There were 466 runners for this week's $1,000+$50 Super Tuesday event. That added up to a $466,000 prize pool, once again well above the $300K guarantee. The top 54 finishers got paid in this one, with $89,425.40 due the winner barring any final table deals.
After three hours of play the field had shrunk to 200 players, with Raj "BadCardsAA" Vohra once again atop the chip counts in a big MTT, ChanceCU in second, and BleedBlue33 in third. Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker was in the top 20, where he'd been for much of the evening to that point. Just two other members of Team PokerStars remained, Andre "akkari" Akkari and Fatima Moreira de Melo, although both would fail to survive the next hour of play.
With the blinds 250/500, Akkari found himself involved in a huge three-way all-in, having committed his stack of 14,015 with Q♠Q♦ and hoping to outlast ThEcLaiMEer's A♥K♥ and urmomislag's Q♥9♥. Akkari still led after the 4♣2♣T♠ flop and 7♣ turn, but the A♦ on the river gave ThEcLaiMEer the hand and a couple of knockouts, including Akkari in 126th place.
"I busted on S Tuesday for a A on the river that hurt my liver !!!!" tweeted Akkari afterwards. "Big pottttt, so sickkkkk," added the Brazilian, the smile on his Twitter avatar masking his disappointment.
Not long after that, Fatima Moreira de Melo was down to 13 big blinds when she open-raised all in with A♣J♣ and was called by ChanceCU who held pocket sixes. The board brought no help for the Dutch field hockey player, eliminating her in 105th place.
A couple of minutes later 100 players remained, with Moneymaker having moved up into third place behind chipleader BleedBlue33 and "BadCardsAA" Vohra in second.
Moneymaker would slip back to the middle of the pack over the next hour or so, however, and was in 30th place when bigegypt was eliminated in 55th place to burst the cash bubble.
Moneymaker continued to hang on during the first cashouts, among them Tyson "POTTERPOKER" Marks -- winner of the 2010 WCOOP Main Event -- in 48th place ($2,330) and ubon1 in 46th ($2,330).
Just 43 remained when a short-stacked psuNYY51 open-raised all in from under the gun for just over seven big blinds. It folded to Moneymaker on the button who reraised all in for a little more than 17 big blinds. ThEcLaiMEer then reshoved over the top from the small blind, forcing out the BB. ThEcLaiMEer had Q♦Q♣, psuNYY51 A♦7♦ and Moneymaker A♥6♥. A queen flopped, and ThEcLaiMEer's set of queens held, eliminating psuNYY51 in 43rd and Moneymaker in 42nd, both of whom earned $2,563 for their finishes.
It would take another couple of hours to reach the final table, with several notable names cashing along the way.
Mer "PeachyMer" Brit (40th), Taylor "tdomeski" Douglas (38th), and Tony "D1rtyR1v3r" Nardi (37th) each earned $2,563 for their efforts. They were followed by Clark "snake8484" Hamagami (35th) and Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo (34th) who both took $2,796.
More familiar names subsequently fell, including Jon "apestyles" Van Fleet (25th), Laurence "rivermanl" Houghton (24th), and Grayson "graybone" Nichols (22nd). Those three each earned $3,262. And Benjamin "xthesteinx" Zamani (17th, $4,194), Chris "Genius28" Lee (14th, $5,126), and lb6121 (11th, $6,058) were among those falling just shy of the final table.
Finally, a little after seven-and-a-half hours of play, $kill Game was eliminated in 10th place ($6,058) and we had our final nine.
Seat 1: ZEMBALOUIE -- 385,770
Seat 2: Jovial Gent -- 212,100
Seat 3: ThEcLaiMEer -- 384,723
Seat 4: BadcardsAA -- 190,340
Seat 5: jayjay908 -- 290,390
Seat 6: BleedBlue33 -- 280,472
Seat 7: flexaccou -- 116,800
Seat 8: Stammdogg -- 164,866
Seat 9: Edgaraz -- 304,539
As often happens in these Super Tuesdays, a tough group of players had assembled around the final table, including Raj "BadcardsAA" Vohra, Keven "Stammdogg" Stammen, and Yevgeniy "Jovial Gent" Timoshenko. All were chasing ZEMBALOUIE and ThEcLaiMEer, but with the blinds at just 2,000/4,000 the stacks were still quite deep and a lot of play remained.
Final Table: Hour 1
The final nine battled for a half-hour, at which point it appeared jayjay908 was in danger of becoming the first casualty, his stack having slipped below 10 big blinds. But jayjay908 picked up pocket aces on the same hand "Jovial Gent" Timoshenko had a pair of kings and managed to double back up out of the danger zone.
Play proceeded for another half-hour with no eliminations. Then came a big hand between BleedBlue33 and Jovial Gent in which it appeared all but certain Timoshenko would be the first to go.
A series of preflop raises ended with Timoshenko all in with K♣K♠ versus BleedBlue33's A♠K♥. The flop came 8♠5♦A♣, pairing BleedBlue33's ace and all but dooming Jovial Gent. But the turn brought the case K♦ and following a deuce on the river the Ukraine native was spared.
Final Table: Hour 2
At last came the first knockout. With the blinds 3,600/7,200, Stammdogg opened for 16,400 from early position. It folded around to a once again short-stacked jayjay908 who called from the big blind. The flop came 2♦J♥8♦, and jayjay908 quickly pushed his remaining 24,631 in the middle. Stammen called, showing 9♥9♠ for nines, better than the eights jayjay908's K♥8♥ had given him. The turn was the Q♠ and the river the 9♦, and jayjay908 was out in ninth.
Another half-hour passed. Stammdogg doubled through BleedBlue33, his pocket queens holding up against the latter's pocket fives. Then flexaccou doubled through Stammen, who again had queens and was ahead of flexaccou's J♦J♥, but a jack flopped and flexaccou survived.
Another preflop all-in confrontation soon followed between Timoshenko and Vohra, but both players had pocket kings. Five cards later, they were chopping the pot, and the final table continued its long march.
Final Table: Hour 3
BleedBlue33 survived an all-in versus Edgaraz. Edgaraz survived an all-in versus Jovial Gent. Last week's Super Tuesday had ended at Level 32. But this week we had reached Level 36 -- a full hour more -- and eight players still remained!
Then, in the last hand before the ten-hour break, Edgaraz opened with a minimum raise to 24,000 from middle position, and it folded back to BleedBlue33 in the big blind who thought a moment, then shoved all in for 233,490. Edgaraz snap-called, showing A♦K♦ to BleedBlue33's A♠J♣. The board ran out A♣9♣7♦Q♠T♣, and BleedBlue33 was eliminated in eighth.
That hand pushed Edgaraz into the lead with seven left with 564,684, followed by flexaccou with 454,842. Meanwhile Jovial Gent and ZEMBALOUIE were now the short stacks.
A couple of orbits passed, then with the blinds 7,000/14,000, Edgaraz raised to 32,000 from under the gun. It folded all of the way back to Stammdogg in the big blind who shoved all in for 172,830, and Edgaraz called. Edgaraz had A♥J♣ and Stammen Q♥Q♠. The flop came K♣4♦A♠, putting Edgaraz out in front, but the Q♦ turn gave Stammdogg a set, making it look as though we were about to see another great escape. Then came the river -- the T♥ -- giving Edgaraz a straight and ousting Stammen in seventh.
Just a half-dozen hands later, Edgaraz open-raised from the small blind enough to put ZEMBALOUIE all in from the BB, and ZEMBALOUIE quickly called with his remaining 151,620. Edgaraz showed Q♦2♦ and had run into ZEMBALOUIE's A♣A♥.
But while the all-in players repeatedly survived for the first two-plus hours of this final table, such was no longer the case as the board ran out 9♠5♥8♣J♥T♥, giving Edgaraz a straight and bumping ZEMBALOUIE in sixth.
The flurry of action continued as just two hands later flexaccou min-raised to 28,000 from UTG, Edgaraz reraised to 56,000 from UTG+1, then Jovial Gent pushed all in from the button for 233,653. The blinds folded, flexaccou called, and Edgaraz got out of the way. flexaccou showed Q♦Q♣ and Timoshenko A♥K♣. The community cards came nine-high -- 3♦5♥8♥9♠8♣ -- and Timoshenko was knocked out in fifth.
Final Table: Hour 4
A few hands later flexaccou had pushed into the lead with more than 912,000, followed by Edgaraz with almost 586,000, ThEcLaiMEer with about 463,000, and BadCardsAA with a tad over 336,000. The subject of a possible deal arose, and while three of the four were willing to discuss numbers, Edgaraz was not interested and play continued.
A few hands later, however, Edgaraz had lost about half of his stack to BadCardsAA when the latter doubled through with pocket nines versus Edgaraz's A♥K♥, and now he was willing to deal. An email had to be sent and answered, and of the four BadCardsAA -- as mentioned a frequent deep-finisher in these big buy-in MTTs -- seemed most familiar with the process.
But the conversation turned less amiable the more they discussed the topic of BadCardsAA sending the email, and soon it became clear no deal was going to happen. Play continued.
Then, with the blinds 9,000/18,000, "BadCardsAA" Vohra opened for 40,900, then Edgaraz reraised all in for 356,993 from the big blind. Vohra called with his last 291,930, showing K♦J♠ to Edgaraz's A♥J♥. The board came 7♦Q♦7♥2♠T♠, and BadCardsAA was out in fourth.
They reached the 11-hour break, with flexaccou out in front with about 1.08 million, ThEcLaiMEer next with around 780,000, and Edgaraz in third with just over 462,000. During the break the trio agreed to try once more to summon a Host and make a deal, and an email was sent. All three sat out as play resumed, and after a few minutes help arrived.
The "chip chop" numbers were proposed: $76,001.80 for flexaccou, $68,321.15 for ThEcLaiMEer, and $60,437.45 for Edgaraz. flexaccou initially wanted more, but ThEcLaiMEer was not agreeable. Finally flexaccou gave in, but Edgaraz said he didn't want to deal, and the tourney resumed once more.
Not long after, Edgaraz open-raised all in for 447,518 from the button with K♦Q♠, and got a caller in ThEcLaiMEer from the small blind who held A♠J♠. Five cards later -- 4♠4♦4♣3♦9♥ -- Edgaraz was out in third.
The remaining two played one hand of heads up, then the tourney was paused once again to talk deal-making. At that point the pair were nearly even, as the ThEcLaiMEer had 1,223,780 and flexaccou 1,106,220. Both were amenable to the amounts proposed, and finally, at Level 41, after almost 11-and-a-half hours -- including nearly four hours at the final table -- the competitive portion of the Super Tuesday had at last concluded.
Both players pushed all in on the next hand, with ThEcLaiMEer holding 6♦4♣ and flexaccou 5♣2♣. It seemed almost fitting that the marathon tourney not end right away, and after the board brought no card lower than an eight, the pair split the pot.
The next hand ended it, though. This time ThEcLaiMEer had a proper hand to go out on -- K♣K♦ -- and it held up versus flexaccou's Q♥2♣.
Congratulations to ThEcLaiMEer and flexaccou for surviving an especially tough -- and especially lengthy -- final table to chop this week's Super Tuesday!
Super Tuesday Results for 1/25/11 (*reflects two-way deal):
1st: ThEcLaiMEer ($78,495.95)*
2nd: flexaccou ($77,334.45)*
3rd: Edgaraz ($48,930)
4th: BadCardsAA ($37,280)
5th: Jovial Gent ($26,096)
6th: ZEMBALOUIE ($19,805)
7th: Stammdogg ($15,145)
8th: BleedBlue33 ($10,485)
9th: jayjay908 ($7,735.60)