The Winter Series $530 Main Event had 3.864 entries and gave away over $1.9 million. With prize jumps worth tens of thousands of dollars, the action started off slow and steady, built to an unnerving tension, and then popped with a flurry of double-ups and all-ins.
Let’s take a look at the highlights from the final table.
Blind level: 200,000/400,000
Final table stacks:
Pendall – 51,477,392
Freshmannn – 37,440,327
Conor “1_conor_b_1” Beresford – 23,043,230
FlyingSmile – 22,111,898
sp3eedy14 – 15,586,280
Conor “blanconegro” Drinan – 15,058,120
Bruno “botteonpoker” Botteon – 11,285,400
sd5355470 – 8,933,528
M4GPI3 – 7,813,825
The final table started with “Pendall” holding a commanding chip lead of around 120bb. “Freshmannn” was second with around 100bb, whilst the rest of the pack hovered around 25bb to 50bb stacks.
The action started off with a raise from Bruno “botteonpoker” Botteon holding 9♠ 9♦, but the rest of the table folds. The very next hand, long term pro and WCOOP champ “FlyingSmile” raises Q♣ Q♠ under-the-gun. Holding K♣ K♥, Freshmannn puts in the re-raise and FlyingSmile responds with a shove. It’s an unavoidable showdown! Freshmannn holds with Kings to bust FlyingSmile and take chip lead.
Next to go was “sd5355470”, who made a standard short stack shove with A♥ 10♠. quickly called by Pendall, who’s pocket Jacks held up.There wasn’t too much action in between, with players generally holding tight for the huge pay jumps. Hearts must have been racing at this point!
Another bust was soon to follow. Two time WCOOP champion Conor “blanconegro” Drinan was looking down at A♥ 7♥ in the small blind. He made the shove with 18bb behind, but was quickly snapped off by Freshmannn – an easy call with 8♠ 8♣.
Sunday Million winner and SCOOP champion Conor “1_conor_b_1” Beresford attempted a bit of fancy play, check-raising a low flop with Queen high. Unfortunately the move was mistimed – they were never never going to get “M4GPI3” off pocket Queens. Aside from that, nobody else wanted to get too brave, so Pendall continued to make small raises and c-bets to take control of the table. With a slow structure, the blinds were yet to put any serious pressure on even the shorter stacks.
Bruno Botteon ramped up the action with a quick succession of double-ups, first with Q♠ K♥ against Freemannn’s 8♣ 8♦, and then again with Q♦ Q♥ against Freemannn’s J♥ J♣. Botteon recently won the $500k High Roller PKO event, and it looked like this was shaping up to be another big night.
After a few more minutes of small raises and folds, Botteon struck again, this time in a hand that could have really gone the other way. “sp3edy14” flopped a straight and Botteon had a set, but went on to river a runner-runner full house. Ouch!
Soon after, Botteon flopped two pair against Beresford’s top pair. Three barrels was all it took for Beresford to become next to leave the table, taking with him $50,841. sp3edy14 soon dwindled away their remaining stack and finished in fifth place for $71,323.
Out of 3,864 entries, only four were left. Each would be walking away with at least $100k. That’s a nice pay day!
At this point, the final table of the Main Event was starting to take shape. Pendall and Bruno Botteon were now clear chip leaders, whilst “M4GPI3” and Freshmannn had around 30bb.
When the two big stacks were dealt K♣ K♥ and A♠ A♦, it seemed like a huge clash was inevitable, but somehow Pendall managed to control the pot size with Kings, taking a devastating blow but walking away with a short stack left to play. Botteon had taken a big lead.
Though Freshmannn’s stack had been up and down like a yo-yo throughout the final table, it was becoming apparent that they had to make a move. The moment came with a button raise holding K♣ Q♥, but ‘Pendall reraised with A♠ Q♦ and held, leaving Freshmannn to cash in fourth place.
With only three players left, M4GPI3 suggested a deal, but with no response from the other players the game continued. Chips pretty much evened out after a bit of back and forth, with small raises and c-bets mostly defining the action, and players only occasionally chucking in big bluffs.
The play got more creative 3-handed. Players loosened up hand ranges and played aggressive and occasionally heads-scratching moves. At one point, ‘M4GPI3’ and ‘Pendall’ got into an air-balling battle that resulted in ‘Pendall’ four betting with Queen high to take down a huge pot.
The action couldn’t continue forever. Something had to give. It was ‘M4GPI3’ who felt the pressure of the blinds, getting the remainder of their 7bb stack in the middle with K♦ 10♠ against Botteon’s A♠ 10♣. Botteon held and the play went to heads-up. But not for long.
The pair immediately struck up a deal, taking a minimum of $224k each and playing for a more humble $24k prize difference. Right away the pressure was off. A few hands later, Pendall hit a hidden straight and busted Bruno Botteon to win the tournament. A spectacular result for both players!
Congratulations to all final tablists in the Winter Series Main Events.
Winter Series Event #78-M ($530 Main Event)
Entries: 3,864 (2,777 entries + 1,087 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $1,932,000
Places paid: 479
Final table results:
Pendall – $248,835
botteonpoker – $224,306
M4GPI3 – $140,362
Freshmannn – $100,000
sp3edy14 – $71,323,06
1_conor_b_1 – $50,841
blanconegro – $36,241
sd5355470 – $25,834
Flying Smile – $18,415