The bubble burst with an “oh, shhhh…”
The bubble would not belong to Nick Petrangelo, who outran Ben Pollack’s queen-seven with ace-eight, neither would it be Andrew Chen, for some time one of the short stacks, who was made to choose all in or fold by Byron Kaverman. Instead it was the plucky Mikita Badziakouski, who at least went down swinging.
His first bid had been a thinly veiled attempt to encourage someone to call him. Moving all in he proclaimed that he was still playing tight, something most of his likely opponents considered poppycock. “I’ll even show you [my hand]. That’s how much I don’t want to go all-in,” he said, to the amusement of those he’d yet to convince.
Moving in from the button behind a McDonald raise, the action got to Christopher Frank, slouched in his chair. The young German asked how much, then announced he was all in. If his plan had been to make this between him and Badziakouski, it worked. McDonald agonised for a second before stepping aside, making this a straight forward clash between Frank’s ace-king, and the pocket queens of Badziakouski.
Things looked safe for Badziakouski on the flop of 7♣2♣4♣ but the 3♦ signalled dark clouds. It was the 5♦ river card, watched by all the remaining players, that warranted the “Oh, sh**…”
Badziakouski exits on the bubble, leaving behind 11 players in the money.
“Heads up with me you’re calling, right?” asked Frank of McDonald. The Canadian was still looking at the ceiling, but managed a nod.
“Two cooling hands,” he finally said. “Back to back.”
Bad luck for McDonald, but a stack worthy of the money, and the final table now three eliminations away.
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.