For the fourth straight week, PokerStars' resident heads-up warrior Viktor "Isildur1" Blom was back in action for another SuperStar Showdown, this time to continue his two-round match with the formidable Scott "urnotindangr" Palmer. And after another efficient session lasting just over four-and-a-half hours, Viktor was the victor yet again, besting Palmer for $66,607 on Sunday for an overall profit of $61,182 over the 5,000 hands between the two.
After last week's 2,500-hand session, Palmer held a $5,425 advantage over Blom -- a small edge relatively speaking, given that each player had hefty $150,000 bankrolls with which to battle. Last Sunday Palmer jumped out to an early advantage, Blom fought back to retake the lead for much of the middle portion, then a late charge by Palmer gave him the lead just before the final bell rung. (For a full recap of last week's action, click here.)
Blom Sails Boat into Lead
Blom and Palmer once more stuck with no-limit hold'em only (blinds $50/$100) for these final 2,500 hands.
In one of the first hands on Table 3, Blom quickly closed in on Palmer's small lead, claiming a modest pot after flopping trip aces. Then over on Table 1, just over five minutes in, came the first all-in of the day.
After Palmer had raised and called a three-bet from Blom, a K♠A♣K♥ flop saw Isildur1 continuing and Palmer calling. Palmer called a bigger turn bet after the T♣ fell, then again called Blom's all-in push on the Q♠ river. Palmer had turned a straight with Q♦J♠, but Blom held A♠K♦ for the flopped boat. That hand gave the Swede a pot of $21,600 and the overall lead -- a lead he would not relinquish for the duration of the match.
Isildur1 would soon claim the next two $20,000-plus pots of the afternoon as well. In the first the pair got it all in on the turn with the board showing A♥K♥9♣5♣. It was an unfortunate spot for urnotindangr who had K♣9♠ but was behind Blom's better two pair with A♦9♥. An ace on the river sealed it, giving Blom the $20,800 pot. And shortly after Blom would take another big one -- $22,700 this time -- turning two pair with J♦6♠ to crack Palmer's pocket kings. After 200 hands, Isildur1 was up $22,150 on the day for a $16,725 advantage overall.
Blom continued to add to his lead over the next 100 hands, using his characteristic aggressiveness to pressure Palmer into folds. Finally came a hand in which Palmer had three-bet preflop from out of position, Blom called, and the flop came 4♦8♠9♠. Palmer led for $1,200 into the $2,000 pot, and Blom promptly raised to $2,850. Palmer contemplated the situation for nearly a half-minute, then pushed all in for $9,400 total. Blom quickly called, showing Q♠T♠ for overs and both flush and gutshot draws. Meanwhile Palmer had A♠Q♣, and after the K♥ turn and 2♥ river his ace-high hand remained best, earning him the $20,800 pot.
Palmer would scoop the next big pot, too, after the pair got it all in following a 5♠4♠3♠ flop with Isildur1 holding Q♠Q♠ and Palmer A♠T♣. A spade arrived on the river to give Palmer the better flush and the $22,500 in the middle, and for a brief time it appeared the momentum might be swinging back urnotindangr's way.
All the All-Ins for Isildur1
However, the next hour saw Blom winning a succession of large pots, including the next three straight of $25,000 or more.
In the first both players made pairs on a T♠2♠7♥ flop, but the 2♣ turn gave Blom trip deuces with K♥2♥, which urnotindangr subsequently paid off with his A♠T♥ on the river (pot $27,000). Then came a preflop all-in with Palmer taking 9♥9♦ up against Blom's A♥K♥. A king flopped, Blom's hand held, and another large one ($28,100) went to the Swede.
Soon after that urnotindangr was all in again before the flop, this time with T♥T♦ against Blom's A♦9♠, but the board came 7♠2♦8♠6♦5♦, giving Isildur1 a straight and a $32,200 pot. After about an hour of play and 701 hands down, Isildur1 was up $44,950 on the day.
Palmer scraped back a few, taking a couple of medium-sized pots. But every time the all-ins occurred, Isildur1 seemed to be the one holding the bigger hand. For example, in a hand on Table 3 the pair exchanged several bets on the turn with the board showing 6♥J♥A♦Q♣, creating a pot of a little over $9,000. The river brought the 3♠ and an all-in shove from Isildur1 which Palmer called with the $9,100 he had left. Palmer had A♠Q♠ for top two, but Blom had K♣T♣ for the Broadway straight, the $27,300 pot swiftly sliding into Isildur1's stack.
The pair crossed the 1,000-hand mark, Blom's profit for the day having mushroomed to $68,800. Palmer won back one stack of high society on Table 3 when his pocket jacks outlasted Blom's A♣Q♥, but quickly gave it back on Table 1 when the two got it all in on the river with the board showing 9♦7♦T♦9♣3♥ with Palmer holding Q♦J♦ versus Blom's A♦2♦.
That flush-over-flush hand was somewhat indicative of how things went for Palmer during the first hour and 45 minutes of play, but Palmer would soon get a brief respite from the constant run of bad fortune.
They'd nearly reached the midpoint for the day, with 1,166 hands down and Blom up by $69,400, when Blom experienced some connectivity problems, causing the match to be delayed for nearly 45 minutes. After moving to a new location Blom was back online, the pair were reseated at four new tables, and cards were soon back in the air.
His set-up might've changed, but Blom's setting up of Palmer time and again to pay off big hands continued as before. Isildur1 quickly took another $20K-plus pot when his top pair outlasted a Palmer flush draw. Then came one in which Palmer opened for 3x from the button, Blom called, and the flop came 2♣5♦8♣. Blom checked, Palmer bet $400, Blom made it $1,300, and Palmer called. The turn was the 7♣, and this time Blom check-called Palmer's bet of $2,600. Isildur1 check-called another bet following the 9♠ river -- this one $6,400 -- and turned over 2♥2♠, more than enough against Palmer's A♠3♣ for ace-high. Another big pot -- $21,200 -- was shipped Blom's way.
Palmer would manage to double a couple of times after reloading to $10,000, but every time he did Blom soon grabbed most if not all of those chips right back. By the time they hit the three-quarter mark of 1,750 hands, Isildur1 had pushed to a $78,357 profit for the day ($72,932 overall).
Bing Blang Blom
Then arose a hand which appeared might prove a turning point for Palmer. On Table 6 both were sitting with about $25,000, thus setting the stage for what would prove the biggest hand of the afternoon.
The hand began with a raise to $300 by Palmer, a reraise to $1,100 by Blom, and a call from urnotindangr. The flop came 8♦Q♥A♦, and Blom led for $1,300. Palmer called. The turn was the Q♣, pairing the board, and this time Blom bet $3,150.
Palmer didn't wait too long before pumping it up to $8,000, and Blom responded in kind, reraising again to $12,850. Palmer called, and together they watched the 2♥ land on the river. Isildur1 pushed all in with the $8,250 he had left, and Palmer -- with only a shade more -- called the bet. Palmer had Q♦J♣ for trips, but had been foiled yet again by Blom who held A♥Q♠ for aces full of queens.
The pot was $47,000 even, and with that one it appeared Blom had all but assured himself another SuperStar Showdown win.
A Late Palmer Push
The last 500 hands saw Blom increase his lead for the day up over $100,000 for a short while, then Palmer gamely battle back to close the final margin, grabbing three $20K-ish pots during the final stretch of hands.
The first saw Palmer all in on a 5♥5♠J♦ flop with A♠J♥, better than Blom's A♥K♠, and the hand held. Then came a hand in which Palmer let Blom lead the betting before the flop and on all three streets as the board ran out 5♠Q♣9♣4♠T♣. In the end Blom had but 8♠6♠ for a busted draw while urnotindangr's T♦9♠ gave him two pair and the pot.
Finally, in the last big hand of the night, a series of preflop raises saw urnotindangr all in with J♦J♣ versus Blom's K♥Q♥. The community cards came 5♦3♦2♦Q♦5♣, giving Palmer a diamond flush and a few more chips as the final hands of the day were dealt.
It was not quite enough for Palmer, though, as Blom finished the 2,500-hand session $66,607 up for the day and $61,182 ahead over 5,000 hands. The combatants quickly exchanged messages of "gg" and were soon off on their separate ways, both likely in search of still more action.
It has been quite a run for Isildur1, who after losing his first SuperStar Showdown match to Isaac Haxton last December has compiled an impressive list of vanquished challengers -- Tony G, Daniel Cates, Eugene Katchalov, Attila "DodgyFish72" Gulcsik (the qualifier Blom bested by a single big blind!), Daniel Negreanu, and now Palmer.
Who will be next to show up for the Showdown? Stay tuned!