SCOOP 2018: Monolithic victory for Francisco "Tomatee" Benitez in PKO Event #61-H ($1,050 NL)

Stacked and stupendous final table to say the least in SCOOP Event #61-H Progressive Knockout, featuring the previous two SCOOP Main Event champions -- Charlie "Epiphany77" Carrel (2017) and Talal "raidalot" Shakerchi (2016) -- plus Triple COOP winner and SCOOP deity Shawn "Buck21" Buchanan. The collision course of a final table included a virtuoso from Canada, a Merkaba-seeking prodigy, a financial sensei from London, an American online exile in Costa Rica, and a couple of unpredictable sharks from Estonia and Uruguay. Despite the astounding collective poker pedigree, there could only be one winner. Whomever outlasted this hazardous final nine would certainly earn every cent of their first-place windfall. In a stormy heads-up climax, Uruguay's Francisco "Tomatee" Benitez engineered a brilliant comeback capped off by sniffing out a bluff with a hero call. Tomatee landed a crushing coup de grace seven hands later to knockout an embattled DEX888 in second place. Tomatee banked approximately $206,000 in this single-day event, including $128K for first place plus $78K in PKO bounties.

Francisco "Tomatee" Benitez = SCOOP #61-H Champion

SCOOP EVENT #61-H - QUICK STATS:
$1,690,00 total prize pool
$845,000 bounty pool
1,690 total entries
$128,217.19 first place prize

2018 SCOOP Event #61-H $1,050 NL Progressive Knockout attracted 1,690 total entries with 1,164 entries and 526 re-entries. The total prize pool was nearly $1.7 million, with half dedicated to the bounty pool or $845,000. Only the top 207 places paid out with $128,217.19 set aside to the champ.

With 16 remaining on the final two tables, markovistus led with 26.5M, or twice as much as Illini213 in second place. On the final table bubble, a ravenous markovistus moved up to 40M and sought to conquer more stacks.

SCOOP Event #61-H - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: Illini213 (20,838,206) + $10,859.36 bounty
Seat 2: Tomatee (33,824,714) + $14,892.56 bounty
Seat 3: buck21 (10,217,756) + $10,546.87 bounty
Seat 4: Ferran789999 (8,103,920) + $8,625.00 bounty
Seat 5: Dreiven (6,318,940) + $3,625.00 bounty
Seat 6: markovitsus (48,206,766) + $28,908.17 bounty
Seat 7: DEX888 (18,783,430) + $10,871.08 bounty
Seat 8: raidalot (10,136,662) + $11,035.14 bounty
Seat 9: Epiphany77 (12,569,606) + $5,945.31 bounty

The final table commenced during Level 38 with blinds at 200K/400K and a 50K ante. With nine remaining, markovitsus still retained the lead. He also had the biggest bounty remaining roughly at $29K, or twice as much as the second-biggest bounty.

The most notable dignitaries at the final table were couple of SCOOP Main Event champs and a SCOOP GOAT.

Charlie "Epiphany77" Carrel and Talal "raidalot" Shakerchi won the SCOOP Main Event over the previous two SCOOPs. Banker turned pro radialot had 3 SCOOP titles going into this year's series and he put himself in position to win another.

The most-feared player at the table was easily Shawn "buck21" Buchanan. The man, the myth, the hoodied legend. Canada's native son is one of the most successful players in the history of online poker. That's not hyperbole, shinola, or a half-baked assessment. buck21 crushes SCOOP every Spring, so it makes sense to name the SCOOP Main Event trophy after him. The bona fide Triple COOP champ also won no less than 6 SCOOP titles.

But wait... there's more! As if Buchanan, Carrel, and Shakerchi weren't a big enough headache to worry about at the final table, you also had to contend with Steve 'Illlini213' Barshak, who won his second SCOOP last week and won a WCOOP in 2012. He's one TCOOP win away from a Triple COOP. Oh, and how could we overlook Markku "markovitsus" Koplimaa, who binked $5 million in tournaments on PokerStars? Estonia's markovistus went deep in multiple COOP events, but he's yet to ship one outright.

Rounding out the final table... Daris "DEX888" Pedes (who won the Super Tuesday), Ferran789999 (chopped and won both the Super Tuesday and the Sunday Million), and Francisco "Tomatee" Benitez (high roller winner at LAPT Peru in Lima).

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want any one of these elite players at my final table. The winner of this battle royale will earn enough street cred to last three lifetimes.

FERNAN789999 JACKED BY TENS

Jacks versus tens. The result will shock you. Yeah, tens slayed Jacks in a beatdown so swift, yet stunning it will leave you ruminating the meaning of life for the next decade. Ferran789999 open-shoved with J♥J♦ and Epiphany77 accepted the challenge with T♥T♠. Epiphany77 turned a fortuitous T♣ to snatch the lead. The cosmic set of tens achieved enlightenment when they held up on the river. Epiphany77 won the pot, the bounty, and Ferran789999 hit the virtual rail in ninth place.

Charlie "Epiphany77" Carrel = 8th place

DAYTRIPPER

No dancing around for markovitsus and Epiphany77. They roared forward and threw down in a pot worth 20.6M. Epiphany77 min-raised, markovitsus shoved and Epiphany77 called off the rest of his stack with A♣9♣. markovitsus led with A♥Q♥. The board finished up K♦Q♠8♦J♦2♦. Epiphany77 picked up outs with a gutshot draw on the turn, yet failed to improve. After the dust up, markovitsus won the pot with a pair of Queens. markovitsus also won a bounty worth $5,128.91. Charlie "Epiphany77" Carrel busted in eighth place, which paid out $11,991.22

ORANGE CRUSHED; JACKED ON THE RIVER

Two short-stacks jousted. Dreiven open-shoved with 4♦4♣ and Illini213 called with A♦9♠. The board ran out 7♥6♥3♠T♣6♣. Illini213 turned a straight draw, but whiffed on the river. Pocket fours were good for Dreiven. Illini213 was dunzo in seventh place.

Six-handed didn't last long before two more shorties went for the jugular. Dreiven opened, DEX888 shoved with K♥J♥, and Dreiven called with 9♥9♣. DEX888 rivered a Jack to win the pot. Dreiven bounced in sixth place, which paid out $23,598.65

Shawn "buck21" Buchanan = 5th place

BUCK21 = OUT 5TH

The quick decent into choas happened in a span of two hands. One minute Shawn Buchanan had his steely eyes on another SCOOP crown and the next, BOOM! He was out. In the first hand, Tomatee doubled through buck21 when his A♦K♠ outflopped buck21's 7♥7♦. On the next hand, a glazed buck21 met his demise in a multi-way pot. buck21's K♥8♠ lost to raidalot's Q♠4♠. Shawn "buck21" Buchanan earned $33,105.32 for fifth place, plus $10K in bounties.

With four remaining, markovitsus was still the player to beat with an envious stack worth 57.6M.

RAIDALOT REPELLED

With a withering stack, raidalot jammed all-in preflop and got two callers. They checked it down to the river. The board finished up 8♦4♣3♠K♣T♣. Tomatee won the pot with two pair and T♠3♦. Both DEX888 and raidalot mucked their losing hands. 2016 SCOOP Main Event champion raidalot finished in fourth place, which was worth $46,441.87.

With three remaining, markovitsus lost the lead for the first time in a very long time. DEX888 launched a successful coup and took a turn in the top spot.

Talal "raidalot" Shakerchi = 4th place

HEADHUNTER NEVERMORE

Cowboys held up under attack. markovitsus shoved with A♠5♣ and DEX888 could not have called fast enough with K♠K♣. The board finished up T♠4♠4♥K♥3♥. DEX888 won the pot with a full house. Kings held up. DEX888 also scored a sick bounty worth a whopping $32,416.95 for busting the top headhunter markovitsus. Estonia's markovitsus earned $65,151.02 for third place, plus an additional $33,537.10 in his own bounties.

Markku "markovitsus" Koplimaa = 3rd place

HEADS-UP: Francisco "Tomatee" Benitez (Uruguay) vs. Daris "DEX888" Pedes (Germany)
Seat 2: Tomatee (46,560,754) + $23,046.84 bounty
Seat 7: DEX888 (122,439,246) + $32,416.95 bounty

DEX888 led almost 3 to 1. Could Germany fend off Uruguay?

TOMATEE WINS SCOOP EVENT #61-H!

This fiesty heads-up bout lasted 70 minutes. DEX888 coughed up the lead after Tomatee landed a couple of haymakers. Mostly, the two danced around for the first hour while landing sporadic, low-impact blows. When heads-up headed into its second hour, Tomatee sensed fatigue and seized the initiative by attempting to dissemble the big stack.

Tomatee won a stunning 42M pot after sniffing out a bluff with a pair of Queens on a King-high dry board. Tomatee saw through the DEX888's brittle facade and the German's total air with seven-six offsuit. Tomatee jumped ahead 118M to 50M. Seven hands later, it was all over.

On the final hand... DEX888 shoved for his final 36M with A♠K♥. It appeared he was going to double up against Tomatee's A♦5♠, until a five hit the flop and another five spiked on the turn. The board ran out Q♠6♣5♦5♥7♣. Tomatee won the pot and the tournament with trip fives. Tomatee also won DEX888's bounty. DEX888's Big Slick was officially dunzo. For a runner-up finish, DEX888 earned $91,397.05.

Tomatee won a first-place prize worth $128,217.18, plus an additional $78,010.66 in bounties for a total score worth over $206K. Congrats!

SCOOP-61-H ($1,050 NLHE [8-Max, Progressive KO]) results
Total entries: 1,690 (1,164 entries; 526 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,690,000 ($845,000 regular pool; $845,000 bounty pool)
Places paid: 207

1. Francisco "Tomatee" Benitez (Uruguay) $128,217.19 + $78,010.66 in bounties
2. Daris "DEX888" Pedes (Germany) $91,397.05 + $31,916.98 in bounties
3. Markku "markovitsus" Koplimaa (Estonia) $65,151.02 + $33,537.10 in bounties
4. Talal "raidalot" Shakerchi (United Kingdom) $46,441.87 + $15,808.60 in bounties
5. Shawn "buck21" Buchanan (Canada) $33,105.32 + $10,046.87 in bounties
6. Dreiven (Poland) $23,598.65 + $8,554.68 in bounties
7. Steve "Illini213" Barshak (Costa Rica) $16,821.92 + $10,359.38 in bounties
8. Charlie "Epiphany77" Carrel (United Kingdom) $11,991.22 + $9,757.81 in bounties
9. Ferran789999 (Russia) $8,732.48 + $8,125.00 in bounties

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Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in SCOOP