Probably the biggest tournament series in the world of online poker, the Spring Championship of Online Poker, has once again come to an end. When it was all said and done, Talal Shakerchi was the player with the most reason for celebration, as he claimed the victory in the $10,000 Main Event, pocketing close to $1,500,000 for his efforts.
SCOOP Main Event in Numbers
Despite of very high buy-in of $10,000 (in terms of online poker at least), the SCOOP Main Event attracted 713 players, 111 of whom decided to take another shot after being eliminated, bringing the total prize pool at exactly $8,000,000.
The guarantee for the event was set at (clearly conservative) $4,000,000, as the interest for the event was way above the expectations. With the total number of 824 runners, 99 of them were guaranteed to make money, cashing for at least $18,400.
If you are wondering who was the bubble boy, it was none other than the German poker prodigy Dominik Nitsche, playing as ‘Bounatirou.’ Nitsche was eliminated in the 100th place, and despite of it being a nice, round number, the German received nothing to show for his efforts.
Talal Shakerchi wins in an impressive lineup
The PokerStars SCOOP Main Event was a two-day affair and the final table was reached on the second day of play. Talal ‘raidalot‘ Shakerchi was leading the pack of the final nine hungry players, all with their eyes fixed on the first place prize of $1,486,000.
Shakerchi had a big lead with a stack of 9.2 million chips. His closest competitor, Markku “markovitus” Koplimaa, was starting the final table with 5.8 million. However, the man who probably instilled the most fear in his opponents was Scott ‘gunning4you‘ Seiver. His huge experience combined with a very respectable stack of 4.6 million made him a serious threat to be reckoned with.
As if he was trying to justify these expectations, it was Seiver who sent the first two players to the virtual rail, significantly boosting his stack. Shakerchi followed the suite however and eliminated the player ‘Luckbox‘ in seventh place. Although there is no official confirmation, ‘Luckbox‘ is believed to be John Juanda’s nickname on PokerStars and the games this player plays in do add some credibility to this suggestion.
Seiver and Shakerchi eliminated two more players and it looked as if it would be two of them battling it out for the title. However, things started to go wrong for Scott and his stack began to dwindle. In the end, he couldn’t master a double-up despite holding the best hand against Sean ‘Nolez7’ Winter and was eliminated in fourth place, for the payday of almost $600k.
Winter proceeded to eliminate the final obstacle standing between him and the final heads-up confrontation with Shakerchi when he ended the hopes of the player going by the alias ‘s0nny_bLacCk.’ Once again, Winter had to come from behind to win the hand and poker gods smiled upon him on the flop.
That’s where his lucky streak would end, though. Talal had a 2:1 chip lead going into the final battle and he wasn’t about to give up his lead. In the final hand, both players made the diamond flush on the river, the only difference being Shakerchi was holding an immortal nuts. He couldn’t call fast enough when Winter check-raised all in, and that was all she wrote.
For his runner-up finish, Winter received $1,048,000, while Talal Shakerchi claimed his third SCOOP title overall, coupled with the $1.5 million bankroll infusion.
Who is Talal Shakerchi?
Depending on how much you follow the poker scene, you may or may not know about Shakerchi. This is because he is not the professional poker player, at least not in a traditional sense. Talal has a day job as a hedge fund manager, but playing poker is easily his favorite pastime.
The rich Englander has played in some of the biggest cash games in the world and has participated in a number of high-roller type tournaments, including the Big One for One Drop and the Super High Roller Bowl.
According to his Hendon Mob page, Shakerchi has $2.6 million in live tournament earnings, with his biggest live score being just under $660,000, so it is safe to assume that this SCOOP title is by far his biggest cash in a single tournament to date.
SCOOP 2016 Overview
The total guaranteed amount for the SCOOP 2016 was $40,000,000. This guarantee was not just smashed but it was shattered to small pieces as the total payouts amounted to almost $91,000,000.
In terms of participation, the biggest number of players took part in the SCOOP Low orbit. It was the $11 Turbo Ultra Deep Progressive Super Knockout. The Main Event of the Low orbit attracted a total of 11,668 players, with the player ‘mmleandro’ pocketing the first prize of $196,059.
In the medium orbit, the biggest event in terms or participants was the special Sunday Million on 15th of May, attracting 7,200 players. As for the Main Event, it attracted 5.026 entries and the winner, Andres “Educa-p0ker” Artinano, boosted his bankroll by almost $580,000.
In terms of a prize pool, the biggest event by far was the SCOOP High Main Event, distributing a total of $8,000,000. The SCOOP High 8-Handed High Roller, featuring the buy-in of $21,000, is in the second place with the guarantee of $2.9 million.
Overall, in the SCOOP Low orbit there was a total of 431,103 entries across all 56 events. In the Medium orbit that number was 132,299, while there were 30,213 entries in the High orbit. This brings the total number of entries across the entire Series to the astonishing 593,615.
Well done Talal Shakerchi and well done SCOOP 2016!