Over 16 hours into a tournament and down seven to one in chips, it's all too easy to simply throw up your hands and give in to fatigue. The hole seems too deep, the gymnastics required to climb out of it too strenuous for a mind that's been racing all day. It takes the heart of a champion to dig in and turn the tables and tonight zackmorris99 showed he has plenty of it, never giving up as he mounted a come-from-behind victory charge in Event #61.
The SuperKnockout format drew 3,355 players to the virtual felt. Each $320 buyin was divided equally, creating main and bounty prizepools of $516,670 each. 432 spots were paid out with $81,119.32 set aside for first place. The Red Spade army was out in force today; 43 members of Team Pro, Team Online, and Team SportStars joined the fray, including Daniel Negreanu, Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen, Nacho Barbero, George Danzer, Lex Veldhuis, Eugene Katchalov, Fatima DeMelo, Leo Fernandez, Humberto Brenes, Angel Guillen, Randy "nanonoko" Lew, David Williams, Sandra Naujoks, and Ana Marquez. Five Red Spades finished in the money: ElkY (357th), Liv Boeree (337th), Marcin Horecki (248th), Bryan Huang (173rd), and Victor Ramdin, who made the deepest run of them all, surviving to the final two tables.
Ramdin hovered near the top of the chip counts for most of the day, but with 18 players remaining, he began losing ground. After going three ways to a Q♠4♠3♠ flop for 28,000 apiece, the action checked over to Ramdin. He moved all-in for his remaining 256,799, and although selinantis gave up his hand, holy h3ll called, turning up A♠J♦ for the nut flush draw. Ramdin's K♠Q♥ was the best hand on the flop, but holy h3ll caught the A♥ on the turn to make top pair. The river blanked out with the 4♥ and Ramdin's run came to an end in 15th place.
With 11 players remaining, stacks were still pretty deep, the chip average holding around 60 BB. The blinds were up to 15,000/30,000 when gangst3m1 opened for a raise to 66,000 from the small blind. DT.N88 looked down at Q♦J♠ in the big blind and called, only to discover his opponent had a real hand and a dominating one at that. Gangst3m1's A♦Q♠ made a Broadway straight on theJ♥9♣4♦K♦T♦ board and DT.N88 was left with barely more than an ante.
DT.N88 managed to win the next hand, increasing his tiny stack to 22,700. They went in the middle again on the next deal, @8MEDO8@ shoved for 285,000 from the small blind to isolate, and wizowizo cold-called from the big.
It looked like DT.N88 just might survive another hand when the flop fell J♥T♠4♦. The 3♥ on the turn gave @8MEDO8@ a gutshot wheel draw, but wizowizo ruined everyone's plans, hitting the K♦ on the river to make top pair. DT.N88 was eliminated in 11th place and @8MEDO8@ went out in 10th, sending us to the final table.
Final table chip counts
Seat 1: pixigirl123 (1,057,874 in chips)
Seat 2: Sahara08 (614,000 in chips)
Seat 3: wizowizo (2,684,316 in chips)
Seat 4: zackmorris99 (1,744,969 in chips)
Seat 5: m_2508 (3,033,257 in chips)
Seat 6: anthonyff (4,556,366 in chips)
Seat 7: Liz00n (80,949 in chips)
Seat 8: gangst3rn1 (1,141,224 in chips)
Seat 9: selinantis (1,862,045 in chips)
zackmorris99 zaps Liz00n
Liz00n limped onto the final table with less than three big blinds after being crippled on a coinflip, his pocket fives falling to pixigirl123's A♠Q♥. On the first hand of final table action, Liz00n three-bet shoved for his remaining 77,200 and was called in two spots. Gangst3m1 check-folded to zachmorris99's bet on the 9♠7♦9♦ flop and the cards went on their backs.
Liz00n found no help on the turn and river, the 3♥ and the 5♠ falling to eliminate him in ninth place.
selinantis chips up, Sahara08 ships out
Selinantis moved up to second in chips after doubling through anthonyff. The two got their stacks in on a 7♣6♠4♠ flop in a three-bet pot, anthonyff holding A♣7♦ for top pair while selinantis had an open-ended straight draw with A♦5♦. Selinantis filled it on the turn with the 3♣ and doubled to 3.77 million.
While selinantis moved up, Sahara08 couldn't seem to gain any traction. Down to 491,000 with 17,500/35,00 blinds, Sahara08 open-shoved from the small blind holding Q♣T♣. Wizowizo called with A♣9♠. Neither player improved on the K♠5♠2♣3♦K♦ board, wizowizo taking it down with ace high as Sahara08 exited in eighth place.
anthonyff ambushes pixigirl123, wizowizo whacks gangst3m1
With 25 big blinds remaining, pixigirl123 defended her big blind to anthonyff's 2.1x opening raise. The flop fell K♦8♦4♠ and pixigirl123 led out for 84,280. Anthonyff called. The turn came the 9♥ and and pixigirl123 fired again, making it 162,240 to go. Anthonyff raised to 354,440 and pixigirl123 four-bet shoved for 734,469. Anthonyff called, turning over K♥9♦ for top two pair, having outdrawn pixigirl123's K♠J♥. The river 9♠ improved anthonyff to nines full and pixigirl123 hit the rail in seventh place, earning $11,883,41.
Seven hands later, a preflop raising war broke out between wizowizo and gangst3m1, the latter four-bet shoving for 893,000. Wizowizo called, turning over 9♦9♣, while gangst3m1 sheepishly tabled Q♣T♣. Wizowizo's nines held up on the king-high board and gangst3m1 was out in sixth place, $17,050.11 his consolation prize.
wizowizo wiped out
The field down to five, m_2508 and sellantis were at the front of the pack with 4.7 million each, anthonyff held 3.6 million, wizowizo was up to 2.2 million and zackmorris99 was the short stack with 1.5 million. After a level of small-pot poker, wizowizo had dipped below 2 million while m_2508 was holding steady at 4.5 million. Dealt K♣Q♦, wizowizo opened for a min-raise to 100,000. M_2508 three-bet to 250,000 from the small blind and wizowizo called. M_2508 led out for 277,562 on the K♥3♣8♥ flop and wizowizo smooth-called with top pair. The turn brought the A♦, certainly not a great card for wizowizo, but he looked up m_2508's 511,368 bet. The river fell the Q♣. M_2508 bet 971,599 and wizowizo called off his remaining 946,134, only to be shown A♣K♠. Wizowizo was suddenly on the rail in fifth place, while m_2508 moved into the chip lead with 6.5 million.
zackmorris99 saved by the king
Zackmorris99 wasn't in danger yet, 26 big blinds still sitting in his stack, but he was still the low man in chips. After going heads-up to a A♥Q♣T♥ flop with anthonyff, zackmorris three-bet all in with A♣J♥ and anthonyff called with Q♥T♦. Zackmorris99 was nearly done for, his top pair crushed by anthonyff's bottom two, but zackmorris99 turned the K♦ to make Broadway and wrest away the pot. Zackmorris99 doubled to 2.65 million, while anthonyff fell to 1.2 million.
Anthonyff chips up
Anthonyff went to work and chipped back up to 2.9 million through a series of small pots. Zackmorris99, however, dipped to 1.77 million before doubling through chip leader selinantis when his K♣T♠ flopped two pair and rivered a full house. Three hands later, anthonyff shoved for 2.16 million on a T♦8♦4♣2♥2♠ board and m_2508 called with an unimproved A♦K♠. Anthonyff tabled 9♣T♣ for two pair and shot up to 6.5 million in chips.
Anthonyff continued to climb, chipping up to 8.8 milion over the next level, before selinantis wrested away a 3.5 million pot from him without a showdown:
Four-handed play dragged on for more than an hour, players trading double-ups, river bluffs and four-bet steals. With the blinds up to 60,000/120,000, selinantis held the chip lead with 5.5 million, anthonyff and zackmorris99 had 4.25 million apiece and m_2508 was sitting on 2.7 million. Dealt A♠K♣, m_2508 opened for an UTG min-raise, and anthonyff three-bet to 496,880. The rest of m_2508's chips went in and anthonyff turned up 6♦6♣, setting up a 5.6 million coinflip. This time, it landed on anthonyff's side, the board running out Q♥Q♣J♠3♥6♠ to eliminate m_2508 in fourth place. He took home $29,708.52 for his finish.
Once the four-handed stalemate was broken, it took only seven hands before another tournament life was at risk. Selinantis and anthonyff went to war preflop, anthonyff five-bet shoving for 6.07 million with 5♦5♠ and sellantis looking him up with A♠Q♣. Selinantis flopped a queen and rivered trips, sending anthonyff to the rail in third place ($42,893.94).
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 4: zackmorris99 (3,868,812 in chips)
Seat 9: selinantis (12,906,188 in chips)
Zackmorris99 startied off heads-up play at a 3.3 to 1 chip disadvantage but quickly found a double-up, his A♥J♥ holding up against K♣Q♥ to take him up to 7.4 million. Zackmorris99 didn't have those chips for long before selinantis flopped a set of tens and won a 7 million pot, sending zackmorris99's chip count back down to 2.57 million. Undeterred, zackmorris99 shipped the last of his chips in with A♣4♣, his ace-high holding up against selinantis' J♣T♦ to double his stack to 4.75 million.
Our final two slugged it out for another level, zackmorris99 chipping up to 7 million before he picked of selinantis' multi-street bluff to take the lead:
Selinantis clawed his way back to 8.1 million in chips before zackmorris99 dealt him a death blow. After calling zackmorris99's 320,000 opening raise, selinantis check-raised the 8♣7♦6♣ flop to 743,841. Zackmorris99 three-bet to 1.42 million, selinantis shoved for 7.8 million and zackmorris99 called, turning over 5♠8♥ for top pair and an open-ended straight draw. Selinantis showed J♥9♣ for a higher straight draw. Zackmorris99 filled his eight-high straight on the turn when the 4♠ fell, and selinantis did not improve on the river, the A♦ landing to lock up a WCOOP bracelet for zackmorris99.
Congratulations to zackmorris99 on a hard-fought battle en route to his first WCOOP title. He scored $81,119.32 for the win while runner-up selinantis earned $60,450.39.
PokerStars WCOOP Event #61 ($320 NLHE SuperKnockout) results:
Bounty pool: $516,670
Places paid: 432
1. zackmorris99 (Mexico) $81,119.32
2. selinantis (Lithuania) $60,450.39
3. anthonyff (United Kingdom) $42,893.94
4. m_2508 (Austria) $29,708.52
5. wizowizo (Germany) $22,216.81
6. gangst3m1 (Germany) $17,050.11
7. pixigirl123 (Denmark) $11,883.41
8. Sahara08 (Denmark) $6,716.71
9. Liz00n (Russia) $4,133.36
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Kristin Bihr is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog