A Grand Win for JotaGran49, Winner of the July 6 Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday logo.pngThe first Tuesday in July found many poker players winding down from a big holiday weekend in the United States and gearing up for - or already playing in - a little poker tournament going on in Las Vegas called the World Series of Poker Main Event. But for dedicated online poker players, the only place to be on a Tuesday evening in the middle of the summer was in front of a warm laptop.

This week's big $1000 + $50 Super Tuesday brought 279 players to the virtual tables, and with a little help from PokerStars, the prize pool was a cool $300,000. Deep into the event, the top 36 players found themselves in the money, rewarded for their efforts of the night. One of those in that category was Team PokerStars Online Pro Alvaro "VARICO" Ballesteros, who finished in sixth place in last week's Super Tuesday and followed it up with a solid 30th place cash this week.

The rest of the field thinned more quickly than usual, with hand-for-hand play on tap at the 6.5-hour mark of the tournament. The shortest stack at Table 18 belonged to Illini213, who got involved with JohnnyBax and sirflair through a 2♥-4♣-K♥ flop, at which point JohnnyBax bowed out. After the 5♦ on the turn, Illini213 challenged pushed all-in with A♥5♠, and sirflair called with K♦4♥. The T♠ on the river ended Illini213's run with $4,800 for the tenth place finish.

Wfhk barely grasps lead at start of final

In the midst of Level 24, with blinds at 1,200/2,400 and a 300-chip ante, the final nine players found themselves seated at the final table with these chip counts:

Seat 1: Believer82 (138,966 in chips)
Seat 2: graybone (133,049 in chips)
Seat 3: JotaGran49 (74,998 in chips)
Seat 4: sirflair (210,461 in chips)
Seat 5: Dr Homer (244,104 in chips)
Seat 6: 92cata (88,440 in chips)
Seat 7: wfhk (258,705 in chips)
Seat 8: Moorman1 (156,099 in chips)
Seat 9: JohnnyBax (90,178 in chips)

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Though wfhk kept the lead for some time heading to the final table, it was sirflair on a roll and pushing his way directly into the lead once nine-handed play started.

It only took a few rounds of play for one of the short stacks to make a move. It happened after Dr Homer, 92cata, Believer82, and graybone went to see a flop of T♠T♣Q♦. All four players checked to the 6♠ turn, at which point a bet from Dr Homer led to a reraise from 92cata. The other two players got out of the way before Dr Homer raised again and 92cata called all-in with A♠K♠ for the flush and straight draws. Dr Homer showed 6♣6♦, which turned a full house. The 4♥ on the river ended the hand and tournament for 92cata, who took home $5,700.00 for the ninth place finish.

Recognizable names exit early

One of the most well-known figures in poker, JohnnyBax made it to the final table as one of the shorter stacks and was soon relegated to a stack of little more than 40K. After Moorman1 raised from the small blind, JohnnyBax called for his tournament life from the big blind holding A♣8♥. Moorman1 showed K♣J♥, and the flop of Q♠7♠8♦ gave JohnnyBax the lead with the pair of eights. The 9♦ on the turn changed little, but the J♣ on the river gave Moorman1 the pair of jacks, which eliminated Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy in eighth place with $7,500.00.

Then a big hand developed between Dr Homer and graybone, with the preflop raising led by Dr Homer. Graybone called all-in for more than 117K holding J♣J♥, but Dr Homer flipped over the Q♠Q♥ for the dominating pair. The board was an uneventful 3♥8♣2♥8♥T♦, and that eliminated Grayson "graybone" Nichols in seventh place, just one short of his recent sixth place finish in the June 8th Super Tuesday.

Next to put his tournament life on the line was Moorman1, though the hand started innocently enough with his raise and a call from JotaGran49 in the big blind. They saw a flop of 4♥8♠5♦, and a bet and raise and reraise led to Moorman1 all-in holding A♦3♥ for the wheel draw. JotaGran49 called with K♣8♣ for the pair of eights and needed to fade the draw to win. The 9♥ on the turn and 7♦ on the river allowed that to happen, and Chris "Moorman1" Moorman was out in sixth place with $13,500.00.

Suddenly, into the eighth hour of the tournament, action sped up. And Dr Homer was on the losing end of some key battles, such as when wfhk and sirflair both doubled through him. But Dr Homer persisted and stayed in a solid chip position as others struggled to stay alive.

Losing believers and flair

Believer82 wanted to believe in 4♣4♠, but faith was more difficult to maintain upon seeing JotaGran49's 7♣7♠. The dealer presented nothing of significance on the board of J♦3♦5♣8♠2♠. Believer82, who recently finished in ninth place in the June 1st Super Tuesday, was forced to accept a fifth place finish this week, and it came with $17,400.00.

Sirflair decided to get involved with Dr Homer to see a 4♠9♠7♦ flop, after which sirflair pushed all-in with K♣K♠. But Dr Homer was right along with A♥A♣. The 8♦ on the turn changed nothing, and the A♦ on the river only gave Dr Homer the set of aces. Sirflair was gone in fourth place with $25,500.00.

Heading into heads-up

One more player was going to have to exit to get to the heads-up battle, and it turned out to be short-stacked wfhk, who decided to tangle with JotaGran49 for all of his chips. Wfhk had 6♥6♠, and JotaGran49 showed A♣J♠ to put them in race mode. But the flop of Q♠Q♣A♥ gave JotaGran49 two pair, and the 8♦ on the turn and 9♠ on the river let it be. Wfhk departed in third place with $33,900.00.

The final two players started their match near the 8.5-hour mark with the following counts:

Seat 3: JotaGran49 (835,460 in chips)
Seat 5: Dr Homer (559,540 in chips)

After about 15 minutes of action, Dr Homer had chipped up to nearly even the stacks, but JotaGran49 seemed to be more determined to regain a substantial lead after the chat box revealed that the two players were not likely to be able to make a deal. Hands like the following kept JotaGran49 on top:

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Ultimately, Dr Homer had to move. The final hand started with a raise and reraise to the 7♥5♦6♥ flop. JotaGran49 bet, and Dr Homer raised, prompting an all-in reraise from JotaGran49. Dr Homer committed his last 272,040 chips all-in holding T♥7♣ for the pair of sevens, but JotaGran49 showed T♣T♦ for the overpair. The T♠ came off on the turn, making for a set of tens for JotaGran49, and the 9♦ on the river ended the tournament. Dr Homer had to accept second place and the $45,000.00 that went with it.

JotaGran49 became the July 6 Sunday Million winner, taking home $61,350.00 to go with the prestigious weekly poker title.

Super Tuesday Results for 07/06/10:

1st place: JotaGran49 ($61,350.00)
2nd place: Dr Homer ($45,000.00)
3rd place: wfhk ($33,900.00)
4th place: sirflair ($25,500.00)
5th place: Believer82 ($17,400.00)
6th place: Moorman1 ($13,500.00)
7th place: graybone ($10,500.00)
8th place: JohnnyBax ($7,500.00)
9th place: 92cata ($5,700.00)

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Super Tuesday