The laws of probability tell us that most of the time the player who arrives at a final table with the short stack will be the first to exit. Probability being what it is, on a few occasions the player with the short stack gets a reprieve and can move up a pay spot or two. But far, far more rarely, this underdog will not only survive but thrive at the final table thanks to some timely help from the deck. It’s always quite a ride not just for the player who’s benefiting but also for the spectators. They get to see what happens when the regular script is thrown out the window, which is precisely what happened on Day 2 of SCOOP 2014 with the Event #6-H final table.
A $700 turbo no-limit hold’em event with re-buys available for the first 60 minutes of play, the tournament drew a field of 659 players who combined for 784 re-buys and 520 add-ons. That built a $1,305,395 prize pool worth more than three times the original guarantee and set up a top prize of $245,414.53. After three and a half hours of play the blinds and antes were at 25K/50K/6,250 and these nine players had made their way through the field for a chance at the top prize:
Seat 1: Laurynas “LaurisL91” Levinskas (442,340 in chips)
Seat 2: Paul “paulgees81” Volpe (345,714 in chips)
Seat 3: blackDonii (1,329,472 in chips)
Seat 4: HetaGunnar42 (482,986 in chips)
Seat 5: Anatoly “NL_Profit” Filatov (359,190 in chips)
Seat 6: Andries “Pokerger1337” Swart (1,128,434 in chips)
Seat 7: TUTI88 (317,411 in chips)
Seat 8: ismo<3seppo (924,301 in chips)
Seat 9: bencb789 (1,599,152 in chips)
The attrition of a full tourney’s worth of five-minute levels left our lineup uncomfortable in their seats as the final table began. The chip leader, Germany’s bencb789, had 32 big blinds to work with, while short-stacked past Sunday 500 winner TUTI88 from the United Kingdom was rocking just over six big blinds and ready for action.
A good start
TUTI88 took down the first pot uncontested before the flop with an all-in bet to move out of the cellar. Then on Hand #2 the U.K. player called most of those chips off with 7♠ 7♣. Faced with the prospect of being left with just 102K after raiser and past SCOOP/Sunday Million winner Paul “paulgees81” Volpe turned over K♥ K♠, TUTI88 caught a major break. After falling 2♠ J♠ 10♦ 2♣ on the flop and turn, the board delivered the 7♥ on the river to give TUTI88 a set of sevens. The kings were no good and Volpe left the tournament in 9th place ($19,580.92).
Two hands later Lithuania’s Laurynas “LaurisL91” Levinskas became the first short stack to double up, shoving for 542K under the gun with K♦ Q♠ and having Hungary’s blackDonii shove to isolate in middle position with 9♦ 9♠. Help came on the Q♦ J♥ 7♦ flop and LaurisL91 stacked up to 1.2M after the turn and river came 3♦ 7♣.
Hand #6 saw TUTI88 back in action, jamming from middle position to isolate with A♦ Q♠ after Russia’s Anatoly “NL_Profit” Filatov opened all-in for 296K with K♠ J♣. The 6♦ 8♣ 10♥ 7♦ board held out a gutshot draw to go with Filatov’s face-card outs after the turn, but the 8♠ on the river was no help and NL_Profit was gone in 8th place ($29,371.38).
With a blind steal on Hand #7, TUTI88 moved into the lead with 1.32M chips. Sweden’s HetaGunnar42 was at the other end of the spectrum with 381K and moved in from the small blind over the top of bench789’s opening minimum raise on Hand #8. bencb789 called with Q♠ 10♣ and was flipping against 8♣ 8♥, but the Swede hit quads on the 8♠ 10♣ 6♥ 8♦ A♦ board to win the 875K chips in the middle.
There was one more big pot waiting for the Swedish destroyer:
With no help from the board, LaurisL91 departed in 7th place ($42,425.33).
The blinds were up to 50K/100K when HetaGunnar42 opened the betting for 200K under the gun. TUTI88 considered a call for a while but folded, and then the action folded back to the small blind, where blackDonii jammed for 966K. HetaGunnar42 called quickly with Q♥ Q♣, which was well ahead of blackDonii’s 6♦ 6♠, and the queens held through the 5♥ 9♦ 4♦ J♦ A♠ board to eliminate the Hungarian player in 6th place ($55,479.28).
The very next hand saw Finland’s ismo<3seppo, who had won just two pots up to that point, move in for the last 133K in the cutoff with [Kc] [9c]. HetaGunnar42, holding [Ac] [7c] in the small blind, raised to isolate and got heads-up but was promptly out-flopped with the board came [9s] [Ks] [Ah]. The [4c] on the turn was no help, but the [4s] on the river gave the Swede a better two pair, sending ismo<3seppo to the rail in 5th place ($69,708.09).
Three hands later, bencb789 opened the betting all-in for 596K in the small blind with 4♣ 4♥. HetaGunnar42 called in the big blind with Q♦ 5♦ and both players connected with the 8♦ 6♦ 4♠ flop. HetaGunnar42’s inside straight draw hit with the 7♣ on the turn, leaving bencb789 in need of a full house to stay alive. But the A♣ river didn’t deliver and the German player departed in 4th place ($99,210.02).
Now up to 4.02M chips, HetaGunnar42 kept the pressure up on the next hand by moving all-in on the button with J♦ 9♦. TUTI88, holding A♠ 3♠ in the big blind, called for 1.36M and dodged diamonds, jacks, and nines to win the 2.83M-chip pot and edge into the lead. At that point the players agreed to pause the tournament to talk about a deal. Within 10 minutes they’d reached an agreement that left $8,000 on the table for the winner, and with that deal in place they got down to business.
After one post-deal pot without a showdown, HetaGunnar42 and Pokerger1337 picked up strong hands and went to war before the flop. Past Super Tuesday winner Pokerger1337’s A♦ Q♣ won out over 5♥ 5♦ o the A♠ 6♦ 3♠ K♣ 9♠ board, giving Pokerger1337 the 2.85M-chip pot and the lead while HetaGunnar42 dropped into last place with 1.33M. Sitting on the button with K♠ 9♥ on the very next hand, the Swede moved all-in and was immediately called by TUTI88, who had picked up K♣ K♦ in the big blind. The 6♦ J♦ 7♦ 3♣ 5♠ never even hinted at help for HetaGunnar42, who walked with a $189,566.51 share of the deal in 3rd place.
Heads-up play wasn’t destined to last very long at all. TUTI88 won the first pot, then Pokerger1337 won the second with an all-in three-bet. Two more wins for TUTI88 took to the two of them to the last hand of the tournament:
With no ten on the river Pokerger1337 was left with a $166,502 share of the deal as runner-up. As for TUTI88, the extra $8,000 on the table at the end made for a total winer’s prize of $200,030.02, nearly three times as much as last November’s win in the Sunday 500 was worth. Not bad at all for just under four hours’ work!
SCOOP 06-H: $700+R No-Limit Hold’em
Entrants: 659 (784 re-buys, 520 add-ons)
Prize pool: $1,305,395
Places paid: 81
1. TUTI88 (United Kingdom) $200,030.02*
2. Andries “Pokerger1337” Swart (Netherlands) $166,502*
3. HetaGunnar42 (Sweden) $189,566.51*
4. bencb789 (Germany) $99,210.02
5. ismo<3seppo (Finland) $69,708.09
6. blackDonii (Hungary) $55,479.28
7. Laurynas “LaurisL91” Levinskas (Lithuania) $42,425.33
8. Anatoly “NL_Profit” Filatov (Russia) $29,371.38
9. Paul “paulgees81” Volpe (Canada) $19,580.92
* – denotes results of a three-way deal
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.