Before we get into this week’s Second Guesses, I have a question: is everyone who makes it to the Party Poker 300K final table already working with a seven figure bankroll? Because that’s the only reason I can come up with to explain the rash of outright victors in the past few weeks of the Party Poker 300K.
Just so I can sleep tonight: when blinds are 50,000 / 100,000 + 2.5K, there are 7,155,000 total chips in play and there are 5 players left, you really want to at least check out the deal.
Unless of course, your name is fantomas_1 and you plan on winning twice as many hands as anyone else at the final table and personally eliminating 7 out of the 9 players en route to winning the $60,000 for outright victory. In which case, don’t sweat the deal.
Let’s take a look at the final table players; how they played, how they fared and how much money the made (all dollar values are in USD:)
10. chinagirl111 / $2,850 / 1 hand split / 0 players eliminated
Swedish player chinagirl111 entered the final table with approximately 445,000 in chips. With blinds beginning at 20,000 / 40,000 + 1,000 and swelling to 30,000 / 60,000 + 1.5K a mere 3 minutes after the first card was dealt, chinagirl111 had the same two options that most players at the final table had: fold or all-in. She picked all-in with AK and split a pot with ghmac then picked all-in with JJ and got nothing but bad luck against fantomas_1’s A7 when an Ace spiked the flop. $2,850 for an ill-fated 10th place.
9.youPAYmyBILZ / $4,050 / 0 hands won / 0 players eliminated
Though German player youPAYmyBILZ was not the winner of the tournament, he is the winner of my weekly least favorite screen name contest, with extra stupid points for mustering the hip hop z at the end of the misspelled “bill.” He came in with 236,000 went all-in with A3 and was called and eliminated by fantomas_1 holding K4; not much to say really.
8. Sosnoviy / $5,250 / 4 hands won / 0 players eliminated
Russian player Sosnoviy began the final table with approximately 620,000 in chips and promptly proceeded to take down a few pots with uncalled pre-flop all-ins. When Sosnoviy was finally called, his QQ was a 4 to 1 favorite over CatenaccioMS’s JJ, not to mention comprised a nearly 1.5 million pot. But the Jack wormed out on the flop and Sosnoviy was whamboozled. $5,250 for a star-crossed 8th.
7. Sergey_zubr / $7,950 / 1 hand won / 0 players eliminated
The second Russian at the October 5 Party Poker 300K final table, Sergey_zubr put money into the pot by choice three times. First, he pulled off a suckout with AJ against BenDuj’s AQ to stave off elimination. Second, he was thoroughly outplayed by fantomas_1 in hand 7431404141. Third, he lost with KK against none other but fantomas_1’s K7. 1 suckout, 1 poorly played pot and 1 bit of horrible luck himself, all told $7,950 for another member of the growing Russian contingent.
6. poop_dollars / $10,350 / 3 hands won / 0 players eliminated
Canadian player poop_dollars played OK, I guess. He didn’t really do much despite having entered final table play with 935,000 for the third biggest stack. I counted 5 bets and the last one was for everything with A4 against who else but fantomas_1’s AQ. I enjoyed the screen name though.
5. CatenaccioMS / $13,800 / 12 hands won / 1 player eliminated (Sosnoviy)
German player CatenaccioMS came into the final table with almost 50% more chips than the second biggest stack at an elephantine 1.64 million. And not only that, CatenaccioMS also sucked out for a 1.4 million pot against Sosnoviy – so how did he end up in 5th place? First of all, CatenaccioMS was generally aggressive but ended up getting smacked around pre-flop by two players in particular, ghmac and fantomas_1, who made up a lot of ground by re-raising Cat pre-flop. But the biggest single reason was hand 7431430308, a more than 2 million chip three-way monster pot that not only meant a nearly 1 million chip loss for CatenaccioMS, but also a 1.5 million net profit for eventual winner, fantomas_1.
4. ghmac / $16,350 / 18 hands won and 1 split / 0 players eliminated
The only thing possibly more impressive than fantomas_1’s steamrolling of the field may have been Canadian player ghmac’s very survival. Entering final table play as the distant short stack with a hair over 178,000 in chips, ghmac was able to win the second most hands at the final table through a barrage of pre and post-flop aggression (ghmac won 4 hands post-flop without a showdown.) Ultimately, ghmac was done in at the hands of fantomas_1 in a suckout: ghmac’s KQ v. fantomas_1’s KJ. $16,350 for a very well-played final table.
3. BenDuj / $20,700 / 7 hands won / 0 players eliminated
Hailing from Belgium, BenDuj played as lackluster a third place finish as I can remember ever seeing. After entering final table play as the second big stack with 1.1 million, BenDuj failed to make a bet or see a flop until the 41st hand of the final table. Passivity + massive blinds = not smart tournament play; BenDuj was exactly the opposite of ghmac, choosing to bleed up into the money rather than make any move and go for the victory. $20,700 for a less-than-thrilling third place finish
2. baby-fish111 / $33,000 / 17 hands won / 1 player eliminated (BenDuj)
Heads up: Began with approximately 1.3 million in chips / 9 hands won
The second German player at the October 5 Party Poker 300K, baby-fish111 very nearly pulled off the stunning turnaround heads up. After flopping two pair, baby-fish doubled up through fantomas_1 (who had flopped top pair) to bring the chip counts to a heated 3 million v. 4 million or so match… unfortunately fantomas_1 won the next 7 hands in a row.
Up until Heads-up play, baby-fish had made his money through rather straightforward pre-flop aggression. Baby did not win a single hand post-flop without a showdown and only issued one re-raise – basically, the second place finisher took one shot at a bunch of pots and more often than not, won those pots.
I don’t get why baby-fish111 failed to even try and initiate a deal especially after bringing the chip stacks so close but I don’t get how anyone except for fantomas_1 (who had been running away with the tournament after 35 hands in) didn’t push hard for a deal. Still, $33,000 for a fine showing.
1.fantomas_1 / $60,000 / 29 hands won / 7 players eliminated (chinagirl111, youPAYmyBILZ, Sergey_zubr, poop_dollars, CatenaccioMS, ghmac and baby_fish111)
Heads up: began with about 5.8 million / 16 hands won
I’m not even sure if fantomas_1 is a good poker player or not. Certainly his substantial statistics accrued would point to greatness: 29 hands won was basically twice as much as the second most and represented about 32% of the total hands played (6 of which were won post-flop without a showdown and 5 times from the big blind the table folded around to him.) His absurd 7 players eliminated stat is the most in more than 1 year at the Party Poker 300K.
But he got so lucky too.
Not only did he beat KK with K7, KQ with KJ and won more than 2.3 million in a 3 way pot holding AQ – the very last hand of the tournament was a good ole 2-outer suckout too. Hand 7431470225 ended up being the last hand of the whole tournament and saw fantomas_1 find one of the two remaining Jacks in the ice cold deck on the river to put a final nail into the tournament and baby-fish111. Lucky or not, $60,000 for a first place finish for the winner of the October 5, 2008 Party Poker 300K, fantomas_1.
Final Table Statistics*
91 hands played
*final table statistics do not include Heads up play