SCOOP 2015: Tom "tollgate" Grigg wins Event #45-M, takes home $609k ($1,050 NLHE Main Event)

Ten years ago this summer, the rest of the world learned a catchphrase from our friends down under that would be oft-repeated in poker rooms across the globe in the ensuing decade. Indulge us if you would, because there's a young man in Melbourne celebrating right now who deserves to hear it.

"Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, oi oi!"

Joe Hachem's 2005 WSOP Main Event win ignited the Australian poker boom and Tom "tollgate" Grigg was among those who caught the fever and turned it into a lucrative career. Grigg has enjoyed tremendous success online and only two months ago, won the Sunday Warm-Up for $87k. His hyper-aggressive style has also helped make a name for himself in the live arena. Our own Heath "TassieDevil" Chick introduced us to Grigg in a live report from the 2012 ANZPT Queenstown. During the orbit Chick recorded for his piece, Grigg had a 100% VPIP and raised seven of the ten hands he played. That unbridled aggression was on display today as Grigg took on one of his greatest challenges yet-- the final table of the 2015 SCOOP $1,050 Main Event. After taking out Croatia's Andrija "cynicalfish" Martić in third place, tollgate was heads-up with cash game grinder Azn1nvas1on. Owing to their stack sizes relative to the blinds, the two elected to make a deal for most of the remaining prize pool, but went on to fight a spirited battle for the remaining $40,000 and the winner's watch. Ultimately, tollgate pulled ahead and closed out the win, banking over $609,000 and earning the title of SCOOP Main Event champion.


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2015 SCOOP "Medium" Main Event champ Tom "tollgate" Grigg

Whether they won it in a satellite, ground it up in a cash game, or withdrew it from their bankrolls, 4,238 players ponied up $1,050 apiece to enter the 2015 SCOOP Medium Main Event, resulting in a total prizepool of $4,238,000.00 540 places were paid with $665,366.00 set aside for first place. The money bubble burst late on Day 1, after eight hours and twenty-six minutes of play. Action continued for 25 levels on Day 1 and ended with 233 players advancing to Day 2.

Action resumed at 2:30pm EDT on Monday and within the first hour, more than 100 players busted. Among the notable Day 2 eliminations were Alexander "joiso" Kostritsyn (214th), Joel "Odonkor1" Nordkvist (195th), Maria "Femmeonfelt" Ho (186th), Christian "charder30" Harder (184th), Emil "Maroonlime" Patel (124th), Miguel "LOL_U_91" Use (120th), Phillipe "takechip" D'Auteuil (47th), and Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth (35th).

Our last Red Spade standing in this event was PokerStars Mind Sports Ambassador Jennifer "jenium" Shahade. Shahade lost more than half her stack in a brutal hand where O"pazzzo" rivered a aces full of tens, leaving her on 265,000 in chips. Shahade got the rest of her chips in a short time later when her K♦Q♠ made top two pair on a K♥Q♥9♣ flop. Unfortunately, her opponent made aces and nines when the A♣ turned and Shahade departed in 108th place.

Five hours later, the field was down to its last ten players. With the blinds up to 80,000/160,000, Jandro Mura led off the action with a raise to 336,000 and NeverFoldYou shoved for 1.98 million on the button. Cynicalfish reshoved for 7.48 million from the small blind and Jandro Mura got out of the way. Cynicalfish's K♥K♦ held up against A♦T♣ and NeverFoldYou went out in tenth place, one spot short of the final table.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: Päffchen (7,242,526 in chips)
Seat 2: smoothwith2s (5,626,746 in chips)
Seat 3: thipoker10 (5,609,999 in chips)
Seat 4: tollgate (5,761,282 in chips)
Seat 5: Jandro Mura (5,284,133 in chips)
Seat 6: Azn1nvas1on (15,440,920 in chips)
Seat 7: kurt23x (3,827,235 in chips)
Seat 8: cynicalfish (10,057,571 in chips)
Seat 9: ROBAZAN (4,719,588 in chips)

The final nine traded pots for about forty-five minutes before smoothwith2s clashed with tollgate. Smoothwith2s min-raised to 400,000 preflop, tollgate three-bet to 884,848 and smoothwith2s called. The flop came down A♠T♥6♠ and smoothwith2s checked to tollgate, who moved all-in for 7.76 million. Smoothwith2s called off his remaining 1.37 million, revealing A♥8♥. Unfortunately for smoothwith2s, tollgate had him dominated with A♣J♠, and his hand held up through the Q♦ turn and 4♦ river. For ninth place, smoothwith2s picked up $33,904.00.

Short stack ROBAZAN got a boost when he doubled through cynicalfish, his A♣9♣ holding up against A♠6♥ to take him up to 7.74 million. Soon after, kurt23x also doubled, his J♦J♣ crushing Azn1invas1on's K♠J♠ to increase his stack to 4.08 million. Thipoker10 attempted the same, open-shoving for 2.87 million with 5♥5♠. Azn1nvas1on called from the big blind with A♦J♣ and hit a jack on the flop, leaving thipoker10 in dire shape. Thipoker10 didn't get the miracle he needed on the 3♦ turn or the 2♦ river and exited in eighth place with a $52,975.00 score.

Kurt23x picked up J♦J♣ again and called Azn1invas1on's small blind shove with 7♦9♦. Although Azn1nvas1on flopped a flush draw, kurt23x dodged those outs and doubled to 6.85 million. Newly infused with chips, kurt23x polled his opponents about a potential deal:

kurt23x: everyone showering numbers?
Azn1nvas1on: im in for a check
Päffchen: id check too
kurt23x: checking is good
Päffchen: everybody interest ?
Päffchen: otherwise just a waste of time
kurt23x: is the i wont million guy here?
kurt23x: just 2.15 million remaining in the prize pool. no need to check numbers?
Päffchen: i wont million
Päffchen: at least
kurt23x: there he is

Kurt23x didn't get a consensus before he picked up J♥J♦ (for at least the third time) and open-shoved for 3.63 million. Jandro Mura called from the big blind and turned up Q♦Q♠. Jandro Mura flopped middle set and turned queens full of nines on the A♥Q♣9♣9♦3♥ board and kurt23x's run came to an end in seventh place ($95,355.00).

On the very next deal, ROBAZAN moved all-in for 3.38 million from UTG+1 with A♥9♣ and Päffchen snap-reshoved right behind him with K♣K♥. Päffchen flopped kings up and turned kings full on the T♠T♥8♥K♦8♣ board and ROBAZAN went out in sixth place, earning $136,735.00.

Immediately following ROBAZAN's elimination, Päffchen revisited the subject of a deal, but at least one player was willing to wait.

Päffchen: ok guys anyone in for checking now ?
Jandro Mura: im in
cynicalfish: maybe later

The blinds were up to 200,000/400,000 when a massive pot unfolded between Jandro Mura and tollgate. Things started off innocently enough as tollgate completed the small blind and Jandro Mura checked his option. The flop fell A♥8♦3♣ and tollgate led out for 434,848. Jandro Mura called and the 2♦ landed on the turn. Tollgate fired another 1,348,484 and Jandro Mura called. The river was the 4♦ and tollgate unleashed a 3,484,848 third bullet. Jandro Mura looked him up, only to be shown 4♥5♥ for a wheel. Tollgate raked in the 11.6 million pot and moved up to 15 million in chips while Jandro Mura fell to 3.88 million.

About fifteen minutes later, the blinds were up to 250,000/500,000 and Jandro Mura was still hanging on with 5.09 million in chips. Dealt 9♦9♠, he open-shoved from UTG and Päffchen called with A♦K♠ in the small blind. Päffchen missed the Q♦T♣6♠ flop but turned the A♠ to make a pair of aces. The river A♣ made him trips and Jandro Mura hit the rail in fifth place ($180,115.00).

Päffchen held the chip lead four-handed until he doubled up Azn1nvas1on, his A♦Q♠ falling to pocket queens. Azn1invas1on moved up to 26.5 million, just as tollgate made an attempt to rally the troops for a deal discussion. However, cynicalfish was still holding out.

tollgate: any interest in numbers gents? rather large amount of coin to be flipping for
Azn1nvas1on: im in
Päffchen: id look
cynicalfish: it's alrady lifechanging $. lets try get rich
tollgate: lol the greed is so real

Four hands later, tollgate took a huge hit at the hands of Päffchen. Both players limped in from the blinds and made flushes on the K♦8♦5♦ flop, tollgate with 2♦9♦ and Päffchen with A♦J♦. On the river, Päffchen checked, tollgate shoved for 9.6 million and Päffchen called all-in for 4.58 million, taking down the 17.3 million pot. Tollgate was left on only 5.01 million. Tollgate, however, didn't stay short-stacked for long. After chipping back up to 12.2 million, tollgate raised to 2.24 million preflop after Päffchen limped in for 300,000. Päffchen three-bet shoved for 14.9 million and tollgate called, his A♥J♣ leading Päffchen's 9♥T♥. Tollgate flopped an ace and turned aces and kings on the A♦K♦6♦K♥9♦ board and doubled to 24.7 million. Päffchen was left with 2.7 million.

Two hands later, tollgate opened for a min-raise to 1.2 million and Azn1nvas1on three-bet to 3 million. Cynicalfish cold four-bet to 6.3 million, tollgate folded, and Azn1nvas1on pulled the trigger for all 21.2 million in chips. Cynicalfish called all-in, his J♣J♥ up against K♥K♠. Whether or not cynicalfish was playing his PokerStars Blog One-Time Chip, he got his wish as the flop came down J♦6♦4♥, making him a set of jacks. Azn1nvas1on could only watch as the 3♦ turned and the 9♥ rivered, and cynicalfish doubled to 28 million, good for the chip lead.

Two hands after that, Päffchen made his last stand, moving all-in for 3 million preflop with Q♠J♣. Cynicalfish called with 4♦4♠ and his pocket pair held up on the T♥8♠2♠6♠K♠ board, ending Päffchen's run in fourth place ($243,685.00).

When three-handed play commenced, cynicalfish had the chip lead with 31.5 million, tollgate was a strong second with 24.3 million and Azn1nvas1on was the short stack with 7.75 million. However, Azn1nvas1on quickly remedied his situation by doubling twice through cynicalfish... in extremely lucky fashion. First, he made a small blind shove with K♦8♦ and ran into cynicalfish's Q♥Q♠, but a king hit the flop and Azn1nvas1on doubled to 15.7 million. A few hands later, Azn1nvas1on three-bet shoved for 10.5 million preflop with pocket fives. Cynicalfish called with pocket tens, but Azn1nvas1on flopped a five to make a set and doubled again, this time to 22.4 million.

The blinds were up to 400,000/800,000 when cynicalfish open-shoved for 9.15 million and tollgate reshoved from the small blind with A♣T♣. Cynicalfish turned over 2♣2♠ and his pair was counterfeited on the turn when the board ran out Q♥Q♣5♣5♠8♥. For third place, cynicalfish took home $349,635.00.

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Andrija "cynicalfish" Martić, third place

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 4: tollgate (37,706,408 in chips)
Seat 6: Azn1nvas1on (25,863,592 in chips)

With the one naysayer to a deal on the rail, tollgate and Azn1nvas1on immediately agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. They quickly agreed to a chip count chop that awarded tollgate $569,206.86 and Azn1nvas1on $552,005.14. Both were thrilled to come to an agreement and offered up sincere congratulations.

tollgate: congrats bro
Azn1nvas1on: congrats man
tollgate: u played well
Azn1nvas1on: got lucky when i needed to
tollgate: thats poker tournies though
tollgate: glglgl
Azn1nvas1on: yeah im just a cash game fish

With $40,000 still up for grabs, action resumed.

Three hands after cards went back in the air, Azn1nvas1on opened for a min-raise to 1.6 million and tollgate called. The flop came down K♦T♥7♦ and tollgate checked to Azn1nvas1on, who bet 1,436,500. Tollgate raised to 4,584,848 and Azn1nvas1on called. The turn came the 8♦ and tollgate fired another 5,848,484. Again, Azn1nvas1on called. Tollgate slowed down and checked the T♦ river, opening the door for Azn1nvas1on to bet 9,567,500. Tollgate gave up his hand and Azn1nvas1on raked in the 24.2 million pot, increasing his stack to 43.7 million. However, only two hands later, tollgate bounced back. On a 9♦6♠6♣7♠A♦ board, tollgate moved all-in for 15.4 million on the river after check-calling the flop and leading the turn. Azn1nvas1on called with 6♦T♦ for trips, but couldn't beat tollgate's nine-high straight with 5♥8♥. Tollgate doubled to 41.5 million, leaving Azn1nvas1on on 22.1 million.

Azn1nvas1on sprung back into action and ground his stack back up to 30.8 million before retaking the chip lead. Azn1invas1on check-called tollgate's 1,848,484 continuation bet on a Q♠9♥6♥ flop and both players checked the J♦ turn. When the Q♣ fell on the river, Azn1nvas1on led out for 4,291,362 and tollgate called, but he couldn't beat Azn1nvas1on's K♠J♥ for two pair. Azn1invas1on moved back up to 39.1 million in chips while tollgate fell to 24.4 million.

Tollgate, however, had one more comeback in him. Dealt A♠8♦, he three-bet shoved for 19.2 million preflop and Azn1nvas1on called with K♣Q♥. Tollgate flopped aces and eights on the A♣8♥4♣7♦J♠ board and doubled to 38.7 million. Seven hands later, tollgate limped in on the button and Azn1nvas1on raised to 3.5 million. Tollgate reraised to 7.48 million, Azn1nvas1on shoved and tollgate called.

Azn1nvas1on A♣9♣
tollgate A♥J♣

Tollgate had Azn1nvas1on dominated preflop and hit his kicker on the J♦6♦2♥ flop, leaving Azn1nvas1on drawing extremely thin. It was all over when the A♠ turned and tollgate locked up the extra $40,000 and the SCOOP Main Event title!

Congratulations to Australia's Tom "tollgate" Grigg on a brilliant performance and his first SCOOP title! He banked a massive $609,206.86 for the win, while runner-up Azn1nvas1on earned $552,005.86.

SCOOP 45-M: $1,050 NLHE Main Event
Players: 4,238
Prizepool: $4,238,000.00
Places paid 540

1. Tom "tollgate" Grigg (Australia) $609,206.86*
2. Azn1nvas1on (Canada) $552,005.86*
3. Andrija "cynicalfish" Martić (Croatia) $349,635.00
4. Päffchen (Austria) $243,685.00
5. Jandro Mura (Mexico) $180,115.00
6. ROBAZAN (Russia) $137,735.00
7. Kurt "kurt23x" Fitzgerald (Costa Rica) $95,355.00
8. thipoker10 (Brazil) $52,975.00
9. smoothwith2s (Mexico) $33,904.00

*= denotes a heads-up deal that left $40,000 in play for the winner

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP