Not too many folks can say they won and lost a million dollars before their 21st birthday. But Ashton Griffin is one of those people. Before he could legally play in a U.S. casino, Griffin had built and busted multiple online bankrolls, but what he lacked in fiscal discipline, he more than made up with pure skill. One of the most feared short-handed and heads-up cash game players, Griffin was a fixture in nosebleed stakes games before Black Friday and scored a major live win in the Venetian’s $25,000 High Roller Bounty Shootout, earning $560,000. Today he was on fire in the SCOOP, finishing fourth in Event #41-M ($215 NLHE 4-max). However, his disappointment in missing out on that title was almost immediately quelled as he bested 1,365 players in Event #40-L ($215 Heads-Up, High Roller) to win over $41,000 and his first SCOOP title.
1,365 players turned out to do head-to-head battle in Event #40-L, the prize pool swelling to $273,000. 128 places were paid with first place set to earn $41,285.79. Among the 15 Red Spades in the field were David Williams, Vanessa Rousso, ElkY, Liv Boeree, Jake Cody and George Danzer, but the only one to cash was Nacho Barbero, who finished in 54th place.
Day 1 concluded with 64 players remaining. Action resumed at 14:30 EDT and three hours later, the field was down to its final eight players.
jokkee_apart def. veeea
Jokkee_apart took less than two levels to eliminate veeea. He took the chip lead in a pot where he five-bet pre and led out for 1,350 on a 9♥3♣2♦ flop. Veeea called and both players checked the 3♠ on the turn. The river fell the 10♣ and jokkee_apart fired out 2,950. Veeea gave up his hand and jokkee_apart moved up to 13,000 in chips.
Jokkee_apart widened the gap even further by setting veeea all-in on a A♦4♦2♦2♠3♥ board. Although veeea had three-bet preflop and fired on each subsequent street, he elected to save his last 3,200 and folded. Jokkee_apart closed out the win five minutes later, calling veeea’s four-bet shove on a 7♦6♠4♠ flop. Jokkee_apart’s pocket fives held up against veeea’s flush draw with A♠8♠, the turn and river falling the K♣ and the 2♥. For eighth place, veeea picked up $7,316.40 while jokkee_apart moved on to the semifinals.
maximum123 def. croman19
After trading the chip lead a few times, maximum123 gained the upper hand after his A♠7♥ flopped top two pair and got three streets of value, leaving croman19 on 5,650 in chips. Croman19 ground his stack back up to 8,148 before the deciding pot unfolded. Dealt K♣6♥, croman19 three-bet to 688 preflop and led out for 533 on a K♦7♠5♣ flop. Maximum123 called. The turn came the 5♥ and croman19 checked. Maximum123 bet 1,200 and croman19 called. When the river fell the 6♠, croman19 checked again and maximum123 shoved, having him covered.
“LOL. K6. I guess u have 98,” croman123 wrote before calling off the rest of his chips.
Maximum123 didn’t have 9-8, but he did had 3♠4♦, good for a seven-high straight. Croman19 hit the rail in seventh place, while maximum123 punched his ticket to the semis.
nizmo jiz def. 245112jp
Nizmo jiz and 245112jp stayed relatively close to their starting stacks before nizmo jiz doubles through 245112jp, his A♠A♥ holding up against 8♦8♠. 245112jp fell to 4,700 and ground up another thousand in chips before nizmo jiz finished him off. All-in preflop with A♥2♥ vs. A♣10♣, 245112jp couldn’t overcome his dominated hand and went out in sixth place while nizmo jiz moved on to the round of four.
theASHMAN103 def. Andrey VNIIM
By far the longest of the quarterfinal matches, it took nearly two hours for theASHMAN103 to defeat Andrey VNIIM. Over and over and over again, theASHMAN103 would move out to a solid lead only for Andrey VNIIM to double up and even their stacks. TheASHMAN103 was up to 14,425 and set AndreyVNIIM all-in for his last 5,175 preflop, only to have his A♣J♣ run into A♠A♥. TheASHMAN103 reclaimed the chip lead two hands later when his K♠9♦ flopped middle pair against Andrey VNIIM’s open-ended straight draw with J♦10♠, but Andrey VNIIM managed to double again, his A♦J♦ holding up against K♦7♣.
Down to 6,100, theASHMAN103 doubled when his A♦9♠ held against A♥6♣. He had Andrey VNIIM down to three outs on the very next deal, his A♦J♠ leading A♠10♥ on a A♣6♠4♦6♦ board, but Andrey VNIIM spiked the 10♦ to make two pair and double up to 15,600. Once again, theASHMAN103 evened their chip counts and a short time later he finally put Andrey VNIIM away. All-in on a K♦7♦5♥ flop, theASHMAN103’s 7♠5♦ improved to fives full on the river while Andrey VNIIM missed his flush draw with 9♦10♦ and went out in fifth place.
jokkee_apart def. maximum123
Maximum123 struck in the first level when he picked up A♥A♦ and got three streets of value from jokkee_apart to move up to 11,800 in chips. However, jokkee_apart quickly bounced back. A preflop raising war broke out, maximum123 five-betting to 1,240 before jokkee_apart decided to call and see the J♣8♥2♠ flop. Maximum123 check-raised all-in and jokkee_apart called, bearing his own pair of aces in the hole. Maximum123’s Q♦J♥ did not improve beyond top pair and jokkee_apart doubled to 17,268.
Jokkee_apart finished off maximum123 by winning three consecutive hands. The second saw maximum123 check-call jokkee_apart to the river on a 8♦6♦3♥A♠A♦ board, but he was unable to beat jokkee_apart’s trips with A♥9♦. Left with only 691 in chips, maximum123 moved all-in with Q♦J♠, but couldn’t fade jokkee_apart’s dominating K♥J♦.
theASHMAN103 def. nizmo jiz
Nizmo jiz took a slight chip lead in the second level and ground his stack up to 11,500 by the third before theASHMAN103 evened the stacks by pushing nizmo jiz off a 2,200-chip pot on the turn. TheASHMAN103 was just above his 10k starting stack when he decided to three-bet his Q♥8♠ to 600 preflop. Nizmo jiz called and they saw a K♥10♥4♥ flop. TheASHMAN103 led out for 800, nizmo jiz raised to 2,116 and theASHMAN103 called. Both players checked when the turn came the 2♥ to put four hearts on the board. However, when the A♥ made it five, theASHMAN103 made it 3,600 to go. Nizmo jiz called, but couldn’t beat theASHMAN103’s nut flush.
TheASHMAN103 moved up to 16,500 in chips and punched his ticket to the finals six hands later. Holding A♦Q♥, theASHMAN103 five-bet shoved preflop and nizmo jiz called, but his A♥J♠ did not improve. For third place, nizmo jiz took home $13,134.03.
Only a few hands into the final match, jokkee_apart proposed a deal that theASHMAN103 essentially laughed off.
jokkee_apart: wanna do 50/50 deal?
theASHMAN103: if you get to 11k I will
jokkee_apart: now or never
theASHMAN103: Ive played over a million hands of hu nl
jokkee_apart: good for you
TheASHMAN103 may have had the edge in terms of experience, but jokkee_apart’s record is nothing to snicker at– he won the Sunday 500 for 89k back in 2010 and has made the final table of the Super Tuesday and the Sunday Million.
Jokkee_apart took an early lead, chipping up to 12,000 before he got his stack in the middle preflop with 5♦5♠ vs. theASHMAN103’s A♣K♠. But theASHMAN103 flopped Broadway and rivered the nut flush, the board running out Q♠J♣10♣5♣4♣. Jokkee_apart was left with only 2,850 in chips but doubled up a few hands later when theASHMAN103 five-bet shoved his A♥9♣ into J♦J♠.
Jokkee_apart moved back up to almost 7,000 in chips but theASHMAN103 was unrelenting in his aggression. After whittling jokkee_apart down to 5,180 in chips, theASHMAN103 closed out the win when jokkee_apart flopped top pair and rivered kings up, just as his A♠5♥ rivered a seven-high straight.
Congratulations to Ashton “theASHMAN103” Griffin on shipping his first SCOOP title! He banked $41,285.79 for the win while runner-up jokkee_apart earned $26,270.79.
PokerStars 2013 SCOOP Event #40-L ($215 NLHE Heads-Up High Roller) results
Places paid: 128
1. Ashton “theASHMAN103” Griffin (Mexico) $41,285.79
2. jokkee_apart (Norway) $26,270.79
3. nizmo jiz (Australia) $13,134.03
4. maximum123 (Norway) $13,134.03
5. Andrey VNIIM (Russia) $7,316.40
6. 245112jp (Hungary ) $7,316.40
7. croman19 (Sweden) $7,316.40
8. veeea (Russia) $7,316.40
Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.