For the tournament-minded, Sunday marked the one week-point until the biggest online poker event in the world begins. With the World Championship of Online Poker seven days away, more than 3000 people showed up for the warm up, PokerStars Sunday $500,000 Guaranteed.
When the tournament reached the final nine players, this is what it looked like.
Seat 2: jugman (Barcelona, Spain) 919623
Seat 3: tmacnatedogg (Lyndonville, VT) 527020
Seat 4: Shinomori (Norrkoping, Sweden) 1369476
Seat 5: ninel11 (Moscow, Russia) 528516
Seat 6: nite404 (Kungsbacka, Sweden) 796442
Seat 7: jonasof87 (Oslo, Norway) 1230104
Seat 8: IncognitoNYC (Sarasota, FL) 762516
Seat 9: ImYrHuklbery (Stanton, CA) 436595
With the blinds at 30,000/60,000, many of the players were playing with stacks that wouldn't be around for very long if something good didn't happen for them. With just a little more than 500,000 in chips, tmacnatedogg decided to make his move. Sitting in the small blind and facing a raise from the jonasof87, tmacnatedogg pushed all in with a pair of nines. If he was hoping for a race against big cards, he'd soon realize he was hoping against hope. Jonasof97 held a pair of queens and sent tmacnatedogg out in ninth place and $7,143.12.
Where tmacnatedogg found no luck, ninel11 found a beautiful double-up. With just 488,516 in chips, ninel11, sat in the big blind. IncognitoNYC came in for a raise. Ninel11 must've smiled to look down and see two black jacks. Within seconds, ninel11 was all-in against IncognitoNYC's AQ. The flop came down Ac9dJh and ninel11 picked up a huge pot.
Playing position can be a dangerous thing at the final table. Indeed, if you put a player on a steal, re-stealing from late position can be a profitable tactic. However, if you choose the wrong time to make that move, you can be on the rail pretty quickly. To wit, nite404 sat in the cutoff with more than 800,000 in chips. In his hand, he held J3o. Shinomori, sitting two seats on the right, came in for a standard raise. Nite404's spidey sense must've picked up on something, because with a less the premium holding, nite404 pushed all in. The immediate call might've been an indication nite404 had made a mistake. Shinomori held AKo, ended up making two pair, and sent his fellow Swede, nite404, out in eigth place for $11,905.20.
After a few rounds of blinds, a couple of players found themselves relatively short-stacked and in need of a double up. Within a few hands IncognitoNYC used a pair of queens to double through Shinomori's pair of sevens. ImYrHuklbery (my favorite screen name at a final table yet, by the way) doubled through MrSmokey1 with A6 vs. 89.
IncognitoNYC still needed to doubled up again and found his chance with TT versus Shinomori's AQ, but an ace and queen on the board assured IncognitoNYC would not be known as the first place finisher. The man from Florida left in seventh place and $17,196.40.
Undeterred by IncognitoNYC's bust out, ImYrHuklbery went on a run, doubling through twice, once against Shinomori with AQ vs A8, then against jugman with AJ vs. KT. Then he picked up AA and busted ninel11, holding 44, in sixth place. Ninel11 picked up $23,149 for the effort.
Finally, ImYrHuklbery's good fortune ran out. He got his chips in with KQ against Shinomori's AQ. This time, ImYrHuklbery couldn't hold on. He took off in fifth place and a cool $29,763.
MrSmokey1, who had been playing a great tight tournament game, then fell apart on two consecutive unfortunate hands. First, his 99 fell to KTs, when jonasof87 made a straight flush (9-K) to MrSmokey1's set of nines. Then his A8 fell to Shinomori's 22. MrSMokey1 left in fourth place and $38,361.
With only three players remaining and a lot of money on the line, the players decided it was time to look out for their bankrolls, play it smart, and cut a deal. They chopped it up based on chip count, then played a few quicks hands to determine the winner of the final $10,000. Shinomori, the well known member of the Swedish contingent, maintained his first-place position and took first place in the last major tournament before WCOOP begins.
PokerStars Sunday $500,000 Guaranteed Results 8/28/05
1st-- Shinomori (Norrkoping, Sweden) $106,725.97
2nd-- jugman (Barcelona, Spain)$82,294.00
3rd-- jonasof87 (Oslo, Norway) $72,233.02
4th-- MrSmokey1 (Chicago, IL) $38,361
5th-- ImYrHuklbery (Stanton, CA) $29,763
6th-- ninel11 (Moscow, Russia) $23,149
7th-- IncognitoNYC (Sarasota, FL) $17,196.40
8th-- nite404 (Kungsbacka, Sweden) $11,905.20
9th-- tmacnatedogg (Lyndonville, VT) $7,143.12