Just a bit over a year ago, drew.derzh was playing for pennies on PokerStars.
After signing up and failing to cash in his first two $0.10, 360-player turbo tournaments, drew.derzh finished 4th in a $0.50, 45-player tournament. It was his first cash on PokerStars and the Ukrainian player won a whopping $2.53. That was early March and by the time last year’s SCOOP rolled around, drew.derzh felt confident enough to plop down $11 on SCOOP #35-L ($11 NLHE).
It was drew.derzh’s biggest cash of the year. The micro-stakes player made it all the way to the final table and ended up winning $2,705.20 for finishing 7th. Then drew.derzh won a Big $22 tournament a few days later, earning $1,529.58. The Ukrainian player tried his hand at three $109 SCOOP-M tournaments after that, but failed to cash in all three.
drew.derzh finished the year off in the black and kept rising during the start of 2017. Then he had another good spring. drew.derzh scored his first five-figure score after finishing 3rd in a $215 Fat Tuesday in late March. drew.derzh won $10,362.60 for that one and then won another $10,512.56 a few days later after winning a $44 Bounty Builder.
It was a good run for drew.derzh, but it was about to get better. In less than two weeks, drew.derzh would win a SCOOP-H event and $106,785.00.
The final table
Seat 1: elmelogno4 – 292,960
Seat 2: Pass_72 – 1,305,713
Seat 3: Biocid – 375,319
Seat 4: TboneMunson – 230,042
Seat 5: GR8MIND – 236,853
Seat 6: (name removed) – 736,640
Seat 7: drew.derzh – 1,191,229
Seat 8: Freeway1988 – 834,232
Seat 9: rafitia – 447,012
drew.derzh started the final table second in chips, but won four of the first five hands at the final table to take it over.
drew.derzh never lost the lead after that. Despite that, drew.derzh only dealt a few eliminations. TboneMunson, our final table shorty, lost early on with A♠Q♦ against (name removed)’s 9♣9♥ and then a three-way all-in brought us down to seven.
Freeway1988 moved in with 2♥2♦ that hand, rafitia re-jammed with 9♦9♠ and Pass_72 called them off with J♠J♦. Freeway1988 hit a deuce on the flop for the main pot and Pass_72 took down the side pot. rafitia ended up with nothing and hit the rail in 8th.
drew.derzh took one out after that. elmelogno4, the only player at the table who had won a SCOOP before, moved in 10♦10♥ and drew.derzh called with K♥K♠. There was no drama on the board and drew.derzh crossed into the 2 million-chip mark. No other player at the table reached 2 million and drew.derzh just kept rising.
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Freeway1988 got eliminated in 6th and drew.derzh was up to 3.3 million. The other players were battling for second and (name removed) got close. The Swedish player knocked out Biocid and GR8MIND, brought the tournament three-handed and chipped up to 1.3 million
drew.derzh is a strong-handed leader though. He wasn’t about to tolerate that kind of threat to his stack. (Name removed) four-bet all-in with 4♦4♥ and drew.derzh called with Q♥Q♦. The 6♠7♣6♥ gave (name removed) an inside straight draw, but a 6♦ on the turn and a K♠ on the river didn’t complete it.
(name removed) was out in 3rd and that left Pass_72, with 607,756 chips, against drew.derzh and his stack of 5.04 million.
Pass_72 did score one double-up, but then lost it all on a flip. Pass_72 went all-in with 10♥10♣ and drew.derzh called with A♦J♣. It was a fitting runout. The ace hit on the river of a 8♦6♦Q♠7♣A♠ board and drew.derzh took down the title.
SCOOP-17-H ($1,050 NL Hold’em) results
Total prize pool: $565,000
Places paid: 72
1. drew.derzh (Ukraine) $106,785.00
2. Pass_72 (Canada) $78,252.50
3. (Name removed) $57,630.00
4. GR8MIND (Canada) $43,505.00
5. Biocid (Sweden) $30,510.00
6. Freeway1988 (Taiwan) $24,012.50
7. elmelogno4 (Uruguay) $18,362.50
8. rafitia (Brazil) $12,712.50
9. TboneMunson (Mexico) $8,644.50
Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.