In the low buy-in events, some might say that anyone can run good and make a big final table, regardless of poker talent. Seriously? These players had to navigate their way through a field of 16,914 players to make the final nine over two days and 17 hours of play – it takes more than just lady luck to accomplish that. Ultimately besting them all, though, was Lithuania’s Kicionas, who is now the proud owner of his first SCOOP title and a $48,566.70 first place prize.
After a few hours of Day 2 action, just a quick skim through the final 14 remaining in Event 23-L, a $27 NLHE event with $250K guaranteed, showed that there were some players here with impressive résumés indeed. For instance, we had Canada’s KING BAIT, a player with more than half a million dollars in online winnings whose previous scores include a win in the Big $55 and $320 Wednesday Hundred Grand. Then there was Germany’s WhoAreYoux1 with more than $600,000 in tournament scores, and with a CV boasting a win in the Big $109 and a Sunday Million final table. We also had Norway’s Sangfugle, no stranger to going deep in big low buy-in after a 5th place finish in the MicroMillions Main Event for $30,957 in July 2014 (he’d eventually bust this tournament in 12th for $1,660.56).
The others would make it, however, alongside seven other players aiming for the biggest score of their careers. Here’s how the final table stacked up:
Seat 1: Jayb0y_11 (United Kingdom) — 6,120,024
Seat 2: WhoAreYoux1 (Belgium) — 19,918,316
Seat 3: valvegasss (Belgium) — 5,859,868
Seat 4: shalzy13 (Germany) — 21,249,740
Seat 5: r shetty (India) — 39,537,068
Seat 6: schicker (Germany) — 19,198,300
Seat 7: KING BAIT (Canada) — 18,018,469
Seat 8: Kicionas (Lithuania) — 21,181,772
Seat 9: Pauluzzz1 (Netherlands) — 18,016,443
schicker eliminated in 9th place ($2,490.84)
After shalzy13 min-raised to 1,200,000 from the cut-off, he was faced with a three-bet from the chip leader r shetty to 3,332,277. That wouldn’t be the end of the betting, however, as we then had a cold four-bet from schicker to 5,464,554 – leaving just 329,129 in their stack. After so much action, the original raiser got out of the way and r shetty just called. It was a hearty flop – K♥9♥10♥ – and schicker wasted no time in getting the last 329,129 in the pot. After the call was made, it was 5♥5♣ for schicker against the flopped set of nines of r shetty. It would take a fourth heart on board to give schicker the double up, but the 4♣ turn and 4♠ river only improved the chip leader’s hand, and stack, further.
Jayb0y_11 gone in 8th ($3,736.26)
Chip leader r shetty continued to dominate, picking up pots with pure aggression at every opportunity. After opening once more to 1,200,117, Jayb0y_11 shoved all-in from the big blind, albeit for just 3,720,024 total. It was an easy call and the cards were revealed: J♠K♠ for the UK’s Jayb0y_11, against Q♣A♥ for r shetty. Well, it was an interesting flop – the Q♦10♥Q♠ gave r shetty tip queens, and appeared to give Jayb0y_11 an up-and-down straight draw. But did it? No – the A♠ gave r shetty a full house, and drawing dead the 7♦ made no difference. With that, we were down to seven.
valvegasss out in 7th ($7,057.38)
At this point, the final table was going along speedily. Just a few hands later we’d have our 7th place finisher, and here’s how the hand went down.
With the blinds at 400,000/800,000, KING BAIT made it 1,712,000 to go from UTG+1. valvegasss called out of the small blind with just 2,460,368 behind, and shalzy13, the big blind, folded. The flop fell 8♣5♣9♥ and valvegasss shoved, only to get a quick call. KING BAIT showed 10♦A♣ for ace-high, and valvegasss had Q♣K♠ for king-high. A king or queen were the only cards that could change things, and the 2♠ on the turn was about as far away from royalty as you can get. The J♠ on the river was a little closer, but with that valvegasss was out in 7th for a nice $7,057.38 pay-day.
The very next hand we almost had another exit, but instead it was a nice double up for Kicionas. After raising to 2.4M FROM UTG – 3 times the big blind – r shetty made it 20M from the small blind, putting Kicionas all-in. He made the call and it was a classic race: A♣K♦ for Kicionas against the 10♣10♥ of r shetty. There would be helkp immediately on the flop as it came J♦K♠J♥. With no ten on the turn or river, Kicionas doubled to 36,838,310 – good enough for second in the chip counts to r shetty, who remained chip leader.
Pauluzzz1 busts in 6th ($10,378.51)
The speediness of the final table continued and just two hands later we lost another runner. Pauluzzz1 was now the short stack with just under 18M, and he moved that all-in from the big blind after the freshly-doubled-up Kicionas min-opened from the small. It was a snap-call and Kicionas J♠J♥ led the A♠5♠ of Pauluzzz1. It was an interesting flop to say the least; the 2♠5♦3♠ gave Pauluzzz1 an insane amount of outs. Any five, any four, any ace, any spade – all would give him the winning hand. Well, the 9♥ on the turn was not one he wanted to see. The wait for the river was tense, but it was a safe Q♥ for Kicionas and Pauluzzz1 was out of here.
Kicionas won a few a big pots from r shetty to take chip lead, and for the first time on this final table play settled down somewhat. Chips moved back and forth and nothing crazy was really happening. Kicionas had built his stack to more than 70M, whilst KING BAIT lived up to his name by doubling with pocket kings against WhoAreYoux1’s [AD][8D]. R shetty doubled when his K♠9♠ out-performed shalzy13’s A♦8♥ after it going all-in pre-flop, but then shalzy13 doubled the very next hand. It seemed like it would carry on like this for a while, but then:
WhoAreYoux1 out in 5th ($14,259.91)
After KING BAIT had opened from the cut-off to 2,140,000, WhoAreYoux1 shoved for just under 17M in the small blind. Then shalzy13, who had a similar stack, moved all-in as well from the big. KING BAIT folded and it was 9♣9♥ for WhoAreYoux1 – the at-risk player – versus the Q♦Q♣ of shalzy13. It was a bit of a cooler for both blinds to have picked up such big hands five-handed, and it would only be a nine that would save WhoAreYoux1 after the 7♣A♣3♣ gave both a flush draw. His fate was sealed when the 10♣ arrived on the turn, and drawing dead by the river the 2♥ meant nothing.
Here’s how the chip counts looked four-handed:
r shetty: 35,444,391
KING BAIT: 24,427,930
r shetty would then take down a nice 20M pot with pocket kings against shalzy13, whilst Kicionas kept the aggression going.
The king is dead – KING BAIT vanquished in 4th ($18,681.32)
It’s rough to see players get sucked out on a SCOOP final table, but as the old saying goes: “that’s poker”. After r shetty min-opened UTG, KING BAIT three-bet from the button to 5,688,324. When it folded back to r shetty he made 29M to go – putting his opponent all-in, which was called. KING BAIT’s 10♣10♠ were way ahead of r shetty’s 8♦8♠ – that is until the flop fell. It came 8♥9♠4♠ and it would take either a ten or running cards to save KING BAIT. The turn was helpful – the 7♠ provided up-and-down straight and flush draws that would be enough for the win. But with the 2♥ on the river the trip eights had held, and KING BAIT would leave us with $18,681.32.
shalzy13 is our 3rd place finisher ($26,984.13)
There were only two hands of three-handed play. After r shetty min-opened from the button, shalzy13 shoved for just under 15M from the big, which was called. It was p2c]2♦ for the player at risk, whilst r shetty had 9♦9♣. There were no signs of life for shalzy13 across the A♥J♠4♦ 7♣A♦ board and with that it was heads-up. Shalzy13 had $26,984.13 added to his bankroll – not bad for a $27 investment.
Heads up chip counts
r shetty: 73,889,070
There was a brief stop to look at the chop numbers, but the idea was quickly forgotten by both players and we got down to business. It was Kicionas who established dominance early in the heads-up battle, getting to 107M whilst r shetty was down to 62M.
r shetty out in 2nd ($35,286.94); Kicionas wins for $48,566.70!
In the final hand, r shetty limped the button and Kicionas made it 4.8M to go, which was called. The flop fell 2♠5♣K♥ and both players checked, leading to a 6♣ turn. Now Kicionas bet 7.2M, which r shetty called. When the 8♦ landed on the river, Kicionas checked over the r shetty who bet 17,253,000. It turned out to be a check-raise from Kicionas who moved all-in, meaning r shetty would need to call for his tournament life. He did and showed 5♥6♥, having made two pair on the turn. It wasn’t good enough though; it turns out Kicionas had flopped two pair with the 5♠K♣, and with that all the chips slid his way.
Well played r shetty, who took who $35,286.94, and congratulations to our winner, Lithuania’s Kicionas! Enjoy the $48,566.70.
SCOOP 2015 #E23-L: $27 NLHE, $250K Gtd
Prize pool: $415,140.50
Places paid: 2,250
1. Kicionas (Lithuania) — $48,566.70
2. r shetty (India) — $35,286.94
3. shalzy13 (Germany) — $26,984.13
4. KING BAIT (Canada) — $18,681.32
5. WhoAreYoux1 (Belgium) — $14,259.91
6. Pauluzzz1 (Netherlands) — $10,378.51
7. valvegasss (Belgium) — $7,057.38
8. Jayb0y_11 (United Kingdom) — $3,736.26
9. schicker (Germany) — $2,490.84
Jack Stanton is a journalist and freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.