Wait, that’s it?

At a mere 54 hands played, the final table for the September 7th proved to be the shortest final table played at the biggest regular tournament on Party Poker in more than 6 months.

Two things stuck out about this final table: 1, with 4 final table players running under its banner, Sweden sure is coming up in the world of poker and 2, with all 10 players running under the banners of Middle – Northern European nations, the same poker explosion occurring in Sweden is also going on in that entire segment of the world. Poker is growing especially in Middle and Northern Europe, Brazil and Russia.

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. Svarvarn / $2,850 / 0 hands won / 0 players eliminated

Swedish player Svarvarn entered final table play with about 830,000 in chips to put him in 5th position, less than 250,000 less than then leader, nimway. Unfortunately for Svarvarn, in the fifth hand of the final table he tried to trap I_FunmarZ_U with pocket Aces after the eventual winner had turned a set of sevens holding 9-7 offsuit. That 1.4 million chip hand all but eliminated Svarvarn who would tilt call all-in the next hand with J10 off suit and be done in by the A10 of italia_06. Svarvarn received $2,850 for his mistimed 10th place exit.

9. elmiklo82 / $4,050 / 1 hand won / 0 players eliminated

Swedish player elmiklo82 may have been one of the better players at the final table despite his unimpressive numbers. The one pot that he did win was a brilliant all-in pre-flop re-raise that nearly doubled him up without a single card hitting the internet felt (elmiklo82 began the final table with 346,000 with final table blinds beginning at 20,000/ 40,000 +1,000 ante.) He would lose a few hands later in a million chip race to Dicehustla’s pocket tens holding ; absolutely no shame in his ninth place finish and $4,050 in prize money.

8. Coconut86 / $5,250 / 3 hands won / 0 players eliminated.

German player Coconut86 started the final table off with two options: fold or all-in (he began with a meager 302,000 in chips.) Yet, Coconut was able to basically double up winning three pots by going all-in pre-flop. He would be caught with his proverbial hand in the cookie jar when eventual second place finisher TheRenegadee called and subsequently eliminated Coconut86 with pocket sixes after he had moved all-in from the button holding 9-5 off-suit. Hey, more power to Coconut86; you’ve got to steal blinds to win a tournament, especially when you start off as the second short stack; to his absolute credit, Coconut86 went down swinging. $5,250 for a valiant eight place finish.

7. nimway / $7,950 / 2 hands won / 0 players eliminated

Swiss player nimway opened up play at the September 7 Party Poker 300K final table as the chip leader with a shade over 1.08 million chips. He was one of two players to win a hand post-flop without a showdown and won the other hand with a pre-flop all-in – so nimway was not screwing around at the final table. Although he survived the hand, nimway lost nearly 500,000 in hand 7357858139 when 3rd place finisher italia_06 coaxed nim into calling three bets against italia’s top pair, king kicker. nimway would go all-in three hands later holding A10, and would be called and eliminated by I_FunmarZ_U holding KQ. nimway received $7,950 for an inconsistent but unlucky final table performance. 

6. Dicehustla / $10,350 / 6 hands won / 1 player eliminated (elmiklo82)

The third of the four pronged Swedish contingent, Dicehustla entered the final table with approximately 934,000 in chips and made a lot of strong pre-flop plays with them. Even with the blinds as high as 30,000 / 60,000 + 1,500 antes, Dicehustla rarely went all-in pre-flop, instead opting for raises of 2.5 – 4 times the big blind thereby protecting his stack while providing him plenty of opportunities to pilfer the giant blinds (in the interest of full disclosure, Dicehustla also got extremely lucky to even make it to the final table as hand 7357766675 demonstrates.) He was undone by an ill-advised foolhardy hero all-in call (for 500K more too!) holding A9 on a board that read Q 8 4 rainbow on then chip leader I_FunmarZ_U who had flopped middle pair (holding 8 – 9.) I guess I have to give Dice credit for really trusting his read… it also happened to be his last call of the tournament. That gutsy call both provided I_FunmarZ_U with the munitions he would need for a full scale assault (and the assault would come) and Dicehustla with an abrupt 6th place finish and $10,350 prize.

5. Tar666 / $13,800 / 7 hands won and 1 split / 0 players eliminated

The first of two players hailing from the Netherlands, Tar666 started off the final table as the short stack with a little less than 281,000 in chips. But Tar666 was a player possessed, winning 5 of his 7 hands with pre-flop all-ins (one of which was a beautiful re-raise on I_Fun.) It stands to reason that the huge blinds can sometimes be a blessing for smaller stacks because it takes a lot of potential complications out of betting: all-in or fold and you’ve got to win hands often or you’ll bleed to death – that’s certainly how Tar666 grew on his initial position from tenth (worth $2,850 in prize money) to fifth (worth $13,800) for a nearly $11,000 increase.

4. Shorty81 / $16,350 / 5 hands won / 0 players eliminated

I’m not sure if Finnish player Shorty81 is solely a professional poker player or not, but with wins in the last six months in major tournaments on PokerStars, Party Poker, Titan Poker, Doyles Room and Full Tilt, Shorty81 is at the very least supplementing his “real” income quite nicely. His successes at the spoke to a solid tight-aggressive style – though he won very few hands, he involved himself in very few. He was one of two players who won a hand post-flop without a showdown and immediately following his elimination by the AA of TheRenegadee, the remaining three players entered into dealmaking mode.

3. italia_06 / $31,250 (deal) / 9 hands won and 1 split / 1 player eliminated (Svarvan)

Canadian player, italia_06 began the final table with about 787,000 chips and ended it with exactly 1,463,711. He won the vast majority of his 9 hands with pre-flop aggression, and like Dicehustla he rarely went all-in pre-flop (just once.) While italia was not the recipient of the same sort of luck as Dicehustla, he did gain the bulk of his chips in a very fortunate one million chip pot with 29th place finisher LuckyYou23 when italia doubled up with AA through LuckyYou’s KK. But that’s how you win a big tournament – you have to be on the Aces side of AA v. KK (and then you have to win with it too.) Interestingly, once dealmaking mode had been initiated, italia was respectfully vocal about needing more than the $31,182.65 first offered to him by Party Poker itself. And I’m sure that when the final numbers had been agreed upon awarding him $31,250 instead of the previously unacceptable $31,182.65 for a difference of $67.35, it was much to the delight of italia_06. Regardless, it was smart of all three players to take the deal.

2. TheRenegadee / $32,250 (deal) / 4 hands won / 2 players eliminated (Coconut86 and Shorty81)

The second player at the final table to call the Netherlands home, TheRenegadee&rsqu
o;s second place finish represented the tightest play that I have ever seen achieve these results in a big tournament. In spite of beginning with 961,000 chips and astronomical blinds (most of the final table was played on 30,000 / 60,000 + 1,500 blinds + antes) TheRenegadee was able to win only 4 pots (half of which eliminated a player) yet secure the second most prize money. The deal initially presented TheRenegadee’s 1,664,652 chips with a $32,621.73 payout, yet he would accept a slightly downgraded $32,250 deal (a $371.73 loss) after the other two players just plain asked for more. In this situation, I probably would’ve done the same as TheRenegadee in saying “fine, you two want to get petty, fine, take a couple hundred more I’ll be OK with 30 odd grand.”

However, it stands to reason that TheRenegadee’s super-tight play when viewed with his penchant for short-changing himself may eventually (or maybe it has already) present problems for the Dutch player. Still, $32,250 is a great payday and only $750 less than the outright second prize money of $33,000.

1. I_FunmarZ_U / $50,200 (deal) / 18 hands won / 3 players eliminated (nimway, Dicehustla and Tar666)

TheRenegadee was able to get away with such rock solid play for two reasons: 1, the whole final table consisted of just 54 hands, so he didn’t have to face a bunch of rounds of blinds and 2, one guy dominated a fair amount of the action: I_FunmarZ_U, who was the fourth and final Swedish player at the final table. Through a mixture of strong pre-flop aggression (14 hands won pre-flop without going all-in, including 3 times when the small blind folded him the blinds and antes pre-flop,) luck (hand 7357878828 points to when is the right time to play 9-7 against Aces) and other players’ questionable calls (I_FunmarZ_U won more than 1.8 million when Dicehustla called him with Ace high.)

Though he began the final table with only 670,000 in chips, I_FunmarZ_U was able to win 18 hands (exactly 1/3 of the total hands played at the final table) through a barrage of pre-flop bets, a similar strategy to the one employed by Russian player zmeyga in . I_FunmarZ_U improved on the initial deal of $49,893.63 offered to his 4,076,637 chips by $306.37 for a grand prize of $50,200. And most importantly, he entered dealmaking mode with the biggest chip stack of the tournament, so he maximized on his potential earnings without subjecting himself to the heart attack of short-handed monster blind tournament poker. Job well done.

Final Table Statistics:
54 hands played
13 flops
11 turns
11 rivers and showdowns
7,205,000 total chips

We’ll see you next week for the September 14 Party Poker $300,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool Weekly No Limit Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament

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