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ibotown takes it down, wins last Super Tuesday of the year (12/31/13)

With New Year's Eve parties no doubt occupying most Super Tuesday regulars, there was a much-smaller-than-usual turnout for this final installment of 2013. Even so, the $283,000 prize pool still bested the guarantee of $250K for the tourney (reduced from the usual $300K in anticipation of players' NYE plans). It would take ibotown of Germany just over 10 hours to emerge from that field as a winner to earn a first prize of $53,508.23 after a heads-up deal.

Before we get to the story of ibotown's win, let's take a quick look back at the past year's worth of Super Tuesdays, a period that has witnessed unprecedented growth for the popular weekly big buy-in event.

Super Tuesdays super-sized in 2013

When the year began the largest Super Tuesday field ever had come about two months before when 547 entered on 10/30/12. That was one of seven instances in 2012 when the weekly $1,050 no-limit hold'em tournament attracted turnouts of 500 players or more.

In 2013 the Super Tuesday ran 48 times, taking off a couple of weeks in May for the Spring Championship of Online Poker and few more in September for the World Championship of Online Poker. Unlike the year before, in 2013 it became the norm for the tournament to draw more than 500 players rather than the exception.

Out of 48 Super Tuesdays in 2013, a total of 35 attracted 500 or more runners, and among those no less than 11 Super Tuesdays drew fields of 600 or more (!).

A record was set when 663 players took part in the Super Tuesday on March 19, 2013. Fields were consistently large throughout the year, averaging just over 537 entrants throughout. That's a big hike over the 2012 average of just over 443 players for each Tuesday's tourney.

And the biggest first prize of the year -- and of Super Tuesday history -- went to Andoni "Pollopopeye" Larrabe of the United Kingdom who took down that big 663-entrant tourney back in March without a final table deal being struck, thereby earning $124,644 for his $1,050 investment.

There's still a little more to report regarding the Super Tuesday in 2013, so let's talk about how ibotown earned that nice score to jot down in the "+" column before turning the page on the year.

From 283 to 10

Only the top 36 made the cash this week, and by the time they'd reached the five-hour break they were just one away from the money and hand-for-hand play had begun. They'd continue another 15 minutes before stinmichel became the unfortunate 37th-place finisher after losing a hand versus H.Oussalé.

They were still shy of the six-hour break when 18 more had fallen, leaving just 18 left to battle. By then ibotown and MountainRo$e had moved into the top two spots in the counts.

evjersen (18th), cobrastyle15 (17th), and Aist84 (16th) were the next to go, each earning $3,113 for their finishes. JETS_AA (15th), jays94 (14th), and Samuel "SamuelBT" Tsehai (13th) then went out to pick up $3,820.50 apiece. And TheHood (12th) and CageMTL82 (11th) next fell, each seeing $4,528 added to their PokerStars accounts.

From 10 to 8

Soon after that they reached the seven-hour break and midnight struck in the Eastern time zone. Then in one of the first hands of 2014, baconbits33 was in the unfortunate-seeming spot of being all in with T♣9♦ against IMJEWISH_LOL's A♦A♥. But the board rolled out 3♠9♠2♠T♠9♥ to give baconbits33 an unlikely double to continue in the tourney.

Play continued and talitay managed to double through Jason "Roberts34" Roberts with A♠K♦ versus the latter's 8♥8♠ when a king came among the community cards. Then H.Oussalé used 8♥8♦ to double through MountainRo$e's 6♥6♠ to keep the final table bubble going.

Two more short stacks doubled up -- IMJEWISH_LOL through shermanash, then shermanash through paphiti -- then finally came an elimination. In fact there were two, both happening on the same hand at the two five-handed tables.

First a shermanash shoved a stack of about 15 big blinds from the button with A♦T♣ and IMJEWISH_LOL called from the small blind with 7♦7♣. The community cards came 9♦9♥6♠Q♠9♠, and shermanash was done in 10th for $4,528.

Meanwhile on the other table a hand continued to play out between talitay and MountainRo$e. After the latter called a preflop three-bet from talitay, the flop had come A♣9♥2♥ and following a continuation bet from talitay, MountainRo$e called.

The turn then brought the J♥ and a bet of 18,000 into the pot of just over 65,000 from talitay. MountainRo$e responded by raising to 46,889, and when talitay reraise-shoved for 145,421 total, MountainRo$e called instantly.

talitay had A♥A♦ for top set plus a nut flush draw, but MountainRo$e had already made a flush with 4♥3♥. The river was the Q♠, sending talitay railward in ninth for a $5,377 cash, and at last the final table began with MountainRo$e in front and one seat already empty.


Seat 1: ibotown (Germany) -- 133,322
Seat 2: empty
Seat 3: Jason "Roberts34" Roberts (Mexico) -- 246,564
Seat 4: baconbits33 (Canada) -- 109,252
Seat 5: H.Oussalé (Germany) -- 41,812
Seat 6: MountainRo$e (Israel) -- 469,542
Seat 7: IMJEWISH_LOL (Australia) -- 161,906
Seat 8: Assad91 (Norway) -- 47,934
Seat 9: paphiti (United Kingdom) -- 204,668

baconbits33 fried in eighth

On just the second hand of the final table the blinds were 1,800/3,600 when paphiti raised to 9,200 from early position, then it folded to baconbits33 who made it 19,800 from the cutoff seat. It folded back to paphiti who called, and the pair together saw a flop come 2♦Q♥4♥.

paphiti checked and baconbits33 fired 19,800 into the middle. At that paphiti raised all in for more than 180,000, and baconbits33 called with the 69,202 left behind.

baconbits33 had A♦A♣ -- the hand that baconbits33 had cracked on the final table bubble -- which was better than paphiti's K♥Q♣ for top pair of queens. But the K♠ arrived on the turn to improve paphiti to two pair, and after the 5♣ river baconbits33 was done in eighth.

H.Oussalé sails away in seventh

It would take nearly an hour for another elimination to come, during which time the blinds increased to 2,800/5,600.

That hand began with a min-raise to 11,200 by ibotown from the cutoff seat and both blinds calling, H.Oussalé (small) and MountainRo$e (big). The flop came 6♣K♣8♥ and it checked to ibotown who bet 19,555 and only H.Oussalé called. The turn brought the 5♠ and a check from H.Oussalé, and ibotown bet again, this time 25,555. H.Oussalé check-raised all in for 84,476, and ibotown called.

H.Oussalé had K♦Q♣ for kings, but ibotown had the same pair with a better kicker with A♦K♥. The river was the 9♦, and they were down to six.

paphiti sunk in sixth

About 20 minutes later the blinds were 3,600/7,200 when paphiti opened for the minimum with a raise to 14,400 from under the gun, then it folded around to Assad91 in the big blind who shoved all in for more than 200,000. paphiti called with the 73,695 left behind, tabling Q♦9♦ to Assad91's 7♣7♦.

The board rolled out 2♣A♦K♣A♣5♥, and paphiti's run had ended in sixth. That earned paphiti a five-figure score and another deep PokerStars finish following a big win in WCOOP Event #45 ($2,100 NLHE) back in September for which paphiti earned $480,101.70.

IMJEWISH_LOL finishes fifth

The final five continued on through the nine-hour break with ibotown starting to build a big lead with more than 850,000 at one point at a time when the nearest challenger -- Jason "Roberts34" Roberts -- had only a little over 210,000.

They'd battle nearly a half-hour more, then with the blinds up to 5,000/10,000 it was IMJEWISH_LOL raising all in for 124,063 from the cutoff then watching leader ibotown reraise from the small blind to isolate.

IMJEWISH_LOL showed 3♥3♣ and was hoping the small pair would hold up against ibotown's A♥K♥. The treys were still good after the 9♦7♥T♣ flop can 4♥ turn, but the K♦ fell on fifth street to give ibotown a better pair and IMJEWISH_LOL was eliminated in fifth.

MountainRo$e wilts in fourth

A half-dozen hands later it was MountainRo$e opening with a 2x raise to 20,000 from the button, then Assad91 three-bet to 43,684 from the small blind and ibotown folded the big blind. Then MountainRo$e pushed all in for 183,435 total and Assad91 called right away.

MountainRo$e had K♣Q♥ and needed help versus Assad91's K♦K♥, and the flop did bring a little hope, coming 4♠Q♦3♠ to pair MountainRo$e's queen. But the turn was the 3♣ and river the J♣, and MountainRo$e was out in fourth.

Roberts34 run out in third

Just one hand later Assad91 raised to 20,000 from the button, Jason "Roberts34" Roberts reraised all in for 250,500 from the big blind, and Assad91 called. Roberts had kicker trouble with his A♣8♥ versus Assad91's A♦K♦, and when the board rolled out J♥K♠T♦K♥3♥ Assad91 had trips and Roberts34 was done in third.

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A deal, then ibotown takes it down

Heads-up play began with Assad91 the new leader with 774,195 to ibotown's 640,805. But after two hands ibotown had just over 822,000 and Assad91 about 591,000 when they paused the tourney to discuss a possible deal.

There was a short wait before a host arrived, during which the last two players in the last Super Tuesday of the year chatted a little.

ibotown: happy new year btw :)
Assad91: happy new year man :)
Assad91: starting strong heh :D
Assad91: all the hosts drunk and passed out?
ibotown: prolly
ibotown: and i will join them afterwards ;)
Assad91: +1

A host did soon arrive to help with the negotiations. At heads-up "ICM" and "chip chop" numbers are the same, and when they were presented -- leaving $5,000 for which to play -- both players quickly agreed and play resumed.

Soon Assad91 seized the chip advantage again, and still had it when the 10-hour break arrived with 739,490 to ibotown's 675,510.

Within a few hands after play resumed ibotown moved back into the lead, with one key hand involving ibotown managing to make quad aces with A♦8♥ and getting Assad91 to call a decent-sized river bet.

Then on the very next hand Assad min-raised to 24,000 from the button, ibotown reraised to 70,550, Assad91 made it 138,465 to go, ibotown shoved all in, and Assad91 called with the 321,915 left behind.

ibotown: 3♦3♠
Assad91: 8♦8♠

Assad91 looked in great shape to score a big double, and after the 4♥A♥K♦ flop the eights were still the better pair. But the 3♥ landed on the turn to give ibotown a set, and after the K♥ river it was all over... ibotown had won!

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Congratulations to ibotown for winning the last Super Tuesday of the year, and kudos as well to Assad91 for making it to the heads-up deal to earn a nice payday to round out 2013 as well.

12/31/13 Super Tuesday ($1,050 No-Limit Hold'em) results (*reflects two-way deal)

Players: 283
Prize pool: $283,000
Places paid: 36

1. ibotown (Germany) -- $53,508.23*
2. Assad91 (Norway) -- $46,815.27*
3. Jason "Roberts34" Roberts (Mexico) -- $31,979.00
4. MountainRo$e (Israel) -- $24,055.00
5. IMJEWISH_LOL (Australia) -- $16,414.00
6. paphiti (United Kingdom) -- $12,735.00
7. H.Oussalé (Germany) -- $9,905.00
8. baconbits33 (Canada) -- $7,075.00
9. talitay (Israel) -- $5,377.00

After having reviewed a year's worth of Super Tuesdays, check out Brad Willis's "2013 PokerStars Year in Review" for a comprehensive look at all things PokerStars over the last 12 months.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

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