Pros Performing Well as PokerStars SCOOP Series Officially Underway

The eighth annual PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) series kicked off on May 8, and as the first of 165 total tournaments on the schedule came to a close the cream of poker’s professional community has quickly risen to the top.

As the most expansive SCOOP schedule ever produced by PokerStars, this year’s edition featured 55 distinct types of tournament across most variants over two full weeks of action – with each event spread out over Low (L), Medium (M), and High (H) price points.

Event #1-L, for example, offered an $11 No-Limit Hold’em event to appease the masses, along with Event #1-M, a $109 version of the same tournament boasting a $300,000 guaranteed prize pool.

These low-stakes events provide countless thousands of SCOOP players across the globe with a legitimate chance to turn a few bucks into a major bankroll. This was proven by players “WellBr20” of Brazil and “Hitvil” of Belarus, who took down $23,997.25 and $81,928.45, respectively, for winning the aforementioned opening events.

But even as the bulk of PokerStars’ player community battles it out in the Low and Medium events, it’s the High versions of each tournament that attracts the game’s top talent. And through the first few events on the schedule, poker’s professional ranks have performed admirably thus far, securing several final table appearances and SCOOP titles in the early going.

Successful online pro Matthew “mjw006” Wakeman managed to make the final table of Event #1-H ($1,050 NLHE) – which drew 1,025 total entries – looking to add a SCOOP win to his World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) title earned last September. Wakeman bowed out in sixth place, however, earning $51,745 for the deep run, while setting the table for a series of scores by top online pros.

The final table of Event #2-H ($2,100 NLHE Progressive Super Knockout with $1 Million Guaranteed) saw no less than three big names make the final nine, after emerging from a big field of 845 runners. Jonas “donut604” Mackoff of Canada pocketed $110,695 along with $5,000 in bounties for his runner-up result, while Luiz “Justholdplz” Duarte of Brazil collected $62,952.50 plus $32,453.12 in bounties for a fourth place run. One of the original German legends, Marvin “Ron Jovi 7” Rettenmaier won $43,940 plus $23,230.46 in bounties for a fifth place finish.

In Event #3-H ($2,100 NL Draw), which drew 51 total entries, player “omaha4rollz” of Hungary took down $37,740 for an impressive win over a stacked final table. The champion defeated pros  Adam “Adamyid” Owen of the U.K. (2nd for $25,500), Felipe “mojave” Mojave of Brazil (3rd for $15,300), Vladimir “vovtroy” Troyanovskiy of Russia (4th for $10,200), American ex-pat Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb (5th for $7,650), and Talal “raidalot” Shakerchi of the U.K. (6th for $5,610).

With 887 total entries in Event #4-H ($2,100 NLHE), a prize pool of $1.77 million was up for grabs. And while American pros Chance “ChanceCU” Kornuth (3rd for $175,626) and Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky (5th for $74,508) came close, the big money was chopped up by Brazilians Rafael “GM_VALTER” Moraes (1st for $301,625.49) and “Kelvin_FP:AR” (2nd for $256,297.51).

The 2016 SCOOP series continues to run on PokerStars through May 22, and with over 100 events still on the schedule more than $40 million in prize money is on the line.