$88K for "Sephirot88" as Rocco Palumbo prevails in 11/3/15 Super Tuesday

Rocco Palumbo of Italy is no stranger to tournament success, having amassed more than $1.5 million in live earnings including wins in events on the European Poker Tour, the World Poker Tour, and at the World Series of Poker. Palumbo has won a similarly impressive amount online as well at PokerStars where he plays as "Sephirot88," and tonight added another nice score to his collection after topping a challenging field of 527 to win the $1,050 buy-in Super Tuesday.

Palumbo picked up a nice $88,840.24 first prize following a two-handed deal. Here's the story of how he did it.


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Rocco "Sephirot88" Palumbo after winning a side event at the EPT11 Grand Final

The tournament had entered its sixth hour when Ravi "govshard2" Raghavan was knocked out in 64th by eventual winner Rocco "Sephirot88" Palumbo, thereby bursting the money bubble as the final 63 were set to divide up the $527,000 prize pool (well over the tourney's now-boosted $450K guarantee).

About an hour and 15 minutes later they had crossed the seven-and-a-half-hour mark. By then the field had been whittled down to just 18 players gathered around the last two tables, with Mike "munchenHB" Telker having jumped into the chip lead after building a stack of more than 330,000.

Kent "ForzaVaxholm" Lundmark (18th), THEMOS17 (17th), and Raphael "tiarc" Wimmer (16th) were the next players to go, each earning $4,216. Then Blunty2004 (15th), Allan "Sifosis" Baekke (14th), and SukkerHans (13th) were eliminated, with those three taking away $5,270 apiece. And after that aiamolinbaby (12th), OnUrOnUrOnUr (11th), and BillLewinsky (10th) went out, cashing for $6,324 each.

With Telker still in the mix and sugery having moved up into the top spot, the final table was underway.


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Seat 1: sugery (Hungary) -- 483,825
Seat 2: Joao "jricardosc" Fernandes (Brazil) -- 384,520
Seat 3: C_Löfgren (Sweden) -- 308,654
Seat 4: 2pacnrw16 (Germany) -- 212,737
Seat 5: Igor "lechuckpoker" Kurganov (United Kingdom) -- 167,932
Seat 6: Rocco "Sephirot88" Palumbo (Slovenia) -- 213,476
Seat 7: duubadaaba (Finland) -- 266,655
Seat 8: Mike "munchenHB" Telker (Cyprus) -- 241,788
Seat 9: r1d3rst0rm (Canada) -- 355,413

Not long after the final table began, the blinds were 4,500/9,000 when Igor "lechuckpoker" Kurganov open-raised all in for 123,682 from the hijack seat, then duubadaaba reraised all in over the top from the button, causing both blinds to fold. Kurganov showed K♥Q♣ while duubadaaba had Q♥Q♦, and five cards later -- 5♥J♥5♣A♦2♦ -- Kurganov was done in ninth.


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Igor "lechuckpoker" Kurganov

Some time after that the blinds had increased to 5,000/10,000 when a hand arose that saw the table fold around to 1/20/15 Super Tuesday winner Joao "jricardosc" Fernandes in the small blind who shoved all in for 53,393 with A♦9♣, and leader sugery called from the big blind with K♥J♣. The board rolled out 4♣5♠K♣6♠4♦, giving sugery kings and fours and ending Fernandes's run in eighth.


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Joao "jricardosc" Fernandes

About two orbits later the blinds had jumped again to 6,000/12,000, and after duubadaaba min-raised to 24,000 from early position, 2pacnrw16 reraised all in for 79,237 from the big blind and duubadaaba called, turning over A♣T♥ to 2pacnrw16's 6♦6♥. The Q♦K♣A♠ flop then hit duubadaaba's hand, with the T♣ turn making two pair. The river was the 3♥, and 2pacnrw16 was eliminated in seventh.

Just a couple of minutes later r1d3rst0rm open-pushed from the small blind for 76,805 (just over six big blinds) and sugery called from the big blind. r1d3rst0rm had K♦2♥ and sugery T♦9♦, and the 9♠K♠J♥ flop gave both players a pair. The 8♦ turn kept r1d3rst0rm in front, but the 7♦ then fell on fifth street to make a straight for sugery, thereby beating r1d3rst0rm's pair of kings and sending the latter railward in sixth.

They pushed on past the tournament's 10-hour mark, and a few minutes later the blinds were 7,000/14,000 when sugery opened for 42,000 from the small blind, C_Löfgren pushed all in from the big blind for 162,462, and sugery called. It was A♥2♥ for C_Löfgren and K♠J♦ for sugery, and for four community cards -- 7♠5♥6♦, then 4♦ -- C_Löfgren remained in front. But the K♥ came on the river, giving sugery kings and knocking out C_Löfgren in fifth.

Nearly a half-hour more passed, during which time duubadaaba moved up into first position while sugery slipped back to become the shortest stack of the remaining four. Then came a hand in which duubadaaba min-raised to 36,000 from UTG, sugery three-bet to 135,000 from the small blind, duubadaaba shoved for 932,714 total, and sugery called all in with the 485,958 behind.

duubadaaba had 9♦9♥ and a big edge over sugery's 8♥7♥. The board ran out J♦T♠K♦6♣T♣, duubadaaba's nines held, and sugery was sunk in fourth.

Soon after that Mike "munchenHB" Telker open-raised all in from the small blind for 145,036 (about eight BBs) and Rocco "Sephirot88" Palumbo called from the big blind.

Telker had the edge with A♠T♥ against Palumbo's A♣2♣. The community cards then came 3♦7♦9♥, then 4♣, then... 2♦! The deuce on the river paired Palumbo, abruptly stopping Telker in third.


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Mike "munchenHB" Telker

The final two players played a single small hand, then paused the tournament to discuss a possible deal with duubadaaba leading with 1,621,172 versus Rocco "Sephirot88" Palumbo's 1,013,828. "ICM"-based numbers were produced, leaving $8,000 aside for which to play, and after a bit of talk both agreed to the proposed figures.

Soon cards were back in the air, and after a few minutes more they'd made it to the 11-hour mark of the tournament. duubadaaba continued to lead for a short while longer, but then Palumbo seized the lead after winning a preflop all-in with K♥J♠ versus duubadaaba's 8♣8♦. In that hand Palumbo four-bet shoved and duubadaaba called, and when a king came among the community cards Palumbo was up close to 1.38 million to duubadaaba's almost 1.26 million.

A dozen hands later Palumbo was ending close to 1.5 million while duubadaaba dropped back just under 1.14 million. Then came the night's final hand.

With the blinds at 10,000/20,000, duubadaaba opened for 44,000 from the button, Palumbo called, and the flop came 9♣3♥8♥. At that Sephirot88 checked, duubadaaba bet 50,000, then Palumbo check-raisd to 155,000. duubadaaba responded with a reraise back to 320,000, Palumbo shoved, and duubadaaba called all in for 772,590.

Sephirot88: Q♥J♥
duubadaaba: J♦J♣

duubadaaba's jacks were still best, but Palumbo could end it with either a heart for a flush or a ten for a straight. The 3♦ turn was okay for duubadaaba, but the T♦ river made a straight for Palumbo, earning him the last pot, the $8K left on the table, and a Super Tuesday title.

Congratulations to Rocco "Sephirot88" Palumbo for outlasting a tough final table to earn the win, and kudos as well to duubadaaba for making it to the heads-up deal to secure a handsome share of the prize pool as well.


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Rocco "Sephirot88" Palumbo

11/3/15 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants: 527
Prize pool: $527,000.00
Places paid: 63

1. Rocco "Sephirot88" Palumbo (Slovenia) $88,840.24*
2. duubadaaba (Finland) $85,069.76*
3. Mike "munchenHB" Telker (Cyprus) $54,017.50
4. sugery (Hungary) $41,106.00
5. C_Löfgren (Sweden) $28,985.00
6. r1d3rst0rm (Canada) $22,397.50
7. 2pacnrw16 (Germany) $17,127.50
8. Joao "jricardosc" Fernandes (Brazil) $11,857.50
9. Igor "lechuckpoker" Kurganov (United Kingdom) $8,748.20
* = denotes a two-way deal leaving $8,000 for the winner

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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Super Tuesday