Over the weekend, the PokerGO Tour PLO Series II has proven to be more popular than any other tournament series that the PGT has put on. After their first event had 172 entries, the next two events – with larger buy-ins – have sustained their player numbers. Along the way, Eelis Parssinen dominated on his way to a win in Event #2 and Stephen Hubbard flushed his way to his first-ever tournament victory in Event #3.
Eelis Parssinen Dominates in PLO Bounty Event
The buy-in for this tournament was kicked up to $7500 because each player carried a $2500 bounty on their heads. That extra money served to bring 149 entries to the field, not far off the numbers from the $5000 Event #1 figures. 22 players would earn some money for their efforts, including such notables as John Riordan, Jeremy Ausmus, and Joao Simao coming up short of the final table.
Parssinen was in the chip lead for the six-handed final table with his 4.55 million chips, but a trio of pursuers were close at his heels. Dustin Goldklang (3.625 million), newly minted Poker Hall of Famer Brian Rast (3.4 million), and Allan Le (3.35 million) were all within shooting distance of catching the Finnish pro. The problem? Parssinen didn’t even let them get close.
Within moments of the opening bell, one of the pursuing trio was gone at the hands of Parssinen. In a blind versus blind fight, Rast would limp in, then call a pot bet out of Parssinen. An A-7-5 brought a check from Rast and Parssinen responded with another pot bet. Rast chose this moment to push, dropping his remaining stack in the center and Parssinen called:
Parssinen had outflopped Rast, hitting top two pair, and once the board ran out with an eight and another Ace (to give Parssinen a full house), Rast was out in sixth place and Parssinen held over seven million chips.
From there, Parssinen completely decimated the final table. He would win ten of the first twelve hands played at the final table, building up a two times larger stack than the OTHER FOUR PLAYERS combined. Although Lee would come close to Parssinen by the time heads-up play began, Parssinen never allowed him into the match, putting Le away within thirty minutes of the heads-up match.
1. Eelis Parssinen (Finland), $149,000 (149 points)
2. Allan Le (USA), $104,300 (104)
3. Dustin Goldklang (USA), $74,500 (75)
4. Sean Winter (USA), $59,600 (60)
5. Dylan Weisman (USA), $44,700 (45)
6. Brian Rast (USA), $37,250 (37)
Stephen Hubbard Earns First-Ever Tournament Victory in Event #3
Stephen Hubbard barely missed out on the carnage in Event #2, finishing on the final table bubble after Brian Rast eliminated him. But Hubbard wouldn’t sit back and lick his wounds, instead jumping into Event #3, the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament, and it turned out to be a wise decision and his first-ever tournament win.
Like Hubbard, Parssinen jumped into Event #3 and he nearly made it two final tables in a row. He was knocked out of the 103-entry field by the final table chip leader, Karel Mokry, in seventh, while Hubbard started the final six in the fifth place slot. A big hand early in the action would serve Hubbard well at the expense of a fan favorite in Cliff Josephy.
Dylan Weisman limped in, as did Hubbard, and Josephy completed his small blind. Vasil Medarov, however, wanted to play for more as he potted for 300K. Weisman got out of the way, but Hubbard and Josephy stuck around to see a Kx 4♠ 3♠ flop. Josephy and Medarov checked, enough for Hubbard to fire out a bet of 350K. Josephy put a bet out, enough to put his two opponents all in, and Medarov gave it up. Hubbard, however, called and the cards came up:
Hubbard: 7♠ 6♠ 6x 5x
With flush and straight draws galore, Hubbard technically had the edge post-flop (66% to 34%), but Josephy still held the edge in the moment with his paired Kings. A trey on the turn didn’t change anything in the hand, but the 8♠ did, earning Hubbard the baby flush and the double to push him into second; Josephy would depart in sixth place moments later.
Flush with success, Hubbard would do it again, this time to Weisman. On a Q♠ J♠ 2x A♠ 3x board, Hubbard would unveil a K♠ 10♠ 6-6 for the turned royal flush and another double up that put him in the lead. From there, Hubbard kept the train rolling as he powered his way to the title, defeating Medarov for the title and the $231,750 first-place prize.
1. Stephen Hubbard (USA), $231,750 (232 points)
2. Vasil Medarov (Bulgaria), $164,800 (165)
3. Richard Gryko (United Kingdom), $123,600 (124)
4. Karel Mokry (Czech Republic), $97,850 (98)
5. Dylan Weisman (USA), $77,250 (77)
6. Cliff Josephy (USA), $61,800 (61)
(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)