The third of four first round matches ended late last night as Daniel "w00ki3z." Cates (better known as jungleman12) beat NLHE specialist Alexander "Sussie Smith" Roumeliotis in their PokerStars All Star Showndown heat.
This is the third online NLHE challenge Cates has undertaken and he is now 1:1 after his defeat to Isildur1 in one ofthe first Superstar Showdowns last year. Cates was also cruising in his 50k hand challenge against Tom "durrrr" Dwan at Full Tilt with over a million dollar lead prior to Black Friday.
Yesterdays match was for the far more sober fee of $100k per man and it took Cates 3,294 hands to defeat his worthy opponent in another up and down contest. Unlike the tentative first steps taken during the 17 hour epic between Kanu7 and Ike Haxton these guys came out swinging with a few all in's in the first few minutes, giving Cates a two buy in lead. However, Sussie Smith was never going to make it easy for Cates and clawed things back to take the lead before Cates retook a slight (< 1 buy in) lead at the end of the first hour after rivering a full house to take out Smith's turned flush.
The second hour saw Sussie Smith forge ahead from the word go he looked to assert some control over proceedings, starting from the very first hand back when his 99 flopped a set and he was able to extract maximum value from Cates who flopped top pair with AJ on an A95 flop, taking a $25k pot. He shortly after rivered a gutshot for an even bigger $28k pot hand to establish a near $30k lead. The $20k pots came thick and fast for the rest of the hour with Cates once again edging slightly ahead once more before Roumeliotis once again took control and opened up a $20k lead at the end of the first hour. Looking at the all in EV graph however it seems Roumeliotis was a little unlucky during the second hour as it shows him with a c.$60k advantage.
This was the last time Roumeliotis was to be in front in the whole match however as the third hour saw Cates really put his foot to the floor and over the next sixty minutes he won over $1k per minute to enter the fourth hour with a $40k lead. The hour also brought Cate's biggest hand of the match (see below)
Cates' turned straight gets paid off as Sussie Smith makes a hero call with second pair on a paired board with a flush draw out there - $38.4k pot
The next hour saw Cate's lead eaten into somewhat, although Roumeliotis could never quite get back on terms. Two particularly fortuitous hands enabled the young Swede to recoup half his current losses as he rivered an Ace holding AJ against his opponents JJ and also held 76 on a 776 flop vs Cates A7 in two $20k pots. The next hour saw Cates add another couple of thousand to his lead to just over $26k but during the hour he actually rose to a close to $70k lead with Roumeliotis having to close one table briefly as he has his entire match roll on the table. As the tables were rebalanced to give all players just $10k stacks on each table Cates lost a bit of the power his formerly huge stacks had afforded him and Smith took advantage to go on a heater towards the end of the hour to bring things practically back to where they had been after hour three.
The match really started to tip in Cates' favour over the next hour as he added four buy ins to his stack, ending the hour up $64k and the following hour saw Roumeliotis down to his final $6.5k on one table before he staged an impressive comeback as he really worked hard to recoup around $35k or his starting stack.
Just as he was making headway however the match reached the 3k hand mark which meant the initial $50/$100 stakes were doubled to $100/$200 which gave Cates as the big stack a distinct advantage. Of course it also meant Roumeliotis could get back into the match quickly with a few good hands and a little luck - but it also meant his demise could be that much closer with his $35k stack not giving him enough to open two tables at the new blind levels. The ninth hour saw Cates come close once more to closing out the match, getting his opponent down to just over $10k before Roumeliotis rallied again to more than treble up to over $33k.
This time however, Cates had decided enough was enough and used the next half an hour to finally dismantle his opponents remaining stack, finally ending things as Roumeliotis shoved his final chips in with 44 only for Cates to wake up with KK to bring things to a conclusion and to move on to the semi finals.
Read about the previous showdown match here