Sometimes catching a two-outer at a final table leads only to a temporary reprieve. Others, it can be a desperate foothold that leads to safer footing on the rest of the climb to the top of the mountain. sydens picked up a two-out miracle early on at today's Super Tuesday final and never looked back, seizing the title and $49,817.70 in the process.
This week's tournament attracted 259 players, topping the guarantee for a $259,000 prize pool. Just 85 of those players were still left when late registration ended at 6:00 p.m. ET. Peru's caipsa, a Super Tuesday champ back in 2012, held 248,510 chips after four hours of play, good for the chip lead as the race to the money bubble began. Two more hours passed before the money bubble popped when VbV1990 turned a set with 7♦ 7♠ to crack DeBoLa89's 9♣ 9♦. By the end of that period there were two tables left, two-time SCOOP 2015 winner dragonwarior (720,438) in the lead and natfalber11 (685,400) and muk 'em 24 (642,320) trailing.
It took 93 more minutes of poker to narrow the field, with Crackdel29 busting in 10th place ($4,012.35) to pop the bubble. With 8K/16K/1600 blinds & antes in play, these nine players still had a shot at the title:
Seat 1: eliasscott (354,422 in chips)
Seat 2: omyg0t (575,932 in chips)
Seat 3: muk 'em 24 (700,621 in chips)
Seat 4: natfalber11 (593,284 in chips)
Seat 5: dragonwarior (1,552,564 in chips)
Seat 6: fishbones11 (1,196,705 in chips)
Seat 7: caipsa (303,828 in chips)
Seat 8: sydens (971,190 in chips)
Seat 9: Don Marato (226,454 in chips)
caipsa's chip lead at the end of late registration had long since become a distant memory. The past Super Tuesday champ clung to a short stack for most of the two hours leading up to the final table and arrived at it short-stacked. A little good fortune five hands in boosted caipsa into relatively safe territory, though. Picking up Q♣ Q♠ in the small blind provided the chance to move all-in against a re-raise by one of the table's bigger stacks. Priced in to call with K♥ 3♥, dragonwarior did; the board blanked and caipsa chipped up to 628K.
The next few players to survive elimination didn't do it from quite such secure starts. natfalber11 called a small raise before the Q♥ T♦ 9♠ flop and caught top pair with K♠ Q♣, check-raising all-in only to have fishbones11 call with top two pair and a back-door flush draw with Q♠ T♠. The 2♠ turn brought that flush closer, but the J♦ river bailed natfalber11 out with the inside straight.
The first bustout arrived at the end of a swingy set of three hands. First, fishbones11's J♣ J♦ lost out to past Sunday Grand PLO winner omyg0t's A♣ A♠, leaving the player from Canada with 145K. Then fishbones11, who finished sixth in 5-2-16 Super Tuesday, immediately doubled up, picking up A♥ K♠ and getting it heads-up against eliasscott's A♠ Q♣. Left with 108K, eliasscott moved that all in on the next hand with 2♣ 2♥, only to be called by fishbones11's 6♣ 6♥. The J♦ 5♥ T♠ Q♠ 7♠ board was no help, and eliasscott bowed out in ninth.
sydens, who made the final of the Sunday Million earlier this year, looked set to be the next player gone after jamming from the small blind with 6♣ 6♥ over the top of natfalber11's middle-position raise to 50K with J♣ J♦. natfalber11 called with the four-to-one advantage, only to lose out on the 1.05M-chip pot when the A♥ 8♠ 7♠ 6♦ 8♦ board gave sydens a full house. It was the last moment of the final table that would see sydens at a chip disadvantage with the tournament on the line.
muk 'em 24 became the second casualty of the final table through bad timing. The player from Canada jammed from the big blind on a steal with K♠ J♣ after sydens opened for 50K in middle position, only to see sydens call with a pair - and a bigger one than before in K♦ K♥. A few draws emerged on the 3♠ 9♠ Q♦ flop to offer muk 'em 24 the hope of survival, but the K♣ turn and J♥ river left sydens with a set of kings and muk 'em 24 gone in eighth.
Seven hands after muk 'em 24's exit, fishbones11 played for the biggest pot of the final table so far, and did it with A♣ A♦. dragonwarior check-called bets on the flop and turn with top pair holding K♥ J♥, then made a flush on the river of the 7♥ K♣ 6♥ 9♦ Q♥ board and moved all-in. fishbones11 called, the aces lost to the flush, and fishbones11's second Super Tuesday final table appearance of 2016 ended in seventh.
caipsa's bid for a repeat title came to an end three hands later when the Peruvian player got all-in for two big blinds with J♥ T♣ on the button. omyg0t called with 5♦ 5♥, the pair held, and caipsa was out in sixth.
Five-handed play began with a relatively well-balanced set of chip stacks around the table. The rest of the hour before the 11:55 p.m. ET break passed without another exit, but sydens siphoned chips off the competition to go into the break with 3.08M chips. dragonwarior's second-place stack of 1.39M was comfortable in the face of 17.5K/35K/3.5K blinds and antes, but the other players were all at 964K or less and in need of quick rejuvenation.
natfalber11 picked up 5♦ 5♥ three minutes after the break and opened all-in for 648K with the small pocket pair, but dragonwarior called with A♣ K♦ and paired twice on the 6♦ 6♠ A♦ K♥ J♥ board to knock natfalber11 out in fifth.
Two orbits later short-stacked Don Marato's determined run finally came to its end. A Super Tuesday finalist in 2012 who then finished 12th in 2015, Starting on the favorite side of the race against sydens's Q♣ T♦ didn't matter when the 6♥ 6♣ 9♠ K♣ J♥ board made a straight for the chip leader, busting Don Marato in fourth.
sydens and omyg0t clashed twice in the next 15 hands, and sydens claimed both pots. sydens called a raise in the big blind with T♠ 9♠ in the first, checked with a gutshot draw on the 4♣ 6♦ 7♦ flop, and got a free look at the turn when omyg0t checked behind. sydens led for 140K on the J♠ turn, then picked up 281K of value after hitting a straight with the 8♥ river.
Their next clash saw sydens open all-in from the small blind with Q♣ 9♠ and omyg0t call with K♦ J♦. omyg0t had the advantage heading to the flop, but a queen there and a nine on the turn made two pair for sydens to end omyg0t's tournament in third.
sydens had 5.1M chips to dragonwarior's 1.3M, a lead that narrowed to 4.4M-2M when dragonwarior won a flip with 7♣ 7♥ against sydens's K♠ Q♠ a few hands later. But sydens picked it all back up after raising on the button with K♥ 3♦, flopping top pair, and catching two pair with a trey on the river.
That was as close as dragonwarior would get, though the two-time SCOOP winner was within a card of doubling up on the last hand. dragonwarior got in ahead, calling with A♦ K♥ after sydens jammed on the button with A♥ 4♥. But the Q♥ 2♦ 4♠ 7♥ 5♥ board delivered sydens a flush, and the tournament came to a close.
Congratulations to both players for finishing atop another tough Super Tuesday field!
8/23/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 NL Hold'em) results
Total prize pool: $259,000
Places paid: 35
1. sydens (Brazil) $49,817.70
2. dragonwarior (Germany) $37,132.07
3. omyg0t (Netherlands) $27,676.79
4. Don Marato (Russia) $20,629.19
5. natfalber11 (Brazil) $15,376.18
6. caipsa (Peru) $11,460.80
7. fishbones11 (Canada) $8,542.44
8. muk 'em 24 (Canada) $6,367.20
9. eliasscott (Germany) $4,745.86
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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.