Like most of the “H” or high buy-in events on the SCOOP schedule, Event #4-H ($530+R NLHE, 6-Max, Action Hour) drew a star-studded field that made great railing for anyone interested in high caliber poker. Reading through the recap below shows just how many high profile players participated, with many cashing and making it to the final table. In the end it was Alexandros “mexican222” Kolonias of Malta topping all after an especially arduous second day of play to win the watch and a handsome $144,400 first prize.
With just 60 minutes’ worth of late registration the doors closed relatively quickly on this one, with 472 players total making it in to participate. That group combined for 560 rebuys and 412 add-ons, thereby building a total prize pool of $722,000 — more than twice the $350K guarantee assigned to the event — with the top 54 finishers due to divide those riches.
The “Action Hour” designation also meant five-minute levels for the first 12, then half-hour levels thereafter. That meant lots of aggressive play and rebuying during those first 60 minutes, then lots of patient, deep-stacked poker afterwards.
There were several red spades in the counts as a number Team PokerStars Pros and members of Team Online took part, and from early on the one next to Eugene “E. Katchalov” Katchalov remained on or near the top page of the counts.
Marc-Andre “FrenchDawg” Ladouceur also built an above average stack and as the field shrunk under 100 players the Canadian up near the top of the leaderboard inside the top 10, doing so despite the fact that during the latter half of the day, Ladouceur found himself at a table that included Ole “wizowizo” Schemion, Timothy “Tim0thee” Adams, Philipp “philbort” Gruissem, and Jonathan ” MONSTER_DONG” Karamalikis.
Adams took to Twitter to remark on the toughness of the table:
Approaching the bubble in SCOOP 500r 6max.. Ole, Philbort, FrenchDawg and Jono at my tbl.. May as well be playing at a live event 🙂
— Timothy Adams (@Tim0theeAdams) May 6, 2014
Meanwhile all of the other Team Pros and Team Online members had hit the rail but one, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, who nursed a short stack as the money bubble loomed in the distance.
Eventually Grospellier open-pushed a stack of almost 17 big blinds with K♠J♦ and got called by Dan “djk123” Kelly sitting in the blinds with A♦7♣. The board rolled out 8♦3♥10♦9♠J♥, that river jack pairing Grospellier while also giving Kelly a straight, and Grospellier was out in 79th place shy of the money.
Alas for Kelly, he, too, would miss the cash as a while later he’d be ousted in 55th to bubble the event after his 7♣7♥ failed to hold against roi kin23’s K♠Q♦ when two queens came among the community cards.
From there they played down to 39 players before the tournament was paused at the end of Level 32 and Day 1 was done.
There were numerous familiar names among the cashers at night’s end, showing that pretty much every table was as tough as the one Adams and Ladouceur had drawn. Among the eliminated on Day 1 were Adam “Roothlus” Levy (54th, $3,249), Joao Mathias “JoaoMathias” Baumgarten (52nd, $3,249), Aaron “AaronBeen” Been (50th, $3,249), Paul “padjes” Berende (48th, $3,249), Clark “snake8484” Hamagami (47th, $3,610), Ole “wizowizo” Schemion (46th, $3,610), Antonio “guitarpiano” Lafosse (44th, $3,610), Jannick “EDWARDHOPPER” Wrang (43rd, $3,610), Chris “Moorman1” Moorman (41st, $3,971), and Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko (40th, $3,971).
Both Katchalov and Ladouceur made it through to Day 2, sitting in 21st and 22nd in the counts, respectively. Meanwhile, here’s how the top 10 looked overnight:
1. fullhouseiii (Norway) — 368,466
2. Thiago “XTheDecanoX” Nishijima (Brazil) — 352,632
3. Neeeeeek (Poland) — 304,597
4. TransSib (Russia) — 303,252
5. Jonathan “MONSTER_DONG” Karamalikis (Australia) — 217,639
6. Leanod (Belarus) — 186,342
7. Apotheosis92 (Canada) — 176,311
8. Rednaxela747 (United Kingdom) — 174,694
9. Tha Giggy (Canada) — 171,052
10. Fabian “fabstinho” Quoss (United Kingdom) — 148,016
Play resumed at 11:00 ET on Tuesday and after a little more than an hour-and-a-half they were down to 27 with Fabian “fabstinho” Quoss (36th, $4,332), Yuri “theNERDguy” Martins (33rd, $4,332), Timothy “Tim0thee” Adams (32nd, $4,332), and Philipp “philbort” Gruissem (29th, $4.693) among those hitting the rail.
Meanwhile, Marc-Andre “FrenchDawg” Ladouceur became short-stacked, slipping to less than 50,000 while the blinds reached 1,500/3,000.
That’s when a hand arose that saw Rednaxela747 min-raise to 6,000 from the small blind and Ladouceur defend his big blind with a call. The flop came 6♠3♦Q♠, Rednaxela747 continued for 6,900, and FrenchDawg called again. The turn then brought the 5♦ and another bet of 12,000 from Rednaxela747, to which Ladouceur shoved for 35,897 and Rednaxela747 called.
Ladouceur had Q♣10♠ for top pair of queens, but unfortunately for him Rednaxela747 had A♣A♥. The river was the K♣, and Ladouceur was out in 27th for $4,693.
An hour after that they were down to 18, with Nick “Rounder63” Carrillo (26th, $4,653), Saul “iCeVeNoM” Khalili (22nd, $5,415), and Mathew “mjw006” Wakeman (21st, $5,415) having been knocked out.
At that point Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov had become short to be 18th of 18 remaining, then open-raised all in from under the gun with his last 15 big blinds and got a caller in Thiago “XTheDecanoX” Nishijima from the big blind. Katchalov had A♠J♠ but needed to improve against Nishijima’s Q♦Q♥. The board came 4♠J♦9♦3♦9♥, not enough for Katchalov who finished 18th for $6,859.
After about three hours and 15 minutes of play on Day 2 they were down to 12, with Mads “moumaife84” Smith-Hansen (16th, $6,859) and T.J. “1BigAceHole” Ulmer (14th, $6,859) seeing their tourney runs conclude. By then GoToCa$hier had moved into the top spot with Thiago “XTheDecanoX” Nishijima right where he started Day 2 in second position.
Jonathan “MONSTER_DONG” Karamalikis (12th) and Jonathan “Iftarii” Jaffee (11th) were the next players out, then GoToCa$hier took a tumble to go out in 10th, with all three earning $10,108 for their finishes.
Apotheosis92 (9th) and Rednaxela747 (8th) soon followed them to the exit. Then came an incredibly long final table bubble in which hand-for-hand play lasted exactly two-and-a-half hours (no shinola)! Finally start-of-day-2 leader fullhouseiii was the one to go out in 7th, like the last two eliminated players earning $15,884.
There had been numerous all-ins and double-ups during that lengthy stretch. Indeed, only Thiago “XTheDecanoX” Nishijima had steered clear of danger as he held a substantial chip lead throughout the bubble period, thereby carrying a big advantage to the final table.
Seat 1: Ozzy “Ozzy 87” Sheikh (Mexico) — 414,732
Seat 2: Thiago “XTheDecanoX” Nishijima (Brazil) — 2,170,772
Seat 3: XuxiSanchez (United Kingdom) — 256,721
Seat 4: Neeeeeek (Poland) — 1,126,187
Seat 5: Alexandros “mexican222” Kolonias (Malta) — 732,271
Seat 6: Alex “Assassinato” Fitzgerald (Costa Rica) — 455,317
XuxiSanchez sunk in sixth
It would take nearly 45 minutes more — carrying past the seven-hour break of Day 2 — before the first final table elimination would come.
The blinds had increased to 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 ante. Alexandros “mexican222” Kolonias opened the action with a raise to 32,000 from early position, then it folded around to XuxiSanchez in the big blind who pushed all in for 121,026. Kolonias called the raise, turning over 6♣6♥ to XuxiSanchez’s 4♥4♣.
The board rolled out 7♠8♦Q♦3♥5♣, meaning mexican222’s pair had held and XuxiSanchez was out in sixth.
Ozzy 87 ousted in fifth
On the very next hand, Ozzy “Ozzy 87” Sheikh opened with a raise to 32,500 from the cutoff seat and Kolonias was there again with a call from the big blind. The flop came small — 2♠3♣5♥ — and mexican222 checked. Sheikh then fired a bet of 46,200, Kolonias check-raised to 133,900, and Ozzy 87 called.
The turn was the 9♥. mexican222 led with a bet this time, pushed out 144,000, and when Sheikh raised all in for 291,760, mexican222 called. Kolonias had 8♥8♦, once again showing a better pocket pair than his opponent as Sheikh turned over 7♠7♦, and after the 5♣ fell on the river, they were down to four.
Assassinato struck down in fourth
About 15 minutes later the blinds were 10,000/20,000 when Kolonias open-raised all in from the small blind and Alex “Assassinato” Fitzgerald called all in from a seat over with the 290,470 he had left.
Both had an ace, with mexican222’s A♣Q♣ dominating Fitzgerald’s A♦4♠. The board came 10♣K♣9♥K♠5♦, and Kolonias had scored a third straight final table knockout as Assassinato was out in fourth.
XTheDecanoX decked in third
With half the final table gone, Thiago “XTheDecanoX” Nishijima continued to lead although the stacks were much more even as Nishijima sat with about 1.87 million, Neeeeeek with about 1.68 million, and Alexandros “mexican222” Kolonias just over 1.60 million.
The balance would shift dramatically, however, after Neeeeek won a big preflop all-in versus XTheDecanoX in a hand in which Neeeeek’s A♣A♥ held against Nishijima’s A♣Q♣. Take a look:
Not long after a hand followed that saw Neeeeek min-raise to 40,000 from the button, Nishijima shove all in for 322,557 from the big blind, and Neeeeeek call. XTheDecanoX had A♣K♥ and was in good position against Neeeeeek’s A♦10♣, but the board rolled out Q♣3♦10♦4♠7♦ to pair Neeeeeek’s kicker and send Nishijima out in third.
mexican222 manages final mile, knocks out Neeeeeek to win
Heads-up began with Neeeeeek enjoying a better than 2-to-1 chip lead with 3,591,550 to mexican222’s 1,564,450. They played a few minutes more with Kolonias chipping up just a little, then paused the tourney to discuss a possible deal.
Neeeeeek still had almost exactly a 2-to-1 advantage, and “ICM”-based figures suggested payouts of $126,928.94 for the leader, $117,327.06 for mexican222, and $7,000 left for which to play. The pair discussed:
Neeeeek: and? what do You think?
mexican222: well i take 126 and you 117 and we have a deal i guess
mexican222: and play for 7
Neeeeek: are You kidding? 😀
mexican222: i told you
Neeeeek: Ok, lets play then
mexican222: not a penny less
Neeeeeek came back to propose $118,000 for mexican222, adding that “126k for You would be like a robbery.” “lol I am asking 9k and you ofer 0.5?” replied Kolonias, and as it was clear no deal was coming, play soon resumed.
They continued, making it past the day’s eight-hour break, and a few minutes later mexican222 was able to pull into the lead after doubling through Neeeeeek. The pair had battled to the river as the board came 9♠K♥9♥8♣Q♥, then Kolonias check-raised all in and Neeeeeek called. Neeeeeek had Q♣J♥ but mexican222 had a full house with K♣K♦ and thereby grabbed a slight lead.
They remained even for the next short stretch, then Kolonias began chipping away at Neeeeeek, eventually pushing the latter down under 500,000. Neeeeeek managed to double up once, then build back up close to 1.6 million. But then — almost two hours after their heads-up battle had begun — the final hand arrived.
The blinds were up to 17,500/35,000 with a 4,375 ante, and Alexandros “mexican222” Kolonias opened with a raise to 70,000 from the button. Neeeeeek responded with an all-in push for 1,597,811, and Kolonias called right away.
Aces for both, but Kolonias’s Big Slick had him well in front. The board then came 6♠J♦Q♠6♦10♣ and it was all over… mexican222 was the Event #4-H champion!
Congratulations to Alexandros “mexican222” Kolonias for topping one of the tougher SCOOP fields and outlasting all comers in an extremely competitive tournament to win a nice $144,400 payday!
SCOOP 04-H: $530+R NL Hold’em (6-Max, Action Hour)
Prize pool: $722,000
Places paid: 54
1. Alexandros “mexican222” Kolonias (Malta) — $144,400.00
2. Neeeeeek (Poland) — $106,856.00
3. Thiago “XTheDecanoX” Nishijima (Brazil) $79,420.00
4. Alex “Assassinato” Fitzgerald (Costa Rica) $54,872.00
5. Ozzy “Ozzy 87” Sheikh (Mexico)
6. XuxiSanchez (United Kingdom) $25,631.00
SCOOP continues to roll along with many events still left to go. Check out the 2014 SCOOP homepage for a full schedule as well as results thus far in the online tournament series.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.