There were really two phases to the October 12 Party Poker 300K, and both were dominated by Swedes.
The 3 Swedes of the final table – sixth place finisher Sampas, second place finisher Fettan80 and the outright winner, Starderi – each controlled the final table for extended periods of play, even eliminating 6 consecutive players at one point.
Let’s take a look at the final table players; how they played, how they fared and how much money they made (all dollar values are in USD:)
10. raplunk / $2,850 / 0 hands won / 0 players eliminated
raplunk was the first of four players hailing from the United Kingdom participating in this most recent edition of the biggest regular tournament on Party Poker. He entered final table play with approximately 262,000 in chips (blinds began at 15,000 / 30,000 +700) and was immediately ousted by the first of our trio of Swedes, Sampas, in the mammoth 3-way double elimination hand 7451635048. raplunk finished with $2,850 for his tenth place exit.
9. crosscourtbh / $4,050 / 1 hand won / 0 players eliminated
Apparent tennis fan, crosscourtbh was eliminated alongside his fellow UK countryman raplunk in the aforementioned mega pot, where then chip leader Sampas’s set of tens claimed their tournament lives. Like raplunk, he also entered final table play with very few chips with about 292,000 (although he managed to win the fourth hand played with a solid pre-flop all-in.) $4,050 for 9th place, nearly 20-1 on the buy-in.
8. jrrez / $5,250 / 2 hands won / 0 players eliminated
The third straight UK player eliminated, unlike the other two jrrez came into the final table in relatively good shape with almost 710,000 in chips. He started out OK, winning 2 hands post-flop without a showdown before picking the wrong moment to push pre-flop with his A2 against eventual fourth place finisher Sebkad’s QQ. $5,250 for a spirited but mistimed 8th place performance.
7. flia1 / $7,950 / 4 hands won / 0 players eliminated
I got a kick out of Austrian player flia1 because he came in raring to go with a micro stack of 193,000. God bless the guy because rather than blend in with the décor and bleed up in the money, flia1 won the first two hands played with pre-flop all-ins. In fairness, he should have been eliminated in eighth place when his A9 ran into eventual winner Starderi’s JJ, but flia1 got lucky. Starderi would get his revenge, beginning his rampage of eliminations with flia1’s A8 against his own AQ. $7,950 for an honorable but lucky 7th place finish.
6. Sampas / $10,350 / 11 hands won and 1 split / 2 players eliminated (raplunk and crosscourtbh)
Swedish stud Sampas came into the final table with all cylinders firing. Coming in as the big stack with nearly 1.75 million in chips, he took or split 12 of the first 30 hands played in a barrage of pre and post flop aggression. Then came hand 7451683512 and the passing of the baton from one Swede (Sampas) to the next (Starderi.) Here, Sampas raised to 120K pre-flop holding A9 to be called by Starderi from the big blind holding 45. The flop came 10 5 3 and Starderi check-called with his middle pair, correctly putting Sampas on a continuation bet with nothing but big cards. But the turn brought a 9, pairing the then-chip leader up. Starderi checks, Sampas bets, Starderi raises, Sampas goes over the top and Starderi calls, creating a more than 3 million pot with Starderi all-in with only 6 outs. But the 15% dream came true when the 5 hit the river and Starderi hit the massive suckout. Starderi would ride that hand to an outright victory, while Sampas down to a shade over one big blind at 61,000 would be eliminated the following hand by Starderi. Sampas’s elimination would mark the second of six straight eliminations at the hands of Starderi. All told, $10,350 for a very well-played but horrifically unlucky final table for Sampas.
5. VIPClown / $13,800 / 10 hands won / 0 players eliminated
Danish player, VIPClown played some strong poker beginning the final table with about 850,000 chips. He won 10 hands including 4 post-flop without a showdown, with his most fruitful play occurring in hand 7451588063. But it was not to be as he re-raised Starderi pre-flop holding KJ and Starderi set him all-in with his 66, eliminating his third player in a row. $13,800 for a good effort.
4. Sebkad / $16,350 / 7 hands won / 1 player eliminated (jrrez)
The only member of this week’s Belgium contingent, Sebkad played a relatively tight final table, engaging in few pots and going aggressively after those he did. He made the majority of his chips off of eliminating jrrez and would coast with that stack until running into the wall that was Starderi. $16,350 for an uneventful fourth place.
3. duckedvegas / $20,700 / 16 hands won and 1 split / 0 players eliminated
UK player duckedvegas saved some face for his motherland with his strong play in the October 12 Party Poker 300K final table. He won or split 17 pots, 4 on pre-flop all-ins, 4 on post-flop uncalled bets and the rest on 2.5-4x raises of the big blind pre-flop. He was ultimately eliminated by Starderi after ducked flopped middle pair with his 96 and the uber-aggressive Starderi bet out. ducked re-raised all-in only to be called by Starderi who had flopped top pair with his Q10. I can’t really fault him for that play with Starderi playing as aggressively as he had been and each pot as valuable as it was (100,000 before a single card was dealt by that point.) What I will fault him for is never even trying to get a deal done: Starderi was running away with the tournament at about 4.5 million chips, you’ve got about the same amount as eventual second place finisher Fettan80 and you never even try to bypass the crazy blinds and hedge up some money in a deal?! Good player, maybe not the best financial thinker.
2. Fettan80 / $33,000 / 15 hands won / 0 players eliminated
Heads up: Began with 1,059,834 chips / 1 hand won
Swedish player Fettan80 was probably the best player at the final table. He entered play with the second biggest stack at 1.37 million, won a good amount of hands through pre and post-flop aggression (he won 6 hands post flop without a showdown) and even tried to get a deal together when play pared down to Heads up. Despite his well-rounded play, the Swedish poker gods were simply smiling more for fellow Viking Starderi on that day.
The very last hand of the tournament, the second hand played Heads up. Fettan80 took the first hand after re-raising all-in on the river to net a nifty 200K which closed the chip gap between the two to a whopping… 5.3 to 1 or so. Fet raises pre-flop holding J 8, Starderi calls holding A9. Flop comes 4 9 J and Fettan80 goes over the top of Star’s bet all-in. Star calls making the pot nearly 2.5 million, should Fettan80’s top pair have braved the 5 outs Starderi had then the gap between the two would have been about 4.7 million to 2.5 million or less than 2 to 1.
But the Ace hit the river and the tournament was over.$33,000 for an excellently played tournament and final table.
1.Starderi / $60,000 / 26 hands won / 6 players eliminated (flia1, Sampas, VIPClown, Sebkad, duckedvegas and Fettan80)
Heads up: Began with 6,125,166 in chips / 1 hand won
Swedish poker force Starderi could do no wrong. He won 26 hands at the October 12 final table, 5 post-flop without showdowns, 10 through pre-flop aggression alone, 2 were folded him to on his big blind and an astounding 9 were won at showdown (2 of which were 2+ million pot monster suckouts.)
He entered the final table in seat 6 with 635,000 in chips to put him right in the middle of the field. He took it pretty easy for the first 30 hands as Sampas steamrolled the competition. Of course, after gaining 3+ million ill-gotten chips against Sampas, he stepped o
the gas pedal winning 23 of the next 63 hands including personally eliminating the seventh through second place finishers.
Honestly, if Starderi hadn’t gotten extremely lucky twice then we’d be looking at a very different tournament, with Sampas for one ending a top 2 or 3 pretty easily. Not to mention the very last hand of the tournament… Regardless, Starderi won and added $60,000 to his bankroll, congratulations.
Final Table Statistics*
93 hands played
*final table statistics do not include Heads up play