Battle of the Planets: xx23xx rallies for the win in triple shootout

BOP_thumbnail.jpgAutumn time in North America, NFL football on the TV, good beer in hand, and a steady stream of leaves in different shades to rake into 30 gallon lawn bags until your hands resemble a war zone of blisters. The term freeroll is a misnomer here as players worked hard to earn their Battle of the Planets $50,000 freeroll tickets today, earning points thru single and multi-table SnGs for a shot at the large prizes waiting on the third table.

r3n3k375 took a long nap at the final table before the remaining seats drizzled in. The first seat was taken while 38 other players were still vying for the final eight seats to today's Battle of the Planets $50,000 Triple Shootout final table. The monthly reward tournament for our hard working SnG rounders returns today with 420 players cashing in their tickets today, earned throughout the weekly contest in various skill and bankroll levels to meet for the triple shootout that would award $12,000.00 to one lucky player (or split up as we'd soon find out).

mattmatic and GG3o would join the final nine next, securing at least a $775.00 payday while the players who survived their 1st round matches all got $195.00 for their efforts.

Down to the final two final table qualifiers, all eyes went out to Table 2 and 6 where Supernova stu7ungar was heads-up against zzcantwinzz, and SilverStar kelavi battled woody123432 past the 125/250 ante 25 level. woody123432's A♥J♦ couldn't find any love against kelavi's K♠8♠ in their final hand as kelavi would spike an eight on the flop and have it hold up on the 7♣ Q♠ 8♥ 2♦ 2♥ board to claim the eighth seat.

With one seat remaining, zzcantwinzz was down 4:1 in chips to stu7ungar and took T♠K♠ to war preflop by shoving the remaining 2,623 chips into the middle. stu7ungar woke up with an ace in the blinds and made the call with A♥4♥. zzcantwinzz name sake perhaps told the tale before the river, as a king would hit the turn giving zzcantwinzz a chance to get back into contention, but the third heart hit the 3♠ 7♥ 2♠ K♥ Q♥ river, giving stu7ungar the nut flush, zzcantwinzz would have settle for the $195.00 consolation prize as today's bubble boy.


(click image for larger picture)

Seat 1: natdog100 (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: kelavi (1500 in chips)
Seat 3: xx23xx (1500 in chips)
Seat 4: Papos777 (1500 in chips)
Seat 5: mattmatic (1500 in chips)
Seat 6: stu7ungar (1500 in chips)
Seat 7: NigDawG (1500 in chips)
Seat 8: GG3o (1500 in chips)
Seat 9: r3n3ke75 (1500 in chips)

The players gathered around the final table with various degrees of stars lining their names, like the PokerStars VIPs Supernovas NigDawG and stu7ungar, PlatinumStar of r3n3ke75, and SilverStars of mattmatic, kelavi, and Papos77. Immediately the players tried to gather up talks for a nine way split of the considerable final table money. Two players abstained as the final table started off with fresh 10/20 blinds and 1,500 chip stacks.

But, as the 13th hand was dealt and the hourly break started, all players used the five minutes to agree to sit out and look at the split number evenly doling out the final table money to all of them. HostAndresSA split up the $3,995.55 to all players temporarly. But, a few players wanted to play for something which threw a wrench into the proverbial chop cog, as NigDawG had a few other tournaments up including the Sunday Million which carried a hefty $200K+ plus on its own and wanted a 4th place money chop and play for the rest.

In the end it was NigDawG who decided against the chop as HostAndresSA floated off into the night and play resumed...

... for another six hands and everyone sat again waiting for the next PokerStars Host to drop by as the blinds popped up to 15/30 with NigDawG's suggestion becoming the agreed to amount.

This time it was HostNicoleA turn to play banker for our final nine as the players agreed to split 4th place money ($3,350.00) and split the remaining prizepool among the top three players as followed:

1st $ 2,905.00
2nd $ 1,743.00
3rd $ 1,162.00

As the clocks were turned back on, the players slid away from the negotiating table and got back to trying to take each other's money like normal poker players. No blood was drawn thru the 15/30 blind level as all nine players continued on to the 25/50 level.

Shortstacked r3n3ke75 took a pair of jacks all-in preflop UTG + 2 and found a caller in Papos777 who's pocket tens T♠T♦ didn't look too hot when the cards were revealed. No improvement to either hand on the Q♣ 7♥ 2♣ 5♥ 2♦ board and r3n3ke75 took down the 1,621 chip pot as Papos777 slid back to the under 1,000 chips.

Nine hands later with the blinds at 25/50 we had back-to-back eliminations as NigDawG tried shoving all-in with pocket treys 3♦3♣ over the top of kelavi's early position min-raise. kelavi's apparent weakness showed to be untrue with a snap call holding pocket kings K♦K♥. A king on the flop was overkill as the board 6♠ K♠ A♦ 9♣ 4♣ handed NigDawG the $3,350.00 in chop money for finishing ninth.

The very next hand Papos777 told his shortstack to make some money with A♥Q♦ after shoving for 717 chips. stu7ungar in the cutoff would give the action Papos777 wanted by re-raising the blinds out, and flipping up pocket nines 9♥9♠. Papos777 would flop an inside straight draw, but nothing more came out of the J♣ 8♣ T♣ J♠ 3♠ board as Papos777 would return to Moscow with the $3,350.00 agreed chop money in eighth place.

After the two eliminations players settled back into a rhythm of taking each other's blinds as they reached the hourly break with seven still remaining and blinds at 50/100. Here's how those seven stacked up with natdog100 holding a slight lead over xx23xx and kelavi:

Seat 1: natdog100 (2828 in chips)
Seat 2: kelavi (2418 in chips)
Seat 3: xx23xx (2780 in chips)
Seat 5: mattmatic (2206 in chips)
Seat 6: stu7ungar (1582 in chips)
Seat 8: GG3o (690 in chips)
Seat 9: r3n3ke75 (996 in chips)

r3n3ke75 started off the 75/150 blind level with a bang by doubling up off kelavi. Pocket nines 9♠9♥ found a third one on the 9♦ 7♣ 6♥ 7♦ Q♥ board as kelavi's K♣Q♠ went down to r3n3ke75's set as the previous short stack took in the 2,067 chip pot.

Five hands later the newly minted shortstack would take pocket tens for a ride preflop. Watch the results below:

RSS readers click through to see replay

The runner-runner wheel for natdog100's Q♣A♦ on the 9♥ 5♣ 3♠ 4♥ 2♠ board meant GG for GG3o, leaving today with $3,350.00 in seventh place from the chop.

natdog100 would be responsible for the next elimination as well. After raising to 344 chips from the button with the blinds still at 75/150, kelavi did not believe in the strength in the raise and shoved all-in for 1,383 chips from the small blind. Covering, natdog100 would make the call with pocket sevens 7♠7♥ as he embarked on another winning race situation as kelavi flopped nothing more than an inside straight draw on the A♥ 8♠ J♦ 2♠ 5♣ board as kelavi want home with 4th place money ($3,350.00) while finishing in sixth.

Four hands later with the blinds still at 75/150 and stu7ungar fresh off taking a beat, the VIP Supernova would open shoved from the cutoff for 903 chips with Q♠9♠. r3n3ke75 on the button with 2,367 chips would shutout the blinds by shoving over the top holding pocket eights 8♠8♥. The 7♠ T♣ 3♣ 7♦ 2♦ board never threatened the pocket pair as stu7ungar would walk down Freemont street once again with an extra $3,350.00 from the chop in fifth place.

The title of this video could be called "when stop and go's go bad":

RSS readers click through to see replay

With the blinds moved up to 100/200 r3n3ke75 raised from the cutoff up to 500, folded around to mattmatic in the big blind who would make the call leaving just 518 chips behind. The mono-suited flop of 7♣ 3♣ 4♣ had mattmatic taking a stab at it with 6s]8♥ by pushing...

... right into r3n3ke75's flopped nut flush 8♣A♣. The turn and river didn't matter as mattmatic was sent home in fourth place with fourth place money as we now moved into the second tier of the chop.

Three handed talks about an even chop of the remaining money went nowhere with natdog100 holding a comfortable lead over xx23xx and r3n3ke75. Several hands blew thru the new talks until r3n3ke75 raised from the small blind to 600 with the blinds still at 100/200 into natdog100 who would flat call. A flop 3♥ 8♠ 7♥ came out as r3n3ke75 would check and natdog100 bet 444 chips. r3n3ke75 sensing some weakness and holding a decent draw K♥2♥ would push all-in for 2,573 chips. natdog100 was anything but weak by snap-calling and showing pocket rockets A♥A♣. The aces would fade the heart draw on the 6♠ turn and 3♣ river for the 6,346 chip pot sending r3n3ke75 home in third place earning $3,350.00 plus $1,162.00 in additional chop money.

With the big win, natdog100 would head into heads-up play with xx23xx holding a 8,366 chip to 5,134 chip lead.

Nine hands in xx23xx would slip to just 1,866 chips but caught pocket aces at the right time and double thru natdog100. Six hands later xx23xx would benefit from another big hand, this time it was pocket kings K♦K♣ as both players shoved preflop creating a 7,064 chip pot. natdog100's T♦A♠ could not find an ace on the Q♠ 5♠ T♣ 2♥ 4♥ board and it was a near dead heat in the chip counts.

natdog100 would come back immediately taking the next two big pots worth 2,750 and 2,870. But, xx23xx would stay alive yet again in the third straight big hand when both players flopped top pair on a 7♥ 9♥ 7♣ flop and got their money in the middle. xx23xx's 8♦9♣ would hit two pair on the turned 8♠, and hold on the 3♠ river over natdog100's 5♠9♠ to earn the chip lead again with the 8,508 chip pot.

The players would continue battling into the 150/300 ante 25 blind level as natdog100 tried to bully preflop by limping then shoving over the top of xx23xx's raise to 790 for 5,366 chips. xx23xx was going nowhere with pocket tens T♥T♦ and made the call as natdog100 rolled over 9♥7♦ for the bluff. 6♦ 2♠ A♠ Q♣ 6♠ rolled out on the final board as natdog100 couldn't pull off the upset and took home second place chop money $3,350.00 plus $1,743.00 for second place.

With the hard fought victory, xx23xx was crowned this month's $50,000 Battle of the Planets Triple Shootout champion! For the overtime, xx23xx took home the biggest chunk of the two tiered chop earning $3,350.00 plus $2,905.00

$50,000 Battle of the Planets Triple Shootout Results (10-25-09)
(* denotes nine way chop)
(** denotes chop of remaining prizepool for top three finishers)

1. xx23xx (Toronto) **$6,255.00
2. natdog100 (Fairburn) **$5,093.00
3. r3n3ke75 (Eindhoven) **$4,512.00
4. mattmatic (Los Angeles) *$3,350.00
5. stu7ungar (Manchester) *$3,350.00
6. kelavi (Zagreb) *$3,350.00
7. GG3o (Newmarket-on-Fergus) *$3,350.00
8. Papos777 (Коломна) *$3,350.00
9. NigDawG (Southampton) *$3,350.00

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Battle of the Planets