The forgiving thing about most forms of poker is the ability to rest whenever you want, whenever the cards don’t look right, whenever you feel like somebody at the table might be a little better. The right to take a moment to sit back and assess the table is what keeps most people sane in this all-too-unpredictiable world.
And so, it might take someone just a little insane to purposefully divert from that path that gives them the occasional moment of respite. What’s more, it would take someone with an extreme sense of confidence to plop down $1,575 to play in a 13-hour poker match in which their only break was waiting for the next opponent.
That is, in fact, what 450 people did in the high buy-in version of the Spring Championship of Online Poker’s no-limit hold’em heads-up event. These are people who are different from most. There are the folks who know that poker is not about lounging about and waiting for the nuts. These are the people that know the game is played every hand and that to be truly good, one must be able to face opponent after opponent heads up. It’s pure poker and it’s the stuff of champions.
To get to the point at which we found our champion in SCOOP’s event #10, we watched those 450 people face off, one on one, beginning late on a Monday afternoon ET. They knew going in that their $1,575 would only buy them the chance to prove themselves. They knew that only the top 64 people would walk away with any money. Better yet, they knew that if they could somehow make it through everybody, they would earn more than 100 times their buy-in.
There were some big names among the money-makers. Team PokerStars Pros Victor Ramdin (64th), Johnny Lodden (58th), and Peter Eastgate (21st) all walked away with cash. You’d also recognize the screen names ActionJeff (11th), RandALLin (20th), tralaira (22nd), aaaaaaa (23rd), simmsux (34th), TheMuppet (36th), and ElMastermind (51st).
When it came down to it, though, this event was all about being heads up and who would be the final two players to get there.
PokerNoob999 and backmanslivs had come a long way to get to this point. After such a hard fought battle, they would be playing for an $80,000 difference in prize money. No longer was it just a chance at big money. Now the money looked huge. It didn’t take them long to come to an agreement. They split the last two spots right down the middle–$123,250 apiece–and left $10,000 on table. Though the drama would’ve been a lot better if they’d played it out, both realized that they had shown their stuff over the previous 12 hours. To put $80,000 at risk after such a battle seemed almost silly.
Still, there was the matter of the $10,000 on the table. It didn’t take long to decide who would get it.
On the 23rd hand of the match, backmanslivs came in for a raise to 100 and PokerNoob999 re-raised to 350. He got the call and the opponents saw a flop of 2♥ J♣ 7♦. PokerNoob999 bet out 385 and got a call. The turn was the 9♦. Once again, PokerNoob999 bet out. This time it was 995. This time, backmanslivs folded.
It might have seemed like an insignificant hand, but it was the point at which PokerNoob999 solidified his chip lead. It would only take another 26 hands before this happened.
With that, the final battle was done and Germany’s PokerNoob999 walked away with the title.
Congratulations to all the players who finished big in Event #10.
SCOOP Event 10-High Top 8 finishers
1st place: PokerNoob999 ($133,250)
2nd place: backmanslivs ($123,250)
3rd place: potstabber10 ($47,250)
4th place: PlayaPlz ($47,250)
5th place: Elan Kovo ($21,600)
6th place: Jeetorious ($21,600)
7th place: iCeVeNoM ($21,600)
8th place: WheresMyRoll ($21,600)
If you’d like to learn more about the ongoing SCOOP series, check out the PokerStars SCOOP page for all of the details. Even better, see the SCOOP leaderboard and PokerStars.tv site for some great SCOOP highlight shows.