PokerStars All-Stars Showdown Won by Dan “w00ki3z” Cates

The 1st Annual All Stars Showdown at PokerStars reached its conclusion on Sunday as Dan “w00ki3z” Cates faced off with Ben “Sauce123” Slusky. In the end, after 11 grueling hours and more than 3,000 hands, it was the illusive Dan Cates who walked away the winner, pocketing $550,000 for his intrepid efforts.

Let’s start with a brief history on the PokerStars All Stars Showdown. Deemed an annual event, this was the first of its kind and, compared to the miniscule size of the field, only 8 participants in all, it has become that largest prize pool in online poker history. Each player forked over $100k to buy into the event, building an $800,000 prize pool that guaranteed $550,000 to the winner and $250,000 to the runner up.

It all started on October 27th with the first heads up match between Ben “Sauce123” Slusky and Tobia “KTPOKP” Kuder. The two went heads-up on day one of the event and, obviously, Slusky went on to win the quarter-final round. On Day 2, PokerStars Team Pro Isaac Haxton took down Alex “Kanu7” Millar. Day 3 saw Dan “w00ki3z” Cates eliminating Alexander “Sussie Smith” Roumeliotis, and to set the stage for the semi-finals, Phil “mrsweets28” Galfond defeated Ben “Ben86” Tollerene.

As the semi got underway, Slusky went heads-up against Isaac Haxton in an exhausting 19-hour match that exceeded 4,200 hands before Slusky was finally able to send Haxton to the rails. The second match took near 8 hours to complete, surpassing the 3,000 hand mark before Dan Cates was finally able to route Phil Galfond.

With the final table sealed, Dan Cates and Ben Slusky prepared to battle it out on November 4th for the coveted title of PokerStars very first All Stars Showdown Champion. Both competitors began with an equal chip stack of 400,000, and for the first few hours, the lead exchanged hands multiple times and it stayed fairly close between the two.

Between the 5th and 6th hours, Cates took a definitive lead of just over $200,000, and it looked like the event would be coming to a close shortly, but Sulsky fought back, dropping Cates’ lead to under $150k. As the 7th hour closed in, Cates’ brought his lead back up to $238k. Up until this point, the two had been playing four active tables at PokerStars to keep the chips flying as quickly as possible, but Slusky was unable to cover the blinds and play dropped down to three tables.

Shortly after, when Cates’ lead rose to near $300k, the tables dropped once more to two. It was only a matter of time now before “w00ki3z” would finish “Sauce123” off. However, Slusky was not ready to give up, and managed to bring his stack back up to $130k in the 11th hour. But again, that would steadily decrease over the 150+ hands.

The PokerStars All Stars Showdown finally came to an abrupt end on hand 3,179. Slusky held only $60k, down to one table. His stack pushed in pre-flop, Cate’s called, revealing pocket Jacks. Slusky flipped pocket 9s, and the board played out from there. The flop brought J-9-7, giving both poker players trips, but leaving Cates in the lead. Before the final cards could even come down, Slusky posted “GG” (good game) in the chat window, and that was that.

Dan Cates became the first PokerStars All Stars Showdown Champion, earning $550,000. Slusky walked away with the remaining $250k of the prize pool as the second place finisher.