PokerStars $350,000 Guarantee Results 5-08-05

Sunday night's $350,000 Guarantee on PokerStars was a picture of one player heading into the final table with a decent chip lead and carrying it all the way to the finish with little fear of walking away with less than first place money. Riverthenuts hit the final table in first place and looked to walk away with the biggest prize. For most of the final table play, it looked like he would do just that. However, there would arise some doubt and it would take some time before the ultimate result could be decided. After all, you never know what the smallest stack at the table can do.

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Anyone who has ever made a final table knows that mixed feeling that comes with looking down and finding a painted pair. It's exhilaration mixed with that latent fear that something ...something...could go tragically wrong.

Whatta ya do with jacks?

Well, meet HoldumGod who reached the final table with a sizable stack of chips. Facing a standard 3x the big blind raise from chip-leader riverthenuts, HoldumGod pushed came over-the-top. Way over-the-top. HoldumGod put in 677,756. Everything. All-in. Play folded back around to riverthenuts who, after some thought, finally called. HoldumGod flipped over the dreaded pair of jacks to riverthenuts' pair of queens. HoldumGod never improved and left in ninth place for $5701.80

A few chips and a virtual chair

--l A l-- had the kind of stack that is easy to overlook at the final table. That is, his stack was smaller than every other. He'd already survived until eighth place when he quickly got the rest of his small stack in the middle and doubled thru. I only bring it up in a fairly transparent attempt at foreshadowing. That said, let's move on.

Trapped...? Depends on your perspective

Shortstacked and on the button, dadoum saw an opponent, custom1, smooth call in front of him and decided to push with 9Ts. Custom1 decided to call with QJo. Neither hand improved and dadoum left in eigth place, enduring the chat from custom1 in his wake, "I trapped you." Perhaps the $8772 and bon voyage from Lee Jones helped his departure.

Lee Jones: "Bon jeu dadoum!"

Some smaller stacks in a gasping refusal to die doubled through before one finally gave up the ghost. Lennart made a move in the battle of the blinds, pushing in his entire stack with KTo. Custom1 called with A5o. Neither hand improved and and lennart left in seventh place for $12719.40

Lee Jones: "Good match lennart - very well played by a class player. "

Luckyliu was the unlucky soul to go next, making a move with A7o but running into riverthenuts' AKo. Both players paired their ace on the board but riverthenuts had the kicker and sent Luckylui out in sixth place for $17,105.40

Lee Jones: "Tough to run into that hand in the BB Lucky - good match!"

T11b7 had been quietly holding on and doubling up. He came to the final table with the second-shortest stack. Now into at least fifth place money, t11b7 doubled through again, putting his pair of fours up against custom1's A7o and doubling through again. Fifth place wasn't enough, though. He'd prove to hold on a little longer.

RockyWaters with 341934 in chips left pushed all in with A4o and a similarly shortstacked --l A l-- A8o. --l A l--'s hand held up and RockyWaters left in fifth place for $21,052.80.

Lee Jones: "Oops Rocky - I'd say you're sunk. But $21K will buy a nice boat."

There ensured a fold-fest, during which time the players saw few flops. T11b7 doubled through once and looked to stay a little longer when he finally ran into some bad luck. He pushed all-in pre-flop with AKs and --l A l-- called with KQo. The board looked good but scary on the flop, [2s Jc Tc], harmless on the the turn [5] and downright heartbreaking on the river A♥. After holding on into the big money, t11b7 finally departed in fourth place, taking in $26,316.

Lee Jones: "Oof t11 - rough way to bust out. Good game!"

Winner take all?

Riverthenuts had the chip-lead with three players left and was ready to talk about a deal. Custom1 was having none of it. Before the game could even be paused, custom1 made it clear, "Only deal I'm interested in is winner takes it all."

And so they played on.

It wasn't long before and big hand developed. Custom1 raised 3x the big blind from the button to 120,000 and --l A l-- re-raised making it 200,000 to go. The flop came down [3h Qh 4s] and --l A l-- bet out 120,000. Custom1 called and they saw the turn 5♠. Again, --l A l-- bet out 120,000. This time, custom1 came over the top, pushing all-in for 1328306. --l A l-- insta-called called for the rest of is chips. As it turned out, the river, K♣, was irrelevant. --l A l-- showed a pair of black nines. Custom1 showed 68 suited in hearts, having missed his straight and flush draw on the river.

Custom1 still held on. He doubled through once with AT, then bested riverthenuts' pair of jacks with A7o. For the first time, it looked as those riverthenuts might be in a spot of trouble. That moment would not last for long. He got all his chips in the middle with AKs up against --l A l--'s pair of nines.

With a sizable chip-lead, riverthenuts again proposed a deal and custom1 continued to reiterate he would only deal if the winner took all. It wouldn't be long before the custom1 would be around to deal any more. With a a little more than 450,000 in chips left, custom1 pushed all-in with AQo. --l A l-- called with AKs and made trip kings on the board, sending custom1 out in third place for $34,649.40.

Lee Jones: Tough match-up there custom. But very well played!

Now, let's make a deal

With custom1's demands for a winner-take-all battle now behind them, riverthenuts and --l A l-- quickly struck a fair deal. Rivethenuts had about 3.5 million in chips to --l A l--'s stack which sat just under two million. The players reached their deal on their own, and it was only up to Lee to confirm it.

Lee Jones [PokerRoom Manager]: Here's what I get:
Lee Jones [PokerRoom Manager]: 78492 for river
Lee Jones [PokerRoom Manager]: 68000 for LAL

The players played out the game for Tournament Leader Board points, but the match went fairly quickly and about as you might expect when the weight of tens of thousands of dollars was lifted.

--l A l-- ended up taking the official first place, while riverthenuts took the big money.

Congrats to all the players for a fine Sunday night fight.

Final table money placement (results based on two-way deal for first and second)

1. riverthenuts (Oakland, CA)$78,492
2. --l A l-- (Arhus N. DK) $68000
3. custom1 (Bergen, NO) $34,649.40
4. t11b7 (Moneta, VA) $26,316
5. RockyWaters (Clarenville, NF, CA) $21,052.80
6. Luckylui (Newcastle, GB)$17,105.40
7. lennart (Hollviken, SE) $12719.40
8. dadoum (Paris, FR) $8772
9. HoldumGod (Oakdale, MN) $5701.08