All Star Week: Team Pros sweep Day 4

allstarweek_thn.jpgWe should note from the outset that the members of Team PokerStars Pro will make no money from PokerStars All Star Week. Their winnings go to charity. So, how do we account for their massive comeback? One word: Pride.

After starting Day 3 down 7-3, the Pros stormed back to get within one game of the Challengers. By the time Day 4 was finished, the Pros had swept the All Star Challengers and moved out to a 12-8 lead.

Match 16: ElkY vs. PKerBL (NLHE)

Elky was riding high coming into Day 4. On the wave of his win over Heads Up Sit and Go specialist 'psimalive', ElkY came in looking for another W. His opponent, PKerBL, has not been having a good week. He went down to Isabelle Mercier on Day 1 and Vanessa Rousso on Day 3.

Unlike yesterday, ElkY managed to show up on time. His opponent provided the drama for the day. His internet connection was apparently being powered by tired gerbils. ElkY played the nice guy and didn't steal blinds while his opponent was absent. PKerBL eventually woke the gerbils up and the game resumed.

The players went toe to toe for the first 50 hands. That's when ElkY kicked in the afterburners. With a combination of aggression and constant pressure, he worked himself up to a 9-1 chip advantage. By Hand #103, they went racing. ElkY's 4♣ 4♥ held up against PKerBL's K♣ T♦

After 16 matches, Team PokerStars Pro and the All Star Challengers were locked in an 8-8 tie.

Match 17: Vanessa Rousso vs. Sumpas (NLHE)

Match 17 was a battle between two unbeaten players. The game was much like Match 16, although almost twice as long in terms of hands played. The first half was an even contest with neither player able to get the upper hand. Once again, halfway through, the Team Pro started ramping up the pressure on the All Star Challenger.

vanessa-allstar.jpg

Rousso began carefully picking her spots and gradually built up a decent lead. With the chip stacks at 7545 to 2455 she played the following key hand.

With that hand, Team Pro took its first lead of All Star Week.

Match 18: Ylon Schwartz vs. Aryamehr (LHE)

Match 18 brought the first limit hold'em contest of All Star Week and the Pros put up one of their best. 2008 WSOP third place finisher Ylon Schwartz knows his limit hold'em. His opponent, Aryamehr, was still reeling from a loss against Victor Ramdin yesterday. This was not a place Aryamehr wanted to be. When the All-Star Challengers drew straws, Aryamehr got the last pick. He openly admitted he wasn't happy about it. The game, he said, wasn't one of his strengths. Nonetheless he stepped up to the challenge.

As expected the limit Hold'em game was a battle of stamina as well as skill. The deep structure meant it wouldn't be over quickly, and Arymehr even suggested sitting out to let the blinds become a bigger factor. Ylon's response showed just how important All Star Week has become to the Pros:

Aryamehr said, "meet u back after break?"
YlonSchwartz said, "na dude this is life or death"

ylon-allstar.jpg

It was clear, the early defeats stung the members Team PokerStars Pro - now they meant business.

Ylon's determination, and to be fair, his superior skill in the game, made this one a long drawn out formality. After 278 hands and nearly two hours, he finally put the challenger away.

That made it five matches in a row for Team Pro and a 10-8 lead.


Match 19: Alexander Kravchenko vs. oblowski512

There is a little known and unwritten rule about Russian Team Pro Alexander Kravchenko: If you beat him once, be happy about it, because you won't enjoy playing him the next time.

Kravchenko lost in his first All Star Week match. Tonight, when he went up against All Star Challenger oblowski512, Kravchenko came out with a roundhouse on the very first hand.

The opening salvo began when oblowski512 raised to 60, Kravchenko re-raised to 240 and oblowski512 made the call. The flop came 3♦ J♣ 5♠. Kravchenko led for 300 and got another call. On the turn, 3♣, Kravchenko bet 860 and again got called. The river was an innocuous 9♣. Kravchenko tossed in another 2,200. oblowski512 called and could only say "wow" when he saw Kravchenko's A♥ A♦.

That first punch was enough to keep oblowski512 on his heels for the next 30 minutes. Kravchenko finished him off with the following hand.

Make it 11-8 in favor of Team Pro.

Match 20: Chris Moneymaker vs. Gunslinger3 (NLHE)

Once again, Chris Moneymaker had the anchor position on the night. On Day 3, Moneymaker took down a two and half hour marathon for the Pros.

Once Match 20 began, it was clear Moneymaker had no intention of making it an early night. In the early stages, he said he was distracted by his family responsibilities. Whatever it was, he was down by nearly 3,000 chips to Gunslinger3 at the 1:15 mark.

That's when Moneymaker came in for a raise to 150. Gunslinger3 called the 90 additional chips and they saw a flop of 3♦ A♦ 7♦. Gunslinger3 checked, Moneymaker bet out 160, and Gunslinger3 called. The 9♠ turn brought another check-call from Gunslinger3. On the 5♥ river, Moneymaker bet 960.

"This is a tough decision," Gunslinger3 said.

"I hope you choose incorrectly," Moneymaker quipped.

It wasn't long before Gunslinger3 made the call to see Moneymaker's A♥ 7♥, the two pair good for the win.

Just like that, Moneymaker was back on top.

It took 15 minutes of Moneymaker grinding to build a decent lead. Then, this hand hit an hour and half into the match.

The hand gave Moneymaker the win and an astounding 5-0 sweep for Team Pro on Day 4.

As the All-Star Challengers try to come back, they will have these matches to face on Day 5:

Katja Thater Vs GoMukYaSelf (NLHE)
Andre Akkari Vs bluffblocker (NLHE)
Barry Greenstein Vs Canuck (5-Card Draw)
Humberto Brenes Vs psimalive (NLHE)
Daniel Negreanu Vs lordhuttyx (NLHE)

Good luck to everybody on Day 5.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars news