ for a busted nut flush draw and Donkab0mber crossed the 30 million mark. One orbit later, Donkab0mber picked off an ace-high bluff from thegreatdon and raked in another 10 million, sending him up to 39.2 million.

Ridiculiouss was one of the larger stacks coming in to the final table, but he quickly lost ground by doubling up two short stacks. Ridiculiouss got extremely unlucky to lose with A♣Q♥ to A♦Q♦, the board running out T♦7♣2♥7♦K♦ to make i1611 a flush. Then, with the blinds up to 200,000/400,000, Daconetty open-shoved for 1.83 million from UTG+1 and Ridiculiouss reshoved from the small blind with A♦J♣. Daconetty's pocket jacks held up and he doubled to 4.47 million, while Ridiculiouss fell to 5 million.

One orbit later, the action folded to Kelvin_FP:AR and he opened for 800,000 from the hijack. Ridiculiouss shoved for 5.67 million from the big blind and Kelvin_FP:AR called. Ridiculiouss turned over J♣J♥ but quickly lost the race to Kelvin_FP:AR's A♦K♥ when a king hit the flop. Ridiculiouss didn't spike his two-outer and went out in eighth place.

Sitting with 37 million in chips with seven players left, Donkab0mber could have sat back and allowed the short stacks to cannibalize each other. Instead, he took his aggression up a notch and three-bet to 2,000,000 with A♦7♦ behind suckout91's opening raise. Suckout91 called and they saw a J♥7♥2♣ flop. Suckout91 checked, Donkab0mber shoved, and suckout91 called off his reamining 4.82 million with Q♥J♦. Donkab0mber didn't get the ace or seven he needed and suckout91 doubled to 14.8 million.

Four hands later, Donkab0mber made it 1.2 million to go from UTG and Kelvin_FP:AR called from middle position. Donkab0mber checked the Q♦5♣5♦ flop, Kelvin_FP:AR bet 1.5 million and Donkab0mber raised to 3.78 million. Kelvin_FP:AR looked him up. The turn came the J♠ and Donkab0mber fired another 3.92 million. Again, Kelvin_FP:AR called. The river was the 9♦ and Donkab0mber bet small, putting out 1.52 million. Kelvin_FP:AR called and turned over K♠Q♠ for queens and fives. Donkab0mber had nothing but air with 6♠T♠ and Kelvin_FP:AR raked in a game-changing 22 million pot.

Moments later, the action folded around to thegreatdon on the button and he moved in for 6.5 million. Win to eat called from the small blind, his A♠5♠ up against 5♣5♥. Unfortunately for thegreatdon, an ace appeared on the flop and he ended his run in seventh place. Meanwhile, the carnage continued for Donkab0mber. Suckout91's pocket threes flopped a set and Donkab0mber called him down to the river only to see the bad news. After the hand, Donkab0mber was down to 12.7 million.

The blinds rose to 300,000/600,000 and with the action folded to him on the button, i1611 moved in for 4.59 million. Donkab0mber called from the big blind, his K♥J♣ up against pocket tens. Donkab0mber hit a jack on the flop and i1611 exited in sixth place.

Four hands later, Donkab0mber limped in from UTG, Kelvin_FP:AR limped on the button, win to eat completed the small blind and suckout91 checked his option. The flop came down K♠9♥8♣ and the action checked to Donkab0mber, who bet 1.52 million. Kelvin_FP:AR folded and both blinds called. The turn was the 3♥ and win to eat checked. Suckout91 bet 3,405,000, Donkab0mber folded and win to eat raised to 11,892,000. Suckout91 shoved for 13.4 million and win to eat called. It was a bona fide cooler-- both players had flopped sets-- win to eat with K♥K♣ and suckout91 with 8♠8♥. The river 7♣ changed nothing and suckout91 hit the rail in fifth place.

Daconetty was still hanging on with less than one big blind, but put the rest of his chips in the middle a few hands later against both Kelvin_FP:AR and Donkab0mber. The two active players checked down the flop and turn on the K♠J♠5♥5♦2♣ board, but Donkab0mber fired 600,000 on the river. Kelvin_FP:AR folded and Donkab0mber turned over K♣8♥ for kings up. Daconetty's A♠4♠ was no match and he ended his run in fourth place.

Shortly thereafer, the final three agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. Here's how they stacked up at the time:

Kelvin_FP:AR 39,003,579
win to eat 38,099,269
Donkab0mber 18,129,152

The chip chop and ICM numbers weren't far apart, awarding $18k and change to Donkab0mber and $22k and change to the top two stacks. Donkab0mber, however, wasn't content to take home less than $20k. With the other two unwilling to give up any money to Donkab0mber, the deal fell through and cards went back on the screen.

Before the 300,000/600,000 level came to a close, Kelvin_FP:AR picked up Q♥7♥ on the button and opened for 1.2 million. Donkab0mber called from the big blind and they saw a 6♣5♦4♥ flop. Donkab0mber led out for 1.2 million and Kelvin_FP:AR called with his open-ended straight draw. The turn was the K♦ and again, Donkab0mber fired, this time for 3.5 million. Kelvin_FP:AR called again, and the river brought him exactly what he was looking for - the 8♦. Donkab0mber did his bidding for him and moved all-in for 9.7 million, Kelvin_FP:AR happily making the call with his eight-high straight. Donkab0mber's flopped two pair with 4♦6♠ were no good and he trotted off into the sunset with third-place money.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 3: Kelvin_FP:AR (47,182,731 in chips)
Seat 5: win to eat (48,049,269 in chips)

Shortly after heads-up play began, Kelvin_FP:AR and win to eat agreed to take another run at a deal. Here's a look at their counts when the music stopped:

Kelvin_FP:AR 48,232,731
win to eat 46,299,269

Both players agreed to a chip chop that paid out virtually even amounts. With $2,000 still in play, cards went back in the air.

Once the vast majority of the money was divided, Kelvin_FP:AR took control, winning 15 of the 16 heads-up hands. The most chips changed hands when win to eat ran a three-barrel bluff with A♣T♦ on a K♥J♥9♥7♠2♥ board and Kelvin_FP:AR called him down with A♠T♥, rivering a flush.

In the final hand, Kelvin_FP:AR open-shoved on the button with A♥5♥ and win to eat called with K♥8♥. Kelvin_FP:AR kept the lead on the Q♦7♦4♣ flop, but win to eat turned the 8♠ to make second pair. The river, however, was the A♣ and Kelvin_FP:AR at last had every chip in front of him.

Congratulations to Brazil's Kelvin "Kelvin_FP:AR" Kerber on his SCOOP victory! He banked $25,790.62 for the win while runner-up win to eat took home $23,718.86 thanks to the deal.

SCOOP 07-L: $7.50+R NLHE
Entrants: 8,634
Rebuys: 13,445
Add-ons: 5,799
Prizepool: $190,127.96
Places paid 1,080

1. Kelvin "Kelvin_FP:AR" Kerber (Brazil) $25,790.62*
2. win to eat (Moldova) $23,718.86*
3. Aditya "Donkab0mber" Sushant (India) $15,210.23
4. Daconetty (Romania) $10,076.78
5. suckout91 (Norway) $7,795.24
6. i1611 (Israel) $5,893.96
7. thegreatdon (United Kingdom) $4,087.75
8. Ridiculiouss (Malta) $2,281.53
9. c0rl30n3_89 (Romania) $1,473.49

*= reflects the result of a heads-up deal that left $2,000 in play for the winner

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP