Even though 20 days and 54 events have passed in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker, the high-stakes action that has accompanied the busy tournament schedule hasn't been dampened. Surprisingly, neither Viktor “Isildur1” Blom nor Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies dominated the headlines this week, but three other players stood out in the high-stakes fracas: Benjamin “toweliestar” Spindler, Rafi “refaelamit” Amit, and “!P0krparty¡.”
Those players finished as the top three winners of the week, with Spindler the biggest, after winning $501,594 in 256 sessions of 25,601 hands, by far the most volume of any player this week. A little further down the line were Amit, who won $271,870 in 96 sessions of 11,683 hands, and !P0krparty¡, who played 117 sessions of 15,814 hands to book a $257,123 win.
There were also notables who dropped quite a bit of cash this week. Niki “RealAndyBeal” Jedlicka dropped $229,101 in 2,089 hands over 50 sessions, and Rui “PepperoniF” Cao played 54 sessions comprised of 4,835 hands and lost $205,006. Rounding out the top three was Jens “Jeans89” Kyllönen, who lost $196,105 in 72 sessions of 4,730 hands.
Here’s a look at some of the more notable hands from the last week of high stakes, online poker:
A New Face on the Scene
It is rare to see new players take shots at the high-stakes games these days, especially when those shots turn out to be successful. That’s exactly what happened when the mysterious “!P0krpartyi” appeared at the $10/$20 pot-limit Omaha tables last week and went on a massive heater. With his winnings, he opted to take a shot at the $50/$100 PLO tables in a lengthy 36-hour session. By the end of his 14,780 hands, he had managed to add another $247,000 to his bankroll.
According to HighStakesDB, some speculate the Canada-based player may be Harry Kaczka, who played under the moniker “ugotabanana” on Full Tilt Poker. Whatever the case, !P0krpartyi has a knack for PLO. In one of his more notable hands, !P0krpartyi ($55,123) was playing six-handed $50/$100 PLO when action folded to him in the cutoff and he raised to $470. Benny “toweliestar” Spindler ($21,460) responded with a raise to $1,680 from the button, “socutiesf” ($61,874) called from the big blind, and "!P0krpartyi" came along for the ride, leading to the flop. "Socutiesf" checked, !P0krpartyi fired out $4,200, Spindler folded, and "socutiesf" woke up with a check-raise to $17,807.
"!P0krpartyi" made the call and they were heads-up to the turn, which saw "socutiesf" bet $40,821. "!P0krpartyi" quickly called off for $35,636 and the cards were turned up:
When the money went in, "!P0krpartyi" held the nut straight while "socutiesf" held three pair. The river changed nothing, and "!P0krpartyi" took down the $111,956 pot.
In another hand, the stakes were the same but this time, action was five-handed. Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro ($62,045.59) opened for $400 from the cutoff and “verve.oasis” called from the button. "!P0krpartyi" ($56,568.19) then three-bet to $1,800 from the small blind, both his opponents called, and the flop came down . "!P0krpartyi" bet $4,100, just Kelopuro called, and the hit the turn. Again "!P0krpartyi" bet, this time $11,750, Kelopuro called, and the peeled off on the river. "!P0krpartyi" kept the pressure on with a $37,298 bet, Kelopuro called, and the former revealed for trip tens, which proved good enough to take down the $111,796 pot.
Even with those two wins, "!P0krpartyi" was far from done. In a three-handed game Davin “mTw-DaviN” Georgi ($46,011) opened for $400, "!P0krpartyi" ($82,008.35) raised to $1,060 from the small blind, while Brian “$tinger 88” Hastings ($11,074) folded from the big. Georgi made the call and they were heads-up to the flop, which saw "!P0krpartyi" bet $1,600. Georgi wasted little time in raising to $4,000, "!P0krpartyi" reraised to $11,200, Georgi pushed out $39,879, "!P0krpartyi" made it $70,158 to go, and Georgi called off for $44,951 total.
Both players had flopped a flush draw and straight draws; needless to say, it was anyone’s hand. The turn gave Georgi two pair, but the river complete "!P0krpartyi’s" gut-shot straight to give him the $101,702 pot.
Beware of Benny
This week’s biggest winner was none other than Benny “Toweliestar” Spindler, who played an incredible volume of PLO last weekend. In what would be his biggest hand, Spindler ($58,783.75) was playing three-handed $50/$100 PLO when Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies ($27,883.54) opened for $410 from the button. Ville Wahlbeck folded from the small blind while Spindler exercised his option from the big with a three-bet to $1,340. Sahamies responded with a four-bet to $4,540, Spindler five-bet $12,500, Sahamies called, and the flop fell . Spindler led right out for $25,109 and Sahamies opted to call off his remaining $15,383.54.
Spindler held a set of aces, but needed to sweat the multitude of straight draws held by Sahamies. The and river failed to give Sahamies his straight and Spindler was awarded the $55,797.09 pot.
Later on, Spindler was playing $25/$50 heads-up PLO against "DR_Pumpe" when the following hand developed. Spindler ($37,675.25) opened on the button for $150 only to have "DR_Pumpe" ($24,032.25) three-bet to $450 from the big blind. Not only did Spindler make that call, he called a bet of $650 on the flop. The turn saw "DR_Pumpe" bet $1,300, Spindler call, and the roll off on the river. This time "DR_Pumpe" checked and Spindler bet $4,400; however, action was far from complete. "DR_Pumpe" woke up with a check-raise to $17,999.50, Spindler raised to $35,999, and "DR_Pumpe" called off his remaining $3,632.75. The latter showed down for a set of sevens, but it was no good against the nut flush of Spindler, who was more than happy to rake in the $52,464.50 pot.
Who's Up? Who's Down?
Week’s biggest winners (9/16-9/22): Benjamin “toweliestar” Spindler (+$501,594), Rafi “refaelamit” Amit ($271,870), !P0krparty¡ ($257,123), mikki696 (+$161,606), Bernard-bb (+$150,271)
Week’s biggest losers: Niki “RealAndyBeal” Jedlicka (-$229,101), Rui “PepperoniF” Cao (-$205,006), Jens “Jeans89” Kyllönen (-$196,105), Gavin “gavz101” Cochrane (-$177,489)
Year-to-date winners: *Gus Hansen (+$3,941,000), *Daniel “jungleman12” Cates (+$1,952,000), *Alexey “NoPasaran” Makarov (+$1,875,000), Rafi “refaelamit” Amit (+$1,563,000), Andreas “Skjervøy” Torbergsen ($1,519,000), *Matt Hawrilenko (+$1,440,000), *bixiu (+$1,406,000), *Phil Ivey (+$1,336,000)
Year-to-date losers: *Tom “durrrr” Dwan (-$2,474,000), *Eugene “fishosaurusREX” Yanayt (-$1,399,000), *kagome kagome (-$1,377,000), *cadillac1944 (-$1,336,000), *Esvedra (-$1,182,000), *UarePileous (-$837,000)
Biggest weekly winners/losers all on PokerStars
*Reflects Full Tilt Poker profit/loss
Data obtained from HighStakesDB.com