EzPaTuLa does it, wins 8/16/16 Super Tuesday, $57K
EzPaTuLa started the final table of this week's Super Tuesday toward the back of the chip counts, facing a table full of past major PokerStars tournament winners and finalists. Then one early win against a fellow short stack spiraled into a string of knockouts, propelling the player from Mexico to a first career Super Tuesday title.
Late registration closed after four hours at 6 p.m. ET with 295 players registered, giving the prize pool a rare overlay of five buy-ins. Only 85 players remained at that point, with the United Kingdom's eustys6 leading the way at more than 245,000 chips.
Two hours later the money bubble popped when South Korea's bootopia moved in from the button with A♦ T♠, Argentina's CHUNI98 four-bet all-in with A♠ K♠, and a king hit the flop. That began the payouts in 39th place ($2,509.50) and set the stage for the push to the final table, with Finland's nopee66 (494,349 chips), eustys6 (431,237), and the United Kingdom's Keiruja (428,722) leading the field.
All three of the leaders from the money bubble would still be in contention when Switzerland's amountain popped the final table bubble at 10:44 p.m. ET, as would CHUNI98, setting this lineup:
Seat 1: ¿¿toneecho?? (721,249 in chips)
Seat 2: nopee66 (649,828 in chips)
Seat 3: EzPaTuLa (597,439 in chips)
Seat 4: gringenkov (531,571 in chips)
Seat 5: tua133 (1,385,505 in chips)
Seat 6: eustys6 (1,272,987 in chips)
Seat 7: jays94 (1,359,891 in chips)
Seat 8: CHUNI98 (249,950 in chips)
Seat 9: Keiruja (606,580 in chips)
The 10K/20K/2K blinds and antes had CHUNI98 short-stacked as the final table began, and unsurprisingly the player from Argentina ended up being the first to depart. CHUNI98 dropped half of that starting stack before picking up T♣ T♠ in the small blind and moving in over the top of an under-the-gun raise by SCOOP 2015 finalist ¿¿toneecho??. ¿¿toneecho?? called with A♠ A♥, dodged a gutshot straight draw, and held on to bust CHUNI98 in ninth.
nopee66 followed three hands later, despite getting in as a dominant favorite after shoving on the button with A♦ K♦ and getting heads-up with EzPaTuLa's A♠ T♥. But the all-spade 3♠ 4♠ J♠ T♠ 8♠ board gave EzPaTuLa, who won Event #43-M of SCOOP 2016, the nut flush, knocking out nopee66 in eighth.
EzPaTuLa played the other side of a dominated-ace matchup to score another knockout 15 minutes later. Calling with A♦ T♦ on the button after ¿¿toneecho?? opened all-in for 323K with A♥ 2♦ in the cutoff, EzPaTuLa won the pot via kicker when the board came down 7♥ 9♠ 5♥ 6♠ 3♥, sending ¿¿toneecho?? to the rail in seventh.
Another 15 minutes passed before another pair-over-pair confrontation took out Keiruja. The player from the United Kingdom, who won the Sunday Million exactly one year ago today and finished second in the 6/28/16 Super Tuesday, held 9♠ 9♥ in the small blind and moved all-in for 554K over the top of tua133's opening 75K-chip raise. tua133 called with J♣ J♥, the bigger pair held on the 6♣ 3♠ 4♥ 3♣ K♦ board, and Keiruja bowed out in sixth.
Heading into the break that closed out the evening of August 16th, EzPaTuLa had control of the table with 3.2M chips, twice as many as eustys6 and well in front of the other three players remaining at the table. SCOOP 2016 runner-up jays94 had just 331K but managed to double through EzPaTuLa after calling a raise before the flop and moving all-in after it came Q♣ 6♠ 6♥, a move that surely looked like a stop-and-go but was actually a value bet with Q♥ 9♠ and top pair. EzPaTuLa called with A♥ K♠ and whiffed on the turn and river, keeping jays94 in the game.
jays94 doubled through EzPaTuLa again three orbits later with another stop-and-go-looking move that belied top pair, climbing to 780K and dropping EzPaTuLa's stack to 2.34M - nearly 500K behind the new leader, eustys6. Then the break came and went, and the next hand would send EzPaTuLa's fortunes swinging back in the other direction.
Once again the chip leader after some pot-stealing, EzPaTuLa opened the pot for 88K on the button. SCOOP 2012 winner tua133 was the lone caller in the big blind, checking the 2♣ 7♠ J♠ flop and letting EzPaTuLa bet 97K before moving all-in over the top for 554K total. EzPaTuLa called quickly and showed J♣ 8♣ for top pair, good for 77.1 percent equity against tua133's pair of deuces with K♥ 2♠. The A♣ turn and 3♦ river gave EzPaTuLa the 1.3M-chip pot, and tua133 was gone in fifth.
EzPaTuLa leaned on the other players and steadily chipped up via outright theft. Then jays94 tried to double through the big stack once again, only to find EzPaTuLa holding a real hand. jays94 opened all-in for 589K with K♦ 4♦ and EzPaTuLa called with 8♦ 8♥, which became a set on the turn of the 6♠ J♣ Q♣ 8♣ 2♠ board, knocking out jays94 in fourth.
Just four minutes passed before EzPaTuLa dropped the hammer on the lone remaining short stack. EzPaTuLa opened for 100K in the small blind with A♦ Q♣, gringenkov, a Sunday Million winner in 2015, jammed for 609K with J♦ 6♦ in the big blind. EzPaTuLa called and hit a full house on the K♣ Q♠ 2♦ A♥ A♠ board to end gringenkov's run in third.
The five-minute heads-up battle saw eustys6 begin with a three-to-one chip deficit and only sink further as EzPaTuLa kept up the pressure. eustys6 held on looking for a strong hand and found as good as could be hoped for in K♣ K♥. But EzPaTuLa, who had opened for 125K on the button, called eustys6's three-bet to 300K with A♣ J♠ and promptly caught top pair on the 8♦ Q♠ A♠. eustys6 led for 350K into the 610K-chip pot, then called all-in with just an 8.5-percent chance to pull out a win. The A♥ turn and 5♦ river gave EzPaTuLa three of a kind and brought this week's installment of the Super Tuesday to its end.
8/16/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 NL Hold'em) results
Total prize pool: $300,000
Places paid: 39
1. EzPaTuLa (Mexico) $57,210
2. eustys6 (United Kingdom) $42,548.28
3. gringenkov (Brazil) $31,644.06
4. jays94 (Canada) $23,534.34
5. tua133 (United Kingdom) $17,502.99
6. Keiruja (United Kingdom) $13,017.33
7. ¿¿toneecho?? (United Kingdom) $9,681.27
8. nopee66 (Finland) $7,200.18
9. CHUNI98 (Argentina) $5,354.91
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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.