Super Tuesday: Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk conquers all for $70K

Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk knows well what it's like to be within striking distance of a major title. With a third-place finish at a World Series of Poker final table, another third at an EPT High Roller side event final, and a runner-up finish in a SCOOP-High event all added to his resume just within the last year, he's come tantalizingly close to a big win multiple times. Tonight he was able to seize the moment, turning his second career Super Tuesday final table appearance into his first career Super Tuesday victory.

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This week's Super Tuesday drew a field of 390 players, good for a $390,000 prize pool split among the top 55 finishers. The tournament was on the money bubble as it went on break at 7:55 p.m. ET, and hand-for-hand play continued for another 13 minutes after that. Then Nick "FU_15" Maimone opened the action all-in from the small blind with 6♦ 6♠ and HENNERS986 called in the big blind with Q♦ 7♣. A six on the flop gave Maimone a set, busting HENNERS986 in 56th place to pop the bubble.

Another two hours of play took the field down to its last two tables. Within half an hour the final table bubble loomed and SCOOP 2016 champ Joshua "slayerv1fan" Hoesel and past WSOP bracelet winner and Super Tuesday finalist David "DonkCommitted" Miscikowski clashed in a coin flip. slayerv1fan had the edge before the flop, both with a larger stack by a big blind and a half and with 7♦ 7♥ to DonkCommitted's A♣ J♠. But the overcards won when the board came T♥ K♣ A♠ 6♥ 4♣, leaving slayerv1fan with just 30K in chips on the 10K/20K/2K level.

Four hands later slayerv1fan lost out with A♣ 2♣ when 3♦ 2♦ made a flush for piet33 on the river, busting him in 10th and setting up this final table lineup:

Seat 1: Sintoras (1,914,694 in chips)
Seat 2: carlosp985 (578,247 in chips)
Seat 3: DJ.Antoi (1,828,823 in chips)
Seat 4: Costi holdem (777,974 in chips)
Seat 5: David "DonkCommitted" Miscikowski (922,760 in chips)
Seat 6: Ryan "newguy89" MacEathron (1,341,612 in chips)
Seat 7: Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk (859,010 in chips)
Seat 8: piet33 (985,410 in chips)
Seat 9: Barrrii (541,470 in chips)

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The first major pot came five hands in. carlosp985 opened the action from middle position with a 646K-chip all-in bet. Costi holdem re-raised for 90K more to get heads-up with K♦ K♠, a big favorite against carlosp985's 6♣ 6♥. The board came 3♣ 2♦ 2♥ J♦ 5♥ and carlosp985 left in ninth.

The next half hour passed with plenty of action but no knockouts, thanks in part to five-time COOP finalist Barrii's A♦ J♣ holding up unimproved against original raiser Apotheosis92's Q♠ J♠ for a 663K-chip pot.

Barrii was able to hold ground from there for another half-hour before opening with a min-raise to 70K in early position. DJ.Antoi came along from the hijack seat, as did Apotheosis92 from the big blind. DJ.Antoi called Barrii's 124K-chip bet on the 4♣ 2♣ 2♥ flop, leaving the two heads-up after Apotheosis92 folded. Both checked the K♣ turn, and Barrii fired another 175K on the 7♦ river. DJ.Antoi called and showed 6♣ 6♥, which beat Barrii's Q♦ T♦ for the 853K-chip pot.

Barrii was left with 278K in chips, all of which went in the middle under the gun on the next hand with K♦ J♣. Sintoras was next to act and immediately moved all-in for 590K total, which scared off the rest of the field to leave the German player's A♦ A♠ heads-up as a big favorite. Barrii made a pair of kings on the T♦ 2♦ K♠ flop and a combination flush-and-straight draw on the Q♦ turn, but the 5♠ river was no help, sending Barrii to the rail in eighth.

That took the final table to its second break, and the final one of Tuesday evening as the calendar turned over into Wednesday. Within 15 minutes Brazil's Costi holdem picked up the second-biggest pot of the final table so far after opening under the gun with J♣ J♥, calling all-in when DJ.Antoi re-raised with 8♦ 8♥ in the big blind and watching the board fall 6♣ 5♠ 2♣ 7♣ K♠. Six hands after that Costi holdem picked up another pocket pair, this time T♣ T♥, and again opened the action for 82K in early position. Sintoras, a SCOOP 2015 finalist in limit hold'em, re-raised to 254K and then called all-in with A♣ A♠ when Costi holdem shoved for 1.3M. The Brazilian took the lead with a set of tens on the T♦ 6♠ 9♣ flop and made tens full of sixes on the 6♣ turn, but the A♥ hit the river to save Sintoras's tournament and win a pot worth 2.4M chips.

That roller-coaster loss left Costi holdem with 126K in chips, the remainder of which the Brazilian called off from the big blind with J♦ 7♣ when Sintoras raised the button two hands later. Sintoras's A♦ 5♣ won out when the board came Q♦ 4♠ K♠ 6♦ Q♥, and Costi holdem left the tournament in seventh.

Minutes later, past Sunday Warm-Up finalist piet33 took a stab at the blinds and antes, jamming for 554K on the button with K♠ 8♠. DJ.Antoi called with A♦ Q♣ in the big blind and won with queens and jacks when the board came J♦ 5♣ 6♥ J♣ Q♠, eliminating piet33 in sixth.

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The furious pace kept up four hands later when TCOOP 2017 winner Ryan "newguy89" MacEathron re-raised all-in with T♦ T♠ on the button over the top of DonkCommitted's 118K-chip opener. DonkCommitted folded after Sintoras re-raised with A♥ K♥ in the small blind, and newguy89 doubled to 1.75M when the board came 5♠ 3♦ 4♣ 9♠ Q♦.

Four hands after that, DJ.Antoi opened for 107K with Q♣ Q♥ and jammed for 1.6M after Apotheosis92 re-raised to 335K in the big blind. Apotheosis92 called with A♠ K♠ and promptly made a Broadway straight on the Q♦ J♥ T♠ flop. But DJ.Antoi made queens full on the J♣ turn, locking up the 3.3M-chip pot when the J♦ river came and went. Apotheosis92 managed to double back through DJ.Antoi a few hands later with A♣ Q♠ against Q♦ J♥, though, and then climbed back over the 3M-chip mark a few hands after that when K♦ K♠ in the big blind held up against button raiser DonkCommitted's 9♦ 9♠.

About 15 minutes passed before the same two players bumped into each other again. Apotheosis92 opened for 120K in the cutoff and DonkCommitted called in the big blind, bringing a 9♣ J♠ 8♣ flop. DonkCommitted check-called 120K there and 338K more on the 5♥ turn before check-calling all-in for 650K following the 6♠ river. DonkCommitted showed A♠ 9♥ for a pair of nines, but Apotheosis92 had flopped a queen-high straight with Q♠ T♥. With that, DonkCommitted left in fifth.

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David "DonkCommitted" Miscikowski, out in fifth

Sintoras and Apotheosis92, both just over 3.4M chips, now traded the lead back and forth and the blinds and antes came and went, while newguy89 and DJ.Antoi traded short-stack status with under 1.3M apiece. Then newguy89 doubled up to 2.7M after shoving with A♦ A♥ in the small blind and getting Apotheosis92 to call with A♠ J♣, and Sintoras raised the button with K♦ Q♠ but lost out after calling DJ.Antoi's all-in re-raise with A♠ J♣.

Suddenly all four players were within 10 big blinds of one another. Sintoras broke that up on the next hand, hitting a T♥ turn with T♣ T♠ to make a set and top newguy89's A♣ K♠, which had picked up a king on the flop. Sintoras jumped to 4.67M chips with the win, while newguy89 dropped to 449K. He doubled to 1M on the next hand with 6♦ 6♣ against DJ.Antoi's A♦ 8♣, then shoved three hands after that from the small blind with A♦ 2♥. Apotheosis92 called with A♣ Q♥ and made Broadway on the K♣ K♠ T♠ J♠ 3♦ board, which was enough to put newguy89 away in fourth.

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DJ.Antoi fell a few minutes later after min-raising the button with Q♣ Q♠. Sintoras called in the big blind with 8♣ 6♠ and then check-raised DJ.Antoi's 161K-chip bet on the 5♦ 6♥ 5♥ flop. DJ.Antoi quickly called as a favorite but was left looking for a full house after the 7♥ turn made an eight-high straight for Sintoras. The 9♦ on the river was no help, and DJ.Antoi departed in third.

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Heads-up play started at 1:19 a.m. ET with the blinds and antes at 35K/70K/7K and Sintoras ahead 5.1M to 4.6M. Two minutes later, Apotheosis92 took the lead and started chipping away at his opponent's stack. He kept it up for 19 minutes before Sintoras survived all-in with K♣ Q♠, turning a king-high straight with the same card that gave Apotheosis92 two pair with 9♠ 6♠. That win got Sintoras back to 3.8M - not back to even, but a starting point at least.

Apotheosis92 maintained the lead until break time. On the first hand back, Sintoras called Apotheosis92's button raise to 213K, bringing a 4♠ 4♦ 3♠ flop. Sintoras checked, then raised to 311K after Apotheosis92 bet 133K. Apotheosis92 called that bet, then another 587K on the 4♥ turn, and then 2M when Sintoras shoved on the 6♠ river. Apotheosis92 called with 9♦ 3♦ for fours full of treys, but that lost the 6.3M-chip pot to Sintoras's quad fours with A♣ 4♣.

Down in chips for the first time since the earliest hands of heads-up play, Apotheosis92 retook the lead two minutes later after limping on the button with A♥ K♥ and then re-raising all-in when Sintoras raised to 315K with K♣ Q♠. Neither player improved on the 6♦ 9♠ 4♦ 3♦ 7♥ board, giving Apotheosis92 the 5.1M-chip pot and the lead by five big blinds.

The tight gap between the two players proved the rule for the next 15 minutes. The lead changed hands multiple times, but neither player was ever able to pull away. Then Apotheosis92 opened for 237K on the button with 8♦ 8♥ and then shoved when Sintoras re-raised to 765K in the big blind. Sintoras called with A♠ T♠ and two big blinds' worth of chips behind and was drawing to nine spades by the time Apotheosis92 made a set on the turn, but the river of the 9♥ 2♠ 5♣ 8♠ 4♥ board was no help and Apotheosis92 won the 9.5M-chip pot.

Sintoras doubled up once and got all-in with A♥ 9♥ on the following hand against Apotheosis92's Q♠ 5♥. But the board came J♠ K♠ A♦ T♥ 7♦, giving Apotheosis92 a Broadway straight to bring the tournament to its end.

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Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk, this week's Super Tuesday champion

Outlasting all but one player earned $51,951.78 for Sintoras. As for Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk, the top spot came with $70,679.49, a major title, and the satisfaction of having broken through after a string of close calls in the last year. Congratulations to him on the big win!

2/21/17 Super Tuesday ($1,050 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 390
Total prize pool: $390,000
Places paid: 55

1. Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk (Canada) $70,679.49
2. Sintoras (Germany) $51,951.78
3. DJ.Antoi (Germany) $38,186.38
4. Ryan "newguy89" MacEathron (Canada) $28,068.30
5. David "DonkCommitted" Miscikowski (Costa Rica) $20,631.19
6. piet33 (Netherlands) $15,164.64
7. Costi holdem (Brazil) $11,146.51
8. Barrii (Belgium) $8,192.08
9. carlosp985 (Venezuela) $6,022.22

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Super Tuesday