Battle of the Planets: It's summertime, everyone in the pool! Nine-way chops ends the June freeroll

Thumbnail image for Battle of the Planets logo.jpgOne hand early on in a tournament can mean the difference between wearing a WCOOP bracelet or a SCOOP watch, and finishing after a hour, left wondering could I have played it better? In today's $50,000 Battle of the Planets triple shootout freeroll, two of the final table members would receive very different payouts based on a decision to duke it out with low blinds.

380 players total found themselves on a Sunday afternoon playing for their share of $50,000 worth of free cash as PokerStars' way of saying thank you to the SnG grinders out there.

First round would end in a little more than an hour thanks to the short-handed tables. Players such as January 2012 Battle of the Planets triple shootout final tablist cynicalfish and scorpchess with a final table appearance in Event #50 of the 2011 WCOOP (finishing third for $41K) and chopping up the Sunday Warm-up just a few months ago on April Fool's Day for $80K would advance to the second round.

cynicalfish and scorpchess would join noted tournament crusher and SCOOP champ "Ami UhhMee" Barer among those would claim $195.00 for winning the their first table but falling short in the second.

Seated at table one and table nine respectively, Editor31 and adhill from Canada were the first to claim their final table seats in fairly quick fashion as table eight still sported five out of the starting nine seated players and antes did not come out yet.

Down to two tables Koovoon would have JochenCash all in and 8,850 chips in the middle with the board showing 2♠A♠8♣. Holding pocket kings K♠K♥ Koovoon looked on as JochenCash turned up a small ace for the big lead 4♠A♣. However, fortune shined on the kings as a third one appeared on the turn K♦ and held through the river for the final table seat.

All eyes then moved to table six as ljzaaa and Sbyla tangled all the way to the 125/250 ante 25 level for the final seat and the difference between $195.00 and a potential $12,000.00 or a nice five course meal and a car. ljzaaa led 8,237 to 5,263 as ljzaaa called from the button but Sbyla would make a small raise to 665. ljzaaa made the call to see the coordinated 6♣ 8♠ 4♠ flop. Sbyla kept up the aggression with a bet for 725 as lyzaaa made the call. 9♠ turn and Sbyla stepped it up to 1,981 and ljzaaa made a third straight call. 5♣ river and Sbyla shoved for 1,867 which ljzaaa again flat called holding the rivered straight 7♣K♠. Sbyla's pocket tens T♠T♣ went into the muck as the final table below started up immediately.


Seat 1: Editor31 (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: crazywall (1500 in chips)
Seat 3: dochol22 (1500 in chips)
Seat 4: Koovoon (1500 in chips)
Seat 5: MAHXETEH$ (1500 in chips)
Seat 6: ljzaaa (1500 in chips)
Seat 7: talentaki (1500 in chips)
Seat 8: d5quared2 (1500 in chips)
Seat 9: adhill (1500 in chips)

After one blind level worth of play, the weight to chop up of the final table money became heavier and heavier for the one or two sitting on the fence about making a deal. Then, as the blinds turned to 15/30 and the player got the directions from the PokerStars Chat Moderator on how to ask for a deal, the PokerStars Host quickly rushed down from headquarters to divvy up the money.

Instead of the usual $4K for everyone, our final nine decided to do a chip chop instead as MAXETEH$'s 1,760 pot taken off Editor31 would change the amount both would get. With the chat box filled with "yes", "maybe", "$4K", "I'm hungry" and the board showing 4♣ 8♣ 6♥ K♣ and 880 chips already in the middle Editor31 would bet 440 as MAXETEH$ put out 1,020 chips leaving just 215 chips behind. Editor31 decided to pass as this hand would form the big differences shown in the money chop below:

MAHXETEH$ $6,260.69
Koovoon $4,081.44
adhill $4,049.23
crazywall $3,952.61
dochol22 $3,866.73
ljzaaa $3,888.20
d5quared $3,716.44
Editor31 $1,794.84

After a few hands of the players finally catching on that the chips meant nothing, the free-for-all shove-fest ended with Koovoon holding all the play and effectively ending this month's tournament.

Players Entered: 380
Buy-in: Freeroll (ticket required)
Prize Pool: $50,000.00

Battle of the Planets triple shootout freeroll results (06-24-12):
( * denotes part of nine-way deal )
1. Koovoon (Costa Rica) *$4,081.44
2. d5quared2 (Russia) *$3,716.44
3. MAHXETEH$ (Russia) *$6,260.69
4. Editor31 (Belarus) *$1,794.84
5. ljzaaa (China) *$3,888.20
6. talentaki (Greece) *$4,349.82
7. adhill (Canada) *$4,049.23
8. crazywall (Malta) *$3,952.61
9. dochol22 (United Kingdom) *$3,866.73

Wondering how Team PokerStars Pro and Team Online are doing at the 2012 World Series of Poker? Make sure you are check out the daily updates on their exploits under the live events tab.

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Battle of the Planets