"Lil' Holdem" Makes a "Lil' Money" at the August 31 Super Tuesday Final

Super Tuesday logo.pngThe $300k guaranteed, Super Tuesday may have been slightly down from last week's massive $430k prize pool, but the high stakes weekly tournament still managed to surpass the guarantee by $53k. In spite of the smaller prize pool and the heavy live action playing out at EPT Vilamoura many of Team PokerStars' finest shelled out the $1,050 entry fee to compete for the nearly $70k first-place prize. Alas, the Team was unable to really get things going this Tuesday. And even though three PokerStars Pros managed to make it past the money bubble, Gualter Salles (40th for $2,118), Christophe De Meulder (32nd for $2,294.50) and Pierre Neuville (23rd for $2,647.50), when the final 18 players started to play down to nine there was not a red spade to be found. However, even without PokerStars Team Pro representation the final table bubble was no less exciting.

Super Repeat?

Nothing like a big buy-in online tournament to bring out the internet sharp shooters. Approaching the Super Tuesday final table, the sharks were definitely mulling about the virtual felt. There was Chris "SLOPPYKLOD" Klodnicki, a former Super Tuesday winner with more than $3 million in combined live and online tournament winning, Chad "lilholdem954" Batista, another former Super Tuesday champion who has taken down 16 major titles since 2006, and online young gun Mike "munchenHB" Telker. There were former Sunday Warm-Up champions, Sunday Million final tablists and, of course, Super Tuesday regulars. And then there was Roberts34...

  Who me?

Roberts34 was the eventual winner of that aforementioned massive Super Tuesday last week and, with just 15 left, the former champion looked poised to make another run at a high stakes title. However, as the tournament crept slowly down to the final nine Roberts34's stack slowly wore down closer and closer to the felt until he was forced to make a final stand. Facing a raise from middle position by Chris "SLOPPYKLOD" Klodnicki, Roberts34 moved all-in with his last 58k on the button with A♠ 4♣. It wasn't even a borderline decision for Klodnicki, his A♣ A♥ being a no-brainer call, and after an interesting turn, which gave Roberts34 a straight draw, a blank river eliminated last week's champion in tenth, good for a $5,295 payday.  

Super Tuesday Final Table Aug31.JPG
Click on Image to Enlarge

With Roberts34's exit in tenth, the final nine players took their seats--well virtually anyway--at table 12, their eyes set firmly on the $68k first place prize. Former Sunday Warm-Up winner DCal Zone was the chip leader with 327k as things restarted at the final table, with edoiler hot on DCal Zone's heels at 320k in chips. Conversely, ShipTheFliip, 109,805 in chips, was looking up at everyone else when play restarted, hoping for a quick double-up. Blinds were 2k/4k with a 500 ante when final table play began.

The complete chip counts of the final nine were as follows:

Seat 1: ShipTheFliip (109805 in chips)
Seat 2: lilholdem954 (204201 in chips)
Seat 3: edoiler (320062 in chips)
Seat 4: munchenHB (157830 in chips)
Seat 5: DCal Zone (327296 in chips)
Seat 6: jersey716 (113728 in chips)
Seat 7: Pyjamarse (162899 in chips)
Seat 8: pkzmerv (155255 in chips)
Seat 9: SLOPPYKLOD (213924 in chips)

Kick'em While He's Down

"Sorry Mike," thought Klodnicki. Fellow poker pro Mike "muchenHB" Telker had pushed all-in from middle position for his last 60k and Klodnicki had woken up in the small blind with A♥ K♣...a no-brainer. Just two hands earlier Telker had been crippled after a run-in with former table short stack ShipTheFliip and the online wizard must have be feeling somewhat dejected, seeing his title shot suddenly pushed to the brink. "Probably a middle ace, maybe a middle pair. Still, a no-brainer." Klodnicki showed little deception, quickly moving all-in for his 200k plus, and the big blind, Telker's former bane ShipTheFliip, folded. "Sorry Mike, no-brainer..."

Chris Klodnicki.jpg
Hmmm, don't remember thinking that...

...Or maybe it was a simple case of two online pros locking horns in a very standard coin flip situation, A♥ K♣ for Klodnicki and J♥ J♦ for Telker. Bing! King on the river and the short stacked Telker went home in ninth, $6,177.50 richer for his efforts. Not poetic at all really... just poker.

Come on!

Here's the thing, when the poker gods want you gone, you'll be gone. Unable to get much of anything going at the final table this week, jersey716 moved all-in for his last 57k in the small blind and big blind Pyjamarse instantly made the call. Now A♦ [10d] rates to be the best hand in a normal blind-on-blind situation, but "rates" is just a fancy way of saying "most of the time," and this, as it turned out, was the minority. Pyjamarse flipped up a dominating A♠ Q♣ and, after a fairly uninteresting board of 4♥ 4♠ 9♦ 8♣ 3♦, eliminated the unlucky jersey716 in eighth place ($8,472).

The Roller Coaster Rider of ShipTheFliip

All aboard the ShipTheFliip amusement ride of disappointment. First, a quick double-up, less than 20 hands into final table play against the always dangerous Mike "munchenHB" Telker--Telker being eliminated just a couple hands later. Now past the first big hill a dip is in order, something to the tune of 100k, lost after a few rough pots spread across more than 40 hands of play. Up the second hill, all-in for 82k in middle position with A♣ K♦...and a caller! Pyjamarse with more than 300k makes the call in the big blind and flips up 9♦ 9♣. The race begins! A fairly weak J♣ 5♦ 4♥ flop is followed by a tantalizingly close Q♠. Will a king come? Or an ace? Or better yet a ten to make Broadway? Is there one final hill in this roller coaster ride?!

...come on, this is the ShipTheFliip "ride of disappointment." A lowly deuce falls on the river, sending ShipTheFliip home in seventh, dizzy but $12,002 richer.

What a Difference 32 Hands Makes

There's just something about railing a major online final table that makes you slip into bad habits. No matter how good the action is on the whole, there are bound to be lulls and then, when tricked into a state of mindless stability, something major happens. It's just the nature of the beast I'm afraid. So, 25 or so odd hands after ShipTheFliip's exit in seventh and my attention now turned to something important on late night television--some guy peddling a new all-purpose cleaner for just $9.95--the inevitable happened...we got down to five.

"Damn!" Catching the end of what looked to be a monster. "What was that?" What was that turned out to be a four-bet all-in by the short stacked pkzmerv in the small blind after lilholdem954 had led out with a 15k bet from under-the-gun and Pyjamarse raised to 38k on the button. lilholdem954 folded but Pyjamarse had quickly called and flipped up K♣ K♥, which was way ahead of pkzmerv's [10c] [10d]. No funny business and pkzmerv was eliminated in sixth, good for $15,532.

Then, faster than you can say "Cash for Gold," we got down to four. The healthy stacked DCal Zone raised to 14,400 in first position. Action then folded around to lilholdem954 in the small blind, who raised to 38,775. DCal Zone then re-raised all-in for around 279k in total and lilholdem954 made the call. It was a coin flip, lilholdem954 holding 8♣ 8♦ against DCal Zone's A♥ K♠. The flop, 5♥ 5♠ [10s], turn, 4♣, and river, 9♠, were no help to DCal Zone, who exited in fifth ($20,121).

Now back to the lull... what was that about some sort of knife-spatula combination utensil I simply must have?  

Let's Make a Deal...

...because some players are getting tired.

With four players left and the blinds at 4k/8k and a 1k ante, the chip counts were thus:

Seat 2: lilholdem954 (861101 in chips)
Seat 3: edoiler (279386 in chips)
Seat 7: Pyjamarse (297399 in chips)
Seat 9: SLOPPYKLOD (327114 in chips) 

Deal Time.JPG
Deal Time!

Some of the chat by this time indicated that the players where getting a little tired so a straight chip-chop deal was struck, saving $10k for the eventual winner.

The deal was as follows:

lilholdem954: $58,860.00
edoiler: $38,770.89
Pyjamarse: $39,392.96
SLOPPYKLOD: $40,419.15

Things Can Be So Unfair Sometimes

It's a few hands after the deal, Pyjamarse raised to 24k in first position only to be re-raised to 40k by edoiler in the big blind, leaving him 164k behind. Action shifts back to Pyjamarse, who moves all-in for 321k and edoiler makes the quick call. It was a misstep for Pyjamarse, whose A♦ J♠ was behind the Q♠ Q♥ of edoiler. Poker really can be cruel sometimes, however. A 9♥ A♠ 6♥ flop paired Pyjamarse's ace. The J♣ on the turn didn't help or hurt edoiler and yet still seemed cruel, giving Pyjamarse two pair. No miracle on the river--just the 3♥--and edoiler went home in fourth ($38,770.89).

Seriously Guys, It's Bedtime

Chris "SLOPPYKLOD" Klodnicki has won $3.1 million in tournament earning, 16 major titles and had a near WSOP Main Event final table in '08, finishing in 12th. Long story short, Klodnicki has played some long hours. We all get tired, however. In the midst of a hand with Pyjamarse, after Pyjamarse had raised pre-flop, Klodnicki made the comment that he was "kinda tired" and that he wanted to just chop the remaining prize money up. No deal for lilholdem954. Pyjamarse remained quiet on the situation, instead betting 45k after J♥ 7♥ 5♦. Klodnicki typed in "sigh" and then moved all-in for 337k and Pyjamarse called. Klodnicki had been caught with a gut shot straight draw, 9♠ 8♠, Pyjamarse ahead with 7♦ [10d]. The K♥ fell on the turn and the 4♥ on the river, eliminating Klodnicki in third ($40,419.15). Hey, when it's bedtime, it's bedtime.

Lil' Comeback

It may have been late, but Chad "lilholdem954" Batista was still going strong. Batista razzed Klodnicki a bit for trying to chop up the remaining prize money and, in spite entering heads-up play at a 2-1 chip disadvantage, seemed to playing at the top of his game. Sure enough, a few hands into heads-up play Batista doubled through Pyjamarse, his 9♦ 9♥ holding up against Pyjamarse's A♦ Q♠. Then, with positions now shifted and the rail really getting restless, the match ended, just two hands later. Batista raised to 18k on the button and Pyjamarse called. The flop came down 8♦ 4♣ 6♣ and, after a Pyjamarse check, lilholdem954 bet another 18k. Pyjamarse countered by check-raising to 54k. Batista added another bet, doubling to 108k and Pyjamarse moved all-in. Batista called, flipping over a monster draw, A♣ 7♣. He was up against Pyjamarse's flopped two pair, 8♠ 4♦. Tension was ended immediately on the turn when the 2♣ fell, giving Batista the nut flush. The river, a mere formality, came the K♥. Pyjamarse took home $39,392.96 for his second place effort, with Batista grabbing $68,860.00 for yet another Super Tuesday title.

Super Tuesday Results for August 31, 2010
*represents a four-way deal

*1st: lilholdem954 (Las Vegas) - $68,860.00
*2nd: Pyjamarse (Ironbank) - $39,392.96
*3rd: SLOPPYKLOD (Philadelphia) - $40,419.15
*4th: edoiler (Toronto) - $38,770.89
5th: DCal Zone (Chicago) - $20,121.00
6th: pkzmerv (Dublin) - $15,532.00
7th: ShipTheFliip (Budapest) - $12,002.00
8th: jersey716 (Kenmore) - $8,472.00
9th: muchenHB (Davison) - $6,177.50