Hot streak continues for XingsMaster with $77K Super Tuesday win
Tournament poker can be a tough ride sometimes. After all, the nature of the game means you can, and often will, play your A-game and still finish outside the big money. But other times everything seems to go right, and right, and right again - and then right one more time so that you find yourself the last player standing over and over. That's been the case for Germany's XingsMaster since late November, and the second PokerStars Super Tuesday of 2015 was the scene of the latest tournament to go right for this player on a hot streak.
Things got going for XingsMaster in the $109+R Sunday Rebuy on November 16th, maneuvering through a 1,017-player field and ending with a heads-up deal for $44K and a second-place finish to Kelvin_FP:AR. Two weeks later came a $25K win in the $109 Sunday Kickoff against 1,638 players, and three weeks after that a victory over a field of nearly 16,000 in The Bigger $11. This week's victory was the first in the string to come on a Tuesday, and it came against a smaller field for higher stakes .
This installment of the Super Tuesday drew 532 players for a $532,000 prize pool, down just a touch from last week's field of 547. The top 63 earned at least $2,340.80 and first was scheduled for $101,080. After eight and a half hours of poker these nine players remained:
Seat 1: CONCRETE1990 (175,750 in chips)
Seat 2: SHIPP ITT (178,769 in chips)
Seat 3: Stella948 (506,237 in chips)
Seat 4: _JMCD_89 (165,169 in chips)
Seat 5: Artem205 (322,964 in chips)
Seat 6: prebz (295,065 in chips)
Seat 7: XingsMaster (373,579 in chips)
Seat 8: Michael "moneyinbag" Aron (77,467 in chips)
Seat 9: Seth "SFisch4" Fischer (565,000 in chips)
Looking for a repeat
The blinds and antes rose to 3600/7200/ with a 900 ante on the second hand of the final table. Entering with the chip lead at 565K after spending the previous hour or two at or near the top of the leaderboard was Seth "SFisch4" Fischer, who was searching for a second Super Tuesday title to go with the first he won against a field of 489 players back in 2012. That one was good for $83K+, a fair bit less than today's scheduled top prize.
At the other end of the leaderboard as the final table began was another regular from big PokerStars tourneys. Past Sunday Storm champ and Sunday 2nd Chance runner-up Michael "moneybag" Aron was looking to good situations to pick up chips and found one on Hand #13, re-stealing with an all-in bet over the top of Artem205's opening raise in the cutoff. Two hands later another spot came up when the action folded to the button, and moneybag jammed for 94K. Fischer folded in the small blind but CONCRETE1990 called in the big blind for another 87K, turning over A♣ J♥. That was ahead of moneyinbag's K♠ 4♠ and remained so on the 9♣ T♣ Q♠ flop. The 3♠ turn gave moneybag 12 outs going to the river, but the 6♣ that came wasn't one of them and moneybag was out in 9th place ($8,831.20).
Thanks to patient play and the slow structure, the next knockout wouldn't come for another 70 hands. In the meantime the chip lead shifted over to Stella948, and Fischer was bumped out of second by XingsMaster thanks to a little help from the board on the 4.5K/9K/1125 level. Fischer opened under the gun for 20K and only XingsMaster called, in the big blind, to see the 3♦ 4♦ 2♣ flop. The German player checked, Fischer bet 25K, and XingsMaster raised to 62K. Fischer went into the time bank for a while before moving all-in for 511K with his K♣ K♦, and XingsMaster wasted no time calling with A♥ 5♥ for the flopped wheel straight. When you're hot, you're hot.
Stella948 held 659K for the lead, and that pot moved XingsMaster up to second place with 629K and dropped Fischer's stack to 223K. When the next knockout came on Hand #85, it was these two big stacks with big hands refusing to give up before the flop.
XingsMaster opened the hand with 647K and opened the action with a raise to 24K under the gun. The action folded around to the cutoff seat and Stella948 from Australia, who opened the hand with 449K, re-raised to 52K. That cleared out the rest of the field and put the decision back to XingsMaster, who responded with a fourth bet to 138K. Then Stella948 jammed, showing K♦ K♠ when XingsMaster called with A♥ K♥. There was danger for the kings from the Q♥ 9♥ 4♠ flop, and XingsMaster still had a 27 percent chance to win the hand after the 8♣ on the turn. The flush draw missed on the A♦ river, but XingsMaster made a pair of aces to drag the 928K pot as Stella948 left the tournament in 8th place ($11,970).
A whole new game
That big win gave XingsMaster 1.1M chips, nearly 42 percent of the total chips in play, and nobody else held more than 356K:
Seat 1: CONCRETE1990 (285,243 in chips)
Seat 2: SHIPP ITT (260,187 in chips)
Seat 4: _JMCD_89 (272,384 in chips)
Seat 5: Artem205 (191,712 in chips)
Seat 6: prebz (165,123 in chips)
Seat 7: XingsMaster (1,127,199 in chips)
Seat 9: SFisch4 (358,152 in chips)
The next knockout wouldn't be so long in coming, but it didn't come at CONCRETE1990's expense. The Dutch player doubled up, winning a race with A♠ Q♦ against XingsMaster's 9♣ 9♠. Six hands later, on the 100th hand of the final table, Seth Fischer was able to regain traction in his hunt for a second Super Tuesday. He raised with 9♦ 9♥, called after _JMCD_89 moved in with A♣ K♥, caught bottom set on the J♣ Q♥ 9♠ flop, and caught nines full on the Q♦ turn before _JMCD_89 could make a Broadway straight with the T♥ on the river. That moved Fischer back up to 786K, and _JMCD_89 departed in 7th place ($17,290).
The very next hand saw Norway's short-stacked prebz three-bet all-in for 182K, holding Q♥ Q♣, and get a call from original raiser SHIPP ITT, who held A♥ A♦. The T♥ 3♥ 5♦ flop and 2♦ were about as safe as they could be for those aces, but prebz struck gold on the river when the Q♠ came for a set of queens. That left SHIPP ITT with just 46K on the 7K/14K/1750 level, all of which was called off in the big blind two hands later with Q♣ 4♠ after CONCRETE1990 raised from the big blind. That hand was dominated by the Dutch player's A♦ 4♦ and never connected with the 3♣ 3♦ T♥ 5♥ 7♣ board. With that, SHIPP ITT was gone in 6th place ($22,610).
The lone Ukrainian player at the table was now the short stack with 143K. It was a familiar position to Artem2005, who had played with a stack larger than the tournament average for only a few relatively short stretches in the later stages. Three hands after the previous knockout the Ukrainian picked up 9♥ 9♠ and got the remaining 113K of that stack in the middle from the button before the flop. prebz re-shoved to isolate in the small blind and then showed K♣ J♣, which immediately picked up an open-ended straight draw on the Q♦ T♥ 4♠ flop. That draw came in with the A♣ on the turn, and with the Q♠ on the river, Artem2005's tournament came to an end in 5th place ($29,260).
It wasn't long before the topic of a potential deal was broached among the remaining four players. They agreed to look at numbers and a short time later had concluded the negotiations, leaving the last $8,000 on the table for the winner.
prebz, who only moments before had been a two-outer away from elimination, immediately found a strong opportunity to make a play at the top spot after raising the minimum under the gun and flopping two pair with K♥ 6♦. The same 5♥ K♣ 6♣ flop that delivered that hand also gave CONCRETE1990's 8♥ 7♥ an open-ended straight draw, and all the money went in right there to build a 791K-chip pot. press's chances improved to 81.8 percent on the 3♣ turn, but the 4♦ on the river completed the straight. The pot went to CONCRETE1990, and prebz finished in 4th place ($55,437.97).
CONCRETE1990 now held the lead with 1.25M to XingsMaster's 760K, and position on Seth "SFisch04" Fischer, whose last-place stack of 643K was still worth 40 big blinds. The Dutch player hit the gas and won seven of the next 11 pots, took a breather for three hands, and then took five more in a row to move over 1.6M. Both opponents lagged behind with less than a third of that stack and soon ran into one another.
XingsMaster opened the betting on the hand in question with a minimum raise in the small blind and Fischer jammed for 371K in the big blind. The German player called with J♠ J♦ and had Fischer's 7♦ 7♠ up against the ropes both before and after the T♠ 5♥ 5♦ flop. The 7♥ came on the turn, though, and left XingsMaster with 127K and two outs going to the river. The T♣ was neither of them and Fischer doubled to 748K.
It looked likely to be the end of the line for XingsMaster's run at another big win. But like a Hollywood hero driven to his last stand, the German player came roaring back. It started two hands later with A♥ 8♥ against CONCRETE1990's 9♥ 2♥ for a double-up to 313K. Three hands after that it was T♥ T♦ against CONCRETE1990's A♠ 6♥ and a double to 741K. And four more hands later, it ended with a victory over the one player looking to repeat as Super Tuesday champion.
XingsMaster opened the hand with a minimum raise to 32K on the button, then made it four bets and 149K after Fischer three-bet to 86K. Fischer pondered and called, bringing an 8♠ T♠ 4♣ flop, and then checked. XingsMaster bet 91K and wasted no time after Fischer check-raised all-in for 415K. Fischer had top pair with J♠ T♣, but XingsMaster was ahead with Q♦ Q♠. The board ran out 2♣ 5♣, XingsMaster won the pot, and with that, Fischer's bid for a second Super Tuesday title ended in 3rd place ($65,848.32).
Heads-up for a Tuesday title
That set up a duel with 9K/18K/2250 blinds and antes between XingsMaster and CONCRETE1990 for the last $8K and the win:
Seat 1: CONCRETE1990 (1,194,727 in chips)
Seat 7: XingsMaster (1,465,273 in chips)
After the last five-minute break of the tournament, the two got down to business. It took seven minutes for CONCRETE1990 to make enough headway to claim the lead, flopping top pair out of position with J♣ 9♦ and getting in a check-raise on the flop and a value bet on the turn before an ace on the river shut the action down. Only a few hands later XingsMaster dropped further behind, check-calling bets on the T♠ 6♥ K♠ flop and 6♦ turn before leading out for 191K on the A♦ river and folding to CONCRETE1990's all-in raise.
That left XingsMaster with 745K, and seven hands later, with blinds and antes u pro 10K/20K/2.5K, the German player would end up all-in for a little more than that. The hand began with XingsMaster raising on the button to 40K and CONCRETE1990 three-betting to 106K. XingsMaster called with 9♣ 8♦ and caught a big piece of the 8♠ 8♣ J♣ flop, then just called when CONCRETE1990 bet 89K into the 218K-chip pot. The Dutch player led for 160K on the 7♥ turn and called with A♥ J♥ for top pair when XingsMaster jammed for 580K, losing the 1.5M-chip pot, and the lead, when the 5♦ hit the river.
From there the match only lasted another 18 hands. XingsMaster got value out of J♥ J♦ out of position for 740K, and then again with 8♣ 6♦ after flopping two pair and calling down CONCRETE1990's two-barrel bluff with king-high for a 1.1M-chip pot. That left CONCRETE1990 with 429K, the bulk of which went in the middle on the river with 4♠ 3♠ and two pair on a board reading 6♠ 2♦ 3♥ 4♦ T♥. But XingsMaster called with K♦ 5♠ for a six-high straight, bringing the tournament to an end.
CONCRETE1990 couldn't grab the extra money on the table, but in second place the Dutch player still took away the largest deal-time share of the prize pool with $72,453.08. Meanwhile the extra $8,000 on the table made a total take of $77,846.63 and was the third time XingsMaster has finished in first place here at PokerStars in the last month and a half. This one, worth three times more than the larger of the others, was a new career best score at Stars and represents another step forward for the German player: into the bold frontier of big wins on days other than Sunday. Congratulations to XingsMaster on keeping the hot streak alive!
1/13/15 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Prize pool: 63
Places paid: $532,000
1. XingsMaster (Germany) $77,846.63*
2. CONCRETE1990 (Netherlands) $72,453.08*
3. Seth "SFisch04" Fischer (Canada) $65,848.32*
4. prebz (Norway) $55,437.97*
5. Artem2005 (Ukraine) $29,260
6. SHIPP ITT (Canada) $22,610
7. _JMCD_89 (United Kingdom) $17,290
8. Stella948 (Australia) $11,970
9. Michael "moneyinbag" Aron (Mexico) $8,831.20
* - denotes results of a four-way deal
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.