The Valentine's Day version of the Super Tuesday, the weekly $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament that routinely attracts online poker's best and brightest, brought out a field of 441, thus creating a total prize pool of $441,000 -- still way above the tourney's newly-bolstered $300K guarantee. The top 54 finishers cashed in this one, with $84,627.90 due the winner barring any late-night deal-making.
After about four hours the field had been trimmed to 100 players, with mmbittencour, Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis, and Christopher "NigDawG" Brammer leading the way as the only players to have accumulated more than 50,000 chips. By then the only three representatives of Team PokerStars had all been eliminated -- Shane "shaniac" Schleger of Team Online (191st), Ana Marquez of Team Spaid (165th), and Javier "El_Cañonero" Dominguez of Team Online (144th).
By the time the five-hour break came they had reached the stone cold bubble. Just 55 players remained, all but one of whom would be making the money. By then rizih led with 141,993 as the only player in six figures. FiatEruditio was his closest competitor with 94,432, with Ignacio "menin77" Menéndez in third with 79,099.
Meanwhile, Nicholas "niccc" Chouity, MO G Kush, Zandre6108X, and Kyle "knecht_poker" Knecht all sat the bottom of the counts with stacks of 12 big blinds and below. They'd last several more hands once play resumed until finally MO G Kush reraised all in for 9,489 with A♦Q♣ and was called by arturitooo who held K♠K♦. The board came nine-high, and MO G Kush was the unfortunate player to finish in 55th.
Over the next hour-and-a-half the field was cut down to 18 players, with menin77 rising to the top with more than 255,000, FiatEruditio remaining in second with about 231,000, and Pendos90 third with almost 216,000.
It would take another hour for the field to be cut to 10. Those hitting the rail included FOZINHO (18th, $3,969), greezhool (17th, $3,969), arturitooo (16th, $3,969), talatias (15th, $4,851), KLUM_smoking (14th, $4,851), Pokerfan89Gr (13th, $4,851), Pendos90 (12th, $5,733), and lasagnaaammm (11th, $5,733).
Then came a big three-way all-in involving Ignacio "menin77" Menéndez with A♠A♦, Pokerger1337 with Q♠Q♦, and SUNDAYKING with T♣T♦. An ace flopped, giving menin77 the huge pot, crippling Pokerger1337, and eliminating SUNDAYKING in 10th ($5,733).
The final table was set.
Seat 1: BIGMICKG -- 110,183
Seat 2: ocrowe -- 203,323
Seat 3: menin77 -- 314,679
Seat 4: Leqenden -- 159,593
Seat 5: bob43155 -- 427,560
Seat 6: THAY3R -- 77,058
Seat 7: Lucass85 -- 115,047
Seat 8: FiatEruditio -- 769,988
Seat 9: Pokerger1337 -- 27,569
They didn't quite play an entire orbit at the final table before a hand arose in which FiatEruditio raised to 8,400 from middle position, then Pokerger1337 pushed his short stack of 18,069 in behind him. It folded back and FiatEruditio called, showing K♦Q♠ to Pokerger1337's 2♠2♦. The flop came 9♥Q♥6♦ to pair FiatEruditio once, then the K♥ gave him a second pair. The river was the 3♦, and Pokerger1337 was out in ninth.
Then it was Owen "ocrowe" Crowe making a just-over-2x raise to 8,010 from UTG. It folded around and FiatEruditio called from the small blind, but Mick "BIGMICKG" Graydon reraised to 26,789 from the big blind. Crowe then made it 52,550 to go, prompting a fold from FiatEruditio. Graydon responded by pushing all in for 135,916, and Crowe called.
BIGMICKG had Q♥Q♦, but had run into ocrowe's A♣A♦. The board came 8♠9♦8♣2♣6♥, and Graydon was eliminated in eighth.
They played through the eight-hour break, and shortly after it was Thayer "THAY3R" Rasmussen raising to 10,320 from early position and FiatEruditio calling from a couple of seats over. The flop came T♠Q♥K♠, and Rasmussen continued for 18,450. FiatEruditio made a big raise to 211,200 -- way more than the 67,788 that THAY3R had left -- and Rasmussen made the call.
FiatEruditio showed J♥J♣ for an open-ended straight draw while Rasmussen turned over K♥K♦ for top set. The turn brought the A♥, giving FiatEruditio Broadway, and after the 2♣ arrived on the river Rasmussen had been knocked out in seventh.
The remaining six played on, with the blinds increasing to 3,200/6,400 (Level 31). That's when bob43155 opened with a minimum-raise to 12,800 from the cutoff which Lucass85 called from the button. Then FiatEruditio reraised to 42,323 from the small blind, prompting folds back to button-caller Lucass85 who called again, leaving himself just over 95,000 with which to play.
The flop came all babies -- 3♠6♣2♦ -- and FiatEruditio pushed all in. Lucass85 called, showing 7♠7♣, but FiatEruditio had the better pocket pair with 9♣9♥. The 9♦ then fell on the turn, giving FiatEruditio a set and making the river no matter as Lucass85 was drawing dead. They were down to five.
That hand gave FiatEruditio the lead with more than 755,000, better than Owen Crowe's 662,000-plus and bob43155's nearly 540,000. Meanwhile, the other two were well behind, with menin77 sitting just over 144,000 and Leqenden hovering just above the 100,000-chip mark.
Just before nine-hour break, Leqenden opened with a raise to 16,000 from UTG, then bob43155 pushed all in from a seat over for 138,750. It folded back to Leqenden who quickly called with K♣K♠. bob43155 showed A♥T♦. The flop came 3♣T♠J♣, giving bob43155 one pair, but neither the 2♠ turn or Q♣ river improved his hand and bob43155 was out in fifth.
It wasn't long after that when Crowe quickly pushed out over 1 million chips after claiming two large pots from FiatEruditio to take a commanding lead. Over the next several minutes Crowe continued to pressure his opponents as he collected more chips, soon gathering more than 1.5 million.
Soon FiatEruditio was open-shoving all in for 198,935 from the button, then Crowe reraised to isolate from the small blind, forcing a fold from menin77. FiatEruditio had Q♠J♦ and ocrowe 9♣9♥. The board brought FiatEruditio two pair, but four hearts as well, coming J♥7♥8♣2♥Q♥ to give Crowe a flush and send FiatEruditio out in fourth.
Crowe now had better than 1.76 million -- about 80% of the remaining chips in play -- while Leqenden and Ignacio "menin77" Menéndez both sat in the 205,000-230,000 chip range.
The blinds had climed to 4,500/9,000 (Level 34) when Leqenden, by then having pushed up over 420,000, opened for 18,000 from the button, then ocrowe reraised to 38,880 from the small blind. menin77 folded, Leqenden called, and the flop came 2♦7♣K♣. Crowe continued for 42,888, and Leqenden called again. The turn then brought the 3♣. This time Crowe bet small -- 13,888 -- and Leqenden raised to 67,776. Crowe promptly pushed all in, sending Leqenden deep into the tank.
After about two minutes, Leqenden finally called with the 270,134 he had left, showing A♣7♥ for sevens. Crowe had K♦2♥ for kings and deuces, and after the 3♥ came on the river Leqenden was out in third.
Heads-up play began with Crowe sitting at 1,938,602 to Menéndez' 266,398. Menéndez just finished runner-up in the Super Tuesday last month, but he'd have a steep hill to climb in order to improve on that finish versus Crowe.
menin77 soon doubled up with a flush versus Crowe's top pair of aces, then after adding some more chips he'd double up again in a hand in which he rivered a straight and got paid. Menéndez increased his advantage further, but the tide turned back in Crowe's direction as he claimed a sequence of pots, including one significant one in which he rivered trip kings for a nice payoff.
The battle continued, with Crowe increasing his lead, then Menéndez pushing back to nearly even the match. They reached the ten-hour break, with Crowe enjoying a small lead with 1.14 million to Menéndez' 1.05 million.
The pair shared a bit of conversation during the five-minute interval.
menin77: WANT TO DISCUSS A DEAL SIR ??
ocrowe: No thx
ocrowe: gl.. fun match
menin77: lets play for 22k
ocrowe: sounds great
menin77: for me is a free roll
menin77: was dead an hour ago
It had been quite a comeback for Menéndez -- down to less than 150,000 with four left, and similarly down in the desperation zone when heads-up play had begun. But he was back in contention, and shortly after play resumed he'd seize the lead once again after flopping two pair then getting three streets of value to claim a 984,000-chip pot.
The see-sawing proceeded on, with Crowe nudging in front again. Then came a key hand in which menin77 opened with a 2x raise from the button and Crowe called, and the pair saw the flop come 2♣7♣8♥. Crowe checked, Menéndez bet 29,750, Crowe raised to 75,000, and menin77 called.
The turn was the 7♥, pairing the board, and Crowe bet 122,000. Menéndez made it 299,999, and ocrowe called. The river was the 8♦, putting two pair in the middle, and this time Crowe checked. Menéndez pushed all in for the 590,241 he had left, and Crowe called. Crowe had A♠2♥ for two pair with an ace, but menin77 had 7♦5♦ for the underfull, and the 1.98 million-plus chip pot slid his way.
Just two hands later, Menéndez was again min-raising from the button and Crowe was once more calling. The flop came 9♠K♦T♥. Crowe checked, menin77 bet 14,000, Crowe shoved for 176,520, and Menéndez called.
Two pair for Menéndez versus one for Crowe, although Crowe still had hopes of filling that gutshot. But the turn was the A♣ and river the 3♣, and menin77's hand had held.
Congratulations to Ignacio "menin77" Menéndez for besting a tough field of 441 -- and a fairly epic heads-up match with Owen "ocrowe" Crowe lasting nearly 150 hands and 45 minutes -- to win this Valentine's Day edition of the Super Tuesday!
Super Tuesday results for 2/14/12:
1st: menin77 ($84,627.90)
2nd: ocrowe ($62,842.50)
3rd: Leqenden ($46,305)
4th: FiatEruditio ($35,280)
5th: bob43155 ($24,696)
6th: Lucass85 ($18,742.50)
7th: THAY3R ($14,332.50)
8th: BIGMICKG ($9,922.50)
9th: Pokerger1337 ($7,320.60)
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