Gabba Gabba Hey! Gabegnagare wins Sunday Warm-Up

sunday-warmup-promo.jpgWith all the SCOOP action going on at PokerStars right now you might have forgotten that the weekly Sunday Warm-Up was running. But PokerStars players didn't forget; 4,107 of you showed up and made sure that this week's $750,000 guarantee turned into a prize pool worth $821,400.

All 630 players who eventually cashed today at some point had their eyes on the first prize worth $105,960.60, but by 9:01 p.m. ET there were only 10 left with a shot at the six-figure payday. Once Gabegnagare flopped a set of deuces to take out pistecaloze, the bubble had burst and the final table lineup was set:

Seat 1: hoodini10 (2,806,383)
Seat 2: Brett Favre (1,423,770)
Seat 3: HGoblin (4,596,504)
Seat 4: manitu895 (2,434,278)
Seat 5: jasondvk (3,051,036)
Seat 6: Gabegnagare (5,763,506)
Seat 7: xMillet6La (6,995,409)
Seat 8: Kameleont (8,010,731)
Seat 9: JohnnyDepp (5,897,383)

Sunday Warmup FT.jpg

For the first 19 hands, most pots went to the most aggressive player, and a good portion of the time that player was hoodini10. He picked up enough uncontested pots to double his stack before butting heads with xMillet6La. With the blinds at 80,000/160,000 and a 16,000 ante, xMillet6La opened for 480,000 in second position and his only caller was hoodini10 in the hijack seat. The A♣ K♠ 7♠ flop saw the action go bet-call for 640,000, but when the T♣ came on the turn and xMillet6La bet 1,760,000, it was decision time for hoodini10. The bet represented half his remaining stack, and he requested time. Eventually he shoved with A♠ Q♠ and found himself up against xMillet6La's two pair with A♥ 7♦. But the river was a lovely K♣, giving hoodini10 the escape hatch he'd been looking for and vaulting him into the chip lead with almost 9.8 million.

xMillet6La made up for some of his loss on the next hand and eliminated the first player of the final nine. Brett Favre heaved a Hail Mary before the flop with A♠ K♣, three-betting his short stack all-in after an opening raise from Kameleont, but xMillet6La's T♣ T♦ held up on the 6♥ 2♠ Q♣ J♠ 7♣ board to send Brett Favre packing in ninth place with $6,653.34.

Despite getting some chips back, xMillet6La never fully recovered from his thrashing at the hands of hoodini10. Down to just over 2.2 million, he picked the wrong time for a late position steal; he shoved holding 5♠ 4♠ only to run into JohnnyDepp's A♥ A♣ No miracle board came and the unlucky xMillet6La left in eighth place for a $10,267.50 score.

JohnnyDepp found himself in another good spot about an orbit later when manitu895 shoved for 1,687,056 before the flop, waking up with Q♠ Q♦ on the button against his opponent's A♦ 4♠. The board ran out 6♦ J♣ 7♦ J♠ 6♥ and manitu895 claimed $16,428 for his seventh place finish.

By this point the six remaining players were all within three million chips of each other and most of them took turns jockeying for position with three- and even four-bets. Then HGoblin would go down in two consecutive hands and thin the field further.

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HGoblin took home $24,642 for his sixth place performance, and Gabegnagare held the chip lead (11,940,478) with just five players left. But the situation changed in the time it took for him to flop top pair with K♥ J♠, call hoodini10's all-in raise on the flop for over 5.5 million, and fail to outrun A♦ A♥. Just like that, hoodini10 was back in front with a stack worth 12,824,684.

Gabegnagare doubled back up on the next hand to pull almost even with hoodini10 again, but the magic man pulled another brilliant escape a few moments later to vault back ahead. With the big blind still at 300,000, Kameleont shoved all-in before the flop for 4,319,599 holding J♣ J♦ and hoodini10 made the call holding 6♣ 6♠. The 8♥ K♥ K♦ was safe for Kameleont, but a cruel 6♦ fell on the turn to leave him with two outs. Neither materialized and he was out in fifth place for $32,856.

hoodini10, meanwhile, was up to almost 18 million and began to lean on the rest of the table at every opportunity. Gabegnagare and JohnnyDepp fought back on occasion to keep their stack hovering near 8 million, but jasondvk didn't find as many opportunities. As the 150,000/300,000/30,000 level neared an end he found himself down to just under 2.2 million and decided to go with 3♣ 3♦. Gabegnagare called with A♦ 5♠ and the board ran out Q♥ A♣ K♥ T♣ 9♥, sending jasondvk out in fourth place with $41,070 for his efforts.

That left three contenders, but the trio wouldn't last long. On the very next hand, JohnnyDepp opened for 900,000, only to find himself facing a decision for his remaining 6.25 million chips courtesy of hoodini10's all-in re-raise; JohnnyDepp elected to make the call with A♣ 8♦ but was up against hoodini10's A♥ T♥. The underdog never caught up on the 4♦ 3♣ 5♣ A♠ 4♠ board, sending JohnnyDepp home in third place with $49,284.

The two players who had most dictated the pace of play now found themselves facing each other for the top prize, with these chip counts:

Seat 1: hoodini10 (29,967,490)
Seat 6: Gabegnagare (11,102,510)

hoodini10 came out of the gates aggressive, but Gabegnagare seemed determined to match his opponent's firepower bullet for bullet despite facing a shortage of ammunition. He extracted almost 1.4 million before check-raising the flop on the first hand of heads-up play and took down another 980,000 with a pre-flop three-bet before running into a trouble spot in this pot:

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With that fortunate king on the river, Gabegnagare found himself right back in the thick of things. hoodini10 would pull even again almost immediately, but seven hands later Gabegnagare would take the lead for good with an all-in re-raise on the flop that hoodini10 chose not to contest. Then came the hand that closed the tournament out.

hoodini10 opened for 900,005 on the button and Gabegnagare flat-called in the big blind to see a flop of 5♠ T♥ Q♥. Gabegnagare checked and then called a 1,355,000 bet from hoodini10 to see the turn come the 6♠. Gabegnagare checked once again, and hoodini bet 2,855,000; this time, though, Gabegnagare chose to check-raise for the minimum. hoodini10 requested time and eventually shoved all-in for just over 16 million. That was just what Gabegnagare had hoped to see: he quickly called with T♣ 6♦ for two pair against hoodini10's Q♣ 2♦ for top pair. The J♣ on the river sealed the $105,960.60 win for Gabegnagare, while hoodini10 settled for the runner-up purse of $73,926.

Big congratulations go to all the final table players for earning their way to the top of yet another monster Sunday Warm-Up field, with the biggest of all reserved for the champion, Gabegnagare. With SCOOP running for the next week here on PokerStars he'll have plenty of chances to put that money to work replicating today's six-figure success.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Sunday Warm-Up