With MicroMillions II in the rearview and the 2012 WCOOP starting to appear on the horizon, 421 runners gathered for this week's Super Tuesday at PokerStars, the weekly $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament that routinely brings out online poker's best.
That group built a prize pool of $421,000. The final 54 finishers would divide up the money, with $80.789.90 of it scheduled to go to the winner barring any late night deals.
By the five-hour mark the field had been reduced to just 56, with arnon shraga and NhFy the only two of them with stacks of more than 100,000.
Meanwhile -#1Lottery- and jarekk returned from the break to stacks of less than five big blinds. Both would last long enough to see FaceStealer fall short in a race with A♥Q♣ against the 6♥6♠ of Drugans, losing a stack of about 14 big blinds to go out in 56th. A short while after that -#1Lottery- took a chance with K♣9♥ against dean23price's A♣Q♦, but when the community cards brought no help -#1Lottery- was out in 55th and the cash bubble had burst.
Over the next hour 20 players would fall, with Shyam "G's zee" Srinivasan (51st, $2,105), Dani "supernova9" Stern (50th, $2,105), RuiNF (43rd, $2,315.50), jarekk (38th, $2,315.50), and mtvdeuem (37th, $2,315.50) among them. During that stretch NhFy pushed way out in front, flirting with the 300,000-chip mark while no one else had more than 120,000.
By the six-and-a-half-hour mark they were already down to 18, with NhFy having cruised over 400,000 and SUNDAYKING the nearest foe with just over 200,000. Recent eliminations then included flashdisastr (28th, $2,526), Jonathan "Iftarii" Jaffe (27th, $2,947), caecilius (23rd, $2,947), and Andrew "stato_1" Hulme (19th, $2,947).
It would take another hour for the next nine to fall. Stefan "I'am_Sound" Huber (18th), MistheMan (17th), and Ryan "gutshtallin" Welch (16th) each earned $3,789 paydays. karl_yngvie (15th), alwayswin222 (14th), and Superfizzy (13th) all banked $4,631. And Jamil "Jamil11" Wakil (12th), treezer (11th), and Vinkyy (10th) made $5,473 apiece for their efforts.
The final table was set.
Seat 1: munchenHB -- 90,395
Seat 2: Drugans -- 296,325
Seat 3: joaobarb -- 173,956
Seat 4: Pthelegend -- 217,721
Seat 5: SUNDAYKING -- 225,399
Seat 6: arnon shraga -- 297,192
Seat 7: Big Huni -- 235,356
Seat 8: NhFy -- 412,199
Seat 9: lior1010 -- 156,457
NhFy continued to lead the way with nine left, with Drugans and arnon shraga having pushed up to lessen the wide gap between NhFy and the field.
Meanwhile, lior1010 was among those low on chips, and it wouldn't be long before lior1010 would be putting those chips at risk. The blinds were 2,000/4,000 when lior1010 raised to 8,000 from middle position, then João "joaobarb" Barbosa reraised to 16,000 from the button. The blinds folded, lior1010 pushed all in for 125,652 total, and Barbosa called.
lior1010 showed A♠K♦ but had run into joaobarb's A♣A♦, and when the board came 3♥T♠3♣J♠6♦, lior1010 was out in ninth.
Soon arnon shraga would win a big pot off of NhFy to grab the chip lead, and would continue to stay in front over the next hour.
The blinds then moved to 2,800/5,600, and a hand arose in which arnon shraga raised to 11,200 from early position, Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen called from a seat over, and Drugans called as well from the big blind. The flop came 3♥4♠7♥ and Drugans led for 22,400. arnon shraga folded, but Hunichen raised to 45,888. Drugans responded with an all-in push for 120,166 total, and Big Huni called.
Drugans showed 9♠7♠ for top pair of sevens but was way behind Hunichen's K♥K♣. The turn was the A♣ and river the 4♣, and Drugans was gone in eighth.
On the very next hand, NhFy opened with a minimum-raise to 11,200 from middle position. munchenHB was next to act and reraised all in for 48,019 from a seat over. It folded around, NhFy called, and the players' cards were revealed -- 2♠2♦ for NhFy and A♣T♥ for munchenHB. The community cards came 8♥2♥8♠2♣K♥ to give NhFy quads and send munchenHB out in seventh.
NhFy's run good would suddenly hit a snag, however, as a short while later NhFy would lose all but a few chips in a hand versus Pthelegend when the latter's pocket jacks held against NhFy's A♥K♦.
That hand left NhFy with but 24,041 at a point when the blinds were 3,600/7,200. However, NhFy would soon survive two all-ins by chopping pots, then double up twice to climb back up out of the danger zone.
Then with the blinds at 4,000/8,000, arnon shraga opened for 16,000 from the button, and Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen reraised to 39,995 from the small blind. It folded back to arnon shraga who pushed all in, and Hunichen called for 209,636 total.
Hunichen had 7♠7♥ and needed help versus arnon shraga's T♦T♣. But the board came J♠6♣9♠8♥4♠, and Big Huni was eliminated in sixth.
Shortly after that the blinds were 4,500/9,000 when NhFy raised to 19,350 from the button, then Pthelegend reraised all in for 186,595 from the big blind. NhFy called, showing 7♣7♠ to Pthelegend's A♣6♠. Five cards later -- 8♥J♠6♣9♣3♣ -- Pthelegend was out in fifth.
A little while after that João "joaobarb" Barbosa opened for 18,000 from UTG and got one caller in NhFy in the big blind. The flop came 2♦8♣7♦. NhFy checked, Barbosa bet 17,000, and NhFy called. The turn was the A♣. NhFy checked again, and this time joaobarb bet 37,500. NhFy called once more.
The river brought the 2♠ and another check from NhFy. Barbosa then pushed all in for 137,375, and NhFy called one last time. NhFy showed 9♣7♣ for sevens and deuces, good enough as joaobarb had but K♥T♦. Just three were left.
Play went on a short while, then it was decided to talk about a possible deal. By the time the tourney was paused, the trio had nearly even stacks with arnon shraga sitting with 719,840, SUNDAYKING 702,537, and NhFy 682,623. The group quickly agreed to an even chop of the remaining prize money, leaving $6,000 for which to play.
"from 3bb" typed NhFy after the deal had been struck, alluding to his earlier near elimination with six players left. "unbelievable," responded arnon shraga, and the tourney soon resumed.
NhFy would soon chip up, mostly at the expense of arnon shraga. Then came a hand in which NhFy raised the minimum to 20,000 from the button, then arnon shraga shoved for 352,724 from the big blind, getting a call from NhFy.
arnon shraga: A♠T♣
Aces for both, but a better side card for NhFy, and when the board came A♣5♠4♠4♦6♥, arnon shraga was out in third.
Heads-up play began with NhFy enjoying a better than 3-to-1 chip lead with 1,606,319 to SUNDAYKING's 498,681. The latter would soon even things up, however, by doubling through in a hand in which all the chips went in on the turn with the board showing 4♦3♦3♣T♦ and NhFy holding 8♠8♣ while SUNDAYKING had a flush with Q♦7♦. The river brought the 6♦, and suddenly NhFy's lead had nearly been erased.
The pair would battle for 10 more hands, during which NhFy nudged back out ahead. That's when SUNDAYKING raised to 20,000, NhFy made it 50,000 to go, SUNDAYKING pushed back making it 95,000, NhFy shoved all in, and SUNDAYKING called.
NhFy had 8♣8♦ and was looking to dodge an ace versus SUNDAYKING's A♠8♦. The board rolled out 7♠3♣7♣K♠Q♥, and NhFy had made it all of the way back from near elimination to claim the win.
Congratulations to NhFy for coming back after being down to just over three big blinds to win this week's Super Tuesday! And kudos as well to SUNDAYKING and arnon shraga for making it to the three-way chop and posting nearly $60K scores.
Super Tuesday results for 7/24/12 (*reflects three-way deal):
1st: NhFy ($66,662.46)*
2nd: SUNDAYKING ($59,662.47)*
3rd: arnon shraga ($59,662.47)*
4th: joaobarb ($33,680)
5th: Pthelegend ($23,576)
6th: Big Huni ($17,892.50)
7th: munchenHB ($13,682.50)
8th: Drugans ($9,472.50)
9th: lior1010 ($6,988.60)
Surely most of those participating in this week's Super Tuesday are anticipating the 2012 World Championship of Online Poker, set to begin September 2nd. Satisfy your own curiosity and check out the schedule by clicking here.