SCOOP 2015: Sorel "zangbezan24" Mizzi wins his second SCOOP title in Event #3-H ($2,100 NLHE)

Neo: Whoa, déjà vu.
Trinity: What did you just say?
Neo: Nothing, I just had a little déjà vu.
Trinity: What did you see?
Neo: A black cat went past us, and then another that looked just like it.
Trinity: How much like it? Was it the same cat?
Neo: Might have been, I'm not sure.
Trinity: Déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.

Exactly one year ago, Sorel "zangbezan24" Mizzi got off a plane from Monaco and settled in to grind the 2014 SCOOP. Among the events he played that first weekend was Event #2-H, a $2,100 NLHE affair. He advanced to Day 2 with an average stack but quickly ascended to the top of the counts, where he remained as the final table commenced. Mizzi eliminated five opponents at the final table and rode his chip lead all the way to heads-up play, but ultimately fell to bigdog6391. Still, the $278,980 he scored for his runner-up finish was his biggest online MTT score to date.

Today, Mizzi got his second chance.

Again, fresh off a plane from Monaco (where he cashed in three events at the EPT11 Grand Final), Mizzi entered Event #3-H, a $2,100 NLHE affair. He took a slightly below average stack into Day 2, but moved to the front of the pack by the time the final table hit. Surrounded by 'COOP champions, Mizzi perfectly struck a balance between patience and aggression as he worked his way through the final table. When play stagnated four-handed and Mizzi fell from top dog to short stack there was no panic, just the understanding he was still only one double-up away from the chip lead.

Mizzi did regain the lead and went to heads-up play with a 3 to 1 chip lead over husajn54. This time, it didn't take long for Mizzi to put his opponent away and he emerged with his second SCOOP title and a new career-high online MTT score of $354,960.00.

Was it the same black cat or one that looked just like it?

Does it even matter?

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Sorel "zangbezan24" Mizzi, Event #3-H champion

Event #3-H destroyed the $1 million guarantee, the 986-strong field driving the prize pool up to $1,972,000.00. 117 players earned a share of it with $354,960.00 set aside for the champion. Twenty-two levels played out on Sunday and 45 players advanced to Day 2, including Team Pros Matthias De Meulder and George Danzer. Russia's veeea held the overnight lead with 726,323 in chips.

Our two remaining Team Pros were among the first of the Day 2 casualties. Danzer departed in 42nd place when his A♦6♠ did not improve agains F P C's A♥K♥, and De Meulder followed in 40th place when his 4♠8♠ flopped top pair, but leitalopez's J♦T♦ caught a pair of tens on the turn. Other notable Day 2 eliminations included villepn (16th), Simon "ministerborg" Ravnsbaek (19th), Aurangzeb "Ozzy 87" Sheikh (25th), Dylan "Pokerl)eviL" Hortin (35th), Hiren "hustla16" Patel (36th), and Peter "Se7enTr3y" Akery (38th).

With ten players remaining, the blinds were up to 10,000/20,000 and 2012 SCOOP champ Zackattak13 was the short stack with 215,500 in chips. _JMCD_89 opened for 40,000 from UTG and the action folded around to Zackattak13 in the big blind. He moved in for 213,000 with A♦T♣ and _JMCD_89 called with A♣J♦. Zackattak13's dominated hand did not improve and he ended his run on the final table bubble.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: husajn54 (1,957,989 in chips)
Seat 2: Artem205 (1,266,092 in chips)
Seat 3: Magardan (1,471,826 in chips)
Seat 4: zangbezan24 (1,688,828 in chips)
Seat 5: _JMCD_89 (1,168,291 in chips)
Seat 6: Leqenden (717,737 in chips)
Seat 7: AverageGreg (408,564 in chips)
Seat 8: AceSpades11 (781,666 in chips)
Seat 9: MikeFdem (399,007 in chips)

One of four Canadians at the final table, AverageGreg had a little over twenty big blinds left when he opened for 50,000 on the button with A♠J♠. AceSpades11 shoved for 1.04 million from the small blind with pocket sevens and AverageGreg quickly called. Although there was an ace in the door, a seven followed behind it, making AceSpades11 a set of sevens. The board finished A♦7♠5♣5♥5♠ and AverageGreg went out in ninth place while AceSpades11 rose to 1.6 million in chips.

Later in the same level, AceSpades11 scored another knockout. MikeFdem picked up A♠K♣ and opened for 50,000, AceSpades11 shoved 1.5 million from the big blind with T♥T♦ and MikeFdem called off his remaining 494,000. AceSpades11 won the coinflip when the board ran out jack-high, sending MikeFdem home in eighth place.

Seven-handed play continued for 45 minutes before a game-changing hand sent a big stack to the rail. With the blinds up to 17,500/35,000, zangbezan24 opened for 75,000 from UTG. Leqenden called, AceSpades11 called and Magardan called from the big blind. The flop fell 9♣5♣3♠ and Magardan checked to zangbezan24, who bet 138,900. Leqenden and AceSpades11 folded, but Magardan raised to 425,500. Zangbezan24 came back over the top for his remaining 1.5 million and Magardan called.

zangbezan24 J♣J♥
Magardan 4♣6♣

Although the overpair and the straight/flush draw were a coinflip on the flop, the J♠ turn made zangbezan24 a 70% favorite with a set of jacks. Magardan could still catch a deuce, seven or club on the river to win, but the 6♥ fell instead, giving zangbezan24 the chip lead with 3.37 million.

Magardan was left with 47,846 after the hand and moved in from the small blind on the next deal. Zangbezan24 called the small balance from the big blind, his 3♦9♣ dominated by Magardan's J♥9♦. However, a three hit the flop and zangbezan24 finished of Magardan in seventh place.

_JMCD_89 scored a double-up at Leqenden's expense, his A♣T♣ turning an ace to snap off pocket queens. Leqenden was left with 352,000 and hung on for another orbit before _JMCD_89 set him all-in from the small blind. Leqenden called off the rest of his chips with A♥7♣, but _JMCD_89's 5♦6♦ flopped middle pair and turned trips on the T♣6♣2♦6♠3♠ board, ending Leqenden's run in sixth place.

Leqenden's exit left Artem205 as the only player left with less than a million in chips. Down to 252,000 with the blinds up to 20,000/40,000, Artem205 three-bet shoved from the small blind and initial raiser AceSpades11 called. Artem205's A♠Q♦ had AceSpades11's K♣Q♠ dominated and the A♦J♠8♠ flop made him top pair, but AceSpades11 turned the T♠ to make Broadway. The river was the T♦ and Artem205 went out in fifth place, just shy of a six-figure score.

The next two hours were a four-handed battle of wills. Zangbezan24 went from chip leader to short stack and back again while AceSpades11 fell from 2.4 million in chips to 1.4 million, losing most of it in a pot vs. husajn54. AceSpades11 called husajn54's cutoff raise to 120,000 from the big blind and they saw a T♠5♦2♦ flop. AceSpades11 checked and husajn54 checked behind. The turn brought the 4♥ and AceSpades11 led out for 174,238. Husajn54 called and they went to the river, which fell the K♥. AceSpades11 made it 256,178 to go and husajn54 looked him up with 8♥8♣. AceSpades11 had nothing but air with Q♠3♠ and dropped to 1.41 million in chips.

Six hands later, AceSpades11 opened for 176,800 and zangbezan24 moved all-in from the big blind. AceSpades11 called, his 8♥8♦ leading zangbezan24's A♠3♦. However, zangbezan24 caught an ace on the A♣T♦2♦ flop to leap ahead with top pair. AceSpades11 needed an eight or running diamonds to survive, but turned the 6♣ and rivered the 7♥. Zangbezan24 moved up to over 6 million in chips as AceSpades11 exited in fourth place, ending the two-hour stalemate.

As play turned three-handed, zangbezan24 was at the top of the counts with 6.07 million, husajn54 held 2.16 million and _JMCD_89 was the short stack with 1.63 million.

With the blinds up to 40,000/80,000, _JMCD_89 doubled through husajn54 when his Q♣9♣ rivered a pair of nines against A♣J♥. Husajn54 was left with only 776,000 after the hand, but doubled right back up through _JMCD_89 when his pocket sevens flopped a set against A♣Q♥. A few orbits later, husajn54 was below a million again, but found another double up, this time through zangbezan24, to put him at a more comfortable 1.7 million in chips.

Moments later, zangbezan24 opened for 190,000 from the small blind and _JMCD_89 three-bet to 455,560 from the big. Zangbezan24 shoved and _JMCD_89 called off his remaining 2.08 million. It was a classic race between _JMCD_89's 8♥8♦ and zangbezan24's A♠J♥. The K♥Q♥6♥ flop left the pair in the lead while retaining plenty of drama by providing zangbezan24 with straight and flush draws. However, it was the A♦ on the turn that proved to be a dagger in _JMCD_89's heart, and the 6♠ on the river sent him to the rail in third place, albeit with a hefty $191,284.00 score.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 1: husajn54 (2,493,696 in chips)
Seat 4: zangbezan24 (7,366,304 in chips)

Zangbezan24 went into heads-up play at a 3 to 1 chip advantage and widened it further when he picked up K♠K♥ and got two streets of value. Zangbezan24 continued to chip away at husajn54, whitting him down to 1.61 million before the final hand unfolded. With the blinds up to 50,000/100,000, zangbezan24 min-raised to 200,000 on the button and husajn54 moved all-in for 1.6 million with J♦T♦. Zangbezan24 called with K♥Q♥. Although husajn54 made top pair on the T♣7♣3♦ flop and stayed safe when the 5♣ turned, the river brought the K♦ to make zangbezan24 a pair of kings to lock up his second SCOOP title.

Congratulations to Sorel "zangbezan24" Mizzi on another brilliant performance. The $354,960.00 he banked today is his largest career MTT score on PokerStars, outdoing only the $279k payday he earned in this very event one year ago. Kudos are also due to Poland's husajn54, who earned $256,360.00 for his runner-up finish.

SCOOP 03-H: $2,100 NLHE
Entrants: 986
Prizepool: $1,972,000
Places paid 117

1. Sorel "zangbezan24" Mizzi (Canada) $354,960.00
2. husajn54 (Poland) $256,360.00
3. Jack "_JMCD_89" McDermott (United Kingdom) $191,284.00
4. AceSpades11 (Canada) $142,970.00
5. Artem205 (Ukraine) $99,388.80
6. Leqenden (Belarus) $79,668.80
7. Magardan (Germany) $59,948.80
8. MikeFdem (Canada) $40,426.00
9. AverageGreg (Canada) $24,650.00

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP