NinjasTyle87 chops down competition on the way to a Sunday Warm-Up win!

sunday-warmup-thumb.jpgPokerStars definitely brought out the holiday spirit in this week's edition of the Sunday Warm-Up, as 4,605 players took to the field to trim the tree with a $921,000 prize pool. With the top 675 players taking home a little something extra in their stocking, the big money was reserved for the final table. After a tough final table performance, NinjasTyle87 bested .dmmarquez heads-up to take down the $119,864.18 that he picked up as part of a two-way deal, the $10,000 that was reserved for the winner, and the title of the last Sunday Warm-Up Champion of 2009.

warmup 12.27.jpgHaneferd amped up the aggression once play reached the final two tables, and came into the final table with a slight chip lead over NinjasTyle87. When the final table kicked off, Team PokerStars Pro Gualter "stockcar99" greeted the nine survivors. ReadOnYou was the short stack going into the final table, but it was pokerville who was the first to fall, busting on one of the first hands of the final table at the hands of JBlaze20. Pokerville raised from the cutoff with T♥-T♣, and JBlaze moved all in over the top from the button with A♦-Q♠. The flop was good for pokerville, coming down 2♥-5♣-7♥, and the turn was an innocuous K♣. The Q♦ on the river was nuts enough for JBlaze, giving him a pair of queens to pokerville's tens, and sending pokerville home in 9th place ($7,368).

ReadOnYou remained the short stack, and after a few orbits of back-and-forth play, he moved all in preflop with 3♥-4♥ from the cutoff. Big stack NinjasTyle87 called with 3♠-3♣, and when no four hit the 7♥-8♣-Q♣-8♠-6♠ board, ReadOnYou was done in 8th place ($11,512.50). Haneferd came into the final table as one of the big stacks, but no cards and one final cooler conspired to send him packing in 7th place ($20,722.5). Check out the action in his final hand -

Steinapride was the next to fall when he ran afoul of big stack .dmmarquez in a huge pot. Dmmarquez raised preflop with Q♣-J♦ from the button, and Steinapride made the call from the big blind with K♥-J♥. The flop came down pretty good for both players, T♦-Q♥-6♥. Steinapride opened with his open-ended straight draw and flush draw, and .dmmarquez moved all in over the top with his top pair. Steinapride called on his draw, and when the turn and river blanked out 7♠-Q♦, his tournament was over in 6th place ($29,932.50).

With the blinds and antes rising, the pace of eliminations picked up as the big stacks took out their shorter opponents. SuperNova player Comeback2008's comeback at the final table ended in 5th place ($39,142.50) when NinjasTyle87 took him out and reclaimed the chip lead. Comeback2008 open-shoved from the button with A♣-9♣, and NinjasTyle87 defended his big blind with K♥-J♠. The flop was safe for Comeback2008, coming down 6♠-8♦-5♦ and giving him a gutshot straight draw to go with his ace. NinjasTyle87 hit the K♦ on the turn to take the lead, and Comeback needed an ace or a seven on the river to live up to his screen name. Unfortunately for him, the 8♠ on the river gave NinjasTyle kings up, and sent Comeback2008 to the rail in 5th place.

Montjeu8 played the role of short-stack ninja all the way to a 4th-place finish and a $52,036.50 payday. From one of the shortest stacks all the way back at the final table bubble, montjeu8 ducked and weaved until finally he busted at the hands of .dmmarquez. Montjeu8 open-shoved from the small blind with Q♣-5♠, and .dmmarquez made the call with K♦-8♦. The flop looked good for montjeu8, as the 9♣-J♠-T♥ board gave him an up and down straight draw. The Q♦ on the turn added top pair to his arsenal, but the A♠ on the river made the Broadway straight for .dmmarquez, and then there were three.

The three survivors paused for a moment to discuss a deal once the shortest stack was eliminated. After a brief discussion, no deal was reached and the tournament resumed three-handed. Joseph "JBlaze20" Chaplin capped a killer run in 2009 with a 3rd-place finish in one of the last major tournaments of the year. He picked up $75,982.50 for his finish, a good way to end a year that included a WSOP final table and literally dozens of online cashes, including a win in the August 25th edition of the PokerStars Daily $100 with rebuys. His last hand saw him move all-in over the top of NinjasTyle87's opening raise with K♦-Q♣. NinjasTyle87 thought for a moment before making the call with A♣-8♠, but he eventually called and was ahead by a slim margin. That slim margin was all he needed, as the board ran out 6♣-J♠-5♥-4♦-T♠. The board missed both players, and NinjasTyle87's ace-high was enough to send Chaplin packing and kick off heads-up play.

After one hand of heads-up play, the NinjasTyle87 and .dmmarquez paused to discuss a deal once more, and with the stacks virtually even, they quickly came to an agreement. Dmmarquez held a slight edge in chips, and locked up a guaranteed $121,918.80 payday, while NinjasTyle87 was happy to take $119,864.18 for his slightly smaller stack. With the deal in place, the players settled in for the $10,000 heads-up match. A few hands into the match, this massive hand swung the momentum firmly in NinjasTyle87's favor, and it was a short affair after that.

The final hand saw all the money go in preflop, as NinjasTyle87 raised from the big blind with 5♦-5♣. Dmmarquez limp-raised all in with A♥-Q♣, and the two were flipping a coin for $10,000! The flop of 2♥-4♠-6♦ was as pretty a thing as NinjasTyle87 could have asked for, all low cards that gave him a gutshot as well as missed .dmmarquez' hand. The J♣ on the turn was no help, and when the 6♣ landed on the river, NinjasTyle87 had come from (ever-so-slightly) behind to pick up the extra $10K and become the final Sunday Warm-Up Champion of 2009!

Congratulations to our champion, NinjasTyle87, our final table competitors, and everyone who played and cashed in the Sunday Warm-Up this year! It's been a great year of crushed guarantees and massive prize pools, to let's do it all again next year!

@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up