Garotta grabs $12K for May Battle of the Planets Victory

Battle of the Planets logo.jpgPlayers on PokerStars who perform consistently receive regular awards in the way of points, status, and opportunities. One such award is the chance to participate in the monthly $50,000 Battle of the Planets, a freeroll that seats the top ten players from each weekly Sit & Go leaderboard.

The fight for top position on that board is a contentious one due to the prizes at stake, as the Battle of the Planets is a $50,000 triple shootout freeroll. Qualifying players compete to turn that opportunity into a $12,000 first place prize, though the top 81 players walk away with a minimum of $195 for simply making it to the second round of the shootout.

Round 1

This week, there were 456 players with those freeroll seats, and it took quite a long time to whittle that field down to 81. In the midst of that first round of action, a number of players departed with only poker memories, and among them was Team Online's Andre "acoimbra" Brito Coimbra of Portugal, who exited in 357th place.

With an hour and a half passed, the only two players left at a table were 7even 11even and Radoom with fairly even chip stacks. Finally, though, Radoom was ready to battle with A♣5♥ against the 5♣5♦ of 7even 11even, who was all-in. The board of 2♠8♥3♥J♥2♥ brought a flush for Radoom and eliminated 7even 11even on the money bubble.

Round 2

Players could breathe a little easier knowing they were guaranteed a minimum $195 payout for today's efforts, but quite a bit more money awaited those who won their second tables and made the last round. The nine tables of 81 players played out with that in mind.

The last Team Online member in the field for this round was Anders "Donald" Berg, and though he led his table for much of the way through the action, he ultimately lost ground and pushed all-in with a short stack and Q♠2♠. Weerab76 woke up with Q♦Q♥, and that pair took it down after the 5♠2♥T♠J♣3♦ board was revealed. Berg (pictured here) departed in 49th place.

(Insert Donald pic)

In Level 6, the first three seats were locked at the final table as luckynikNN, Marrakesz, and CJSaunders won their tables, and Garotta followed soon after. Coka1985 won another table, leaving four more to be decided. Cristoff1 took the next seat, followed by seytomessi.

With one table left in action, jaghuar and 12ziz12 battled it out in Level 7 for the last seat at the final table. Finally, short-stacked jaghuar pushed with Q♣7♣, and 12ziz12 called with A♥4♥. The board brought 9♦9♥6♦2♦9♣, and the ace kicker played with the three nines. 12ziz12 secured a seat and jaghuar was gone in tenth place with $195.00.

Round 3 - Final Table

The final table was set as follows, each player with 1,500 chips in Level 1, with blinds at 15/20.

Battle of the Planets FT 05.29.11.JPG

Play started predictably slow but picked up in Level 2. It was then that 12ziz12 got into a battle with seytomessi through the 8♠J♠K♦ flop and 6♦ turn. Seytomessi bet all-in, and 12ziz12 called all-in with A♦T♦ for the draw, but seytomessi had K♠Q♠ for top pair. The 7♣ on the river ended it for 12ziz12, who left in ninth place with $775.00.

Just into the third level and after a call from seytomessi and raise from Cristoff1, Garotta and seytomessi also went to see the K♠T♣9♣ flop. A bet from Cristoff1 prompted an all-in raise from Garotta, and seytomessi got out of the way. Cristoff1 called all-in with A♠A♣, but that wasn't good enough for the flopped set of Garotta holding 9♠9♦. The K♣ turn and 2♠ river finished the hand and left Cristoff1 out in eighth place with $1,200.00.

It didn't take long for CJSaunders to risk it all as well. It happened when tangling with seytomessi to see a 5♥4♥3♠ flop. A bet from CJSaunders prompted a check-raise all-in from seytomessi. CJSaunders called all-in for 680 more chips with J♦J♠, which bested the 7♣7♦ of seytomessi. But the 7♠ on the turn gave seytomessi the set of sevens, and the 2♥ on the river sent CJSaunders packing in seventh place with $1,700.00.

Let the double-ups begin!

A big double-up for luckynikNN through coka1985 left the latter in a dire short position, but a triple-up through luckynikNN and Garotta was a life-saver. And the following hand showed what a real comeback looks like:

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Marrakesz then doubled through seytomessi, and luckynikNN did the same.

Seytomessi couldn't recover and pushed 108 chips all-in. Coka1985, Garotta, and Marrakesz called, checking down the 3♥Q♦J♠ flop and 6♥ turn. After the 9♥ on the river, they checked again, and Garotta showed 9♦2♦ for the pair of nines, which won the pot. Seytomessi simply mucked and left in sixth place with $2,200.00.

Shortly thereafter, edvin08 pushed all-in preflop with A♥3♥, and luckynikNN called from the big blind with 2♥2♣. the board of 4♦9♣T♦T♣J♥ gave luckynikNN two pair and the pot, and edvin08 departed in fifth place with $2,735.00.

Despite coka1985's comeback of earlier and more recent double through luckynikNN, the stack was again short, and coka1985 moved all-in preflop with A♣7♦. Marrakesz called from the small blind with J♦J♣, which held up (and improved to two pair) on the 8♣5♣3♦6♠6♣ presented by the virtual dealer. Coka1985 left in fourth place with $3,350.00.

LuckynikNN doubled through Marrakesz and continued to climb, soon taking over the chip lead by a slim margin. But Marrakesz wasn't having it, and the following double-up put luckynikNN back in trouble again:

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LuckynikNN was able to double up to stay alive, and Garotta did the same through Marrakesz. But then Garotta doubled through luckynikNN to leave the latter with a very short stack. A double through Marrakesz was of some help, but with blinds at 125/250, players were in all-in mode.

Garotta then moved all-in with K♣J♣, and luckynikNN called with K♠4♥ from the big blind. LuckynikNN was at risk and couldn't improve enough on the 5♣J♠Q♣4♦6♥ board. That left luckynikNN out in third place with $4,500.00.

Nothing is certain

The final two players headed into their match as follows:

Seat 2: Marrakesz (8,034 in chips)
Seat 3: Garotta (5,466 in chips)

But Garotta put the pressure on Marrakesz and took a number of significant pots in order to climb right into the lead. and Garotta had no intention of backing down.

Marrakesz finally pushed all-in for 3,514 chips holding T♦8♦ after Garotta limped in the small blind, but Garotta called with 9♦9♠. The board came 7♣K♠7♦4♦6♥, and Marrakesz had to accept $7,500.00 for second place.

Garotta won the May Battle of the Planets, and the freeroll brought a $12,000 first place prize. Congrats!

May Battle of the Planets Results for 05/29/11:

1st place: Garotta ($12,000.00)
2nd place: Marrakesz ($7,500.00)
3rd place: luckynikNN ($4,500.00)
4th place: coka1985 ($3,350.00)
5th place: edvin08 ($2,735.00)
6th place: seytomessi ($2,200.00)
7th place: CJSaunders ($1,700.00)
8th place: Cristoff1 ($1,200.00)
9th place: 12ziz12 ($775.00)

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Battle of the Planets