All the right toppings: pizzaiolo1 wins Sunday Warm-up

sunday-warmup-thumb.jpgWith over six thousand poker players currently crushing the World Series of Poker Main Event tonight's $750,000 Guarantee was sure to be a ghost town right?

Wrong.

3,884 players found the less expensive $215 buy in for the Sunday Warm-up more to their liking easily going over the $750,000 Guarantee and producing a $776,800.00 prize pool that 585 players would get to share. Only one however would go home with the $121,957.61 sitting at the top.

Tonight's bubble boy truly took a bad beat, after watching Bobba Gee get blinded down for being disconnected for the past hour or longer, DenverSports pushed over the top for a shade under three million chips of mick_allin's UTG+2 raise, only to see Bobba Gee magically come alive with a mere 45,148 chips and race for the last seats to the final table. mick_allin covered and called the all-in bet to show the three way hand below:

mick_allin: J♣J♥
Bobba Gee: 4♥4♠
DenverSports: Q♣A♣

4♦ K♠ 7♦ 4♣ 5♦ on the board gave the short main pot to Bobba Gee with quads as the 5.4 million chip side pot went to the jacks of mick_allin as DenverSports was eliminated in tenth place ($4,660.81) to set up the final table below:

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Seat 1: strip23 (8724547 in chips)
Seat 2: ThislsTheEnd (3253380 in chips)
Seat 3: Thor6587 (3940683 in chips)
Seat 4: pizzaiolo1 (2315607 in chips)
Seat 5: sqwiggi8000 (6757373 in chips)
Seat 6: Bobba Gee (590444 in chips)
Seat 7: mr flyboy (2141402 in chips)
Seat 8: mick_allin (6912160 in chips)
Seat 9: Elwood_fi (4204404 in chips)

The curious case of Bobba Gee ended very quickly at the final table. With blinds at 65K/130K ante 13K and only the second hand of the final table tonight Bobba Gee open shoved the light 564,444 chip stack with T♥J♦ in middle position. Folded around to Thor6587 in the big blind sitting on almost four million in chips made the call with 6♥K♠. Neither player benefited from the 5♣ 2♣ 2♥ A♦ Q♦ board and Bobba Gee finally disconnected for good in ninth place ($6,214.41).

sqwiggi8000 would trim an eight million chip pot off mick_allin after the two traded raises on a 8♦ 2♣ A♥ flop. mick_allin couldn't match the 4.8 million chip three-bet and with that pot brought the tournament's first 10 million chip stack as mick_allin was still in good shape holding 3.6 million in chips with blinds at 80K/160K ante 16K.

Seven hands later Thor6587, who was responsible for the night's first elimination, would become the table's next causality. Using the power of the button, Thor6587 would three-bet strip23's middle position raise to 2.5 million all-in. With A♠T♣ strip23 made the call as Thor6587 rolled over the two face cards that did not match in J♥Q♣. The hammer of Thor was heard loud and clear on the 9♠J♠4♠ taking the lead with a pair of jacks, but that noise was silenced after the T♠ gave strip23 the nut flush leaving Thor6587 time power down the computer for the evening drawing dead but gaining $9,701.01 in the process for the eighth place finish.

In a head scratcher of a hand, strip23 managed to get ThisIsTheEnd all-in preflop holding just 8♥9♥ for a 9.7 million chip pot. Watch the hand's exciting conclusion below:


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Trip nines for strip23 meant the end came sooner than expected for ThisIsTheEnd but the solace of $17,478.01 should heal some bad beat wounds as those pocket jacks couldn't hold up in seventh place.

Three hands later as the players stepped up the aggression and action found mick_allin putting 2.5 million into the middle with K♥Q♥ against pizzaiolo1's cutoff raise. pizzaiolo1 found pocket sixes 6♦6♥ plenty to make the call. This 3♠ A♦ 4♥ 7♦ 2♣ board could only produce one heart and no face cards and mick_allin was all out of chips in sixth place ($25,246.01).

Another day, another river card. Unfortunately for Elwood_fi the hot hand of strip23 caught up on the river once again in the hand below:


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With the rivered pair of aces, strip23 sent Elwood_fi home with cracked pocket kings and $33,014.01 in fifth place.

With the departure of Elwood_fi in fifth place, about ten hands later the table sat down with the lovely Team PokerStarsPro Vicky Coren to broker the deal shown below (setting aside $10,000.00 for the winner) with the 125K/250K ante 25K blinds getting a little too large for their comfort:

strip23: $110,659.86
mr flyboy: $57,006.32
pizzaiolo1: $75,214.47
sqwiggi8000: $68,714.26

True to the words of the players the action ramped up huge after the four-way chop. First, mr flyboy would raise into pizzaiolo1's small blind for one million only to get re-popped for 2.25 million back by pizzaiolo1 as mr flyboy elected to call. Both players checked the A♠ 6♠ 5♣ flop but with the K♣ on the turn they broke out of their shells and shoved all-in with pizzaiolo1 covering.

mr flyboy: K♠Q♥
pizzaiolo1: J♥A♦

The slowplayed flopped pair of aces was good for the 8.5 million chip pot held up for pizzaiolo1 on the 3♣ river as mr flyboy flew away from the final table tarmac with the chopped $57,006.32 in fourth place.

Two hands later pizzaiolo1 would chop down strip23's dominance in the chip counts with carefully value betting pocket queens Q♠Q♣ on every street of the 6♦ 4♣ J♦ T♠ 8♥ board as strip23 could only produce 7♥6♣ for a pair of sixes. 23 million chips found their way into pizzaiolo1's stack.

The stacks would flatten out a bit over the course of the 150K/300K ante 30K blind level but it was sqwiggi8000's stack that would be flatten to zero first. After a tame button raise to 900K with blinds at 150K300K ante 30K by pizzaiolo1 and a call by both sqwiggi8000 and strip23 everyone saw the monotone 7♠ 6♠ Q♠ flop. sqwiggi8000 checked, strip23 punched random numbers and bet 1,856,231 as pizzaiolo1 gave up on the preflop raise. sqwiggi8000 elected to check-raise to 5.4 million, but that just woke up strip23 into shoving for nearly 10 million total. sqwiggi8000 would call for less holding T♥Q♦, as strip23 held Q♥7♥ good for two pair. No one held a spade as sqwiggi800 was left looking deep for a ten, which failed to appear on the 8♣ turn and K♣ river sending sqwiggi8000 off to work with the chopped $68,714.26 in third place.

Despite the huge chip lead during the chip chop, strip23's lead was not so apparent at the start of heads up play:

Seat 1: strip23 (21567362 in chips)
Seat 4: pizzaiolo1 (17272638 in chips)

pizzaiolo1 went right to work on hand five of heads up play, snagging a 19 million chip pot holding just third pair on a 2♠ 4♣ J♦ 6♥ 6♦ board and calling a 4.2 million chip raise on the river by strip23 to find 4♠9♥ was good.

Another five hands later the $10,000.00 would be shipped to pizzaiolo1 for overcoming the huge chip deficit to become this week's $750,000 Guarantee Sunday Warm-up champion! Check out how both players got their chips into the middle preflop below:


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Race for the finish as pizzaiolo1's pocket sevens 7♥7♣ held up over strip23's A♣T♦ to win the extra $10,000.00 set aside from the four-way deal and claim $85,214.47 as tonight's winner. strip23 as the runner-up was the biggest winner having secured $110,659.86 in the deal.

$750,000 Guarantee Sunday Warm-up Results (07-05-09)
(* based on four-way chop)
1. pizzaiolo1 (coral springs) *$85,214.47
2. strip23 (Berlin) *$110,659.86
3. sqwiggi8000 (Aarhus C) *$68,714.26
4. mr flyboy (richmond) *$57,006.32
5. Elwood_fi (Vihti) $33,014.01
6. mick_allin (scarborough) $25,246.01
7. ThislsTheEnd (Brest) $17,478.01
8. Thor6587 (Malmoe) $9,710.01
9. Bobba Gee (Dub) $6,214.41

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up