The “High” version of Event #35, a 32-player maximum, heads-up no-limit hold’em tourney, came with the largest price tag of all 114 SCOOP events, a hefty $25,500. As such, the field was predictably comprised of poker’s elite, with just about every match featuring familiar names from both the live and online realms.
The total prize pool equalled $800,000, to be divided among the top four finishers thusly: $120,000 for those reaching the semifinals and losing, $240,000 for the runner-up, and $320,000 to the champ. Day 1 would cover the first three rounds of action, meaning only the four who made through today would be cashing.
Last minute drop-outs for this one included nikov, winner of SCOOP #12-High, and Sorel “zangbezan24” Mizzi who just took down Event #32-High last night/this morning to move way up to seventh on the 2010 SCOOP leaderboard. Benny “toweliestar” Spindler, winner of this event in 2009 (beating Team PokerStars pro John Duthie in the finals to do so), was also briefly listed among the entrants, although he, too, gave up his seat.
Not to worry, though, as others were ready and willing to step into the spotlight to do battle in this two-day event.
Round of 32
Here’s a recap of the first-round matches, with winners noted in bold.
The first elimination of the afternoon came just under 10 minutes into play, with Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo falling to Eugene “MyRabbiFoo” Katchalov. After being crippled in a hand in which Bonomo had flopped top pair of queens but ended up paying off Katchalov’s pocket aces, ZeeJustin pushed his short stack all in with pocket nines but lost a race to MyRabbiFoo’s Big Slick.
Soon after Bonomo’s elimination, Team PokerStars Pro Lex “RaSZi” Veldhuis moved on, having swiftly taken care of evanski. Sussie Smith then eliminated w00ki3z just after the half-hour mark. And just a minute or so later, Team PokerStars Pro Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu was the next to go, falling to goatboy1.
In the final hand of that one, KidPoker, who had 8,100, minimum-raised to 120 from the small blind/button, and goatboy1 (with 11,900) reraised to 420. Negreanu called, and the flop came 10♣K♣6♦. goatboy1 continued for 480, and Negreanu called. The turn was the Q♦. This time goatboy1 bet 1,320, and Negreanu responded by shoving all in for 7,200. A bad spot for that, as goatboy1 called, turning over A♦J♠ for Broadway. Negreanu held 9♣7♣ for a flush draw, but the river was the Q♥ and he was out.
They were still in just the second 20-minute level when Negreanu’s fellow PS teammate Peter Eastgate also fell, beaten by BiggestFish. Next Isaac “philivey2694” Haxton dispatched of lib6121, then 2009 WCOOP Main Event winner Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko knocked out Daniel “steamraise” Alaei. At the 45-minute mark, molswi47 eliminated Event #23-Medium winner bad_beat_bud, and eight of the 16 first-round matches were complete.
Next into Round 2 was the red hot Scott “gunning4you” Seiver, who eliminated PokerNoob999, winner of the $1,575 buy-in WCOOP Heads-Up event. Then, as the first matches crossed the one-hour mark, gcnmoo, winner of SCOOP Event #5-M, knocked out Andrew “RunThisTable” Lichtenberger who had won the “Medium” version of this event in 2009. In the final hand, gcnmoo had only a slight lead on RunThisTable when a Q-T-3 flop spelled disaster for Lichtenberger as he’d flopped top two pair, only to run into gcnmoo’s pocket treys.
Shawn “buck21” Buchanan, tied for 39th on the SCOOP leaderboard going into today’s play, next sent Aaron “aejones” Jones to the rail. Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa “LadyMaverick” Rousso would follow Jones, ousted by Mosheh after two hours and 15 minutes of back-and-forthing. Next WheresMyRoll eliminated trader0811. Down to less than 3,000 chips, trader0811 was all in with pocket rockets against WheresMyRoll’s 6♥5♥. But the board came all low cards, with two of them pairing WheresMyRoll’s cards — 4♥6♦8♣2♣5♠ — and trader0811 was out.
Andrew “good2cu” Robl next punched out Jonathan “Iftarii” Jaffe. On the final hand, the pair had made it to the turn with the board showing K♣3♣4♥2♠, at which point all of Iftarii’s stack made it into the middle. Robl had a pair of deuces for a set, but Jaffe had 6♦5♥ for a six-high straight. A king on the river filled up good2cu, however, and Iftarii was out.
Skämmes then bested Alex “mistakooll” Keating (winner of Event #23-H), and just one first-round match was left to be completed. That one pitted SWEGIN against Timothy “Tim0thee” Adams. Like so many in this tourney, Adams has had a strong 2010 SCOOP as well, currently 65th in points on the SCOOP leaderboard. It wasn’t to be for Adams here, though, as just after the three-hour mark, SWEGIN was the last to move on to the second round.
Round of 16
The second round saw Scott “gunning4you” Seiver make relatively quick work of Isaac “philivey2694” Haxton, with their match only lasting 12 minutes. About 10 minutes after that, Shawn “buck21” Buchanan sent Andrew “good2cu” Robl out as the next second-round casualty.
A little over a half an hour into the second round WheresMyRoll had eliminated PokerStars pro Lex “RaSZi” Veldhuis. After chipping up to a 2-to-1 advantage, a hand arose in which Veldhuis raised 3x to 180 from the small blind/button, and WheresMyRoll made the call. The flop came 8♣6♥9♥. WheresMyRoll checked, RaSZi bet 240, WheresMyRoll check-raised to 720, RaSZI raised right back to 1,680, WheresMyRoll pushed all in, and Veldhuis called.
Veldhuis showed 9♦7♦ for a pair of nines and an open-ender, while WheresMyRoll had A♠9♣ — also a pair of nines, but with a better kicker. The turn was the 3♠ and the river the K♣, and Veldhuis — the last member of Team PokerStars standing — was out.
As they neared the one-hour mark, Mosheh finally finished off a short-stacked BiggestFish, then just a minute later goatboy1 took care of gcnmoo.
About twenty minutes later, in the middle of Level 4 (blinds 50/100), SWEGIN was enjoying a 12,950-to-7,050 advantage over Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko when the latter opened with a minimum-raise to 200, SWEGIN made it 650, Jovial Gent pushed it to 1,500, and SWEGIN called.
The flop came 10♥7♣2♦. SWEGIN checked, Timoshenko bet 1,250, and SWEGIN called. The turn was the 8♦. Again SWEGIN checked, and Jovial Gent shoved his last 4,300 in the middle. SWEGIN called, showing J♠10♠ for top pair of tens, while Timoshenko held Q♦7♦ for sevens and the diamond draw. The river was the 3♥, and SWEGIN moved on to the quarterfinals.
As the second round neared the two-hour mark, Skämmes knocked out Sussie Smith in a hand in which both players made full houses, but Skämmes’s kings full of eights bested Sussie Smith’s tens full of kings. Here’s how that one played out:
Just one match remained undecided, in which Eugene “MyRabbiFoo” Katchalov battled with molswi47. After a close first hour, Katchalov took the advantage during Hour 2 and frequently had moslwi47 on the ropes. But by the two-and-a-half hour mark the pair were essentially even once again.
Play wore on, and they reached the scheduled 15-minute break, at which point molswi47 had moved in front with 13,305 to MyRabbiFoo’s 6,695. The battle resumed, it would take about ten minutes before Katchalov was all in before the flop with pocket fours against molswi47’s A♦K♦. A king landed on the river, and molswi47 was through to the next round.
After nearly six hours, the Elite Eight had been decided. But despite having a couple of wins under their belts, no one had earned a cent as yet. The Round of 8 would be the “bubble” round, with the losers going home empty-handed, while the winners would assure themselves at least $120,000, and a shot on Sunday for even more.
After that lengthy, hard-fought victory versus Katchalov, molswi47’s next match was quite the contrast — ending in just two hands!
After folding and giving up his big blind to his new opponent, SWEGIN, in the first hand, molswi47 opened the next hand with a minimum-raise to 100. SWEGIN reraised to 350, molswi47 made it 800, SWEGIN repopped to 2,250, molswi47 took it to 3,700, then SWEGIN pushed all in and molswi47 called. molswi47 showed J♣J♥, and was in dire straits versus SWEGIN’s K♣K♥. The board came 4♣8♦5♦A♣2♠, and SWEGIN was the first to make the cash.
The second elimination of the round was also super quick, occurring on just the 10th hand of play (about three-and-a-half minutes in). In this one, the fireworks didn’t happen until the turn. Skämmes had a small chip lead over WheresMyRoll when the latter opened with a raise to 125 and Skämmes called. The flop came all babies — 6♣2♣4♥. Skämmes checked, WheresMyRoll bet 200, Skämmes check-raised to 600, and WheresMyRoll called. The turn then brought the 9♦. Skämmes led for 1,100, WheresMyRoll raised to 2,888, Skämmes reraised all in, and WheresMyRoll called.
WheresMyRoll showed 2♠4♠ for bottom two, but was crushed under Skämmes’s 6♦6♠. The just-to-rub-it-in 2♦ came on the river, and Skämmes had quickly joined SWEGIN in the semifinals.
goatboy1 and Shawn “buck21” Buchanan had been battling for almost a half-hour with little having been settled, as goatboy1 only had a slight chip lead. Then came a hand in which buck21 raised 3x to 180 and goatboy1 called. The flop came 4♣J♥6♥. goatboy1 checked, Buchanan bet 300, goatboy1 raised to 990, Buchanan reraised to 2,655, goatboy1 shoved all in, and Buchanan called with his last 6,387.
goatboy1 showed 6♠6♦ for the flopped set, while buck21 held J♠4♠ for two pair. The turn was the 3♥ and the river the 5♠, and with goatboy1‘s win three of the four spots in tomorrow’s semifinals were filled.
The fourth and final match took almost exactly one hour, with Scott “gunning4you” Seiver taking the lead over Mosheh early, then maintaining it right to the end. On the last hand, a severely short-stacked Mosheh raised to 160, Seiver reraised to 2,240, and Mosheh called with his remaining 1,095. Mosheh showed Q♥J♠ and Seiver A♠8♠. The flop came K♠4♠10♠, giving Seiver the flush and leaving Mosheh drawing dead to a runner-runner straight flush. The turn was the 8♣, and gunning4you completed our final four:
So it will be goatboy1, gunning4you, Skämmes, and SWEGIN returning at 15:30 ET on Sunday to determine the Event #35-High champion. Each is guaranteed $120,000 for winning three matches today.
Check back in tomorrow to see who takes that $360,000 first prize and the SCOOP watch!