It was a record-setting night for this week's Super Tuesday, the weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament at PokerStars. A whopping 597 played the tourney -- an even 50 more than the previous record-high for entrants -- and after 10 hours and 20 minutes it was eisenhower1 of Sweden coming out on top following a four-way chop.
A Super-Duper Tuesday: 597!
It was clear early on that the night might be special in terms of turnout. About 90 minutes after the first hands were dealt -- almost halfway through the three-hour late registration period -- the 500th player registered. And a few moments later the field had already exceeded last week's 502, the most so far in 2013.
By the two-hour mark they were up to 536 players -- just 11 off the all-time high of 547 set last October. And about 20 minutes later the 548th entrant took a virtual seat, breaking the previous mark.
Over the next 40 minutes the total continued to rise, edging ever closer to 600 and a $600K prize pool (double the $300K guarantee). At last the three-hour break arrived and when late registration closed the final record-setting total was 597, with the top 72 finishers due to divide the $597K prize pool. More than $112,000 was scheduled to go to the winner, but a final table deal would result in four players coming away from this one with better than $70K scores.
Finding a final table
At that point Chris "BigHuni" Hunichen had just knocked out joeyspanne88 to collect more chips and reach the break with a leading stack. And Team PokerStars Pro Joe "jcada99" Cada wasn't too far behind Hunichen in fourth position among the 298 players still remaining.
Cada would enjoy the lead briefly at the start of the fourth hour before slipping back to the pack. Meanwhile his fellow Team PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov would battle with a below average stack into Hour #5 before being eliminated in 122nd by Believer82.
After crossing the five-hour mark they were approaching the bursting of the cash bubble with OMGjonyctt in first position. Soon they reached the money, and it would take another two hours-plus for the field to shrink from 72 down to 18.
Along the way "Big Huni" Huchisen was eliminated in 32nd (for $2,985) and Cada fell in 29th (also for $2,985) after his A♣Q♥ failed to hold versus Purakzoli's A♥J♥ when a jack flopped and no help came for Cada thereafter.
The next nine eliminations would take another hour, carrying the tourney up to the eight-and-a-15-minute mark. looie1 (18th), Brian "brianm15" England (17th), and Luke "LukeFromB13" Staudenmaier (16th) each earned $4,776. komisch99 (15th), akisss (14th), and Óscar "MendaLerenda" Serradell (13th) cashed for $5,970 apiece. And NeoForastero (12th), Leqenden (11th), and airforlife20 (10th) realized $7,164 paydays.
Just nine remained.
Seat 1: bgame153 (Canada) -- 112,679
Seat 2: Speedpokah (Finland) -- 271,507
Seat 3: OMGjonyctt (United Kingdom) -- 176,575
Seat 4: eisenhower1 (Sweden) -- 260,924
Seat 5: Pimmss (Netherlands) -- 253,101
Seat 6: Purakzoli (Hungary) -- 385,869
Seat 7: zugzwang16 (Uruguay) -- 312,288
Seat 8: WATnlos (Germany) -- 889,494
Seat 9: Chester20o (Poland) -- 322,563
From nine to four
The German WATnlos began the final table with a commanding lead with more than twice the number of chips of the nearest challengers. Meanwhile bgame153 of Canada was the short stack, and on just the third hand of the final table those chips would be at risk.
The blinds were 2,800/5,600 when bgame153 opened with a 2x raise to 11,200 from middle position, then eisenhower1 reraised to 23,670 from the button to force folds from the blinds. bgame153 responded with an all-in push for 135,779 and eisenhower1 called.
bgame153 had A♠J♦, but needed help against the A♥Q♦ of eisenhower1. The board then rolled out T♥2♣8♥J♣9♣, giving a pairing jack to bgame153 on the turn, but a queen-high straight to eisenhower1 on the river, thereby sending bgame153 to the rail in ninth.
The remaining eight would battle all of the way through the nine-hour break, the first hand after which saw the next elimination.
The blinds had increased to 3,600/7,200 when zugzwang16 open-raised all in for 74,866 from the small blind and chip leader WATnlos called from the next seat. zugzwang16 had Q♥9♠ and WATnlos T♦T♥, and when the five community cards came 2♠A♣6♠J♣A♦, zugzwang16 was out in eighth.
About 20 minutes after that it was Chester20o open-pushing from early position for 120,433 (a little over 13 big blinds), then Pimmss reraising over the top from the small blind to isolate. Their cards were flipped over, showing A♣K♣ for Pimmss and 4♦4♣ for Chester20o.
Chester20o was okay through the 3♥2♥8♥ flop and 7♠ turn, but the K♠ landed on fifth street to give Pimmss the better pair and knock Chester20o out in seventh.
Pimmss had claimed the lead from WATnlos before that hand, and afterwards Pimmss was sitting with more than 1.14 million while WATnlos was the nearest challenger with just under 660,000.
About an orbit after Chester20o's elimination, the blinds were still 4,500/9,000 when Speedpokah pushed all in from under the gun for 139,937, then saw eisenhower1 reraise all in from a couple seats over, forcing folds all around.
Speedpokah showed Q♠J♠ and needed help against eisenhower1's K♦K♣. The board brought no improvement to Speedpokah's hand, however, coming 3♥4♣T♦6♦5♥ to end Speedpokah's run in sixth.
A half-dozen hands later, Purakzoli min-raised to 18,000 from the button, then OMGjonyctt pushed all in from the big blind for 196,950 and Purakzoli called.
OMGjonycutt was at risk with 8♠7♠ against Purakzoli's K♥Q♠, and when the flop came 8♣4♣7♥, OMGjonycutt appeared in good shape to survive with top two pair. But the turn brought the 4♠ to pair the board, then the K♠ landed on the river, giving Purakzoli a better two pair and eliminating OMGjonycutt in fifth.
A deal is done, then four become one
The final four soon agreed to pause the tournament and discuss a possible deal. Purakzoli had become the leader with almost 1.06 million, with WATnlos in second position with about 773,000, Pimmss third with just under 644,000, and eisenhower1 fourth with a little more than 511,000.
ICM numbers were soon produced -- leaving $6,000 for which to play -- and all four quickly agreed to accept the guaranteed sums, with Purakzoli's $81K-plus representing the largest share. Play soon resumed, and within a few hands they reached the tourney's 10-hour mark, with all four agreeing to skip the break and play straight through.
Soon it was eisenhower1 winning a big preflop all-in with A♠J♠ versus WATnlos's A♦Q♣ after the board came K♥3♦T♦Q♦7♥ to give eisenhower1 a winning straight. Take a look:
eisenhower1 then won another big pot versus Purakzoli -- again making a straight -- and suddenly had a big lead with a stack of nearly 1.6 million.
eisenhower1 added a few more chips, then in the space of eight hands it was quickly over.
First came a hand in which Pimmss opened with a 2x raise to 28,000, then eisenhower1 reraised to 68,670 from the big blind. Pimmss responded by pushing all in for 337,620 total, and eisenhower1 swiftly called.
Two big pairs, and after the 2♣A♦T♦ they became two big sets. The turn was the Q♥ and river the 7♠, and they were down to three.
On the very next hand, the blinds were still 7,000/14,000 when eisenhower1 opened for 30,100 from the small blind, then Purakzoli shoved all in for 296,067 from the big blind. eisenhower1 called, showing A♦8♦ to Purakzoli's K♦J♦, and when the board came 4♠7♣2♠T♠9♠, just two remained.
eisenhower1 had 2,386,175 to WATnlos's 598,925 to start heads-up play. After trading five small pots the sixth hand between them saw WATnlos min-raising to 28,000, eisenhower1 reraising to 68,670, WATnlos pushing all in for 674,475, and eisenhower1 making the call.
WATnlos had an ace with A♣2♦, but eisenhower1 had picked up a big pair with J♥J♣. The community cards came 8♣K♠3♦, then 5♠, then J♦, and the player named after the poker-playing U.S. president had won.
Congratulations to eisenhower1 for topping the biggest-ever Super Tuesday field of 597! And kudos as well to WATnlos, Purakzoli, and Pimmss for making it to the four-way deal and securing handsome Super Tuesday scores!
1/22/13 Super Tuesday final table results (*reflects four-way deal):
1st: eisenhower1 (Sweden) -- $73,509.34*
2nd: WATnlos (Germany) -- $75,409.62*
3rd: Purakzoli (Hungary) -- $81,640.29*
4th: Pimmss (Netherlands) -- $71,821.25*
5th: OMGjonyctt (United Kingdom) -- $32,238.00
6th: Speedpokah (Finland) -- $25,372.50
7th: Chester20o (Poland) -- $19,402.50
8th: zugzwang16 (Uruguay) -- $13,432.50
9th: bgame153 (Canada) -- $9,134.10
Prize pool: $597,000
Places paid: 72
The Turbo Championship of Online Poker continues this week with multiple tournaments each day. Check the TCOOP page for details on all of the remaining events.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.