Pollopopeye rules the roost for $74K, second Super Tuesday title (10-4-16)

Following a month of World Championship of Online Poker action that included a few multi-day special editions of the Super Tuesday with a $2,100 buy-in, the old faithful $1,050 version of the tournament returned to the PokerStars lineup this week. It's a format that Andoni "Pollopopeye" Larrabe Sanchez is familiar with and presumably enjoys, considering he won what was at the time the largest Super Tuesday ever back in 2013. (The "Special Editions," too - his 2012 SCOOP win was a Super Tuesday SE.) The prize for his second regular Super Tuesday title tonight may have been smaller, but victory against a high-quality field always tastes sweet - and no poker player ever has trouble finding a use for more than $74,000.

Pollopopeye!

A robust 417-player field turned out for this week's Super Tuesday, up from the 361 that turned out for the last installment before WCOOP 2016 began. With the $417,000 prize pool set and 62 players scheduled to cash, it took six hours of play to narrow the field down to the money bubble. There were 10 players with stacks worth six 6,000-chip big blinds or less at that point, with Bulgaria's bah23 the shortest at just over one big blind. The Bulgarian player was still holding on with less than half that 30 minutes later, just enough to squeeze into the money as Canada's srowplay U busted in 63rd place.

The next five minutes saw the first 14 cashers bust out, setting the tournament back on course toward the final table. From there it took another five and a half hard-fought hours of poker to eliminate three-time Super Tuesday finalist ALIN76poker on the bubble, setting up this lineup:

Seat 1: Thiago "KKremate" Crema (1,598,975 in chips)
Seat 2: TiltMeBig (1,029,840 in chips)
Seat 3: Andoni "Pollopopeye" Larrabe Sanchez (2,255,689 in chips)
Seat 4: Mayu "marroca5" Roca (485,113 in chips)
Seat 5: YedOr (2,400,692 in chips)
Seat 6: Conor "1_conor_b_1" Beresford (408,655 in chips)
Seat 7: Ivan "BanicIvan" Banic (568,672 in chips)
Seat 8: Pardal77 (1,160,029 in chips)
Seat 9: Nikita "fish2013" Bodyakovskiy (517,335 in chips)

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SCOOP 2016 winner Conor "1_conor_b_1" Beresford came in as the short stack and wasted no time trying for a double-up. He moved all-in for 405K from the cutoff after Andoni Larrabe Sanchez opened with a 60K min-raise in middle position, and then showed K♠ J♠ when Larrabe Sanchez called with Q♥ Q♠. The queens held up on the 8♣ 3♣ T♦ J♥ 8♠, and 1_conor_b_1 left in ninth.

Larrabe Sanchez, a two-time SCOOP winner in addition to his Super Tuesday win in 2013, tried for a second knockout two hands later. He opened for a min-raise under the gun with A♠ Q♦ and called when past SCOOP/WCOOP/Sunday Warm-Up winner Mayu "marroca5" Roca moved all-in immediately behind him, making two pair with the same river card that gave Roca's T♣ T♥ a Broadway straight and the 1M-chip pot.

Ivan "BanicIvan" Banic, a two-time SCOOP 2016 finalist, was in the small blind a few hands later with 6♦ 6♥ and opened all-in. Brazil's Pardal77 called in the big blind as a strong favorite with J♣ J♠, but Banic's pair made a set on the 8♥ A♦ 6♣ flop and held on through the 4♠ turn and T♣ river for the double to 1.1M chips.

Ivan Banic

Ivan Banic

From there the pace of all-in pots dropped off, but the action remained strong. Pollopopeye narrowed South Korean player YedOr's chip lead to just a few big blinds by value-betting pocket aces in position for a 644K-chip pot. Then Ivan Banic climbed into the mix at the top of the leaderboard with those two, taking 30 big blinds off SCOOP 2016 winner Thiago "KKremate" Crema after flopping the nut flush draw with A♠ Q♠, adding a double-gutshot draw on the turn, and hitting a straight disguised well enough on the river of the 8♠ J♥ 6♠ T♣ K♣ board to get paid after raising Crema's bet on fifth street.

KKremate was left with about five big blinds and saw that dwindle to just one before picking up 5♥ 5♠ and calling all-in on the button. Original raise Pardal77's K♣ Q♦ caught top pair on the flop and never looked back, sending KKremate to the rail in eighth.

Another big coin flip a few minutes later, between past Sunday Million runner-up and WCOOP High Roller finalist Nikita "fish2013" Bodyakovskiy's 3♣ 3♥ and past Super Tuesday finalist TiltMeBig's A♠ Q♣, left fish2013 with just over one big blind after the 5♠ 6♣ A♦ T♠ 9♠ board gave TiltMeBig a pair of aces. That remaining stack went in on the next hand when fish2013 picked up A♠ Q♦ of his own, called in position after Ivan Banic opened with Q♥ T♥. But Banic caught a flush on the flop of the 4♥ 2♥ K♥ 3♣ 3♠ board, and fish2013 was out in seventh.


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YedOr remained in the lead with more than 3 million chips and climbed to 3.4M with a small uncontested win. Pollopopeye kept pace by moving to within a few big blinds of that stack with the next knockout. He called with J♣ T♣ in the big blind after marroca5 opened the action by shoving under the gun for 373K and the rest of the table folded. marroca5's A♣ Q♥ was drawing dead by the turn of 6♣ 9♣ 8♦ 7♥ K♦ board, ending his tournament in sixth.

Ivan Banic and Pardal77 faced off for a second and final time two hands later. Pardal77 got in ahead again, re-raising all-in for 408K with A♦ T♥ after Banic opened under the gun with A♣ 5♥. Banic called when the rest of the table folded, caught a pair on the flop of the 6♣ 6♥ 5♠ 8♣ 9♥ board, and sent Pardal77 to the rail in fifth.

With blinds and antes at 25K/50K/5K, that left everyone else at the table with at least 29 big blinds. TiltMeBig was behind the pack and never really found a spot to make up ground. The next 30 minutes of play saw the Swedish player slowly drop about half that stack, pick it back up, and then slide further back to just 529K once the break came and the blinds and antes moved up to 35K/70K/7K. TiltMeBig moved that stack all-in under the gun to open the action, holding A♦ 6♥, and got a call from Ivan Banic in the big blind with Q♣ Q♥. The queens were never in danger on the 2♠ T♥ 2♥ J♠ 2♣ board, and TiltMeBig bowed out in fourth.

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Pollopopeye began three-handed play with the chip lead at 4.25M and picked up another million chips on the very first hand. Holding A♠ T♦ in the big blind, he called a turn and river bets from Banic, who showed down a bluff with J♣ 6♣ with the board reading 4♥ 8♦ 7♥ 4♦ K♠. Banic held tight for a few orbits before raising the button with A♥ K♥ and then calling all-in when YedOr three-bet all-in from the big blind. YedOr's 5♦ 5♥ was a small favorite before the flop but lost to Banic's pair of aces once the board read A♠ 8♦ 2♠ 9♦ T♥.

That left YedOr, who had come to the final table with the chip lead and had either held it or stayed within striking distance of it ever since, as the short stack. Even doubling up with T♦ T♥ a few hands later against Pollopopeye's A♦ 3♦ left the player from South Korea 12 big blinds behind Ivan Banic's 3.1M chips. Then a run-in with Pollopopeye that looked like it had provided an opening turned out to shut the door on YedOr's tournament.

Pollopopeye limped in from the small blind and YedOr checked, bringing a 6♦ 3♣ J♣ flop. YedOr called Pollopopeye's 80K-chip bet there and another 186K on the 4♠ turn, bringing the 7♥ on the river. Pollopopeye led again, this time for 387K; after some thought, YedOr moved all-in for 952K. Pollopopeye called with 8♦ 5♣ for a runner-runner, eight-high straight. The same two cards that had made that straight had given YedOr's 7♦ 4♣ two pair, eliminating the South Korean player in third.

Heads-up play began at 1:26 a.m. ET with Andoni "Pollopopeye" Larrabe Sanchez holding about a 2-to-1 chip lead over Ivan "BanicIvan" Banic.

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Banic came out firing. He lost 500K via bluffs on the flop and river of an A♥ Q♦ A♦ Q♠ 7♦ board when Pollopopeye check-called with unimproved J♦ 8♠. Then he won back twice that on the next hand, re-raising to 480K out of position before the flop before firing big bets on the turn and river of the 4♦ Q♣ A♦ K♠ 9♦ board to take the pot without showdown. His aggressive image paid off three hands later when Banic picked up Q♣ Q♠, helped along by Pollopopeye picking up A♠ J♦ on the same deal. Pollopopeye had two pair on the turn, but the river of the 3♣ J♠ T♦ A♥ Q♦ board gave Banic a set and the 7.7M-chip pot.

Pollopopeye started climbing back into the match three minutes later, surviving an all-in situation with A♣ 6♥ against Banic's K♥ 9♥ to double to 3.4M, then spent the rest of the level trying to hold onto those gains. The pair made it to one final break at 1:55 a.m. ET, with Banic the one now enjoying a 2-to-1 chip lead. Then Pollopopeye turned everything around early on the 45K/90K/9K level with one big call.

Pollopopeye opened with a min-raise to 180K on the button, holding A♥ Q♦, and called Banic's re-raise to 495K to see the 4♦ A♦ 7♦ flop. Banic led for 252K there and, after Pollopopeye called, again for 907K on the 5♠ turn. Pollopopeye called once more, and Banic bet 3.3M when the 8♥ came on the river. It was more than enough to knock Pollopopeye out if he called and were behind - a very real possibility on a board with potential (and very plausible) flushes and straights. Pollopopeye went into the time bank and eventually made the call with a pair of aces; Ivan Banic had 4♣ 2♣ for a pair of deuces and was left with 1.7M chips after Pollopopeye collected the 8.6M-chip pot.

Ivan Banic stole the next pot before the flop. Then Pollopopeye won the last six pots in a row, capped off by calling with J♣ 6♠ when Banic jammed with A♥ 6♥. Both players paired on the A♣ 7♠ J♦ flop, leaving Banic the favorite to double up after the Q♥ turn, but the J♥ on the river made three of a kind for Pollopopeye, knocking Banic out in second to end the tournament.

Two-time Super Tuesday winner Andoni Larrabe Sanchez

Congratulations to Andoni Larrabe Sanchez for winning his second Super Tuesday title - third including SCOOP Special Editions - and to Ivan Banic for making a strong run at the title before finishing as the runner-up.

10/4/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 417
Total prize pool: $417,000
Places paid: 62

1. Andoni "Pollopopeye" Larrabe Sanchez (United Kingdom) $74,810.28
2. Ivan "BanicIvan" Banic (Croatia) $54,835.50
3. YedOr (South Korea) $40,194.25
4. TiltMeBig (Sweden) $29,462.25
5. Pardal77 (Brazil) $21,595.76
6. Mayu "marroca5" Roca (Colombia) $15,289.61
7. Nikita "fish2013" Bodyakovskiy (Belarus) $11,603.06
8. Thiago "KKremate" Crema (Brazil) $8,505
9. Conor "1_conor_b_1" Beresford (Netherlands) $6,234.10


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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Super Tuesday