SCOOP 2015: Mike “SirWatts” Watson defeats Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara to win second SCOOP in Event #37-H ($2,100 PLO Hi-Lo)

May 22, 2015

Another day of the 2015 Spring Championship of Online Poker and we have the familiar story of yet another multiple-time SCOOP champion.

With over $8 million in live earnings in his career, Mike “SirWatts” Watson is one of the elite players in the game. Watson has achieved many great accomplishments in his poker career including seven-figure cashes and many major trophies including a World Poker Tour title.


Until this series, Watson was missing a SCOOP title from his poker resume. Just a few days ago, Watson rectified that problem when he won his first SCOOP title in Event #29-M of the series. Today, Watson has written another chapter in one of the world’s finest poker records after capturing his second SCOOP title.

Watson had to do it the hard way, coming from behind against a super-talented final table before defeating Team PokerStars Online’s Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara heads-up to claim the top prize of $65,320.

It was Event #37-H if the SCOOP series — a $2,100 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo Event which attracted a small but highly-talented field of 142 runners.

The sharks were lurking on every table with Team PokerStars well represented in this one. Eugene Katchalov, Adrienne Rowsome and Jason Mercier would miss out on the money for the top 18 players, but when the bubble burst on Canada’s Somakid314, there were three red spades still in contention.

George Danzer was one, but he bowed out in 12th place for $6,390 in prize money, but the two Japanese stars in Naoya Kihara and Kosei Ichinose were able to carry their stacks all the way to the final table of nine.

It would be 2014 SCOOP Event #17-H winner aless_84 who bubbled the final table after running into the aces of Wade “ricestud” Townsend. aless_84 couldn’t improve and with no low possible, aless_84 was out in tenth place to leave our final table as follows:


Final Table Line Up
Seat 1: Wade “ricestud” Townsend (258,266 in chips)
Seat 2: AJSuited16 (25,776 in chips)
Seat 3: Martin “nizmo jiz” Kozlov (133,374 in chips)
Seat 4: Mike “SirWatts” Watson (55,136 in chips)
Seat 5: PlayWMyNuts (64,874 in chips)
Seat 6: AngryJuice (27,090 in chips)
Seat 7: Kosei “K. Ichinose” Ichinose (31,049 in chips)
Seat 8: Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara (83,628 in chips)
Seat 9: el_klonkador (30,807 in chips)

Martin “nizmo jiz” Kozlov wasted no time in getting busy with a big double up as the two chip leaders collided on the very first hand of the final table. The chips were all in on the turn as nizmo jiz made two pair and the best low to scoop against ricestud.

However ricestud would rebound with the elimination of el_klonkador. In a battle of the blinds, the chips were in preflop with ricestud holding 7♠A♠6♦K♠ against el_klonkador’s 9♣J♠4♥A♥. The board was spread J♥3♥5♣3♠3♦ and with trips on board it was ricestud’s ace-king which played to take it down. el_klonkador took home $7,100 for ninth place.

PlayWMyNuts caught a double up through nizmo jiz, but AngryJuice didn’t have the same fortune. AngryJuice had a nice wrap with Q♥A♥4♣3♠ on a flop of 5♠5♥2♦ when the chips went into the middle against Kosei Ichinose’s 3♥K♦A♦10♠. However the K♠ turn and 5♦ river would see Ichinose’s ace-king play to rake in the pot. AngryJuice was left to depart in eighth place for $8,520.

A brutal elimination for AJSuited16 would see our field quickly reduced to six. AJSuited16 was all in preflop with 7♦A♠6♠A♥ against PlayWMyNuts’ A♣8♠10♠A♦, and with both players showing aces, you got the feeling that something ugly was about to unfold. The 9♠Q♠2♣3♦J♠ board was about as devastating as you could get as AJSuited16 made the ace-high flush but that wasn’t enough as PlayWMyNuts caught a straight-flush! A story to tell and $11,360 in prize money for AJSuited16 for seventh place.

While PlayWMyNuts may have thought it was Christmas, it all came crashing down just as quickly. PlayWMyNuts lost a big pot with two pair and six-low against Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara who rivered the wheel to scoop the high and the low. PlayWMyNuts was onto the short stack and all in preflop a short time later with J♠2♠J♣A♥. It was a strong hi-lo hand against ricestud’s A♠K♠6♦4♥ but the community cards fell 5♦10♥4♦Q♠4♣ to give ricestud trip fours to claim the pot. PlayWMyNuts finished in sixth place for $14,200.

SirWatts and nkeyno both caught double ups, but the five-way battle was pretty solid between five highly-credentialed players. SirWatts started to assert his authority with a key hand landing him another double up on a board of 4♣K♦7♥10♣8♦. The chips had been committed on the turn with SirWatts making kings and tens with the only low to scoop against ricestud’s inferior two pair and missed flush draw.

SirWatts then took over the lead with the elimination of nizmo jiz. In a three-bet pot, nizmo jiz moved all in on a flop of 4♠6♦3♦ holding 6♥8♦A♦Q♣. SirWatts made the call with 2♥A♠6♠10♦ and when the 5♠ turn and J♥ river completed the board, SirWatts had a six-high straight and the nut low to scoop. That left Martin “nizmo jiz” Kozlov to exit in fifth place for $17,040.

Team PokerStars still had two red spades in the final four, but one of those would depart in fourth place as Kosei Ichinose’s run came to an end. The short-stacked Ichinose called it off preflop with 3♦7♦A♣9♠ as SirWatts was again in the thick of the action with a very pretty 3♥5♣K♣A♥. Once again SirWatts struck gold on the board of 2♥4♠6♦J♣3♣ making a six-high straight and the wheel for the low to take down the pot. A fine run by Ichinose ended in fourth place for $25,560.


SirWatts was out to a handy lead but that advantage became substantial when SirWatts took care of another bust out. In a three-bet pot, ricestud bet the pot and was all in on the flop of 3♦8♥5♠ holding 7♣J♦A♣9♠. ricestud was hoping to take it down there and then, but SirWatts didn’t go away with 4♠2♣K♠9♣ for straight and low draws. The turn was the A♠ and river the 5♣ to give SirWatts yet another wheel to scoop. Wade “ricestud” Townsend picked up $34,506 for third place.

Heads-up chip counts
Seat 4: Mike “SirWatts” Watson (538,248 in chips)
Seat 8: Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara (171,752 in chips)

SirWatts held a big chip lead over nkeyno, and the two would chop one big pot, but it wouldn’t take long for SirWatts to close the deal.

SirWatts got a couple of streets of value with a full house to leave nkeyno on the ropes, before the final hand of the tournament was dealt.

SirWatts raised the button before nkeyno moved all in. SirWatts called with 7♥A♣8♥2♦ and was up against nkeyno’s 3♥6♦9♦A♦. Making straights had been the signature of SirWatts on this final table, but this time he went high rather than low as the 9♥J♠10♣ flop delivered SirWatts a jack-high straight. nkeyno was in trouble and while the 3♠ brought some outs to a full house, the J♣ on the river would see SirWatts claim the pot and victory!

Team PokerStars Online’s Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara is one of the most consistent performers around in major online championships, but he narrowly missed the SCOOP title in this one, taking home $45,440 in prize money for a fantastic run.


On this occasion it would be Mike “SirWatts” Watson who crushed the second half of this final table, making wheel after wheel to wheel his way to his second SCOOP title of the series and another $65,320 in prize money. Congratulations!

SCOOP-37-H: $2,100 PL Omaha Hi/Lo – $175K Guaranteed
Entrants: 142
Prize Pool: $284,000
Places Paid: 18

1. Mike “SirWatts” Watson (Canada) $65,320.00
2. Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara (Japan) $45,440.00
3. Wade “ricestud” Townsend (Mexico) $34,506.00
4. Kosei “K. Ichinose” Ichinose (Japan) $25,560.00
5. Martin “nizmo jiz” Kozlov (Australia) $17,040.00
6. PlayWMyNuts (Canada) $14,200.00
7. AJSuited16 (Canada) $11,360.00
8. AngryJuice (Finland) $8,520.00
9. el_klonkador (Sweden) $7,100.00

The Spring Championship of Online Poker is the biggest and richest tournament festival of the year, with millions in prize money to be won, a packed schedule, and separate buy-in levels designed to suit all bankrolls.

A total prize pool of $40 million is guaranteed with the series running right through until May 24th. Head to the SCOOP home page for more details.

Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.


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