SCOOP 2015: Second title in two days for marek_heinz in Event #25-M, $215 PLO (6-max, Turbo, Zoom)

It's been a very good SCOOP series for repeat champions so far. In the early going it was just players who already had SCOOP titles from the past winning new ones. Then Jason Mercier started piling up 2015 champion's watches, simultaneously an impressive feat and an undeclared challenge to the rest of the players who have already won a tournament this spring. Today, just one day after taking down Event #19-M, the Czech Republic's marek_heinz joined Mercier in the small club of repeat 2015 SCOOP champions with a victory in Event #25-M.

Yesterday's win for marek_heinz came in a limit Omaha hi/lo tourney and took nearly 11 hours from start to finish. That's not particularly long compared to some of the two-day marathons that others have endured for their SCOOP wins, but it was twice as long as the path to victory in today's Event #25-M. A 6-max, turbo, Zoom pot-limit Omaha tournament with a $215 buy-in, it lasted just one-third as long as that limit O/8 tournament had, even if it ended the same way.

The starting field came to 1,420 players when late registration closed an hour in, building a total prize pool worth $284,000. In three hours and 15 minutes the blinds were up to 40K/80K and all but these last six players had been eliminated:

Seat 1: Yngve "Sykoen" Steen (880,388 in chips)
Seat 2: Team PokerStars Pro Kosei "K. Ichinose" Ichinose (424,358 in chips)
Seat 3: Christopher "luckyulsa" Ulsrud (2,082,668 in chips)
Seat 4: marek_heinz (568,536 in chips)
Seat 5: DixyDix (2,187,640 in chips)
Seat 6: rafekruiz10 (956,410 in chips)

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The outcome wasn't a sure thing. For starters there was the turbo structure, which was working against everyone who needed time on their side. Then there was the fact that marek_heinz was the second shortest stack as the final table began. And finally there was the caliber of competition. Up near the top of the chip counts was Christopher "luckyulsa" Ulsrud, winner of last year's SCOOP High 5-Card Omaha event. Shorter-stacked but still ahead of marek_heinz was 2013 WCOOP Player of the Series Yngve "Sykoen" Steen. And there was Team PokerStars Pro's own Kosei Ichinose, owner of the shortest stack but as potentially dangerous as anyone else at the table.

Ichinose managed to double up on the first hand, jamming for 424K with A♦ Q♠ T♣ 4♥ in the big blind after Sykoen opened for 540K in the small. Sykoen called with 8♣ 8♠ 7♥ 4♠ but lost out on the J♥ Q♥ A♣ K♣ K♠ board. Seven hands later Sykoen got it back, flopping two pair with A♠ K♥ Q♦ 7♠ and outrunning DixyDix's straight draw with T♣ 9♥ 4♦ 3♥ for double to 1.07M.

Two hands later marek_heinz doubled through DixyDix as well, getting all-in ahead before the flop with A♠ J♥ J♣ 4♠ against A♥ K♣ T♣ 2♦ and then flopping a set. DixyDix picked up a flush draw on the turn but missed it on the river and was down to fifth place after starting the table with the chip lead.

The slide continued two hands later after getting 300K in the middle before the flop with Q♦ Q♠ J♣ 5♠ and leading with middle set on the Q♣ 6♣ K♣ flop only to find out short-stacked rafekruiz10's K♦ J♦ 9♣ 5♣ had caught a flush. No full house emerged on the 9♥ turn or J♠ river, and DixyDix was down to just two big blinds. They went in the middle under the gun three hands later with K♦ 6♦ 5♠ 3♣, but Sykoen's A♦ T♣ 8♠ 7♦ won out on the 9♦ 7♠ K♥ 8♥ 7♣ with sevens full of eights. With that, DixyDix was out in 6th place ($7,810).

Six hands later, Kosei Ichninose opened with a pot-sized raise to 420K on the button and called all-in for 1.08M total after luckyulsa raised from the small blind. "wish me luck pls," he typed into the chat box as his K♥ K♠ J♥ 4♠ faced off against luckyulsa's A♦ A♣ J♣ 5♣. But the board came 8♦ T♠ 6♦ 4♦ 9♥, the aces held up to give luckyulsa the 2.29M-chip pot, and the last Team Pro in the tournament left in 5th place ($11,644).

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Team PokerStars Pro's Kosei Ichinose, out in 5th place

The action after that was a cascade of double-ups that moved the same millions of chips around the table. First rafekruiz10 opened for 420K on the button and then called all-in for 1.28M when luckyulsa three-bet to 1.32M. luckyulsa's K♣ Q♦ 9♣ 9♥ was a slim favorite against rafekruiz10's A♠ Q♥ J♠ 7♠ but took down the pot when the board came 3♥ 6♥ 7♥ 4♥ Q♣ to make queens and sevens.

And another seven hands after that, rafekruiz10's K♣ K♠ 9♥ 4♠ couldn't top Sykoen's A♥ A♦ T♣ 3♦, giving him a double to 2.12M. And on the following hand marek_heinz's A♦ A♥ 9♠ 3♠ was outflopped by Sykoen's J♥ J♠ 8♠ 8♣ but made a set of its own on the river of a 5♥ 8♦ 3♥ T♠ A♠ board for a double-up to 2.51M.

That was the leading chip stack with the blinds at 80K/160K, so everyone was vulnerable. The only question was what order they would fall in. luckyulsa was the next to go, leaving in two steps. First came a loss with A♠ T♥ 9♣ 6♥ in the big blind against Sykoen's Q♣ Q♥ 7♥ 3♠, dropping him to 609K. Four hands later, after stealing two rounds of blinds, he ended up all-in from the big blind with K♠ J♣ 8♠ 7♥ against marek_heinz's J♥ 8♣ 5♥ 4♦, but only after the latter had caught two pair on the A♦ J♦ 4♠ flop. The two hands were even money at that point, but the 2♦ turn and 5♣ river gave luckyulsa no chance to catch up, sending him to the rail in 4th place ($18,176).

That pot left marek_heinz with 3.84M and both the others under 1.7M, but that changed eight hands later when marek_heinz opened on the button with T♣ 7♣ 6♥ 2♥ and called Sykoen's all-in with Q♦ Q♣ J♠ 2♣. Both players made a flush on the K♣ 6♦ 4♣ J♣ 9♣ board, but Sykoen's queen-high took the 3.31M chips in the middle.

rafekruiz10 had been blinded down to 845K and was already in for 200K in the big blind when marek_heinz opened for 600K. rafekruiz10 called that and then all-in for 245K on the 8♠ 6♣ 2♣, showing Q♦ Q♣ T♠ 6♥. That was 76 percent to win against marek_heinz's T♣ 4♥ 4♠ 2♠ until the 4♣ came on the turn, leaving rafekruiz10 with just a 5-percent chance to come back. The T♥ river didn't help, though, and rafekruiz10 left in 3rd place ($26,270).

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With just 35 big blinds in play between the two of them, marek_heinz and Sykoen quickly decided to make a deal. They left $4,000 on the table and were back to the game within five minutes. The key pot came without a showdown and started with marek_heinz limping on the button and Sykoen checking to see a 4♣ 3♦ 5♠ flop. marek_heinz called Sykoen's 236K-chip bet and the turn was the T♥. Again Sykoen bet, this time 390K, and again marek_heinz called, putting 1.65M in the pot. Sykoen led again for 644K on the J♣ river but chose to fold and hold on to 3.04M chips when marek_heinz moved all-in.

That gave marek_heinz the lead with 4.05M chips. Just four and a half big blinds at this point, but enough to put Sykoen on the defensive. They would play 12 more hands, with eight of them going to marek_heinz. The last saw Sykoen all-in before the flop with J♠ J♥ 7♥ 2♦ against marek_heinz's Q♣ 4♠ 3♠ 2♣. looking good all the way until the river of the T♦ 8♣ 8♦ A♣ 7♣ board gave marek_heinz a flush and brought the tournament to its end less than four hours after it began.

Yngve "Sykoen" Steen's share of the deal was worth $39,861.30, a top-five score all-time for the former WCOOP Player of the Series. The extra $4K on the table made for a total prize of $42,214.70, the second-highest cash all-time for winner marek_heinz behind a 3rd-place finish in last year's SCOOP Medium Main Event. Even better, it's twice as much as the purse from yesterday's victory in Event #19-M. And it puts marek_heinz fifth on the SCOOP leaderboard with 280 points. There's another week of action left, of course, but that's a pretty good position to be in if one were inclined to chase the Player of the Series award. Congratulations to marek_heinz on winning another champion's watch so soon after that first!

SCOOP 25-M: $215 PL Omaha (6-max, Turbo, Zoom)
Entrants: 1,420
Prize pool: $284,00
Places paid: 180

1. marek_heinz (Czech Republic) $42,214.70*
2. Yngve "Sykoen" Steen (Norway) $39,861.30*
3. rafekruiz10 (Mexico) $26,270
4. luckyulsa (Norway) $18,176
5. Team PokerStars Pro Kosei "K. Ichinose" Ichinose (Japan) $11,644
6. DixyDix (United Kingdom) $7,810
* - denotes results of a heads-up deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in SCOOP