Everybody has a favorite time of year. If Cristian “progre69” Sampaoli’s favorite time of year wasn’t mid-December before, it probably is now. Sampaoli won his first career Super Tuesday title on December 15, 2015. Fast-forward 363 days and he found himself not just at another Super Tuesday final table, but holding the chip lead as it began. He held that lead until heads-up play began, then outlasted a fierce opponent over an hour-long heads-up match to earn his second Super Tuesday title in just slightly less than one year.
The field for this week’s Super Tuesday was nearly identical to last week’s, with one fewer player registered for a total of 392. The $392,000 prize pool was split among the top 55 finishers, setting up a top prize of just over $71,000.
The tournament went to the 7:55 p.m. ET break with 56 players left, meaning the next player out would be the last to miss out on a cash of at least $2,257.60. n3xD eventually fell in 56th place at 12 minutes after the hour when A♣ Q♦ couldn’t outdraw fiischsticks’s 7♦ 7♣, opening up the path to the final table for the remaining players.
Another three hours of play took the tournament down to its final table bubble. _pauL€FauL_ opened the last hand all-in for 267K in the small blind with 10♠ 9♦, looking to steal the 15K in antes and progre69’s 30K-chip big blind. progre69 called with K♥ 6♣, a slim pre-flop favorite that won unimproved on a 4♠ 2♣ Q♥ 7♣ 6♥ board to eliminate _pauL€FauL_ in 10th place.
That 550K-chip pot helped to give Cristian “progre69” Sampaoli a healthy chip lead as the final table began:
Seat 1: Cristian “progre69” Sampaoli (2,207,143 in chips)
Seat 2: jdlkl7 (947,888 in chips)
Seat 3: SsicK_OnE (656,700 in chips)
Seat 4: Nick “caecilius” Petrangelo (854,643 in chips)
Seat 5: teemupett (1,514,082 in chips)
Seat 6: Benny “toweliestar” Spindler (878,368 in chips)
Seat 7: R_Scientist (687,622 in chips)
Seat 8: David “DonkCommitted” Miscikowski (1,119,872 in chips)
Seat 9: fiischsticks (933,682 in chips)
About 10 minutes in, past Sunday Million champion Nick “caecilius” Petrangelo picked up A♥ K♣ in early position and opened for 77K. That cleared out the rest of the players behind him, but progre69 re-raised to 201K in the small blind. Petrangelo fired back all-in for 975K, and progre69 called with A♣ A♠. The black aces held on the 2♣ 3♦ 3♠ 7♣ 6♠, and caecilius left the tournament in ninth.
Already the leader before that hand, progre69 went into the final hand before the break with 3.4M chips. A big chance to build that stack even higher quickly presented itself when fiischsticks min-raised in the small blind, called progre69’s re-raise, and then check-raised all-in with Q♣ 7♣ on an A♣ 6♣ 4♠ flop. progre69 quickly called with A♥ K♠ and a pair of aces, but the 8♠ turn and 5♦ river made an eight-high straight to keep fiischsticks in the game with a stack worth 1.5M chips.
Big Slick was in play again six minutes after the players returned from the break. This time it was wielded by WSOP bracelet winner David “DonkCommitted” Miscikowski, who called when EPT8 London champ and two-time SCOOP winner Benny “toweliestar” Spindler opened all-in for 779K when the action folded to him on the button. Spindler’s 5♥ 5♠ was a slim favorite that fell behind on the 3♥ A♦ J♦ but came roaring back for four of a kind and a double-up when the turn and river came 5♦–5♣.
DonkCommitted was left with 602K, and it all went in four hands later from the cutoff behind A♦ K♦. Past Sunday Million finalist jdlkl7 re-raised to isolate from the small blind with Q♦ Q♥, and the queens held up on the 2♦ 2♥ 7♦ 6♣ 10♥ board to bust DonkCommitted in eighth.
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The win there moved jdlkl07 up to 1.74M chips, good for second place behind progre69’s 2.65M. Four other players were clustered together between 1M and 1.5M, and Ssick_OnE was hanging on in last place with just over 10 big blinds. The three-time SCOOP champion wouldn’t be denied, though. After chipping up to 948K small pot by small pot, Ssick_OnE raised with none other than A♥ K♥ in the cutoff seat and called when teemupett shoved for 803K with A♣ J♠ on the button. Ssick_OnE called with 140K left behind but didn’t need the buffer after making a pair of kings on the river of the 4♥ 9♠ 8♠ 3♦ K♠ board. With that, teemupett bowed out in seventh.
That win nudged Ssick_OnE past jdlkl7 into second place, but three hands later the German player managed to take over the chip lead. Ssick_OnE opened the hand for 101K with A♠ J♠under the gun and both fiischsticks (on the button) and jdlkl7 (in the big blind) came along for the J♥ 8♠ 4♣ flop. Ssick_OnE led for 226K and called after fiischsticks jammed for 997K and jdlkl7 folded. fiischsticks needed a king for two pair to win with K♦ J♦, but the 5♦ turn and 8♦ river were no help and fiischsticks was gone in sixth.
Those two pots combined to push Ssick_OnE’s stack to 3.2M, good for 64 big blinds and a two-big-blind lead over progre69. jdlkl7, WCOOP 2016 Main Event third-place finisher R_Scientist, and Benny Spindler trailed, and the latter two clashed before the flop six hands later. Spindler opened for 107K under the gun with A♥ K♦ and then called when R_Scientist jammed for 802K with K♣ K♠. Spindler had 144K left after missing the J♠ 6♥ 6♣ 5♠ 10♠ board completely, but he doubled it on the next hand with 5♣ 2♣ against R_Scientist’s A♦ 9♥ thanks to a deuce on the flop. The next hand was the end of the line, though. Spindler jammed again with 10♥ 6♥ and couldn’t catch against R_Scientist’s Q♣ 5♣, which made a pair of queens on the 9♦ A♠ 3♦ 7♥ Q♥ board to knock Spindler out in fifth.
Three orbits passed before jdlkl7 opened all-in for 973K under the gun with 3♣ 3♦. progre69 called with K♣ K♥ in the big blind and dodged a bullet after the turn of the 5♠ 4♠ Q♦ 2♣ 8♥ board, taking down the 2M-chip pot and sending jdlkl7 to the rail in fourth.
R_Scientist was in third place now and stuck between the two bigger stacks, with progre69’s leading chip stack on the left. the end result was R_Scientist being bled down to 538K and calling all-in with 10♥ 9♥ in the big blind after Ssick_OnE jammed in the small blind with K♦ 4♦. The king on the flop of the 3♠ K♠ 3♣ J♣ A♠ board sealed the deal, and R_Scientist departed in third.
After just an hour and 20 minutes of play, this week’s final table had been reduced to its final two competitors. On one side was Ssick_OnE, holding 3.3M chips and looking to add a Super Tuesday title to a resume that already includes three SCOOP wins, including two during SCOOP 2016 alone. On the other was Cristian “progre69” Sampaoli, holding 6.4M chips and looking to win a mid-December Super Tuesday for the second consecutive year. The blinds and antes were still at 30K/60K/6K, low enough compared to the stack to inspire a fun bit of chat as the duel got underway:
Ssick_OnE put a dent in progre69’s lead early, taking the first seven pots of the match to trim progre69’s lead to just six big blinds. The balance of the pots taken evened out a bit for a few minutes and allowed progre69 to begin inching ahead again. Then Ssick_OnE went on another run, taking the lead by 1.2M chips after winning 12 out of the next 15 pots.
Most of the pots were small over the first 40 minutes of play, but it didn’t take much of a draw for either player to be willing to push the envelope – and it took even less of a made hand for either player to call down bets. The biggest pots were won with a single paired hole card, with the exception of a 1.2M-chip pot progre69 called and won with K♦ 7♣ on a 4♦ 2♦ 3♥ 2♣ Q♠ board when Ssick_OnE bet on the river with a busted straight draw.
The turning point came after progre69 limped on the button and Ssick_OnE checked to bring an A♠ 6♦ 5♣ flop. Ssick_OnE check-called 80K there with J♦ 5♥ for a pair of fives and 200K after the 3♥ turn, which brought the J♠ on the river. Now holding two pair, Ssick_OnE checked again before raising to 1.12M after progre69 bet 280K. progre69 called and showed A♣ A♥ – a disguised set of aces – to take down the 2.98M-chip pot.
That dropped Ssick_OnE’s stack to 2.2M, by no means out of the game at just under 30 big blinds but definitely fighting up a steeper slope than before. Both players made a pair of kings on the 2♦ K♦ 5♠ flop a few hands later, but progre69’s K♣ 5♦ also caught a second pair that Ssick_OnE’s K♥ 7♥ wouldn’t be able to make on the 4♥ turn or J♣ river. A loss there, and a missed flush draw a few hands later with 10♠ 8♠ against progre69’s J♣ J♦, took Ssick_OnE down to less than 10 big blinds.
The German player flopped two pair with 5♥ 2♥ to crack progre69’s 7♦ 7♠ on the following hand and double back to 1.6M chips. But without another win to follow up on it, Ssick_OnE was all-in 11 hands later with J♣ 5♠ on the big blind, matched up against progre69’s A♦ 10♦. The board came 10♠ 8♣ 10♥ J♠ 6♦ to give progre69 three of a kind, and this week’s Super Tuesday came to its end.
Ssick_OnE just missed adding a Super Tuesday title to a resume already filled with SCOOP wins, but only after a 63-minute heads-up battle than netted a $52,818.20 runner-up prize. As for Cristian “progre69” Sampaoli, his $71,041.94 take and the $91K+ he earned last December give him more than $162,000 in earnings from two Super Tuesday victories in just under a year. Congratulations to him for pulling off this remarkable feat, and to Ssick_OnE for fighting hard all the way to the end!
12/13/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 NL Hold’em) results
Total prize pool: $392,000
Places paid: 55
1. Cristian “progre69” Sampaoli (Argentina) $71,041.94
2. Ssick_OnE (Germany) $52,218.20
3. R_Scientist (United Kingdom) $38,382.20
4. jdlkl7 (Canada) $28,212.24
5. Benny “toweliestar” Spindler (Austria) $20,736.99
6. fiischsticks (Sweden) $15,242.41
7. teemupett (Finland) $11,203.67
8. David “DonkCommitted” Miscikowski (Costa Rica) $8,235.09
9. Nick “caecilius” Petrangelo (Canada) $6,052.10
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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.