Weekender74 finishes up his weekend with a Sunday Warm-Up win!

3,264 players took the field in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-up this week, creating a $750,000 prize pool. After eight hours of tough no limit hold’em play, royalfishfly took a commanding chip lead into the final table after sending marcdehark home in 10th place ($4,800). The final table kicked off relatively calmly, with the usual feeling-out period amongst the nine survivors.

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The first half hour of the final table was full of steals, re-steals and double-ups as the short stacks became the medium stacks, and the medium stacks became the short stacks. N!CKELZ became the first casualty of the final table when Huskfan98 moved all in with Ah-Qd and N!CKELZ called with Jh-10c. The board ran out 9d-9c-2d-Ac-4c, and N!CKELZ collected $7050.00 for 9th place.

With N!CKELZ elimination, the seal had been broken, indeed. It took only a few more hands for niccc to fall in 8th place ($10,500). Chip leader royalfishfly opened for a raise from middle position, and niccc moved all in from the small blind. Big blind bfineman re-raised all in, and royalfishfly got out of the way. Niccc had run a good hand into a monster, as he showed his As-Qc, dominated by bfineman’s Ad-Ac. No help on the board of 3s-6c-8h-9d-Ks, and niccc was gone.

Huskyfan98 was the next to head to the rail when he moved all in from early position with 10d-10s. Action folded around to the small blind, where bfineman once again waited with aces. He insta-called with Ah-Ac, and when the board ran out Ks-4d-7d-2c-3h, there was nothing left for Huskyfan98 to do except collect $16,500 for 7th place. Bfineman took over the chip lead a couple of hands later when he moved all in from early position with Ac-Qc and found one caller from EASY DZ, who picked up pocket nines in late position. EASY DZ lost the coin flip in the cruelest was possible, as the cards came down 8h-2d-Jh-Kc-10h to give bfineman runner-runner Broadway and EASY DZ a 6th-place exit ($24,000).

With only five players left, the end was in sight for the remaining competitors, and royalfishfly decided that it was time to move into a higher gear. After CHINESE30 moved all in preflop, royalfishfly re-raised all in to isolate with Ad-Ks. Everyone else folded, and CHINESE30 tabled Qd-4d. No help for CHINESE30 on the board of 8d-Kc-Jh-6h-7c, and royalfishfly’s pair of kings was enough to send CHINESE30 to the rail in 5th place ($31,500). Just a few hands later, royalfishfly did the same thing to renq87, moving all in over the top of his preflop shove to isolate, and showed Ad-10c to renq87’s Ac-6c. The board came down 9s-4c-Kh-As-3s, and royalfishfly’s ten kicker sent renq87 home in 4th place ($39,375).

Chip leader from the final two tables, royalfishfly’s luck ran out in 3rd place when he was crippled by Weekender74 and then taken out completely by bfineman. The damage was done when royalfishfly’s As-Qc lost the coin flip to Weekender74 on a board of 4h-5d-Jd-9c-Ks, leaving him with barely more than $2 million in chips and blinds at 200,000/400,000 with a 40,000 ante. Royalfishfly shipped it in on the next hand with Qd-6d, and bfineman called with Qs-Jc. The flop came down jack-high and when the final cards were dealt, they read Jd-8d-2h-2c-Qh, and royalfishfly took home $52,500 for 3rd place.

With nearly a 2:1 chip lead going into heads-up play, it was easy to think that Weekender74 would put away bfineman in short order. In reality, the heads-up match went back and forth for quite a while, with nearly as many lead changes as Sunday’s NASCAR race. In the end, it was indeed Weekender74 who led the final lap, calling bfineman’s all in preflop. Bfineman showed Ac-5d, a slight lead over Weekender74’s Kd-9d, but the flop came down Kh-8s-7h, and Weekender74 was headed for the checkered flag. The turn was the 4c, giving bfineman additional straight outs, but when the Qs hit the river, bfineman’s tournament was over one spot lower than he hoped, and he had $75,000 to soothe his disappointment.

Weekend74 came from the middle of the pack to start the final table to the top spot and the $105,000 first prize!