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SuperStar Showdown: Round one goes to "urnotindangr" with a $5,245 win over Blom

isildur1.jpgOf all the opponents he's faced in the SuperStar Showdown thus far, Viktor Blom has probably logged the most hours at the tables with the man who took him on today, nosebleed-stakes fixture Scott "urnotindangr" Palmer. Although the 20 year-old may not be a household name yet, he regularly trades six-figure pots with the game's best in high-stakes no-limit hold'em and pot-limit Omaha cash games. Having already played tens of thousands of hands together, Palmer was a natural challenger for Blom and like Daniel Negreanu before him, will be playing a two-part, 5,000-hand match over consecutive Sundays. After a brisk, swingy 2,500 hands that saw multiple two-outers, aces cracked, and a $59,000 pot, Palmer took round one by less than one buy-in, finishing with a $5,425 profit that he'll carry over to next week's meeting.

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This was the quickest showdown match to date, Palmer and Blom blasting through all 2,500 hands of $50/$100 NLHE in four hours and one minute. The two were all-in on Table 4 within six minutes, Palmer five-bet shoving preflop with 8♣8♦ and Blom making the call with Q♥Q♣. Nothing changed on the A♥9♣2♦ flop, but Palmer spiked a two-outer on the turn, the 8♥ falling to give him a set and the $20,000 pot. A few minutes later, Blom three-bet Palmer's $300 opening raise to $1,000, then lead out for $1,200 on the T♣7♠3♠ flop. Palmer called and they went to the turn, which fell the 4♣. Blom checked, Palmer bet $2,800, and Blom came back over the top, shoving for $7,800. Palmer called, revealing K♠8♠ for a king-high flush draw while Blom showed a pair of sevens with 9♦7♣. Palmer hit one of his 15 outs on the river, the 8♣ falling to make him a pair of eights that were good enough to relieve Blom of another buy-in. Throw in a $10,000 pot where Palmer made a full house and after 11 minutes and 150 hands, he was already out to a $38,000 lead.

The next 150 hands saw Palmer increase that margin to more than $50,000. Over on Table 3, Palmer opened for $300 with K♦Q♣ and Blom defended his big blind with Q♠3♠. Both hit the K♠Q♦8♠ flop hard, Blom with middle pair and a flush draw against Palmer's top two pair. Blom checked, Palmer bet $400, Blom raised to $1,200 and Palmer called. The 2♣ on the turn missed Blom, but nevertheless, he kept the pressure on and led out for $2,250. Palmer smooth-called, the K♥ on the river making him the nut boat. Blom checked, Palmer shoved, and Blom called off the $6,350 he had left in his stack only to watch the $20,200 pot shipped across the table.

As quickly as Palmer built his lead, Blom rebounded, reclaiming all his lost chips and then some over the next half-hour. Although in this hand Palmer flopped two pair against Blom's overpair, Blom caught a set on the river to take down this $32,100 pot:

Palmer dropped a $23,900 pot when he three-bet shoved a T♠3♠2♦ flop with 4♥5♥, but couldn't fill his open-ended straight draw against Blom's pair of tens. Minutes later, Blom turned a two-outer of his own, his pocket kings making a set on a A♦8♥2♦K♥ board. Palmer check-called Blom's $1,400 bet with A♥9♦, then checked the 5♦ on the river. Blom moved all-in for $7,900 into the $4,400 pot and Palmer looked him up only to see the bad news. Blom evened the match when he won $20,800 preflop coinflip with pocket queens against Palmer's A♦K♥, then took an $11,025 lead after turning a six-high straight in another $20,000 pot. By the time one hour had ticked off the clock, Blom held a $22,050 advantage, having ground up $72,350 in just under 300 hands.

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Seven buy-ins in 30 minutes? It's what I do.

20 minutes later, Blom had nearly doubled his lead to $41,325. In a $27,550 pot, all the money went in on the river with the board reading T♠7♠Q♦A♦K♠, Palmer rivering a Broadway straight with Q♣J♣ while Blom made the nut flush with A♠8♠. Then, in a $16,000 pot, Blom got three streets of value with top two pair, Palmer check-calling to the river on a J♥6♣3♥Q♣9♥
board. However, before Blom could get too far ahead, Palmer pulled out a win in the largest pot they'd seen yet. Blom opened for $300 with K♠J♥, Palmer three-bet to $1,200 with Q♥7♥ and Blom made the call. Palmer flopped huge, hitting top pair and a flush draw when it came down Q♠9♥5♥. Palmer checked, Blom bet $1,500 with his gutshot straight draw, Palmer raised to $4,000 and Blom called. Palmer made his flush on the turn with the 3♥ and Blom called his $4,800 bet, having picked up an inferior flush draw. The K♣ on the river made Blom top pair, and it was enough for him to call Palmer's $11,475 shove. The $42,950 pot went to Palmer, cutting Blom's lead to $18,350.

The swings just kept on coming through the middle third of the match. Blom ground his lead back up to $47,900 only to give up a significant chunk of those profits when Palmer flopped a set of eights against his pocket aces and got full value. Blom flopped his own set only a few hands later, but Palmer got there on the turn when he filled his open-ended straight draw. However, once again, Blom stormed back, turning a flush against Palmer's aces up in this $30,800 pot:

After 1,507 hands, Blom was holding on to a $50,150 lead, but two simultaneous Palmer double-ups cut that margin in half. On a K♠6♦3♠ flop, Blom check-called Palmer's $400 bet, then check-raised the turn when the A♦ fell. Palmer looked him up and they went to the river, which fell the 7♠. Blom moved all-in and Palmer happily called off the $6,625 he had behind, having made the nut flush with A♠J♠. Blom could only show 3♦5♦ and Palmer raked in the $22,350 pot. At the very same time, Blom made the very same move on Table 2, shoving the river with the board reading J♥J♣4♣K♣6♦. Palmer called and both players showed trip jacks, Palmer's A♥J♠ outkicking Blom's J♦7♦ for the $25,700 pot.

Palmer continued grinding away at Blom, picking up a series of mid-sized pots that erased another $15,000 or so of his deficit. Just before the 1,700-hand mark, he moved back into the lead after getting his money in on a Q♥6♦2♦ flop with 2♣6♠ against Blom's A♦3♦. Although Blom turned top pair, his flush and two pair outs missed on the river, the $23,000 pot giving Palmer a $10,675 overall lead. In yet another blink-and-you'll-almost-miss-it comeback, Palmer won $60,825 in only 164 hands, but Blom didn't let him sit on his lead for long. Six minutes later, Blom was back in the black to the tune of $18,525, thanks in large part to this 368 big blind pot.

Holding $18,400 to Blom's $27,475 to start the hand, Palmer opened for $300. Blom three-bet to $1,100 and Palmer made the call. Blom led out for $1,300 on the A♣Q♠8♣ flop and Palmer came along. The turn brought the 6♦ and Blom fired again, making it $3,250 to go. Palmer called, and the 6♥ hit the river. Blom checked, Palmer bet $8,400 of the $12,750 he had behind, Blom set him in and Palmer called off his remaining $4,300, turning over 6♣7♣ for trips. They were no good as Blom revealed 8♠8♥ in the hole and took down the $36,800 pot with eights full of sixes.

Over the next 200 hands, Palmer switched gears and chipped away at Blom's lead via small-pot poker. Both players' stacks had grown quite deep-- there was $80,000 spread between them on Table 2 alone. As they crossed the 2,000-hand mark, Blom's smallest stack was the $16,200 he held on Table 3. Blom doubled that stack when he check-raised all-in on the turn holding K♦Q♥ on a K♥6♦5♠7♣ board and Palmer looked him up with K♣8♣. Palmer had outs to two pair and a straight, but missed on the river when the A♠ fell. Although Palmer picked up a $19,600 pot when Blom made a triple-barrel bluff right into his trip sevens, closing the gap to $2,625, Blom went on another tear, picking up three five-figure pots over the next ten minutes, inlcuding this $29,700 hand:

With 100 hands to go, and Blom hanging on to a $24,000 lead, the monsterpotten of the match unfolded. With $45,150 behind, Blom opened for $300 with T♠8♦ and Palmer smooth-called with pocket fives and $29,425 in his stack. The 5♣2♥2♦ flop gave Palmer a full house and he decided to slow-play it, checking over to Blom, who bet $500 with his unimproved ten-high. Palmer called, and the 7♦ came on the turn. Palmer checked a second time and Blom decided to bluff another street, making it $1,400 to go. Palmer smooth-called. The river was the 4♦ and Palmer decided to let Blom try and stab at the pot again. He checked, Blom bet $2,850, Palmer raised to $8,600, and still with an unimproved ten-high, Blom shoved for $42,950. Palmer snap-called $18,625 more, the $58,850 pot pushing him into the black by $5,075.

In the closing hands of the match, the lead changed twice more. Although Blom pulled back out to a $8,025 advantage by hand 2,479, this match came right down to the wire, Palmer snapping off Blom's pocket aces when he turned trips with A♦3♠ in a $16,000 pot to take an $8,725 lead. Blom managed to shave a few thousand off that total, Palmer finishing with a $5,425 profit after 2,500 hands.

The two rivals offered a few parting words before departing to continue their Sunday grind:

Isildur1: gg
urnotindangr: gg very funmatch thinking not so fun with swings
Isildur1: :)
Isildur1: yep
Isildur1: cu next friday
urnotindangr: cu gl

We're pretty sure Blom meant Sunday there, as Round Two of this SuperStar Showdown will commence in one week's time, on April 10 at 3:00pm EDT. If it's anything like this one, it should be a nail-biter to the end. Do join us again. And in the time it took us to compose this post, Scott Palmer won $490,000 playing PLO. That's just how he rolls.

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