13 Lucky for Scobee

Even with only six players at the final table, the 13th event of the WSOP Circuit tour at Horseshoe Council Bluffs raged on for close to five hours, with lots of chip lead changes in what all participants agreed was a tough table. In the end it was Brian Scobee, a 35-year-old nurse recruiter for INA Healthcare, who ended up first. When it got two-handed, he led with about 185,000 chips to Drew Woodke's 150,000, and the two agreed to a deal ending the action. Scobee was declared the winner, taking out an official $10,268. The key hand for him in late action when he took the chip lead after his pocket queens held up against pocket 8s. 

Scobee, 35, is a health care nurse recruiter from Bennington, Nebraska playing for four years who earlier won $2,400 in a three-way chop in a second-chance event.

Scobee plays mostly tournaments and sometimes small no-limit cash games. His style is selective-aggressive. "I like to put the pressure on," he says. He came to the final table second in chips but had an up-and-down ride all the way through until finally grabbing the chip lead. Scobee  is the father of two girls and a month-old baby boy.

Final-table action began with 1,500-3,000 blinds and in three minutes went to 400 antes and 2,000-4,000 blinds with 400 antes. Leading with 275,300 chips was Drew Woodke.  

Here were the starting chip counts:

Seat 1. Joe Ritter - 29,600
Seat 2. Drew Woodke - 275,300
Seat 3. Tobin King - 49,100
Seat 4. Jay Carstens - 39,800                        
Seat 5. Brian Scobee - 137,200                                              
Seat 6. Austin McCormick - 130,000  

First out, in sixth place, was Joe Ritter. He was all in with K-Q and lost to Jay "Bis Slick" Carsten's A-J after the board came 7-8-7-2-6. Sixth paid $1,385. Ritter, 40, is a software programmer from Omaha who has played for 25 years, and this is his first final table.

Next to go was Tobin King. He pushed in his entire 76,000 with A-K and got a call from Austin McCormick with pocket 8s. "Eight ball in the corner pocket," McCormick called out, and sure enough the dealer obliged by putting out a flop of 8-6-7. King, now drawing dead, cashed fifth for $1,874. King, 36, is a business owner from Brunswick, Nebraska. He's been playing four years and has two cashes out of three Circuit tries.

Blinds now were 3,00-6,000 with 500 antes, and all players remained when blinds went to 4,000-8,000. It took a long time to lose our third player, but finally it was Carstens who cashed fourth for $2,770. He moved in with A-3 and was called by McCormick holding Q-J. Carstens paired his trey on a flop of 3-7-6, only to see McCormick pair his jack on the turn. A river deuce didn't help and after three hours, half the field of six was gone. Carstens is 43 and an area sales manager from Denison, Iowa

Chips moved back and forth for a long time between the three remaining players. An hour later, McCormick had A-K and was up against  Woodke's pocket 8s in a big pot. In earlier action, McCormick knocked out a player who had A-K by flopping a set of 8s Now, ironically, the tables were turned. McCormick's A-K went nowhere after Woodke was the one to flop a set of 8s. McCormick now was left with just a few chips. He doubled through once, but on the next hand was all in again with J-2 against Scobee's A-10. An ace flopped, and that was more than enough to leave McCormick in third place, which paid $2,770. McCormick is 21-year-old student turned pro from Kansas City, Missouri. This is his second final table. He had a fourth in the prior $500 no-limit event.

Heads-up, Scobee led with about 185,000 chips to 150,000 for Woodke. They now took a break, talked deal, came to an agreement and the tournament was over. Second paid an official $6,355. Woodke, 27, is a real estate agent from Omaha playing 10 years. His multiple cashes include a sixth in last year's $500 event where he achieved the additional glory of knocking out Amarillo Slim.