marado86 takes prize, tops massive 1/26/16 Super Tuesday field for $122K
They were deep into the 12th hour of this week's Super Tuesday when just two players remained -- Sweden's C. Darwin2 and marado86 of Switzerland. C. Darwin2 had begun the heads-up duel with a big advantage, but marado86 fought back to grab the edge and finally claim the title, earning a big $122,472 first prize for doing so.
It was a massive turnout tonight with 648 players taking part in the $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament -- a big jump from last week's 524 and in fact the largest Super Tuesday field since April 2015. Here's the story of marado86's triumph.
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It took about five hours and 45 minutes for the tournament to play down to 72 players with Amadi_017 being the unfortunate one to finish one spot out of the cash. At that point Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov topped the counts, looking to add yet another Super Tuesday title to his collection. He's won the event twice before (in April 2013 then again in July 2013). Vezhenkov also has a WCOOP title, a SCOOP title, and won the Sunday Million last November, so it was no surprise to see his name atop the counts once again.
By the seven-and-a-half-hour mark of the tournament just 18 players remained, with Team PokerStars Pro Online member Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara (28th), Marvin "Ron Jovi 7" Rettenmaier (22nd), EPT10 Barcelona Main Event winner Tom "hitthehole" Middleton (21st), and T.J. "1BigAceHole" Ulmer (20th) among the recent knockouts. At that point C. Darwin2 had moved up into the chip lead and Vezhenkov was still in the mix with an above average stack.
cwirek1982 (18th), Garrin4e (17th), and Mojje87 (16th) were the next out, each earning $5,184. Fred "Fred_Brink" Brink (15th), deivid29 (14th), and bigboss827 (13th) then successively hit the rail, picking up $6,480 apiece. Then Timothy "Tim0thee" Adams (12th), OffpoZition (11th), and after a long final table bubble Manni1822 (10th) were knocked out, each picking up $7,776 cashes.
With C. Darwin2 still the chip leader, the final table was underway.
Seat 1: marado86 (Switzerland) -- 106,668
Seat 2: Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov (Russia) -- 379,356
Seat 3: C. Darwin2 (Sweden) -- 627,178
Seat 4: imluckbox (Australia) -- 226,166
Seat 5: bartek901 (Mexico) -- 210,463
Seat 6: sandos1995 (Russia) -- 476,602
Seat 7: Leo "ISILDRooN" Nordin (Sweden) -- 410,054
Seat 8: rudisf (Poland) -- 510,167
Seat 9: BOOGANDEHAH (Canada) -- 293,346
On just the third hand of the final table, the blinds were 4,000/8,000 with a 1,000 ante when C. Darwin2 opened for 17,600 from the cutoff seat and imluckbox called from the button. The flop came J♠J♦2♣. C. Darwin2 checked, imluckbox bet 24,780, C. Darwin2 raised to 49,560, and imluckbox called. The turn then brought the 8♣ and a leading bet of 56,000 from C. Darwin2, and imluckbox called again, leaving 142,661 behind.
The river brought the Q♣ and an all-in shove from C. Darwin2, and imluckbox called all in, turning over 9♠9♥ for jacks and nines. But C. Darwin2 had J♥5♥ for trip jacks, and imluckbox was out in ninth.
The remaining eight players then played on for more than half an hour more, after which the stakes had been upped to 5,000/10,000/1,250. Then bartek901 raised to 22,000 from middle position, rudisf three-bet all in for 240,282 from the small blind, and bartek901 called all in for just a little less.
bartek901 had A♠Q♠ and the preflop edge over rudisf's A♥6♠, but a 6♥6♦7♥ flop suddenly swung the edge to rudisf in a big way. The K♣ came on the turn, making the river no matter and sending bartek901 to the rail in eighth.
About an orbit later they'd moved up another level, and after sandos1995 min-raised to 24,000 from middle position, BOOGANDEHAH called from the button and the flop came T♦Q♥6♥. BOOGANDEHAH checked, sandos1995 continued for 32,250, BOOGANDEHAH check-raised all in for 108,610, and sandos1995 called.
BOOGANDEHAH had Q♦9♦ for top pair of queens while sandos1995 had J♥T♥ for tens and a flush draw. The turn then brought the 3♥ to complete that flush, making the A♦ river inconsequential and stopping BOOGANDEHAH's Super Tuesday run in seventh.
They crossed into the tourney's 11th hour, and soon it was Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov choosing to open-shove a stack of 180,156 (about 15 big blinds) from under the gun and getting one caller in C. Darwin2 from a seat over. Vezhenkov had K♣Q♦ and needed help versus C. Darwin2's A♣K♥, but the board came 2♣K♦8♣5♣A♠ to give the latter two pair and stop Vezhenkov in sixth.
About 10 minutes later rudisf min-raised to 28,000 from the cutoff, C. Darwin2 made it 82,000 to go from the small blind, rudisf pushed all in for 351,770, and C. Darwin2 called. It was 8♠8♣ for rudisf and A♦K♣ for C. Darwin2, and after the 3♣T♠4♣ flop and 7♦ turn the at-risk player was in good shape to double up. But the A♥ fell on fifth street to pair C. Darwin2, and rudisf was felted in fifth.
Before long C. Darwin2 had built a stack of more than 2 million while the other three all had less than a fourth of that amount, and the others took turns doubling through each other while C. Darwin2 continued to thrive.
Then came a hand that saw C. Darwin2 open with a 2.5x raise to 40,000 from the small blind, sandos1995 three-bet push for 354,168 from the next seat, and C. Darwin2 call. Both players had been dealt an ace, but C. Darwin2's A♥T♥ was ahead of sandos1995's A♦8♣. The board came 4♦K♣J♠2♣6♥, meaning the kickers played and sandos1995 had been eliminated in fourth.
Two minutes later C. Darwin2 was raising again, this time to 33,600 from the button, and it was Leo "ISILDRooN" Nordin reraise-pushing for 308,122 from the small blind. C. Darwin2 called, showing A♣4♣ versus Nordin's K♥J♠. The five community cards came 4♥7♣8♥, then 3♣, then T♠, giving C. Darwin2 a pair of fours and leaving Nordin unimproved, thereby knocking Nordin out in third.
With that pot C. Darwin2 had a commanding lead to start heads-up play with about 2.75 million to marado86's not quite 490,000. The pair battled for about 20 minutes more, then at the 11-hour break marado86 had just chipped up over 1 million to C. Darwin's 2.22 million.
During the break marado86 asked "wanna look?" but C. Darwin2 responded "let's play," the stern look of the John Collier portrait of the evolutionist seeming to confirm the position that no deal would be discussed.
About 15 minutes later marado86 had been whittled back down to about 630,000, then came a preflop all-in confrontation pitting marado86's K♣J♦ versus C. Darwin2's 4♥4♦. A jack fell on the turn to save marado86 with a big double-up. Then a short while after that marado86 chipped up further to wrestle the lead away from C. Darwin2.
They continued on past the tournament's 11-and-a-half-hour mark, by which time marado86 was up over 2.63 million to C. Darwin's stack of a little more than 600,000. Then with the blinds 15,000/30,000, marado86 raised to 67,500 from the button, C. Darwin2 shoved all in, and marado86 called.
C. Darwin2: Q♥J♣
It was bad news for C. Darwin2, with the K♦6♠Q♦ flop making it worse by giving marado86 two pair. The 3♠ then came on the turn, making the 8♣ river meaningless and giving the last pot and all of the chips to marado86, whose avatar showing the famous image of Argentina's footballer legend Diego Maradona celebrating the 1986 World Cup victory seemed highly appropriate.
Congratulations to marado86 for outlasting a tough (and huge) field and a challenging heads-up opponent to win this week's Super Tuesday and one of the biggest first prizes in a long time.
1/26/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Prize pool: $648,000.00
Places paid: 72
1. marado86 (Switzerland) $122,472.00
2. C. Darwin2 (Sweden) $89,748.00
3. Leo "ISILDRooN" Nordin (Sweden) $66,096.00
4. sandos1995 (Russia) $49,896.00
5. rudisf (Poland) $34,992.00
6. Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov (Russia) $27,540.00
7. BOOGANDEHAH (Canada) $21,060.00
8. bartek901 (Mexico) $14,580.00
9. imluckbox (Australia) $9,914.40
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.