Super Tuesday: Second title, $71K in three-way deal for Run dat Game (8/18/15)

The Super Tuesday field was down tonight for the first time in weeks as Season 12 of the EPT got underway in Barcelona with Neymar Jr's charity home game. The 467 runners made this the smallest Super Tuesday since the end of the World Series in Vegas last month, but their combined buy-ins were still enough to produce a scheduled first-place prize of more than $89,000. And the overall level of play was elite as usual, with a former Super Tuesday champ eventually earning his second title after a nearly three-year wait.

There were 264 players remaining in the field as late registration closed and Level 11 began at 5:00 p.m. ET, solidifying the prize pool at $467,000. Another two hours and 48 minutes of poker elapsed before the money bubble popped for Denmark's DonVitto3000 in 55th place. Only 44 players remained by the time the break rolled around seven minutes later, and just 13 of them were still in the running when the next break arrived at 9:55 p.m. ET.

Another 40 minutes had passed and the game was being played with 3,200/6,400/800 blinds and antes at 10:35 p.m. ET when Israel's hamanof left in 10th place on the wrong end of a coin flip. That set up a tough final table lineup:

Super Tuesday 8-8-15 ft.jpg

Seat 1: AB_Poker_12 (139,291 in chips)
Seat 2: Joao "jricardosc" Fernandes (116,798 in chips)
Seat 3: Jan "hownorez" Nakládal (137,456 in chips)
Seat 4: LrdofDonkTwn (447,375 in chips)
Seat 5: Also11 (150,030 in chips)
Seat 6: Andrew "UlDuffer" Sweeney (421,317 in chips)
Seat 7: Chris "Run dat Game" Lovett (221,631 in chips)
Seat 8: Jimmy "jays94" Molloy (113,897 in chips)
Seat 9: nailuj90 (587,205 in chips)

There was plenty of action over the first 40 minutes of play, but no knockouts. It wasn't until the blinds had risen to 4,500/9,000/1,125 that two short stacks finally collided. Past Super Tuesday champ Joao "jricardosc" Fernandes opened all-in for 113K on the button with J♣ 9♥, followed immediately by an all-in raise for 17K more by Jan "hownorez" Nakládal, a 2013 SCOOP champ in shorthanded no-limit hold'em who held A♥ Q♥ in the small blind. A pair of aces on the 7♦ A♣ K♥ 6♥ 5♣ board gave hownorez the 245K-chip pot, and Fernandes hit the rail in 9th place ($7,752.20)

Two hands later hownorez claimed another knockout, this time after calling with 7♣ 7♥ after Jimmy "jays94" Molloy moved all-in for 82K with A♠ K♦. Big Slick was still live after the 2♥ J♥ 2♣ flop but the 7♠ left it drawing dead on the turn. The 9♠ river was a formality, and jays94 was out in 8th place ($10,507.50).

That brief burst of action was good enough to boost hownorez's stack to 387,562 chips, good for third place behind Andrew "UlDuffer" Sweeney's 476,127 and nailuj90's leading 799,531. Unfortunately things would only get worse for hownorez, as the Czech player was on the losing side of three of the next four major pots.

The first saw hownorez open for 18K with A♠ 7♠ and call when Also11 moved all-in for 87K with T♣ T♦. A pair of sevens on the 5♥ Q♦ 8♣ J♠ 7♥ board was no good and Also11 doubled to 195K. Four hands later, hownorez picked up 6♥ 6♠ on the same hand as AB_Poker_12's A♥ A♠, dropping another 220K to those aces when they hit a set to end up at 125K.

Chris "Run dat Game" Lovett broke things up by doubling up to 283K with pocket aces, but within another orbit hownorez finally would take a bow. The Czech player opened all-in for 146K on the button , holding A♦ 7♥, and was called by UlDuffer in the big blind with the dominating A♠ Q♠. The kicker played on the 2♥ 4♥ 2♦ A♣ T♣ board to give UlDuffer the 300K-chip pot, and hownorez left the tournament in 7th place ($15,177.50).

The blinds were up to 5,000/10,000/1,250 when short-stacked Also11 opened all-in for 109K, holding A♥ 9♦. AB_Poker_12 held another pair, this time T♣ T♠ in the big blind, and called. The pair held up as the board came 3♣ 5♣ 6♦ K♦ Q♠, and Also11 finished in 6th place ($19,847.50).

With half of the table out of the way, the chip counts looked like this:

Super Tuesday 8-8-15 ft five-handed.jpg

Seat 1: AB_Poker_12 (435,902 in chips)
Seat 4: LrdofDonkTwn (333,933 in chips)
Seat 6: Andrew "UlDuffer" Sweeney (510,302 in chips)
Seat 7: Chris "Run dat Game" Lovett (267,667 in chips)
Seat 9: nailuj90 (787,196 in chips)

LrdofDonkTwn cut past Sunday Warm-Up and WCOOP finalist nailuj90 out of the chip lead on the last hand before the midnight break, calling the fourth bet all-in for 317K from the big blind after nailuj90 pressed the issue on the button with A♣ T♦. A king on the flop was all it took to move LrdofDnkTwn into the lead with 648K and drop nailuj90 to 460K.

The next action came 12 hands later when LrdofDonkTwn raised to 30K on the button and Run dat Game called in the big blind to bring a 8♠ T♥ 5♥ flop. Run dat Game checked, LrdofDonkTwn bet 32K, and after some thought Run dat Game came back with a check-raise to 86K. LrdofDonkTwn insta-called there and then again when Run dat Game shoved for 234K on the 3♠ turn, showing T♣ 9♦ for top pair. Run dat Game's K♠ T♦ had top pair, better kicker, and after the K♣ river was good for top two pair and the 719K-chip pot.

Run dat Game remained in the lead just ahead of nailuj90 for the next 12 hands. Then came A♠ K♥ on the button for a min-raise and a call after AB_Poker_12 had moved all-in for 281K. AB_Poker_12's 8♥ 8♠ was in a slight lead before the 7♦ A♥ K♠ flop made top two pair for the big stack. The A♣ on the turn left AB_Poker_12 drawing dead, and the past Sunday Million finalist finished in 5th place ($26,152).

Both UlDuffer and LrdofDonkTwn were relatively short-stacked with less than 20 big blinds each now. The latter got the jump on the action but did so in bad shape, ending up all-in with 8♠ 8♣ against Run dat Game's J♥ J♠. Then the flop came 8♥ 8♦ J♦, and just like that the former underdog was 97.7 percent to win the pot. No jack appeared on the turn or river, and LrdofDonkTwn dodged a major bullet.

Five hands later it was UlDuffer facing the same situation: all-in for 331K with a smaller pair against pocket jacks. This time LrdofDonkTwn was on the other end of things and would win when 5♥ 5♦ couldn't run down the jacks on the 8♣ 9♠ 3♥ 2♠ 9♥ board. With that, UlDuffer stepped aside in 4th place ($37,360).

That left these three players ready to make a deal with the blinds and antes at 8K/16K/2K:

Super Tuesday 8-8-15 ft three-handed.jpg

Seat 4: LrdofDonkTwn (950,134 in chips)
Seat 7: Chris "Run dat Game" Lovett (677,336 in chips)
Seat 9: nailuj90 (707,530 in chips)

Soon they had reached an agreement that left $8,000 on the table for the winner and the game was back underway. It wasn't until 1:07 a.m. ET that all the back-and-forth action finally resulted in someone claiming a post-deal payout. LrdofDonkTwn jammed for 406K with Q♦ J♦, Run dat Game called with A♣ 8♠, and the board ran out 6♠ 2♣ 5♠ K♣ 8♥ to give Run dat Game the pot unimproved. That left LrdofDonkTwn on the outside in 3rd place ($67,283).

Chris Lovett lived up to his nickname during the 16-hand heads-up match, running the show and wearing nailuj90 down from 1.1M chips to 744K thanks in large part to two pots won at showdown in the early going. Then came the decisive hand, opened for 43K on the button by Lovett. nailuj90 called in the big blind and check-called 43K on the 5♦ A♠ 7♠ flop, bringing the 7♣ on the turn. This time nailuj90 led for 100K, and Lovett called after some thought to bring the 5♣ on the river. nailuj90 deliberated for 10 seconds or so before moving all-in and Lovett snap-called, showing A♣ 7♥ for sevens full of aces. nailuj90 had 9♣ 8♠ for a busted straight draw, and the tournament came to an end.

Finishing as runner-up gave nailuj90 $66,416.80 from the deal. Run dat Game, meanwhile, earned the extra $8,000 on the table for a total post-deal prize of $71,500. Then there's the matter of a second career Super Tuesday title, something very few players ever accomplish. Congratulations to Chris Lovett on a fine performance against a tough field to earn that distinction.

8/18/15 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants: 467
Prize pool: $467,000
Places paid: 54

1. Chris "Run dat Game" Lovett (Mexico) $71,500*
2. nailuj90 (Germany) $66,416.80*
3. LrdofDonkTwn (Mexico) $67,283*
4. Andrew "UlDuffer" Sweeney (Ireland) $37,360
5. AB_Poker_12 (Canada) $26,152
6. Also11 (Austria) $19,847.50
7. Jan "hownorez" Nakládal (Czech Republic) $15,177.50
8. Jimmy "jays94" Molloy (Canada) $10,507.50
9. Joao "jricardosc" Fernandes (Brazil) $7,752.20
* - denotes results of a three-way deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Super Tuesday