Buller00 comes from behind in amazing Sunday Warm-Up Victory!

Warm-Up 1.4.08.jpgPokerStars ended the holiday season on a high note with another massive crowd lining up for the Sunday Warm-Up. The first Sunday Warm-Up of 2009 blew through the guarantee, with 4103 players building a massive $829,600 prize pool. Anybody who thought that registration would be slow with so many players headed down to Atlantis for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure got a big surprise, as both the Warm-Up and the Sunday Million had huge fields to kick off the new year.

It took many hours to thin the field down to the final table, and after a lengthy hand-for-hand battle, the final nine competitors wasted no time in getting chips in the middle. Warty31 threaded his short stack through the eye of the needle to make the final table, but he shipped it in with Ac-9c almost immediately after the final table kicked off. He found one caller in Drago0906, who picked up a straight draw with Qd-Jh on the 6c-10d-9d flop. He couldn't catch anything to help out as the turn and river came down 7h-Ah to make two pair for warty31 and leave Drago0906 on the short stack. On the very next hand Drago0906 got the rest of his stack in the middle with 3g-3c from the small blind after a preflop raise from IW1LLH1TN0Ts. IW1LLH1TN0Ts made the call with Kd-10c, and the board ran out Qs-10h-Ad-5d-6h to make Drago0906 the first casualty of the final table. He picked up $6,646.86 for his 9th place finish.

Warty31 seemed poised for a run at the top spot after his early double-up, but he couldn't overcome his short stack to stay live past 8th place. After a preflop raise from frtk, warty31 called all-in with Qh-Qs, and was looking good when frtk showed 10c-7s for the steal attempt. The flop of Jc-10h-3c gave frtk a pair, but he was still drwing to beat warty31's overpair. The tide turned on the turn when the 7h landed to give frtk two pair and leave warty31 drawing for his tournament life. The 4h on the river was no help, and warty31 was done in 8th place ($10,257.50).

After frtk did the heavy lifting to decimate his chip stack, SrixXxon fell to chip leader luetch1 on 7th place ($16,412.00). SrixXxon moved all in preflop with As-Js, and luetch1 made the call for a coin flip with 5h-5d. The flop hit luetch1 right between the eyes, as he made top set on a board of 4h-5c-3d. SrixXxon was drawing to a deuce for the wheel or running Aces to stay alive, and when the rest of the board ran out 10s-Ah, the field was left six-handed.

Frtk's luck ran out when he went for a steal just after the final table's first break, moving all in from the small blind with Jc-8s. Action had folded around to his small blind, so the only thing standing between frtk and the orphaned blinds and antes was whatever hand IW1LLH1TN0Ts woke up with in the big blind. When that hand turned out to be pocket aces, frtk was in deep trouble. The flop of 7c-10d-2h left images of runner-runner straights in frtk's eyes, but the turn of 3d left him drawing dead. The 8d was the irrelevant river card, and frtk picked up $24,618 for 6th place.

After some huge back-and-forth swings five-handed, LOGIST_14 lost a huge pot to luetch1 that gave luetch1 back the chip lead and left LOGIST_14 on the short stack. He shipped it in a few hands later with Kc-Js on the button, and IW1LLH1TN0Ts made the call from the small blind with Ac-3c. IW1LLH1TN0Ts pulled even further ahead on the 6h-Ah-Qh flop, and the 3h on the turn sealed LOGIST_14's fate. When the 9s rolled off on the river, LOGIST_14 collected $32,824, and the tournament was four-handed.
That wasn't to be the case for long, as luetch1 knocked out both rbeckwith and IW1LLH1TN0Ts in one hand to create almost a 6:1 chip lead going into heads-up play. In what was by far the most exciting hand of the final table, short stack rbeckwith moved all in preflop from the button and found callers in both luetch1 in the small blind and IW1LLH1TN0Ts from the big blind. The flop came down Jh-8s-Qh, and luetch1 led out. IW1LLH1TN0Ts moved all in over the top with As-Qc for top-top, while luetch1 called with Ah-10s for the gutshot and runner-runner flush draw. Rbeckwith was drawing extremely slim with 7d-7h, and when the 8h hit the turn, luetch1 picked up a legitimate nut flush draw. The 2h on the river was the key card, as it gave luetch1 the four-flush to send rbeckwith home in 4th place ($41,030) and IW1LLH1TN0Ts home in 3rd place ($49,236) all in one quick hand.

That left luetch1 with a little more than 35 million chips to buller00's 5.9 million. Buller00 offered an even chop, which for some reason luetch1 didn't feel was quite in order with his chip stack. The heads-up match commenced, with buller00 half-jokingly declaring "then you go down." What might have started as a joke quickly became a reality, as it took only a few minutes of heads-up play for the tide to turn and buller00 to storm into the chip lead. It took another couple dozen hands, but finally butler00 put the cap on one of the most impressive come-from-behind wins in recent memory when he got all the chips in the middle for the very last time.

Luetch1 raised from the button, and buller00 made the call with the chip lead. The flop came down 6s-4h-6c, and buller00 checked. Luetch1 fired at the pot, and buller00 pulled the trigger on the check-raise. Luetch1 thought for a brief moment before calling, and buller00 moved all in when the 5s hit the turn. Luetch1 thought for a long moment before calling for his tournament life with Ac-Jh, only to see buller00 tabled 6d-3d for flopped trips. The 10d on the river was irrelevant, and luetch1, who led almost the entire final table, fell in 2nd place ($73,854). Buller00 came from a huge chip deficit to take the lead, then the tournament, as he finished in first place for $105,857.40. In his own words, buller00 "put on a clinic, didn't I?" And we can't disagree one bit. Congrats to everyone who cashed in this first Sunday Warm-Up of 2009, may this year continue to be every bit as prosperous for all of you!