SCOOP 2016: Tommy 'tcblade' Chen wins second SCOOP title in rebuys Event #7-H ($700+R NL)
Six years. That's how long Tommy 'tcblade' Chen waited to win his second SCOOP bracelet. Once you reach the promised land, it's nearly impossible to get that taste of victory out of your mouth. It's a nonpareil feeling of adulation you crave immensely that borderlines on an obsession. Five other SCOOPs had come and go, and although tcblade had other chances to win another one, he always fell short of his quest.
The 2016 SCOOP was the dawn of a new day and another fresh start for a chance to return to the glorious gravy years. Despite a hazardous final table that also included Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz, tcblade didn't waste this opportunity to win another SCOOP. Sure, he was 8th in chips at the start of the final table, but quickly went to work and got some much-needed breathing room between himself and the undesirable bottom of a funeral pyre. Somehow, he clawed his way into the final three players. And despite being the shortest stack remaining, he still managed to stay alive long enough to be one of the last two players standing and get a shot at the title. Only Canada's jays94 and a sizable stack stood in his way of winning his second SCOOP. Ah, despite the chip disadvantage, tcblade won his previous SCOOP bracelet in a Heads-Up event, so he was more than confident in his end-game abilities. It took 45-minutes of methodical and plodding poker before tcblade successfully chipped away at the lead and pulled ahead. He thwarted an instantaneous counter-attack from jays94, before landing the eventual knockout... with pocket Aces too... on the final hand.
The high version of Event #7-H $700 NL with unlimited rebuys attracted 438 runners. They contributed 238 re-buys and 376 add-ons, so the prize pool surged to over $701,684, which absolutely crushed the $200K Guarantee. Only the top 54 places paid out with $134,653.33 originally set aside for the champ.
Only 26 players made the cut for Day 2. Canada's p0cket00 ended Day 1 as the chip leader with 587K. Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz ended Day 1 as one of the short stacks with 114K or 20/26 overall.
Early on Day 2 it was pretty obvious that Fedor Holz ate his Wheaties. Holz went on a tear and took control on Day 2 from the get go. Inside of 20 hands, Holz increased his stack from 115K to nearly 1M. Day 2 was not even 30 minutes old and Holz had seized the lead. Holz won a 830K pot, the largest in the tournament up until that point, in a decisive hand that sent T-Macha to the rail in 20th place. T-Macha four-bet Holz preflop and Holz just called. Holz flopped trip Aces with Big Slick and was up against T-Macha's A♥Q♠. Holz called a flop bet and called a turn bet from T-Macha. On the river, T-Macha shoved and Holz insta-called. Holz's A♦K♥ prevailed and he won with trips and a king-kicker. T-Macha was dunzo in 20th and Holz chipped up to over 950K...which was good enough for the lead.
When the final two tables were set, p0cket00 challenged Holz for the top slot while November Niner Joe 'subiime' Cheong was treading water as the shorty. Holz slipped into second after p0cket00 surged over 1.2M after picking off NEWFlat in 17th place. subiime fizzled out in 14th place.
With action screaming toward the final table bubble, p0cket00 and Holz were still first and second overall with stacks somewhere between 1.3-1.5M. tcblade woke up with Aces and doubled through eijseijs pocket deuces. Sweden's eijseijs was crippled in what he described as "The best hand I've had all day!" eijseijs busted in tenth place within an orbit and the final table was set.
Event-07-H - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: mnstrkll (313,498)
Seat 2: hurrrrican3 (1,075,038)
Seat 3: TanTanSWE (377,617)
Seat 4: bigbluffzinc (228,440)
Seat 5: CrownUpGuy (1,299,970)
Seat 6: tcblade (336,144)
Seat 7: p0cket00 (1,668,312)
Seat 8: deuces85 (435,848)
Seat 9: jays94 (465,133)
The final table commenced during Level 24 with blinds at 5K/10K and a 1,250 ante. Canada's p0cket00 went into the final nine as the leader with 1.6M. Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz was second with 1.3M and hurrrrican3 was the only other stack over the 1M threshold. Canada's bigbluffzinc was the shorty with 228K.
Holz needs no introduction. Just the other day Holz went deep in a high roller event at the EPT12 Grand Final in Monte Carlo. Playing under 'CrownUpGuy', Holz won a SCOOP bracelet last year in NL draw and first made a name for himself when he shipped the 2014 WCOOP Main Event for a $1.3 million score. Not too many 20-year olds can boast they earned a million dollar paycheck unless they're a seven-foot-tall giant with a sick baseline jumper, or they're a single-named football phenom from Brazil. Holz was also multi-tasking and playing in a GPL team event for his team the L.A. Sunset (and Holz was battling Team PokerStars Jason Mercier, who is a member of the New York Rounders). He's become the darling on the poker community in a short time, and he looks more like he should be a cast member of a raunchy high school romantic comedy like Superbad or Project X.
This final table included two COOP champs. Finland's mnstrkll won a WCOOP in 2011. Tommy 'tcblade' Chen won a heads-up event at the 2010 SCOOP. He also final tabled a SCOOP event last year.
Sebastian 'p0cket00' Sikorski is no slouch and closing in on $10 million in lifetime earnings. He won over $5M on PokerStars and dominated the Super Tuesday by winning it thrice (he also finished in second place twice)! Sikorski also final tabled a SCOOP event in 2014.
TanTanSWE never won a COOP, but the Swedish grinder had over $2.5 million in online earnings including $1.5M on PokerStars.
Couple other players of note: Canadian jays94 has over $5 million in online winnings and went deep in a 2014 WCOOP event, and bigbluffzinc chopped the Sunday Million last November and took fourth overall.
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MOZAMBIQUE: deuces85 eliminated in 9th place
The blinds were relatively low and everyone was deepstacked, so no one busted during the first hour of final table play. tcblade profited the most during the first stages of the final table. He seized the lead and closed in on 2M. He won a clutch pot with J-10 against p0cket00's A-K to get the majority of his frontrunning stack.
During one of the last hands of Level 26, we saw the first bustout. deuces85 had been clinging to dear life as the short stack for the previous hour. After finally getting a decent hand, deuces85 made a move with A♦Q♥. deuces85 opened to 35,200. hurrrrican3 moved over the top for 518,030 and deuces85 called all-in for 177,248. hurrrrican3 was ahead with 8♠8♣ and racing against A♦Q♥. deuces85 took the lead on the flop with an Ace, and even turned two pair, but hurrrrican3 spiked an eight on the river to fill in a full house. The board finished up A♣K♣2♠K♥8♥ and deuces85 lost with two pair against hurrrrican3's boat. For a ninth-place finish, Canada's deuces85 took home $11,647.95.
With eight remaining... tcblade led with 1.9M followed by jays94's 1.3M, then hurrrrican3 (764K), p0cket00 (575K), CrownUpGuy (566K), TanTanSWE (396K), bigbluffzinc (387K), and mnstrkll (204K).
ONE MORE CUP OF COFFEE: mnstrkll eliminated in 8th place
Early in Level 28, short-stacked mnstrkll hit the road. mnstrkll open-shoved for 283,748 and tcblade re-raised all-in for 423,998 and everyone else folded. mnstrkll made a final stand with 5♦5♠, but unfortunately was up against tcblade's K♠K♦. The board finished up 7♥2♣2♥Q♣6♦. Kings held up for tcblade and mnstrkll was dunzo in eighth place, which paid out $15,787.89.
CATFISH: Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz eliminated in 7th place
Sometimes you issue a bad beat, sometimes you get liquidated by one. Holz found himself with Big Slick in a pre-flop raising war... jays94 opened to 52,800, hurrrrican3 flatted, bigbluffzinc bombed it all-in for 517,059, CrownUpGuy called all-in for 335,403, and everyone else folded. Heads-up.
A Queen on the flop was like a dagger through the king's heart. The board finished up A♥Q♣5♣3♣3♦ and bigbluffzinc won the pot with two pair -- Queens and treys. Tough break for Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz, who busted in seventh place, which paid out $22,804.73.
With six to go... jays94 led with 1.63M and hurrrrican3 was second with 1.58M. bigbluffzinc chipped up to over 1M after busting Holz. Rounding out the rest of the stacks: p0cket00 (926K), tcblade (716K), and TanTanSWE (325K) was the shorty.
ROMANCE IN DURANGO: p0cket00 eliminated in 6th place
Cooler time. Kings vs. Jacks. bigbluffzinc min-raised to 48,000, p0cket00 re-raised to 146,854, jays94 four-bet to 325,600, bigbluffzinc folded, p0cket00 five-bet shoved for 1,010,867, and jays94 called.
The board finished up 5♦5♠2♥Q♣T♠. Pocket Kings held up for jays94. Canada's p0cket00 went out with Jacks, but earned $29,821.57 for a sixth-place finish.
With five to go, big-stacked jays94 chipped up to 2.6M and TanTanSWE was the shorty with 267K.
BLACK DIAMOND BAY: TanTanSWE eliminated in 5th place
How about another race? Short-stacked TanTanSWE shoved for 270,718 with Q♦T♠ and tcblade accepted the rumble with 5♠5♣. The board ran out K♦8♥3♥4♠2♠. TanTanSWE never improved and pocket fives held up for tcblade. For a fifth-place finish, Sweden's TanTanSWE collected $39,294.30.
HURRICANE: hurrrrican3 eliminated in 4th place
On the very next hand... the hurrrrican3 died down. A raising war broke out and hurrrrican3 five-bet shoved for 1,080,871 with T♠T♥ and jays94 called with A♥K♥. Yet another classic race. This one came down the river because hurrrrican3 picked up a Broadway draw on the turn. The board ran out A♦Q♠5♥K♦K♠. jays94 took the lead with an Ace on the flop and improved to two pair on the turn. The river filled in an unnecessary full house for jays94. Slovenia's hurrrrican3 pocket tens were no good. For a fourth-place performance, hurrrrican3 earned $56,134.72.
With three left in the hunt for the bracelet, jays94 led with 3.7M, followed by bigbluffzinc's 16.5M, and tcblade's 863K stack.
CHANGING OF THE GUARDS: bigbluffzinc eliminated in 3rd place
Big-stacked bully jays94 opened to 70,400, bigbluffzinc bombed it all-in for 1,027,587 with 3♣3♦, and jays94 called with 7♦7♣. Rough time to run into a bigger pocket pair. The board ran out Q♠J♠4♥2♥T♣. Pocket sevens held up for jays94. Canada's bigbluffzinc was knocked out in third place, which paid out $73,676.82.
HEADS-UP: tcblade (Thailand) vs. jays94 (Canada)
Seat 6: tcblade (1,904,005)
Seat 9: jays94 (4,295,995)
It took well over three hours before we got to heads-up. When the final two were ready to square off, jays94 held more than a 2-1 edge over tcblade. Only one more person stood in tcblade's way of winning a second SCOOP. If he wanted more bling, he'd have to mount a comeback.
Back in 2010, tcblade won his first SCOOP bracelet in a heads-up match. He also went deep in a couple of WSOP HU events. Suffice to say, tcblade had better-than-average HU skills so jays94 needed to be careful with his opponent.
After 45 minutes of heads-up, tcblade seized the lead in a 1.8M pot. He won with trips against jays94's two pair. He held a slight edge 3.2M to 2.9M.jays94 launched a swift counter-attack and won nine consecutive hands to chip up to 3.9M, as tcblade sunk to 2.2M. Then it happened. Call it a switch, or a shift in total galactic consciousness. tcblade went on the attack and won the next five hands. The third one put him back the lead by a mere 100K, but the fifth hand was the decisive hand of the tournament.
NEW PONY: jays94 eliminated in 2nd place; tcblade wins second SCOOP bracelet!
On the final hand, the two actually waited until the flop to "drop the gloves and go" using the vernacular of our ice hockey fans. During pre-flop foreplay... tcblade opened to 88,888, jays94 raised to 245,700, tcblade four-bet to a symmetrical 555,555, and jays94 called. The incendiary flop was J♦4♠2♥. jays94 checked, tcblade fired out 400K, jays94 check-raised to 935,740, tcblade shoved for 2,791,136 and jays94 called all-in for 1,352,014.
jays94 flopped top pair, but tcblade woke up pocket rockets. The turn was the A♠. which improved tcblade to a set of Aces. The river was the K♥. It improved jays94 to two pair, but it was no match against a set of Aces. Pocket Aces held up for tcblade...and he won the tournament with it.
For an impressive and determined runner-up finish, jays94 earned $99,989.97.
Congrats to Tommy 'tcblade' Chen! The American living in Thailand earned a hefty first-place payday worth $134,653.33. Although it took hm six years, Chen finally won his second-career SCOOP bracelet. In addition, Chen also won a special champions watch courtesy of Movado.
SCOOP-07-H ($700+R NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 438 (238 re-buys, 376 add-ons)
Total prize pool: $701,684
Places paid: 54
1. Tommy 'tcblade' Chen (Thailand) $134,653.33
2. jays94 (Canada) $99,989.97
3. bigbluffzinc (Canada) $73,676.82
4. hurrrrican3 (Slovenia) $56,134.72
5. TanTanSWE (Sweden) $39,294.30
6. Sebastian 'p0cket00' Sikorski (Canada) $29,821.57
7. Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz (Austria) $22,804.73
8. mnstrkll (Finland) $15,787.89
9. deuces85 (Canada) $11,647.95
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Pauly McGuire is the author of "Lost Vegas" and a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.