It’s all over! Two long days of Event #44-H — the “high” buy-in version of this year’s SCOOP Main Event — have capped off two long weeks of nonstop action on PokerStars, and when the final hand was dealt Ivan “vandir4rek” Soshnikov of Russia had won the final hand to capture a $1,048,000 first prize following a three-handed deal.
It’s been a record-breaking couple of weeks at PokerStars. The guarantees for this year’s Spring Championship of Online Poker totaled $40 million. But in the end the payouts more than doubled that amount, with an incredible $81,222,158.66 (!) being won over the course of the 135 tournaments, every single one of which exceeded its guarantee — the biggest SCOOP ever.
More records fell in this year’s “high” Main Event, too. As has been the case ever since the SCOOPs started in 2009, the series’ crowning no-limit hold’em event sported a $10,300 price tag. Last year it was the swingy Swede Viktor “Isildur1” Blom topping a field of 580 to win, the turnout not quite matching the all-time high of 615 entrants back in 2010. This year, however, that standard fell as an incredible 657 turned out, thereby building a $6.57 million prize pool that more than doubled the $3 million guarantee, with the top 81 finishers dividing those riches.
Here’s the story of how Ivan “vandir4rek” Soshnikov — also the EPT10 Prague High Roller champion — was able to prevail in Event #44-H after two days of poker totaling about 22 hours of play to win the title, the SCOOP watch, and a more-than-one-million-dollar first prize.
Day 1: From 657 to 60
As the tournament began at 14:30 ET on Sunday the $3 million guarantee was already eclipsed as the total field surged past the 300-player mark. But with four hours of late registration the field was sure to increase markedly before the doors would close.
The first hour saw five-time SCOOP winner Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb jump into the top spot in the counts as the field continued to swell. Vladimir “vovtroy” Troyanovskiy soon passed Deeb, however, to grab the early advantage through the second hour as the number of entrants pushed up over 500. At three hours the field had reached exactly 600 players with Ihar “OMGitshunt” Soika on top.
An hour later registration finally closed and that 657-player had been reached. And as they entered the tourney’s fifth hour there was a new leader atop the counts.
Who else could it be, really…?
Yep, it was Calvin “cal42688” Anderson, he of the record-tying fifth SCOOP victory just a couple of days ago and also the leader in the 2014 SCOOP Player of the Series race heading into the final events.
Anderson would lose the lead shortly thereafter but remained in the top five over the next couple of hours. Then he’d rush back in front again to set the pace as the field gradually shrunk below 300, then 200. Eventually Artem “roi kin23” Litvinov would finally catch Anderson during the ninth hour of play to nudge in front, then others in the chase pack would catch and pass Anderson as the night wound down and the money bubble burst.
Team Online member Ike Haxton would be one of the few just missing the top 81 and the cash (falling in 86th), with Will “molswi47” Molson being the unfortunate 82nd-place finisher to end one spot shy of the money.
Among those subsequently cashing out during the last part of Day 1 were Dan “Danny98765” Smith (81st, $19,053), Zdravko “zdravko” Duvnjak (79th, $19,053), Jonathan “OMGjonyctt” Concepción (77th, $19,053), Yuri “theNERDguy” Martins (76th, $19,053), Igor “Lechuckpoker” Kurganov (75th, $19,053), Giuseppe “Ansgar2000″ Pantaleo (69th, $21,024), Ariel “ArielBahia” Celestino (65th, $21,024), and Peter “GARFIELD25” Chan (61st, $22,995.00).
At night’s end, Anderson sat just outside the top 10 with an above-average stack in 11th place, with another tough competitor, Mike “Tîmex” McDonald, in 12th — both smack in the rear-view of the overnight top 10, constituted as follows:
1. Serkules (Malta) — 440,417
2. Better C4ll (United Kingdom) — 432,068
3. Ben “NeverScaredB” Wilinofsky (Canada) — 400,708
4. Sasuke234 (Sweden) — 398,023
5. Unk0wn123 (Uruguay) — 353,427
6. NATZZ (Canada) — 327,751
7. Peter “Se7enTr3y” Akery (United Kingdom) — 313,296
8. Sam “Str8$$$Homey” Greenwood (Canada) — 278,077
9. Phill “Grindation” Mcallister (United Kingdom) — 272,053
10. Martin “M.nosbocaJ” Jacobson (United Kingdom) — 249,524
Lots of other notables were still scattered throughout the counts to end the night, including two Team PokerStars Pros still alive, Eugene “E. Katchalov” Katchalov (29th) and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (59th), shown below playing SCOOP earlier in the series from Toronto.
There was still a long way to go, however, to find the next SCOOP “High” Main Event champion.
Day 2: From 60 to 1
Day 2 got started at 14:30 ET on Monday, and the first half-hour saw 12 players fall, including Joe “bigegypt” Elpayaa (57th, $22,995), Sam “KingKobeMVP” Stein (56th, $22,995), Sergio “zcedrick” Aido (52nd, $24,637.50), and Tomás “T 54 T 97s” Paiva (51st, $24,637.50).
Meanwhile, Grospellier continued to hang on with a super-short stack, at one point doubling up to survive with K♦8♦ versus Unkn0wn123’s A♥Q♠ thanks to a 8♣6♦A♠7♦K♠ runout.
ElkY’s luck lasted a little while longer until he finally ran A♥K♥ into the K♠K♣ of Reed “CalBears123” Goodmiller and after failing to improve hit the rail in 45th for $26,280.
They worked down to the final three tables, during which many other notables were sent railward including Ben “Benba” Lamb (40th, $26,280), Artem “roi kin23” Litvinov (39th, $26,280), Clark “Snake8484” Hamagami (38th, $26,280), Ronny “1-ronnyr3” Kaiser (37th, $26,280), Mike “Tîmex” McDonald (34th, $29,565), RaiseOnce (32nd, $29,565), Dan “mrGR33N13” Colman (31st, $29,565), Keven “Stammdogg” Stammen (30th, $29,565), Christian “eisenhower1” Jeppson (29th, $29,565), and Shannon “basebal1b” Shorr (28th, $29,565).
Soon after Calvin “cal42688” Anderson found himself near the bottom of the counts, then committed a stack of just under 12 big blinds with 6♦6♠. Alas for Anderson, Peter “Se7enTr3y” Akery had 8♦8♣, and when the higher pair held, Anderson finished 24th ($36,463.50). Even so, Anderson had clinched the overall 2014 SCOOP Player of the Series while capping off a memorable two weeks’ of poker.
Charlie “JIZOINT” Combes (23rd), NATZZ (22nd), pads1161 (21st), and Taylor “tRaMp$d0PrAy” Paur (20th) next went out, each earning $36,463.50 for their finishes. And a short while later it was the last Team PokerStars Pro remaining, Eugene Katchalov, finally meeting his end in 19th.
Katchalov’s last hand saw him reraise-shove a stack of about 18 big blinds with 10♥10♣ over an open by Phill “Grindation” Mcallister who held J♥J♣. No help came for Katchalov who cashed for $36,463.50 as well, and they were down to two tables.
With 18 left the top of the counts looked the same as it did to start Day 2 with Serkules and Better C4ll in the top spots and only Peter “Se7enTr3y” Akery to have joined them by that point in the 1 million-chip club.
Andrés “GMCrafter” Herrera (18th), AlexBor72 (17th), and Ludovic ” ludovi333″ Geilich (16th) were the next to go, earning $49,275 each. Str8$$$Homey (15th), Spowi07 (14th), and Rens “Rens02” Feenstra (13th) then hit the rail, picking up $62,415 apiece. And Sasuke234 (12th), Serkules (11th), and Reed “CalBears123” Goodmiller (10th) followed them out, each taking away $75,555 out of the prize pool.
After a little less than six hours of play on Day 2 and with Better C4ll out in front with more than 2.2 million, the final table was underway.
Seat 1: Santiago “sanpri” Nadal (Mexico) — 669,224
Seat 2: Better C4ll (United Kingdom) — 2,281,231
Seat 3: Ben “NeverScaredB” Wilinofsky (Canada) — 1,460,489
Seat 4: Martin “M.nosbocaJ” Jacobson (United Kingdom) — 463,855
Seat 5: sat1337en (Sweden) — 484,141
Seat 6: Ivan “vandir4rek” Soshnikov (Russia) — 1,614,623
Seat 7: VVVILELAAA (Brazil) — 436,620
Seat 8: Peter “Se7enTr3y” Akery (United Kingdom) — 1,065,608
Seat 9: Phill “Grindation” Mcallister (United Kingdom) — 1,379,209
Several took to the chat box as the first hand of the final table was dealt to share well wishes.
NeverScaredB: GL everybody
NeverScaredB: let’s have fun playing a game of poker
Se7enTr3y: gl all
sat1337en: glhf, lets holdem
sat1337en loses seat, out in ninth
As more than 9,000 railbirds looked on, the final nine battled through another half-hour while the blinds rose to 17,500/35,000 (with a 4,375 ante). Then a hand arose that saw Better C4ll — still leading — open for 70,000 from the cutoff seat and sat1337en defend the big blind with a call.
The flop came 9♠K♦6♥. sat1337en checked, Better C4ll bet 36,560, sat1337en raised all in for 196,016, and Better C4ll called.
Both players had flopped middle pair, but Better C4ll’s A♥9♥ outkicked sat1337en’s J♠9♦. The turn brought the 9♣ to improve both to trips, then the 4♠ fell on the river and sat1337en was out while Better C4ll had pushed up over 3 million.
sanpri sent out in eighth
About 20 minutes later they were in the same level when one-time TCOOP winner Santiago “sanpri” Nadal open-raised all in from early position for 237,349 (a little under seven big blinds) and got one caller in Peter “Se7enTr3y” Akery playing from the big blind.
Nadal showed A♣5♥ but Akery had picked up an ace with a better side card with A♦9♣. The board came A♥4♣6♣K♦J♠ and sanpri was eliminated in eighth.
Opponents’ queens vanquish VVVILELAAA in seventh
They carried on past the seven-hour mark for Day 2, then with the blinds at 20,000/40,000 it was Martin “M.nosbocaJ” Jacobson open-shoving for 410,835 from under the gun, VVVILELAAA reraise-pushing for about 14,000 more from a couple of seats over, and everyone else folding.
Jacobson had Q♦Q♥ and VVVILELAAA A♦J♥, and when the board rolled out ten-high M.nosbocaJ had doubled up while VVVILELAAA was suddenly down to less than a small blind.
All in on the next hand with 9♦8♣, VVVILELAAA saw lone opponent Peter “Se7enTr3y” Akery again turn over Q♠Q♦, and following the 6♥A♠K♣6♣8♠ runout, VVVILELAAA was out in seventh.
NeverScaredB bounced in sixth
Upon VVVILELAAA’s ouster, some deal talk arose.
Se7enTr3y: deal anyone?
NeverScaredB: I think my balls might be too big to make a deal
NeverScaredB: lemme check
Grindation: ill look
NeverScaredB: yup, still gigantic
Se7enTr3y: dont even want a look never?
NeverScaredB: not at the moment
Grindation: mans got heart
At that point Wilinofsky had about 1.44 million chips and was sitting in third position behind Better C4ll (2.87 million) and Ivan “vandir4rek” Soshnikov (2.21 million). A little under a half-hour later Wilinofsky had about half that and was sixth of six when Phill “Grindation” Mcallister min-raised from under the gun to 100,000. Sitting in the cutoff, NeverScaredB reraised all in for 715,929 total, and when it folded back around Mcallister called.
The community cards came A♦Q♦8♥K♦3♣, giving both aces but Grindation’s kicker played, and Wilinofsky was out in sixth.
Grindation ground down in fifth
About five minutes later it was Ivan “vandir4rek” Soshnikov opening with a 2x raise to 100,000 from under the gun, then Phill “Grindation” Mcallister reraised to 248,763 from a couple of seats over. It folded back to Soshnikov who made it 495,555 to go, Mcallister shoved for 1,547,018 total, and Soshnikov called right away.
The flop came 4♥2♠7♦, then after the 3♣ turn Mcallister had picked up an open-ended straight draw. The Q♦ then fell on fifth street, and Mcallister’s run had ended in fifth — another nice finish for Mcallister to bookend his deep run in the very first “high” buy-in event of this year’s SCOOP, Event #1-H ($2,100 NLHE, 6-Max.), where he finished runner-up.
M.nosbocaJ makes it to fourth
The blinds moved to 30,000/60,000, and Martin “M.nosbocaJ” Jacobson opened for 120,000 from the button. vandir4rek reraised to 285,559 from the small blind, Jacobson reraised all in for 1,689,250, and vandir4rek called.
M.nosbocaJ had 7♠7♥ but vandir4rek was showing the better pocket pair with 8♦8♣. The board came 2♣Q♦6♥, then 10♥, then 10♠, and Jacobson had been eliminated in fourth, his ninth cash of this year’s SCOOP.
So… here’s the deal
Ivan “vandire4rek” Soshnikov led with 4,533,562, Better C4ll was next with 3,101,850, and Peter “Se7enTr3y” Akery third with 2,219,588. The trio requested both “ICM”-based and “chip chop”-based deals, leaving aside $60,000 in both cases for which to play. Here’s how those calculations looked:
Left To Play for place 1: $60,000.00
Left To Play for place 1: $60,000.00
Soshnikov favored “chip chop” numbers, noting amid the subsequent discussion “I want million” (an echo of sorts of another deal-talk statement from a past ‘COOP Main Event). Meanwhile Peter “Se7enTr3y” Akery wanted at least $860K, and Better C4ll — though keen for a deal to be made — didn’t want to give up too much to accommodate both opponents’ desires.
Finally after much back-and-forthing and more than half an hour of debate, the trio were able to agree on the following:
Left To Play for place 1: $60,000.00
Better C4ll bumped in third
On just the second hand after play resumed, vandir4rek opened with a min-raise to 120,000 from the button, Better C4ll reraised to 290,660, vandir4rek four-bet to 620,558, Better C4ll shoved all in for 3,094,350 total, and vandir4rek called.
Better C4ll had 10♦10♥, but vandir4rek had a bigger pair with Q♦Q♠. The board came 8♦7♥A♠2♣3♣, and suddenly they were down to two.
An hour of heads-up ends with vandir4rek victory over Se7enTr3y
That hand further increased Ivan “vandir4rek” Soshnikov’s lead to start heads-up play to better than a 3.5-to-1 chip advantage with Soshnikov starting with 7,672,912 and Peter “Se7enTr3y” Akery 2,182,088.
Both players were winding up spectacular SCOOP series. Akery had collected 13 other cashes already, while Soshnikov had made the money 17 times over the last two weeks including three other final tables, good for a spot inside the top 25 on the Player of the Series leaderboard. And as mentioned above, Soshnikov has also experienced some live success of late, most notably winning the EPT10 Prague €10,000 High Roller last December for a €382,050 payday.
Soshnikov chipped up initially to add further to the lead, then Akers chipped back a bit before a hand arose that saw the latter all in following the turn with the board showing J♥8♥7♦3♠. Akery had K♠J♦ for top pair while Soshnikov had both straight and flush draws with 9♥6♥. The river then brought the Q♦, giving Se7enTr3y the hand and a double-up to just over 5.31 million to vandir4rek’s almost 4.54 million.
The pair remained close for the next 15 minutes, then Se7enTr3y built back up again to about 6 million before a big hand arose in which Soshnikov was all in before the flop with 8♥8♦ versus Akery’s 6♦6♠. The better pair held, and vandir4rek was back up close to 8 million while Se7enTr3y had tumbled to just over 2 million.
It wasn’t long afterwards that Akery was limping in from the button for 50,000, then Soshnikov reraised all in and Akery called with the 1,757,492 he had behind.
Akers need to improve to prolong the already hour-long heads-up match further. But the board came 2♣J♥10♦4♣A♠, missing Akers’s hand and sending the last of his chips Soshnikov’s way. It was all over — the tournament, and the 2014 SCOOP — and Ivan “vandir4rek” Soshnikov had won his million.
Congratulations to Ivan “vandir4rek” Soshnikov for capturing one of online poker’s most coveted titles and winning this year’s SCOOP “High” Main Event and a seven-figure score. And kudos also to Peter “Se7enTr3y” Akery and Better C4ll for making it to the three-way deal and securing themselves eye-popping paydays as well.
SCOOP 44-H: $10,300 NL Hold’em Main Event
Prize pool: $6,570,000.00
Places paid: 81
1. Ivan “vandir4rek” Soshnikov (Russia) $1,048,000.00*
2. Peter “Se7enTr3y” Akery (United Kingdom) $860,000.00*
3. Better C4ll (United Kingdom) $890.820.00*
4. Martin “M.nosbocaJ” Jacobson (United Kingdom) $499,320.00
5. Phill “Grindation” Mcallister (United Kingdom) $350,838.00
6. Ben “NeverScaredB” Wilinofsky (Canada) $279,225.00
7. VVVILELAAA (Brazil) $213,525.00
8. Santiago “sanpri” Nadal (Mexico) $147,825.00
9. sat1337en (Sweden) $98,555.00
*= reflects the results of a three-way deal that left $60,000 in play for the winner
Thanks for following our coverage of all 135 tournaments in this year’s SCOOP. Read back through the blog for all of the tourney reports, and check the 2014 SCOOP homepage as well for results, stats, and more from this year’s record-breaking series.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.