SCOOP 2015: Zagazaur stomps out the competition in Event #31-M ($215 FL Hold'em, 6-Max)

In his years of online play Gonzaga "Zagazaur" Briga has seen his fair share of small MTT wins, but until tonight, he had never broken through to five-figure territory. Facing a table of veterans including Phill "Grindation" McAllister (5th in last year's SCOOP Main Event for $351k) German sensation Fresh_oO_D (he scored $294k for a runner-up finish in 2014 SCOOP Event #23-H) and Ozzy 87, Zagazaur had the odds stacked against him, but turned such adversity into a breakthrough performance. After a gritty heads-up battle with TheU10, Zagazaur came away with his first SCOOP title and over $18k in prize money.

478 limit hold'em aficionados entered Event #31-M, resulting in a $95,600.00 prize pool. 60 spots were paid with first place set to earn $18,498.60.

The betting limits were 10,000/20,000 with seven players remaining when Ozzy 87 opened for a raise to 20,000. TheU10 called on the button, Brryann called all-in for 5,007 from the small blind, and Fresh_oO_D called from the big blind. Betting continued on the side as the flop came down Q♦J♥9♣. Fresh_oO_D checked, Ozzy 87 bet 10,000, TheU10 called and Fresh_oO_D folded. Ozzy 87 fired another 20,000 at the 2♦ turn, TheU10 raised and Ozzy 87 called. The river was the A♥ and Ozzy 87 check-folded to TheU10's 20,000 bet. TheU10 turned up K♥T♣ for Broadway, trouncing Brryann's 2♥3♥, and he hit the rail on the final table bubble.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: TheU10 (826,873 in chips)
Seat 2: Grindation (373,286 in chips)
Seat 3: Zagazaur (296,755 in chips)
Seat 4: Fresh_oO_D (210,600 in chips)
Seat 5: Sintoras (608,730 in chips)
Seat 6: Ozzy 87 (73,756 in chips)

On Hand #2, the action folded to Ozzy 87 in the small blind and he raised to 20,000. TheU10 called and they saw a 7♥5♥4♥ flop. Ozzy 87 bet and TheU10 called. The turn came the 7♠ and again, Ozzy 87 bet. TheU10 looked him up and they went to the river, which fell the Q♠. Ozzy 87 bet his last 3,756 and TheU10 called, revealing Q♣6♥ for queens up. Ozzy 87's 8♦8♥ was undone on the river and he went out in sixth place.

With the betting limits still low and the stacks deep, five-handed play continued for over an hour. Sintoras caught the worst of it and fell to 101,000 before staging a comeback. In a pot that was capped three ways preflop, Sintoras got the last of his chips in the middle on a 9♥8♥3♣ flop. Both TheU10 and Grindation called and checked down the 7♥ turn and the A♥ river. Sintoras was indeed saved by that ace on the river and tripled to 304,000 with A♠8♣.

After that hand, Grindation was down to 161,000 with the betting limits now 20,000/40,000. Dealt K♠T♠, Grindation capped the betting preflop vs. Sintoras and led out on the T♣6♦2♦ flop. Sintoras raised and Grindation called all-in. Grindation's top pair was worthless in the face of Sintoras's J♥J♦ and unable to improve on the turn or river, he exited in fifth place.

On the very next deal, Fresh_oO_D clashed with TheU10 on a K♠5♦2♠ flop. Fresh_oO_D check-raised to 40,000 and TheU10 three-bet to 60,000. Fresh_oO_D called and the A♥ hit the turn. Fresh_oO_D check-called TheU10's 40,000 bet and did the same on the 8♦ river, but mucked when TheU10 turned up 8♥8♣ for a rivered set. Left with 76,000, Fresh_oO_D got the rest of his chips in the middle three hands later on a Q♦9♠4♦ flop. Although he turned the T♦ to make a queen-high flush with 7♦9♦, Zagazaur revealed A♦8♦ for the nut flush and sent Fresh_oO_D to the rail in fourth place.

When three-handed play commenced, TheU10 held the chip lead with 1.28 million, Zagazaur had 748,000, and Sintoras was the short stack with 365,000. Sintoras fell to 135,000 after attempting a river bluff with a busted straight draw, and with 65,000 left, he got the rest of his chips in preflop vs.TheU10. Although Sintoras's A♥7♠ had TheU10's A♣2♣ dominated, TheU10 flopped a deuce and ended Sintoras's run in third place.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 1: TheU10 (1,341,645 in chips)
Seat 3: Zagazaur (1,048,355 in chips)

Heads-up play lasted a little over half an hour, the chip counts remaining relatively close to even. Zagazaur inched out to a slight lead and with the betting limits up to 25,000/50,000, he opened for a raise on the button. TheU10 called and they saw a 9♥7♠3♦ flop. TheU10 check-called Zagazaur's 25,000 bet and they went to the turn, which fell the 4♥. This time, TheU10 led out and Zagazaur called. The river was the 2♦ and TheU10 check-called another 50,000 from Zagazaur, who turned up A♠4♦ for a pair of fours. TheU10 couldn't beat it and fell to 846,000 in chips.

A short time later, Zagazaur won eight pots in a row, reducing TheU10 to only 222,000. The final blow came when TheU10 opened for a raise to 60,000 and Zagazaur three-bet. TheU10 called and the flop fell 6♣6♥2♠. Zagazaur bet and TheU10 called. The turn brought the A♣ and Zagazaur led out for 60,000. TheU10 called off his remaining 56,645 and revealed K♦2♥ for deuces and sixes while Zagazaur showed A♥T♦ for aces up. The river was the 9♥ and Zagazaur at last had all the chips in front of him... and a SCOOP watch on the way.

Congratulations to Portugal's Gonzaga "Zagazaur" Briga on his SCOOP victory! He banked $18,498.60 for the win while runner-up TheU10 earned $13,178.60.

SCOOP 31-M: $215 FL Hold'em 6-Max
Players: 478
Prizepool: $95,600.00
Places paid 60

1. Gonzaga "Zagazaur" Briga (Portugal) $18,498.60
2. TheU10 (Germany) $13,718.60
3. Sintoras (Germany) $10,277.00
4. Fresh_oO_D (Germany) $7,074.40
5. Phill "Grindation" McAllister (United Kingdom) $5,066.80
6. Ozzy "Ozzy 87" Sheikh (Mexico) $3,250.40

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in SCOOP