After playing through a pair of multi-part high-profile matches over the last few weekends (scoring decisive victories over Daniel Negreanu and Scott "urnotindangr" Palmer), Viktor Blom took his second shot at an online qualifier in a special 1/10-sized edition of the SuperStar Showdown. Playing his way to a heads-up match with the notorious Swede was Poland's "Mastermixus," who had a $15,000 bankroll at stake over 2,500 hands of $5/$10 no-limit hold'em.
Eleven minutes into play, Mastermixus claimed the first all-in pot. With the board reading 9♥3♠2♣T♦ on the turn, Blom check-raised Mastermixus' $80 bet to $265 and received a call. The river brought the 5♠ and Blom shoved for $995 into the $630 pot and Mastermixus made an easy call with 9♣T♠ for top two pair. Blom could only show K♥Q♠ for king-high. Blom evened up the score when his A♥A♦ held up against J♣J♥ in a preflop all-in, but lost it again only a few hands later when he called Mastermixus' five-bet shove preflop. Although Blom had the best of it with A♥K♠ against A♦J♠, Mastermixus flopped a jack, turned two pair and rivered a boat to take down the pot. With just under 10% of the hands complete, Mastermixus was out to a $1,140 lead.
It didn't take Blom too long to grind his way back to the plus side. By the 400-hand mark, things were entirely reversed, with Blom out to a $1,710 lead. Much of that lost ground was made up on this hand, where both players flopped top pair, but Blom won the battle of the kickers:
Mastermixus attempted a bold move a short time later, trying to "out-Blom" Blom with a river overbet-bluff. Holding Q♠9♠, Mastermixus semi-bluffed on the K♠T♦8♠ flop with his combo draw, check-raising Blom's $50 bet to $170. Blom called and the 7♦ hit the turn. Although he missed, Mastermixus continued to represent a big hand, leading out for $240. Again, Blom called. The river was the 3♦, and despite having missed a second time, Mastermixus moved all-in for his remaining $735. Blom looked him up, rolling over the 2♦8♦ for the rivered diamond flush.
Five hands later on the same table, they were all-in again. In a pot that was four-bet pre, Blom check-raised all-in on the 8♥5♣4♥ flop and Mastermixus called, turning over A♥A♦. Blom had 7♠8♠ for top pair and a gutshot straight draw. The 4♦ on the turn was a safe card for Mastermixus, but Blom rivered the 8♣ to wrest away the $2,500 pot with trip eights. On the very next deal on the same table, all the marbles went in again. With the board reading K♣Q♣4♣9♠, Blom check-raised all-in on the turn, having flopped a flush with 2♣3♣. Mastermixus caled with K♠Q♦ for top two pair, but could not fill up on the river. After those three all-ins (within seven hands on the same table!), Blom was out to a $4,705 lead.
Mastermixus wisely called for a five-minute break after that flurry of action and on one of the first hands back, he won a $2,000 flip when his pocket eights held up against Blom's A♠Q♦ in a preflop all-in. For the most part, however, Mastermixus turned quite passive, content to let Blom steal blinds with abandon. During a 30-minute period on Table 3, Blom won 51 out of 60 pots, including a stretch where he won 21 straight hands. Mastermixus was content to win the big ones, breaking that streak when he rivered trips against Blom's two pair in a $2,010 pot, then coolering him in a pre-flop all-in with pocket aces against pocket kings. Mastermixus nearly evened the score when he three-bet pocket tens pre, then hit top set when the flop came down T♥8♦6♦. Mastermixus led out for $120, Blom raised to $285, Mastermixus jammed, and Blom called off his remaining $665 with T♦9♥ for top pair and a gutshot. Mastermixus' set held up and Blom's lead was cut to only $450 with 674 hands in the books.
Over the next 325 hands, Mastermixus ground his way into the black, holding a one buy-in lead over Blom by Hand #1,000. Although Blom was down overall, he was still stealing blinds with abandon while Mastermixus folded away, choosing instead to play fewer hands for larger pots. Blom continued to ride long streaks where he picked up pots uncontested-- one on Table 3 saw him win 24 of 30 pots, another on Table 1 saw him take 90 out of 100. Mastermixus was winning when it really counted, however, and as the match approached the three-hour mark, Mastermixus went on a hot streak, winning three consecutive all-ins. The first was a true cooler, the money going in on the river when Mastermixus made the nut flush and Blom the king-high flush. Next, Blom fired three bullets with fourth pair, Mastermixus looking him up with top pair to take down a $3,970 pot. And finally, Mastermixus' pocket jacks held up against Blom's A♣K♥ in a pre-flop all-in to give him a $3,705 lead after 1,458 hands.
Unfortunately for our valiant qualifier, that would be his high-water mark for the match. Less than 200 hands later, Blom had erased that deficit and then some. Mastermixus was still clinging to a small lead when he felted Blom on Table 4, a lucky river ace yielding him the largest pot thus far at $4,350:
Blom needed to split one of his stacks in order to reload and the action was paused, but before all the hands in progress could play out, an even larger pot developed on Table 1. All the money went in on a 5♥4♦2♦ flop, Mastermixus with A♥3♥ for the wheel and Blom on straight and flush draws with J♦3♦. The Q♣ on the turn missed Blom but the 9♦ on the river filled his flush. The $6,230 pot put him back in the black by $290 with 861 hands to go.
Mastermixus managed a small comeback; his pocket aces held up against Blom's nines in a preflop all-in, then he turned the nut flush when Blom's pocket queens flopped a set. To complete the hat trick, Mastermixus check-raised all-in on a Q♠J♣5♣ flop and Blom called with pocket kings, only to discover that the Pole hit a set of jacks. Mastermixus moved out to a $1,745 lead after 2,018 hands, but ten minutes later, they were back to square one after Blom rivered trip eights against Mastermixus' pocket jacks in a $3,400 pot.
At the 2,000-hand mark Mastermixus found a ray of hope when his Q♦Q♥ held against Blom's T♦T♠ in a preflop all-in, but Blom put an end to that rally when his pocket kings yielded him a 257 big blind pot. Mastermixus opened for a min-raise to $20 with Q♠J♣, Blom three-bet to $90 and Mastermixus called. Blom led out for $120 on the Q♣9♠8♦ flop and Mastermixus called with top pair and a gutshot straight draw. The turn came the 6♥ and Blom fired again, making it $250 to go. Mastermixus called and the 2♣ hit the river. Blom went for his signature move, shoving for $825 and Mastermixus looked him up, his top pair no good against Blom's overpair. The $2,570 pot essentially squared things up, and over the final 100 hands, Mastermixus all but shut down, Blom grinding out a little more than a buy-in to finish up a $1,279 winner.
Although Blom scored the notch in the "W" column (bringing his overall record to 7-2 and his total Showdown profits to $351,486) not all was lost for Mastermixus. The qualifier did get to keep the $13,721 that remained of his challenge bankroll, certainly nothing to sneeze at for a bit over three hours' work.