Super Tuesday: littleMiyaa denies daskalos20 heads-up, wins $71K
EPT10 Barcelona finalist Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou has been a relatively frequent Super Tuesday finalist as well. Before today he had advanced to the final three times since 2013, most recently in May 2016, going relatively deep each time. He was in position to improve on fifth-, fourth-, and third-place finishes with a win this time around, but he had to settle for second place as his new personal best after Lithuania's littleMiyaa overcame a big deficit to earn the title in a 30-minute heads-up match.
This week's field was unchanged from last week, with 392 players getting their seats before the end of the four-hour late registration period to build a $392,000 prize pool. That set up prizes that were also exactly equal to last week's, including the $71,041.94 waiting up top. Just over five hours of play reduced the field to 56 players, and RodRish's departure eight minutes after the hour opened up the prize pool to the top 55 finishers.
By 10:40 p.m. ET the field was down to 10, and past Super Tuesday champ Andrew "mrAndreeew" Berggren moved his 243K all-in from the big blind with A♥ J♦ after laguna364 limped in the small blind. laguna364's A♣ A♠ held up as the board fell 5♦ 2♠ 7♣ T♣ J♣, knocking Berggren out in 10th and setting up this final table lineup:
Seat 1: PISKER4VILDT (898,843 in chips)
Seat 2: DEALERJOHN (1,527,176 in chips)
Seat 3: laguna364 (699,361 in chips)
Seat 4: Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou (1,518,470 in chips)
Seat 5: Stefan "I'am_Sound" Huber (767,684 in chips)
Seat 6: bauruzito (795,001 in chips)
Seat 7: maximum123 (1,495,084 in chips)
Seat 8: littleMiyaa (1,486,131 in chips)
Seat 9: actaml (612,250 in chips)
More often than not a Super Tuesday final will kick off with one clear chip leader, or at least two players who are standing head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd. This week's final started with four players at the table within two big blinds of one another atop the chip counts. The first dozen hands or so of this situation saw limited action, but then the owners of the two of the biggest stacks at the table clashed.
DEALERJOHN and littleMiyaa held 9♣ 9♥ and T♣ T♠, respectively, on the hand in question. The pre-flop action only went raise-call; it was the 9♠ 2♣ T♥ flop that gave both players a set and kickstarted the action. littleMiyaa had the better of the action and 60K more in chips than DEALERJOHN, so the 8♠ turn and 7♥ river together knocked DEALERJOHN out in ninth.
Get in on the action! Click here to get your PokerStars account today.
That pot gave littleMiyaa the chip lead heading into the 10:55 p.m. ET break. Other than a double-up for SCOOP 2013 Heads-Up Medium champ Stefan "I'am_Sound" Huber with K♦ K♠, the next 15 minutes were mostly low-key. Then laguna364 re-raised from the big blind with Q♦ Q♠ after littleMiyaa opened for 60K and actaml, a past Super Tuesday finalist and WCOOP Thursday Thrill Special Edition runner-up in 2015, jammed on the button for 468K. littleMiyaa folded, leaving laguna364's queens against the T♣ T♥ of actaml. The A♥ K♣ 7♠ 5♠ 9♦ board changed nothing, and actaml bowed out in eighth.
Five hands later, daskalos20 opened for 67K with A♦ 9♣ and then called after SCOOP 2016 finalist bauzurito jammed for 373K with K♦ T♦ in the small blind. The friendly 3♣ 9♠ 9♥ flop gave daskalos20 three of a kind, and though bauzurito picked up a gutshot draw on the Q♦ turn, it failed to come home on the 5♥ river, sending the Brazilian to the rail in seventh.
daskalos20 scored the next knockout another 12 hands later to move into the chip lead by about seven big blinds. He opened for 67K in the cutoff with A♥ J♥ and was the lone caller when WCOOP 2013 Heads-Up PLO champ maximum123 jammed for 878K in the small blind. maximum123 had the edge before the flop with A♦ Q♠, but daskalos20 took the lead after it came down 5♣ J♠ 8♦. A runner-runner straight or one of the three queens left in the deck could have saved maximum123, but the turn and river came 5♠-6♠, busting the Norwegian in sixth.
PISKER4VILDT doubled up on the next hand, surviving a coin flip with T♣ T♦ to I'am_Sound's A♠ J♥. That left laguna364 as the short stack, with chip leader daskalos20 directly to the left limiting options for the much shorter laguna364. So after being ground down by blinds and antes for 20 hands, laguna364 picked up 4♦ 4♠ in the big blind and moved all-in for 593K total after daskalos20 opened under the gun for 78K. Unfortunately for laguna364, daskalos20 held K♥ K♠ and called immediately. The J♥ 8♣ T♣ A♠ 2♦ board was devoid of obstacles, eliminating laguna364 in fifth.
Nine hands later another short-stacked player ran into somebody else's premium pocket pair. This time it was SCOOP 2016 Super Tuesday Special Edition finalist PISKER4VELDT, who jammed for 496K with A♣ 2♣ on the button. I'am_Sound called with A♦ A♠ and won the hand easily when the board fell 7♠ Q♥ 4♥ T♥ 2♦, taking the pot and sending PISKER4VELDT packing in fourth.
Another 10 minutes of play took the remaining three players to the 11:55 p.m. ET break, with daskalos20 leading the way at 4.68M chips, nearly 2M ahead of I'am_Sound and another 400K ahead of littleMiyaa. The next 22 minutes of poker saw all three players' stacks fluctuate wildly as the three-handed table presented plenty of opportunities for aggressive play. Everyone took a turn with the chip lead at some point in that stretch, but daskalos20 won a 2.1M-chip pot 20 minutes in with A♣ 3♠, hitting an ace on the river and getting paid by littleMiyaa to move over 4.3M.
Just six hands later, daskalos20 opened on the button with 5♣ 5♠ and moved all-in after I'am_Sound re-raised to 350K in the small blind with A♥ K♦. I'am_Sound called all-in for 2.6M but missed the 3♣ 4♦ 8♦ 7♠ J♣ board completely and left the tournament in third.
Heads-up play started on the 25K/50K/5K level with daskalas20 holding 6.9M chips to littleMiyaa's 2.8M. daskalos20 extended that edge by nearly another million chips early, flopping a club flush draw with Q♣ 9♦ and getting there on the turn. That took littleMiyaa's stack to less than 2M chips, and over the next 35 hands it would be reduced by half again, leaving the Lithuanian player with less than 20 big blinds.
littleMiyaa managed a double after calling a min-raise with T♠ 8♦, catching second pair on the 9♠ A♦ T♥ flop, and calling bets there, on the 4♣ turn, and one more all-in on the 3♥ river. daskalos20 had been semi-bluffing with J♠ 7♣, and littleMiyaa doubled to 2.6M chips.
dasalos20 kept up the pressure, winning 15 of the next 20 pots to keep littleMiyaa on the defensive. But when littleMiyaa's back was pushed to the wall, the Lithuanian caught a break, getting all-in with A♠ 6♠ against daskalos20's K♠ 8♠ and coming out ahead when both players made spade flushes on the 3♠ 9♠ 2♦ 9♦ T♠. That got the Lithuanian player back to 2.6M, but winning with 8♦ 8♠ against daskalos20's A♦ 6♠ on the next hand - after calling a min-raise before the 7♦ 4♦ 5♠ flop, where the raising war erupted - was the turning point.
littleMiyaa now had 5.1M chips, good for a lead of about 10 big blinds over daskalos20. It was a big step forward, but not enough to reshape the game alone. Instead it allowed littleMiyaa to balance out the number of small pots each player won, keeping daskalos20 from building too much momentum. Eventually daskalos20 pulled back ahead, though, overbetting the pot on the river of a Q♠ 7♣ 5♥ J♣ 5♠ board with 5♣ 2♣ for three of a kind and getting littleMiyaa to call.
That 3.9M-chip win gave daskalos20 5.8M chips and a lead of about 35 big blinds, but it would turn out to be his high point. littleMiyaa began stringing together small wins immediately, taking the next eight pots in a row, capped by a 1.2M-chip pot won uncontested on the turn of a 3♠ 9♠ J♠ 5♥ board after leading out of position on every street. Six hands later littleMiyaa won another 1.5M chips without ever seeing a flop, first three-betting daskalos20's button raise and then jamming when daskalos20 re-re-raised to 750K.
littleMiyaa was now the one with a 35-big-blind lead, and it would only expand from there. The Lithuanian player put together 10 consecutive wins to open up that lead by another 60 big blinds, powered by turning two pair with A♦ 8♣ on a 4♣ J♥ 8♦ A♣ 5♥. daskalos20 took a few small pots here and there, but they weren't enough to make up ground when the rest of the major pots from there went littleMiyaa's way.
The final hand saw daskalos20 limp on the button with K♦ J♠ and call all-in for 1.1M chips when littleMiyaa jammed in the big blind with 5♣ 5♦. The 9♥ 2♣ 2♦ 7♥ 3♦ board was devoid of face cards, bringing this week's Super Tuesday to its end.
Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou might not have earned a win this time around, but he topped his previous three Super Tuesday final table appearances by finishing the runner-up, good for $52,218.20. The win was worth for the Lithuanian player was worth $71,041.94, which means we might be seeing littleMiyaa around these parts again very soon. Congratulations to both players for outlasting the field in the next-to-last Super Tuesday of 2016!
12/20/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 NL Hold'em) results
Total prize pool: $392,000
Places paid: 55
1. littleMiyaa (Lithuania) $71,041.94
2. Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou (Cyprus) $52,218.20
3. Stefan "I'am_Sound" Huber (Switzerland) $38,382.20
4. PISKER4VILDT (Denmark) $28,212.24
5. laguna364 (Uruguay) $20,736.99
6. maximum123 (Norway) $15,242.41
7. bauruzito (Brazil) $11,203.67
8. actaml (Poland) $8,235.09
9. DEALERJOHN (Denmark) $6,053.10
Get in on the action! Click here to get your PokerStars account today.
Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.