Online poker tournaments can be so rewarding, but they can certainly be long and exhausting as well. To go deep in a tournament, like one of the SCOOP events, is exciting but made tough to appreciate when going on 15 or 20 hours at the laptop. PokerStars is well aware of this, so when setting up the ever-popular NLHE event – the first big one of the series – organizers decided to make it a two-day event.
Though the first day of the event is still tiring, with 12 hours of play plus breaks, it does have an end time, allowing the remaining players to get some rest knowing that they are in the money, deep in a SCOOP event, and will be well-rested for the final playdown. (Bloggers have no problem with two-day events either, for the record.)
This particular one was the high stakes buy-in level of Event 8, which required a $3,000 + $150 buy-in. Over the registration period, the field grew but finally stopped at 915 players, which caused the $3 million guarantee to kick in and serve as the overall prize pool. That meant that the top 99 players would reach the money, with a whopping $550,500 going to the winner.
The action proceeded as in any NLHE tournament, only a bit slower with such a high buy-in and good structure for the players. It was well past the six-hour mark that the money bubble burst, which put mattster24 in the uncomfortable position of 100th and garnered him no money for it. But rusostreet cashed out in 99th place as a result, which was worth $6,900.
As for Team PokerStars Pros in the event, the vast majority of them started it, but as the money approached, a few were left to be eliminated before that spot, including Steve Paul-Ambrose in 167th place, Humberto Brenes in 126th, and Argentinian newcomer to the team Leo Fernandez, who finished in 110th place. Once in the money, there were two contenders representing PokerStars remaining in the field – Andre “aakkari” Akkari and Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu.
While Akkari stayed fairly average in chips as the field thinned, it was Negreanu that experienced quite the roller coaster ride. As he climbed the leaderboard and sat in 21st place with 12 tables remaining, he suddenly found a hand that would catapult him to fourth place:
Negreanu looked unstoppable at that point with 314K in chips, until he suddenly changed tables and lost the majority of them in a hand he called a mistake. Over on Facebook, he posted a status that read, “Oops in the SCOOP,” and told of a misclick that led to playing a 500K pot with 3-4. “So sick,” he typed. That put him down to just above the 100K mark, but he fought back and climbed again.
All the while, well-known online players like Boosted J and twirlpro continued to fight to stay in the top 10. With two levels to play for the evening, the top of the leaderboard was full of players around the 450K-500K range, but suddenly, hadouk3n jumped to a massive first place chip lead with 967,458. That, it so happened, was a result of a massive pot between hadouk3n and jakoon1985, the latter of whom was all-in with Q♥ J♥ on a 9♦ 5♥ 6♦ 8♥ board and looking for the flush, while hadouk3n called with pocket nines for the flopped set. An A♦ came on the river to end jakoon1985’s tournament life in 60th place and push hadouk3n to the top spot on the board.
Akkari looked as though his tournament run might end when he was relegated to last place on the leaderboard, but he turned things around with some solid aggression and double-ups. Suddenly, he appeared above the 100K-chip mark, and this was how that happened:
With that, he was overtaking KidPoker, but both sat in the top 20 with only six tables and 50 players remaining in the tournament. And hadouk3n continued to soar in first place, grinding up to well over 1 million chips while his nearest competitor had less than 500K.
And then it happened. Akkari took a hit, if you can call it that. Sitting with 170,815, he got involved preflop with The Camel and tunnny to see a J♣ 3♠ 4♦ flop. aakkari bet out, but The Camel raised enough to push tunnny off his hand, though aakkari came along. The J♦ on the turn led to a bet from The Camel and a check-raise all-in from aakkari with A♥ J♥ and trips, but The Camel quickly called with pocket threes – full house. The 8♥ on the river helped nothing, and Akkari was ousted just that quickly in 50th place, which was worth $10,200.
Play finally ended for the evening with 34 players remaining. Negreanu was in 32nd chip position with 66,223 and clearly needed to take a break before returning to finish the tournament.
Action was paused when the tournament reached the end of Level 22. Play will resume at 16:30 ET on Monday, April 6, giving the players just under 12 hours to rest up. When they returned, it would be to Level 23 with 2,500/5,000 blinds and a 625 ante, and they will play down to the final table and the win.
SCOOP Event 08-High Top Ten (Day 1):
1. hadouk3n 1,243,92
2. Choron 644,307
3. rubenrtv 623,114
4. collins3 522,682
5. The Camel 508,575
6. Skint Paddy 408,170
7. Boosted J 380,744
8. pokerjamers 357,964
9. timkrank 349,914
10. Balla-B13 298,931
The fourth day of SCOOP is a wrap, but there are seven days of entries left in the series, which means there are umpteen opportunities for players to win seats through around-the-clock satellites. Visit the SCOOP page for all of the details, the leaderboard page to track your favorite players (or yourself), or the PokerStars.tv site for all of the event highlights.