ekziter outlasts AaronBeen, wins 6/7/11 Super Tuesday and $62K

Super Tuesday logo.pngIt appears players are getting acclimated to the new, earlier start time for the Super Tuesday, now kicking off at 17:00 ET. This week's Super Tuesday drew a huge field of 306, the biggest for the weekly $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament since 4/13/11. That group created a $306,000 prize pool, more than doubling the tourney's $150K guarantee. The top 36 finishers were due to divide up that big pile of cash, with $62,577 scheduled to go to the winner.

Among the representatives of Team PokerStars who entered the Super Tuesday this week, three Team Pros went out early -- Johnny Lodden (212th), Vadim Markushevski (197th), and Gualter Salles (146th). Anders "Donald" Berg of Team Online lasted a bit longer before falling in 74th. That left just George "gkap13" Kapalas, currently challenging for membership on Team PokerStars Greece, among the remaining players. (Read about the Challenge here.)

As the tourney approached the four-and-a-half-hour mark, just 50 remained. The numerically-named 26071985 led the way at that point with about 82,000, followed by fkasbergen with just under 67,500 and _KEMPETORSK_ in third with a little more than 66,000.

A little less than an hour after that the bubble burst when Kapalas' A♥K♦ bested MILF ISLAND's K♥Q♣, sending the latter out in 37th. That hand pushed Kapalas up to a stack of about 142,000, good for second place behind jw1700's 164,500.

Over the next hour the field was cut in half to 18. The first nine to hit the rail all earned $2,295: softcored (36th), gustavctba (35th), kinamon8 (34th), joran1 (33rd), birtus (32nd), llindeberg_ (31st), Arash85 (30th), 2011 SCOOP 26-Medium winner dean23price (29th), and Vinkyy (28th). The next nine then took away $2,601: mbiessek (27th), OmgMegTeaser (26th), fkasbergen (25th), tollgate (24th), Bushman (23rd), tunny (22nd), snake8484 (21st), BEGEMOT13 (20th), and fish2013 (19th).

At that point Fred_Brink had moved out in front with nearly 250,000, followed by jw1700 with just over 174,000 and Kapalas in 3rd with about 143,000.

By the seven-hour break they were down to 12, with Fred_Brink still leading the way. Earning $3,366 were MindFeeling (18th), m_f_cadilhe (17th), and Bruno "Bruno GT" Gonzalez Terra (16th), while 0rangebox (15th), Achiles12 (14th), and orgi3000 (13th) all picked up $4,131.

Not long after play resumed, _KEMPETORSK_ was knocked out in a hand by 26071985 to exit in 12th. About 15 minutes later 26071985 claimed another victim, sending edubur out in 11th.

Meanwhile Fred_Brink had slipped back to the middle of the pack when he found himself all in before the flop with A♠Q♥ versus jw1700's A♥J♥. Unfortunately for Fred_Brink, the flop came 4♥J♦A♣, giving jw1700 two pair. Neither the turn nor the river helped Fred_Brink, who went out in 10th. Like _KEMPETORSK_ and edubur, Fred_Brink earned $4,896.

They were down to nine.


Seat 1: Team PokerStars Challenger George "gkap13" Kapalas -- 65,993
Seat 2: ekziter -- 108,187
Seat 3: zugzwang16 -- 186,630
Seat 4: jw1700 -- 347,552
Seat 5: 26071985 -- 139,605
Seat 6: hellzito -- 134,686
Seat 7: BaZa88 -- 110,037
Seat 8: AaronBeen -- 287,836
Seat 9: K_The_Nuts_K -- 149,474

On the fourth hand of the final table, the blinds were 2,000/4,000 when AaronBeen opened with a minimum-raise to 8,000 from under the gun. It folded to chip leader jw1700 in the cutoff who reraised to 26,150. Then Bradley "BaZa88" Bower reshoved all in from the big blind for 108,087 total. AaronBeen stepped aside, but jw1700 quickly called.

BaZa88 held A♥K♠, but needed help versus jw1700's K♣K♥. The case king appeared on the K♦4♣5♥ flop, giving jw1700 a set. The turn and river then brought a couple of eights, making jw1700 a full house and sending Bower out in ninth.

About 10 minutes later hellzito opened with a raise to 8,200 from middle position, then it folded around to George "gkap13" Kapalas in the big blind who pushed for his last 57,268. hellzito instantly called, and once again the short stack turned over Big Slick with Kapalas tabling A♣K♠. But again ace-king was way behind, as this time hellzito showed A♦A♠.

The community cards came J♠5♠6♥4♣5♦, and Kapalas hit the rail in eighth.


Team PokerStars Challenger George "gkap13" Kapalas

The remaining seven all made it to the eight-hour break, with jw1700 remaining out in front with almost 450,000, followed by AaronBeen with a little over 377,000. Meanwhile ekziter and 26071985 had fallen to short-stack status, both with less than 100,000.

Play resumed, and soon after the blinds were 2,800/5,600 when 26071985 open-raised all in from the button for 48,305 and AaronBeen made the call from the big blind. Been showed A♦K♥ while 26071985 had a couple of live cards with Q♦J♥. The board ran out 5♣7♦K♦9♥8♠, giving Been a pair and sending 26071985 out in seventh.

Soon after jw1700 raised to 15,995 from the cutoff, then hellzito reraised to 37,500 from the button. The blinds folded, jw1700 pushed all in with his nearly half-million chips, and hellzito called with the 116,104 he had left.

jw1700 showed T♥T♠ and hellzito A♠J♠. The flop came Q♥6♠3♠, giving hellzito a spade flush draw in addition to his overcard outs. But the turn was the 5♣ and river the T♣, giving jw1700 a set and sending hellzito to the rail in sixth.

About a half-hour later the blinds had moved up to 3,600/7,200 when K_The_Nuts_K open-raised all in from the cutoff for 73,472. It folded to zugzwang16 who reraised from the small blind, forcing a fold from jw1700. zugzwang16 showed 7♦7♣ and K_The_Nuts_K K♦9♦. The board came A♣5♣Q♠J♥2♦, and K_The_Nuts_K had been eliminated in fifth.

The remaining four marched on, with ekziter having moved out in front with over 590,000, well ahead of AaronBeen in second with almost 350,000 and jw1700 and zugzwang16, both of whom hovered just below 300,000. At that point jw1700 asked the others if they might be interested in a deal, but ekziter quickly said "not yet" and play continued.

The blinds were 4,000/8,000 when a hand arose in which leader ekziter and zugzwang16 got involved in a preflop raising war from the blinds. First ekziter opened with a raise to 18,797, then zugzwang16 made it 44,444. ekziter pushed all in with his big stack and zugzwang16 called with the 253,139 he had left.

ekziter held A♣T♣ and zugzwang16 8♣8♥. The flop came A♠8♠J♣, pairing ekziter but also giving zugzwang16 a set of eights. The 7♣ then fell on the turn, a provocative card in that it gave ekziter both a draw to the flush and a gutshot to the straight. Then came the river -- the 9♠ -- filling ekziter's straight and sending zugzwang16 out in fourth.

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That nearly 600,000-chip pot put ekziter up over 967,000, and just a few hands later ekziter pushed past the 1 million-chip mark, over two-thirds of the chips in play. Just a couple of minutes later ekziter opened with just-over-2x raise to 16,137 from the button and jw1700 reraised all in from the small blind for 133,712 total. AaronBeen then pushed all in himself with the 331,335 he had remaining, forcing ekziter to step aside.

jw1700 K♣J♥
AaronBeen Q♠Q♣

The board ran out A♦7♦5♠9♠3♠ and Been's queens had held, knocking out jw1700 in third.

Heads-up play began with ekziter enjoying a better than 2-to-1 chip advantage with 1,045,816 to AaronBeen's 484,184. "chip chop if you're interested, if not gl," typed Been after a couple of hands had been dealt. "I want to play (at least a little bit) if you don't mind," responded ekziter. "sure np," answered Been, and the pair battled on.

As it turned out, the two would play more than just a little bit. A lot more.

After 50 hands, the stacks were roughly where they were when the two started their battle, with ekziter sitting with 1,066,532 and Been 463,468. They continued for 40 more hands without any major chip movement, then it appeared that might change as a series of preflop bets put Been all in. But both players held [A][K] and the pot was split.

supertuesday-7jun11-savethedramaforyourmama.jpgBy the 100-hand mark of heads-up play, ekziter had increased his lead slightly, having moved up to 1,103,847 to AaronBeen's 426,153. They crossed the ten-hour mark, with ekziter steadily continuing to chip away at Been's stack. Most pots remained small, with the drama being kept to a minimum -- much as ekziter's avatar suggested he preferred.

Finally came some excitement as Been found himself all in before the flop holding Q♥Q♣ to ekziter's A♠6♠. The board came 8♦8♣[10d]9♣6♣, and Been's pair remained best. That hand only took him back to just over 600,000, however, still well behind ekziter's 925,000-plus.

ekziter pushed Been back down under 420,000 again, then came another fairly tense hand which saw Been seize the chip lead.

It was Hand No. 133 of the heads-up battle. The blinds were 7,000/14,000. AaronBeen opened with a raise to 28,000 from the small blind/button, then ekziter reraised to 58,337. Been called, and the two saw the flop come 8♣Q♣4♦. ekziter led for 61,337, and Been called. The turn brought the 6♦ and another bet from ekziter, this time for 99,337. Again Been called.

The river brought the 6♠ and a fairly quick all-in shove from ekziter. Been called just as fast, showing Q♥6♥ for queens full of sixes, plenty good to crack ekziter's A♦A♥.

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Been was suddenly up to 835,454 to ekziter's 694,546. However, within a dozen hands ekziter had not only grabbed the chip lead back, he'd built it back up to that better than 2-to-1 advantage he'd had before. A key hand in that sequence saw an all-in shove from ekziter on the river go uncalled, winning him a 600,000-plus chip pot.

Soon came another all-in situation in Hand No. 162 between the two, this time following a 7♦Q♠Q♥ flop. But both players turned over [K][7], and again the pot was split.

supertuesday-7jun11-aaronbeenrose.jpgAfter 200 hands -- almost one-and-a-half hours of heads-up play -- the gap had closed slightly between the two, with ekziter at 901,257 and AaronBeen 628,743. A dozen hands later Been had taken the chip lead once again, his prospects starting to appear, like his avatar, much rosier than they had before.

The warriors would trade the lead back-and-forth a couple of times more, each surviving all-in situations along the way. After 250 hands, Been was up with 958,690 to ekziter's 573,310. Twenty-five hands later, ekziter was back in front with 953,558 to Been's 576,442.

Finally, on Hand No. 278 between the pair, their long, epic-length battle came to a conclusion.

The blinds had moved to 10,000/20,000 (Level 40). ekziter began the hand with a raise to 40,737 from the button, then Been pushed all in for 538,942 total. ekziter made the call, showing A♣Q♥ to Been's 9♣9♦. The flop brought an ace, coming 3♦A♥8♠, pairing ekziter and leaving Been looking for a saving nine.

But the turn was the 4♣ and river the 4♠, and at long last -- almost two hours after heads-up play began, and just over 11 hours after the first hands of the tourney were dealt -- a winner had been determined.

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Congrats to ekziter, winner of this week's Super Tuesday! And to AaronBeen as well for a memorable heads-up battle!

Super Tuesday results for 6/7/11:

1st: ekziter ($62,577)
2nd: AaronBeen ($45,900)
3rd: jw1700 ($34,578)
4th: zugzwang16 ($26,010)
5th: K_The_Nuts_K ($17,748)
6th: hellzito ($13,770)
7th: 26071985 ($10,710)
8th: Team PokerStars Challenger George "gkap13" Kapalas ($7,650)
9th: BaZa88 ($5,814)

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Super Tuesday