Heads-up poker is pure pugilism. It’s like two gladiators, standing on podiums, armed with those big sticks with padded balls at each end. They whack away at each other until one or the other falls off, at which point the survivor is victorious. Leotards are optional.
In the SCOOP heads-up version, this continues for many hours until just two players remain. At which point, realising how well they’ve done to get so far, they opt for a deal to minimise further bruising. Then they begin pounding away once more.
That would serve as the very short version of Event 8-M, won by meatz04 of Canada, who collected the $23,272.27 for first place, and a first SCOOP title, defeating FL0R1DA in the last, bringing to a close what proved an enormously popular event.
Heads-up poker always attracts large fields. There’s something about it that appeals to all players, with cache and prestige attached. So there were some 3,368 entrants into this one, ensuring the winner would need to win 12 straight bouts.
With eight players left however, the line-up looked like this.
gorglav vs. laudarko
FL0R1DA vs. svistyle4ka
piterparker1 vs. meatz04
robertlauz vs. bertotraste
Round of 8
Gorglav was the first to win his bout, seeing off laudarko in the last hand of the tie with nine and deuces. He then settled down to wait for the others to complete their matches, presumably never leaving his computer screen for too long. Within ten minutes meatz04 joined him, winning a big pot worth more than 8,000 to close out his tie, tens and eights against piterparker1’s kings.
As these matches came to an end the other ties were all-square, although not for long. FL0R1DA would be the first to break the deadlock, securing a place in the last four. Then robertlauz did the same. In an earlier pot he had won a pot worth more than 8,000, which marked the beginning of the end for bertotraste.
Round of 4
robertlauz vs. FL0R1DA
There was no time for pause before the next round. From the off meatz04 flopped two pairs, holding ten-four, to take an early lead against gorglav. But then the Russia, who was looking to add a SCOOP title to a TCOOP title won last year, pulled back with a flush before edging into a narrow lead.
Then meatz04 won a big hand, flopping a set of jacks and increasing his advantage to a point where he held 8,800 of the 10,000 chips in play.
Gorglav however was not done, turning a straight to start his unlikely comeback. But unlikely it would remain, gorglav busting when his meagre ace-high undone by a pair of threes.
Meanwhile in the other semi-final, robertlauz held a two-to-one advantage in the other match before FL0R1DA pulled back with a turned straight. Then came this enormous hand to tip the balance of play forever in one direction.
Robertlauz looked all but out. However unlikely it seemed though, he set about making his recovery. With a pittance in the middle he first doubled after flopping a king, padding his stack to the tune of 350 chips.
After splitting a pot in the next hand he made a straight on the river with ace-four against FL0R1DA’s ace-king and followed that with a ten-high straight to pull back to 2,200.
There was time for more before the break when, holding nine-five, robertlauz turned a full house, fives full of nines. He benefitted further when the river card made FL0R1DA a costly flush, which paid robertlauz 3,700.
But while a player has more than half the chips they’re always just one hand away from winning. Shortly after the break FL0R1DA put an end to any talk of a robertlauz miracle.
As one table closed and another opened, both finalists agreed to a deal, splitting everything while leaving $3,000 in the middle. Within 16 minutes that extra would be in meatz04’s hands.
He took an early lead, which he continued to build on, turning a small advantage into a big one with some opportune shoves on dangerous looking boards. It meant that as the blinds went up to 30/60 meatz04 held 7,500 of the chips in play.
FL0R1DA never really got a foot in the door. As he watched meatz04’s stack increase to 8,400 he found a straight, then a pair of tens, restoring his stack to the 3,000 mark. But it was not enough. Soon enough the chips found their way to the middle for a final time.
Congratulations to meatz04on winning a first SCOOP title after bring on duty for more than 13 hours of heads up poker. The full result is below.
SCOOP 08-M: $82 NL Hold’em (Heads-Up)
Prize pool: $252,600
Places paid: 512
1. meatz04 (Canada) — $23,272.27 *
2. FL0R1DA (Germany) — $20,272.27*
3. robertlauz (Canada) — $8,469.67
4. gorglav (Russia) — $8,469.67
5. bertotraste (Portugal) — $4,713.51
6. svistyle4ka (Russia) — $4,713.51
7. piterparker1 (Russia) — $4,713.51
8. luadarko (Greece) — $4,713.51
*denotes two-way deal.
SCOOP has only just started and will roll on with plenty of events in store. Check out the 2014 SCOOP homepage for a full schedule as well as results thus far in the online tournament series.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.