Scotty Warbucks (also know as Charlie Shoten), picked up his second Omaha Hi-Lo win by taking the $1,000 buy-in event at the Legends of Poker tournament 2003 at the Bicycle Casino. With a great run of cards, he piled up a big lead halfway through the final table, then fell behind Rusty Mandap, and finally pulled ahead in a big last hand, after which a deal was made.
The final table started with blinds of $300-$600 with $600-$1,200 limits, 31:40 remaining. Starting with hand two, three players in a row got knocked out. First, Tom Hunt, who won an earlier Omaha Hi-Lo event, went all in holding a slightly questionable 2-3-5-6. His needed ace didn’t come, and he got double counterfeited with a board of 7-7-5-6-3. Warbucks took high with a full house, Martin Corpuz low with a nut A-2.
Next, Van Pham went up against Warbucks with virtually identical hands: A-2-3-K for Pham, A-2-3-9 for Warbucks. Pham, all in, had the lead when the board came Q-10-4-3. The only card that could beat him was a nine, and that’s what came on the river.
Vince Burgio, returning to action after spending several days with his visiting grandchildren, was next out. He went all in pre-flop in the small blind, looking for a low with 3-4-5-6. He was pretty much out of luck with a board of Q-J-10-10-2 against two opponents, and Mandap, tournament director at Hawaiian Gardens, showed a Q-10 for a full house.
At the break, nutritionist Ron Faltinsky, who started as chip leader, was still slightly in front with $31,500, closely followed by Mandap with 28k and Warbucks with 26k. Low man was Mike Joon Lee, who had been nursing his short stack of $7,500. With limits at 1-2k, he held A-3-5-J. A board of 10-8-2-K gave him draws to a nut low and an inside straight. Warbucks put him in holding A-Q-J-8 for a multi-way straight draw. A river nine, the same card that busted Pham, gave Warbucks a nut straight.
Warbucks, who had taken the lead with over 40k a few hands earlier when he beat Mandap with a flush, now moved further in front with more than 50k. A few hands later, after picking off a bluff by Frankie O’Dell, Warbucks had hit 60k and warned O’Dell, "Don’t do that against me, you’re going to come out second." Later, when Warbucks bet into O’Dell on the river and ended up getting scooped, Frankie returned the compliment: "Don’t try it on me," he said.
Meanwhile, it took 32 hands from the time Lee was eliminated until the next player left. Martin Corpuz, losing several hands after the first limit increase, had played low-chipped until his last thou was posted in the small blind on hand 59. His low draw was counterfeited and Mandap scooped him away with a flush.
O’Dell, suffering his own swings, had gone all in a couple of times. On hand 75 he raised for his last $2,500 holding A-2-5-Q. The board was not kind to him: 9-9-5-9-Q. Warbucks held the fourth nine, and O’Dell finished fourth.
Limits now went to 2-4k. Warbucks, who earlier held a monster lead and refused a deal, now had his regrets, because Mandap had surged ahead, holding 83k in chips to Warbucks’ 41k. Faltinsky, hanging on with 11k, let go on hand 80. With a board of K-6-3-J-10, Mandap bet. After long hesitation, Faltinsky called with his last couple of chips. Mandap showed a straight and Faltinsky threw in his hand.
Heads-up, Mandap had a 3-1 chip lead, but Warbucks still refused a deal. After 19 hands heads-up, Warbucks had closed the gap, 84-51k. A save was made. One more hand was played, a huge one which Warbucks won with aces-up to re-take the lead, and a final deal ended it.
Here are the top finishers:
1. Scotty Warbucks, $26,800
2. Rusty Mandap, $15,410
3. Ron Faltinsky, $8,040
4. Frakie O’dell, $4,690
5. Martin Corpuz, $3,685
6. Mike Joon Lee, $3,015
7. Vince Burgio, $2,345
8. Tom Hunt, $1,340
This marks the fourth final table along with the second win for Scotty Warbucks at Legends 2003. "I’m enjoying playing more and more," he said with understandable enthusiasm. Tonight he had 11k in chips by the third level, but only half as much at the final table. He quickly went on a rush, then hit a dry spell before finally overtaking Mandap. He’s been having a great year, finishing second in Commerce’s Cal State championship and winning a Hustler championship event.
Warbucks, who buys and sells seniors’ life insurance policies, had something on his mind besides poker and wanted to make a statement. Upset by a court ruling ordering the removal of a Ten Commandments monument in an Alabama judicial building, fearing how this might affect "the world my children and grandchildren live in," he urged everyone to read the New York Times best seller by Ann Coulter called "Treason."