SCOOP: Salas Scores First SCOOP Title, Watson Wins Seventh

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Damian Salas and Mike Watson were among those who won a PokerStars SCOOP title on Wednesday. (photos courtesy: Poker Central)

There’s just one week left in the 2021 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker and as the start of the Main Events draws closer, the action is heating up. Wednesday’s highlights included the reigning WSOP Main Event champion tacking on another title while one of SCOOP’s most prolific players proved himself yet again.

It was another galaxy of poker superstars battling for six-figure sums in Event #72-H ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max) with a lobby littered with all-world talent. But when the chips were all in a single stack it was 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Damian ‘pampa27’ Salas who was the last man standing, collecting the $263,022.96 first-place prize. To say it didn’t come easy would be an understatement as there were zero soft spots at the final table.

Linus ‘LLinusLLove’ Loeliger (8th, $44,084.52), five-time SCOOP champion Talal ‘raidalot’ Shakerchi (7th, $56,898.60), and Christoph ’26071985’ Vogelsang (6th, $73,437.36) all made the final eight. While online poker superstars Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet (5th, $94,783.44) and Wiktor ‘limitless’ Malinowski (4th, $122,334.12) both nearly made the podium.

Austrian grinder Thomas ’WushuTM’ Muhlocker used two entries and climbed his way to third place for a $157,893 score. Finally, Christian ‘WATnlos’ Rudolph made his third bullet count as he finished as the runner-up and collected $203,787.84.

In February, Salas spoke about his continued drive to be considered one of the poker world’s best players and on Wednesday he not earned his first career SCOOP title to add to his resume but the over $263K score pushed him just above $10 million in lifetime online earnings.

Former pool shark turned pro pro ‘FouEnculePL’ picked up his first career SCOOP title after topping the 154-player field of Event #73-H ($2,100 NLHE, Freezeout) for $64,649.98. Brazil’s ‘Kelvin_FR:AR’ grabbed his second High Event runner-up finished of the series which was good for another $50,013.07 while ‘Kraskata85’ took home third place honors and $38,690.03. Also of note, Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet finished in fourth place for $29,930.57, his second major final table of the day.

It was a profitable, if not slightly frustrating day for four-time SCOOP champion Rinat ‘Zapahzamazki’ Lyapin. The Russian pro found himself heads-up for a fifth title in two spots on Wednesday, however, in both, he was regulated to the role of runner-up and denied what would be his third High event victory of the 2021 series.

First in Event #76-H ($1,050 HORSE), Lyapin battled Germany’s ‘NicoBoko’ but was unable to wrap up the victory. ‘NicoBoko’ topped the 113-entry field and clinched their first SCOOP title for $27,685. Lyapin collected $19,210 for second place and ‘Gjeddekongen’ from Norway ended up in third place and received $14,690.

Then, in another small field specialty event, Event #78-H ($1,050 FL Badugi, 6-Max), Lyapin went toe-to-toe against current worldwide #8-ranked pro Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson. The Canadian online poker veteran emerged on top of the 57-entry field to capture an incredible seventh career SCOOP title and the $20,037.71 first-place prize. Watson’s latest triumph is added to a SCOOP resume that proves that he’s one of the most well-rounded players in the game today. He’s earned SCOOP titles in Pot Limit Omaha, PLO Hi/Lo, two in 6+ Hold’em (Short Deck), 2-7 NL Single Draw, No Limit Hold’em, and now FL Badugi. All told, Watson’s earned more than $370,000 in SCOOP victories alone.

That left Lyapin to settle for second place once again and this time he picked up $13,271.72. His two runner-up finishes earned him a total of $32,481 on the day. But when added to his victories in Event #20-H and Event 56-H, the Russian pro has taken in more than $186,000 in High event podium finishes this year.

Not to be lost, Chris ‘Apotheosis92’ Kruk finished the FL Badugi event in third place for $8,790.36 while Benny ‘RunGodlike’ Glaser and two-time 2021 SCOOP winner ‘calvin7v’ also made the final table.

Other winners on Wednesday included ‘Diplomatic_Boy’ (Event #72-L), ‘J0hnny_Dr@m@‘ (Event #72-M), ‘Dexxt3r’ (Event #74-L), ‘konsti1710’ (Event #74-M), ‘Fisherman FV’ (Event #76-L), ‘luckykuck653’ (Event #76-M), ‘HP Paque1’ (Event #78-L), and ‘FAL1st’ (Event #78-M).

Event #72-H ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max)
Entries: 120
Prize pool: $1,200,000

1. pampa27 – $263,022.96
2. WATnlos – $203,787.84
3. WushuTM – $157,893

Event #74-H ($2,100 NLHE, Freezeout)
Entries: 154
Prize pool: $308,000

1. FouEnculePL – $64,649.98
2. Kelvin_FR:AR – $50,013.07
3. Kraskata85 – $38,690.03

Event #76-H ($1,050 HORSE)
Entries: 113
Prize pool: $113,000

1. NicoBoko – $27,685
2. Zapahzamazki – $19,210
3. Gjeddekongen – $14,690

Event #78-H ($1,050 FL Badugi, 6-Max)
Entries: 57
Prize pool: $57,000

1. SirWatts – $20,037.71
2. Zapahzamazki – $13,271.72
3. Apotheosis92 – $8,790.36