It was a quarter to midnight ET and all the other players were gone, save the one opponent with the lead. Sure, josef_shvejk trailed ModzillaPL with 2.5 million to 3.4 million as they exchanged a “gl” in the chat box and got down to business, but that was old hat to the Russian player. After all, the deficit had been even bigger when he reached heads-up play in the Super Tuesday back in July. Back then josef_shvejk had just shrugged at it, steadily crawled back to within one double-up of the lead, and put all those chips in as an 88-percent favorite with one card to come. Then came that river.
When the disappointment subsides, the lesson of a moment like that is to persevere. What can be done once can be done again. Tonight was the proof. The “comeback” came back as – josef_shvejk dominated the heads-up proceedings once more. But the crushing river card with the tournament on the line didn’t. Instead josef_shvejk’s Super Tuesday sequel got a much happier ending than the original.
Seat 1: YRWTHMELTHR (326,070 in chips) Super Tuesday runner-up earlier this year
Seat 2: Matthew “mjw006” Wakeman (629,669 in chips) past Super Tuesday and WCOOP winner
Seat 3: ModzillaPL (338,907 in chips) past Sunday Warm-Up runner-up and 9th Anniversary Sunday Million finalist
Seat 4: josef_shvejk (710,916 in chips) 7-18-17 Super Tuesday runner-up
Seat 5: Andrey_pok21 (1,629,429 in chips) past Super Tuesday finalist and final table bubble finisher
Seat 6: Pimmss (400,944 in chips) past Sunday Million third-place finisher and WCOOP Super Tuesday Special Edition runner-up
Seat 7: Arne “juarnes” Coulier (463,908 in chips) past SCOOP and Super Tuesday winner
Seat 8: Cashcid Linc (1,100,237 in chips) three-time past Super Tuesday champion
Seat 9: riversouza (249,920 in chips) TCOOP 2015 Main Event runner-up, two-time past Super Tuesday finalist
A smaller field meant lower blinds and deeper stacks at this week’s final, allowing the short stacks more room to play. No surprise that the first hour was knockout-free, then. It was half an hour before the first player was all-in, Pimmss and Andrey_pok21 splitting the pot when they both showed down A-K. Matthew “mjw006” Wakeman and riversouza did the same with A-J a bit later and after YRWTHMELTHR’s 8♣ 8♠ held against Andrey_pok21’s A♥ K♠, it was beginning to look like the table might stay nine-handed for another hour.
Then Arne “juarnes” Coulier three-bet all-in with 7♦ 7♣ and original raiser Cashcid Linc called with Q♦ Q♣. The queens held and after an hour of play the table had its ninth-place finisher. Then riversouza’s 8♦ 8♥ fell to josef_shvejk’s 10♦ 10♠ and out the Brazilian went in eighth. Seven minutes later it was pair-over-pair time again. It looked like andrey_pok21’s 10♦ 10♠ would similarly hold against Cashcid Linc’s 6♣ 6♠ and yield a much-needed double to just over 621,000 chips, but the three-time champ made a full house on the river, of the 2♥ Q♣ Q♦ 3♠ 6♥ board, and andrey_pok21 was out in seventh.
Those two knockouts solidified Cashcid Linc’s lead. But eight minutes later josef_shvejk picked up K♣ K♥ as YRWTHMELTHR was dealt J♦ J♥. The two of them built a 1.8-million-chip pot before the flop. The kings held and YRWTHMELTHR left in sixth. That made josef_shvejk the new leader by a margin of five big blinds.
Meanwhile the other three players were all looking for any help they could find.
Pimmsss found 6♣ 6♦ and called for six-and-a-half blinds after mjw006 open-shoved for twice that with A♠ J♥. The ace on the turn sank Pimmss in fifth. Seven minutes later Cashchid Linc’s 6♦ 6♣ held up against mjw006’s flush draw with A♥ 6♥ to eliminate him in fourth.
That left three players at the table: Cashcid Linc with 2.9 million chips, josef_shvejk about 20 big blinds back, and ModzillaPL in desperate straits with less than 20 big blinds total.
A situation that looked sure to result in a heads-up match between a past runner-up and a three-time winner was turned upside down when ModzillaPL caught a couple of crucial breaks, beginning with a runner-runner flush with A♠ 2♠ three hands later to beat Cashcid Linc’s A♥ 7♠. Two hands after that Cashcid Linc’s K♥ K♠ fell when ModzillaPL’s A♣ 10♣ rivered a flush once again, dropping Cashcid Linc into third place with 1.6 million chips and setting up what would prove to be a dramatic hour of three-handed poker.
Cashcid Linc didn’t exactly lay low after the 11pm break, but the big wins weren’t rolling in anymore. ModzillaPL stayed aggressive and won two keys pots without a showdown – jumping past josef_shvejk by more than 40 big blinds. The new leader pushed Cashcid Linc’s dreams of a fourth title into a corner, leaving the German with about 13 big blinds. Cashcid Linc turned things around within minutes with back-to-back wins at josef_shvejk’s expense, surviving first with K♥ 10♠ against K♦ 3♦ and then again with A♣ K♥ against A♠ J♥ – but only after turning a king to beat the pair of jacks josef_shvejk had caught on the flop.
Five hands later they picked up the same hands again. This time josef_shvejk’s tournament life was on the line with 29-percent equity, but once again the Russian player made a pair of jacks on the 3♥ J♠ 9♦ flop. The 4♠ dangled a flush draw before Cashchid Linc’s A♠ K♠, but A♥ J♥ won the day – and the 2.2-million-chip pot – when the 5♥ hit the river.
Cashcid Linc’s last eight big blinds’ went in minutes later – again as the favorite with K♥ 10♥ to ModzillaPL’s Q♦ 10♠, and again to be beaten by the board. The flop gave ModzillaPL top pair, Cashcid Linc turned a straight draw, and the draw missed on the river to end the German player’s quest for a fourth Super Tuesday title in third place.
The table tilted heavily toward josef_shvejk for the next 38 minutes. ModzillaPL entered with the lead and won plenty of pots but the significant ones broke the other way. With or without showdown, ModzillaPL couldn’t buy a meaningful win.
The key pot came just after midnight. ModzillaPL opened for 88,000 chips on the button and called when josef_shvejk re-raised to 280,000, bringing an A♣ K♠ K♣ flop. josef_shvejk led for 160,000 and ModzillaPL called. They repeated the action for 480,000 and 640,000 on the 7♥ turn and Q♥ river, and josef_shvejk took down the 3.1-million-chip pot with 5♣ 2♣ for a club flush.
josef_shvejk piled on the pressure for the next ten minutes until ModzillaPL finally jammed on the button for 354,140 with A♣ 4♠. josef_shvejk called with K♥ 7♠ and made a pair of sevens on the flop, bringing the tournament to its end.
Heads-up shots at a Super Tuesday title don’t come along often. Congratulations to josef_shvejk for making the most of the second chance!
11/21/17 Super Tuesday ($1,050 NL Hold’em) results
Total prize pool: $250,000
Places paid: 31
1. josef_shvejk (Russia) $48,687.27
2. ModzillaPL (Canada) $36,374.32
3. Cashcid Linc (Germany) $27,175.37
4. Matthew “mjw006” Wakeman (Canada) $20,302.80
5. Pimmss (Netherlands) $15,168.30
6. YRWTHMELTHR (Canada) $11,332.27
7. Andrey_pok21 (Romania) $8,466.37
8. riversouza (Brazil) $6,325.27
9. Arne “juarnes” Coulier (Belgium) $4,725.62
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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.