Super Tuesday: SlemPastor celebrates $52K Christmas in July (7-11-17)

"If it's Christmas, it must be a SlemPastor win." So PokerStars blogging guru Brad Willis told us last winter when Stian "SlemPastor" Hansen won the MicroMillions Main Event, a victory that came on the heels of his Sunday Supersonic victory the previous Christmas. The reverse doesn't necessarily hold true, though. It's July, not Christmas, and SlemPastor just pulled off a massive comeback to win the Super Tuesday.

It was the kind of victory a poker player remembers for a very long time, though anyone but a film-noir amnesiac would probably be hard-pressed to forget entering the final table with the shortest stack and fighting off a past champion heads-up. It wasn't just good fortune, though. Though all eight opponents had him outchipped as the final table began, time was on SlemPastor's side. He had more than 20 big blinds and, thanks to the Super Tuesday's signature slow structure, the luxury of picking his spots.

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Seat 1: GadMO (1,169,099 in chips)
Seat 2: SGE1977 (1,164,077 in chips)
Seat 3: Mr. Bucis (672,369 in chips)
Seat 4: Stian "SlemPastor" Hansen (452,917 in chips)
Seat 5: Sphinx87 (662,254 in chips)
Seat 6: vitinhorrn15 (685,223 in chips)
Seat 7: Bryan "Brryann" Ruiter (870,895 in chips)
Seat 8: littleMiyaa (1,370,760 in chips)
Seat 9: 33juggernaut (477,406 in chips)

The 20 minutes of poker leading up to the 10:55 p.m. ET break didn't change much but the first hand back gave the table its first knockout. SCOOP 2016 finalist vitinhorrn15 raised the minimum to 50,000 chips in the cutoff, then jammed for 614,223 total when littleMiyaa re-raised to 165,000 in the small blind. littleMiyaa, who has booked both a win and a runner-up finish in the Super Tuesday within the last year, called with A♠ K♠, which held up against A♥ J♦ on the 3♠ Q♣ T♥ 9♣ 3♦ board to bust vitinhorrn15 in ninth.

The same combination of hands came up again about 10 minutes later. Past Sunday Warm-Up winner Mr. Bucis opened all-in for 389,044 chips with A♦ J♥ from middle position. SlemPastor successfully isolated with A♥ K♣ and made a pair of kings on the 7♣ 6♣ 9♣ Q♦ K♦ board, sending Mr. Bucis to the rail in eighth.

There were no knockouts for the next hour of play, allowing the seven remaining players to attack as they saw fit. The pecking order didn't change, though, just the size of the stacks atop it. Finally, on the 20,000/40,000/4,000 level, the next player to go would be past Sunday Million winner SGE1977. The Brazilian player's stack was worth about two antes' worth of chips more than 4/5/17 Super Tuesday champ Sphinx87's when the two clashed before the flop, SGE1977 with J♣ J♥ in the cutoff and Sphinx87 with A♥ K♣ in the small blind. The turn of the 9♦ Q♥ 7♦ K♠ 7♠ gave Sphinx87 the 1.12-million-chip pot with a pair of kings. SGE1977 was forced in on the next hand with J♦ 8♦ and lost to littleMiyaa's J♠ J♥ to bow out in seventh.

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The rest of the hour was again knockout-free, though not from any lack of opportunities. littleMiyaa nearly took 33juggernaut out on a steal with J♠ T♠, flopping top pair and turning top two but falling when the river of the 9♦ 4♣ T♣ J♦ 8♦ board gave 33juggernaut's A♦ Q♠ a queen-high straight. Sphinx87 was dead to three outs, all-in with A♦ 4♣ against Brryann's A♠ J♣ after both flopped a pair of aces, before turning the perfect card and eventually winning with aces full of fours. littleMiyaa lost a huge pot with J♣ J♠ after SlemPastor's 3♣ 3♠ made bottom set on the flop, but then the Lithuanian player doubled back to 592,736 chips two hands later with A♥ 8♦ to Brryann's Q♠ 9♦.

After the break GadMO, who finished third in the 6/6/17 Super Tuesday, and littleMiyaa were separated by just over one big blind's worth of chips. Then GadMO was dealt K♣ K♥, opened for 123,000, and called all-in for 830,682 after littleMiyaa shoved in the big blind with A♠ 8♣. GadMO locked up the pot with a set thanks to the K♦ on the flop and then won the following hand with K♥ Q♥ against J♦ 9♠ to end littleMiyaa's run in sixth.

GadMO lost all the chips from that win 10 minutes later after raising on the button and betting every street before losing to SlemPastor's small-blind-defending A♠ 2♠ on a 5♠ 8♦ A♣ J♥ 3♣ board. Five minutes later GadMO had a chance to get them back and shoved all-in for 873,394 chips from the small blind with A♥ K♥. Original raiser 33juggernaut, who finished third in a SCOOP-High event this spring and bubbled the Super Tuesday final last summer, called with T♦ T♣ on the button and made tens full of queens on the 7♣ Q♦ T♠ 9♠ Q♠ to eliminate GadMO in fifth.


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33juggernaut continued to roll with another win two minutes later. Past Sunday Warm-Up winner and two-time WCOOP champ Bryan "Brryann" Ruiter opened the hand all-in for 840,300 chips in the small blind with K♦ 4♦. 33juggernaut called with 6♣ 6♠ in the big blind, which made sixes full of fives on the 6♥ 5♠ K♣ 5♣ A♥ to take Brryann out in fourth.

That win gave 33juggernaut the lead with 3.73 million chips as three-handed play began, about eight big blinds ahead of SlemPastor's 3.12 million and more than 40 ahead of Sphinx87's 670,315. Yet when heads-up play began 15 minutes later, the Argentinian player was on the outside looking in.

The shorter-stacked player survived the next six all-in confrontations in a row, all of them favorites before the flop. 33juggernaut lost two of those before winning a flip with K♣ 7♣ against SlemPastor's 5♠ 5♥. Then a steal went wrong four hands later and it was the end of the line. 33juggernaut jammed for 1.79 million in the small blind with Q♣ J♣ over the top of Sphinx87's button min-raise, only to face down K♦ K♣ when SlemPastor re-raised to isolate in the big blind. The board ran out T♦ 2♠ 2♣ 7♣ A♦, the kings held up, and 33juggernaut finished in third.

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SlemPastor's 4-to-1 chip lead at the start of heads-up play hinted at the win that was lurking around the corner, but not at how long it would take to realize against the former champ looking to repeat. Sphinx87 made the 50-minute duel possible by winning with Q♣ Q♥ early, calling all-in to take down a 2.25-million-chip pot and trim the deficit to less than 3 million as the final break of the night began. Solid play after coming back from the break led Sphinx87 to the chip lead, but a loss on the 50,000/100,000/10,000 level with A♥ 2♠ against SlemPastor's A♦ 8♥ moved the Norwegian back ahead by about four big blinds.

That was enough to bring up the topic of a deal, especially since SlemPastor had to work soon. Within minutes they were back at it with $5,000 left for the winner. Shortly afterward SlemPastor jammed with 9♣ 5♣ on the button. Sphinx87 called with 6♣ 5♥ in the big blind and bowed out when the Q♥ J♠ 9♠ 8♠ K♠ board gave SlemPastor a pair of nines for the win.

After tonight's performance, SlemPastor has another anniversary to celebrate each year. Congratulations to him on the big comeback victory and to Sphinx87 for coming within one spot of repeating as Super Tuesday champion.

7/11/17 Super Tuesday ($1,050 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 301
Total prize pool: $301,000
Places paid: 44

1. Stian "SlemPastor" Hansen (Norway) $52,457.60*
2. Sphinx87 (Poland) $46,353.64*
3. 33juggernaut (Argentina) $31,310.47
4. Bryan "Brryann" Ruiter (Netherlands) $23,270.61
5. GadMO (Costa Rica) $17,295.18
6. littleMiyaa (Lithuania) $12,854.14
7. SGE1977 (Brazil) $9,553.46
8. Mr. Bucis (Lithuania) $7,100.34
9. vitinhorrn15 (Brazil) $5,277.10
* - denotes results of a heads-up deal leaving $5,000 for the winner


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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Super Tuesday