eL cuCut carves out a win in the December Battle of the Planets

What better way to end a successful year (or slide back into the black) with a nice four to five-figure score from a freeroll? PokerStars rewards its players in many ways, but for the serious SnG players the biggest perk is a free entry into the Battle of the Planets race each month. Even if you were not one of the lucky nine to make it to the final table today, there are weekly prizes to be won regardless of the size of your bankroll. From the $1-$2.99 buy-in Mercury division to the high-rolling $300+ buy-in Jupiter division, size doesn't matter for the below final nine as they played for bulk of the $50,000 month-end triple shootout freeroll.

klop0007 went out for a six-course meal as he was the first to nail down his seat at a final table (and waited nearly 45 minutes to play) awarding $12,500 to the winner. solody, a former 2006 WCOOP final tablist in Razz got to play Hold'Em with hopes of adding on to the $22,827.20 he won two years ago. doucheburger returned to the final table as he trapped potlogic with pocket aces versus pocket queens. He managed a 6th place finish back in September (link here), and one month later nearly took down the $1 million Turbo Takedown (link here) with a runner-up finish for $52,000.

The last final table seat was decided between Vegas_Matt78 and levaitom, sadly 10th place pays the same as 81st in the triple shootout and it was after a well spirited heads-up match that levaitom fell for the $195 consolation prize in 10th place to set our final table.

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Despite two victories to get here, all players started off with the same $1,500 chip stacks and the blinds at an easy going 10/20. Any chance at an early deal was taken off the board by doucheburger:

AdamDay342: do they do table deals at this table?
doucheburger: they do
doucheburger: but i don't

He may not do deals, but PokerStars does, by now if you have been playing this weekend there are several World Record Week promotions going on. Check out the promo page (link here) for reload bonuses, 10,000 player SnGs, and Milestone hands which can make you a winner just for sitting down and playing cash games!

No blood was drawn early, as AdamDay342 was the first to reach 2,000 chips followed closely by eL cuCut whose connection problems got the table grumbling, but none of the players felt the hurt from the blinds escalating from 10/20 to 15/30. Patient play shown by all the players as 3x big blind preflop raises took the blinds as very little post flop play was seen.

The first push came after a 3X big blind raise from the shortstacked klop0007 from Sleven11 with the blinds at 25/50. But, klop0007 decided to fight another day with his $775 in chips and folded. doucheburger jumped on a raise from Deurdy on his immediate right with a push but much like the prior hand, Deurdy took his $1,600 in chips and passed $150 of them quietly to doucheburger while mucking.

Steal attempt gone wrong, but chips shipped regardless. As the blinds moved up to 50/100, it folded around to doucheburger on the button who pushed with $1,310 chips remaining hoping to snag the $150 in the middle. But, AdamDay342 woke up with pocket nines in the big blind as doucheburger had to show the Qd7d busted steal attempt. The flop Kd-Jh-Ah provided some love for doucheburger for straight outs, the turn 6d added on the flush outs which hit on the cruel 9d river. Despite hitting his set, AdamDay342 fell to doucheburger's flush and had to settle for $775 in ninth place.

The blinds at 50/100 now represented some problems for the shorter stacks as Vegas_Matt78 and klop0007 managed to double up off doucheburger and eL cuCut respectively to go from short stack to average stack.

At the break here's how the stacks looked as the players came back to 75/150 blinds:

Seat 1: Sleven11 (1,180 in chips)
Seat 2: eL cuCut (2,465 in chips)
Seat 3: Fosca1 (2,170 in chips)
Seat 4: Vegas_Matt78 (1,580 in chips)
Seat 5: solody (1,300 in chips)
Seat 6: Deurdy (1,600 in chips)
Seat 7: doucheburger (1,655 in chips)
Seat 8: klop0007 (1,550 in chips)

Many all-ins but no one all out as the 75/150 blind level went thru without incident. But, as soon as the blinds bumped up to 100/200, solody and Sleven11 started the rain on all-ins and a call. Leaving $445 in chips behind, solody called the all-in push of Sleven11 from middle position with pocket jacks. Sleven11 was short on chips and short on luck as his Tc-9c never had a chance on the 5d-2d-Qc-Ah-8s board. solody collected the $2,410 chip pot and Sleven11 collected $1,200 in eighth place.

Two hands later, with only $605 left, Vegas_Matt78 open-pushed two off the button and Deurdy followed in suit on the button with a push of his own while holding $1,225 in chips. No "Deurdy" river needed in this race of Deurdy's Ac-Qc versus Vegas_Matt78's pocket deuces. The flop hit Deurdy's ace showing 9d-4d-As and held up through the Td turn and 9c river. Vegas_Matt78 was chatting about $1 SnG and will now be able to play a little higher thanks to the $1,700 he won in seventh place.

Another two hands later, another all-in and a call preflop. This time klop0007's button push with Ac-7d found himself well behind the big blind Fosca1's Ad-Ks. No suspense in the outcome as the flop showed Kc-7h-Kh giving Fosca1 flopped trips and leaving klop0007 searching for the remaining sevens in the deck. Td and Qh on the turn and river sent the double agent home for the holidays with an extra $2,200 in his PokerStars account in sixth place.

Most hands this late in the tournament with the blinds at 125/250 ante 25 begin with a push and end with either a fold or call preflop. eL cuCut raised from the button with Ah-Qd to $600 and was facing a push from solody in the big blind for most of his chips saving $1,010 behind. He made the correct call and found himself racing with the pocket deuces on solody. The 3c-Jd-Ks flop added four more outs to the race for eL cuCut, the 8d on the turn did nothing, but the Ts on the river danced eL cuCut to his winning broadway straight and sent solody home with $2,735 in fifth place.

The very next hand produced a very "Deurdy" river. Again it was eL cuCut mixing it up leaving $1,560 in chips behind this time as he called the three-bet push of Deurdy with a suited big slick (Ac-Kc) and Deurdy found himself well behind with Ad-Td. The flop 3h-Tc-3c hit Deurdy hard he now he was dodging clubs and three kings to take the $7,620 chip pot. Js on the turn opened up three more queens for outs, and the "Deurdy" river 6c flushed Deurdy out of the last 2008 Battle of the Planets final table in fourth place earning $3,350.

doucheburger decided to go on the offensive pushing the next three out of four hands but losing most of his chips to Fosca1 when his Ac-3s missed the board, and Fosca1's Jc-7s connected for a winning pair of sevens. Down but not out, doucheburger with only $730 left won the blinds the next hand but lost the following hand when his 6d-2d could not make up for lost ground against Fosca1's Ad-2h on the 9c-3c-9h-8h-Ks board. doucheburger did add another impressive finish to his mantle with a third-place finish worth $4,500.

Even with doucheburger out, talks of chopping up the final two places only materialized after the following hands: eL cuCut's 8,430 to Fosca1's $5,070 heads up lead would evaporate after 18 hands when Fosca1's pocket eights overcame the overcard and flush draw of eL cuCut's Kd-5d on the 2d-4h-Qd-4c-7c board leaving eL cuCut with just $1,460 in chips. But, eL cuCut would battle back to even thanks to a few steals and pocket aces versus Fosca1's pocket nines brought to gap into deal making range.

After a short wait for the trusty PokerStars Host, our remaining contestants divvied up the $19,500 left in the prize pool. Chip-chop it up!

Fosca1: $10,273.52
eL cuCut: $9,226.48

The players pushed the next two hands and with pocket Tens, eL cuCut held off the Qs-8c of Fosca1 to become the December Battle of the Planets champion!

Here's how the final table's share of the prize pool was given out:

December Battle of the Planets
(Based on two-way deal)

1. eL cuCut $9,226.82
2. Fosca1 $10,273.52
3. doucheburger $4,500.00
4. Deurdy $3,350.00
5. solody $2,735.00
6. klop0007 $2,200.00
7. Vegas_Matt78 $1,700.00
8. Sleven11 $1,200.00
9. AdamDay342 $775.00

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Battle of the Planets