Aussie Michael "Stella948" Kanaan captures Super Tuesday title (6/30/15)

This year's World Series of Poker is already over a month old, and with the Main Event starting this weekend the end is near for players in Las Vegas. Meanwhile the Super Tuesday, PokerStars' weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament that typically attracts many of poker's best, has continued apace this summer. Another installment of the Super Tuesday played out tonight, and this week Michael "Stella948" Kanaan of Australia topped a field of 418 to win the title and a handsome $60,932.42 first prize following a four-way final table deal.

We've gotten to know Kanaan somewhat over recent years both for his frequent deep runs in tournaments on PokerStars and his several scores on the Asia Pacific Poker Tour and Australia New Zealand Poker Tour. Kanaan won the ANZPT Sydney Main Event in 2011, good for nearly $200K. He's also won an ANZPT High Roller (in Perth) and took third in the APPT Asia Championship of Poker Main Event in 2012 for a cash worth about $223K.

Now Kanaan has a Super Tuesday title to add to the list of his poker successes. Here's the story of how he did it.


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Michael "Stella948" Kanaan

That field of 418 meant a $418,000 prize pool -- besting the $400K guarantee -- with the top 54 finishers dividing those riches. crazyred101 had the lead when hand-for-hand play began and would increase it before DBerglin was knocked out in 55th just after the tournament's five-and-a-half-hour mark, sitting well clear of the field with just over 150,000 as the first cashes started to occur.

A little under two hours later they were down to 18, with crazyred101 still near the top while Ryan "i need sheet" Yu had moved into first position as the only player with more than 300,000.

Pimmss (18th), Andreas "Hoegh93" Høgh (17th), and Sergiy1978 (16th) were the next out, picking up $3,762 each. Jeremy "00psiedaisy" Fitzpatrick (15th) and dawidnda (14th) followed, with last week's fourth-place finisher nnhheeoo (13th) eliminated thereafter, and those three each earned $4,598. Then Doommy (12th), mayrogata (11th), and Chris "ImDaNuts" Oliver (10th) were successively knocked out, cashing for $5,434 apiece.

With the tournament nearly eight-and-a-half hours old and crazyred101 having reassumed the top spot with a stack of nearly 550,000, the final table was underway.


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Seat 1: TaBuLA_Ras4 (Greece) -- 136,609
Seat 2: Aaron "Aguskb" Gustavson (Mexico) -- 265,857
Seat 3: McBluff17 (Canada) -- 109,311
Seat 4: crazyred101 (Israel) -- 549,963
Seat 5: Tomi "elmerixx" Brouk (Finland) -- 126,860
Seat 6: mmm4x (Germany) -- 307,483
Seat 7: Ryan "i need sheet" Yu (South Korea) -- 183,475
Seat 8: Omar "omar miete" Miete (Paraguay) -- 88,220
Seat 9: Michael "Stella948" Kanaan (Australia) -- 322,222

The final nine would all almost make it to the nine-hour mark before the last hand before the break saw the next knockout.

The blinds were 4,000/8,000. mmm4x opened for 16,640 from the cutoff, then Omar "omar miete" Miete reraised to just under 83,000 from the small blind, leaving himself just 913 chips behind. It folded back to mmm4x who made a big reraise, and after hesitating a bit Miete called all in to show A♠J♦ versus mmm4x's 4♠4♦. The board ran out 6♠3♠T♦K♦4♣, giving mmm4x a set and knocking Miete out in ninth.


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Omar "omar miete" Miete

About 10 minutes into the next hour it was elmerixx open-raising all in from under the gun for just under 90,000 (not quite nine big blinds) and getting a single caller in TaBuLA_Ras4 sitting in the cutoff with just a few hundred fewer chips. elmerixx had A♣K♦ and was ahead of TaBuLA_Ras4's A♥J♥, and after the board ran out Q♦K♥2♦7♣J♣ both had made a pair but TaBuLA_Ras4's wasn't enough and they were down to seven.

Just three hands later, crazyred101 min-raised to 16,000 from the cutoff, elmerixx reraised to almost 35,000 from the button, and the blinds stepped aside. crazyred101 responded with an all-in push, and elmerixx snap-called all in with the almost 184,000 left, turning over A♦A♥ to crazyred101's K♦Q♦. The flop then came down 5♣Q♠K♥, giving crazyred101 two pair and the lead over elmerixx's aces. The turn was the 7♣ and river the 8♠, and elmerixx was done in seventh.

Then three hands after that one, Aaron "Aguskb" Gustavson open-pushed from the small blind and McBluff17 called all in with the 126,294 after posting the big. It was A♥6♣ for McBluff17 and K♣7♦ for Gustavson. The Q♥4♠K♠ flop hit Gustavson's hand, and two cards later -- 9♠, then J♦ -- McBluff17 was out in sixth.

A short while later Ryan "i need sheet" Yu open-raised all in from the button for just over 236,000 (about 23 BBs) and Aaron "Aguskb" Gustavson called from the big blind. Yu had K♠J♠ and Gustavson A♦Q♦, and five cards later -- 8♥J♥7♦Q♠5♣ -- Yu was out in fifth.

A hand later the final four paused the tournament to discuss a possible chop with mmm4x leading with almost 690,000, Michael "Stella948" Kanaan next with about 536,000, Aaron "Aguskb" Gustavson third with almost 507,000, and crazyred101 fourth with about 357,000. "ICM"-based figures were produced (leaving $8,000 for which to play), all four promptly agreed to the suggested figures, and soon cards were back in the air.

It didn't take long -- just a bit past the tourney's 10-hour mark -- before the next knockout arrived. Following a min-raise to 24,000 from UTG by Michael "Stella948" Kanaan, crazyred101 three-bet pushed for just under 240,000 from the small blind and Kanaan called. crazyred101 had the preflop advantage with A♠8♠ versus Kanaan's K♥J♣, but the flop fell K♣K♦2♥ to give Kanaan trip kings. The 5♦ on the turn made the 7♣ river no matter, and crazyred101 was out in fourth.

The remaining three played on another 10 minutes, then suddenly -- in the space of two hands -- this week's Super Tuesday came to an abrupt end.

The blinds had increased to 7,000/14,000, and after Kanaan min-raised again (this time from UTG), mmm4x reraise-pushed from the big blind for just under 280,000 (about 20 BBs) and Kanaan called. mmm4x had T♥9♣ and needed help against Kanaan's K♣Q♣, but the community cards brought no such aid coming K♥A♦4♦K♦2♣ to give Kanaan trip kings once again and send mmm4x railward in third.

Kanaan had just over 1.19 million to Aaron "Aguskb" Gustavson's 897,000 to start heads-up, and with the blinds still just 7,000/14,000 the stacks were deep enough to allow for a lengthy duel.


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Aaron "Aguskb" Gustavson

But the first hand between them saw Gustavson raising from the button to 34,300, Kanaan three-betting to 88,600, Gustavson making it 172,261 to go, Kanaan reraising again to 287,440, Gustavson six-bet shoving, and Kanaan calling.

Stella948: K♠K♦
Aguskb: A♦Q♠

Both had been dealt big hands, but Gustavson's proved second-best after the 7♦T♦J♥7♥6♥ board and Kanaan had won the extra $8,000 and the title.

Congratulations to Michael "Stella948" Kanaan for outlasting a tough final table to claim this week's Super Tuesday title, and kudos as well to the final four players for making it the deal and guaranteeing themselves nice paydays in this one.


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Michael "Stella948" Kanaan

6/30/15 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants: 418
Prize pool: $418,000.00
Places paid: 54

1. Michael "Stella948" Kanaan (Australia) -- $60,932.42*
2. Aaron "Aguskb" Gustavson (Mexico) -- $52,199.68*
3. mmm4x (Germany) -- $56,170.71*
4. crazyred101 (Israel) -- $47,806.39*
5. Ryan "i need sheet" Yu (South Korea) -- $23,408.00
6. McBluff17 (Canada) -- $17,765.00
7. Tomi "elmerixx" Brouk (Finland) -- $13,585.00
8. TaBuLA_Ras4 (Greece) -- $9,405.00
9. Omar "omar miete" Miete (Paraguay) -- $6,938.80

*= reflects the results of a four-way deal that left $8,000 in play for the winner

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Super Tuesday