Sunday is a revered day in online poker. There are tournaments all over the place, and PokerStars offers several featured tournaments with millions of dollars in guarantees and numerous opportunities to win. No other day of the week can take the place of Sunday in the world of online poker.
But Tuesday? It is a close second. The Super Tuesday is fast becoming one of the most popular tournaments on the internet, and it’s not only popular with players but the all-star cast at the tables each week draws a sizable number of fans to the action, some of them chatting but all of them watching some of the best players in the game try to take down the coveted weekly title. The high-stakes buy-in of $1,000 + $50 offers a place for players with considerable bankrolls to mingle with players who win their seats through satellites, meaning the field is varied and somewhat unpredictable. And all of them are eyeing the $250,000 guarantee as they take their seats.
This week, however, there were 428 entrants, which prompted the prize pool to soar well past the guarantee and hit the $428,000 mark. The tournament moved forward as only the top 54 finishers would get paid, and on the way to that bubble, the last Team PokerStars Pro standing was eliminated in 78th place. That player was Veronica “Princesa” Dabul, who is no stranger to deep runs in tournaments lately. One might remember that only two weeks ago, she finished 18th in the Super Tuesday and again ran solid until her eventual exit just a few spots before the money tonight.
As the final table approached, it was quite a long stretch to narrow the field to only nine players, but it eventually happened as the tournament neared the eight-hour mark. It was Erik “lirarerik” Friberg who pushed all-in preflop with 9♣4♣, but he found a caller in gibler321 in the small blind who showed K♦Q♠. The board ran out 7♦J♠K♠7♥9♥, and Friberg was eliminated in tenth place with $5,564.00 for the bubble position.
Harrison “gibler321” Gimbel dominated going into final table play
At nearly 4:00am Eastern Time, the final table was set. In the midst of Level 29 with 2,400/4,800 blinds and a 600-chip ante, the starting chip counts were as follows:
Seat 1: Godfatti (83,925 in chips)
Seat 2: gibler321 (611,343 in chips)
Seat 3: isuckoutonu (135,122 in chips)
Seat 4: murphdawg10 (246,046 in chips)
Seat 5: apestyles (218,081 in chips)
Seat 6: RandALLin (94,150 in chips)
Seat 7: JACKPOT786 (194,449 in chips)
Seat 8: siola (249,894 in chips)
Seat 9: thedonator (306,990 in chips)
It was a star-studded final table. Some of the names might not have been recognizable at first, but a little digging around brought up some interesting facts. First, Harrison “gibler321” Gimbel was the winner of the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, the youngest ever actually. Folks might recognize names such as Stuart “thedonator” Paterson and Jon “apestyles” Van Fleet from, well, any online poker tournament. Sam “siola” Iola won a November 2009 Sunday Million, Godfatti won the December 2009 Battle of the Planets, and JACKPOT786 made the final table of last week’s Super Tuesday. That gives some idea of the caliber of player working on a Super Tuesday win.
It didn’t take long for one of the shorter stacks to make a move, as isuckoutonu made the all-in move preflop with A♦J♣. But apestyles made the call from the big blind with pocket jacks. The board brought no ace, only 6♥8♠K♥Q♠9♠, which allowed the jacks to hold and sent isuckoutonu packing in ninth place, which was worth $7,104.80 in prize money.
RandALLin was another who came to the final table with a relatively short stack and couldn’t seem to gain any momentum. Finally, when murphdawg10 started the hand with a raise, RandALLin reraised all-in for his last 86,350 chips holding A♥7♠. murphdawg10 called with pocket eights, and the board revealed 7♥3♣3♠9♣9♦. That left Mark “RandALLin” Flowers, who coincidentally ran deep in the aforementioned 2010 PCA and finished in 83rd, with an eighth place finish in this event, which warranted a $9,630.00 payout.
All the while, no matter who came at him, gibler321 stayed atop the leaderboard. And it was hands like this that kept him there:
It was must-move time for Godfatti, who finally pushed all-in with Q♦J♥, but JACKPOT786 was able to call from the small blind with the amazing pocket aces. The flop of K♣10♠K♥ brought straight possibilities for Godfatti, but the 4♦ turn and 2♦ river dashed all hopes of a double-up, and Godfatti was gone in seventh place with $13,910.00.
When the night turns to morning
The action was stuck at six players for quite some time. All-in moves were rare and mostly met with folds. However, apestyles was able to double through murphdawg10 during the long session, putting him in third place on the leaderboard. And murphdawg10 later took an opportunity to move all-in on a board of 3♠K♠4♦J♠4♥ with Q♠10♠ for the flush, while gibler321 made the call holding 9♠6♠ for the lower flush. That hand allowed murphdawg10 to double up and come within 15,000 chips of gibler321, who lost the stranglehold he held on the top spot for so many hours.
Another hit for gibler321 came when he called siola’s all-in. gibler321 had A-T to the A-K of siola, and the board brought a ten on the flop along with an ace, but the king fell on the turn to give siola the double-up. And soon after, the following hand relegated gibler321 to fifth place out of the six remaining players:
Three hands later and more than an hour into six-handed play, thedonator doubled through apestyles to even those two chip stacks and leave murphdawg10 alone at the top of the chip count list. And when JACKPOT786 doubled through gibler321 with tens versus A-K, wherein the tens not only held up but made the top straight on the 5-8-7-6-9 board, gibler321 was left with little more than 61K in chips. A double through siola kept gibler321 alive for a few more hands, and another success via apestyles gave gibler321 a few more big blinds to work with.
The next all-in move came two hands later when gibler321 pushed with A♥10♥, and thedonator called from the big blind with A♠Q♥. The flop of 5♦K♠J♥ left thedonator in the lead, and the 10♠ on the turn gave gibler321 a pair of tens but thedonator the straight. The 4♥ on the river ended it, and Harrison “gibler321” Gimbel was eliminated in sixth place with $18,190.00. It was no $2.2 million PCA first-place money, but it was a solid effort and respectable finish for the young pro.
Gimbel gone, chips donated to thedonator
During the next 45 minutes of play, apestyles doubled through murphdawg10, but the latter regained the chip lead soon after by taking a 264K-chip pot from thedonator and one worth 353K from apestyles.
Finally, it was siola who was short-stacked and moved all-in for his last 144,610. murphdawg10 reraised all-in to isolate from the small blind, which worked, and he turned over pocket fours. siola showed 7♠5♠, and the board brought nothing to allow a double-up when it produced A♣2♥K♣6♠6♦. That left Sam Iola with $23,968.00 for the fifth place finish.
Suddenly speeding toward the finish
Players were suddenly picking up speed and deciding to risk it or leave and get some sleep. And when it happened, thedonator didn’t have much say about the way the cards fell. JACKPOT786 doubled through thedonator to climb to a whopping 1,281,705 chips but leaving thedonator with less than 60K left in his stack.
Doubling once through apestyles kept thedonator alive temporarily, but he soon moved again. thedonator pushed preflop with A♥8♥, but JACKPOT786 called with A♠K♣. The board dropped A♣9♣9♠K♥A♦ to give JACKPOT786 the best full house, and Stuart “thedonator” Paterson was eliminated in fourth place with $34,240.00.
Soon after, it was apestyles looking for a spot and decided that Q♠9♠ was it. He moved all-in for his last 92,276 chips from the big blind, and original raiser murphdawg10 called with pocket aces. The flop brought straight outs for apestyles when it came 10♥J♣7♥, but the 10♠ turn and 6♥ river didn’t fill out the straight and left Jon “apestyles” Van Fleet out in third place with $44,940.00.
JACKPOT786 takes lead into heads-up play
The two players left standing at nearly 6:30am on Wednesday morning were as follows:
Seat 4: murphdawg10 (662,765 in chips)
Seat 7: JACKPOT786 (1,477,235 in chips)
Only two hands into the action, the tables turned when murphdawg10 got it all in with pocket jacks against the pocket kings of JACKPOT786. But a jack rolled out on the flop, and the entire board of 2-J-4-2-A gave murphdawg10 the full house and the double-up.
A big pot developed between the two as JACKPOT786 made a run for the chip lead, and through a 936K-chip pot that went all the way to the river, JACKPOT786 showed the turned straight and took the pot…and the lead back. But that didn’t last long, as murphdawg10 put himself at risk again, this time with A-Q against the Q-8 of his opponent, and the board of 5-Q-K-4-4 gave murphdawg10 the two pair with the better kicker. murphdawg10 was back on top.
JACKPOT786 made one last attempt to save his tournament life. With only 371,051 chips, JACKPOT786 moved all-in preflop with A♣6♥, and murphdawg10 called with 8♣8♥. The virtual dealer gave them 4♦K♠9♥4♣2♠ on the board, and murphdawg10 won the pot with two pair. After finishing in this exact tournament in fourth place just one week ago, JACKPOT786 was relegated to second place tonight, which was worth $60,990.00.
The winner of the March 14 marathon final table was murphdawg10, who walked away with the Super Tuesday title and $82,123.20.
Super Tuesday Results for 03/16/10:
1st place: murphdawg10 ($82,133.20)
2nd place: JACKPOT786 ($60,990.00)
3rd place: apestyles ($44,940.00)
4th place: thedonator ($34,240.00)
5th place: siola ($23,968.00)
6th place: gibler321 ($18,190.00)
7th place: Godfatti ($13,910.00)
8th place: RandALLin ($9,630.00)
9th place: isuckoutonu ($7,104.80)
Tuesdays are fast becoming a must-play night for online poker on PokerStars. In addition to The Super Tuesday, Team Pro Tuesdays bring some of the world’s greatest players to the felt for the Outlast the Pro tournaments.