Kevin Rabichow takes Legends Showdown title

Geoff Fisk
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Posted on: September 22, 2020 1:42 pm EDT

Run It Once Poker heads-up invitational crowns Rabichow as champion

Kevin ‘Krab42’ Rabichow took down the Run It Once Poker Legends Showdown, besting Pauli ‘Fiilismies’ Ayras in the finals as the series wrapped up Friday. Rabichow takes home the €40,000 first-place prize, as well as all profit earned across the series.

Ayras comes away with the runner-up prize of €20,000, as the invite-only heads-up tournament concluded on Run It Once Poker. Rabichow emerged as the champion in a field that included six of the world’s top heads-up players.

Those six players engaged in heads-up matches at €50/€100 cash games stakes on Run It Once Poker, with the games streamed on Twitch over the course of the last five weeks. The original field included Rabichow, Ayras, Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’Holz, Bjorn ‘AsianFlushie’ Li, Mikael ‘ChaoRen160’ Thuritz and ‘MakeBoifin’.

Rabichow tops Aryas in Legends Showdown finals

The final round of the Legends Showdown played out as a 2,250-hand match between Rabichow and Ayras. The match was split into three 750-hand sessions, with Rabichow establishing a commanding lead right out of the gate.

The heads-up matches featured standard 100 big-blind stacks and auto top-up options for all players, and Rabichow quickly put his opponent into a nearly five buy-in hole at the end of the first 750-hand session. Rabichow ended part one of the three-phase match up €46,442.50, setting the tone for a match in which Ayras had to gain major ground to have any chance of a comeback win.

Ayras went to work on that deficit in part two of the match, trimming the lead down to €27,038.75 just 100 hands into the second phase. At the 938-hand mark of the overall match, Ayras had the deficit down to just over one buy-in at €11,301.25.

Ayras got Rabichows’ lead down to four-digit territory shortly thereafter, but Rabichow began to pull the advantage back his way after that. The swingy second phase of the three-part match saw Rabichow extend the lead all the way back up to more than €27,038.75 at the 1,060-hand mark, erasing the momentum Ayras built with his early run.

Rabichow pushed the advantage to over €47,000 at one point, but Ayras got back within €33,256.25 by the end of session two.

Ayras battles back but falls short

Down more than three buy-ins with just 750 hands to go, Ayras made a stirring comeback in the final of the three sessions. After 200 played in session three, Ayras got the lead down to under €14,000, giving him a chance to win the title in the final 550 hands of the match.

Late in the match, Aryas looked posied to do just that. With just over 300 hands to go, Ayras took a late lead, grabbing a €29,500 pot after seeing his 98 hit a straight on the river with a massive pot brewing. With the board reading 2♠36♠T7, Ayras shoved on the river and got a call from Rabichow, who committed his last €7,750 with 9♠7♠.

That hand gave Aryas a €2,328.75 lead, his first since the early stages of the match. Aryas pushed that advatantage to over €21,000 with just 250 hands to go in the match, and a come-from-behind win seemed imminent for Ayras.

The final stretch of the match belonged to Rabichow, however. The final tally of the match totaled 2,254 hands, which made up for a few earlier hands in which one opponent went on break unbeknownst to the other.

Rabichow held on for the win by a margin of €10,796.25, holding off Ayras comeback effort.

Featured image source: Twitch