Just an hour and 18 minutes after its final table convened, this week’s Super Tuesday was already down to its final two. Thanks in part to the blistering early pace, Russia’s Stivi Ger was in comfortable position with an 85-big-blind lead after leading for nearly the entire final table. But the player on the other side of the table, four-time COOP winner and WCOOP 2016 Player Of The Series Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez, was more than capable of mounting a comeback. He fought uphill for nearly an hour before a slight cooler finished off his short stack, closing out Stivi Ger’s hard-earned $68K victory.
This week’s tournament drew 376 players, topping the guarantee by a single entry for a $376,000 prize pool. wiper222 of the Netherlands busted just before the six-hour mark, popping the money bubble right before the break to guarantee everybody else a cash worth at least $2,336.72. Stivi Ger led the way with 127 big blinds, well ahead of cmontopdeck, NukeTheFish!, ZeelandBoy, and Mandrakrdg, all of whose stacks sat between 80 and 84 big blinds. An hour later just 28 players remained, with donkey310 up top and Stivi Ger still in second place.
It took another three hours of play to eliminate two tables’ worth of players and leave the tournament on the final table bubble with 40 percent of the remaining field consisting of past Super Tuesday champions. As it turned out, none of them were long for this tournament, beginning with Thomas “WushuTM” Muhlocker. He won a Super Tuesday Special Edition at SCOOP 2015, but tonight he was knocked out in 10th place after shoving with 4♦ 4♠ in the small blind and being called in the big blind by zzhalbert with 9♣ 9♦.
That left these nine players to chop up all the best parts of the prize pool:
Seat 1: Mandrakrdg (1,444,387 in chips)
Seat 2: Jon “luckyfish89” Clark (706,334 in chips)
Seat 3: Stivi Ger (2,494,598 in chips)
Seat 4: €urop€an (673,739 in chips)
Seat 5: cmontopdeck (348,976 in chips)
Seat 6: zzhalbert (791,875 in chips)
Seat 7: Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez (1,446,281 in chips)
Seat 8: Stefano “easylimp” Terziani (557,078 in chips)
Seat 9: donkey310 (936,732 in chips)
Muhlocker’s departure set a trend and the next three knockouts kept to it, as each removed a past Super Tuesday winner from the field. Moreover, they did it in near-record time, taking all three out within the first 10 hands of the final table. Germany’s cmontopdeck, a Super Tuesday winner back in 2015 and Sunday Warm-Up winner in 2013, survived a coin flip early with 3♣ 3♠ against Mandrakrdg’s A♥ J♦ to double up out of the basement. Three hands later Stefano “easylimp” Terziani, a WCOOP 2015 and TCOOP 2014 winner whose Super Tuesday victory came in 2014, was dealt Q♥ Q♠ on the same hand as donkey310 was dealt A♣ A♠. The chips went in before the flop, the jack-high board brought no help, and easylimp was gone in ninth.
Stivi Ger opened the next hand for 66K in the cutoff with A♣ Q♠ and called when cmontopdeck shoved in the small blind for 623K. cmontopdeck’s dominated A♥ 8♣ couldn’t catch up on the 7♦ 3♠ K♠ 5♥ 5♦, and another past Super Tuesday winner was gone in eighth.
Stivi Ger picked up 2♣ 2♥ in the hijack seat on the next hand and opened for 66K again, making for an easy call when €urop€an shoved for 177K in the cutoff and the rest of the table folded. €urop€an, a past Sunday Million and SCOOP winner who won a Super Tuesday Special Edition at WCOOP 2016, was a slim favorite before the flop with A♥ 10♥ and picked up a gutshot Broadway draw on the Q♠ K♠ 6♠ flop. But the 5♣ turn and 9♠ river were no help, and €urop€an was out in seventh.
With the table now six-handed, Fabrizio Gonzalez stepped into the center of the action. One orbit after €urop€an’s departure, Gonzalez took down a 2.3M-chip pot after calling Stivi Ger’s button raise with 9♥ 6♦ in the big blind, catching three of a kind on the 6♠ 4♥ 6♥ flop, and three-betting for value on the river after making a full house with the 9♠. The two players swapped first and second place on the leaderboard after that pot, but Stivi Ger moved back into the lead 12 hands later after opening on the button with 7♣ 7♥, catching a set on the 8♠ 6♣ 7♦ flop, and calling Gonzalez’s naked all-in bluff on the river with Q♦ J♠.
Gonzalez dropped out of second place briefly following that loss but regained his position five hands later. He opened for 85K under the gun with A♠ K♠ and called when Mandrakrdg shoved in the cutoff for 700K. Mandrakrdg’s A♦ 10♦ threatened to steal the pot after Gonzalez made three kings on the 2♦ K♣ K♦ flop, but the 2♣ turn gave Gonzalez the full house and the 8♥ ended the hand with Madrakrdg exiting in sixth.
Stivi Ger’s 4.4M chips, well over twice Gonzalez’s 2M-chip stack and more than a double-up away from anyone else at the table making things close, led the way with the table five-handed. Then the Russian player extended that advantage thanks to pocket aces. Stivi Ger opened with A♠ A♥ in the cutoff and called when zzhalbert jammed for 977K on the button with A♣ Q♣. The J♥ 8♣ Q♥ flop and 6♣ turn both gave zzhalbert reason to hope for an upset, but the 4♠ left the aces ahead and sent zzhalbert to the rail in fifth.
Eight hands later, the last two players in the field from the United Kingdom clashed. Jon “luckyfish89” Clark, a Super Tuesday finalist in June of this year and a Sunday Million runner-up in October, opened all-in for 560K under the gun with J♠ 10♠, and donkey310, also a Super Tuesday finalist in May of this year, called in the big blind with A♦ 10♥. A gutshot draw on the flop and flush draw on the turn amounted to nothing for luckyfish89 as the board ran out 7♠ 9♥ 3♥ 3♠ Q♥, eliminating him in fourth.
You can’t win if you don’t play! Click here to get your PokerStars account today.
That 1.1M-chip win gave donkey310 a total stack of 1.47M, more than enough to compete with SixthSenSe19’s 2.05M. And since the first six knockouts of the final had come within a single hour, the blinds and antes were still at a relatively low 20K/40K/4K, leaving room for all three players to maneuver with some freedom. For about 15 minutes that translated to a lot of flops seen but no particularly large pots. Then donkey310 lost a small pot after raising with A♠ 10♣ in the small blind when Stivi Ger called with J♦ 9♦ in the big blind, made middle pair on the 6♣ 9♥ K♥ flop, and made two pair after the J♥ hit the river.
Five hands later Stivi Ger opened for 110K on the button and donkey310 defended with J♥ 6♥, bringing a 7♥ 9♥ 8♠ flop. donkey310 check-called 106K there and then check-raised all-in for 795K after the 3♦ came on the turn. Stivi Ger called with K♣ K♠ and dodged the straight and flush draws when the A♦ came on the river, knocking out donkey310 in third.
Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez was more than a double-up away from the chip lead as heads-up play began, and he aggressively tried to improve his position form the start. He took down eight of the first 11 pots to begin eating into Stivi Ger’s lead, and after another 20 minutes the final break of the tournament arrived with what had once been an 85-big-blind lead narrowed to just 40 big blinds.
The 3.49M chips Gonzalez held at that point would prove to be his high point, though. He called Stivi Ger’s button raise on the first hand back with 10♦ 6♦ in the big blind and flopped a diamond draw, check-calling 103K before making small lead bets on the turn and river of the 9♦ 5♦ 4♣ K♥ 4♠ board. Stivi Ger called down with 8♣ 5♣ and showed a pair of fives to take down the 1.07M chips in the middle.
Back to 6.4M chips now, Stivi Ger played pure small-ball – none of the next 28 pots grew larger than 11 big blinds, so that both players’ stacks remained the same size but were worth less with the blinds and antes up to 35K/70K/7K. Then came the tipping point, a 3.1M-chip pot Stivi Ger won without showdown on a 10♠ 6♣ 7♥ 7♠ 8♣ board after check-raising Gonzalez’s river bet all-in.
Gonzalez’s fold there with 1.05M chips left was the beginning of the end. He doubled up with pocket tens a few hands later, but the blinds and antes had already hit him hard enough that the double was only to 1.43M. Another desperate double two hands later with a miracle spade for a flush on the river to beat Stivi Ger’s three aces only got him back to 1.62M, but a few hands later he was in excellent position to get back into the game after min-raising the button with 8♦ 5♦ and getting a 5♣ 5♠ 9♦ flop. Stivi Ger checked and Gonzalez checked behind, bringing the K♦ on the turn to give Gonzalez a flush draw to go with his trip fives. Stivi Ger check-called 160K there and then another 1.23M when Gonzalez shoved following the 2♥ river. The free card on the turn had given Stivi Ger a perfectly disguised full house with K♥ K♠, and the tournament was complete.
A bit of a cooler there, but Gonzalez acquitted himself well over almost an hour of heads-up play and bagged more than $50K as the runner-up at his first Super Tuesday final table since 2011. And Stivi Ger, who came in with the chip lead and other than one short stretch in the middle maintained it for the entire final table, earned $68K+ for beating one seriously dangerous opponent heads-up. Congratulations to both players on coming out ahead of some very tough competition!
11/15/16 Super Tuesday ($1,050 NL Hold’em) results
Total prize pool: $376,000
Places paid: 53
1. Stivi Ger (Russia) $68,805.16
2. Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez (Uruguay) $50,522.93
3. donkey310 (United Kingdom) $37,098.60
4. Jon “luckyfish89” Clark (United Kingdom) $27,241.27
5. zzhalbert (China) $20,003.08
6. Mandrakrdg (Brazil) $14,688.13
7. €urop€an (Finland) $10,785.37
8. cmontopdeck (Germany) $7,919.65
9. Stefano “easylimp” Terziani (Malta) $5,815.32
You can’t win if you don’t play! Click here to get your PokerStars account today.
Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.