The Online Railbird Report: The Return of "martonas," the Fall of Benyamine
After a quiet spell, the high-stakes online cash games roared back into action this week. All the regulars made appearances — including Ashton “theASHMAN103” Griffin, Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies, andTom “durrrr” Dwan — as game catalyst “martonas” made his first appearance at the Full Tilt Poker tables since late August when his bankroll’s meteoric rise ended with an even more severe collapse. It was a rough week for David Benyamine and a banner one for POKERBLUFFS, who continued to employ a hit-and-run strategy to success on his way to over $645,000 in winnings.
“Martonas” returns, brings his swing set with him
After a month-long hiatus from the high-stakes online action, Swedish mystery man “martonas” returned to the fray this week. His first order of business was taking on Cole South at $300/$600 no-limit hold’em in which martonas managed to bank nearly $230,000 from the Full Tilt pro after a 1,000-hand session. Next he hit up Di “Urindanger” Dang for a four-table heads-up match and came away with a $290,000 win. Although more than half-a-million dollars in earnings for the day might prompt some players to book the win and quit, martonas kept right on rolling, taking on feared short-handed no-limit hold’em specialist (and onetime 2 Months, 2 Million guest star) Aaron “aejones” Jones, once Dang logged out for the evening. Martonas didn’t fare as well against Jones, sustaining a $420,000 loss.
Time to quit now, martonas? No way! Martonas made like Emeril Lagasse and kicked it up a notch, trading in the $300/$600 tables for the wilds of the $500/$1,000 level, where Dwan, Patrik Antonius and “kingsofcards” sat in to take shots at their favorite Swede. With everyone playing over $100,000 deep, $200,000+ pots were inevitable, the first coming when martonas and kingsofcards got their stacks in the middle preflop with martonas holding pocket kings against pocket jacks. The cowboys held, yielding martonas a $284,000 pot; however, he lost most of that coin right back to kingsofcards only a short time later in a $237,000 hand.
In the $237K hand, martonas opened for $3,000 from the button, kingsofcards three-bet to $9,000, and martonas pushed the action even further, four-betting to $22,500. Kingsofcards smooth-called, and the pot swelled to $45,000 before the flop came down. Kingsofcards checked to martonas who bet $15,600, just over a third of the pot. Kingsofcards called and they went to the turn where the fell. Kingsofcards checked again, martonas moved all-in for $129,590, and kingsofcards snap-called for his remaining $80,000 and change, turning over . Martonas had been firing with air until he unfortunately turned top pair with . The river blanked out with the , and kingsofcards raked in $236,814.
All in all, martonas ended that heavy day of action with a $154,000 loss after grinding out over 3,700 hands.
Mon dieu! Benyamine drops $757,000 in less than 24 hours
On most days, it’s great to be David Benyamine. The man has a multimillion dollar bankroll, a fiancé as beautiful as she is whip-smart, and a wicked cool French accent. This, however, was not one of those days, as everyone’s favorite Frenchman sustained some stinging losses at both no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha. Benyamine took on Sahamies at a little heads-up pot-limit Omaha but endured a brutal session, losing over $570,000 as Sahamies picked up the vast majority of large pots in their match. After that loss, Benyamine headed over to the $500/$1,000 no-limit hold’em tables where martonas was sitting in along with Sahamies and Griffin. Benyamine didn’t fare any better there, bleeding away another $185,000.
In the no-limit hold’em part of his evening, two of the largest pots Benyamine lost came when he found himself on the wrong end of a coin flip. His couldn’t improve against Dwan’s pocket tens in a $92,000 pot, and then things got worse against kingsofcards who snatched away this $193,000 monsterpotten.
Kingsofcards opened for $3,000, Di “Urindanger” Dang flat-called, and Benyamine put the squeeze on, three-bettting to $15,000 straight. Kingsofcards wasn’t about to give up his hand, however, shoving for over $174,000. The move chased away Dang, but Benyamine made the call for the nearly $80,000 he had behind, his up against kingsofcards’ two black queens. No help for Benyamine on the board, which ran out , kingsofcards earning the $193,523 pot.
Hand of the Week: River soul-read yields Antonius $496,000 pot
Playing three-handed $500/$1,000 no-limit hold’em, kingsofcards opened for $2,400 from the button and Antonius made it $8,200 to go from the small blind. POKERBLUFFS folded the big blind and kingsofcards made the call. Antonius led out for $12,000 on the flop and kingsofcards flat-called. Antonius checked the on the turn, leading kingsofcards to fire out $28,200. Antonius came over the top for $126,000, likely hoping to end the hand right there, but kingsofcards made the call. The river was the and Antonius checked. Kingsofcards moved all-in for his remaining $213,177 and after quite a dwell, Antonius made what could be considered the hero call of the year, putting in his remaining $101,000 and change with for only king-high. His read turned out to be dead-on as kingsofcards was bluffing with a busted gutshot straight draw and an inferior flush draw with . Antonius’ keen read earned him the pot worth over $496,000.
Who's Up? Who's Down?
This week's biggest winners (9/28-10/4): Richard Ashby (+$930,000), POKERBLUFFS (+$646,000), Tom "durrrr" Dwan (+$585,000)
In the red: David Oppenheim (-$647,000), kingsofcards (-$605,000), Gus Hansen (-$572,000)