SCOOP 2016: elmelogno4 survives shark-infested waters to win Event #29-H ($2,100 NL)

If there's a SCOOP event, rest assured that Shawn 'buck21' Buchanan will be circling the waters like a famished shark jonesing to feast on the first thing that falls into the water. It seems like buck21 makes a final table in every other SCOOP event. When you're a legend like buck21, you cast a gigantic shadow, so it appears that the bogeyman is lurking around every corner. Although Shawn 'buck21' Buchanan ripped off another deep run in Event #29-H, he fell short of the final table when he busted in 12th place, much to the relief of the remaining players.

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Animals love 'buck21', but poker players fear him

Georgios 'GeoManousos' Sotiropoulos was the most notable shark left circling the final table waters. He'd won a Sunday Million and a SCOOP, so GeoManousos was on a mission to take home SCOOP bracelet #2. He got off to a sizzling start in 2016 when he shipped the LAPT Bahamas Main Event at the 2016 PCA. However, his run in Event #29-H came to an abrupt end in fourth place.

This bracelet boiled down to a heads-up battle between Uruguay's elmelogno4 and Lithuania's Matas 'bebaimis777' Cimbolas. elmelogno4 had proven end-game skills with a Sunday Million victory, whereas Matas 'bebaimis777' Cimbolas was a skilled online and live player with over $2.5 million in combined earnings. After nearly an hour of sparring, elmelogno4 picked off bebaimis777 in second place to win the SCOOP title. That makes two majors for elmelogno, who now has a Sunday Million win and a SCOOP bracelet, which is only halfway towards a rare Stars Slam.

The high end of SCOOP Event #29-H $2,100 NL attracted 994 runners who created a prize pool worth $1,988,000, which nearly doubled the $1 million Guarantee. The top 117 places paid out with $357,840.00 originally set aside for the champion.

This opening day of this two-day affair ended with only 142 survivors. THEMOS17 ended Day 1 as the overall chip leader. The Greek bagged it and tagged it for 420K. Felipe 'mojave' Ramos was one of the short stacks, but the Team Pro from Brazil advanced to Day 2. He barely made the money but he cashed in 114th place for $3,976. mojave busted right after the money bubble popped at 117.

The playdown to the final table hit a slog around four or five tables and continued until the final table bubble. FishOnHeater from Hungary held a commanding lead for most of Day 2, until the chase pack started closing in with 20 or so remaining, With two tables to go, Shawn 'buck21' Buchanan was in the middle of the pack. With 15 remaining, buck21 hit a snag and slipped to the back of the pack after he dropped a 1.5M pot against KJulius10, who turned a full house against him. That had propelled KJulius10 to the front of the peloton with Hong Kong's RayJing.

With 12 to go and each table 6-handed, buck21 was 12/12 with 317K while bigbluffzinc was the biggie was 3.7M. It was time to make a sand against his nemesis... buck21 open-shoved for 297,105 with Q♠J♦ and KJulius10 called with A♦T♥. Although buck21 flopped a Queen to take the lead, KJulius10 spiked an Ace on the river to win the pot. Another deep run for Shawn 'buck21' Buchanan, but he fizzle out just before the final table and busted in 12th place for $20,874.00.

With ten to go and action hand-for-hand we had a bad beat alert when FishOnHeater's J♣T♣ took out que_te_crio's A♣J♥ after flopping top two pair. Malta's que_te_crio bubbled off the final table in tenth place, which paid out $20,874.00.

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SCOOP-29-H - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: bigbluffzinc (2,644,628)
Seat 2: bebaimis777 (1,962,769)
Seat 3: GeoManousos (2,117,253)
Seat 4: elmelogno4 (1,399,369)
Seat 5: FishOnHeater (3,101,842)
Seat 6: BanicIvan (1,818,912)
Seat 7: KJulius10 (2,821,646)
Seat 8: RayJing (1,233,185)
Seat 9: MaltLiquor40 (2,780,396)

The final table commenced during Level 33 with blinds at 25K/5K and a 6,250 ante. FishOnHeater led with 3.1M and RayJing was the shorty by default with 1.2M. A trio of players got a second shot at another SCOOP final table this year: FishOnHeater, BanicIvan, and bigbluffzinc.

Several players of note...

- American nomad Kyle 'KJulius10' Julius won a WCOOP in 2015 and binked a Sunday Million in 2012. He also had a runner-up in the Milly in 2013.

- Georgios 'GeoManousos' Sotiropoulos won a SCOOP in 2014 and shipped the Sunday Million last year. He almost won two SCOOPs in 2014, but Dzmitry 'colisea' Urbanovich beat him heads-up in one event. Sotiropoulos also won the LAPT Bahamas Main Event at the PCA earlier this year.

- Uruguay's elmelogno4 won the Sunday Million in 2014 for a $214K score.

- MaltLiquor40 final tabled the WCOOP Main Event that Fedor Holz won.

- Ivan 'BanicIvan' Banic final tabled Event #4-H. He also went deep with an 8th place score at the EPT12 Dublin main event in February.

- FishOnHeater final tabled Event #5-L but busted in second place.

- bigbluffzinc final tabled Event #7-H and his biggest score was a final table in the Milly back in November 2015.

- Lithuanian-born Matas 'bebaimis777' Cimbolas took second in the inaugural Mountain Series Kilimanjaro event last month for a $119K score. He also final tabled a 2015 SCOOP for a juicy third-place score worth $141K. He also final tabled the EPT11 Deauville, but busted in 8th place.


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RAINY DAY WOMEN: KJulius10 eliminated in 9th place

First player to bust at the final table? Ouch. Aces cracked? Double ouch. KJulius10 suffered a wicked bad beat.

GeoManousos four-bet shoved for 2,696,010 with 7♥7♠ and KJulius10 could not call off his stack of 1,056,206 fast enough with A♠A♦. The board ran out K♣9♦7♣T♣Q♦. GeoManousos took the lead on the flop and his set of sevens held up to win the pot. He chipped up to over 4.1M to seize the overall lead. Aces snapped off. Kyle 'KJulius10' Julius became the first player to exit the final table. Ninth place paid out $24,850.00.

VISIONS OF JOHANNA: bigbluffzinc eliminated in 8th place

More than a full level played out before the second player hit the bricks.

BanicIvan kicked off the party with a raise to 175,000, bigbluffzinc bombed it all-in for 1,125,449 with T♦T♥ and BanicIvan called with A♠K♠. Classic confrontation. Race. Coin flip. Pocket tens vs. Big Slick. We've seen it so many times...and you know what's coming before I even finish this paragraph. Yeah, the proverbial Ace on the river sunk bigbluffzinc's hopes and dreams and aspirations of winning a SCOOP crown. He'll have to wait another day because his tens lost the race when the board ran out 9♠8♥5♣5♦A♦. For an eighth-place finish, bigbluffzinc earned $40,754.00.

With seven to go, RayJing jumped into the top slot with 5.7M, GeoManousos was second with 3.7M, and BanicIvan was third with 2.7M. Four stacks were roughly even with 2M or so: bebaimis777, FishOnHeater, elmelogno4, and MaltLiquor40. Still plenty of poker left to play with blinds at 35K/70K.

TEMPORARY LIKE ACHILLES: FishOnHeater eliminated in 7th place

Perhaps the final table is speeding up? It took 34 minutes between the first two bustouts, and it's only been 17 minutes since the last dust up.

One of the shorties made a move, but got outflopped. bebaimis777 opened to 176,000, FishOnHeater shoved for 1,214,038 with K♥Q♥ and bebaimis777 called with 8♣8♠. It was another race. Although FishOnHeater flopped top pair, bebaimis777 flopped a set and turned a boat. The board finished up K♠8♥5♠5♣J♦ and FishOnHeater lost with two pair against bebaimis777's full house. For a seventh-place finish, Hungary's FishOnHeater took home $60,435.20.

With six remaining, bebaimis777 took a turn in the top spot with a 568K stack. RayJing was not far nehind with 498K. Meanwhile, elmelogno4 was the shorty with 150K.

STUCK INSIDE MOBILE WITH THE MEMPHIS BLUES AGAIN: MaltLiquor40 eliminated in 6th place

Six-handed lasted nearly two full levels before MaltLiquor40 got emptied out. bebaimis777 opened to 207,000 and MaltLiquor40 called from the big blind. Both players checked the flop of J♥T♦6♣. The turn was the 6♠. MaltLiquor40 moved all-in for 683,966 and bebaimis777 called.

MaltLiquor40: A♠T♠
bebaimis777: J♦T♣

bebaimis777 flopped top two. MaltLiquor40 flopped a pair of tens and turned two pair, but still trailed. The river was the J♣ and bebaimis777 improved to a boat. Canada's MaltLiquor40 was dunzo in sixth place, which paid out $80,315.20.

With five left in the hunt for the bracelet...GeoManousos was out in front with 7M, followed by bebaimis777 (6.4M), elmelogno4 (2.9M), RayJing (2.5M), and shorty BanicIvan (960K).

AGAIN OBVIOUSLY FIVE BELIEVERS: BanicIvan eliminated in 5th place

Five-handed went rather quick all things considered. bebaimis777 opened to 248,400 and BanicIvan called and defended the big blind. Both players checked the flop of J♣T♦6♣. The turn was the K♦. BanicIvan check-called a 280K bet from bebaimis777. The T♥ fell on the river. BanicIvan checked, bebaimis777 fired out 1,191,800, and BanicIvan called all-in for 803,452.

bebaimis777: K♥8♥
BanicIvan: J♥8♣

BanicIvan thought his Jacks up would be the better hand, but bebaimis777 turned a pair of Kings and rivered a stronger two pair. Ivan 'BanicIvan' Banic busted in fifth place, which paid out $100,195.20. Meanwhile, big-stacked bebaimis777 chipped up to over 8.1M.

4TH TIME AROUND: GeoManousos eliminated in 4th place

GeoManousos's stack came under assault and he slipped to the back of the pack. When he found a pocket pair, he tried to double up. bebaimis777 opened to 248,400, GeoManousos bombed it all-in for 2,552,674 with 8♣8♥, and bebaimis777 called with T♦T♥. Ouch. Eights into tens? It sorta got worse on the flop after bebaimis777 improved to a set. However, GeoManousos picked up a glimmer of hope with a gutshot draw. He rivered a set of eights, but it was not good enough to win. He lost set-over-set to bebaimis777's set of tens. The board finished up J♠T♣7♠2♠8♦. Georgios 'GeoManousos' Sotiropoulos was knocked out in fourth place, which paid out $14,4130.00.

With three to go, bebaimis777 held a sizable lead with 12.2M against elmelogno4's 5.9M and RayJing's 1.7M.

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Georgios 'GeoManousos' Sotiropoulos - 4th place

LEOPARD-SKIN PILL-BOX HAT: RayJing eliminated in 3rd place

Three-handed also went rather quick, mainly because RayJing got to around 1M and was an easy target. In the battle of the blinds, elmelogno4 raised to 8M from the small blind with K♦8♦ and RayJing called all-in for 1,206,528 with K♠7♦. It was a classic match-up of ole King-eight versus King-seven. The board finished up J♣8♠5♦Q♣9♥. RayJing never improved and hit the virtual rail. elmelogno4 flopped a pair of eights, which held up. RayJing was knocked out in third place, which paid out $192,836.00.

HEADS-UP: bebaimis777 (Lithuania) vs. elmelogno4 (Uruguay)
Seat 2: bebaimis777 (8,724,420)
Seat 4: elmelogno4 (11,155,580)

With two to go, elmelogno4 held the slight edge.

Heads-up lasted longer than expected because it got off to a rapid start, you almost expected it would end quick because both players were not shy about shipping their stacks at any given moment. On the sixth hand of heads-up, elmelogno4 won a 5M pot uncontested. That had capped off four wins in five hands and he had chipped up to an overwhelming margin of 16M to 3.8M. By the 12th hand of heads up, bebaimis777 fell into a deep hole and was down 9-1. bebaimis777 launched a counterattack and regained some lost ground, but he could never really gain any serious momentum. He was all-in a couple of times and dodged the sharp blade of the guillotine on more than one instance. A perplexed elmelogno4 couldn't figure out how to put away the pesky bebaimis777.

DEAL

With two to go, elmelogno4 led with 11.1M against bebaimis777's 8.7M. They agreed to split up the money but had to leave $20,000 on the table to the champion. They agreed to these terms: elmelogno4 would lock up $303,713.90 and bebaimis777 would also get $292,566.10. With a deal in place, action resumed.

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Matas 'bebaimis777' Cimbolas - 2nd place

MOST LIKELY YOU GO YOUR WAY AND I'LL GO MINE: bebaimis777 eliminated in 2nd place; elmelogno4 wins SCOOP bracelet!

After the deal, bebaimis777 couldn't hold off elmelogno4 and eventually succumbed after losing 10 out of the final 12 hands.

Going into the final hand, elmelogno4 led 16.3M to 3.5M. elmelogno4 opened to 200,000 and bebaimis777 called. The flop was 8♦4♥2♣ and bebaimis777 check-called a 275,000 bet from elmelogno4. The turn was the T♦. bebaimis777 checked, elmelogno4 bet 650,000, and bebaimis777 check-raised all-in for 2,810,262.

bebaimis777: Q♣9♦
elmelogno4: T♣7♥

elmelogno4 turned a pair of tens to take the lead. bebaimis777 got it all-in on a gutshot draw. The river was the 6♣ and bebaimis777 never improved. elmelogno4 won the pot, and bebaimis777 busted in second place.

For a runner-up finish, Matas 'bebaimis777' Cimbolas earned a payday worth $292,566.10.

Congrats to the newest SCOOP champion... Uruguay's elmelogno4. First place paid out $323,713.90 plus a cool champion's watch by Movado. After winning the Sunday Million and now a SCOOP, elmelogno4 is halfway to a Stars Slam.

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SCOOP-29-H ($2,100 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 994
Total prize pool: $1,988,000
Places paid: 117

1. elmelogno4 (Uruguay) $323,713.90 *
2. Matas 'bebaimis777' Cimbolas $292,566.10 *
3. RayJing (Hong Kong) $192,836.00
4. Georgios 'GeoManousos' Sotiropoulos (Austria) $144,130.00
5. Ivan 'BanicIvan' Banic (Croatia) $100.195.20
6. MaltLiquor40 (Canada) $80,315.20
7. FishOnHeater (Hungary) $60,435.20
8. bigbluffzinc (Canada) $40,754.00
9. Kyle 'KJulius10' Julius (Canada) $24,850.00

* Denotes a deal between the final two players

Visit the SCOOP homepage for a complete schedule. Also, find out who is on top of the Leader Board and in contention for Player of the Series.


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Pauly McGuire is the author of "Lost Vegas" and a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in SCOOP