No blues as harrrrmonica wins $102K at fourth Super Tuesday final table in seven months

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" - or so we've all heard at one point or another. Sometimes you might have to throw an extra try or twelve on top, but the idea that persistence pays off has a strong appeal for those who grind online poker tournaments. And as this week's Super Tuesday champion can attest from firsthand experience, that appeal is particularly strong in a certain $1,050 weekly tournament that draws some of the best players in the game.

This May 5th edition of the Super Tuesday drew a total field of 541 players by the time late registration closed after three hours. That was down just a touch from last week, so only 63 players had to split the $541,000 prize pool, making for a slightly larger minimum payout and a slightly smaller (though still very satisfying) top prize of $102,790. Russia's A12Begemotov led the way after registration closed. The next hour saw the field dwindle from 300 players remaining to 153, with Portugal's T 54 T 97s in the lead. Russia's veeea had the lead with 80 remaining an hour after that at 6 p.m. ET, and by 6:30 p.m. the last 63 players were all guaranteed a minimum payday of $2,380.40.

From it would take another three hours to reach the final table. The United Kingdom's LearnToFlyy had the lead most of the time after 9 p.m. ET, though a familiar name was lurking right behind during the later stages. Bernardo "bedias" Dias, the Brazilian pro who won last week's installment of the Super Tuesday, went from a short stack with three tables remaining to second place on the cusp of the final table. Dias slipped just a touch from there, but he was still very much in the fight as the final table began at 10:54 p.m. ET, with 3.2K/6.4K blinds and antes worth 900:

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Seat 1: Bernardo "bedias" Dias (221,312 in chips)
Seat 2: NICOAA1000 (329,666 in chips)
Seat 3: harrrrmonica (441,706 in chips)
Seat 4: rguimaraes (277,170 in chips)
Seat 5: Davydenko123 (358,838 in chips)
Seat 6: rpoll352 (332,213 in chips)
Seat 7: njåguar (150,268 in chips)
Seat 8: LearnToFlyy (448,035 in chips)
Seat 9: TanTanSWE (145,792 in chips)

A slow start

The players got one hand in before the 11 p.m. ET break. Portugal's rpoll352 took that one down from LearnToFlyy, who called 16K on the button before the flop and another 22.5K when it came T♦ 5♣ T♠ before checking the A♠ turn and folding to a bet of 64K on the 5♥ river. rpoll352 took down that 96K-chip pot and another worth 85K a few hands later after the break against Russia's harrrrmonica that actually moved the Portuguese player ever so slightly into the lead.

Things got worse for harrrrmonica, who made the Super Tuesday final table in November and December of last year and then again less than a month ago, only a few hands after that. The Russian opened for 16K in early position holding A♣ Q♥. Sweden's TanTanSWE jammed for 178K in the small blind with T♦ T♣ and harrrrmonica called, doubling the Swede up to 373K when the board came 5♦ 4♥ 9♥ K♦ 6♠. That dropped the Russian to 242K, back out of the top portion of the leaderboard. LearnToFlyy avoided the same fate and soon snapped back to reclaim the lead after flopping a set of sevens and squeezing out some value on the river for a 198K-chip pot against Lithuania's Davydenko123.

Eight hands later, with blinds and antes up to 4.5K/9K/1125, the same two players would face off again, this time with more on the line. Davydenko123 opened the pot for 18K in middle position and the action folded to LearnToFlyy, who raised to 39K on the button. Davydenko123 jammed for 295K quickly when the blinds folded, and LearnToFlyy, holding Q♣ Q♥, called without hesitation. Those queens held up against the Lithuanian player's J♠ J♦ on the 9♠ K♥ 7♠ A♠ A♥, LearnToFlyy won the 613K-chip pot, and Davydenko123 bowed out in 9th place ($8,980.60).

Davydenko123 was the only player eliminated in the first hour of final-table play, but the chip counts had shifted plenty after 50 hands that also included a double-up by past Sunday Million champion njåguar with pocket fives against A-Q and an uncalled all-in bet on the river by TanTanSWE to win a 391K-chip pot from LearnToFlyy:

Seat 1: Bernardo "bedias" Dias (251,325 in chips)
Seat 2: NICOAA1000 (219,616 in chips)
Seat 3: harrrrmonica (163,139 in chips)
Seat 4: rguimaraes (223,650 in chips)
Seat 6: rpoll352 (517,856 in chips)
Seat 7: njåguar (559,094 in chips)
Seat 8: LearnToFlyy (401,797 in chips)
Seat 9: TanTanSWE (368,523 in chips)

Very little of the action so far had involved last week's champion, Bernardo "bedias" Dias. That changed on the first hand after the second break of the final table, and dramatically at that. rpoll352 opened the betting in the hijack seat for 26K and Dias called form the big blind, bringing a 4♥ 5♥ 8♦ flop. Dias checked, rpoll352 bet 33K into the 70K-chip pot, and then Dias re-raised all-in for 221K total. rpoll352 snap-called and showed A♣ A♠, which led Dias' 8♣ 7♣ but still had to dodge several outs on the turn and river. Both those cards, the K♣ and K♦, were safe to the aces, ending Dias' quest for a second consecutive Super Tuesday title in 8th place ($12,172.50).

rpoll352's wild ride

That massive 514K-chip pot gave rpoll352 an 825K-chip stack and a lead of 22 big blinds over second-place njåguar. Taking down five of the next 12 pots uncontested boosted that stack to a high point of 978K before harrrrmonica hit a pair of aces on the river with A♦ T♠ to win a 132K-chip pot and drop rpoll352 back to 914K. From there Portuguese player went on a wild ride that put a significant portion of that stack at risk with frequency. That got the entire table in a considerably more aggressive mood by its end and left harrrrmonica with the chip lead.

harrrrmonica's road started with a split pot after moving all-in before the flop with 9♠ 8♠ and having njåguar call with 9♦ 8♦. An orbit later the Lithuanian chipped a bit off rpoll352's stack, limping in on the button with A♦ T♠ and hitting a pair of aces on the river for a 132K-chip pot.

Then TanTanSWE got in on the action, losing a flip with A♦ K♠ against the all-in rguimaraes' Q♠ Q♦ for 330K to drop to 172K, only to make most of it back five hands later in an all-in flip with 9♦ 9♠ against rpoll352's Q♠ J♠. With a 215K-chip pot two hands after that, taken down with a bet on the river of a board that showed a jack-high straight, TanTanSWE had gone from facing elimination to third place and some breathing room.

The table dynamic up to this point had been properly aggressive but not over the top. The next big confrontation changed that for good, starting innocently when harrrrmonica limped for 14K on the button. rguimaraes completed in the small blind, and then rpoll352 jammed for 791K in the big blind. harrrrmonica didn't take long to call with A♥ T♥, which had rpoll352's A♣ 5♠ in need of some help from the board. The 9♣ K♣ 7♠ offered a backdoor club draw and not much else, and the 4♣ turn left rpoll352 looking for only a five. The 7♥ was no good, giving harrrrmonica the 562K-chip pot and dropping rpoll352 to 523K.

Another pair-over-pair situation led to the next knockout two hands later. Medium stack LearnToFlyy picked up Q♦ Q♠ against short stack NICOAA1000's 4♠ 4♦, and the deck failed to deliver a miracle on the K♥ A♣ 2♦ T♦ 6♣ board. With that NICOAA1000, who won the Super Tuesday in a three-way chop when the tournament was about half its current size back in 2011, bowed out in 7th place ($17,582.50).

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rpoll352 was right back in the thick of the action on the next hand, opening the betting before the flop for 35K and getting two calls, from njåguar on the button and TanTanSWE in the big blind. Both called 49K from rpoll352 on the J♦ 6♠ 6♥ flop, then all three checked through the J♠ turn. TanTanSWE led for 38K into the 274K-chip pot on the 3♣ river and took it down without a fight. Between that and a failed raising war with njåguar on the next hand that ended before the flop, rpoll352 had dropped to 386K. That would turn out to be the low point, as the action kept revolving around the Portuguese player.

A cautious approach won rpoll352 a 161K-chip pot against harrrrmonica when the former's A♥ J♦ hit the flop for middle pair and the latter's caught bottom pair. Eight hands after that njåguar opened for the minimum raise to 32K and rpoll352 came over the top, holding 7♥ 7♣ and covering njåguar's stack by 126K. After dipping into the time bank, njåguar finally made the call with A♦ Q♦, only to have the coin flip turn into a long-shot when the 5♣ 7♦ 9♣ flop gave rpoll352 a set. Backdoor draws disappeared as the 3♥ turn and 4♠ river came down, and njåguar's tournament ended in 6th place ($22,992.50).

Now up to 898K, rpoll352 wasn't done yet. Action folded to the small blind, where the Portuguese player opened for 48K with A♥ J♦. That turned into a second consecutive coin flip when LearnToFlyy raised all-in for 317K total in the big blind, holding 9♠ 9♥, and rpoll352 called. The 8♥ J♣ 7♠ flop moved rpoll352 ahead but kept LearnToFlyy alive with a straight draw. The draw fell apart on the 2♥ turn and 6♦ river, though, and LearnToFlyy came down in 5th place ($29,755).

Down and up and back down again

After taking down the next four pots uncontested, rpoll352 had finished off a big comeback by taking out two players and chipping up into a 42-big-blind lead:

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Seat 3: harrrrmonica (417,269 in chips)
Seat 4: rguimaraes (259,550 in chips)
Seat 6: rpoll352 (1,397,687 in chips)
Seat 9: TanTanSWE (630,494 in chips)

TanTanSWE narrowed that lead a few hands later, calling bets from rpoll352 before and after the flop and on the turn before the river left the board reading Q♠ T♣ 4♠ 9♣ A♥. rpoll352 checked for the first time in the hand and folded when TanTanSWE jammed for 398K into the 508K-chip pot. The lead then disappeared on the next hand almost as quickly as it had come about, after rguimaraes opened all-in for 293K with J♦ J♥ and rpoll352 called on the button with A♣ J♠. Without an ace on the K♠ 3♥ 4♦ 6♦ Q♦ board, rguimaraes doubled to 622K, just over 10 big blinds behind the rock-and-rolling rpoll352 and five more behind new chip leader TanTanSWE.

rpoll352 let off the gas for a bit, but the the others filled the void. Six hands later TanTanSWE opened for a minimum raise to 36K and short-stacked harrrrmonica jammed for 365K on the button with A♥ 8♥. rguimaraes held K♥ K♦ in the small blind and re-raised to 509K, clearing out the field only to be left in search of two outs after the flop came 3♥ 7♠ A♦. The 9♠ turn and Q♦ gave harrrrmonica the 794K in the middle, and rguimaraes was left on the short stack with less than 10 big blinds.

Two hands later those chips went in the middle under the gun with A♥ T♥. rpoll352 raised on the button and showed T♦ T♠ when the others folded, then caught the case ten on the T♣ 6♦ 2♠ flop to leave rguimaraes with a 0.3-percent chance to survive the hand. The A♣ on the turn raised that figure to 4.5 percent, but hope died on the vine with the 9♣ river card. The 314K-chip pot went to rpoll352, and rguimaraes left the tournament in 4th place ($42,198).

A little bravado

Three-handed play began with blinds and antes at 9K/18K/2250 and a tight race at the table:

Seat 3: harrrrmonica (807,538 in chips)
Seat 6: rpoll352 (964,818 in chips)
Seat 9: TanTanSWE (932,644 in chips)

There was brief talk of a deal but harrrrmonica, who made it this far but no further during the Super Tuesday last November, quickly nixed it. "looked at your p5s profile," the Russian typed ot TanTanSWE. "there is a great phrase there 'bout how you are ready to play anyone. so lets put your money where your mouth is." That got a bemused "naaah thats really gonna bite me now? :D" from TanTanSWE as harrrrmonica raised before the 8♦ 6♣ J♦ flop, bet there, and then won the 210K-chip pot when rpoll352 wouldn't call another bet on the 9♣ turn.

harrrrmonica won the next two pots with cards on the board to move from last place into a narrow lead. Over the next 40 hands the pots mostly stayed small and the Russian player generally stayed ahead of the others. Then came a bombshell with the blinds and antes at 12.5K/25K/3125 after TanTanSWE raised the minimum to 50K and harrrrmonica jammed in the small blind. TanTanSWE called all-in for 691K and had A♥ K♣ to dominate harrrrmonica's K♦ J♦, but the J♠ 7♥ K♥ turned that upside down and left TanTanSWE looking for an ace. The T♣ on the turn didn't deliver, and the K♠ on the river made a full house for harrrrmonica. That beat three kings and knocked the Swede out in 3rd place ($55,452.50).

Fourth time's the charm

After facing elimination at rpoll352's hand with seven players left, harrrrmonica now held the lead against the Portuguese player with no one else left at the table:

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Seat 3: harrrrmonica (2,118,562 in chips)
Seat 6: rpoll352 (586,438 in chips)

rpoll352 was able to make it a fight with an early double-up after limping on the button with K♥ 6♥, catching top pair against harrrrmonica's 8♦ 2♦ and bottom pair for a 953K-chip pot. The two kept jabbing at one another for another 10 hands before rpoll352 landed another big blow, laying back after turning top pair with A♣ 3♦ and luring harrrrmonica into bluffing with a broken straight draw on the river of a 6♦ K♣ T♥ A♠ 7♠ board.

That pot moved rpoll352 up to 1.17M, and within four more hands the Portuguese player had actually retaken the lead. But that turned out be the final high point of a wild final table ride three hands after that. harrrrmonica opened for a minimum raise to 60K on the button and rpoll352 called in the big blind to take the 7♣ 5♠ J♥ flop. rpoll352 check-called 62K there and 132K more on the 7♠ turn, building a 517K-chip pot before checking again on the K♦ river. This time harrrrmonica bet 246K and rpoll352 hit up the time bank before deciding on a final call. harrrrmonica turned over J♣ J♠ for the flopped set and turned full house.

That was good for the 1.01M chips in the pot and a lead nearly as big as it had been when heads-up play started. Three hands later harrrrmonica would extend that lead one final time, raising all-in from the big blind after rpoll352 opened for the minimum on the button. rpoll352 called with A♦ 2♥ but trailed harrrrmonica's A♠ 7♦. The board came down K♣ Q♥ 3♠ 6♥ T♠, leaving both players with ace high and putting the seven of diamonds in play and giving the pot to harrrrmonica to close the tournament out.

rpoll352's wild ride might not have ended with a Super Tuesday title, but the $75,740 runner-up prize is bigger than the Portuguese player's previous six largest scores combined so it will probably help to soothe the pain of just missing out. Plus there's always next time, as champion harrrrmonica can attest. After finishing third, eighth, and ninth in three appearances at Super Tuesday final tables since November last year, the Russian player's persistence paid off with the win and a career-best PokerStars score of $102,790. Congratulations to both players for breaking through at a very entertaining final table.

5/5/15 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants: 541
Prize pool: 63
Places paid: $541,000

1. harrrrmonica (Russia) $102,790
2. rpoll352 (Portugal) $75,740
3. TanTanSWE (Sweden) $55,452.50
4. rguimaraes (Portugal) $42,198
5. LearnToFlyy (United Kingdom) $29,755
6. njåguar (Canada) $22,992.50
7. NICOAA1000 (Brazil) $17,582.50
8. Bernardo "bedias" Dias (Brazil) $12,172.50
9. Davydenko123 (Lithuania) $8,980.60

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Super Tuesday