There were zero hands played after the elimination of Jonathan Gonzalez in 4th as the three remaining players quickly worked out an ICM deal. The final chip counts were Vitaly Kovyazin (~18.4M), Matt Sullivan (~12.2M), and Zhenjie Hou (~4.5M)
Vitaly Kovyazin takes the largest share after being short-stacked for the majority of the Final Table. He started his rush with a big double up through Jonathan Gonzalez during five-handed play to chip up to ~6M. After that, he slowly improved his stack before making a stellar call against Gonzalez to end the event with the chip-lead.
Matt Sullivan came into Day 2 with a big chip-lead and made his best attempt to go wire to wire. He did not exactly accomplish that feat but he was extremely steady during the entire session and ends the event without ever taking any huge hits to his stack. Sullivan was quiet at the Final Table making it into the Top 3 without putting a single player at risk or being at risk himself.
Zhenjie Hou played an excellent short-stack towards the end of the event and managed to out-last two players to make it into the Top 3 while being very low on chips. Hou was down to ~1.1M as four-handed play got underway, less than ten big blinds during Level 30, and made a great comeback to secure himself a spot in the deal.
That brings an end to the stand-alone Big Stax 200. The next Big Stax series will be in February and will feature three main events as well as a slate of side-events and satellites. Thanks to everyone who participated in this weeks Big Stax event and congratulations to all of the Day 2 finishers.
Zhenjie Hou was down to ~1.1M but managed to chip up to ~4M as the three larger stacks attempted to outlast him. After his comeback, the play opened back up a bit and it was Jonathan Gonzalez who would find the rail first.
Gonzalez opened the pot to 450k from the button and was flatted by Vitaly Kovyazin in the small blind. Hou folded his big blind and they would see the flop heads-up.
Flop: 9♠7♠K♠ Pot: 1.15M
Kovyazin checked. Gonzalez bet 475k and was called.
Turn: 6♣ Pot: 2.1M
Kovyazin checked. Gonzalez fired again, 1.275M and was called.
River: Q♦ Pot: 4.65M
Kovyazin checked for a third time in a row and was met with a shove of ~6M from Gonzalez. Kovyazin called without much thought having Gonzalez covered by less than 1M chips.
Kovyazin J♠10♣ vs Gonzalez 5♣3♣ Pot: 16.65M
Neither player had made a hand before the river fell but it was Kovyazin who improved and was able to catch a huge bluff from Gonzalez. Gonzalez went from a commanding chip-lead to out in fourth while Kovyazin now holds a significant lead as three-handed play gets underway.
Jonathan Gonzalez is eliminated in 4th for $12,149.
Chris McCloskey found himself on the turn against Vitaly Kovyazin on a board reading K♠Q♥10♠K♦. Kovyazin had checked and face a bet of 450k into a pot of ~900k from McCloskey. Kovyazin then moved all-in for 4.205M total and was instantly called by McCloskey.
Kovyazin A♥K♥ vs McCloskey Q♠3♠ Pot: ~9.3M
The river brought one of the most exciting cards in the deck, the A♠. McCloskey originally thought he had made his flush and won but quickly realized Kovyazin had filled up and crippled him in the process. After the hand, McCloskey was left with just 305k.
McCloskey managed to double up the next hand through Zhenjie Hou. Now with 690k total both Matt Sullivan and Jonathan Gonzalez would put him at risk in a three-way pre-flop pot.
Board: 3♥7♣8♦9♦2♣ Pot: ~2.1M
McCloskey 6♠7♠ vs Sullivan A♠9♥ vs Gonzalez A♣Q♣
Sullivan put a small bet on the river which forced Gonzalez to relinquish his cards before getting to showdown. Sullivan collects the pot and sends McCloskey to the rail. Zhenjie Hou is now the clear short-stack with ~1.5M.
Chris McCloskey is eliminated in 5th place for $9,156.
Chris McCloskey limped in from the cutoff and was met with a raise to 430k from Matt Sullivan on the button. Jonathan Gonzalez called from the small blind and McCloskey called as well to see a three-way flop.
Flop: 10♦K♦2♠ 1.55M
Gonzalez checked. McCloskey moved all-in for 2.075M. Sullivan folded and Gonzalez instantly called to put another short-stack at risk.
Gonzalez K♥J♥ vs McCloskey K♣Q♦ Pot: 5.7M
Gonzalez was behind this time and failed to find any of his three outs. McCloskey jumps up into a virtual tie with Vitaly Kovyazin while Gonzalez falls to ~10M. Zhenjiue Hou remains the shortest stack at the table with under 2M.
Jonathan Gonzalez has been on a tear at the Final Table but was finally slowed down a bit after doubling Vitaly Kovyazin.
Action folded to Gonzalez in the small blind and he moved all-in covering Kovyazin’s stack of 2.855M. Kovyazin made the call and would be behind and at risk.
Gonzalez A♦J♣ vs Kovyazin A♥7♠ Pot: ~6M
Gonzalez was well ahead with the better kicker but could not hold as Kovyazin finds a pair on the flop. This leaves Zhenjie Hou as the clear short-stack with ~2M and he will be under some pressure in the next couple of orbits.
Valdeci Darocha open shoved from the cutoff for ~2M. Jonathan Gonzalez made the call from the button while risking roughly 15% of his stack. The blinds folded and it would be a flip for Darocha’s tournament life.
Darocha A♠Q♣ vs Gonzalez 2♥2♦ Pot: ~4.2M
Gonzalez eliminates another opponent with a pair of deuces. This time, he put the chips at risk before the flop instead of waiting to flop a boat to continue. However, the result is the same and he wins the flip and brings a pay-jump to the field. Gonzalez now holds a significant chip-lead with ~16M over Matt Sullivan who has ~7-8M.
Valdeci Darocha is eliminated in 6th place for $7,000.