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The Online Railbird Report: Sahamies, Benyamine Claim $500K PLO Pots

Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamie

After serving as a catalyst for the highest-limit games on Full Tilt Poker for the majority of August, "martonas" was nowhere to be found this week. Although he booked over $1.3 million in winnings in the pot-limit Omaha cash-games last month, the Swedish mystery man lost over $2 million at no-limit Hold'em, leaving him over $700,000 in the red. Though the action slowed to a trickle in the wake of his (hopefully temporary) departure from the high-stakes games, the dam burst early this week with David "POKERBLUFFS" Eldar, David Benyamine, Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin and Patrik Antonius driving the action at both the NLHE and PLO tables.

Saturday afternoon saw four tables of $500/$1,000 NLHE running with Antonius, Griffin, Eldar, and Benyamine sitting in. The stacks were deep and the pots hefty, with six cracking the $200,000 mark. Antonius found himself on the losing end of the afternoon's largest pot, which he played heads-up with Eldar. After Benyamine folded from under-the-gun, Eldar opened with a $2,000 min-raise from the button. Griffin folded the small blind and Antonius three-bet to $6,500 from the big blind. With the action back on Eldar, he came back over the top for $21,000, prompting Antonius to shove for his remaining $208,498. Eldar insta-called, tabling {A-Hearts}{A-Clubs} to Antonius' {A-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds}. Antonius got no help on the {10-Hearts}{9-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}{10-Spades}{7-Hearts} board and Eldar raked in the $404,495 monsterpotten. Everyone's favorite Finn was able to reclaim at least some of those losses on a subsequent hand, when he ended up all-in before the flop once again. This time, his {Q-Diamonds}{Q-Spades} held up against Eldar's {A-Clubs}{K-Clubs} to earn him a nearly $275,000 pot. When the games broke, Antonius ended up the session's biggest winner, finishing over $172,000 in the black while Griffin sustained the heaviest losses at minus $166,000.

On Monday afternoon, the PLO action went into overdrive with Cole South, Patrik Antonius, Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies, Gus Hansen, Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond, Tom "durrrr" Dwan, Di "Urindanger" Dang, Brian Hastings and "knluiy" all taking seats on the "This is Nuts" and "Sandspring" deep-stacked $300/$600 PLO with ante tables. Antonius and Dang were the big winners in this session, each booking a win in excess of $500,000, while South enjoyed a profitable day as well, pocketing nearly $364,000. As the game dragged on well into the early morning and the stacks grew even deeper, 22 pots over $200,000 developed including two that cracked the half-million mark.

The first of these two half-million behemoths unfolded while play was nine-handed. Gus Hansen limped in from middle position, Phil Galfond limped in behind him, and never one to endorse limping, Patrik Antonius put the squeeze on, raising to $4,100 from the cutoff. Ilari Sahamies came in with a three-bet to $15,200 from the button and while it got the blinds and Hansen to fold, Galfond flat-called with Antonius still to act behind him. Antonius wasn't going to stop there and reraised to $63,100, a bet that both Sahamies and Galfond called, the pot swelling to $190,800 before the flop. Galfond led out with a pot-sized bet when the flop came down {Q-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}. Antonius folded and Sahamies called all in, showing {10-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} for middle pair, a straight draw and a flush draw to Galfond's {Q-Spades}{10-Spades}{10-Hearts}{9-Hearts} for top pair, a gut shot, and a backdoor heart draw. It was over for Galfond on the turn, the {2-Diamonds} falling to make Sahamies' flush, the Finn dragging the $555,649 pot as the inconsequential {8-Spades} hit the river.

Only a short time later, the second $500k-plus pot of the day developed on the same table. Playing seven-handed, Tom Dwan led off the action with a raise to $2,700. Patrik Antonius called from the cutoff and Ashton Griffin made it $12,300 to go from the button. Brian Hastings folded his small blind, David Benyamine flat-called from the big, and both Dwan and Antonius came along as well. Benyamine checked the {8-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{2-Hearts} flop, leaving Dwan to lead out for a pot-sized bet of $50,000. Antonius moved all in for $143,090, Griffin gave up his hand, and Benyamine re-shoved for the $177,088 he had behind. Dwan called, taking us to a three-way showdown:

Benyamine: {A-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{5-Hearts} (set of fives, backdoor heart draw)
Dwan: {9-Spades}{6-Clubs}{5-Spades}{4-Diamonds} (pair of fives, double gutshot straight draw, backdoor spade draw)
Antonius: {7-Clubs}{6-Spades}{6-Hearts}{4-Hearts} (wrap draw)

Benyamine was well in front of both of his opponents, his set holding up through the {A-Diamonds} on the turn and the {J-Spades} on the river to earn him the $546,766 pot.

Who's Up? Who's Down?

Biggest winners, August 2009:
Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin (+$2.44 million)
Cole South (+$1.58 million)
Brian Hastings (+$1.25 million)

In the red:
Gus Hansen (-$2 million)
"DIN_FRU" (-$1.89 million)
Patrik Antonius (-$1.24 million)

Biggest winners, 2009 to date:
Patrik Antonius (+$3.6 million)
Cole South (+$2.9 million)
Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin (+$2.4 million)

In the red:
Sami "LarsLuzak" Kelopuro (-$3.5 million)
Gus Hansen (-$2.2 million)
"DIN_FRU" (-$1.3 million)

Think you can beat these guys? Open an account on Full Tilt Poker today.

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