The 2016 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), held over the past two weeks created a record prize pool of $90,984,283.44 across 56 events (168 tournaments).
The high buy in Main Event required a USD$10,000 investment for those wishing to take part, and 824 players, including many of the best in the world chose to enter. The prize pool went on to top USD$8 million, with a mouth watering USD$1,468,000 set aside for 1st place. The final table certainly saw a good spread of national diversity, with a different country represented in each seat. There were a few names that online MTT followers would recognise too, in “raidalot” and “markovitsus.” With the clock paused once the final table was set, these two players in fact occupied 1st and 2nd on the chip counts, although raidalot held a comfortable lead with 9,804,971 chips against the 5,843,118 of markovitsus. Once play resumed "raidalot" ran the final table, and never looked in danger. Heads up saw "Nolez7" face off against the man everyone was trying to beat, and eventually it was the unstoppable "raidalot" who emerged victorious, claiming this coveted crown and USD$1,468,000.
In the medium buy in Main Event, Andres "Educa-P0ker" Artinano took the title, with "mmleandro" winning the low buy in.
Andres "Educa-P0ker" Artinano (Photo PokerStars)
Player of the Series: Shaun Deeb
In what has been a close run race the whole way, “shaundeeb” has been an ever present force, with “SixthSenSe19” and Jason Mercier keeping him company just a short way behind. As the dust settled on the Main Event and other tournaments were wrapped up, "Shaun Deeb"had done just enough to secure the title, with 925 points. Closely following in 2nd and 3rd were Jason Mercier and SixthSenSe19, who had 850 and 810 points respectively. Shaun Deeb will receive a trophy, WCOOP Main Event ticket, and USD$5,000 cash for being the best player in SCOOP 2016.
Shaun Deeb (Photo PokerStars)
Sickness and success for Daniel Cates
With a stacked final table in the USD$2,100 2-7 Single Draw tournament, many wouldn't have made Daniel “w00ki3z” Cates the favourite, as much of experience has been in the realms of Holdem and PLO. Showing his quality, he managed to beat the odds to get heads up against mixed game specialist George Danzer, despite feeling rather ill at the time. This was revealed in a chat box exchange in which Cates asked Danzer to give him a minute to throw up as he was suffering with food poisoning. After timing out and then returning, Cates managed to complete the improbable feat and win his second career SCOOP title, taking home USD$47,775 for his efforts. Danzer finished 2nd, with Shaun Deeb in 4th.
Daniel Cates (PokerStars)
Naoya Kihara: Close Enough
There are two ways you can look at the 2016 SCOOP series for Japanese pro Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara. Firstly, he has made five final tables and banked an impressive amount of prize money…. But, more importantly, two 2nd places and two 3rd places are painful for tournament pros in search of COOP titles. Earlier in the series, two Badugi final tables gave Kihara his 3rd places, and as the series rolled on, he then lost heads up to Matthew “MUSTAFABET” Ashton in the USD$1,050 HORSE. Ashton adds a SCOOP title to his COOP and $50K HORSE WSOP bracelet, but for Kihara, there was no SCOOP addition to his WSOP bracelet this time. Fast forward to Event 53 the USD$27 Single Draw event and more pain was in store for Kihara, as he narrowly missed out again, finishing 2nd to “vixen1968.” He also added a 6th place finish in the USD$2,100 Stud.
Despite not managing to take down the player of the year trophy this year, Jason Mercier will surely be content with his series for 2016, as he took down the USD$215 PL Omaha hi/lo 6 max, final tabled the USD$2,100 Omaha hi/lo 6 max a couple of days earlier, and added a 5th place in the USD$2,100 FL Holdem Event too. He also took 6th in the USD$2,100 Stud hi/lo, and 6th in the USD$5,200 PLO 6 max in the same evening. He had yet another 6th place earlier in the series in Event 18, the $700 Holdem, and an 8th place in the USD$2,100 5 Card Draw Event.