MTT News: Ramdin the Victor at Team PokerStars Christmas Tournament

MTT News: Ramdin the Victor at Team PokerStars Christmas Tournament

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Christmas interfered with our schedule; we blame the copious amounts of... present wrapping. Never fear, however, since we now bring you updates of the big MTTs over the past two weeks...

Week 1

Remember the name Steven Burkholder. Or, failing that, remember the screenname UFman2. The man runs good and is currently ranked #38 in the world at online tournament play. However, we’d wager our yearly wage that that number will rise rapidly.

Burkholder is the now-stinking-rich winner of Full Tilt Poker’s monthly $1,000,000 Guarantee. He takes over $200,000 for besting Frank “Gator93” Hernandez when his Ad-Jd held up against Gator’s 9c-7c all-in preflop. This victory comes after his win of the $750k guarantee in September for over $130,000 and winning the WCoOP rebuy event for $211,000. That’s running hot.

The PokerStars Sunday Million drew a field of just over 8,000 to create a prize pool of $1.603m. The chip counts to start the final table were the following:

vuki - 26,436,817
crazylarry43 - 15,059,126
dstrung - 12,033,491
phil steve - 5,703,106
gladik - 5,689,408
DFGBOYS - 4,995,812
KopplarJocke - 4,990,670
mezyoureyez - 2,709,944
tAAggart - 2,531,626

When the blinds reached a staggering $500k/$1m a$100k there were only four players remaining – vuki, phil steve, crazylarry43 and KopplarJocke were the battered and bruised survivors of a flurry of all-ins. A chip-count chop was agreed upon by the remaining four players and each was guaranteed the following, with $30,000 set aside for the eventual winner:

vuki - $133,610.69
phil steve - $119,579.58
crazylarry43 - $107,565.94
KopplarJocke - $100,723.59

Heads-up play was between KopplarJocke and crazylarry43, the latter having to battle a 3-1 chip deficit. Eventually they got it all-in before the flop with KopplarJocke holding a dominating A7 to crazylarry43’s A4. As if that wasn’t enough he paired his 7 to have crazylarry drawing dead on the turn and taking down $130,723.59.

Week 2

29 players began an epic 8-game tournament between the Team PokerStars pros in order to decide who would be Team PokerStars captain, and also to give $30,000 to charity. Nice to see ‘Stars getting into the festive spirit, isn’t it?

The field shrunk to 14 after the second hour and only thirty minutes later we arrived at our six-handed final table after Daniel Negreanu eliminated Alex Kravchenko in 7th place on a pot-limit Omaha hand. At the final table were Bill Chen, Chad Brown, Chris Moneymaker, Victor Ramdin, Hevad Khan and Daniel Negreanu.

First to go was Bill Chen, eliminated by Chad Brown. Brown was then eliminated by Victor Ramdin who then went on to take out Hevad Khan, all in the first round of 2-7 Triple Draw.

Chris “Money800” Moneymaker was the next to depart, also at the hand of Ramdin when both players made top pair but Moneymaker had the poorer kicker and failed to improve.

Their final hand came in stud hi, where Ramdin started off with a pair of eights and improved to queens and eights after a raising war with Negreanu. Though Negreanu had made a pair of sevens on fifth street with running flush and straight possibilities as well, he couldn't improve and Ramdin's two pair held up to win him the Team PokerStars Pro Championship and $15,000 to his charity. For Negreanu’s as-always fantastic play he earned $10,000 for his charity.

Another way in which PokerStars showed some Christmas generosity was adding $1,000,000 to the Sunday Million prize pool. Yup, because $1.5m just isn’t enough money in a weekly tournament.

A record-breaking 16,250 players meant that the overall prize pool was a staggering $3,252,000. As the tournament neared the end of its fourth hour, 2.475 of those players made the money, with Katja Thater winning the Team PokerStars Pro last-longer, making a deep run that ended in a 134th place finish.

The final nine shaped up a little like this:
Seat 1: lp_SakiSaki (309405955 in chips)
Seat 2: manifest23 (13908936 in chips)
Seat 3: kharak (14643069 in chips)
Seat 4: MauryFishant (2944989 in chips)
Seat 5: salmor (26352162 in chips)
Seat 6: Beufford (13892416 in chips)
Seat 7: La_Alvarado (12286663 in chips)
Seat 8: AAmerican (35907574 in chips)
Seat 9: k0rt (9458236 in chips)

lp_SakiSaki was the dominant force at the final table, twice declining a deal first four-handed then three-way. You can hardly blame him, as with 70 million in chips to Beufford's 54.2 million and MauryFishant's 37.3 million and 3rd place money being more than a usual Sunday Million win, he wanted to play on.

MauryFishant got it all-in with 33 only to see lp_SakiSaki turn over KK. A turned gutshot gave the shortstack some hope but he left in third, albeit $160k richer.

As lp_SakiSaki and Beufford went heads-up, their chip counts looked like this:

Seat 1: lp_SakiSaki (127,356,568 in chips)
Seat 6: Beufford (35,243,432 in chips)

On a harmless-looking flop of 822 the pair got it all in. Beufford must have felt confident about his K8 for top pair, second kicker, but he was dismayed to see lp_SakiSaki turn over 82 for a flopped full house! Only an 8 could split the pot for Beufford but it never fell. He received $227k for his efforts and the winner earned a staggering $331k.

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