Super Tuesday: touchmynuts1 chops, bests Toby Lewis heads-up for $73K (8/25/15)

This week's Super Tuesday was a bit of a sleeper compared to its usual self, what with EPT Barcelona in full swing. A crowd of 394 turned out for the tournament, which took the payouts down a bit from where they've been recently but didn't begin to touch the quality of the field. The final table was packed with as many recognizable players as you're likely to find at a PokerStars major. In the end a player who just missed out on a Super Tuesday title several years back was able to lay claim to some redemption.

The game got underway at 2:00 p.m. ET and 394 players had signed up by the time late registration closed three hours later. That made for a $394,000 prize pool with $76,239 set aside for the winner. The 209 players remaining at that point worked their way down to 45 over the next two hours and 45 minutes, when czechpepe busted in 46th place to pop the money bubble.

An hour later there were just 20 players, with 2015 TCOOP winner Chile's Nicolas "chilenocl" Yunis holding the lead, and the final table bubble had arrived one hour after that with him still ahead of these other eight players:

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Seat 1: Christian "C.K." Kruel (168,944 in chips)
Seat 2: Helio "hneves182" Neves (150,965 in chips)
Seat 3: Toby "810ofclubs" Lewis (241,248 in chips)
Seat 4: Juan Manuel "proggrezive" Copani (95,328 in chips)
Seat 5: Nicolas "chilenocl" Yunis (381,829 in chips)
Seat 6: Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou (355,508 in chips)
Seat 7: Jon "apestyles" Van Fleet (277,707 in chips)
Seat 8: actaml (101,302 in chips)
Seat 9: Valentyn "touchmynuts1″ Shabelnyk (197,169 in chips)

Two-time Super Tuesday champ Jon "apestyles" Van Fleet, who last made the final table here back in April, didn't have the chip lead as the final table got started. But he didn't have to wait long to close in on it. He opened Hand #5 for 12K with T♥ T♦ and went into the time bank before calling after his fellow past Super Tuesday champion, Argentina's Juan Manuel "proggrezive" Copani, moved all-in for 92K in the big blind. Copani held A♥ Q♦ and took the lead on the 7♠ 4♣ Q♠ flop, only to be left drawing dead with the T♠ appeared on the turn. The 2♠ came on the river and proggrezive bowed out in 9th place ($6,895).

The next significant pot, worth 148K after flopping top pair with A♦ K♠, also went to Van Fleet to propel him just ahead of Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou, who took 8th place in the 2014 WCOOP Main Event, for the lead. Both players grew their stacks ans the hands went by, while the rest of the table mostly had to wait its turn. Two-time Sunday 500 winner Helio "hneves182" Neves and past EPT champ and TCOOP winner Toby "810ofclubs" Lewis split a pot when Lewis' A♣ T♦ and Neves' A♦ 2♦ both made two pair with a king kicker on the river.

The short stacks were all looking for a chance to get in action and actaml found one on the next hand. apestyles opened for 16K and actaml, holding, re-raised all-in for 69K. Valentyn "touchmynuts1″ Shabelnyk, who chopped the Super Tuesday and then finished runner-up back in 2011, called with A♥ Q♥ and was drawing to 10 outs by the turn of the K♥ 4♣ 9♠ J♣ board. The A♠ was on of those 10, giving touchmynuts1 the 172K in the middle and eliminating actaml in 8th place ($9,456).

Six hands later daskalos20 opened under the gun with a minimum raise, holding T♣ T♥, and called when hneves182 moved all-in for 112K on the button. Neves' A♦ Q♠ didn't catch up on the 9♠ 4♥ 9♥ 5♠ T♦ board, knocking the Brazilian out in 7th place ($13,396).

daskalos20 backed into a king-high straight with K♥ Q♣ 12 hands later to finally move into an uncontested chip lead. With the board reading T♠ 6♦ 8♣ J♠ 9♣ and 79K in the pot, daskalos20 bet 77,777 and chilenocl check-called, only to muck. Two hands later the Chilean picked of A♠ 5♠ on the button and moved all-in over the top of Toby Lewis' 16K opener. Lewis went into the time bank with A♥ Q♣ and eventually called, leaving just 53K behind to contend with the 4K/8K/1K blinds and antes in the event of a loss. Instead the board came 4♥ J♣ Q♥ A♦ 3♦, Lewis won 230K with two pair, and chilenocl was gone in 6th place ($17,336).

Going out with a bang

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Seat 1: C.K. (134,036 in chips)
Seat 3: 810ofclubs (284,217 in chips)
Seat 6: daskalos20 (619,376 in chips)
Seat 7: apestyles (481,389 in chips)
Seat 9: touchmynuts1 (450,982 in chips)

The only player in immediate danger now was Christian "C.K." Kruel. But 35 hands later he was still cruising right along with 103K, while two of the big stacks took each other on in a hand that would change the course of the final table.

apestyles opened the betting for 20.5K under the gun and after some thought touchmynuts1 re-raised to 48.6K in the cutoff. The rest of the table cleared out of the way and apestyles eventually made it four bets and 117K to go, which seemed to almost drive touchmynuts1 away before he shoved all-in for 605K. That had Van Fleet covered but he snap-called with A♥ K♣ anyway, making him a 3-to-1 favorite over touchmynuts1's K♥ Q♣ before the flop came 7♦ Q♠ 6♥. The J♠ on the turn gave him seven outs, but the 9♣ on the river ended apestyles' run in 5th place ($22,458).

That moved touchmynuts1 over the 1-million-chip mark, nearly double that of daskalos20, three times more than Toby Lewis, and almost 10 times as much as Christian Kruel. It fell to daskalos20 to take out the short stack, who finally moved all-in for 63,500 with A♦ 6♣ on the 5,000/10,000/1,250 level after touchmynuts1 opened for 20,000 on the button. daskalos20 called in the big blind with K♥ 4♥ and touchmynuts1 folded. That gave daskalos20 the 157K-chip pot after the board came 5♣ 3♥ K♣ 4♣ T♠, and Christian "C.K." Kruel left in 4th place ($32,505).

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Toby Lewis was in dire straits with the game three-handed, holding 21 big blinds against stacks worth 67 and 107. Within five hands he found them even more dire after he re-raised all-in from the small blind with K♠ 6♠ over the top of touchmynuts1's opening raise on the button and daskalos20 moved all-in for 348K more from the big blind. touchmynuts1 got out of the way, leaving Lewis up against daskalos20's 7♦ 7♠. He went from being just 32 percent to win before the flop to 86 percent after it came K♦ 3♥ A♦. daskalos20 needed a seven and only a seven but didn't get it on the 3♣ turn or 2♣ river, and Lewis doubled into second place with 474K.

Lewis began chipping away at touchmynuts1's lead, climbing as high as 691K. daskalos20 limped in before the flop with a pair of queens from the small blind a few hands later and ended up losing out to touchmynuts1's K♥ 3♠, taking daskalos20 down to 191K. He chipped back up to 280K by the time he picked up K♣ T♥ in the big blind on the 6K/12K/1.5K level. He moved all those chips in after touchmynuts1 raised the minimum on the button, but touchmynuts1 called with A♦ A♣. The 4♥ 5♣ 4♠ 3♦ K♦ board gave daskalos20 kings and fours, but they were no good against the aces so he left in 3rd place ($43,340).

Take two

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Seat 3: Toby "810ofclubs" Lewis (532,816 in chips)
Seat 9: Valentyn "touchmynuts1″ Shabelnyk (1,437,184 in chips)

Toby Lewis offered to chop the prize pool up as the break began immediately after daskalos20's departure, and touchmynuts1, who chopped this tournament heads-up several years back, agreed to look at the numbers. They quickly reached a deal that left $8,000 on the table and got back to the game.

When Valentyn Shabelnyk chopped the Super Tuesday back in 2011 he'd been behind as heads-up play began. This time around he had a big lead to play with, and aside from an early pot where Lewis hit a straight to climb to 673K, Shabelnyk put it to consistent use en route to a win. He worked Lewis down to 316K after flopping two pair in the big blind with J♣ 6♥, and two hands later the tournament would end with a bang.

Lewis opened for the minimum on the button with Q♥ 3♦ and Shabelnyk simply called with K♦ K♠, bringing the J♦ T♥ 9♦ flop. Shabelnyk check-called Lewis' 42K-chip bet there, then check-raised all-in after making top set on the K♣ turn. Lewis called with the king-high straight and was poised to chip back up over 600K, but the 9♠ on the river made a full house for Shabelnyk, toppling Lewis' straight to end this week's installment of the Super Tuesday.

Lewis' share of the deal came to $60,278.39, a nice haul after spending much of the final table in the middle of the pack. After four years' wait, meanwhile, Shabelnyk finally laid claim to the winner's share of a Super Tuesday heads-up deal, worth $73,090.61. Congratulations to both players for outlasting a high-caliber final table.

8/25/15 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants: 394
Prize pool: $394,000
Places paid: 45

1. Valentyn "touchmynuts1″ Shabelnyk (Ukraine) $73,090.61*
2. Toby "810ofclubs" Lewis (United Kingdom) $60,278.39*
3. Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou (Cyprus) $43,340
4. Christian "C.K." Kruel (Brazil) $32,505
5. Jon "apestyles" Van Fleet (Canada) $22,458
6. Nicolas "chilenocl" Yunis (Chile) $17,336
7. Helio "hneves182" Neves (Brazil) $13,396
8. actaml (Poland) $9,456
9. Juan Manuel "proggrezive" Copani (Argentina) $6,895
* - denotes results of a heads-up deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Super Tuesday