All Star Week: Teams deadlocked going into final day

allstarweek_thn.jpgAnyone who expected a blow out in PokerStars All Star Week will have to wait for another promotion. Going into the final day of competition, both Team PokerStars Pro and the All Star Challengers have a chance to win.

Coming into the penultimate day of competition, Team Pro had a 14-11 lead. By the end of Day 6's third match, it was locked at 14 apiece. Two matches later and--you guessed it--the score was deadlocked at 15-15.

Match 26: Victor Ramdin vs. VOLCANO360 (NLHE)

Team Pro Captain Victor Ramdin put up a loss in his first outing and was looking to come back out on Day 6 and prove his worth. After sparring with VOLCANO360 for the first half an hour, Ramdin hit his opponent where it hurt.

RSS readers click through to see hand replay

After that hand, Ramdin had a 7,000 chip advantage. A few hands later, VOLCANO360 doubled up. Within five minutes, the All Star Challenger had taken the lead back. Stunned by the turnaround, Ramdin spent the next half an hour getting beat up. An hour into the match, Ramdin only had 1,000 chips left. He finally picked up A♠ J♣ versus VOLCANO360's K♠ A♣. Ramdin couldn't manage to suck out and the Challengers picked up their first win of the day.


Match 27: Steve Paul-Ambrose vs. Sumpas (NLHE)

Match 27 brought Steve Paul-Ambrose to the table to face off against Sumpas. Sumpas was a few minutes late to the match and missed the first 60 hands. Paul-Ambrose played fair and kept it at even stacks until Sumpas made it to the table. The Challenger apologized for being late at the two men went to work.

"Glad you're here now," Paul-Ambrose said. "I wasn't sure how long I should wait."

It took another 15 minutes before a hand of note developed. With nearly even stacks, Sumpas came in for a min-raise and Paul-Ambrose re-raised. Sumpas called and they saw a flop of 2♥ 3♣ T♦. Paul-Ambrose bet out 280 and got called. It was 585 from the Pro and a call from the Challenger on the 4♥ turn. The river was a scary Q♥. This time, Paul-Ambrose bet out 1,650 and Sumpas called to see the Pro's three-barrel bluff: 9♣ A♣. Sumpas showed A♠ T♠ for the flopped top pair.

A few hands later, the men went racing with Paul-Ambrose's A♣ Q♥ coming out ahead of Sumpas' pair of nines. Once again, the stacks were even.

Within just a couple of minutes, Sumpas made the wrong move at the wrong time...and still managed to come out ahead. After calling Paul-Ambrose's pre-flop raise and seeing a flop of 5♣ 6♠ 6♦, Sumpas decided to represent the flopped trips. Sumpas checked, Paul-Ambrose bet out, Sumpas raised, Paul-Ambrose re-raised, and Sumpas pushed all-in. Paul-Ambrose called with T♠ T♣, way ahead of Sumpas' 4♣ A♣.

No, it wasn't the ace. It was running clubs to give Sumpas the flush. Bemused, Paul-Ambrose said, "Good game."

The overall score for All Star week sat at 14 for the Pros, 13 for the Challengers.

Match 28: Greg Raymer Vs Canuck (Limit O8)

Going into Match 28, Canuck knew what he was getting into. He's played Omaha-8 with Greg "FossilMan" Raymer in the past and expected he'd face an aggressive Pro in the only non-Texas hold'em match of the day.

Canuck, for his part, has been playing Omaha games since the early 1990s and plays nothing but Omaha when he is online. His specialty showed.

Canuck was never in danger of losing the match. It took him an hour and 20 minutes, but he put FossilMan away.

Perhaps more importantly, Canuck brought his team to an even 14-14 tie with the Pros.

Match 29: Humberto Brenes Vs kAmIkAdZeEe (NLHE)

Team Pro's Humberto Brenes had lost his first match. The Shark was hungry to post a win. He started off slowly, but after 100 hands, he and kAmIkAdZeEe were nearly even in chips.

That's when kAmIkAdZeEe started grinding and over tthe course of the next 70 hands ground Brenes down to half his initial chip stack. Brenes would not go away. Forty hands later, Brenes had worked his way back up to even. By that point, the men had been playing for an hour and 20 minutes. For another half hour, they played with kAmIkAdZeEe once again working his way up to a 4-1 chip lead.

Finally, they got it all in on a A♠ Q♠ J♥ flop. Brenes held 4♠ 8♠ for a flush draw to the Challenger's 9♦ A♦.

Brenes missed and kAmIkAdZeEe won the marathon match for the go-ahead game.

Overall score:

Team PokerStars Pro: 14
All Star Challengers: 15

Match 30: Joe Hachem Vs 666 INRI (NLHE)

If Team PokerStars Pro was going to avoid a sweep, it was going to be up to 2005 World Series champion Joe Hachem to save them. This was Hachem's first game of All Star Week, but one so important, Hachem had to be 100% on his game.

On the rail to remind Hachem of the match's importance was Greg Raymer.

"We need your A game, Joe," Raymer said. "Pros now down by one. This will even us up going into the last five matches tomorrow."

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Hachem heard Raymer clearly, and by hand #20 hand jumped out to a big lead after flopping well and getting paid. See the hand play out below.

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Hachem never let up and kept the chip lead for the next 84 hands. Finally, he picked up K♣ K♠ against 666 INRI's J♠ J♦. The kings held and Hachem brought his team to even for the week.

Now it all comes down to Sunday. It could all be over in three matches or take all five. Regardless, by this time tomorrow night, we should know the first-ever champions of PokerStars All-Star Week.

Sunday matches:

Vicky Coren Vs VOLCANO360 (NLHE)
Isabelle Mercier Vs busto_soon (NLHE)
Lee Nelson Vs 1ofaKind420 (NLHE)
Chad Brown Vs Sumpas (Stud-8)
Greg Raymer Vs kAmIkAdZeEe (NLHE)

For full results to date, see the All Star Week results page.

Good luck to both teams on the final day.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars news