The runner-up to the biggest live poker tournament in history is in the bags, as reports that the Colossus II “nearly smashes” the record set by its predecessor. Only 8,737 entries short of a whopping 30,000, the sophomore Colossus had the hype and the will, if not the numbers, to utterly blow the original Colossus out of the water.

Pseudo-decimation is the name of the game this week, with echoes of the Colossus II’s quietly resounding success being heard in the GPL. Dzmitry Urbanovich for the Moscow Wolverines squared off against Jonathan Jaffe of the San Francisco Rush, and the fans knew from the start it was going to be a tough one for Jaffe to win. Indeed, Urbanovich came very close to putting on a clinic; instead, he lost the match two games to one, but I’d already written this article and am trying to run it with minimal revisions.

Urbanovich came out strong as we all expected him to, putting a quick end to the first game of the match. It only took him 19 hands to dust off his stack and leave Jaffe in the tough position of having to win one of his next two games to take the match. Jaffe tried to rally, but in the 26th hand of the second game, on the river, with the board reading 7ATAA, Urbanovich sniffed out weakness and made a big bluff with 8 High; holding only Queen High himself, Jaffe had almost no choice but to fold and put Dzmitry in the lead.

What actually happened is that Jaffe snap-called and took the lead himself, but undeterred, Urbanovich bided his time until he found himself the spot he’d been waiting for, with his Jack-Five offsuit against Jaffe’s pocket Jacks. He put his opponent to the test with a 4-bet preflop, then slickly got away on the T76 flop. He doubled up the next hand with Ace-Ten versus Jack-Nine, or would have except for the Jack on the flop.

Having put Jaffe in a two-win hole, Urbanovich went on to win the marathon third game to finish the match with a strong 1-2 record. Fans of the Rush will likely feel that this means Jaffe won, but it should be pointed out that if the first two games had gone the same way as the third, it would have been the 3-0 slaughter we all knew it would be.

WSOP representatives expect that next year’s Colossus should be within 18,000 entries of 40,000, while the Moscow Wolverines have likewise called their shot, claiming they’ll have at least a negative 8-point lead on the division by the end of the regular season.

Alex Weldon (@benefactumgames) is a sarcastic S.O.B. and apologizes (but not really) for any offence caused by this work of satire.