All-Star Showdown: Haxton wins epic 17-hr. quarterfinal match vs. Alex "Kanu7" Millar

ps_news_thn.jpgAfter 17 hours and more than 3,800 hands, the second All-Star Showdown quarterfinal is done, with Team Online's Isaac Haxton coming back from the brink of elimination to defeat Alex "Kanu7" Millar in a truly epic heads-up battle to earn a spot in the semifinals.

On Friday afternoon, Haxton (playing from Malta) had a short warm-up session with fellow All-Star Showdown competitor Tobias "KTPOKP" Kuder. As we reported yesterday, Kuder went up against Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky in the first quarterfinal match, and Sulsky came away the winner.

With the winner between today's Haxton-Millar match having been scheduled to go up against yesterday's victor, Haxton and Kuder concluded their warm-up session with some chat in which they alluded to the possibility of meeting again in the second round.

However, unknown to the two of them, someone else was listening in!

KTPOKP: gtg wp gl
Ike Haxton: gg gl
KTPOKP: gl in the challenge as well
Ike Haxton: you too
Ike Haxton: see you in the semis :)
Kanu7 (observer): we'll see about that
Kanu7 (observer): ;)
Ike Haxton: lol
KTPOKP: haha :-D
Ike Haxton: hi there!
Kanu7 (observer): hey
Kanu7 (observer): gg guys, cya sunday ike ;)
KTPOKP: have fun

Millar was watching -- doing a little advanced scouting, you might say. And of course Kanu7 couldn't help but chime in regarding the question of who might be claiming the other semifinal spot.

As mentioned, Sulsky ended up prevailing against Kuder, and thus it was Sauce123 probably doing a bit of railing this time to see who between Haxton and Millar would emerge as his next opponent.

Moments before the match began, Haxton tweeted his thoughts to his followers:

@ikepoker: About to get underway in the AllStar Showdown vs Kanu. I have a feeling this might be a long one but I'm excited and feeling good.


Team Online Pro Isaac Haxton

As it turned out, Haxton was dead on with his read that the match might be a lengthy one.

Following the All-Star Showdown format, players each brought $100,000 to the match, starting with stacks of $10,000 at each of four tables. The blinds were $50/$100, and would remain such unless the pair happened to reach 3,000 hands, at which point the blinds would double.

They'd remain at four tables until one player's overall roll decreased to the point where he couldn't top up to $10K at every table, at which point the number of tables in play would be reduced.

Haxton was seated at the four tables a few minutes early, while the U.K. player Millar arrived right at the 18:00 CET start time. They exchanged a quick greeting...

Ike Haxton: :)
Kanu7: let the fun begin
Ike Haxton: yup

...and with that, cards were in the air!

Hour 1 (Hands 1-263)

Play began with Haxton grabbing several small pots early on to take leads on three of the four tables.

On the other (Table 3), Haxton fired a river bet on a board of J♣K♠7♦6♥7♠ holding Q♠9♦ (a busted gutshot draw), and Millar called the bluff with T♠7♥ (trip sevens) to grab a $6,434 pot. Kanu7 would snag another almost-$7K pot on Table 4 shortly thereafter, and after 60 hands Haxton's overall lead was just under $3,000.

Unsurprisingly, buttons were routinely raised, with Haxton raising to $222 while Millar usually made it $250 to go. As play progressed, some hands saw three- and four-bets starting to happen preflop, although the big confrontations were largely avoided and pots remained mostly small over the the first half-hour.

A hand then arose in which Haxton called Millar's preflop three-bet, then Millar check-called Haxton's flop and turn bets as the board came 7♣3♥T♠4♣. The river then brought the 7♥ and another check from Kanu7, and when Haxton shoved, Millar folded, condeding the $8,412 pot to the Team Online Pro.

After exactly 100 hands, Haxton had built his lead up over $6,000. A little while later the first big all-in occurred on Table 1 with all of the chips going into the middle on the river with the board showing 2♣J♠9♣K♦T♦. But Haxton had Q♣7♣ and Millar Q♦J♣, and they chopped the $25K pot.

Millar then grabbed a $20K-plus pot all for himself on Table 3 in a hand in which he rivered a full house to beat Haxton's turned flush. Take a look:

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A moment later the totals were reported, and Kanu7 had snuck into the lead by a mere $20.

Haxton would soon push back in front, however, aided in no small way by picking up a $24K-plus pot in a hand in which a flop brought Kanu7 two pair and Haxton a set:

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The pair soon reached the first five-minute break of the day. Each led on two of the four tables, with Haxton enjoying the overall edge after 263 hands.

60 hands: Ike Haxton +$2,957
100 hands: Ike Haxton +$6,011
152 hands: Ike Haxton +$8,015
168 hands: Kanu7 +$20
203 hands: Ike Haxton +$2,523
263 hands: Ike Haxton +$6,057

Hour 2 (Hands 264-483)

The pots remained small-to-medium during the first part of the second hour, with Millar gradually closing the gap to lessen Haxton's small lead.

A hand arose on Table 3 in which Kanu7 three-bet and Haxton called, and the pair saw the flop come 2♠8♣J♦. Kanu7 led for $1,000 and Haxton called again. The turn was the J♣. Millar checked this time, Haxton bet $2,150, and Millar called.

The river brought the 9♣ and another check from Millar. This time Haxton fired $3,650, and when Millar called Haxton showed 9♥9♦ for nines full. Millar mucked, and Haxton collected the $15,200 pot.

Haxton continued to maintain a big lead on Tables 1 and 2, while Millar led on the other two tables. Haxton started to close the gap on Table 4, however, and after a stretch in which he won eight of nine small pots had pulled nearly even there.

That's when a hand arose on Table 4 resulting in the biggest pot thus far of $33,344. In that one they'd reach the river with the board showing A♠2♣Q♦8♠6♠ and $9,500 in middle. That's when Kanu7 shoved all in, and after some thought Haxton called with the $11,922 he had left behind.

Haxton had Q♥8♥, but Millar's A♦Q♣ gave him the better two pair, the chips, and the overall lead in the match.

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Haxton began to chip up on Table 3, then came a huge preflop all-in that saw Haxton calling a Kanu7 five-bet shove. Haxton showed A♣K♥ and Millar A♦4♦, and when the community cards came 8♦Q♥3♠7♣2♥ Haxton had won a $34,132 pot.

Shortly after came another update of the totals showing that Haxton had grabbed the overall lead back with a more than $8K profit through 459 hands. Moments later, however, Millar grabbed the lead right back after calling Haxton's big all-in overbet on a 8♥K♠Q♥Q♠9♦ board. Haxton had T♥9♠ while Kanu7 had K♥Q♦ for queens full of kings, thus earning the latter an almost $30K pot.

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Millar would chip up some more before they reached the two-hour break, at which point Kanu7 held a $16,676 advantage through the first 483 hands.

303 hands: Ike Haxton +$2,437
350 hands: Ike Haxton +$2,544
401 hands: Kanu7 +$6,601
459 hands: Ike Haxton +$8,138
464 hands: Kanu7 +$7,651
483 hands: Kanu7 +$16,676

Hour 3 (Hands 484-726)

The third hour kicked off with Haxton doubling up to earn a $20K-plus pot on Table 4 in a hand in which he called a Millar river shove with the board showing Q♣T♦Q♥9♣5♠. Kanu7 held A♦Q♦ for trip queens, but Haxton had K♦J♦ for the straight to win the pot and lessen Millar's lead.

Another big hand soon came up on Table 1. With the pot up to about $15K and the board showing 8♠5♣J♥A♠6♠, Haxton shoved his stack of just over $17K and after tanking for some time Millar called with the $14,479 he had left.

Millar had J♠T♦, not enough against Haxton's A♥K♠ (aces), and the huge pot of $44,258 went to Haxton.

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Millar would claim the next big pot of $19,660 after turning two pair and getting paid. Kanu7 would grab another $10K pot after flopping top pair of aces and getting Haxton to call a couple of post-flop bets.

But Haxton was still winning a good share of the smaller pots, and thus continued to maintain his lead.

Then Haxton won two $25K-plus pots -- almost simultaneously on two tables -- and suddenly pushed up to a better than $30,000 lead over Millar.

One hand saw Haxton river a small flush versus Millar's two pair to earn a $28,030 pot. In the other Millar flopped top pair of aces, but Haxton turn a set of tens and got Kanu7 to pay off the river to earn himself a $25,610 pot.

Just a few hands later they'd reached the end of Hour #3, with Haxton enjoying his largest lead of the day.

549 hands: Ike Haxton +$10,790
581 hands: Ike Haxton +$11,323
634 hands: Ike Haxton +$7,846
656 hands: Ike Haxton +$8,407
696 hands: Ike Haxton +$8,617
710 hands: Ike Haxton +$31,205
726 hands: Ike Haxton +$34,834

Hour 4 (Hands 727-925)

The next half-hour saw the pair back in small-ball mode, with most pots remaining in the $1K-$2K range and only occasionally edging higher.

Then came a hand on Table 3 in which the pair traded bets until fifth street with the board showing K♥8♠6♠4♥T♣. With $5,644 in the middle, Kanu7 fired $3,600, then Haxton raised all in and after some thought Millar called with the $4,206 he had behind.

Millar had K♦6♥ -- he'd flopped two pair. But Haxton had turned a straight with 7♠5♥ and earned himself another big pot.

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The match was soon paused to rebalance stacks a bit. Haxton now had nearly a $60K lead on Millar, meaning Millar only barely had enough to maintain $10K stacks on all four tables.

Haxton would soon chip away enough at Millar's overall roll to force play at one table to be halted.

Over on Table 2 a hand came up in which Kanu7 raised to $250 from the button, Haxton made it $933 to go, and Kanu7 called. The flop came J♦4♣T♠. Haxton checked, Kanu7 bet $1,000, and Haxton called. The turn was the 3♦, and again Haxton check-called Kanu7's bet, this time for $2,200.

The river was the 3♥. Haxton checked once more, and after pausing for several seconds, Millar pushed all in and Haxton instantly called the bet. Haxton had J♣2♣ for jacks and treys, but Millar held 4♦4♠ for a full house, the $20,850 pot serving to slow down Haxton's rush for the moment.

The pattern repeated, though, with Haxton winning several small pots to nudge Millar back down, then Millar earning another $20K double-up in a hand in which both flopped top pair of kings, then bet down to the river only for Millar to show A♠Q♦ to Haxton's K♥Q♥.

They reached the four-hour mark, with Haxton picking up a $12K-plus pot just before the break in a hand in which he rivered a king-high straight and got Kanu7 to pay off a $5K fifth-street bet.

763 hands: Ike Haxton +$32,566
840 hands: Ike Haxton +$59,138
888 hands: Ike Haxton +$70,662
898 hands: Ike Haxton +$60,387
925 hands: Ike Haxton +$67,512

Hour 5 (Hands 926-1,157)

Hour #5 saw Haxton keep applying pressure, and as they crossed the 1,000th-hand mark his lead continued to hover around $62K.

Soon after that Haxton called a Kanu7 three-bet before the flop, then called a c-bet after the flop came K♦A♠4♦. The turn was the 8♥ and Kanu7 led again for $2,200. Haxton raised to $5,400 and Millar called. The river was the 9♦ and this time Millar checked, Haxton shoved, and Millar let it go, the $14,400 pot going Haxton.

Haxton's lead hovered close to $75,000, and soon it was necessary to close a second table and continue on just two.

Kanu7 continued to struggle to stop Haxton's momentum, and after losing another small pot took to the chat box for some comic relief.

Kanu7: clearly part of being a team pro is getting to choose turns and rivers ;)
Ike Haxton: yes, among my favorite parts
Kanu7: only among! i gotta get myself one of these deals

Millar's sense of humor was intact, but his bankroll for the match was becoming increasingly endangered, slipping down under $20K total.

Still more relief was afforded to Millar in a hand just before the five-hour break in which he managed to turn a full house and get paid. Take a look:

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Millar pushed back a little more, and by the time the break arrived had built back up over $40K total.

1,003 hands: Ike Haxton +$62,695
1,021 hands: Ike Haxton +$67,153
1,054 hands: Ike Haxton +$73,958
1,083 hands: Ike Haxton +$75,019
1,097 hands: Ike Haxton +$76,389
1,104 hands: Ike Haxton +$80,661
1,137 hands: Ike Haxton +$75,270
1,157 hands: Ike Haxton +$58,236

Hour 6 (Hands 1,158-1,385)

When play resumed they were able to open back up the other two tables, and the match continued on all four once again.

The tide appeared to be turning, with Millar continuing to chip up as the sixth hour progressed. A big hand then developed in which Millar raised all in over a Haxton river bet with the board showing 9♥4♥3♦7♦Q♦ and after some thought Haxton called.

Haxton had 9♠7♣ for two pair, but Millar had the flush with K♦5♦ and suddenly Haxton's lead was back down to around $40K.

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Haxton would soon push back to increase his lead over $50K again. But Kanu7 would soon pick off a river bluff by Haxton to earn another $20K pot and carve back into Haxton's advantage.

They'd soon reach another break, with the lead having shrunk back down close to $35K.

1,201 hands: Ike Haxton +$57,020
1,228 hands: Ike Haxton +$40,405
1,251 hands: Ike Haxton +$53,899
1,279 hands: Ike Haxton +$55,849
1,328 hands: Ike Haxton +$42,155
1,365 hands: Ike Haxton +$31,754
1,385 hands: Ike Haxton +$35,195

Hour 7 (Hands 1,386-1,643)

It was back to small-ball for the pair as the seventh hour began, with Haxton once more inching his lead upwards against Millar. It was back around $40K when they moved past the 1,457 hands, the number it took Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky to finish off Tobias "KTPOKP" Kuder in Saturday's first quarterfinal match.

Haxton would soon claim a series of pots, highlighted by a preflop all-in situation on Table 1 that saw Kanu7 calling Haxton's five-bet shove. Millar had A♥Q♦ and Haxton T♣T♥, and when the board came 3♦2♥T♠5♦A♣, Haxton's set of tens meant he's won the $13,560 pot.

That hand and others helped push Haxton's lead back up over $60,000, but soon Kanu7 picked up a double-up and $20K pot in a hand in which his J♠J♥ held versus Haxton's A♣K♣ when the board came Q♠8♦T♠9♠8♣.

1,438 hands: Ike Haxton +$40,646
1,482 hands: Ike Haxton +$40,355
1,506 hands: Ike Haxton +$45,370
1,541 hands: Ike Haxton +$63,879
1,573 hands: Ike Haxton +$64,097
1,617 hands: Ike Haxton +$45,928
1,613 hands: Ike Haxton +$39,773
1,643 hands: Ike Haxton +$33,478

Hour 8 (Hands 1,644-1,901)

Millar continued to chip back, and before long had Haxton's lead down under $25K.

Some of that chipping back came in another instance of Millar calling a Haxton river bluff to earn a $12,592 pot. Then came simultaneous hands on Tables 1 and 2 that saw a $24,208 pot go to Haxton, and a $31,370 one to Millar.

In the one won by Haxton, a river card brought him a straight after Millar had turned a pair of jacks. Meanwhile in the other, both players made two pair by the river, but Kanu7's hand was best. Take a look:

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Haxton's lead continued to dwindle as the pots remained relatively small. Then came a preflop all-in on Table 1 pitting Kanu7's K♠K♦ versus Haxton's 8♣8♥. The kings held, and the almost $30K pot went to Millar.

The next break arrived -- a 30-minute one this time -- and for the first time in a long while, Kanu7 had the lead.

1,683 hands: Ike Haxton +$22,269
1,726 hands: Ike Haxton +$17,880
1,756 hands: Ike Haxton +$21,218
1,790 hands: Ike Haxton +$13,402
1,818 hands: Ike Haxton +$15,472
1,850 hands: Ike Haxton +$14,209
1,901 hands: Kanu7 +$5,874

Hour 9 (Hands 1,902-2,127)

Eight hours down, and Millar and Haxton were essentially right back where they had begun. What had appeared a match destined to end relatively rapidly once Haxton's lead had exceeded $80K was now either player's match to win.

The ninth hour started slowly, then a hand arose on Table 3 in which the pair got all of Haxton's $10K stack in the middle following a 6♠7♠9♥ flop with Haxton holding Q♠Q♥ and Kanu7 9♣8♠. The turn then brought another nine, and after a king fell on the river Millar had added to his lead.

Soon another $20K-plus pot went Kanu7's way, this one featuring Haxton flopping top pair of nines, then Millar rivering a better pair of kings. Check it out:

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Another hand involving Kanu7 picking up A♦A♥, flopping a set of aces, then getting Haxton to bluff a river with no pair resulted in another $20,200 pot going to Millar. Suddenly, as the pair were approaching 2,000 hands played, Millar's lead was up to $46,864

Haxton soon got $10K back after picking up pocket kings versus Millar's pocket tens, then getting all of his stack in by the river as the board came nine-high.

But Kanu7 soon won that back and some more in a hand that reached the river with the board showing Q♠2♣Q♦A♣7♥ and Millar -- holding an ace -- quickly check-calling a Haxton shove.

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They reached the next break. It had been a great hour for Millar.

1,954 hands: Kanu7 +$19,752
1,989 hands: Kanu7 +$46,864
2,010 hands: Kanu7 +$36,472
2,030 hands: Kanu7 +$40,579
2,047 hands: Kanu7 +$49,909
2,086 hands: Kanu7 +$48,075
2,097 hands: Kanu7 +$59,454
2,127 hands: Kanu7 +$59,265

Hour 10 (Hands 2,128-2,376)

Haxton -- now routinely min-raising his button (rather than raising to $222) -- chipped back some over the next half-hour, but Millar slowly wrestled back what Haxton had gained.

Pots remained mostly small over that stretch, with no all-ins and only the occasional river flare-up, such as in a hand that saw a board roll out 3♦4♦J♦2♠6♠ and Kanu7 check-call a Haxton bet. Haxton had 4♣2♣, but Millar 6♣4♠ for a better two pair to win a $5,750 pot.

Kanu7 would claim another $8,266 pot after flopping an ace with A♠Q♥ and getting a couple of streets' worth of value. That one pushed Millar's lead up near $70K.

Table 4 then suddenly saw some action, with Haxton winning a $19,600 pot with two pair, then Millar winning a $20,000 one on the very next hand when they got all in on a 8♥2♦7♥ flop with Haxton holding Q♠8♠ (eights) and Millar K♥9♥ (flush draw), and Millar spiked a king on the river.

Haxton then scooped a $21K pot on Table 3 after check-calling a Kanu7 river shove and winning with a small flush:

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Even so, another hour came to a close with Millar having extended his lead.

2,176 hands: Kanu7 +$50,012
2,194 hands: Kanu7 +$48,244
2,276 hands: Kanu7 +$57,563
2,294 hands: Kanu7 +$63.063
2,304 hands: Kanu7 +$68,383
2,317 hands: Kanu7 +$65,933
2,376 hands: Kanu7 +$67,341

Hour 11 (Hands 2,377-2,610)

There were just three tables in action to start the 11th hour of play, thanks to Haxton's overall bankroll for the match having slipped under $35K.

Kanu7 soon won a $8,200 pot on Table 2 after rivering the low end of a seven-high straight, checking to Haxton, then watching Haxton pause a long time before checking back.

For a brief period the lead was up over $70K, but Haxton pushed back to score an $18K-plus pot with a rivered straight over Kanu7's top pair.

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That was enough to pull Haxton back up over $40K total and allow the fourth table to be reopened. Haxton then swiftly doubled to $20K at that table when he turned two pair with Q♠4♦, then got it all in on the river to crack Mullar's A♦A♠ overpair.

A short while later, Kanu7 would pick up pocket aces again at the same table, this time on a hand in which Haxton was dealt 9♦9♥. They'd get all of Millar's chips in preflop, and when the aces held up the $29,134 pot helped bolster Millar's lead again.

A straight flush would earn Haxton a $10K pot on Table 1, and a little while later a full house garnered him an $11K-plus one on Table 2. And just before the break arrived Haxton would pick up A♦A♣ on Table 3, flop a set, then get paid by Millar who held A♠3♠ to the tune of another $20K pot.

After a tough previous hour, Haxton had fought his way to gaining back about $40K from Millar during Hour #11.

2,427 hands: Kanu7 +$70,269
2,452 hands: Kanu7 +$54,758
2,461 hands: Kanu7 +$44,283
2,544 hands: Kanu7 +$60,803
2,581 hands: Kanu7 +$43,472
2,610 hands: Kanu7 +$27,704

Hour 12 (Hands 2,611-2,845)

The 12th hour saw more small ball as Millar maintained the lead, with only a few pots exceeding $5K.

Haxton grabbed one pot of just over $10K early on without a showdown, while Kanu7 took a $9,500 one with a turned nut flush that got checked down on the river. But for the most part play was snug as the pair moved closer to that 3,000-hand mark at which point the blinds were scheduled to double.

2,663 hands: Kanu7 +$32,187
2,698 hands: Kanu7 +$23,227
2,780 hands: Kanu7 +$27,071
2,845 hands: Kanu7 +$26,383

Hour 13 (Hands 2,846-3,024)

The same, relatively quiet pattern continued into the 13th hour. A flicker of excitement arose on Table 3 when Haxton shoved all in on a 2♠8♣4♥5♥7♣ board and earned a fold and a $9,664 pot.

Before folding, Kanu7 commented on the extra time Haxton spent before his all-in push, and the pair continued the conversation afterwards.

Kanu7: i like the timing balancing on the river, then shove 100% of the time ;)
Ike Haxton: i have to spend a little while thinking about how excited i am to shove
Kanu7: haha
Ike Haxton: savor the moment
Kanu7: on a scale of 1 to 10, how was that one?
Ike Haxton: 9.5
Kanu7: nice
Ike Haxton: i had the second nut low
Ike Haxton: so it was very exciting
Kanu7: haha

Shortly after that one, a hand arose on Table 1 that reached the river with the board showing 3♦J♠5♣7♥4♣ and $8,366 in the middle. Haxton pushed all in immediately that time, and Kanu called, showing A♥J♦ for top pair, top kicker. Haxton showed his K♣J♣, and Millar took the $21K pot.

"Shoved quick once for you," said Haxton after, and Kanu7 responded with a "lol thanks." "I see why you don't do it now," added Millar, "bad luck."

Millar added a few more chips to extend his lead back up over $40K, and soon after that they completed the 3,000th hand of the match and play was paused.

"We will now move to the $100/$200 tables," said the host, and after a couple of minutes cards were back in the air. Needing $20K stacks (100 big blinds), Haxton's deficit meant they only opened two tables when play resumed.


Haxton would soon pick up a $17K-plus pot with another river shove (this time uncalled), and they were able to open a third table. Millar then earned a similar-sized pot with a turn shove that got Haxton to fold.

2,874 hands: Kanu7 +$34,067
2,894 hands: Kanu7 +$33,297
2,924 hands: Kanu7 +$27,671
2,980 hands: Kanu7 +$43,779
3,024 hands: Kanu7 +$38,678

Hour 14 (Hands 3,025-3,244)

Then came a hand in which Haxton raised 2x from the button and Millar called, and the pair saw a flop come 9♦Q♦4♥. Kanu7 check-called Haxton's bet of $528, then the turn brought the 2♣ and checks from both.

The river was the 2♦. Millar bet $1,200 this time, Haxton raised to $2,800, Millar shoved all in, and Haxton called with the $9,655 he had left. Millar showed Q♥2♠ for a full house, beating Haxton's flush with A♦J♦, and the $26,766 went into Kanu7's stack.

That hand was immediately followed by an even bigger one on Table 3, with pair getting all $18,900 of Haxton's stack in on the river with the board showing Q♦5♦K♦Q♥8♣. Haxton had A♦Q♣ for trip queens, but it was queens full again for Millar who held Q♠5♠.

Suddenly in the space of just a few minutes, Haxton was down to fighting with less than $20,000 at a single table.

Haxton added a few chips there, but soon was all in before the flop with A♣K♦ against Millar's Q♣Q♠. For the first time all day and night the match could end depending on the outcome of a hand. A king fell on the flop to pair the Team Online Pro, and when Haxton's hand held he was back up over $40K.

RSS readers click through to see replay

The pair had to chat a bit about that one.

Kanu7: noooooooooooooooo
Ike Haxton: hahaha
Kanu7: nh lol
Kanu7: don't even think about coming back to win now :)
Ike Haxton: i'm thinking about it
Kanu7: rude

A second table was reopened, with Millar's lead staying at around $60K over the next 15 minutes or so.

Haxton then won another all-in and $40K pot in a hand that saw all of his chips go in on a 7♥6♥8♠4♠ board with Ike holding 8♣7♣ for top two pair. Millar had 7♠6♠ for a lesser two pair, and after the 2♦ river Haxton had swiftly cut Kanu7's lead down under $40K.

A third table was put in play, and they took a five-minute break soon afterwards, pausing for a breather following a wild first half-hour on the $100/$200 tables.

Play resumed, and pocket queens soon helped Haxton cut further into the lead. But Millar would quickly snare a couple of $40K pots as they approached the 14-hour mark. One came in a hand that saw Haxton pushing all in on the river with a bottom pair of treys and Millar calling with top pair of aces, while in the other Millar made a straight versus Haxton's two pair.

Thus, as they headed toward Hour #15 of play, Millar was ascending once more.

3,037 hands: Kanu7 +$27,759
3,081 hands: Kanu7 +$84,553
3,108 hands: Kanu7 +$59,406
3,141 hands: Kanu7 +$57,248
3,162 hands: Kanu7 +$35,594
3,184 hands: Kanu7 +$36,366
3,196 hands: Kanu7 +$20,994
3,203 hands: Kanu7 +$21,394
3,211 hands: Kanu7 +$16,928
3,244 hands: Kanu7 +$53,383

Hour 15 (Hands 3,245-3,484)

Haxton started the hour chipping back at Millar, including once picking up pocket aces and turning a set to narrow the gap.

But there was a decided lack of drama compared to the previous hour, with both players keeping pots small for the first 35 minutes or so.

Then came a hand in which Haxton raised before the flop, then called a Millar check-raise following a J♦7♣4♠ flop. The turn was the 5♣ and this time Millar bet $3,200 and Haxton called.

The river was the T♠ and when Kanu7 checked, Haxton shoved for $13,521 and Millar called. Millar had J♣4♦ for two pair, but Haxton had 8♣6♠ for the straight and took the $37,842 pot.

The lead had shrunk to less than $12,000, and soon all four tables were once again in play.

From there, a busted draw and river shove by Haxton on Table 2 caused the next chip swing, sending a $42,200 pot to Kanu7 after he called.

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A flurry followed in which the players traded $40K-ish pots back and forth, with Haxton ultimately coming out ahead. Haxton then chipped up some more, and after 15 hours of poker the pair were nearing even once again.

3,256 hands: Kanu7 +$50,725
3,277 hands: Kanu7 +$44,731
3,301 hands: Kanu7 +$30,727
3,324 hands: Kanu7 +$32,489
3,376 hands: Kanu7 +$11,138
3,403 hands: Kanu7 +$14,436
3,443 hands: Kanu7 +$33,904
3,458 hands: Kanu7 +$9.940
3,469 hands: Kanu7 +$11,828
3,484 hands: Kanu7 +$10,628

Hour 16 (Hands 3,485-3,699)

The duel continued across four tables, with both players sitting with about $20K at each. After another succession of small pots, a big one brewed on Table 4 with Haxton's flopped set of jacks earning him a $40K pot when Millar rivered a pairing queen.

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Close to eight hours after he had lost it, Haxton had regained the lead.

For the remainder of the hour the pots were small-to-medium, with Haxton gradually increasing his edge.

3,563 hands: Ike Haxton +$19,052
3,623 hands: Ike Haxton +$32,169
3,648 hands: Ike Haxton +$15,659
3,681 hands: Ike Haxton +$17,016
3,699 hands: Ike Haxton +$27,034
3,720 hands: Ike Haxton +$33,727

Hour 17 (Hands 3,721-3,881)

Haxton continued to grab pots and increase his lead, and soon moved back up over the $50K mark with his advantage, thereby forcing the action back down to just two tables.

Haxton whittled away at Kanu7 at Table 2, then came a hand in which Millar raised to $500 from the button and Haxton called, and the flop came 7♦9♦J♠. Haxton checked, Kanu7 bet $600, and Haxton called. The turn was the A♣, and again Haxton check-called, with Millar betting $1,400 this time.

The river was the 4♠ and Haxton checked once more. Kanu7 bet $6,400, and Haxton called yet again, showing A♦7♠ for two pair, better than Millar's Q♦T♥.

Meanwhile on the other table, the pair traded raises back and forth until Kanu7 was all in for $20,400 with 9♥9♦ against Haxton's K♠Q♠.

The board rolled out A♣6♠J♠T♠5♠, giving Haxton a straight, then a flush, and suddenly, just as the match was nearing the end of 17 hours of play, Kanu7 was down to less than $6,000 total.

It would take but five more hands to finish it.

In the last hand, Haxton raised the button and Kanu7 called, then Millar check-called bets on all three post-flop streets as the board came 6♥4♣7♥6♣3♥, going on all in with the river call. Millar had K♦5♣ for a straight, but Haxton 9♥5♥ for a heart flush to win the match.

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3,791 hands: Ike Haxton +$43,362
3,796 hands: Ike Haxton +$50,462
3,827 hands: Ike Haxton +$54,164
3,876 hands: Ike Haxton +$94,214
3,881 hands: Ike Haxton +$100,000

The pair weren't too tired to exchange some congrats in the chat box:

Kanu7: congrats gg
Ike Haxton: thanks
Ike Haxton: gg
Ike Haxton: crazy match
Kanu7: yeah
Kanu7: win the QQ vs AK 1 time ffs
Ike Haxton: lol
Ike Haxton: indeed
Kanu7: can't remember the last time i was more card dead than the last couple of hours as well :(
Kanu7: ah well, shame someone has to lose such an epic match but best of luck for the rest of the tourney
Ike Haxton: yeah, i believe it
Ike Haxton: it really felt that way
Ike Haxton: thanks, you played really well

We'll add our congrats to both players as well for an incredibly competitive match. Team Online Pro Isaac Haxton moves on to face Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky in the semifinals later this week. Be sure to follow all the action here on the PokerStars blog!

Martin Harris is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in All Star Showdown