Mixed hold’em events haven’t been prominent for a very long time, but since they first appeared they’ve proven to be popular with tournament poker players. They demand a more varied skill set than a straight limit or no-limit hold’em event, as the proper strategy for a situation can differ if there are limits as to how much a player can bet. They also provide a change of pace for those who enjoy hold’em but like an extra twist to the game.
Whatever their particular reasons for playing the mixed event, 5,124 players turned up for the low tier of SCOOP Event #11, turning a $50,000 guarantee into a $153,720 prize pool. A full 900 of them went home with cash, but the real spoils were reserved for the last six players who managed to outrun their opponents.
When the final table began the game was limit hold’em with stakes of 120K/240K. The chip counts looked like this:
Seat 1: rajosa – 2,734,197
Seat 2: eyalbob – 3,972,069
Seat 3: frankyboy67 – 9,736,888
Seat 4: Feb19 – 1,054,364
Seat 5: igtskllz11 – 1,399,756
Seat 6: golferen50 – 6,722,726
With a sizable disparity between the big and small stacks there was plenty of incentive for those on the lower end of the leaderboard to get a move on and try to pick up some chips. That’s precisely what igtskllz11 did in the first limit hold’em round of the final table when he found A♥ K♠ under the gun and came in for a raise to 240K. His only caller was Feb19 in the big blind, but Feb19’s check on the 6♥ 3♥ 2♥ flop was just a ploy to get in a raise after igtskllz11 had raised. igtskllz11 made the call and then got his last 717K in the middle when the turn brought the A♣. He held A♥ K♠ for a pair of aces with the nut flush draw, but Feb19 had already flopped a flush with 10♥ 7♥. The river was the 4♦, shipping the pot to Feb19 and sending igtskllz11 home in sixth place with $2,305.81.
Feb19 built his stack to nearly 6 million at one point. But after losing with A♠ K♣ to eyalbob’s 10♥ 10♦ and folding on the flop to heavy pressure from frankboy67 in a large pot, he found himself tangling in another pot of limit hold’em, this time with stakes at 200K/400K. This time, though, he only had a little over two big bets in his 878K stack when the action folded to him in the big blind. He raised to 400K and golferen50 called from the big blind. Holding A♣ 9♠ for top pair, Feb 19 got the last of his stack in on the flop of 9♦ 7♣ 4♦; unfortunately golferen50 was holding K♥ K♠, and the 7♦ turn and J♥ river sent Feb19 home in fifth place with $3,861.45.
golferen50 was up to 8.8 million after that pot and pressed his advantage by keeping the aggression factor high. frankyboy67, with 11 million in his stack, played similarly, while rajosa (3.01 million) an eyalbob (2.56 million) had to be more careful choosing their spots. Unfortunately for eyalbob, he lost most of his stack drawing at a gutshot straight when frankyboy67 held a pocket pair of sevens. Three hands later he would find himself all-in on the big blind with 9♥ 8♣ against rajosa’s A♠ J♣, and when the board ran out 6♦ 7♠ 9♣ A♥ 2♥ he would leave in fourth place with $6,917.41.
With the chips relatively evenly distributed among the three remaining players, the prospect of a deal quickly came up. After just a few moments PokerStars support staff returned with numbers for a chop based on chip count and all three players immediately agreed. The SCOOP watch and $1,000 were left on the table for the winner and the game got rolling again.
It took only 12 hands for a confrontation to occur. With the game at no-limit and blinds at 50K/100K, frankyboy67 opened the betting on the button for 300K and immediately faced an all-in reraise from golferen50. frankyboy67 wasted no time calling with A♠ K♣, which was in a coin-flip situation with golferen50’s 10♠ 10♥. The pair held up when the board ran out 7♥ 3♣ 6♠ 3♠ 2♠, and the chip chop meant that frankyboy67 left in third place with $16,792.33.
As heads-up play began these were the chip counts:
Seat 1: rajosa – 7,315,064
Seat 6: golferen50 – 18,304,936
golferen50 leaned on his opponent heavily, opening up his lead further and looking as if he were about to put the game away. But rajosa doubled up with 8♦ 8♥ against golferen50’s 9♦ 7♦ to pull back to even. Despite getting back into the game, rajosa would again find himself whittled down to the verge of elimination before taking three big pots worth over 3.7 million each during a round of limit hold’em to get back over 9 million. He would keep things relatively close for the next 15 hands or so before losing a few crucial pots at the end of the round that dropped him back to $3.5 million as a five-minute break began.
On the fourth hand back, though, the switch to 62.5K/125K/15,625 no-limit gave rajosa new life; he managed to get all-in with Q♠Q♣ on a 10♣ 5♣ 5♦ flop against golferen50’s Q♥10♦ and double up to over 8 million. Then on the last hand before the switch back to limit hold’em, rajosa grabbed another pot worth 6.8 million and his disadvantage had been erased.
The game switched to limit hold’em at that point and rajosa’s luck dried up. Facing relentless aggression from golferen50 and stakes of 300K/600K, rajosa went card dead at the worst possible time and saw his stack whittled down to just 1.9 million. He eventually chose to go with J♥ 10♣ but had the misfortune of running into golferen50’s Q♠ 10♠; the 6♣ 2♦ board offered no help and the tournament was finished. That final hand was worth an extra $1,000 and a SCOOP champion’s watch for golferen50 on top of a $17,016.83 share of the chip chop deal, for a total score of $18,016.83. rajosa, meanwhile, took home $15,918.46 after battling uphill throughout a heads-up match that lasted 85 hands.
Final table results for Event #11-L (reflecting three-way deal)
1. golferen50 – $18,016.83
2. rajosa – $15,918.46
3. frankyboy67 – $16,792.33
4. eyalbob – $6,917.41
5. Feb 19 – $3,861.45
6. igtskllz11 – $2,305.81