Springtime holds much excitement as the sun and warmth return to the days and the promise of new beginnings hangs in the air. It seemed like the perfect time to launch the Women's Sunday tournament, and the female players on PokerStars seemed happy to see it.
The Women's Sunday was the brainchild of the PokerStars Women team who wanted to offer something along the line of the Sunday majors for the women who have been participating in the Women's Poker League and others who wanted a chance at a solid guarantee. That prompted PokerStars to load up a $5K guarantee for the tournament, put $50 bounties on the PokerStars players, and get it off the ground.
Enter March 27th and the first ever Women's Sunday event. Representing PokerStars in the field was Friend of PokerStars Charlotte "Sjlot" Van Brabander of Belgium. The gamer and university student has been playing more at the tables and was excited to get in on the action today.
There were other notables in the field as well. Names you might recognize from the PokerStars Women articles and interviews were Rebekah Mercer playing under the screen name tiltedrose, and chess pro Jen Shahade playing as jenium. And from the world of poker writing, Michele Lewis was in the field as Real Texan, and 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Luxury Ladies Event champion Kristin "change1OO" Bihr was seated just to the right of Van Brabander to start the event. Twitterer and pokerer Tonya Wells, known online as GrrrlZilla, was also at one of the tables.
As registration stayed open for an hour after start time, more women got in on the action, including Team PokerStars Pros Vanessa "V. Selbst" Selbst and Liv Boeree, and Team Online's Mer "PeachyMer" Brit. Cue the action with more $50 bounties in the field!
When the first hour came to an end, the numbers were finalized and prize pool set. And the guarantee was blown out of the water! Drumroll, please...
Total Players: 207
Prize pool: $10,350.00
Paid finishers: 36
The first bounty to be won was in a big hand where PeachyMer's pocket fours were up against the kings of Tammi-1 and A-K of dorcca, but the board came Q-6-T-4-J for the straight, and dorcca eliminated two players and collected the $50 because PeachyMer was one of them.
Teija "hirrvi" Halkosaari of Finland took off in 155th place, but the PCA qualifier and tournament grinder was likely firing up some more tables to make up for it. Real Texan and Change1OO also exited, the latter reporting on Twitter that she was "card/flop-dead." GrrrlZilla survived the hour-mark with a double-up but left soon after in 124th place. The second bounty of the day went to Krazeey for eliminating a short-stacked Sjlot in 89th place. And a bit later, jenium departed in 62nd, and Elizabeth "benmar" Bennett-Martin (three-time PCA Main Event qualifier) did the same in 60th place.
Eventually, just before the 2.5-hour mark of the tournament, the money bubble burst, leaving PAIGIRL out in 37th place and AidenRoot as the first to cash, taking home $77.62 for 36th place. And as the field thinned quickly, Vanessa Selbst was one of the casualties, eliminated in 19th place by FinancialPOK who picked up $50 for the bounty.
The last two tables of the event moved just as fast, scooting past the 3-hour mark with 11 players. It was luzzzy who eliminated Liv Boeree in 11th place when A-Q bested A-9, giving luzzzy the last available $50 bounty. Liv, pictured below, was the last Team Pro standing today:
And minutes later, dreeniee82 took A-T suited into battle with juicylucy09's T-4 suited, and the ace kicker won the hand, eliminating juicyluce09 in tenth place with $165.60 to show for it.
Giantfanj leads final table at the start
At the 3 hour 15 minute spot, the final table was set. Toward the end of Level 18, the blinds were 2,000/4,000, the ante at 400, and the chip counts as follows:
Seat 1: frizinette (24,852 in chips)
Seat 2: Fialka32 (20,426 in chips)
Seat 3: DiamondDixi (59,783 in chips)
Seat 4: FinancialPOK (116,068 in chips)
Seat 5: tiltedrose (21,968 in chips)
Seat 6: dreeniee82 (63,308 in chips)
Seat 7: ontschi (62,796 in chips)
Seat 8: luzzzy (101,472 in chips)
Seat 9: giantfanj (150,327 in chips)
It only took two hands for one of the shorter stacks to double up, as tiltedrose did it through dreeniee82. But a short time later, tiltedrose took another shot. The hand started with a few raises between tiltedrose and giantfanj to see a 6♠J♣5♦ flop. Giantfanj pushed all-in with 7♥7♠, and tiltedrose called for her tournament life with T♥T♠. The 2♥ on the turn didn't change anything, but the 7♦ on the river gave giantfanj the set, eliminating Rebekah "tiltedrose" Mercer in ninth place, which was worth $196.65.
Only four hands later, a big hand developed that started with frizinette pushing less than 20K chips all-in with Q♣J♦. FinancialPOK reraised all-in with Q♦Q♥, and dreeniee82 called them both with A♦A♠. The board came 9♣T♣6♠6♦A♥, and dreeniee82 scooped the pot with the full house. FinancialPOK was still in the game, but frizinette left in eighth place with $258.75.
Fialka32 nearly tripled up with a big hand, but she got involved again soon. It happened with ontschi pushed all-in to start, luzzzy called, and Fialka32 reraised all-in. Luzzzy called again with A♦A♥, Fialka32 showed J♥J♠, and ontschi turned over Q♠3♠. The dealer gave them 5♣K♦8♠T♥5♦, and the aces had it again. That left ontschi out in seventh place with $362.25 and Fialka32 in sixth place with $465.75.
Quicker than this writer could type, another all-in was on tap. The hand began with luzzzy and dreeniee82 going to see a flop of 9♠4♠3♦. Luzzzy bet and dreeniee82 check-called for the 9♦ turn. Luzzzy bet out again, but that time dreeniee82 check-raised all-in with 5♦4♦. Luzzzy called and showed 9♣9♥ for the quad nines, and the 5♠ on the river ended the agony. Dreeniee82 departed in fifth place with $600.30.
The very next hand saw DiamondDixi all-in preflop, and luzzzy and giantfanj both called. They checked down the board of A♥Q♠2♣9♣6♦. Luzzzy showed 8♣8♥, but giantfanj had T♣T♠ to collect the pot. DiamondDixi simply mucked and hit the road in fourth place with $879.75.
Feeling a bit disconnected
It was during that last hand and going forward that giantfanj displayed a connection problem. It slowed the tournament greatly and diminished the chip stack of giantfanj. More hands seemed to indicate that giantfanj, who may have been located in a part of the United States that was being hit by storms and power outages, was permanently disconnected. The other two players indicated their frustrations, but they didn't have much of an alternative than to play it out with the delays.
Meanwhile, FinancialPOK doubled through luzzzy with the following hand:
Meanwhile, it wasn't taking long, with blinds up to 4,000/8,000 with a 800 ante by the end of Level 22, for giantfanj to find herself in last place of the three remaining competitors. Luzzzy and FinancialPOK did their best to be patient, but luzzzy began to turn up the heat and put the pressure on FinancialPOK, ultimately gaining about a 5-to-1 chip lead.
Two to tango
Finally, giantfanj blinded out of the tournament in third place, which was worth $1,169.55. And that left two players with the following chip counts:
Seat 4: FinancialPOK (101,385 in chips)
Seat 8: luzzzy (519,615 in chips)
And it took one hand. Though FinancialPOK tried to reintroduce the idea of a chip-chop discussion, luzzzy responded that she said she'd think about it but "now I'm not dealing." That prompted FinancialPOK to call luzzzy's initial raise and risk everything with K♠7♠, while luzzzy showed J♦T♣. But the board of 2♦7♥A♦9♣8♥ gave luzzzy the runner-runner straight, and FinancialPOK of Spain settled for the $1,552.50 that went with second place.
Germany's luzzzy won the first Women's Sunday tournament, and along with the title, she took home $2,116.68 in addition to the $50 bounty she earned earlier in the event. Congratulations!
Women's Sunday Results for 03/27/11:
1st place: luzzzy ($2,116.68 + $50 bounty)
2nd place: FinancialPOK ($1,552.50 + $50 bounty)
3rd place: giantfanj ($1,169.55)
4th place: DiamondDixi ($879.75)
5th place: dreeniee82 ($600.30)
6th place: Fialka32 ($465.75)
7th place: ontschi ($362.25)
8th place: frizinette ($258.75)
9th place: tiltedrose ($196.65)
There are many ways to get in on the Women's Sunday action. Take a look at the home page for information on daily satellites. See you next week!