Monday, May 10, 2010

Stars, Stories, SCOOP

More reporting for PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker over the weekend. Covered a few more events, including three that each featured some “name” players doing well, therefore making the report perhaps a bit more interesting to write.

Jennifer 'jennicide' LeighFirst came Jennifer “jennicide” Leigh’s win in Event No. 18-Low, the $22 buy-in fixed limit hold’em event played as a “turbo” tourney (i.e., five-minute levels). I actually played in this event, having won a seat some time ago, and while I outlasted 3,000 or so competitors I busted a couple of hundred spots shy of the money. The tourney was kind of insane in terms of the structure -- 3,802 players and it was done in a little over four hours. By the end Leigh and her opponent started heads-up play with about 9.5 million chips each, and the stakes were 600,000/1,200,000!

One aspect of that tourney I especially enjoyed was the fact that the third-place finisher, The Tick, had apparently never played a SCOOP event before. He showed a little bit of newbieness during the deal-making that the final three players made, but all were very cool and accomodating of each other, each recognizing that it was essentially flipping a few coins from that point forward. You can read the recap of Event 18-L here.

Shaun DeebLater that night/morning (Saturday/Sunday), I was writing up Shaun Deeb’s waffle-crushing victory in Event No. 17-Medium, the $162 buy-in pot-limit Omaha event (six max. w/rebuys). Deeb played well, but ran incredibly well down the stretch, seemingly hitting every flop hard whenever he had an opponent all in.

I started keeping track at 12 players, and Deeb knocked out 9 of the last 11, including the entire final table. The other players were making note, too, including “Exclusive,” a.k.a. Team PokerStars Pro Noah Boeken (who ended up finishing third):
Exclusive: its really that easy huh
shaundeeb: lifes good
shaundeeb: i say nuts preflop
shaundeeb: knowing I will end with it
Vingtcent: i'm starting to understand how you're the most successful mtt player ever
We remember Deeb saying something a few months ago about “retiring” from MTT play, but clearly he’s still in the thick of it. Here’s that recap of Event 17-M.

#1_Lucky_OneFinally, last night/morning was also made especially entertaining by the presence of a certain player named “#1_Lucky_One” in Event No. 19-High, the $2,100 buy-in no-limit hold’em event with “big antes” (i.e., antes that started with the first level and were larger than typical for the structure throughout). He was leading the event with about 100 players left, at which point I began searching around a little online to see who he was.

Turns out one finds the name most frequently associated with none other than Phil Hellmuth. Indeed, Kevmath had started a sweat thread over on 2+2 for folks to express themselves over the spectacle. The chatbox became increasingly crowded, too, as the tourney wound on.

Interestingly, “#1_Lucky_One” had been keeping quiet for much of the event (apparently) -- at least since I started watching him. But suddenly he got into a fairly big tête-à-tête with the player sitting next to him, Alex “mistakooll” Keating, when the latter engaged him about an incident at the 2009 WSOP. Keating had knocked Hellmuth out of a LHE event there, and Hellmuth had responded with his typical poor sportsmanship.

During that exchange we all learned that “#1_Lucky_One” has 5,000 friends on Facebook. He also offered to buy Alex “a bottle of Dom” in an effort to make amends for his poor behavior last summer. And he agreed to let Alex wear his bracelet, too.

I’m not making this up.

“#1_Lucky_One” then started to play a little less steadily, especially as other players got in on the fun. He’d lose most of his stack, build it back up again, then (quite dramatically) plummet again to end the tourney in 21st place. Ended up chronicling quite a bit of the scene there in the lengthy wrap post for Event 19-H.

Back at it tonight. I did get a respite from the writing back on Friday night, when I attended a very fun retirement party for my Pop, at which I enjoyed some reunions with people I hadn’t seen in many years, and also had some interesting conversations with some of them about poker. Plan to write about that in the next day or two.

Meanwhile, see you back over at the PokerStars blog!

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