Sunday Warm-Up: DCal Zone Strikes 'Em Out, Scores $138K

sunday-warmup-thumb.jpgThe first Sunday Warm-Up of November brought out 4,747 players, creating a total prize pool of $949,000, easily exceeding the $750K guarantee and flirting once again with that possible million-dollar prize pool -- something we're likely destined to see happen in the Warm-Up in the near future. While NFL football, the World Series, and other weekend diversions were occupying the rest of the world, a select few from this group of runners craftily wound their way through the massive field to reach the final table, each eyeing that $148,941.88 first prize.

After a little over a hour-and-a-half, 3,000 players remained, with clickys the leader at nearly 75,000. About 45 minutes later, 2,000 were left, and katallo had stormed in front with 134,198. At the 3 hr., 15 min. mark, 1,000 players still had chips, at which point daphishermen had the most with 221,354.

The cash bubble burst at around the four-hour mark, meaning the 675 remaining players were all going to be enjoying some sort of profit for their efforts. At that point, magicdave2 was atop the leaderboard with 328,009, followed by Maskus (299,371) and katallo (258,147). A little over an hour later, 200 remained, with moneymike7 quickly closing in on the one-million chip mark. After six-plus hours of play, 100 players were left, and ssirC was in front with more than 1.4 million. Team PokerStars pro Victor Ramdin would be one of the next ones out, finishing in 98th place.

About the time Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton was throwing the first pitch of Game 4 to Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees -- approximately seven-and-half-hours into the tourney -- there were just 32 players left gathered around four tables, with kregme1 the leader with about 4.2 million, trailed by KvicKiller (3.26 million) and CMOT_Donkey (3.11 million).

Play continued, and at the eight-and-a-half hour mark they were down to just ten. Finally a short-stacked caprizas pushed all in with A♣J♥ and got called by KvicKiller who held A♦6♠. A six flopped, no jack came to save caprizas, and the final table was set:


Seat 1: akia86 -- 1,975,425
Seat 2: Brughtality -- 2,888,005
Seat 3: CMOT_Donkey -- 2,052,970
Seat 4: Loverat -- 11,384,587
Seat 5: KvicKiller -- 8,104,073
Seat 6: DCal Zone -- 5,417,791
Seat 7: kregme1 -- 683,794
Seat 8: SebbyGl -- 2,578,014
Seat 9: oli4ever -- 12,385,341

You might notice Team PokerStars Pro Joep "Pappe_Ruk" van den Bijgaart chiming in there in the chat box. In fact, the Dutch pro was actually slated to help out over with the Sunday Million tonight, so Chris "Money800" Moneymaker stepped in to take over hosting duties. As the Phils and Yanks moved into the fifth inning of their game tied 2-2, our final nine players took up their positions around their own field of green.

It would take a while for the first player to strike out (so to speak). With the blinds at 100,000/200,000 (20,000 antes), akia86 open-shoved all in for nearly 1.8 million, and CMOT_Donkey called for 1,355,515. The table folded around, and akia86 turned over 8♦8♣ to CMOT_Donkey's A♦A♣. All was well for CMOT_Donkey through the flop -- 6♠Q♣7♠ -- and turn -- 9♥. But the 8♥ cruelly fell on the river, giving akia86 the two-outer and CMOT_Donkey slid home in ninth.

A little while later, SebbyGl was the beneficiary of some fortunate timing by getting dealt pocket aces on the same hand oli4ever picked up two kings. The aces held, and SebbyGl was suddenly challenging Loverat and DCal Zone for the chip lead. Meanwhile, oli4ever, now one of the short stacks, was sounding a little like a disgruntled Cubs fan in the chatbox:

oli4ever: nh sebby
oli4ever: nice setup stars

The remaining eight players were already beginning to make some noises about chopping, but before all could agree to pause the tourney, three more would fall in quick succession.

First KvicKiller open-raised all in from the small blind for 2,720,919, and got called by DCal Zone in the big blind. KvicKiller showed 8♣9♠ and DCal Zone A♣3♣. The board came K♦2♦A♥A♠Q♥, and KvicKiller had been picked off in eighth.

oli4ever's tourney ended soon thereafter when he similarly open-shoved from the SB with his last 2,168,729, and akia86 called from the big blind. oli4ever showed Q♠9♥ and akia86 A♥9♦. The flop came 3♥A♠K♣, and oli4ever was in sad shape. The J♥ turn brought him straight possibilities, but the river 7♥ was a swing-and-a-miss for oli4ever who hit the rail in seventh.

Just four hands later, with the blinds now up to 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000), a similar sequence was followed when the table folded to kregme1 who pushed all in for 1,048,352 from the small blind, and SebbyGl made the call. kregme1 showed the mighty 2♦4♦ and SebbyGl Q♦8♦. The community cards came 8♣T♠9♦5♣2♣, and kregme1, having been caught stealing, was eliminated in sixth.

The remaining players continued to talk about chopping, although not everyone was willing and the game continued. Then came a hand in with Loverat opened with a raise to 750,000 from UTG, then DCal Zone, sitting to Loverat's left, reraised to 1.75 million. It folded back around to Loverat who made the call. The flop came 9♥9♣K♣. Loverat checked, and DCal Zone shoved all in with his huge 12 million-plus chip stack. Loverat called with his remaining 4,880,806, turning over A♣6♣ for a flush draw. An ace would work for Loverat, too, as DCal Zone showed T♥T♣. But the turn was the 9♠ and the river the 4♦. Tens full for DCal Zone meant Loverat was hitting the showers in fifth.

DCal Zone would quickly be back in action, raising to 800,000 from under the gun. It folded to Brughtality in the big blind who reraised all in for 3,783,010, and DCal Zone called, turning over A♠9♣ to Brughtality's 3♥3♣. The flop came K♥2♥J♦, and Brughtality's treys were still good. But the turn was the A♦, leaving Brughtality just two outs. The river was the 6♦, and like that ball Phillies slugger Chase Utley was smacking over the right-field wall in the seventh inning to cut the Yankees lead to 4-3, Brughtality was out of there in fourth.

The remaining trio did finally get that discussion of a possible deal going, and with Moneymaker's help the numbers for a chip-chop were presented. At that point DCal Zone held the lead with 24,762,974, akia86 was second with 18,930,276, and SebbyGl was the short stack with just 3,776,750. However no agreement could be reached, and the cards were soon back in the air.

A few hands later, SebbyGl had chipped up a bit before limping in from the small blind, then akia86 checked from the BB. The flop came T♠9♣T♣. SebbyGl checked, akia86 bet 400,000, SebbyGl check-raised to 915,125, akia86 reraised all in and SebbyGl called for 6,218,375 total. SebbyGl showed T♥5♥ for trip tens, and akia86 Q♣5♣ for the flush draw. The 6♣ came on the turn, completing akia86's flush, and after the 3♥ fell on the river, SebbyGl had grounded out in third.

After that hand, the remaining two players were nearly even in chips, with DCal Zone at 24,762,974 and akia86 having 22,707,026. The 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champ again ran the numbers according to the stack sizes, which came out to $125,387.13 for DCal Zone and $124,159.86 for akia86. akia86 said that sounded good, but DCal Zone said he wanted $128,000.

akia86: whats wrong with you? :)
akia86: its just about 3k
DCal Zone: 128 or play
akia86: k fine

The new calculations meant $128,000 for DCal Zone, $121,546.99 for akia86, with $10,000 left on the table for the eventual winner. So, after nearly ten hours of poker, the tournament was resumed.

The pair battled gamely, and after 80 hands of heads-up -- much like the Yanks and Phillies, tied at 4-4 as their game headed into the ninth -- DCal Zone and akia86 were similarly still even in chips. Then on Hand No. 103 of heads-up play, some ten-and-a-half hours after the first hands of the tournament had been dealt, a winner was finally decided.

A couple of nice-sized pots had allowed DCal Zone to chip up to 30,149,943, while akia86 had slipped to 17,320,057. With blinds a whopping 250,000/500,000 (ante 50,000), akia86 opened from the small blind/button with a raise to 1,204,823. DCal Zone reraised to 3.3 million, prompting an all-in shove from akia86. DCal Zone made the call, showing 8♠8♦ to akia86's A♠6♦. The board went T♦7♣K♦T♠J♥, and as the Yankees were scoring the go-ahead runs in the top of the ninth, the Sunday Warm-Up had reached its conclusion.

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$750,000 Guarantee Sunday Warm-up Results (11-01-09)
(*denotes two-way chop)

1. DCal Zone (Chicago) -- $138,000.00*
2. akia86 (Wiesbaden) -- $121,546.99*
3. SebbyGl (Leipzig) -- $78,325.51
4. Brughtality (Saint Paul) -- $53,641.11
5. Loverat (Stockport) -- $40,349.51
6. kregme1 (Frederiksvaerk) -- $30,855.51
7. oli4ever (Amsterdam) -- $21,361.51
8. KvicKiller (Slany) -- $11,867.51
9. CMOT_Donkey (Amersfoort) -- $7,595.21

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Warm-Up