Daniel ‘w00ki3z’ Cates: “Gonna vomit in a sec btw, food poisoning.”
George Danzer: “Take your time.”
Cates times out…
Danzer: “How long for throwing up? Back?”
Cates: “Just did, hopefully it will be a while at least.”
Cates’ stomach wasn’t the only sick element to this final table. The last half dozen were six mixed game sharks and this was always likely to be a classic. What’s more it was one you could watch from the perspective of George Danzer as the Team PokerStars Pro was broadcasting it on his Twitch channel. As well as the general poker public at least one member of the final table was also viewing as RunGodlike would sporadically type into the chat box when he saw hands that he’d played against Danzer.
Ultiamtely though Cates, who was arguably the least experienced of the final six in this poker variant, ended up beating out a hugely talented field to win his second career SCOOP title.
The run to the final table
A small but talented field ponied up for this event with 46 individual entries and an additional 45 re-entries making for a $182,000 prize pool which was divided amongst the top 14 finishers. If you wanted any indication of the quality of the field then the two players just missing the money show just how tough this event was as Ben ‘Sauce123’ Sulsky and Calvin ‘42688’ Anderson were the soft bubble and bubble respectively. Whilst, Stephen ‘stevie444’ Chidwick (14th, $4,550), Dzmitry ‘Colisea’ Urbanovich (10th, $5,005), Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson (9th, $5,005) and Adam ‘Adamyid’ Owen (8th, $5,005) cashed but missed out on the final table.
Blinds: 1,400/2,800 ante 700
Seat 1: Shaun ‘shaundeeb’ Deeb — 108,377
Seat 2: RunGodlike — 121,391
Seat 4: George Danzer – 96,517
Seat 5: Paul ‘paulgees81’ Volpe – 178,036
Seat 6: Mikael ‘ChaoRen160’ Thuritz — 141,127
Seat 7: Daniel ‘w00ki3z’ Cates – 264,552
Those who play at the highest level say the mixture of value betting and bluffing in this game make it comparable to no-limit Hold’em as a form of poker. However, one way in which the game differs from NLHE is that with only two streets of betting all-ins aren’t as common. Just under 40 minutes of final table action had elapsed by the time the first all-in and call occurred.
With just over 35 big blinds George Danzer opened to 6,825 (at BB 3,200) and Daniel Cates put the pressure back on the Team Pro with a three-bet to 22,400. Earlier in his Twitch stream Danzer had mentioned the ICM implications that Cates, who was chip leader, could take advantage of.
With both Deeb and ‘RunGodLike’ playing 20 big blinds stacks, was this one of those spots? Sitting with 9♥8♠7♥6♣3♦ Danzer elected to move in for 113,427. “A 9-8 is good enough to ship,” he said as he did. Cates tanked called and first to act he stood pat.
Would Danzer break? No. He too stood pat and beat the 10♦8♥6♥5♦3♥ of Jungleman. “There, I gave it back,” said Cates referencing an earlier had where he had drawn three against Danzer and beat the German’s pat nine with an 8-7-6-4-3.
RunGodlike fails to live up to his name:
With one SCOOP 2016 title to his name already UK player ‘RunGodlike’ was looking to add to the $2,100 Stud Hi/Lo title he’d won six days ago. He was though the first player to exit and it occurred at the 1,600/3,200 ante 800 level. Starting the hand with just under 80,000 he opened to 8,000, Cates set him in and ‘RunGodlike’ called all-in. First to act Cates stood pat and ‘RunGodLike’ discarded one.
Cates showed a 10-7 low – 10♠7♠5♠4♣3♣ – unfortunately for ‘RunGodLike’ who was drawing to a 9-8 low he paired up and a 9♠8♦4♦4♠3♥ holding meant his deep run came to an end.
That hand gave Cates back the lead and he continued to prosper. Whilst he gathered chips it was Deeb and Mikael ‘ChaoRen160’ Thuritz who were steadily losing theirs.
Deeb slipped as low as 7.5 big blinds before doubling through Cates with a pat 10-7-6-5-4 against a 9-7 draw that missed. That left Thuritz as the short stack and down to nine big blinds he opened, Deeb smooth called and Danzer then shoved for an effective 22.5 big blinds. Thuritz called off his remaining chips and Deeb mucked.
Danzer – stands pat
Thuritz – discards one
Danzer – 9♦8♠7♦5♠4♦ – a 9-8 low
Thuritz – 7♠5♦3♦3♣2♦ – for a pair.
The Swede had been drawing to the nuts but had paired up to exit in fifth for $12,285.
Chip leader versus the rest:
By the time of the second break the stacks looked like this:
Daniel ‘w00ki3z’ Cates – 337,354
George Danzer – 276,574
Shaun Deeb – 176,064
Paul ‘paulgees81’ Volpe – 120,008
It was pretty clear from the player’s chat at the table (including Cates) – and also from Danzer’s Twitch stream – that Cates, the chip leader, was the least experienced at NL 2-7 Single Draw. Volpe won a bracelet in this event at the 2014 WSOP, a $10,000 buy-in no less. Danzer came third in that event in 2010, has a eight-game bracelet to his name and won this SCOOP event in 2012. Deeb is a well known high stakes mixed games player who has the little matter of five SCOOP wins under his belt. He was also, at the time of this final table taking place, top of the SCOOP Overall Leader Board.
Deeb done in fourth:
The blinds had ticked up to 2,500/5,000 ante 1,250 by the time Shaun Deeb’s deep run came to an end. Down to 22 big blinds he four-bet all-in and got Volpe – the original raiser – to fold but Cates, who’d three-bet to six big blinds, was going nowhere. He called and Deeb was at risk.
The five-time SCOOP winner drew one, whilst Cates stood pat with a 8-7 low – 8♦7♠6♥3♠2♦ – to be precise. Deeb had a draw to beat it as he had a 8-5 low – 8♠5♥4♣3♣ — so had 10 outs to get there. But the J♥ was not one of the cards he needed and he added $16,380 to his account and, more importantly, another 60 leader board points.
“Three handed it’s a different game,” said Danzer on his Twitch stream. You can play looser, three-bet bluff…”
It might’ve been a different game but that knockout gave Cates over 50% of the chips in play and the start of table chip leader was still top of the tree. He had just over 470,000, Danzer had a little over 260,000 and Volpe was the short stack with 170,000.
GG for Gees in third:
Whilst Cates – a heads-up NLHE beast – might be less experienced than Danzer and Volpe at this game, his years of short-handed and heads-up NLHE play had obviously taught him a lot and three-handed he continued to stretch his lead. Both Danzer and Volpe had lost chips by the time they clashed in a huge pot.
It all went in pre-flop with Volpe opening, Danzer setting him in for an effective 24 big blinds and Volpe calling it off. Both players stood pat and Danzer’s 8♦7♠5♣4♣3♠ – a 8-7 low – was good against Volpe’s 10♦8♥7♥6♣5♦ – a 10-8 low. Volpe collected $22,750 for his efforts.
Daniel ‘w00ki3z’ Cates – 546,280
George Danzer – 363,720
What a treat, a fascinating heads-up battle between a heads-up no-limit Hold’em specialist and a mixed games guru. What’s more with Danzer streaming the action on Twitch – on a delay of course – we could get an insight into how to play this games heads-up from one of the best in the business.
“I think we’re going to use the min-raise from the small blind for the whole heads-up here,” began Danzer as the match got under way. “Making big pots with marginal hands is probably not a good idea. I’m just going to try and grind this down by solid poker,” he continued as he discussed how he was going to try and reel in Cates.
Cates was, as you’d imagine, playing very aggressively. He took 21 of the first 30 pots to stretch into a three to one chip lead. Good players adapt though:
“He’s probably three-betting all one card draws so we’re going to adapt to that, so we’re going to fold some bad hands, three card draws,” said Danzer on his Twitch stream. “We’re going to fold a couple of buttons to his aggressive three-betting range, you have to always adapt to the strategy of your opponent,” he continued. “It’s going to be a fight and Jungle’s a very good heads-up player so he’s going to adapt too,” he added.
It was a stream of consciousness from Danzer as the battle intensified. Despite the tournament being at a critical stage the German still took time to answer questions from his viewers:
“Should I 3x for value? No because I don’t want him to change his strategy,” he said before adding. “If you have a very good two card draw when someone is raising the button 100% you have the odds to call.”
Danzer was slowly getting some back though despite saying that he was: “Having way under average hands in this heads-up.”
Ironically for Danzer, given his above comment, it was when he picked up a way above average hand that things would go south for him.
Playing a stack of 41 big blinds (249,855) he min-raised to 12,000 on the button only for Cates to three-bet to 42,000 from the big blind.
“This is important that I hit this one,” said Danzer. “I could four-bet ship it too,” he pondered before just calling with a 8-7-6-3 draw. Both players then discarded one and Danzer caught a four to give him a very strong hand – 8♥7♥6♦4♠3♥ – for a 8-7-6 low.
Cates now checked the action over to Danzer and he bet 69,625 into a pot of 87,000 and Cates then check-raised all-in. “Yes. Of course we call an eight,” said Danzer and he called off his final 138,230 within a few seconds.
Cates showed 8♣7♦5♠4♥3♠ for a 8-7-5 low and just like that it was over. “He has a better eight and wins. We both draw one and he makes a better eight than me. We finish second – ahhhhhhhh – we lose to Jungle. Nothing I can do there, we have an 8-7 and it’s definitely enough to three-bet call there,” said Danzer.
2016 SCOOP-53-H: $2,100 NL Single Draw 2-7, $75K Guaranteed
Entrants: 46 (45 re-entries)
Prize Pool: $182,100
Places Paid: 14
1st. Daniel ‘w00ki3z’ Cates (Romania) $47,775
2nd. George Danzer (Austria) $33,215
3rd. Paul ‘paulgees81’ Volpe (Canada) $22.750
4th. Shaun ‘shaundeeb’ Deeb (Mexico) $16,380
5th. Mikael ‘ChaoRen160’ Thuritz (Sweden) $12,285
6th. RunGodlike (United Kingdom) $9,100
You can check out the SCOOP leader board here.