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SuperStar Showdown: Hail the Viktor, Blom bests "urnotindangr" for $61K over 5K hands

isildur1.jpgFor the fourth straight week, PokerStars' resident heads-up warrior Viktor "Isildur1" Blom was back in action for another SuperStar Showdown, this time to continue his two-round match with the formidable Scott "urnotindangr" Palmer. And after another efficient session lasting just over four-and-a-half hours, Viktor was the victor yet again, besting Palmer for $66,607 on Sunday for an overall profit of $61,182 over the 5,000 hands between the two.

After last week's 2,500-hand session, Palmer held a $5,425 advantage over Blom -- a small edge relatively speaking, given that each player had hefty $150,000 bankrolls with which to battle. Last Sunday Palmer jumped out to an early advantage, Blom fought back to retake the lead for much of the middle portion, then a late charge by Palmer gave him the lead just before the final bell rung. (For a full recap of last week's action, click here.)

Blom Sails Boat into Lead

Blom and Palmer once more stuck with no-limit hold'em only (blinds $50/$100) for these final 2,500 hands.


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In one of the first hands on Table 3, Blom quickly closed in on Palmer's small lead, claiming a modest pot after flopping trip aces. Then over on Table 1, just over five minutes in, came the first all-in of the day.

After Palmer had raised and called a three-bet from Blom, a K♠A♣K♥ flop saw Isildur1 continuing and Palmer calling. Palmer called a bigger turn bet after the T♣ fell, then again called Blom's all-in push on the Q♠ river. Palmer had turned a straight with Q♦J♠, but Blom held A♠K♦ for the flopped boat. That hand gave the Swede a pot of $21,600 and the overall lead -- a lead he would not relinquish for the duration of the match.


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Isildur1 would soon claim the next two $20,000-plus pots of the afternoon as well. In the first the pair got it all in on the turn with the board showing A♥K♥9♣5♣. It was an unfortunate spot for urnotindangr who had K♣9♠ but was behind Blom's better two pair with A♦9♥. An ace on the river sealed it, giving Blom the $20,800 pot. And shortly after Blom would take another big one -- $22,700 this time -- turning two pair with J♦6♠ to crack Palmer's pocket kings. After 200 hands, Isildur1 was up $22,150 on the day for a $16,725 advantage overall.

Blom continued to add to his lead over the next 100 hands, using his characteristic aggressiveness to pressure Palmer into folds. Finally came a hand in which Palmer had three-bet preflop from out of position, Blom called, and the flop came 4♦8♠9♠. Palmer led for $1,200 into the $2,000 pot, and Blom promptly raised to $2,850. Palmer contemplated the situation for nearly a half-minute, then pushed all in for $9,400 total. Blom quickly called, showing Q♠T♠ for overs and both flush and gutshot draws. Meanwhile Palmer had A♠Q♣, and after the K♥ turn and 2♥ river his ace-high hand remained best, earning him the $20,800 pot.

Palmer would scoop the next big pot, too, after the pair got it all in following a 5♠4♠3♠ flop with Isildur1 holding Q♠Q♠ and Palmer A♠T♣. A spade arrived on the river to give Palmer the better flush and the $22,500 in the middle, and for a brief time it appeared the momentum might be swinging back urnotindangr's way.

All the All-Ins for Isildur1

However, the next hour saw Blom winning a succession of large pots, including the next three straight of $25,000 or more.

In the first both players made pairs on a T♠2♠7♥ flop, but the 2♣ turn gave Blom trip deuces with K♥2♥, which urnotindangr subsequently paid off with his A♠T♥ on the river (pot $27,000). Then came a preflop all-in with Palmer taking 9♥9♦ up against Blom's A♥K♥. A king flopped, Blom's hand held, and another large one ($28,100) went to the Swede.

Soon after that urnotindangr was all in again before the flop, this time with T♥T♦ against Blom's A♦9♠, but the board came 7♠2♦8♠6♦5♦, giving Isildur1 a straight and a $32,200 pot. After about an hour of play and 701 hands down, Isildur1 was up $44,950 on the day.

Palmer scraped back a few, taking a couple of medium-sized pots. But every time the all-ins occurred, Isildur1 seemed to be the one holding the bigger hand. For example, in a hand on Table 3 the pair exchanged several bets on the turn with the board showing 6♥J♥A♦Q♣, creating a pot of a little over $9,000. The river brought the 3♠ and an all-in shove from Isildur1 which Palmer called with the $9,100 he had left. Palmer had A♠Q♠ for top two, but Blom had K♣T♣ for the Broadway straight, the $27,300 pot swiftly sliding into Isildur1's stack.

The pair crossed the 1,000-hand mark, Blom's profit for the day having mushroomed to $68,800. Palmer won back one stack of high society on Table 3 when his pocket jacks outlasted Blom's A♣Q♥, but quickly gave it back on Table 1 when the two got it all in on the river with the board showing 9♦7♦T♦9♣3♥ with Palmer holding Q♦J♦ versus Blom's A♦2♦.

Blom's Away

That flush-over-flush hand was somewhat indicative of how things went for Palmer during the first hour and 45 minutes of play, but Palmer would soon get a brief respite from the constant run of bad fortune.

They'd nearly reached the midpoint for the day, with 1,166 hands down and Blom up by $69,400, when Blom experienced some connectivity problems, causing the match to be delayed for nearly 45 minutes. After moving to a new location Blom was back online, the pair were reseated at four new tables, and cards were soon back in the air.

His set-up might've changed, but Blom's setting up of Palmer time and again to pay off big hands continued as before. Isildur1 quickly took another $20K-plus pot when his top pair outlasted a Palmer flush draw. Then came one in which Palmer opened for 3x from the button, Blom called, and the flop came 2♣5♦8♣. Blom checked, Palmer bet $400, Blom made it $1,300, and Palmer called. The turn was the 7♣, and this time Blom check-called Palmer's bet of $2,600. Isildur1 check-called another bet following the 9♠ river -- this one $6,400 -- and turned over 2♥2♠, more than enough against Palmer's A♠3♣ for ace-high. Another big pot -- $21,200 -- was shipped Blom's way.

Palmer would manage to double a couple of times after reloading to $10,000, but every time he did Blom soon grabbed most if not all of those chips right back. By the time they hit the three-quarter mark of 1,750 hands, Isildur1 had pushed to a $78,357 profit for the day ($72,932 overall).

Bing Blang Blom

Then arose a hand which appeared might prove a turning point for Palmer. On Table 6 both were sitting with about $25,000, thus setting the stage for what would prove the biggest hand of the afternoon.

The hand began with a raise to $300 by Palmer, a reraise to $1,100 by Blom, and a call from urnotindangr. The flop came 8♦Q♥A♦, and Blom led for $1,300. Palmer called. The turn was the Q♣, pairing the board, and this time Blom bet $3,150.

Palmer didn't wait too long before pumping it up to $8,000, and Blom responded in kind, reraising again to $12,850. Palmer called, and together they watched the 2♥ land on the river. Isildur1 pushed all in with the $8,250 he had left, and Palmer -- with only a shade more -- called the bet. Palmer had Q♦J♣ for trips, but had been foiled yet again by Blom who held A♥Q♠ for aces full of queens.


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The pot was $47,000 even, and with that one it appeared Blom had all but assured himself another SuperStar Showdown win.

A Late Palmer Push

The last 500 hands saw Blom increase his lead for the day up over $100,000 for a short while, then Palmer gamely battle back to close the final margin, grabbing three $20K-ish pots during the final stretch of hands.

The first saw Palmer all in on a 5♥5♠J♦ flop with A♠J♥, better than Blom's A♥K♠, and the hand held. Then came a hand in which Palmer let Blom lead the betting before the flop and on all three streets as the board ran out 5♠Q♣9♣4♠T♣. In the end Blom had but 8♠6♠ for a busted draw while urnotindangr's T♦9♠ gave him two pair and the pot.

Finally, in the last big hand of the night, a series of preflop raises saw urnotindangr all in with J♦J♣ versus Blom's K♥Q♥. The community cards came 5♦3♦2♦Q♦5♣, giving Palmer a diamond flush and a few more chips as the final hands of the day were dealt.

It was not quite enough for Palmer, though, as Blom finished the 2,500-hand session $66,607 up for the day and $61,182 ahead over 5,000 hands. The combatants quickly exchanged messages of "gg" and were soon off on their separate ways, both likely in search of still more action.


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Team PokerStars Pro Viktor "Isildur1" Blom


It has been quite a run for Isildur1, who after losing his first SuperStar Showdown match to Isaac Haxton last December has compiled an impressive list of vanquished challengers -- Tony G, Daniel Cates, Eugene Katchalov, Attila "DodgyFish72" Gulcsik (the qualifier Blom bested by a single big blind!), Daniel Negreanu, and now Palmer.

Who will be next to show up for the Showdown? Stay tuned!

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