We will call this the Battle of Planets: Holiday Edition. Nothing different about awarding $50,000 to our SnG champions from the various "planets" buy-in levels except the timing. Usually the big freeroll happens during the last Sunday of each month but since PokerStars recognized that the players might want to enjoy New Year's Eve, we came back today to crown the last Battle of the Planets champion from 2011 (in 2012). An extra week allowed for extra players to qualify as 612 players cashed their tickets for a shot at the $12,000.00 first place prize.
Team PokerStars took the afternoon off as none registered or perhaps they wanted to watch Team Online's Randy "nanonoko" Lew out at the PCA attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most poker hands played in an eight hour period and get a headache from trying to keep up with the 40 tables he has up.
As for these players who may or may not be multi-tabling with some big cash on the line, the first round got down to 1nnetka and IVAN987654 heads up on Table 56 with 1nnetka holding a 7,957 to 2,543 chip lead and 150/300 ante 25 blinds. 1nnetka led out for a min raise as IVAN987654 shoved holding a medium ace A♠8♥. 1nnetka looked down at K♣8♠ and felt it was good enough to make the call. The suckout king would wait until the river to appear 9♥ 8♣ Q♦ 9♠ K♦, shutting IVAN987654 from the money today in 82nd place as our remaining 81 players were now assured $195.00
derdex ran through his table like someone with plans for the evening finishing off the table quickly. SixthSenSe19 got a ticket to the final table and was holding the chip lead in the Sunday Warm-Up with under 50 players remaining, nothing like a shot at two five-figure paydays.
Down to two tables remaining taxistu would fall to chaser395 and on Table 4 jusTTsmile held a big 10,125 chips to 3,375 chips lead over Dr_ALBATR0S and with the blinds at 150/300 both would throw it in preflop. 7♦A♦ for jusTTsmile and Dr_ALBATR0S showed J♣K♠. Unfortunately for the doctor the wing span was not long enough to catch jusTTsmile's trip sevens on the Q♥ 2♠ 7♠ 7♣ 6♥ starting up the final table below:
The only news from the first 10/20 blind level was SixthSenSe19 getting knocked down to just 445 chips from the starting 1,500 chip stack after losing a 690 chip pot to derdex and a 974 chip pot to Noisy_pl who found a club flush on the river.
Not sure if Greek mythology included a Flying Zebra, but there was a live one trying to eek out a decent payday from this freeroll. FlyingZebraa, sitting in the small blind, would shove 1,235 chips over the top of a small raise by chaser395 on the button. This was not a standard button opening raise as chaser395 snap called with pocket queens Q♣Q♠. 9♣A♦ for FlyingZebraa needed the power of Tyche to stay alive, but the goddess did not hear the call as the board K♣ 8♥ 8♦ 2♦ T♥ ended FlyingZebraa's tournament in ninth place ($775.00).
Sensing the end
SixthSenSe19 could be excused for being a bit distracted with a possible $113,637.77 first prize and top five stack with 34 players left in the Sunday Warm-Up. After grinding back up to a 1,055 chip stack and blinds at 50/100, SixthSenSe19 would open shove with big slick A♥K♠ getting called by the pocket eights 8♦8♠ of jusTTsmile in the big blind. After the eight hit the river 7♣ 2♣ Q♦ 9♦ 8♣ SixthSenSe19 could devote all the attention to the Sunday Warm-Up finishing in eighth place ($1,200.00).
Haste makes waste
High blinds however can force the hand a bit as derdex sitting on just 1,199 chips and blinds of 50/100 open shoved from the button holding 9♥J♠ as Noisy_pl had enough chips to cover in the big blind making the call with T♠A♥. An all-low 5♠ 7♦ 8♦ 4♠ 2♥ board handed the 2,448 chip pot to Nosiy_pl as the first player seated at the final table, derdex, took home $1,700.00 in seventh place.
No straight flush today
Seven hands later strflushtome would shove over the top of a small raise to 277 chips by chaser395 as the blinds held at 50/100. Holding pocket tens T♥T♦ chaser395 made the call and would be racing against the A♦Q♠ of strflushtome. Just a queen or an ace or even some broadway cards would help, but the 6♦ K♠ 8♥ 6♥ 5♠ board failed to connect for strflushtome ending the tournament in sixth place ($2,200.00).
In like a lion, out like a lamb
No, it's not March yet but noisy_pl on the downslide to just 659 chips after losing a big hand against jusTTsmile would be all-in again as the blinds moved up to 75/150. Holding 6♦Q♣ noisy_pl needed some boom against the small ace A♣4♠ of tiburonbig. A rumble came out on the 8♣ 6♥ 3♦ but it was quickly silenced by the A♠ on the turn. After the 9♠ river fell softly noisy_pl collected $2,735.00 in fifth place.
Smile getting wider
And it should after jusTTsmile collected this 2,580 chip pot. Watch below:
jusTTsmile would take out mularczykPVC who tried suggesting a deal just before the hand was dealt would be on the wrong side of a river card as jusTTsmile found an eight 5♠ 9♥ 4♠ 3♠ 8♥ to match his 8♦T♣ and overcome mularczykPVC's 6♥A♠ ending Polish player's night in fourth place ($3,350.00).
Grinning from ear to ear
jusTTsmile can't stop just winning. As the blinds moved up to 100/200 jusTTsmile would min raise from the button holding a sizable chip lead over tiburonbig and chaser395. tiburonbig would fold the small blind but chaser395 shoved for 2,087 chips. Holding a pocket pair of eights 8♣8♥ jusTTsmile made the call. chaser395 produced a couple of hearts K♥5♥ but the board only flipped up one 9♠ 4♦ 7♣ 6♣ 9♥ ending chaser395's night in third place ($4,500.00).
We do not know if jusTTsmile uses Crest or Colgate for that winning smile, but we do know the Russian just took down $12,000.00 and the belated December Battle of the Planets triple shootout freeroll. Watch the final hand play out below:
Very little drama on this flip between jusTTsmile's pocket sixes 6♣6♥ against tiburonbig's A♠Q♣ after a six in the turn 3♠ 8♦ 5♦ 6♦ 4♦ handing jusTTsmile the Battle of the Planets title!
$50,000 Battle of the Planets freeroll results (01-08-12)
1. jusTTsmile (Russia) $12,000.00
2. tiburonbig (Peru) $7,500.00
3. chaser395 (Russia) $4,500.00
4. mularczykPVC (Poland) $3,350.00
5. Noisy_pl (Poland) $2,735.00
6. strflushtome (Netherlands) $2,200.00
7. derdex (Finland) $1,700.00
8. SixthSenSe19 (Uruguay) $1,200.00
9. FlyingZebraa (Canada) $775.00