The PokerGO Tour’s inaugural PLO Super High Roller Bowl crowned a champion early in the Vegas morning on Thursday. After more than fourteen hours of play, Jared Bleznick emerged victorious to claim the top prize of $1,292,000, along with the 400 PGT points and ring.
Isaac Haxton finished as the runner-up after his play on Day 2 saw him take an overwhelming chip lead to the final table. Haxton had an opportunity to claim incredible back-to-back wins in Super High Roller Bowls following his dominant performance in Super High Roller Bowl VIII, but fell just short of the mark.
Rheem hits the rail first
Chino Rheem’s hot streak in the PokerGO Studio brought him yet another cash, but this time for just the minimum. Rheem’s seventh place prize of $152,000 adds to the over $1 million accrued over the course of his performances at the Poker Masters and Mixed Games Series II.
The minimum cash might feel bittersweet to most players, but for Rheem, who won his seat to the event via a $10,000 satellite, it’s an impressive return on investment and another big score to add to his PGT resume.
The first orbit of play at the final table saw Rheem collide with Isaac Kempton, cold-calling a three-bet from the Delaware native with double suited kings. The flop provided Rheem with a flush draw and he responded to Kempton’s continuation bet with a pot-sized raise, committing his chips. Kempton deliberated for a moment, but made the call. Rheem’s tournament life wasn’t at risk, but he would have to hit to avoid a crippling blow to his stack.
The turn and river failed to come through this time for Rheem and he assumed the role of table short stack. It didn’t take long for him to find a spot to commit the rest of his chips, only about five big blinds. Both Bleznick and Aaron Katz made the call to put Rheem at risk. Against his opponent’s combined eight cards, Rheem couldn’t fade the outs and his run ended in seventh place.
Crivello and Katz bow out next
Frank Crivello took his final stand in a pot that saw him flop plenty of outs against Kempton’s over pair. Crivello’s pot-sized raise gave Kempton a moment of pause to consider his options before re-potting to put his opponent all in. Crivello called, putting himself at risk, but with the lion’s share of the equity. The board-pairing turn card stripped away all of Crivello’s two pair outs, leaving him with only straight and flush possibilities. The river card did provide the once-desired two pair, but it wasn’t enough to win as Kempton’s higher two pair scooped the pot, eliminating Crivello in sixth place.
The elimination of Crivello secured Katz his career-high tournament score, but his focus remained on the task at hand. Katz entered the final table as the shortest stack and struggled to find spots to get the chips in. Eventually, the blinds and antes brought Katz down into the danger zone and he committed his remaining chips in hopes of a double. Kempton, doing the dirty work again, made the call with aces and held to notch another elimination.
Kempton and Chidwick hang on
Once the shorter stacks made their exits, the atmosphere at the table relaxed a touch as the players could operate with more comfort. The start of four-handed play saw the stacks bunched up around one another, with no one player being especially short or holding a run-away chip lead.
Kempton’s stack took a serious blow in a pot against Bleznick that saw him make a hopeful call down on the river for a big chunk of chips. The ill-timed bluff catch left Kempton with less than a million chips, but still room to play. Bleznick would finish the job soon after, eliminating Kempton with a rivered straight.
The three-handed showdown between Bleznick, Haxton, and Chidwick turned into an hours-long slugfest with each player taking their turn in the driver’s seat as chip leader. Bleznick began as chip leader following his elimination of Kempton and looked as though he might make quick work of his remaining opponents.
The variance of four-card poker had other thoughts in mind and Bleznick passed the chip lead baton to Stephen Chidwick, who had, until this point, kept out of the fray for the most part. Chidwick’s took the lead and built on it quickly, but, like Bleznick, he couldn’t hold on long enough to finish the job. This time, it was Haxton who took command after spending most of the three-handed match as the short stack.
While Haxton held the chip lead, it was Bleznick who managed to score the knockout on Chidwick. A pot-sized raise from Chidwick on the button prompted Bleznick to come over the top with another raise. Chidwick made the call, having already invested most of his chips, and left his fate to the runout. Bleznick’s turned broadway straight left Chidwick drawing dead, eliminated in third place.
Haxton took the chip lead into heads up play, but the gap was narrow. With the ever-increasing blinds making every pot count, the two traded chips back and forth for a while before the first big confrontation.
The pot in question saw Haxton raise over Bleznick’s pre-flop limp, only to be instantly re-potted by his opponent. Haxton took a second, but put the rest of his chips in. Bleznick, with most of his stack already in the middle, was priced in to gamble. Haxton’s pocket aces had Bleznick’s double-suited rundown in surprisingly bad shape pre flop, starting as a two-to-one favorite, but variance dealt a tough beat his way as Bleznick made two pair to re-take the chip lead.
Bleznick’s willingness to gamble for the win would pay off not long after. In a single-raised pot, Bleznick opted to lead out for a pot-sized bet from the big blind, having flopped top pair with an inside straight draw and backdoor possibilties. Haxton, with an over pair of queens, sensed his hand was best at the moment and pressed the action, re-potting all in. Bleznick made the call and the rest was left up to the poker gods. The board-pairing nine on the turn gave Bleznick trips and a near-lock on the hand. The river card offered no help to Haxton, forcing him to settle for a second place finish.
Super High Roller Bowl: Pot-Limit Omaha results
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