It's pretty hard to win a poker tournament without winning a few coinflips. Pair against overcards, or vice versa. But it's when you win those coinflips that truly matter. Early in the tournament is great, but late is where it really counts. Today Halfrek was able to avoid any major confrontations for most of the final table, and then won the coinflips that mattered late to claim today's Super Tuesday title and almost $80,000 in prize money.
The $1,050 Super Tuesday brought together a healthy field of 412 to create a prize pool of $412,000. The top 54 place finishers would take home profit.
Caio Pessagno was flying the Team PokerStars flag solo today but sadly fell short of the money in 153rd place. When Serbian lulu.pk70 was bundled out on the bubble in 55th place the remaining players were happy to have secured at least $2,060.
Chad Batista (43rd - $2,266), Tom Middleton (26th - $2,884) and James Cawley (17th - $3,708) were amongst those to reach the cash, and when the flush draw of g.karolis failed to deliver against joeyspanne88's top pair, top kicker, our Super Tuesday final table was set:
Final Table Line up
Seat 1: TheGoldfish1 (258,171 in chips)
Seat 2: jedi9000 (68,447 in chips)
Seat 3: JonCage06 (82,788 in chips)
Seat 4: joeyspanne88 (304,943 in chips)
Seat 5: NickDandolos (302,038 in chips)
Seat 6: Halfrek (417,691 in chips)
Seat 7: d.quang (125,502 in chips)
Seat 8: K0VAK (105,784 in chips)
Seat 9: birs320 (394,636 in chips)
The final table kicked off at 1,600/3,200/400 which meant there was plenty of game time ahead, but that didn't stop big stacks NickDandolos and Halfrek from colliding on the very first hand of the final table, with NickDandolos getting full value with a full house to take over the chip lead.
K0VAK secured a double up with A♥9♥ spiking an ace against birs320's pocket eights as it was JonCage06 who was first to go. With a raise and a call in front, JonCage06 moved all in with 5♠5♦ but d.quang woke up with A♣K♣ in the big blind and made the call. The board was spread J♠8♣Q♦K♥4♥ to pair the king on the turn and eliminate JonCage06 in 9th place for $6,839.20.
It was a brutal elimination for K0VAK who was next to depart:
K0VAK held the overpair but NickDandolos had flopped a set which improved to unbeatable quads by the turn. K0VAK takes $9,270 for 8th place.
jedi9000 was on the short stack but was unable to secure a double up to stay alive. jedi9000 three-bet shoved with 8♦8♠ and found a caller in TheGoldfish1 with A♣Q♦. The board was spread 7♥5♦6♠Q♣J♦ to give TheGoldfish1 a winning pair of queens to eliminate jedi9000 in 7th place for $13,390.
The chips were evenly spread around the table with six players left, until NickDandolos took down a couple of sizable pots to gain a chip advantage.
birs320 landed a double with ace-king against pocket sevens, but gave it right back to joeyspanne88 with birs320's ace-jack failing to get past joeyspanne88's ace-queen.
It put birs320 back on the short stack which was all in a short time later with K♥Q♦. Again it was joeyspanne88 who took it on holding 9♥9♦ with the 9♠4♣2♠K♦9♣ board delivering quads for the second time on the final table. birs320 had to be content with 6th place and $17,510 in prize money.
Meanwhile the TheGoldfish1 had been doing well to survive with a short stack, but the run came to an end in 5th place. TheGoldfish1 three-bet jammed A♣J♥ but found no help against d.quang's T♥T♦ as the board rolled off 2♥4♣7♠K♣K♠. TheGoldfish1 collected $23,072 for a great run.
Play tightened up significantly with four players left before d.quang was able to break the deadlock with the elimination of joeyspanne88. The chips were again in preflop with d.quang moving all in with A♦K♠ and joeyspanne88 making the call with J♠J♦. The race went the way of d.quang as the 6♥4♥K♥9♥7♣ board paired up the king to see joeyspanne88 pocket $32,960 for 4th place.
With the three players all pretty even in chips, the biggest pot of the tournament so far erupted between d.quang and NickDandolos that was six-bet preflop:
It was a make-or-break coinflip and it landed the way of NickDandolos' pocket jacks as d.quang was bundled out in 3rd place for $43,260 in prize money.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 5: NickDandolos (1,296,651 in chips)
Seat 6: Halfrek (763,349 in chips)
NickDandolos and Halfrek had clashed on the very first hand of this final table, and now here they were, about to be dealt the very last. NickDandolos held a near two-to-one chip lead, and the early pots were relatively quiet, until a board of A♥Q♥A♣4♥ sparked a raising war. NickDandolos moved all in with K♠Q♣ but Halfrek had turned a flush with T♥8♥. The river 6♥ didn't change anything as the tournament was flipped around in favour of Halfrek.
NickDandolos wasn't done with quite yet, as a remarkable river landed a life-saving double up:
NickDandolos was back on top but that all changed in two key hands. NickDandolos had a chance to win it all with A♠K♦ against Halfrek's 7♠7♥ but a third seven on the flop swung the lead around once again before Halfrek finished the job.
Again it was preflop, with NickDandolos three-betting and then calling it off with T♥7♥ as Halfrek opened A♣Q♥. There was a big sweat on the 9♥J♣Q♣ flop and NickDandolos added a flush draw to the straight draw when the A♥ appeared on the turn. However the river blanked the 3♠ to see NickDandolos' tournament come to an end in 2nd place for $58,710 with Halfrek taking down the Super Tuesday to win $79,062.80. Congratulations!
Super Tuesday Final Table Results
Prize pool: $412,000.00
Place paid: 54
1st Halfrek (Denmark) - $79,062.80
2nd NickDandolos (Germany) - $58,710.00
3rd d.quang (Canada) - $43,260.00
4th joeyspanne88 (Costa Rica) - $32,960.00
5th TheGoldfish1 (Denmark) - $23,072.00
6th birs320 (Hungary) - $17,510.00
7th jedi9000 (Canada) - $13,390.00
8th K0VAK (Bulgaria) - $9,270.00
9th JonCage06 (Mexico) - $6,839.20
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.