Super Tuesday: Junki84 scores $76K, ImaLucSac second
South Korea's Junki84 came to the final table of this week's Super Tuesday as the chip leader, though not in dominant fashion. Less than 10 big blinds back were three different players with noteworthy tournament runs on their resumes, each more than ready to pounce on the slightest opportunity to surge into the lead. Only Dylan "ImaLucSac" Linde would manage to do that, though, and then only in heads-up play after Junki84 had cut a path of destruction through the final table. Linde's fleeting opportunity disappeared, though, when Junki84's combo draw came home on the river, and within minutes the South Korean player had earned a major PokerStars title and more than $76,000 to go with it.
Late registration closed after four hours with 428 players having put up the $1,050 entry, up almost 10 percent from last week's field. The $428,000 prize pool was split among the top 62 finishers, which didn't include Conor "1_conor_b_1" Beresford. Only a few weeks removed from finishing as the runner-up here in the Super Tuesday, Beresford popped the money bubble in this week's tournament when he busted in 63rd place after five and a half hours of play.
Another three and a half hours took the field down to two tables. hello_totti was in good shape on the final table bubble with more than 20 big blinds on the 12.5K/25K/2.5K level, but then the Russian player opened for 52K in middle position with 6♥ 6♠ and moved all-in after past SCOOP-High runner-up Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin re-raised to 123K on the button. HITTHEPANDA quickly called and turned A♦ A♥ into fives full of aces on the Q♣ 5♥ Q♠ 5♦ 5♣ board, busting hello_totti in 10th place to set up this final table:
Seat 1: predy1 (247,031 in chips)
Seat 2: Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin (1,844,972 in chips)
Seat 3: Dylan "ImaLucSac" Linde (1,803,045 in chips)
Seat 4: Junki84 (1,981,631 in chips)
Seat 5: El Braulin (1,807,227 in chips)
Seat 6: Mortan23 (1,293,072 in chips)
Seat 7: Peter "RcknTheSbrbs" Nigh (114,880 in chips)
Seat 8: Michael "imluckbox" Addamo (872,900 in chips)
Seat 9: laguna364 (735,242 in chips)
Past WCOOP winner and Super Tuesday champ Peter "RcknTheSbrbs" Nigh was rockin' the short stack as the final table began and moved all 109K of it in the middle from the hijack seat on the second hand, re-raising Junki84's early-position 55K-chip opener. Junki84 called with J♦ J♥, which held up against K♠ Q♥ after the board came 3♦ 6♦ 4♦ 2♣ A♣ to bust RcknTheSbrbs in ninth.
Slovakia's predy1 was the new short stack at 204K with RcknTheSbrbs out of the picture. One double-up with A♥ 9♣ against SCOOP 2013 champ and past Super Tuesday finalist Dylan "ImaLucSac" Linde's K♠ T♥ and another pot taken down uncontested on the river an orbit later boosted predy1's stack over 500K. Then the Slovakian player picked up A♥ K♦ under the gun and opened for 105K, calling all-in when SCOOP 2016 winner and past Super Tuesday finalist Michael "imluckbox" Addamo shoved from the small blind. imluckbox was ahead with 9♣ 9♦ and stayed there as the board fell 3♥ 5♥ 2♦ T♣ 2♥, sending predy1 to the rail in eighth.
Junki84 doubled up in a nearly identical situation three hands later, 9♦ 9♥ holding up against two-time SCOOP finalist El Braulin's A♣ K♣ for a 2.2M-chip pot. One more 1.1M-chip win just as the 11:55 p.m. ET approached gave Junki84 a stack worth 2.8M chips, good for the lead only hands after putting everything on the line.
Then, on the first hand back from that break, Junki84 climbed even higher after re-raising Mortan23's under-the-gun opener from the small blind, betting on the Q♠ 9♠ 8♠ flop, and then check-raising the J♥ turn. Mortan23, the past Sunday Warm-Up winner with past fourth-place finishes in the Sunday Million and Super Tuesday, folded there, giving Junki84 the 1.8M-chip pot and the lead by more than 60 big blinds.
Mortan23 got those lost chips all back three hands later. After opening for 77K with J♥ 6♥ on the button, Mortan23 called laguna364's re-raise to 175K in the big blind, bringing a J♣ 7♥ 2♣ flop. laguna364, who finished fifth in the Super Tuesday just two months ago, led for 140K and then called all-in for 461K more and showed A♦ A♥ when Mortan23 shoved. Mortan23 needed another jack, a six, or running hearts - and got the last of those. The 9♥ turn and 8♥ left Mortan23 with a heart flush, and laguna364, aces cracked, departed in seventh.
Junki84 kept the pressure up on the rest of the table by dragging another healthy pot two orbits later. The Korean player opened the betting with a small raise in the small blind, holding A♥ T♣, and called when El Braulin jammed in the big blind with A♠ 6♥. Both players made flushes on the 5♥ K♥ 3♣ 4♥ Q♥ board, but Junki84's was the nuts. That earned the 1.4M-chip pot and knocked out El Braulin in sixth.
The only things keeping Junki84's stack under 100 big blinds were the rising stakes, which moved to 30K/60K/6K. Only imluckbox, who rivered a king for two pair with K♠ J♦ against Mortan23 on the final hand of the previous level, had more than half as many chips as the leader at that point. Mortan23, meanwhile, was left with less than 15 big blinds and re-raised it all-in from the big blind two orbits later with 8♣ 8♥ after Junki84 raised in the small blind with A♦ 4♠. Junki84 called and caught up on the 3♦ A♣ Q♣ flop, taking the pot after the 9♠ turn and K♥ river to end Mortan23's tournament in fifth.
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ImaLucSac was behind the eight-ball now but squeezed out of trouble with two coin-flip wins in the next four pots, first with A♣ Q♠ against Junki84's 4♥ 4♠ and then with T♥ T♠ against imluckbox's Q♥ J♥. That boosted ImaLucSac's stack to 3M chips, good for second place and more than both imluckbox and HITTHEPANDA combined. Those two stayed short-stacked as Junki84 and ImaLucSac took down the majority of the pots for 10 minutes, and then they fell on consecutive hands.
HITTHEPANDA went first, opening all-in from the small blind with T♠ 6♣. ImaLucSac called with 7♣ 7♦ in the big blind and dodged straight outs the whole way as the board came 9♥ 8♠ K♣ J♦ 3♥, leaving HITTHEPANDA with king-high to depart in fourth.
Junki84 opened the following hand all-in from the small blind with T♠ 9♣, and imluckbox called with 9♥ 8♥ in the big. The board came 4♣ A♣ 3♥ Q♦ K♣, Junki84's meager hand won unimproved, and imluckbox left in third.
That victory gave Junki84 the lead with 6M chips to ImaLucSac's 4.6M as heads-up play began. Then ImaLucSac flopped a pair of kings with K♥ 7♠ on the first hand, earning a 1.5M-chip pot to take the lead by about three big blinds. Another win a few hands later, earned by raising all-on in on the river of a 5♦ 5♣ Q♣ 9♠ 3♣ after check-calling Junki84's bets on every street, gave ImaLucSac an edge of about 40 big blinds.
Then came the touranemnt's final turning point. ImaLucSac opened for 180K on the button and called Junki84's re-raise to 556K, bringing a flop of A♥ 5♦ T♠. Junki84 led for 398K and ImaLucSac called, bringing the 9♥ turn. Junki84 led again, this time for 880K, and called when ImaLucSac shoved all-in with T♦ 9♠ for tens and nines. Junki84's K♥ Q♥ was drawing to both a Broadway straight and a heart flush and ended up making the latter with the 3♥ on the river.
ImaLucSac was far from out with 2.5M chips left and the blinds and antes still at 35K/70K/7K, but for the next 10 minutes Junki84 was able to keep him at bay. Then Junki84 opened for 180K with A♠ T♣ on the button and called when ImaLucSac jammed for 1.8M with A♣ K♣. Junki84 made Broadway on the J♣ Q♣ K♦ flop and dodged clubs on the 4♦ turn and J♦ river, taking down the 3.5M-chip pot to bring the tournament to its end.
Finishing as the runner-up earned Dylan "ImaLucSac" Linde a $56,282 prize, a top-5 career best at PokerStars that ranks right behind his SCOOP 2013 victory. As for Junki84, the title came with a $76,783.62 prize, topping the South Korean player's previous PokerStars best by more than $75,000. Congratulations to Junki84 for the breakthrough on a big stage against an accomplished lineup of opponents!
Super Tuesday ($1,050 NL Hold'em) results (Feb 28, 2017)
Total prize pool: $428,000
Places paid: 62
1. Junki84 (South Korea) $76,783.62
2. Dylan "ImaLucSac" Linde (Canada) $56,282
3. Michael "imluckbox" Addamo (Australia) $41,254.53
4. Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin (Canada) $30,239.44
5. Mortan23 (Faroe Islands) $22,165.43
6. El Braulin (Mexico) $16,247.17
7. laguna364 (Uruguay) $11,909.14
8. predy1 (Slovakia) $8,729.35
9. Peter "RcknTheSbrbs" Nigh (Costa Rica) $6,398.55
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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.