SCOOP 2015: Mercier captures second SCOOP title in Event #5-H ($2,100 FL Badugi)

The second day of the 2015 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker presented players with the first non-Hold'em event on the schedule. There were three different buy-in versions of the Badugi tournament and the high version attracted a small, yet talented field.

Event #5-H was a $2,100 buy-in tournament with a $50,000 guaranteed prize pool. It drew 56 entrants to more than double that guarantee and create a prize pool worth $112,000. Making the final table did not mean a player took home a piece of the pool, eight would take a seat at the final table but only seven were paid.

There were no soft spots in this tournament which included WSOP bracelet winners, EPT champs, and online wizards. Team PokerStars was represented by Jason Mercier, George Danzer, Naoya 'nkeyno' Kihara, and Matthias 'Mati312' Brandner.

The high buy-in tournament gave players plenty of chips to push around and they were in no hurry to head out of the event. But there was a star-studded run to the virtual rail as it played down to the last two tables. A parade that saw Danzer, Kihara, Paul "paulgees81" Volpe, and Sebastien "Seb86" Sabic go out one after the other.

Stroynowski was another interesting player to track in the final stages due to some previous results. He had a nice run to finish third in this very tournament and then turned around to win the tournament last year. Stroynowski was unable to duplicate either run and crashed out short of the money.

The final table was set when ismo3seppo was elimiated by silna_rakia when the best the Finnish player could manage was a two-card Badugi. That still left the business of getting in the money with one more elimination and here's how they lined up.

Check out PokerStars' Badugi page for a refresher course on the game

2015 SCOOP 5-H Final Table.jpg

Final Table chip counts:

Seat 1: Kekkhou (45,060 in chips)
Seat 2: villepn (23,695 in chips)
Seat 3: Talal "raidalot" Shakerchi (10,010 in chips)
Seat 4: MarkBang (20,740 in chips)
Seat 5: Andre "Chillolini" Messmer (54,100 in chips)
Seat 6: Adam "Adamyid" Owen (79,180 in chips)
Seat 7: silna_rakia (12,180 in chips)
Seat 8: Jason Mercier (35,035 in chips)

Limits: 1,000/2,000

Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Mercier was the top name to hit the final table and was making his second deep run of the series after 15th in Event #1-M. Mercier also owns two WCOOP titles and one SCOOP championship and he was joined by double SCOOPer Talal "raidalot" Shakerchi and 2010 SCOOP #14-H winner villepn.

It took nearly 30 minutes to lose just one more player and it was silna_rakia hitting the rail on the bubble. He was down to just 4,680 after losing a big pot to Adamyid and put most of them in the middle when the betting was capped before the first draw against villepn. They each drew one card before the last 680 went in the middle when silna_rakia stood pat and villepn drew one.

They both stood pat on the third draw and villepn showed a better Badugi 9♥4♠3♦A♣ against K♠5♣3♥A♦ to send silna_rakia out in 8th and put the rest of the table in the money.

The slow grind; villepn eliminated in 7th

Badugi produces a special kind of slow grind, especially when the limit format is mixed with long levels, deep stacks, and talented players. You won't see the exciting No Limit Hold'em action of dramatic shoves and huge pots. They played seven-handed for 45 minutes before villepn was ground down to the felt.

villepn was left with just 2,275 and those were all-in when he called a raise from Adamyid and Mercier called behind. MarkBang came along for the ride to make it three players villepn needed to dodge to stay alive.

Mercier took one card on the first draw and fired bets on the first two while villepn drew one card each time. MarkBand never made it to the second draw and Adamyid showed a three-card Badugi 7♠5♥A♦Q♥. Mercier tabled K♦8♣3♠2♥ for the better hand and villepn just mucked to go out in 7th place for $5,040.

Mercier climbs while MarkBang fizzles in 6th

Jason Mercier was playing a patient game much of the later parts of the tournament, biding his time until he found a heater. He moved into the lead mid-way through the second hour of the final table and then almost took out two.

MarkBang and Talal "raidalot" Shakerchi were the two shortest stacks at the table and both tussled with Mercier in the same hand. Mericer raised the action, Shakerchi three-bet before MarkBang and Mercier came along.

Shakerchi and MarkBang each drew one card followed by Mercier taking two. Shakerchi led out, MarkBang raised with just 670 behind, and his two opponents came along to the next draw when Shakerchi took one, MarkBang stood pat, and Mercier took two more.

Shakerchi led out again, MarkBang called off his final 670, and Mercier raised it up. Shakerchi called again with just 840 behind and drew one last card while MarkBang and Mercier stood pat.

Shakerchi saved his last 840 with a fold before Mercier showed a Badugi 6♥5♠3♣2♦. It was a good catch to beat MarkBang's 8♥7♠2♣A♦ and an unlucky exit in 6th place for $6,160. Mercier was the first player to move over 100,000 with the hand for a nice lead over the rest of the table.

raidalot can't fade a lot, eliminated in 5th

Talal "raidalot" Shakerchi was left with just 840 after battling Mercier and they were all-in the next hand against everyone except Mercier.

Chillolini, Adamyid, and Kekkhou all drew two cards before checking it down. Chillolini drew one the next round with Adamyid and Kekkhou taking two more and Shakerchi standing pat. It was checked to Kekkhou and he led out to force folds from his live opponents.

Kekkhou and Shakerchi both stood pat on the last draw with quality hands. Kekkhou was just a little better with 6♦5♣4♠A♥ against Shakerchi's 7♥6♣5♠4♦ to send the two-time SCOOP champion out in 5th place for $8,400.

Chillolini chills out, eliminated in 4th

Andre "Chillolini" Messmer was the next player to watch his stack do the steady shrink until he needed to take a stand. There was no single hand which did it, but Messmer found himself with just 4,200 while trying to climb the payout ladder.

He put all his chips at risk after Adamyid three-bet his initial raise. They both took two cards on the first draw and Adamyid did them same on the second while Messmer took just one. Both players took one card on the final draw to get to showdown.

Messmer could not improve his three-card Badugi 7♥2♣A♠3♣ and Adamyid took it down with T♥7♦5♠A♣. Messmer stuck around as long as he could be was out in 4th place for $11,200.


Mercier takes control

Jason Mercier - 168,180
Adamyid - 66,540
Kekkhou - 45,280

The next break rolled around and gave Adamyid and Kekkhou a chance to take a breather. Mercier opened a big lead on his two opponents and held more than 60% of the chips in play. Both opponents were able to take a few chips against the pro but it was a constant struggle.

Kekkhou falls short, eliminated in 3rd

The Mercier freight train continued down its track and Kekkhou was the next to get run over. The three players took another break and Kekkhou jumped right into the action on the first hand back with only two big bets in his stack.

Kekkhou three-bet after Mercier raised and Mercier drew two cards after a call. Kekkhou discarded one and led out for a bet then called all-in when Mercier raised. Mercier took one card each on the second and third draws while Kekkhou stood pat.

Mercier was able to catch up and his Badugi 6♣5♦4♠A♥ was better than Kekkhou's J♥T♦7♠3♣ to send him out in 3rd. He picked up $16,8000 for his efforts and set up the heads up battle between Mercier and Adam "Adamyid" Owen.

Mercier dominates to win second SCOOP title

Seat 6: Adamyid (93,440 in chips)
Seat 8: JasonMercier (186,560 in chips)

It took 73 hands, and a little over 30 minutes, for Mercier to turn his heads up lead into another SCOOP title. Adam "Adamyid" Owen put up a valiant fight and actually had a chance to take the lead while they were still three handed.

Mercier never let up on the pressure and knocked Owen under 20,000 with two consecutive 48k pots to set up the final play. Owen lasted three more hands before he was at risk to be eliminated. The final one saw Mercier call a raise from Owen before taking three cards on the first draw while Owen took two.

Mercier check/called before both players discarded two more on the second draw. Mercier led out with a bet this time and Owen called all-in with one draw to come. Mercier drew just one, Owen drew two, and it was a three-card Badugi to settle the tournament. Owen tabled 8♦2♥A♣3♥ but Mercier's three-card 6♠2♣A♦J♦ was just a little better.

Owen had to settle for a runner-up result for $25,200 while Mercier earned his second SCOOP title and $39,200.

This is the second SCOOP close call for Owen, he also finished second last year in the $2,100 Razz Event #31-H. Mercier's second SCOOP title goes along with his 2014 SCOOP $215 8-Game Mix title. He also own two WCOOP titles from 2010 and 2012, one of them also in an 8-Game Mix event.

As one of the best players in the world, Mercier continues to prove he can be successful no matter the game at hand.

SCOOP 05-H: $2,100 FL Badugi
Entrants: 56
Prize pool: $112,000
Places paid: 7

1. Jason Mercier (Canada) $39,200
2. Adam "Adamyid" Owen (United Kingdom) $25,200
3. Kekkhou (Finland) $16,800
4. Andre "Chillolini" Messmer (Norway) $11,200
5. Talal "raidalot" Shakerchi (United Kingdom) $8,400
6. MarkBang (Hungary) $6,160
7. villepn (Finland) $5,040

Al Rash
@PokerStars in SCOOP