SCOOP 2015: Mercier defeats cal42688 & HITTHEPANDA for another SCOOP ($2,100 NL Hold'em 4-Max)

Sometimes you see players going on a nice run, or they catch a heater during a tournament. Team PokerStar's Jason Mercier has been extending his hot streak over the first half of the Spring Championship of Online Poker and was looking for more gold. He began this event with two 2015 SCOOP titles to his credit, not to mention several other deep runs. He would have a tough row to hoe if he was going to add another.

There are many poker players out there who love some short-handed action. It keeps things moving quickly, and is never dull. This weekend saw the only 4-Max events on the 2015 SCOOP schedule, a discipline somewhere between the now standard 6-Max games and Heads up events.

The high version of the event was a $2,100 buy-in tournament which drew a very nice group of 398 players to better the 336 who put up their money in this event last year. The $400,000 guarantee was nearly doubled with a $796,000 prize pool, 48 getting paid, and the winner set to cash for over $200,000.

The deep structure meant this tournament would run as a two-day event, and just 16 remained as they paused action for the day. The small returning field included an impressive list of players with Calvin "cal42688" Anderson and Mercier coming back 1st and 2nd in chips. Everyone was keeping an eye on that pair to see whether Anderson would increase his record number of SCOOP titles to seven or Mercier would win his third championship of the series.

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The combined career online earnings of the group was big enough to boggle the brain with huge results among the players. Griffin "Flush_Entity" Benger, Tom "hitthehole" Middleton, and Jeremy "EndlessJ" Menard were the first three to be eliminated on Day 2 and those three have earned more the $15.6 million on their own.

Unlike the majority of online final tables, 4-Max events actually form their final tables with 5 players. Standard procedure in live events but a little oddity to the online game so one table isn't stuck playing heads up. The final table bubble was set when former Super Tuesday runner-up McBluff17 was sent out in 7th.

Even with three-handed play at both tables, the stacks were deep enough to drag final table bubble play for an extended period of time. Mercier was the leader as they began bubble play but he lost a huge pot when he doubled up Anderson with top two versus a rivered flush.

It took 25 hands to settle the matter of the final table five when Christian "weichhart" Weichhart lost a race to Anderson with 4♦4♣ going down to A♦8♥. Five players with a shot to increase their list of accomplishments.

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Final Table chip counts:

Seat 1: Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (656,498 in chips)
Seat 2: Jason Mercier (333,618 in chips)
Seat 3: TransSib (365,709 in chips)
Seat 4: Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin (164,982 in chips)
Seat 5: AnyGameSir (469,193 in chips)
Blinds: 2k/4k with a 5k ante

Mercier jumps early, regains the lead

Mercier may have joined the final table with the second "smallest" stack but he still had 33 big blinds to use. He put them to immediate use on the first hand of the final table when he called a min-raise from Anderson along with TransSib.

Mercier and TransSib checked the Q♠7♠3♥ flop, and Anderson continued with a 11,857 bet. Mercier called the bet before TransSib pulled a check/raise to 33,600 and both opponents called to see the K♠ turn. Mercier led out this time for 54,323 and only TransSib came along to see the A♦ river.

Mercier bet 140,032 to get a call and muck from TransSib after Mercier showed the turned nut flush A♠8♠. The first hand of the final table send a 516,000 chip pot to Mercier to move him back into the lead.

New counts after the first hand:

Seat 1: Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (614,398 in chips)
Seat 2: Jason Mercier (613,173 in chips)
Seat 3: TransSib (129,254 in chips)
Seat 4: Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin (164,482 in chips)
Seat 5: AnyGameSir (468,693 in chips)
Blinds: 2k/4k with a 5k ante

Boat sunk for AnyGameSir, eliminated in 5th

It was going to take a major hand to lose a player in the early stages of the final table thanks to the depth of the stacks. One of them happened on the 31st hand of play and started when AnyGameSir raised to get a called from Anderson on the button.

AnyGameSir bet 12,225 after the T♣T♠3♠ flop and Anderson raised to 28,644. The raise was called before the T♦ turn and AnyGameSir checked to get a check back from Anderson. AnyGameSir led out for 55,555 after the A♠ turn and Anderson put him all-in.

AnyGameSir called at risk with a rivered full house A♦8♦ only to see it was no good against Anderson's turned quads with T♥9♦. A rough way for the former Sunday Warm-up champ AnyGameSir to go out at the final table but AnyGameSir had to settle for 5th place for $27,565.

The hand pushed Anderson over 1,000,000 while TransSib was still trying to find someone to give him a double up shot.

Seat 1: Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (1,045,457 in chips)
Seat 2: Jason Mercier (700,092 in chips)
Seat 3: TransSib (85,844 in chips)
Seat 4: Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin (158,607 in chips)
Blinds: 2.5k/5k with 625 ante

TransSib runs out of time, eliminated in 4th

TransSib finally found his chance just four hands after climbing the payout ladder by one spot. He had 5,000 already invested in the big blind when he put in his final 80,844 in the middle after Franklin raised.

The shove was quickly called and TransSib needed a lot of help with his Q♦J♣ dominated by the A♠J♦ of Franklin. The board run out was a drama-free T♦6♣4♠2♥J♠ to send the outkicked TransSib out in 4th place for $42,315. This was the second big result of the series for the Russian after TransSib finished second in Event 17-M for $52,111.

The tournament was now set for a big battle among three of the top players in the game. Anderson aiming for his seventh SCOOP title, Mercier for his sixth overall COOP championship, and Franklin trying for his first to go along with his career $3.6 million in online tournament earnings.

Seat 1: Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (1,000,208 in chips)
Seat 2: Jason Mercier (755,341 in chips)
Seat 4: Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin (234,451 in chips)
Blinds: 2.5k/5k with 625 ante

Mercier over a million without a showdown

Anderson was holding a nice lead over his two opponent's until Mercier applied pressure in three big hands to take the lead. The first saw three consecutive raises with Franklin opening on the button, Andersen three-betting to 31,313 in the small blind, and Mercier putting in a fourth bet to 82,338 in the big.

Only Anderson stayed around for the K♥9♥8♠ flop. Anderson then checked/called 68,382 followed by another check after the A♣ turn. Mercier bet 109,323 and Anderson once again called before the 3♥ river. It was a check/fold this time when Mercier moved all-in for his final 328,677.

The hand moved Mercier into the lead and he jumped over 1,000,000 at Anderson's expense once again two hands later. This time it was a river raise from Mercier with the board reading J♥J♦7♦T♣3♥ to give Mercier another +300k pot without showing his cards.

The final hand never made it past the flop but it was the biggest pot of the three. Anderson limped in the small blind and Mercier raised to 19,328 to get a call. The fireworks were lit after the Q♠J♠2♣ flop when Anderson check/raised to 49,999. Mercier put in a three-bet to 98,328 only to see Anderson once again come over the top.

Mercier was facing a four-bet for 177,890 when he activated his time bank. He eventually put in a fifth bet for 1,140,000 -- more than enough to cover Anderson. He quickly let his hand go to add to Mercier's chip advantage.

Seat 1: Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (352,855 in chips)
Seat 2: Jason Mercier (1,378,504 in chips)
Seat 4: Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin (258,641 in chips)
Blinds: 3k/6k with 750 ante

Franklin doubles through Mercier

In a hand that could have practically handed the tournamet to Mercier, Franklin was all-in against the two-time WSOP champion. Mercier put Franklin all-in after he opened from the button and it was a race.

Mercier: 2♥2♦
Franklin: A♣K♦

Franklin too the lead right on the A♦Q♥3♦ flop and Mercier was left with two out for the knockout after the 7♣ turn. No magic on the 9♠ river to move Franklin over 460,000.

Anderson gets timely chop

Anderson came upon his luckiest moment of the final table just a few hands later when he was at risk and in trouble. He opened the action from the button and Mercier three-bet to 39,323. Anderson responded with a shove holding A♠5♠ and Mercier quickly called with A♣Q♠.

Big trouble for Anderson until the board saved him with a chop-it-up K♠9♦8♣8♦9♣ board. The tournament could have found a quick end but three-handed play continued as they hit a top of the hour break.

Seat 1: Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (172,367 in chips)
Seat 2: Jason Mercier (1,296,543 in chips)
Seat 4: Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin (521,090 in chips)
Blinds: 3.5k/7k with 875 ante

Anderson aces another double through Mercier

You don't win six SCOOP titles without a little luck when it matters most and Anderson caught a second nice card to keep him in the game. He had built his stack back over 340,000 before he lost half that to Franklin stuck the rest in against Mercier.

Anderson opened for a min-raise then moved all-in after Mercier raised to 35,383 and it was quickly called. Mercier was way ahead with K♣K♠ against A♠7♣ and stayed that way after the 9♣8♦6♠ flop. Anderson added an open-ended straight draw but it was his Ace which was matched on the A♥ turn. His double was complete on the overkill 5♣ river for his needed double.

Seat 1: cal42688 (304106 in chips)
Seat 2: JasonMercier (951945 in chips)
Seat 4: HITTHEPANDA (733949 in chips)
Blinds: 4k/8k with 1k ante

Anderson will have to wait for title seven, eliminated in 3rd

Anderson cracked Kings earlier then found he needed to do it again for a chance at his seventh SCOOP title. He was mixing it up with Mercier and three-bet to 39,876 after Mercier opened on the button. Mercier took his time before putting in another bet to 86,383 and Anderson moved all-in with K♠Q♥.

It was another quick call from Mercier with K♥K♦ before the A♣T♣7♣ gave Anderson more outs to stay alive. The board completed 8♠ and 6♠ to send Anderson out after a three lucky saves. Anderson surpassed Shaun Deeb as the king of SCOOP titles when he won his sixth in Event 13-H. He'll have to wait for his next shot to get number seven.


Calvin "cal42688" Anderson will have to wait for seventh SCOOP title

Chop it up, heads up deal settled

Seat 2: Jason Mercier (1,240,909 in chips)
Seat 4: Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin (749,091 in chips)
Blinds: 5k/10k with 1.25k ante

Mercier and Franklin went on another break shortly after Anderson's elimination and they two decided to look at the numbers. They were given the chop numbers and they quickly agreed to terms. Only after Mercier jokingly asked for another $12 to make it an even $17,500.

Jason Mercier: $170,457.73
Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin: $152,789.71

They behind $8,000 for the winner along with the title of SCOOP champion.

Jason Mercier earns another SCOOP title with Event 20-H victory

These two top players could have been excused for grinding out a long battle even with just $8,000 on the line at that point. They might have fought for pride with nearly 200 big blinds in action but it lasted only two hands after the break to settle the matter.

It took five bets pre-flop before Franklin was all-in with a great chance to grab the lead in his efforts to win his first COOP title. His T♠T♦ was well ahead of Mercier's 9♣9♥ and stayed that way on the A♣J♥3♦ flop.

The turn card was a dagger when the 9♦ appeared to leave Franklin with just two outs to stay in the game. He couldn't find either of the remaining Tens in the deck on the river 5♣ to send him out in 2nd place for the agreed amount of $152,789.

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Mercier continues his 2015 SCOOP hot streak by picking up his third win of the series following his titles in Event 5-H and Event 8-H.

This $170,457 victory in Event 20-H also gives Mercier six total COOP titles to tie him with Dan "djk123" Kelly and George Danzer while one behind Deeb and Anderson with seven overall COOP wins.

Congratulations to Mercier, who continues to prove he is one of the best players in the game.

SCOOP 20-H: $2,100 NL Hold'em (4-Max)
Entrants: 398
Prize pool: $796,000
Places paid: 48

1. Jason Mercier (Canada) $178,457.73*
2. Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin (Canada) $152,789.71*
3. Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (Mexico) $68,408.24
4. TransSib (Russia) $42,315.36
5. AnyGameSir (Poland) $27,565.48
* - denotes heads-up deal

Al Rash
@PokerStars in SCOOP