Saturday saw Patrik "FinddaGrind" Antonius win the first part of his $1 million challenge against Rui Cao as he took on the French pro in a $300k freeze-out at a table of $1,500/$3,000 2-7 triple draw. The two online phenoms continued the challenge yesterday, this time deciding to play PLO instead of continuing the NLHE match they briefly played the day before. This was certainly going to be an entertaining and exciting game to watch as both players are aggressive PLO players. One would say that out of the three games in the challenge, PLO is most likely the strongest game for both of them, so we were certainly in for a treat watching two tables of $200/$400 HU PLO.
Part 2 Analysis - $200/$400 PLO ($350k freeze-out)
The two players seem to have agreed in advance that they would be playing PLO today as Rui Cao sat at the tables prior to the match and a few minutes after he went offline, Patrik Antonius sat down. Cao joined Antonius at the tables at around 10:40am CET and the eagerly anticipated match got underway. Within several minutes it was clear that Antonius had not been playing too much online recently as he did not know how to auto-reload to 100BBs which was one of the stipulations of the challenge. After a couple of minutes break with Cao explaining to the Finn, step-by-step how to do it, the match continued and just like in the 2-7 triple draw game, Antonius got off on the right track.
The Finn won $50k in the first c.75 hands with Cao folding to his opponent's large bets on the river or big check-raises. Antonius was definitely taking his time at the table, often tanking for 20-30 seconds and then betting or raising. He was certainly the player putting the pressure on his opponent, and there were hardly any big showdown hands, to determine whether Antonius had the goods or not.
As one has come to expect of Cao, he is a fighter, and he fought back to break-even over the next 70 hands. Cao however, could not maintain his momentum as Antonius took over once again, winning just under $140k over the next 210 hands. At this time we were yet to see an all in situation.
After about another 100 hands of play with Antonius winning a further $15k, the Finn said that he had to leave but would be back in a couple of hours. At the end of the first session which lasted for less than 2.5 hours and a total of 441 hands, Antonius was up $153.5k. It seems like Antonius doesn't employ tracking software because he said to Rui to "keep track on your cashier I have mine written down" to which Rui replied "I have a tracker".
It was actually 3 hours 45 minutes later when the players resumed the match again at the same two tables. Cao started this session well as he won $30k in the first 40 hands. Unfortunately for Cao, once again Antonius quickly quashed the Frenchman's attempted comeback winning $75k from Cao over the next 50-60 hands.
Cao is on the wrong side of a cooler as he turns a set but Patrik hits his gutshot for a straight and holds both times to win an $84k pot.
Within a few hands, Cao has a set again but this time he has Patrik in rough shape in an $85k pot.
It seemed like Antonius had regained control of the match as he won a further $40k in about 40 hands and was now up close to $100k for the session. We then saw the biggest pot of the match occur:
Antonius is favourite on the flop with 57.4% equity but unfortunately for him, Cao hits both boards to take the entire $120k pot.
In the second session which lasted for less than 1.5 hours, Antonius won $38k over the 141 hands played. He was now up over $190k in this match and it took just one more session to reach the $350k target.
The two players switched to two new tables, and after a less than 10 minute break, the third session got underway. The third session was all about Antonius who proceeded to decimate Cao winning pot after pot in a crushing display of power poker. It took Antonius just 80 hands to win the final $200k in a session that lasted only 30 minutes - that's certainly not a bad hourly rate!
In total the match lasted approximately 760 hands and Antonius in fact won just under $390k as there was an $80k pot towards the end of the match. This was the pot and it illustrates that he was definitely running good in the match (although Cao was actually running about $30-40k over EV, it seemed like he was in the bad side of most of the set-ups):
Antonius has 21.3% on the flop and 30% on the turn but hits the river to scoop this $84k pot.
$1,500/$3,000 2-7 triple draw: Patrik Antonius +$300k (completed)
$200/$400 PLO: Patrik Antonius +$350k (completed)
$200/$400 NLHE: Patrik Antonius +$60k (still to be continued)
We expect the two players to resume with their challenge today by continuing with the HUNL session they briefly played yesterday (in which Antonius won $40.5k in addition to the $19.5k he won the day before). You can read up-to-date information about the challenge in this rail thread in our forum, and we will as ever keep you updated with the results on HighstakesDB. The live results section of the site can be accessed here.