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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
Despite Saturday having a light schedule of events for the 2021 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker, there was still plenty of action to be had. The star-studded field of the High Roller PKO which kicked off on Thursday came to a conclusion while one of the most dangerous high rollers in the game showed off his skills in the late-night Turbo. One of the most anticipated events of the SCOOP 2021 schedule wrapped up on Saturday as Event #53-H ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, PKO, High Roller) drew 122-entries from high-roller heavyweights who battled for a piece of the $1,220,000 prize pool. And for those hoping to see poker superstars go toe-to-toe, the final table did not disappoint. Recent SCOOP winner Adrian ‘Amadi_017’Mateos (8th, $32,409.63), Artur ‘mararthur1’ Martiorsyan (7th, $38,923.45), and Michael ‘imluckbox’ Addamo (6th, $60,455.65) all had a seat at the final table. The Brazilians were well-represented with worldwide #7-ranked Bruno ‘great dant’ Volkmann (5th, $59,431.58) and current #1-ranked player Yuri ‘theNERDguy’ Martins (4th, $101,561.51) making deep runs. Daniel ‘Oxota’ Dvoress nearly took home the title, however, he fell in third place and picked up $80,262.27 plus an additional $45,312.50 in bounties for a total haul of $125,574.77. It was also close for 2019 WSOP Main Event runner-up Dario ‘Secret_M0d3’ Sammartino, who finished in second here as well and added $118,647.68 plus $89,218.75 in bounties to his bankroll. When all was said and done, Uruguay’s Francisco ’Tomatee’ Benitez grabbed the gold for his second career SCOOP title and a total score of $265,365.86 with bounties included. It took just three and a half hours for Super High Roller savant Mikita ‘fish2013’ Badziakouski to top the 172-entry field of Event #61-H ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max, Turbo). It marks the first career SCOOP title for Badziakouski who came close earlier in the series, finishing as the runner-up to Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira in the $25,500 Super High Roller. This time though it was Olli ‘Era_Koria’ Ilonen’s turn to finish in second place, which earned him $53,992.82. Thomas ‘WushuTM’ Muhlocker ended up taking third place in the Turbo, collecting $42,034.83. Brazil’s ‘Psuedo Fruto’ fired three bullets into Event #60-H ($1,050 NLHE, 4-Max, PKO) and the third time was a charm. They wrapped up the $20,396.84 first-place prize and added another $21,296.86 in bounties for a total score of $41,693.70. ‘SonOfBadger’, playing out of the UK, settled for second and earned $20,396.66 with an additional $7,343.74 in bounties. Finally, it was Bulgaria’s #3-ranked pro ‘cocojamb0’ who finished in third place and added a total of $24,441.44 to his more than $5.6 million in online career earnings. Also of note, PokerStars ambassador Lex Veldhuis finished in seventh place, collecting $9,255.31. Other winners on Saturday included ’Sebsssx’ (Event 53-L), ‘FiatEruditio’ (Event #53-M), ‘Nick-Hale’ (Event 60-L), boemi21’ (Event 60-M), ‘whipEEr’ (Event 61-L), and Matt1nho (Event 61-M). Event #53-H ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, PKO, High Roller) Entries: 122 Prize pool: $1,220,000 1. Tomatee - $265,365.86 2. Secret_M0d3 - $207,866.43 3. Oxota - $125,574.77 Event #60-H ($1,050 NLHE, 4-Max, PKO) Entries: 249 Prize pool: $249,000 1. Psuedo Fruto - $41,693.70 2. SonOfBadger - $27,740.40 3. cocojamb0 - $24,441.44 Event #61-H ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max, Turbo) Entries: 172 Prize pool: $344,000 1. fish2013 - $69,352.65 2. Era_Koira - $53,992.82 3. WushuTM - $42,034.83