Super Tuesday: flixmix1 tops Jason "jdtjpoker" Wheeler heads-up for $74K
When flixmix1 arrived at the final table of this week's Super Tuesday, it was with a significant chip lead and a lineup of heavy-hitting opponents more than capable of stripping that lead away. Managing to avoid that fate still left the task of defeating in heads-up play none other than three-time Super Tuesday winner Jason "jdtjpoker" Wheeler. With a steady hand and an action flop at the very end, flixmix1 was able to turn that incoming chip lead into a Super Tuesday title and nearly $74,000.
This week's field of 408 was down only modestly from last week's 417, resulting in a $408,000 prize pool that paid out fewer players and a top prize that was only a few hundred dollars short of last week's. The payouts began at 55th place once Malta's ThisIsMadn$$ was knocked out on the bubble, and the final table was set at 11:41 p.m. ET when ASIAAN fell in 10th. The remaining lineup was loaded with experience and ready for a fight:
Seat 1: flixmix1 (3,293,606 in chips)
Seat 2: plspaythxbye (893,563 in chips)
Seat 3: Ludovic "ludovi333" Geilich (1,139,162 in chips)
Seat 4: Jason "jdtjpoker" Wheeler (723,286 in chips)
Seat 5: Chunlei "SamRostan" Zhou (1,400,260 in chips)
Seat 6: Tankanza (723,086 in chips)
Seat 7: totilas team (973,587 in chips)
Seat 8: otitov (513,204 in chips)
Seat 9: arturuz77 (540,246 in chips)
With the blinds and antes at 17.5K/30K/3.5K, SCOOP 2016 's Super Tuesday Special Edition winner and $2,100 Razz champion otitov had plenty of motivation to make some early moves. So did arturuz77, who chopped the Sunday Warm-Up three ways in February of this year. Neither player was able to gain any ground over the first 40 minutes of the final, though, having to settle instead for treading water. otitov finally found a breakthrough on the 20K/40K/4K level, doubling to 1.2M with K♣ K♦ against TCOOP 2016 Saturday Speedway SE runner-up totilas team's A♠ 6♠.
After 10 more minutes of poker, otitov picked up pocket kings again and re-raised the opening 110K-chip bet from Jason Wheeler to 300K. arturuz77 moved in for 30K more to get heads-up with otitov, whose kings had arturuz77's J♣ J♦ dominated. A straight draw briefly appeared after the turn of the T♣ 6♠ 8♠ 7♦ 7♣ board, but it amounted to nothing, sending aruturuz77 to the rail in ninth.
otitov moved into second place behind flixmix1 with that win, albeit with half the chips that the leader held. That margin would be trimmed a bit four minutes later when Tankanza, who made two TCOOP finals in a single day earlier this year, opened the betting all-in for 594K from the button. otitov called with A♠ 6♣, which paired on the turn of the J♣ K♥ J♦ A♥ 5♦ board to remain ahead of Tankanza's T♦ 9♠ and knock the Austrian player out in eighth.
Firmly in second now, otitov dropped back a bit, but the action continued apace. WCOOP 2016 PLO High Roller champ and past Super Tuesday winner Ludovic "ludovi333" Geilich won a coin flip with A♥ T♦, doubling through totilas team's 4♣ 4♥ when the board delivered two kings and two eights to put kickers in play. Three hands later the action opened with two-time Sunday Warm-Up finalist plspaythxbye moving in for 843K from the hijack seat, and it ended with totilas team calling all-in from the big blind. totilas team's A♠ Q♣ was dominated by plspaythxbye's A♦ K♦, a situation that only got worse as the 6♥ A♥ 2♠ K♠ A♣ board fell card by card. Left with three aces to plspaythxbye's full house, totilas team left in seventh.
Jason Wheeler's bid for a fourth title picked up some steam two minutes after that when he called all-in from the big blind with A♣ 9♦ after Ludovic Geilich jammed from the small blind with A♦ 4♥. Left with 496K, Geilich bided his time for 10 minutes before picking up A♣ K♥ in the small blind and calling when plspaythxbye shoved with A♠ 4♣ on the button. When plspaythxbye paired on the turn of the Q♣ 3♦ 9♦ 4♥ 6♠ board, Geilich's run for a second Super Tuesday title ended in sixth.
The table moved from there to its second break, and plspaythxbye returned from it to pick up K♣ K♦ on the same hand as WCOOP 2016 High Roller Heads-Up runner-up Chunlei "SamRostan" Zhou was dealt 4♣ 4♠. Zhou would make a full house on the river of the K♥ 5♠ 5♦ 7♦ 4♥ board, but plspaythxbye's bigger boat had come on the flop, sending Zhou to the rail in fifth.
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That pair of wins moved plspaythxbye into second place with 2.66M chips, behind flixmix1's 5.08M but ahead of otitov's 1.76M and Jason Wheeler's 682K. The leader was able to add to the pressure a few minutes later after flopping middle set with J♦ J♠, betting for value on the flop and turn, and taking the pot from otitov, who had flopped top pair with A♠ K♣. Two minutes later Wheeler's A♦ J♣ was good for a double against plspaythxbye's A♣ 7♣, dodging a turned flush draw for a 1.33M-chip pot that proved to be the setup for an even bigger win five hands later. Wheeler's T♣ T♥ held up on that one against flixmix1's 8♥ 8♠ for the double to 3.22M chips.
There was now plenty of separation between Wheeler and the two shorter stacks, but with flixmix1 still running the table there wasn't enough space for him to assert himself at will. plspaythxbye, between Wheeler and flixmix1, took an aggressive approach over the next 15 minutes and chipped enough off both opponents' stacks to move into a virtual tie with flixmix1 for the lead when a key pot came up.
flixmix1 opened the action under the gun with a raise to 145K, just over the minimum, and plspaythxbye re-raised to 423K on the button. That cleared out the blinds and prompted flixmix1 to move in for all but 42 chips. plspaythxbye raised back and showed A♦ Q♠ when flixmix1 called all-in holding A♥ K♣, then caught a flush draw to flixmix1's two pair on the A♠ K♠ 7♠ flop. But no more spades came, the turn and river falling 7♦-2♥ instead to leave plspaythxbye with less than one small blind's worth of chips. Those were gone moments later, knocking out plspaythxbye in fourth.
With flixmix1 firmly in the lead at 6.5M chips to the other players' 2.6M and 959K, the question now was who would face the Austrian player heads-up. The answer was seven minutes coming, and it arrived via a 60/40 race. Jason Wheeler opened with a min-raise on the button, holding K♦ J♠, and called when otitov jammed from the small blind with A♠ 3♠. Wheeler flopped trips and dodged a flush draw after the turn of the K♥ 6♠ K♣ 4♠ A♥ board to grab the 1.79M-chip pot and knock out otitov in third.
That win gave Wheeler 3.2M chips as heads-up play began, easily within a double-up of the lead, but flexmix1 quickly made the route to Title Number Four much more difficult. The Austrian player opened the first hand for 168K on the button and called when Wheeler re-raised to 432K in the big blind, bringing a 3♥ 9♦ 3♦ flop. flixmix1 called 300K there and then both players checked the 8♥ turn, bringing the 8♣ on the river. Wheeler checked again and, after some deliberation, called flixmix1's 1.37M-chip bet, but he mucked when flixmix1 showed down 9♥ 8♦ for eights full of nines.
That left Wheeler with right at one million chips and an uphill battle. He picked up T♣ T♥ two hands later to double back up and get into the game, though, making a legitimate battle out of a bad situation by keeping on the attack. As the final break approached he fired two barrels bluffing with T♠ 9♠ and backed into a pair of tens on the river, checking down to discover that he'd beaten flixmix1's pocket eights for the pot.
With one more 648K-chip win on the final hand of the hour, Wheeler was back to eight big blinds ahead of where he'd been when heads-up play began. When the two players returned, though, Wheeler stayed aggressive out of position and it cost him. He three-bet to 495K from the big blind after flixmix1 opened with a min-raise to 185K, then fired another 390K into the 1M-chip pot on the 2♦ T♠ 7♣. flixmix1 called that bet and another 725K on the 2♥ turn before Wheeler checked the 7♠ river. flixmix1 went into the time bank before betting 675K, which earned a call and the 4.5M-chip pot when Wheeler called and mucked.
Wheeler doubled back to 3.5M on the next hand with A♣ J♣, turning a Broadway straight to top flixmix1's 7♦ 7♠ and stave off elimination, then crept back to within 10 big blinds. But he dropped half those chips semi-bluffing with K♥ J♥; flixmix1's A♥ 4♦ caught a four on the flop and an ace on the river to make two pair and earn the 4.3M chips in the pot.
That proved to be the turning point. Wheeler was on his heels when he caught top pair on the same flop that gave flixmix1 caught a flush draw, and the remaining 1.7M of his chips went in the middle there. A third heart on the turn of the K♥ 8♠ J♥ 7♥ 4♠ board gave flixmix1's T♥ 3♥ the flush, sinking Wheeler's K♠ 6♠ to end the tournament.
Jason Wheeler came within a sniff of his fourth Super Tuesday title, but the $54K+ he earned for the effort should help to ease the sting a bit. Plus, with the way these things seem to go, he'll probably have another go at this soon enough. Meanwhile, congratulations to flixmix1 for holding off a talented field, a tough final table lineup, and one highly accomplished past Super Tuesday champion en route to the win!
10/11/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 NL Hold'em) results
Total prize pool: $408,000
Places paid: 55
1. flixmix1 (Austria) $73,941.61
2. Jason "jdtjpoker" Wheeler (Mexico) $54,349.55
3. otitov (Russia) $39,948.83
4. plspaythxbye (Ukraine) $29,363.76
5. Chunlei "SamRostan" Zhou (Macao) $21,583.40
6. Ludovic "ludovi333" Geilich (United Kingdom) $15,864.54
7. totilas team (Netherlands) $11,660.96
8. Tankanza (Austria) $8,571.22
9. arturuz77 (Uzbekistan) $6,300.17
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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.