2013 SCOOP Breaks Records, Blom Earns a Milly in $10K Main Event
Amid the conclusions of various live tours’ seasons — including the European Poker Tour, the World Poker Tour, and the WSOP Circuit — PokerStars’ Spring Championship of Online Poker played out over the last two-plus weeks and enjoyed unprecedented numbers.
A total of $75,585,435.05 in prize money was awarded in the 132 events of the series, an increase of more than $10 million over the 2012 SCOOP (in which 120 tournaments were played). All told, that figure makes the 2013 SCOOP the richest online poker tournament series ever.
Also of note is how the SCOOP series has now more than recovered from the loss of the United States as a participating country, with this year’s total prize pool not only exceeding last year’s, but also well over the 2010 total ($63,802,405), the last year U.S. players could play.
The weekend saw a number of interesting stories emerge and fantastic finishes play out, including in the $10,300 buy-in “High” version of the Main Event (Event #43-H) in which Viktor “Isildur1” Blom topped a field of 580 entrants to win the title and $1,096,200 first prize.
A former Team PokerStars Pro, Blom’s victory interestingly culminated in a nearly hour-long heads-up battle against another ex-PS Pro, Noah “Exclusive” Boeken. Boeken enjoyed a better than 3-to-1 chip lead to begin their duel, but the Swede had the momentum throughout to seize the lead from the Dutch player and eventually the title.
Following the win, Blom sent a tweet alluding to his ongoing participation in the nosebleed cash games on Full Tilt Poker where he is a sponsored pro as one of “The Professionals”:
The 580 entrants and $5.8 million prize pool in the SCOOP “High” Main Event represented an increase over the 517 entrants and $5.17 million prize pool in 2012’s version of the event. Both of the other SCOOP Main Events saw increased participation over last year as well.
In the $1,050 buy-in “Medium” Main Event, Nicolau “nicofellow” Villa-Lobos of Brazil won a first prize of $472,209.35 following a four-way chop that also involved PokerStars Team Online member Randy “nanonoko” Lew (who finished fourth). A total of 4,039 entered that event, thus creating a $4,039,000 prize pool, up from last year’s field of 3,567 and prize pool of $3,567,000.
Meanwhile, the $109 buy-in “Low” Main Event was won by “MLiz” playing from Israel who won $189,015.34 following a five-way final table chop. Again, the total turnout of 23,045 and prize pool of $2,304,500 represented a jump from the field of 22,128 and $2,212,800 prize pool in the same event one year ago.
Other big SCOOP news from the weekend involved two Team PokerStars Pros, Daniel Negreanu and George Danzer.
After scampering over the northern border to Vancouver to play a few SCOOP events prior to returning to Las Vegas for the start of the WSOP this week, “KidPoker” won his first ever major online tournament on Saturday in the $5,200 buy-in six-handed pot-limit Omaha event (Event #39-H), earning $216,000 after coming out on top of a field of 180 players.
The win culminates a remarkable two-month stretch for Negreanu who won the inaugural WSOP Asia Pacific Main Event last month for A$1,038,825, finished fourth at the EPT Grand Final Main Event in Monte Carlo (for €321,000), and took seventh at the $25K WPT World Championship a week ago (for $137,085).
Danzer, meanwhile, won the $2,100 four-handed no-limit hold’em event (Event #41-H) in which 380 participated, earning $155,000 after a two-way chop. The tournament marked Danzer’s second SCOOP title and fourth final table of 2013, helping the German clinch both the overall SCOOP Player of the Series and the “high” SCOOP Player of the Series.
In the end Canada ended up claiming the most money won in this year’s SCOOP ($12,016,956.34), the most final tables (133), and the second-most titles (18, one behind the U.K.’s 19), those totals no doubt bolstered by numerous U.S.-based players having relocated to Canada in order to participate.