SCOOP 2015: shapkin7777 times it right for $55K in Event #26-M, $109 NLHE (3-Stack)
There's no doubt that having the chip lead is a decided advantage. Ask anyone where they'd like to be to start a final table and they'll say "in the lead." It's never a guarantee, though, because timing is far more important than how many chips you have to start. Event #26-M ended up being a case of perfect timing for shapkin7777, who earned almost $55K and a first career SCOOP title after entering the final 40 big blinds behind the leader.
A total of 3,503 players took a stab at Event #26-M, a two-day, $109 no-limit hold'em tournament. That set up a $350,300 prize pool with $54,999.38 set aside for the winner. Everybody started with three 5,000-chip stacks they could put in play at any point in the first 12 blind levels. Some chose to put all 15,000 chips in play at once, and others deployed them as needed, but all the remaining unused stacks were put into play after four hours of poker.
Another 16 levels of play took the tournament to the end of its first day with more than half of the 450 players who eventually cashed collecting their prizes, including Team Pro George Danzer (401st place, $185.65). The survivors came back at 11 a.m. ET for Day 2 and played five and a half hours, with Twitch host and Friend of PokerStars Jaime "jaimestaples" Staples in the running for most of it.
Staples' run eventually came to an end in 21st place ($928.29), and shortly afterward the rest the field had been reduced to just these nine players:
Seat 1: demondoink (4,122,683 in chips)
Seat 2: amkarovec (4,191,627 in chips)
Seat 3: billygstar (6,746,003 in chips)
Seat 4: OMGitsH.O.H (1,770,632 in chips)
Seat 5: nmbrone1907 (12,569,418 in chips)
Seat 6: Z-ENERGIES (5,190,461 in chips)
Seat 7: Al Magellan (3,857,016 in chips)
Seat 8: barilochesex (7,048,650 in chips)
Seat 9: shapkin7777 (7,048,510 in chips)
The blinds and antes went up to 70K/140K/17.5K on the second hand, and the first knockout of what would prove to be a very active final table came on Hand #10.
The action folded around to the button, where shapkin7777 opened with a minimum raise to 280K. demondoink shoved for 4.25M in the small blind with A♣ Q♣, and amkarovec called all-in for 3.21 in the big blind with A♠ K♦. shapkin7777 folded to leave the other two heads-up and demondoink quickly went from dominated to dominating when the flop came 6♣ Q♠ T♠. The Q♦ on the river made trip queens for demondoink but left outs to a Broadway straight in the deck. Unfortunately the 7♣ wasn't one of them, and amkarovec was eliminated in 9th place ($2,802.40).
shapkin7777 opened the action again on Hand #23, raising the minimum under the gun. This time it was OMGitsH.O.H who moved all-in over the top, for 1.59M. The rest of the table folded and shapkin7777 called with A♠ A♣. OMGitsH.O.H's J♦ J♣ needed to make a set but the 3♦ T♦ 4♠ K♣ 7♦ board offered no help, sending the Romanian player to the rail in 8th place ($4,378.75).
Ten hands later it was Ukrainian player Al Magellan who moved all-in over the top of an opening raise, coming in for 3.3M on Hand #33 after nmbrone1907 raised to 320K under the gun. nmbrone1907 called with 10.6M chips behind and T♣ T♠ in the hole. That had a slim lead to start against Al Magellan's A♣ K♠, but that was all it needed as the board came 8♠ 6♠ Q♣ 4♥ 9♣ to knock out Al Magellan in 7th place ($7,881.75).
nmbrone1907 already had the lead by 20 big blinds but expanded it further five hands later. The player from Cyprus opened for 320K in the hijack seat, getting one call from Z-ENERGIES to bring a 6♠ 5♣ T♦ flop. Z-ENERGIES called nmbrone1907's 555K-chip bet there, 888K on the T♣ turn, and after going into the time bank all-in for 2.36M on the J♥ river. The flop and turn calls by Z-ENERGIES with A♠ Q♦ had been good, but nmbrone1907's J♠ 7♥ made a pair of jacks on the river to sink Z-ENERGIES in 6th place ($11,384.75).
With that 8.6M-chip pot, nmbrone1907 chipped up to 22M. shapkin7777's 14.4M was the only other stack over 10M, with the other three players clustered between 4.5M and 6M. barilochesex won one pot from the leader with K♣ T♠ against nmbrone1907's K♠ 4♠ when both flopped top pair, but all that was lost was the profit from leveraging the lead to steal the blinds and antes.
Two hands after that it all came back anyway when Thailand's billygstar opened for 320K and responded to nmbone1907's re-raise to 666K by moving all-in for 3.47M. nmbrone1907's A♣ J♦ remained ahead of billygstar's K♠ J♣ throughout the T♦ 6♠ 9♠ 2♥ 5♦ board, busting billygstar in 5th place ($14,996.34).
The hit parade continued on the next hand, which opened with barilochesex raise to 320K on the button. shapkin7777 re-raised to 1.1M in the small blind with A♣ J♣ and then called when demondoink four-bet all-in for 4.67M and barilochesex folded. demondoink had the advantage with A♠ Q♥ on the 2♥ A♦ 6♥ flop and 5♦ turn, but the J♦ on the river gave shapkin7777 the 9.74M-chip pot and demondoink left in 4th place ($20,142.25).
Where 16 hands earlier there had been seven players, now there were just three:
Seat 5: nmbrone1907 (24,697,144 in chips)
Seat 8: barilochesex (8,969,699 in chips)
Seat 9: shapkin7777 (18,878,157 in chips)
Three-handed play would last 24 hands with the chips moving around the table clockwise. nmbrone1907 took from shapkin7777, only to lose a 9.2M-chip pot to barilochesex, who immediately got hit with a cooler, holding Q♠ Q♦ against shapkin777's K♥ K♠. That 17.5M-chip pot going the other way left barilochesex with 5.8M, slowing the player from Argentina down considerably.
Eleven hands later barilochesex raised the minimum to 400K on the button with A♣ 7♠ and both blinds called to see a 4♥ 4♣ 7♠ flop. shapkin7777 check-called 685K there before leading for 1.3M on the 3♣ turn. barilochesex called that bet and then called all-in on the 5♦ river, losing to a full house when shapkin7777 showed 5♠ 4♠. With that, barilochesex left in 3rd place ($29,074.90).
The chip lead belonged to shapkin7777 as heads-up play began. nmbrone1907 held 21.4M to shapkin7777's 31M and only fell behind as the match progressed, stealing the blinds on the first pot before dropping the next nine in a row to fall to 15.2M. The player from Cyprus had two big blinds more than that eight hands later and raised to 400K on the button. shapkin7777 called, the flop came 8♠ 9♠ 7♦, and a raising war broke out that left nmbrone1907 all-in with 8♦ 9♥ for two pair and shapkin7777 in the lead with J♥ T♦ for a flopped straight. The board ran out 2♦ J♠, the straight held, and shapkin7777 won the pot finish this tournament off.
nmbrone1907 earned $40,985.10 as the runner-up, a new career best worth almost as much as the previous top three combined. It was an even bigger triumph for shapkin7777, whose $54,999.38 for winning the tournament topped a previous best of $8,728, a result that itself came only yesterday. Throw in a champion's watch and that's a pretty good week that isn't even halfway over yet. Congratulations to both players on this momentous occasion.
SCOOP 26-M: $109 No-Limit Hold'em (3-Stack)
Prize pool: $350,300
Places paid: 450
1. shapkin7777 (Russia) $54,999.38
2. nmbrone1907 (Cyprus) $40,985.10
3. barilochesex (Argentina) $29,074.90
4. demondoink (United Kingdom) $20,142.25
5. billygstar (Thailand) $14,996.34
6. Z-ENERGIES (United Kingdom) $11,384.75
7. Al Magellan (Ukraine) $7,881.75
8. OMGitsH.O.H (Romania) $4,378.75
9. amkarovec (Russia) $2,802.40
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.