Battle of the Planets: FPSTAG shoots down table for January title

With the closing of the 2013 TCOOP series today, January has been busy month for our SnG grinders. What better way to earn a profit than an investment with zero dollars invested? Well, maybe a couple of bucks spent earning the ticket to today's Battle of the Planet $50,000.00 triple shootout freeroll. Tonight's final table would feature players who have been here before and even a SCOOP high buy-in champion. But, it was FPSTAG who hauled away the first place prize of $12,000.00.

Down to two heads-up matches in the first round of the triple shootout had one player who saw more poker hands in the first few days of January than most people do in a year. Alex "AWice" Wice managed to attain the VIP status of Supernova in just over 40 hours. At the time Wice was 50 tabling for those 40 hours to reach the mark and according to his status around his avatar, he has already achieved the Supernova Elite status (1,000,000 VPPs) for the year.


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Alex Wice -- VPP machine


Today Alex was looking to pick up a little free cash from his efforts playing in all those SnGs down to heads-up against Igos19 and a 7,705 to 2,795 deficit with blinds at 150/300 ante 25. After min-raise by Igos19 and a call both looked at an all-club flop 4♣ J♣ 9♣. Awice would check-raise all-in with middle pair 8♠9♠ but Igos19 was not going anywhere with aces and a nut-flush draw A♣A♠. The 5♠ and 6♣ on the turn and river, sent the Supernova Elite back to his 50-tabling in 83rd place. After Russia's electron74 busted a few moments later, the final 81 were assured $195.00 with twelve grand sitting at the final table.

In the round of 81 Sunnnlight, good player to have at your table during the periodic PokerStars hand anniversaries after collecting some free cash during both the 75th billionth hand milestone giveaway and the 10th anniversary special milestone. Bad player if you wanted to reach today's Battle of the Planets final table as the Russian dispatched the table in under an hour to claim the first seat and lock up at least $775.00 today.

Sunnlight will have some tough competition today as YugiohPro is making another appearance at the Battle of the Planets final table after making it back-to-back, in August and September. Not to mention claiming a $10,000 PokerStars Passport for finishing in eighth place on the overall Tournament Leaderboard for 2012 as well

Down to the final seat between excellent potential future WWF wrestling star steel serg against aleXXXpaw both would play well into the 200/400 ante 50 level 15 minutes after B4d3m3!st3r dispatched joszumabot18. After grinding alexXXXpaw down to 2,655 chips, steel serg would call the Russian's shove with 5♣A♥. aleXXXpaw needed a little help holding 9♥J♦ all that came up on the T♠ 2♠ 6♠ Q♠ 2♥ board was a busted straight draw to finish in 10th place starting up the final table below:

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Seat 1: YugiohPro (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: steel serg (1500 in chips)
Seat 3: B4d3m3!st3r (1500 in chips)
Seat 4: Sunnnlight (1500 in chips)
Seat 5: Buhass (1500 in chips)
Seat 6: FPSTAG (1500 in chips)
Seat 7: kafelnikovz (1500 in chips)
Seat 8: yingding (1500 in chips)
Seat 9: ihaterivers (1500 in chips)

The opening 10/20 level usually exits with nothing exciting but YugiohPro used some final table experience to grab double the starting 1,500 chip stack while knocking Sunnnlight and steel serg down to fewer than 700 chips. To show there is no rest for the successful players; YugiohPro was also playing 16 other tables including the final TCOOP 2013 ($215 buy-in NLHE Hyper-Turbo Event #50).


Turning out the light

The first one at the final table was also the first to leave. Starting up the 25/50 blind level Sunnnlight would be dwindled down to 321 chips sitting in the small blind with T♣Q♣. Sunnnlight tried shoving the short stack against Buhass who had a little under the starting stack holding J♦9♦. Buhass made the call looking to bump the short stack and found a jack on the river A♠ T♦ A♥ 3♦ J♠ to do just that. It would be a quick sunset for Sunnnlight earning $775.00 in ninth place.


Liking this river card

The rest of the 25/50 level remained quiet but as the 50/100 level started up Buhass' stack was chipped down to 796 and opened all-in from middle position. Folded to ihaterivers in the small blind and shorted stacked as well, the river hater made the call with pocket sixes 6♠6♥. Buhass flipped up A♠T♦ for the coin flip that went ihaterivers' way as the ace-free 3♥ 2♥ J♣ 9♠ 3♣ board shipped 1,692 chips to ihaterivers and $1,200.00 to Buhass in eighth place.


Flushed out of the tournament

Watch the hand below for yet another pocket jacks horror story:



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Despite getting the money in good with pocket jacks J♣J♠ against FPSTAG's pocket fives 5♣5♥ kafelnikovz watched a gruesome river card fill the four-flush Q♥ 4♥ 4♠ T♥ 2♥ and ship the 2,882 chip pot to FPSTAG. Left with 69 chips, kafelnikovz would donate those to B4d3m3!st3r on the next hand to finish in seventh place ($1,700.00). It took away to get back here, but kafelnikovz cashed in on a return to the BOTP final table after making it here twice in 2010.


No go for YugiohPro

Third time a charm for YugiohPro? Unfortunately no as the South Korean was the chip leader when kafelnikovz was knocked out but nine hands later, YugiohPro would find a seat on the sidelines. With the blinds at 75/150 and fresh off doubling up FPSTAG after running pocket tens into kings, YugiohPro would open shove for 560 chips from the small blind and steel serg made the call from the big blind with Q♣T♥. YugiohPro would bring a slight lead preflop holding J♠K♦ but a queen in the door Q♦ 5♠ 8♣ A♣ 4♣ gave YugiohPro a disappointing finish to the former Sunday Warm-Up champ's third BOTP triple shootout final table in sixth place ($2,200.00).


Ding! You win $3,350.00!

Three hands later still in the 75/150 blind level yingding would shove from the small blind for 1,359 chips holding a decent T♣K♦. But, waiting and hoping for someone to bet was steel serg in the big blind with pocket aces A♣A♦. An immediate call scored a set of aces on the flop 9♦ Q♥ A♥ K♥ 9♠ while successfully dodging yingding's straight draw. For fourth place yingding scored a nifty $3,350.00 in cash.


Breaking steel

Three handed play would rock on for 20 minutes without a whisper for chopping up that five-figure score waiting for the January champ. As the blinds moved up to 125/250 ante 25 FPSTAG would shove from the button for 2,389 chips as steel serg called for less in the small blind holding T♣K♦ (or the same hand that yingding just busted on). While FPSTAG did not have aces, the German did have an ace 9♥A♣ which hit an unnecessary pair on the 5♣ 9♣ 2♦ 5♦ Q♦ board to end steel serg's night in third place ($4,500.00).


Germany wins the January Battle of the Planets triple shootout!

That headline was posted before B4d3m3!st3r and FPSTAG even started as the Germans would battle it out for the $12,000.00 first prize. Things looked to be going B4d3m3!st3r's way at the start after taking down seven of the eight hands and taking a 10,751 to 2,749 chip lead. Then, on the next hand FPSTAG would strike back by doubling up after seeing a free flop and catching a straight with 4♥6♠.

Three hands later we would name our first champ of 2013. Watch the video below to see if SCOOP champion B4d3m3!st3r would add a Battle of the Planets title to the SCOOP champion's watch:



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The answer? No. After FPSTAG min raised with a slight chip lead, B4d3m3!st3r would shove holding T♥A♠ but FPSTAG had no problem making the call with pocket kings K♣K♥. Despite a ten on the turn, FPSTAG's kings made it through the 5♦ 8♦ T♣ 2♥ 6♥ to claim the $12,000.00 first prize and the Battle of the Planets January 2013 title!


$50,000 guarantee Battle of the Planets triple shootout results (01-27-13):

Players entered: 562
Places paid: 81
Buy-in: Freeroll Ticket
Prize pool: $50,000.00
First place: $12,000.00

1. FPSTAG (Germany) $12,000.00
2. B4d3m3!st3r (Germany) $7,500.00
3. steel serg (Russia) $4,500.00
4. yingding (China) $3,350.00
5. ihaterivers (Canada) $2,735.00
6. YugiohPro (South Korea) $2,200.00
7. kafelnikovz (Brazil) $1,700.00
8. Buhass (Portugal) $1,200.00
9. Sunnnlight (Russia) $775.00


David Aydt is a freelance contributor

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Battle of the Planets