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Charlie Carrel Beats Odds to Win SCOOP High Main Event

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British poker player Charlie Carrel overcame significant challenges to win the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) $10,000 + $300 High Main Event on PokerStars Tuesday. Not only did he enter the final table as the shortstack, but his apartment in Mexico lost electrical service right before he began to play. At the end of a long and troublesome day, he was rewarded with $1,200,899 for his first-place showing.

Tournament Delayed

The final table was actually played separately from the earlier phases of the event. The prior two days of play had whittled the starting field of 693 down to the final nine. Canada's Harrison "gibler321" Gimbel was the chip leader at this point with more than 7.5 million chips in his stack while Carrel, playing as "Epiphany77," had fewer than 2 million. Other fearsome competitors at the final table were Norwegian Ola "Odd_Oddsen" Amundsgaard and American Connor "blanconegro" Drinan.

Both Charlie Carrel and Connor Drinan were affected by a huge electrical outage in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico that saw more than a million residents lose power. We've received anecdotal reports from poker players in the area that even their backup 3G wireless sticks from Telcel experienced failure. Carrel stated that power had been restored to his building shortly before the tourney was scheduled to resume – except for his own apartment. Drinan meanwhile was logged in through his phone but said in the PokerStars chatbox that the connection was "sketch."

Charlie Carrel SCOOP chat

Rather than start the third day of play at the regularly scheduled hour, organizers decided to pause for about 20 minutes to give the two final tableists a chance to get their situations straightened out. Charlie headed over to a local Starbucks and played using Wi-Fi. Connor eventually found a solution that worked for him too, and the game was on.

Action at the Table

Charlie started out slowly at the final table, and four competitors were eliminated before he began to pick up some chips. But then he doubled up with pocket kings quickly followed by a hand in which he made two pair and multiplied his stack by two again. He then busted Ola Amundsgaard out of the tourney when his A9s held all-in preflop against Ola's JTs. The four remaining players traded chips back and forth for a while, but eventually it was down to just Charlie Carrel and Harrison Gimbel.

The two quickly concluded a deal that gave each of them a million-dollar payday and set aside $100,000 for the winner. Despite the fact that Gimbel had about a 4:3 chip lead, Carrel was able to rapidly close the deficit and turn the tables on his opponent. The final hand saw all the chips go into the middle before the flop with Carrel holding J8s against the K9o of Gimbel. The flop changed nothing, but the turn paired Carrel's jack, and no help came on the river for Gimbel. With the $100,000 added to the sum he agreed to in the heads-up deal, Carrel scored a total of $1,200,899.97. Harrison Gimbel took home $1,122,873.99.

Charlie Carrel's Poker Success

This latest win for Charlie Carrel is merely the most recent in a long string of victories for the Englishman. In May 2015, he picked up €1,114,000 for besting the field in a €25,500-buyin High Roller event in Monte Carlo. At the PokerStars Caribbean Championship at the Bahamas in January 2017, he was the runner-up in the $100,000 Super High Roller contest, good for $1,191,900. He won a previous SCOOP event this month, the PLO8 tournament on May 11 – which he registered for by accident and barely even knew how to play! As Charlie explained on Twitter:

Soo I misclick registered this event, thinking it was a hold'em event <.< Aaand yeah, blundered my way into 1st for $67k <3. Nice :)



The Spring Championship of Online Poker is one of PokerStars' headline tournament series along with the World Championship of Online Poker. This year's SCOOP had 171 tourneys and guaranteed a total of more than $55 million. Of course, Americans can't play at PokerStars unless, like Connor Drinan, they move to Mexico or some other country.

Actually, PokerStars does run a SCOOP series that's open to U.S. residents. The New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker just finished a few days ago, and it awarded close to $1.5 million to the winners. This makes it the largest online tournament poker series in the state, but sites like Ignition Poker and Americas Cardroom routinely host series that pay out several million dollars each. And you can play in them as an American without the dubious pleasure of having to be physically located in New Jersey like you do if you want to play on PokerStars NJ.