Battle of the Planets: Numero Uno, Mikel Unanue wins $12K and August freeroll title

Showing the flags of cultural diversity at tonight's Battle of the Planets monthly $50,000.00 Triple Shootout freeroll. All nine players were from different countries: Mexico, Slovakia, Canada, Sweden, Ireland, Finland, Belgium, Russia, and Germany all represented at the final leg of the triple shootout. But, it was Mexico's Mikel Unanue walking away after nearly five hours of play with $12,000 after defeating Slovakia's WWO16 heads-up.

Approximately an hour and forty minutes into the first round of the triple shootout only rium <3 and akamai168 still had fresh card slung in their direction as the other 80 table winners waited patiently for them to finish up. With the blinds at 150/300 ante 25, akamai168 would limp in from the button as rium <3 checked to see a 6♠T♠3♦ flop. rium <3 checked again as akami168 bet 400 chips. rium <3 moved in quickly for 3,303 as akamai168 called just as fast with bottom two pair 3♥6♥. rium <3's top pair 5♦T♥ failed to catch on the J♦ turn or 4♠ river to end the freeroll on the money bubble in 82nd place.

cmonk33 and entim would capture the first two seats to the final table with $12,000.00 sitting up top for the winner of the third leg of the shootout. cmonk33 has been there before taking home a chopped $8,500.00 runner-up check back in September 2011 after falling to jorjorreal heads-up.

A regular in the weekly $1,050 buy-in Super Tuesday event, WhEADa was coming off a $56K score after taking third in the 07/30/13 Super Tuesday that was won by Craig McCorkell. Today WhEADa held the magical key to open up the Battle of the Planets third round facing off against wormsdron on the last open table. Holding a 10,435 to 3,065 chip lead, WhEADa would min-raise from the button with the blinds at 125/250 ante 25 as wormsdron made the call. 5♦J♠4♣ on the flop got wormsdron to check as WhEADa bet 425. Holding bottom pair 4♦Q♣ wormsdron check-raised all-in as WhEADa was not folding top pair top kicker A♠J♥. The 5♥ turn and river J♦ sent the remaining 6,130 chips to the Finn setting up the final table below:


Seat 1: WWO16 (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: Mr.Aatto (1500 in chips)
Seat 3: cmonk33 (1500 in chips)
Seat 4: Suffmeier (1500 in chips)
Seat 5: Mikel Unanue (1500 in chips)
Seat 6: omba (1500 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 7: entim (1500 in chips)
Seat 8: Kleo Wyatt (1500 in chips)
Seat 9: WhEADa (1500 in chips)

Through the first level an active chatbox tried to stir up a nine-way chop which would net the players just below $4K a piece. The banter would come to a screeching halt after the blinds moved from 10/20 to 15/30 as all nine players survived until the 25/50 blind level.

Nearly an hour to bust

After nearly hour of play and all nine final tablist still in we would finally have the first elimination. Close to the change into the 75/150 blind level, Suffmeier would open shove a shortstack of 813 from the button as Mikel Unanue re-shoved from the small blind. omba folded the big blind as Mikel Unanue turned up pocket nines 9♦9♣ with a better than average shot of winning over Suffmeier's A♣8♣. No card over a seven on the 4♣ 7♥ 3♣ 3♠ 6♠ board and Suffmeier suffered the first knockout from the final table in ninth place ($775.00).

Up go the blinds, down goes Kleo Wyatt

Three hands later with the blinds moving up to 75/150 WWO16 would min-raise UTG as Kleo Wyatt shoved 1,546 chips from the small blind. Covering, WWO16 made the call with pocket jacks J♣J♦ racing against the suited Q♦A♦ of Kleo Wyatt. An ace on the 4♥A♥9♣ put Kleo Wyatt firmly in the lead. The turned T♠ was of no consequence but the two-outer on the river J♠ sent Kleo Wyatt packing in eighth place ($1,200.00).

Almost made it to the break

Just two hands before the hourly five minute intermission with the blinds moving up to 100/200 Mr.Aatto tried adding a shortstack by open shoving from the small blind for 875 total. Holding a solid and suited ace T♣A♣ cmonk33 made the call. Suited in diamonds J♦8♦ Mr.Aatto would watch the A♥ 2♣ 5♠ 6♦ 3♥ board only produce one sending Belgian off with seventh place cash ($1,700.00).

WhEADa waits no more

Fighting for tournament life after doubling up Mikel Unanue and left with 206 before the break, WhEADa would only last the first hand after the five minute interlude. Watch below as the shortstack becomes a no-stack:

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Dominated before the flop holding T♥Q♣ to Mikel Unanue's A♦T♦ and dominated after the river K♠ 5♠ 8♥ 6♥ 2♠ WhEADa took away $2,200.00 in sixth place.

entim's time is up

Still in the 100/200 blind level and four hands after entim surrendered a double-up to omba, the microstacked entim held just 95 chips after paying the big blind and called all-in for less after Mikel Unanue three-bet a min-raise by WWO16. The original raiser folded as Mikel Unanue turned up Q♣A♣ clearly dominating the 2♦A♠ of entim. The bookends of queens Q♠ T♣ 7♠ 9♥ Q♥ were not necessary but named entim the fifth place finisher ($2,735.00).

A peaceful defeat

"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver" - Mahatma Gandhi

With Gandhi as the avatar for omba, it would be a peaceful defeat for the Swede as the blinds held at 100/200, omba would shove 1,436 from the small blind holding Q♣9♦. WWO16 quickly called from the big blind with J♣A♠ and was greeted by an ace on the door A♥ 7♠ 4♥ J♠ Q♠ to send $3,350.00 in wealth to omba in fourth place. omba certainly improved on the eighth place finish here last month, making a rare back-to-back final table appearances.

Denied a shot at the title

As mentioned, cmonk33's last trip to the Battle of the Planets final table ended with a runner-up finish. Today cmonk would fall one place shy of that feat. As the blinds still remained at 100/200 Mikel Unanue raised to 440 from the button as cmonk33 shoved from the big blind for 2,463. Mikel Unanue had no problem making the call with pocket queens Q♥Q♣ as cmonk33 went hunting for a king or spades K♠Q♠. One spade, one king, and... unfortunately for cmonk33 the fourth queen hit the 4♥ Q♦ 3♠ K♦ 8♦ board ended the day for cmonk33 in third place ($4,500.00).

Mikel reigns

Despite taking a 9,414 to 4,086 chip lead going into heads-up play, Mikel Unanue's road to victory was not a smooth path. WWO16 would claim the first five hands in a row, including a double up on the fifth hand to take the lead 9,872 to 3,628.

But three minutes later, Mikel Unanue would strike back with a double up after pocket kings held off WWO16's A♠3♥ on the 3♣ Q♦ 4♠ 2♠ J♣ board to retake the lead for good.

Seven minutes later with Mikel Unanue holding a 8,028 to 5,472 chip lead they would get all the chips into the middle preflop. Watch below for the $12,000.00 flip:

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WWO16's pocket fives 5♣5♦ could not get past the flopped pair of jacks T♥ J♦ 7♦ 3♥ 6♦ for Mikel Unanue's J♥A♠. That pair of jacks was worth $12,000.00 as Mikel Unanue became the August Battle of the Planets $50,000 Triple Shootout champion!

PokerStars Battle of the Planets $50,000 Triple Shootout freeroll results (08-25-13):

Players entered: 499
Places paid: 81
Prizepool: $50,000.00

1. Mikel Unanue (Mexico) $12,000.00
2. WWO16 (Slovakia) $7,500.00
3. cmonk33 (Canada) $4,500.00
4. omba (Sweden) $3,350.00
5. entim (Ireland) $2,735.00
6. WhEADa (Finland) $2,200.00
7. Mr.Aatto (Belgium) $1,700.00
8. Kleo Wyatt (Russia) $1,200.00
9. Suffmeier (Germany) $775.00

David Aydt is a freelance contributor

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Battle of the Planets