Mention the game Seven-Card Stud to most poker players and their noses will wrinkle. Add the words “Hi/Lo Split” to the end of your sentence and the contents of their stomachs will wind up on your shoes. Stud’s popularity has waned in recent years as hold’em has gained dominance, but that didn’t stop 106 players from placing $2,100 at risk for SCOOP Event #12-High, Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo Split.
It was a rocky road for the four Team PokerStars Pros who played this event. Daniel Negreanu, Greg Raymer, Barry Greenstein and Chad Brown were vying for a seat at the final table but all came up short. Brown lasted the longest, yet even his 23rd place elimination was eleven spots off the bottom rung of the payout schedule.
The bubble in split-pot games can last a while; today was no exception. Yet once Boosted J was eliminated in 13th place, the players quickly powered down to the final table. Limits were at 2,500 and 5,000 when they took their seats in this order:
Seat 1: ely_cash41 (18,255 in chips)
Seat 2: gibralter11 (21,546 in chips)
Seat 3: PearlJammer (113,833 in chips)
Seat 4: Lenny (68,410 in chips)
Seat 5: teacuppoker (71,259 in chips)
Seat 6: $30K (61,611 in chips)
Seat 7: AceQuad (86,977 in chips)
Seat 8: gator93 (88,109 in chips)
Despite Stud Hi/Lo’s reputation as a slow game, the third hand of the final table produced the eighth place finisher. ely_cash41 was all in by sixth street with 3♠ 4♠ / 3♣ 10♣ 5♦ 8♣. His opponent, PearlJammer, showed down 8♦ A♠ / A♣ 10♥ 6♥ 3♥. Both players made lows on the river, but ely_cash41’s 6♠, for an 8-6-5, was not enough to save half of the pot from PearlJammer, whose 4♣ made 8-6-4. Since ely_cash41 couldn’t beat PearlJammer’s pair of aces for high, he was eliminated in 8th place.
After that elimination, play settled back into the glacial pace that’s a hallmark of Stud Hi/Lo. It was almost a half-hour before the next elimination, a three-way pot that ended with two players all in. $30K and gibralter11 were both all in before the river against Lenny. $30K took the worst of it, making just a pair of aces for high and no low. He lost the high half of the pot to Lenny’s three sevens and th low half to gibralter11’s 8-6. Finishing in seventh place didn’t earn $30K $30,000, but he can’t be too disappointed with $9,010.
After $30K’s elimination the stacks were bunched. PearlJammer had the lead with roughly 145,000, but most of the other stacks ranged from about 75,000 to 85,000. The chip lead passed from player to player, with gibralter11, AceQuad and gator93 all taking a turn after PearlJammer. Lenny finally emerged as the clear-cut short stack, though it took the better part of an hour. He made his stand with split queens against PearlJammer’s buried sevens. Each player made two pair by sixth street. Lenny finished with queens up for high and no low. PearlJammer had made aces up, and — finally — there was a sixth place finisher.
The players went back to the grind and continued to trade chips until the limits reached 6,000 and 12,000. teacuppoker quickly found himself on the short stacked and committed with 2♥ J♥ / A♥ J♠. gibralter11 took up the challenge with J♦ 9♦ / 10♦ 8♥ and made two pair, nines and eights. teacuppoker never improved on his jacks and couldn’t com up with a low. He earned $14,840 — and some rest — for finishing in fifth place.
A side effect of teacuppoker’s elimination is that the chips were once again evenly distributed. Each player had roughly eleven big bets in his stack. That’s not much margin for error. gator93 took out AceQuad quite suddenly. Both players started three to a flush, but gator93 was also three to a low. AceQuad was all in by fifth street. His board developed 4♣ 6♣ / K♣ Q♣ 5♣ 3♥ / K♦ to give him a king-high flush. improbably, gator93 made an ace-high flush and a low with A♠ 6♠ / 4♠ 3♣ 8♠ 3♠ / 5♥. It was a tough way for AceQuad to be eliminated.
The tournament was down to three players when limits moved up to 8,000 and 16,000. The short stacks refused to die. PearlJammer was short and all in several times, but always seemed to find a hand when he needed it. Then gibralter11 performed that same trick a few times himself. Each managed to hang on against gator93’s big stack until limits increased again, to 10,000 and 20,000. That was where gator93 crippled gibralter11 by making a seven-high straight to take both halves of the pot against gibralter11’s board of x-x / A♠ J♥ 7♦ A♦ / x. PearlJammer took gibralter11 out two hands later with two pair, sixes and fours, against a pair of queens.
That left gator93 and PearlJammer heads-up for the title. No discussion was made of a deal — after more than eleven hours of play, and a final table that had already taken three-and-a-half hours to play, this one was going down to the wire. gator93 started with a four-to-one chip lead. PearlJammer battled back until the stacks were almost even, but his comeback stalled there. He eventually committed his chips with buried kings, K♠ K♦ / 8♣ 2♠ 10♥. gator93 showed a flush draw, 8♥ 5♥ / K♥ 10♠ 7♥. It promptly filled on sixth street, giving gator93 an unassailable hand and the victory in a marathon SCOOP #12-High. It took thirteen-and-a-half hours, almost four of which were spent at the final table, but another champion was crowned. gator93 takes home $57,770 and a SCOOP Champion’s watch. He certainly played like a champion.
SCOOP Event #12-High Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo results:
1st place: gator93 ($57,770)
2nd place: PearlJammer ($39,220)
3rd place: gibralter11 ($29,680)
4th place: AceQuad ($20,140)
5th place: teacuppoker ($14,840)
6th place: Lenny ($11,130)
7th place: $30K ($9,010)
8th place: ely_cash41 ($6,890)
The SCOOP series is halfway completed, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get in on the action. You can find the schedule on the SCOOP page and can track the results of the top performers on the leaderboard page. PokerStars.tv has also been hard at work putting together their usual fantastic video coverage of the SCOOP series.