SCOOP 2016: Third time's the charm for Clarkson7 in Event #35-M ($109 NLHE)

Clarkson7 had been close to COOP success a few times in recent memory. Excruciatingly close, really, with runner-up finishes in both WCOOP and TCOOP events during 2015. It looked for a time tonight like a final table appearance in Event #35-M would end without a chance to go that far, and then it looked like a third COOP runner-up finish would be added to Clarkson7's PokerStars tournament resume. Then everything changed in a span of minutes, and the third time became the charm for COOP success that Clarkson7 had been looking for since early last year.

A $109 no-limit hold'em freezeout, this tournament drew 4,596 players on Day 1, which would last for 28 levels, all but the first four of which were 20 minutes long. The top 585 players shared in the $459,600 prize pool, the top 142 of whom returned to play a second day of poker. It took seven and a half hours to reach the final table, and it would take nearly four more to determine a champion.

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Seat 1: krousmenos46 (3,967,624 in chips)
Seat 2: JulieBRIGHT (5,256,571 in chips)
Seat 3: frayjuniper (7,398,946 in chips)
Seat 4: Go0se.core! (5,095,464 in chips)
Seat 5: Clarkson7 (2,919,461 in chips)
Seat 6: Jamaikaner04 (2,505,356 in chips)
Seat 7: Prof. Shark (1,334,419 in chips)
Seat 8: Jordan "JWPRODIGY" Westmorland (1,625,259 in chips)
Seat 9: NemesisMsop (15,856,900 in chips)

With four players holding less than 25 big blinds each, there action early and often. Germany's Prof. Shark found a double-up with Q♦ Q♠, dodging a straight draw on the river to beat frayjuniper's 5♥ 5♦ for 3.94M chips. But fellow German short stack (and past Sunday Million runner-up) Jamaikaner04 wouldn't fare as well. Sitting in the big blind with A♠ Q♦, Jamaikaner04 called all-in for 1.94M after Go0se.core! opened for 301K on the button and past SCOOP/TCOOP /WCOOP finalist Clarkson7 re-raised all-in for 2.99M in the small blind. Go0se.core! folded, and Clarkson7 turned over A♥ K♠. That was good for kings full of aces after the board had run out 6♦ K♥ A♦ J♥ K♣, knocking out Jamaikaner04 in 9th place ($3,676.80).

frayjuniper took a second shot at knocking out a short stack in a coin flip on the next hand, this time with A♦ Q♦ for the overcards to Jordan "JWPRODIGY" Westmorland's pair. 6♦ 6♥ held up on the 9♠ 9♦ K♠ 5♥ 8♥ board, and JWPRODIGY climbed to 4M. That turned to 8.1M for the EPT10 Sanremo finalist and past Super Tuesday winner an orbit later after opening on the button with 9♣ 9♥ and then calling all-in following krousmenos46's shove from the big blind with A♥ 9♠. That left krousmenos46 with 1.01M chips, and two hands later JWPRODIGY would get those, too, min-raising with A♣ 8♠ and then calling for 908K total when krousmenos46 jammed on the button with K♣ Q♦. The 2♠ T♣ 9♠ 3♠ 4♠ board was no help, and krousmenos46 left in 8th place ($5,745).

JWPRODIGY had gone from short stack to contender in short order, and soon enough he topped that by becoming the chip leader. After min-raising to 320K on the button with A♥ 3♠, he called JulieBRIGHT's re-raise to 640K from the big blind to see the 5♦ 8♣ 4♦ flop. JulieBRIGHT led for 480K into the 1.5M pot, and JWPRODIGY's call was paid off with the 2♥ on the turn for a wheel straight. He flat-called 800K there and then moved in over the top of JulieBRIGHT's 960K bet after the Q♦ hit the river. JulieBRIGHT called with T♦ 8♥ for a pair of tens and departed in 7th place ($10,341).

From short stack to leader, again!

That 9.9M-chip pot moved Westmorland into the lead by 15 big blinds over NemesisMsop, the former leader. He extended it to 85 big blinds in a heads-up pot with the Brazilian player, semi-bluffing on a flush draw with 9♣ 3♣ and backing up into three of a kind with runner-runner treys. NemesisMSOP called smallish bets on the flop and turn before calling 2.97M on the river and mucking with 7.25M chips remaining.

Clarkson7 opened the next hand under the gun with A♦ J♣ and called when Prof. Shark moved all-in for 1.75M with 4♥ 4♠, taking down the pot with a pair of jacks on the J♦ Q♦ K♠ 6♥ T♠ board, sinking Prof. Shark in 6th place ($14,937).

Go0se.core! picked up a much better pocket pair on the next hand but ended up with the same result. The player from the United Kingdom made a small three-bet to 585K from the big blind with K♦ K♠ after frayjuniper opened for the minimum in the small blind. frayjuniper called with Q♦ 8♣ and hit gold on the Q♠ 8♥ flop, check-raising to 807K there and then jamming on the 2♣ turn. Go0se.core! called all-in, frayjuniper made queens full on the Q♥ river, and Go0se.core! left the tournament in 5th place ($19,533).


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NemesisMsop departed shortly afterward in 4th place ($26,427), taking the table up to the 10pm ET break with JWPRODIGY holding a slim lead at 19.1M chips over frayjuniper's 18.8M. Clarkson7 was trailing with 7.8M chips but at 42 big blinds was still in manageable territory. The three remaining players chose to play through the break, which would end up meaning no breaks in over two hours of poker for all of them, aside from some brief discussions for a potential deal that broke down.

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The next 40 minutes saw the status quo roughly maintained before Clarkson7 made a big call. Having defended the big blind with A♣ 8♠ and caught a vulnerable top pair in a three-way pot, Clarkson7 called on the flop and checked the turn, which both larger-stacked opponents checked behind. Clarkson7 checked again on the river, as did JWPRODIGY, and frayjuniper bet 1.9M into the 3M-chip pot. Clarkson7 called, JWPRODIGY folded, and the short stack clawed back to within sight of the leaders when frayjuniper showed down T♥ 9♥ - a pure bluff.

In the next 40 minutes JWPRODIGY slowly moved ahead of the other two players before frayjuniper pulled back to within 10 big blinds, while Clarkson7 dropped back to a distant third. Then JWPRODIGY went on a tear on the 200K/400K/50K level, winning 12 of 13 hands to double his stack and take out frayjuniper. The latter started the final hand with 6.7M and was a big favorite after raising on the button with 4♣ 4♥ and then calling JWPRODIGY's all-in re-raise with 2♥ 2♠, and it looked like three-handed play might have another 40 minutes over the horizon with the board reading 8♥ 6♠ 7♠ 9♠. Then the 2♦ hit the river, giving JWPRODIGY a set of deuces and bringing frayjuniper's run to an abrupt halt in 3rd place ($37,917).

JWPRODIGY held 36.3M chips to Clarkson7's 9.6M as heads-up play began at 11:18pm ET and applied continuous pressure through the first ten minutes of their match, whittling the two-time COOP runner-up's stack down to 6.4M. Then Clarkson7 picked up K♥ K♠ on the same deal as JWPRODIGY's A♥ 4♠ and got right back in the game. The two traded pots for the next 20 minutes, with Clarkson7's stack slowly dropping back to 10.1M before another confrontation. This time Clarkson7 was on the wrong end of it pre-flop, having jammed with K♥ J♠ after JWPRODIGY opened with A♥ K♣, but a Broadway straight on the river of the Q♥ A♦ 9♥ 8♠ T♥ board extended the match.

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They chose to play through the midnight ET break after Clarkson7 doubled up again, this time with J♦ J♠ against JWPRODIGY's A♦ 3♣, only to see Westmorland get most of the lost chips back on the very next hand. For 20 more minutes they battled back and forth without any major pots - and then the biggest one of the tournament came up. It started innocuously enough, with Clarkson7 raising the minimum to 1.4M on the button and JWPRODIGY calling to see a 4♥ 2♥ 5♠ flop. Then the action went check-bet-raise-shove-call, and JWPRODIGY's flopped wheel straight with A♦ 3♥ was up against Clarkson7's flush draw with J♥ 6♥. The draw hit on the turn with the T♥, and after the 7♣ hit the river, the match turned upside-down.

An hour of scrapping as a short stack had ended up with Clarkson7 holding 41.4M chips to JWPRODIGY's 4.5M. It would take just one minute as chip leader to end the tournament, with JWPRODIGY jamming on the button with 8♠ 7♣ and Clarkson7 calling with A♠ J♣. The board came down Q♣ J♠ Q♥ 7♥ 6♠ and a final table full of twists and turns finally came to an end.

Congratulations are due to both players, who fought hard the entire way for the chance at the title. It was perhaps a disappointing finish for Jordan "JWPRODIGY" Westmorland, who played strong poker throughout the final table after battling back from one of the shortest stacks at the start of final table play, but the $53,773.20 prize on a $109 buy-in will help to ease the pain. As for Clarkson7, who knows the sting of losing a heads-up COOP battle all too well and probably anticipated its return more than a few times over the last hour of play, this first SCOOP breakthrough was worth $72,158.64.

SCOOP-35-M ($109 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants:
 4,596
Total prize pool: $459,600
Places paid: 585 

1. Clarkson7 (United Kingdom) $72,158.64
2. Jordan "JWPRODIGY" Westmorland (Australia) $53,773.20
3. frayjuniper (United Kingdom) $37,917
4. NemesisMsop (Brazil) $26,427
5. Go0se.core! (United Kingdom) $19,533
6. Prof. Shark (Germany) $14,937
7. JulieBRIGHT (Russia) $10,341
8. krousmenos46 (Cyprus) $5,745
9. Jamaikaner04 (Germany) $3,676.80


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Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in SCOOP