Battle of the Planets: vltara takes it all home, Van Fleet finishes fourth

BOP_thumbnail.jpgThe monthly Battle of the Planets $50,000 Triple Shootout freeroll always brings out the best SnG players here at PokerStars to compete for the $12,000.00 first prize by playing the style of poker they profit the most from. Skill not bankroll dominates our field, as players from the micro-stakes all the way up to those who eight-table the nosebleed levels all have equal footing to earn their tickets.

521 players elected to use those tickets today including three Team PokerStars Pros. Joep "Pappe_Ruk" Van Den Bijgaart, Martha "marene" Herrera, and Diego "vgreen22" Brunelli. Brunelli would bust early in the first round, as Herrera stretched her ticket until three handed play with zaharka and rushy007888. With the blinds at 50/100 and on the button holding 1,724 chips and A♥7♥, Herrera decided to shove for the blinds, but got looked up by zaharka in the small blind holding big slick A♠K♦. An ace on the flop improved both players but Herrera couldn't find her kicker on the 5♦ J♦ A♣ 4♣ 8♦ and was out before the money.

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Team PokerStars Pro Martha Herrera

As for Bijgaart, he had no intentions of letting the Team Pros get shut-out without a cash as he took down lippo81 heads-up after his pocket tens T♥T♦ managed to out-turn the A♠6♦ of lippo81. The K♠ A♣ Q♠ left Joep with two outs, which he found on the turned T♠ leaving lippo81 drawing dead as Pappe_Ruk as 80 other first table winners would earn at least $195.00 for their efforts after alex623's 9♥7♥ failed to catch up to sharky2323's 9♠Q♥ to start up the second round.

The second table would not be as kind to the Dutch pro, as Bijgaart would get knocked down to just 545 chips in the second blind level after turning trips versus Dom2312 and finding out his nine kicker was a pip below the ten of Dom2312. Six hands later Joep would push preflop with K♥T♣ and failed to outrun the A♣J♦ of Whittamaker on the 5♠ 5♣ 4♣ 9♥ 3♠ board and was out in 73rd place ($195.00).

At the head table two well known tournament crushers would battle it out. Table one featured Jon "apestyles" Van Fleet and Matt "SamENole" Smith are both looking to add to their bankrolls with the World Championship of Online Poker starting up next week. Sure enough, the two VIP Supernovas would get down to heads-up play with Van Fleet holding a 5:1 lead on Smith. Despite giving up a double-up, apestyles was heading to the final table after his K♦9♥ all in preflop flopped a straight and held on to win over SamENole's flopped two pair holding T♦Q♦ on the T♣ J♥ Q♣ 7♣ A♣ club heavy board.

For the last final table spot, two Supernovas were battling it out. kafelnikovz, who made the final table of this Triple Shootout in April (finishing 5th for $2,735.00 final table write-up here), was up against dhdh1980 for the last seat. kafelnikovz would hold the heads-up lead and take down that seat after flopping trip aces holding A♥7♠ and getting dhdh1980 to commit the rest of his chips with second pair T♠6♦ after the flop as the rest of the board spilled out A♦ A♠ T♦ 9♠ 3♣ to set up the final table below:

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Seat 1: apestyles (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: I..nobody..l (1500 in chips)
Seat 3: kafelnikovz (1500 in chips)
Seat 4: unctarheels3 (1500 in chips)
Seat 5: vltava (1500 in chips)
Seat 6: wcsquad3 (1500 in chips)
Seat 7: cantcscottyg (1500 in chips)
Seat 8: anguila (1500 in chips)
Seat 9: drOppzPT (1500 in chips)

The opening two levels went without incident except for kafelnikovz taking a 2,135 chip pot off vltava with an all-low 7♦ 3♥ 2♦ 6♠ 8♦ board showing and 1,535 already in the pot after vltava led out for 600 on the river, kafelnikovz shoved for 1,035 total as vltava couldn't find a call and folded.

Wildcat Whacked

University of Kentucky fan wcsquad3 was facing an all-in shove from apestyles after raising to 122 chips from middle position. A call and lost would leave him with just 25 chips, but with pocket tens T♠T♥ wcsquad3 decided to take a risk and called. Van Fleet flipped up big slick K♦A♠ for the race as the flop came without an ace nor king 7♠ 3♠ 8♣. However, the turn was a different matter as the A♥ fell giving apestyles the lead and wcsquad3 did not catch one of the two tens in the deck on the Q♥ river. The 25 chips leftover for wcsquad lasted four hands as apestyles took the scraps and wcsqaud3 was finished in 9th place ($775.00).

Grape Ape Grape Ape!

As the blinds moved up to 50/100 apestyles let the chips come to him. cantscottyc with 1120 chips decided to shove from the cutoff holding a suited big slick K♥A♥. Van Fleet waited patiently in the big blind with pocket aces A♦A♠ and made the call. A heartless board of 3♦ 5♦ Q♦ 3♠ 3♣ was laid out and The Great Grape Ape show claimed another victim as cantscottyc finished in 8th place ($1,200.00).

apestyles not willing to share

Another day, another win for Van Fleet as the blinds stayed at 50/100 he would push another player to the brink of elimination. kafelnikovz would raise from UTG to 225 chips as it folded around to apestyles in the small blind who would shove for 2,520 total holding A♦K♦. 434 chips is all kafelnikovz would have left if his pocket jacks J♥J♦ went down, but that did not deter him trying to knock out Van Fleet as he made the call. The very selfish apestyles decided he needed more chips and won the coin flip by flopping two pair 2♣ K♠ A♠ T♠ 5♥. Having the big blind on the very next hand, and the blinds moving up to 75/150, kafelnikovz called the raise from anguila his 8♦2♣ did not overcome anguila's 9♥A♦. kafelnikovz added a 7th place ($1,700.00) to his previous 5th place finish at this freeroll.
Somebody has chips

I..nobody..I ran a little weak lead after play folded to his small blind and just completed the extra 75 chips. unctarheels3 tried jump over the weak play by shoving for 1371 chips total holding 2♦A♠. But, I..nobody..I quickly called with pocket tens T♣T♥. Needing an ace to survive, unctarheels3 missed the 6♣ 6♠ 7♣ Q♦ 8♠ board completely and had to settle for 6th place ($2,200.00).

Van Fleet fleeces another one

Despite knocking out three of the four players at the final table, Van Fleet only held a small lead on the field. After raising to 575, apestyles watched I..nobody..I shove in his sizable 2,907 chip stack with J♥K♠. But, apestyles was not raising light as the poker author quickly called with pocket jacks J♠J♣. I..nobody..I found a gutshot straight draw on the turn 7♣ Q♦ 2♥ A♠ but couldn't find a ten or king on the A♦ river. I..nobody..I got to be somebody today, finishing in fifth place ($2,735.00).

Jon Van Fleet finishes in fourth place

The one flip he couldn't win. Watch below as anguila knocks out Van Fleet in the tournament's biggest handin the 100/200 blind level:


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Pocket deuces would be apestyle's kryptonite as anguila's 2♠2♥ defeated the A♣J♥ of Van Fleet on the 6♣ Q♦ K♠ 5♠ 9♦ board and finished his night in fourth place ($3,350.00).

Two small stacks become one

With the blinds moving up to 125/250 ante 25 anguila would lose most of the chips received from knocking out apestyles to vltava after the two shoved preflop for a 9,419 chip pot. Left with 2,066 chips, anguila would shove again on the very next hand holding 8♦J♠. But, dr0ppzPT who quietly retained chips throughout the final table had just 51 chips less than anguila and made the call holding 9♥K♥. But the suited hand would not be the one to make a flush as spades rained down on the 7♦ 2♠ 7♠ 6♠ A♠ board giving anguila new life with a four-flush and knocking out dr0ppzPT in third place ($4,500.00).

vltava vs. anguila

vltava would start out heads-up play with a 9,394 to 4,106 chip lead and never gave it up. vltava would grind away at anguila and upped his lead to 11,543 to 1,957 when the players tossed their chips into the middle preflop during the 13th hand of heads-up. Watch the results below:


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No ooh's and aah's from the crowd on this one. Just the superior hand and superior chip stack taking down the final hand of the tournament. vltava's J♥K♦ held up over the 7♥K♣ of anguila on the 9♣ K♥ A♥ 8♠ 2♣ board and for the first time in awhile we had a pure champion taking home the entire $12,000.00 first prize as PlatinumStar vltava was named August Battle of the Planets Triple Shootout champion!

August $50,000 Battle of the Planets Triple Shootout freeroll
1. vltava (Pasadena) $12,000.00
2. anguila (madrid) $7,500.00
3. drOppzPT (Coimbra) $4,500.00
4. James "apestyles" Van Fleet $3,350.00
5. I..nobody..l (Little Falls) $2,735.00
6. unctarheels3 (Keizer) $2,200.00
7. kafelnikovz (Belo Horizonte) $1,700.00
8. cantcscottyg (La Plata) $1,200.00
9. wcsquad3 (sQuAd CitY) $775.00

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Battle of the Planets