Battle of the Planets: Another Great from Russia, TheGreatRus claims August title

Battle of the Planets logo.jpgWith the enlarged player pool of 729 runners (as opposed to 509 last month and 380 in June), the first round was not the easy stepping stone as it has been for recent previous months of this tournament. Instead of having to knock out four or five players, mostly full tables of nine would determine who would get at least $195.00 for surviving the first round and who would need to return to the SnG tables to score another ticket for next month.

Three players with Red Spades next to their name found tickets in their bankroll after grinding SnGs all month. Team Online's George "Jorj95" Lind would basically cash his admission ticket, drop in to wave to the crowd, get back to his dozen tables of high-stakes SnGs as he was quickly ushered off the stage in 706th place.

Almost an hour later, Andre Coimbra would succumb to the rising blinds. During the 75/150 level holding 1,512 chips, just twelve chips above the starting stack, the Team Online member would call the small blind shove of premo321 while in the big blind holding K♥6♥. It was the right call as premo321 showed J♦4♥. However, the board quickly laid two fours on the flop and cruelly useless king on the river 7♣ 4♠ 4♦ 5♠ K♣ to end Coimbra tournament early in 219th place.

That left Team Pro's Maxim Lykov as the only remaining Red Spade with a shot at the $12,000.00 first prize. Down to three players at the Russian's table and blinds at 125/250 ante 25, Maxim would find an ace in the small blind 2♠A♥ and shoved for 3,895 chips. Covering, ssv1978 would make the call with a couple of facecards. The ace would fail to hold. Despite adding a river straight and flush draw, a jack made an appearance on the 3♥ J♥ T♣ K♥ 6♠ flop to win the 7,865 chip pot and send the EPT Kiev champ to the rail in 111th place.

twirlpro and IamBandele put down their eight respective opponents to claim the first two seats at the final table. YugiohPro would be looking to add a Battle of the Planets title to a Sunday Warm-up win for $104K in 2010 and a SCOOP final table this year /en/blog/scoop/2012/scoop-2012-dan-djk123-kelly-adds-scoop-t-094511.html but all of the finalists would need to wait for Table 7 to finish up their heads-up battle.

Kaladurj and Lukas@bet would go to the third hourly break with Kaldurj holding a 7,722 to 5,778 chip lead. Lukas@bet would trim the difference to 7,107 to 6,393 when both decided to toss their chips in preflop. Kaldurj with pocket eights 8♣8♠ against Lukas@bet's A♥9♦ and the ace and nine squared up with one of each on the flop 4♣ A♣ 9♦ 5♣ 5♦ to take down the monster 12,786 chip pot. Lukas@bet would take the rest of the scraps on the very next hand to start up the final table below:


Seat 1: Ramzes4789 (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: YugiohPro (1500 in chips)
Seat 3: twirlpro (1500 in chips)
Seat 4: Shmotka (1500 in chips)
Seat 5: IamBandele (1500 in chips)
Seat 6: TheGreatRus (1500 in chips)
Seat 7: Lukas@bet (1500 in chips)
Seat 8: wavegoodbye (1500 in chips)
Seat 9: EvgenKL (1500 in chips)

After the rebuttal of YugiohPro to the table's request of chopping for nearly $4,000.00 a piece play would quickly and quietly travel through the 10/20 and 15/30 blind level without incident.

Fast start, fast finish

Shmotka would leap out to the chip lead during the first level but as the blinds moved up to 25/50 and near the change to 50/100 Shmotka was left with 780 chips and open shoved from early position as TheGreatRus re-shoved as the rest of table folded. Wrong time to pick up jacks J♠J♣ as TheGreatRus flipped up aces A♥A♦, a turned ace 3♣ 3♦ 4♣ A♠ 8♦ would send Shmotka officially to the rail in ninth place ($775.00).

Rammed out in eighth place

And sometimes the smaller pair does win. Take the case of Ramzes4789 and EvgenKL. Both players with stacks within 27 chips of each other and below the starting 1,500 chip stack. With the blinds at 50/100 and after a min-raise by EvegenKL, Ramzes4789 would call from the button to see a 4♣7♠K♠ flop. EvgenKL bet 200 as Ramzes4789 called for both to see the 5♠ turn. EvgenKL backed off and checked as Ramzes4789 led out for 400. EvgenKL tried to check-raise all-in for 886 total holding queens Q♥Q♦ but Ramzes4789 was not going to dump the flopped set of sevens 7♦7♥. J♣ on the river sent the 2,722 chip pot to Ramzes4789 as EvgenKL's bad beat would net $1,200.00 in eighth place.


IamBandele was reduced to around 1,000 chips during the first level and never recovered. With the blinds still at 50/100 and two hands after EvgenKL's ladies failed to help, IamBandele would try a little blind versus blind steal by shoving 850 chips from the small blind. Holding T♣Q♦ and near the chip lead, TheGreatRus made the call. Two live cards for IamBandele 2♦8♣ became a pair after an eight showed up on the door. However, right behind the eight was a ten that matched TheGreatRus' hand 8♥ T♥ K♣ 4♠ J♠ and IamBandele can proclaim IamSeventhPlace ($1,700.00).

Na-Na-Hey-Hey Kiss Him Goodbye

YugiohPro to this point was making a decent business decision after rebuffing the nine-way chop. Check out the hand below as YugiohPro goes up against wavegoodbye:

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YugiohPro would claim the pot despite three jacks out on the board J♣ 3♥ J♥ J♠ 9♠ trying to counterfeit the South Korean's T♣A♠. wavegoodbye's A♣7♦ found no luck and sixth place but $2,200.00 in free money always gives proper perspective.

The Great Rush

With the blinds moving up to 75/150 the TheGreatRus maintained a small chip lead on the table and min-raised from the button as Lukas@bet shoved 1,610 chips from the small blind. Holding A♣T♣ TheGreatRus had the chips and the cards to make the call. Lukas@bet turned over the dominated 8♦A♥ oh but what is this? A eight on the 5♣8♣J♣ flop? A closer inspection would show that TheGreatRus flopped a little better with the nut flush. J♦ would open a small window but Lukas@bet could not climb through as the 4♥ ended the tournament for Lukas@bet in fifth place ($2,735.00).

Rushing to the finish

As usual with this tournament, once the 100/200 blind level hits, the all-ins fly like a group of migrating geese, straight and to the finish. First up was Ramzes4789 who tumbled to 1,689 chips and open shoved from the cutoff as TheGreatRus made the call out of the big blind with pocket jacks J♣J♠. Ramzes4789 found decent cards for the shove turning up Q♣A♥ but TheGreatRus found a jack behind the door J♦ 9♣ 8♣ 8♠ 4♦ to close out that flip quickly as Ramzes4789 claimed fourth place ($3,350.00).

Two hands later TheGreatRus, with double the amount of chips of the remaining two chip stacks combined, would min-raise from the button as YugiohPro shoved for 2,236 chips. Ace-queen Q♦A♣ made another appearance as TheGreatRus called and this time YugiohPro was the dominated player holding 9♥A♥. Only one heart and no nines on the 4♦ J♠ 6♥ 2♣ 6♦ board and we had our second elimination in less than a minute as YugiohPro took home $4,500.00 in third place.

Not Alexander, but Great Enough

TheGreatRus would take a 10,870 to 2,630 chip lead into heads-up play against twirlpro who kept to the shadows and gathered enough chips to assure a decent payday. While twirlpro would gain a bit by the time the final hand below played out, it was TheGreatRus' to lose. Check out the $12,000.00 winning hand below:

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No chance in the blinds as twirlpro min-raise from the button and TheGreatRus pressed matters with a raise to 6,400 chips. Holding an ace and two diamonds 3♦A♦ twirlpro made the call and needed to crack the pocket kings K♣K♠ of TheGreatRus to stay alive. The king on the flop would put this one away early 3♣ J♠ K♥ 7♠ Q♠ as TheGreatRus claimed the August Battle of the Planets $50,000 triple shootout freeroll title and $12,000.00 first prize!

Definitely not twirlpro's first dance at a big final table after taking down Event #29 at the 2012 TCOOP for $18K, but the Hungarian would claim a decent $7,500.00 as the runner-up today.

Players entered: 729
Places paid: 81
Buy-in: Freeroll
First place: $12,000.00

August Battle of the Planets $50,000 Triple Shootout freeroll results (08-26-12):
1. TheGreatRus (Russia) $12,000.00
2. twirlpro (Hungary) $7,500.00
3. YugiohPro (South Korea) $4,500.00
4. Ramzes4789 (Uzbekistan) $3,350.00
5. Lukas@bet (Austria) $2,735.00
6. wavegoodbye (Canada) $2,200.00
7. IamBandele (Germany) $1,700.00
8. EvgenKL (Belarus) $1,200.00
9. Shmotka (Russia) $775.00

David Aydt is a freelance contributor

David Aydt
@PokerStars in