SCOOP 2016: FL0R1DA defeats Apotheosis92 to win Event #8-H ($1,050 NLHE Heads-Up)
In poker, knowing your opponent will only get you so far. You may have done your research. You may have watched your opponent's play. You may have seen them reach for an Oreo in the middle of a hand. But despite what you may know, in the end, if the fall of the cards go against you, there's not much you can do.
Knowledge is power but it doesn't always guarantee the win.
Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk experienced that today after coming awfully close to victory in Event #8-H of the 2016 Spring Championship of Online Poker. The $1,050 Heads-Up Event saw Kruk win his semi-final in quick time, allowing him the chance to research his potential opponent in the final. As an experience online player and coach, Kruk felt he had an edge in the final, and was able to use that knowledge to negotiate a favourable deal, but in the end, two back-to-back coolers left Kruk to finish in second place as the SCOOP title went to Germany's FL0R1DA.
A total of 369 players came together for Event #8-H, a $1,050 Heads-Up event, to blow away the guaranteed prize pool. There were a few Team PokerStars Pros in the mix but none were able to make a deep run in this one. Naoya Kihara, Marc-Andre Ladouceur and Jason Somerville were first round casualties, Jason Mercier survived one match, Andre Akkari won two before he tasted defeat while George Danzer made it to the round of 64 as the last red spade standing.
The money would be reached for the top 32 players, and after the first day of play just four players would remain. The semi-finals were set for Day 2 with airlewis taking on Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk, while kalashn1kovv and FL0R1DA would battle in the other semi-final.
Semi-Final: airlewis vs Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk
The quickest of the two semi-finals would see Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk advance at the expense of the UK's airlewis in a match that would last around 45 minutes.
Apotheosis92 got the upper hand, and held over a three-to-one chip advantage before the final hand would play out.
airlewis had doubled up with pocket jacks moments earlier, so when he found Q♥Q♣ and Apotheosis92 put in a three-bet preflop, airlewis was rather pleased to get all the chips in the middle. Apotheosis92 made the call with K♠Q♦ and airlewis was in great shape to double again and get back into the contest. However the community cards would fall 2♣8♠9♠K♥4♥ to pair the king to see Apotheosis92 advance to the final and leave airlewis to collect $25,830 for 4th place.
Semi-Final: kalashn1kovv vs FL0R1DA
Meanwhile Slovenia's kalashn1kovv and German FL0R1DA were engaged in a battle that would ultimately last more than twice as long as the other semi-final match.
FL0R1DA held the lead for large portions of the match but struggled to land the knockout blow. kalashn1kovv survived an all-in with king-queen pairing up against ace-four, and then took over the lead when a huge triple barrel in a three-bet pot went uncalled on the river.
However FL0R1DA chipped away and regained the ascendency with a flopped two pair giving him a two-to-one lead before the final hand of the semi-final was dealt.
It was a bit of a cooler with kalashn1kovv jamming his A♦J♠ but walking smack-bang into the K♣K♠ of FL0R1DA. The board ran out T♣4♣T♥3♣J♥ to send FL0R1DA through to the final and see kalashn1kovv also collect $25,830 for 3rd place.
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Final: Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk vs FL0R1DA
The heads-up final started in rather interesting style with ammunition being unloaded almost before the cards had even been dealt.
FL0R1DA tossed up the idea of a 50/50 split of the remaining prize money. Both had guaranteed themselves at least $51,660, and with the top prize set at $81,180, there was roughly 30 large in the middle to play for. The problem was that while the second semi-final was finishing, Apotheosis92 was using his time wisely - studying the play of his opponent and doing a little research online. Here's how the conversation unfolded.
Apotheosis92 said, "hey"
FL0R1DA said, "hey deal 50:50"
Apotheosis92 said, "ur gonna have to give me some juice"
FL0R1DA said, "tell me why? u r mttreg"
Apotheosis92 said, "you have $20 ABI"
Apotheosis92 said, "and i just watched you play that guy for an hour"
Apotheosis92 said, "and uve got so many tells they might as well give you a chip rack full of oreos"
You have to respect the Rounders reference, and while it seems that Apotheosis92 had done his research, he should also have realised that FL0R1DA rather enjoys the SCOOP heads-up tournaments. Back in 2014, FL0R1DA finished runner-up in a SCOOP heads-up event in a field of over 3,300 players. He's no mug heads-up!
After it was pointed out that they must leave $4,000 in the middle to play for, and a little negotiating, it was agreed that Apotheosis92 would receive $66,000 and FL0R1DA would lock up $62,840 with the SCOOP title and $4,000 left to play for.
In the end, the deal discussions would take longer than the heads-up match with two significant coolers going the way of the underdog.
The first hand would see Apotheosis92 raise the button and FL0R1DA defend the big blind. FL0R1DA check-called on the J♦2♥2♠ flop before both players checked again on the Q♠ turn. It seemed like a small pot until action erupted on the 9♠ river. FL0R1DA bet out and Apotheosis92 announced a hefty raise. FL0R1DA made the call and Apotheosis92 tabled A♠5♠ for the nut flush, assuming it was best. However FL0R1DA held a deceptive 2♦Q♣ full house to collect the pot and take a strong lead.
Then, just two hands later, the same scenario unfolded.
FL0R1DA again defended his big blind preflop before this time check-raising on the flop of 2♥4♠9♥. Apotheosis92 called and the action checked to him on the J♥ turn. FL0R1DA called and the river was a repeat 4♦. FL0R1DA checked and Apotheosis92 moved all in. FL0R1DA made the call and Apotheosis92 again showed down a flush with T♥5♥. However for the second time in three hands, that wasn't enough as FL0R1DA revealed 9♣4♣ for a full house for the victory!
2016 SCOOP-08-H: $1,050 NL Holdem Heads-Up - $200K Guaranteed
Prize Pool: $369,000
Places Paid: 32
1. FL0R1DA (Germany) $66,840.00*
2. Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk (Canada) $66,000.00*
3. kalashn1kovv (Slovenia) $25,830.00
4. airlewis (United Kingdom) $25,830.00
5. Koh1990 (Greece) $14,391.00
6. LLinusLLove (Switzerland) $14,391.00
7. Hoegh93 (Denmark) $14,391.00
8. Ship It 2010 (United Kingdom) $14,391.00
* denotes heads-up deal
The Spring Championship of Online Poker is the biggest and richest tournament festival of the year, with millions in prize money to be won, a packed schedule, and separate buy-in levels designed to suit all bankrolls.
A total prize pool of $40 million is guaranteed with the series running right through until May 22nd. Head to the SCOOP home page for more details.
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.