A "Pro" soars to a Sunday Warm-Up victory

sunday-warmup-thumb.jpgThe summer may be cooling down, but the Sunday Warm-up is still running very hot, $46,800 above the tourney's $750K guarantee to be more exact. 3,984 runners ponied up the $215 entry fee to play in the Warm-up, among them more than a dozen PokerStars Team Pros. Five team pros managed to earn a payday, some squeaking in--Matthias De Meulder of team Belgium (582nd for $310.75) and Pat Pezzin of team Canada (483rd for $326.68)--and some going deep--Vadim Markushevski of team Russia (146th for $756.96), Dusty "Leatherass9" Schmidt of team PokerStars Online (76th for $1,195.20) and Hungarian team pro Richard Toth (70th for $1,290.81). No team pros made it far enough to even have a sniff of the final table, but plenty of other top online pros made it deep enough to taste a Sunday Warm-up title.

NoMoor Man

Possibly the most well known player with 18 left was British pro Moorman1, an online player with more than $2.1 million in career tournament earnings. Moorman1 fought the good fight deep into the final table bubble, but ultimately was crippled down to a handful of big blinds with just twelve left, needing something big to happen in order to survive.

 Not exactly the most desirable all-in hand

Predictably, Moorman1's J♠ 5♥ hand didn't help the English pro move past 12th ($4,780.80), nor was GARFIELD25's A♠ A♣ able to hold him up past 11th ($4,780.80) and K♦ Q♥ turned out to be sour for Quadeart, who became our unfortunate final table bubble boy, talking home $4,780.80 for his tenth place efforts.

And with that, only nine remained. BrandanZ entered the final table--otherwise known as table 39 before we got down to nine--with 6,199,534 in chips, but was closely followed by alimali63 (6,177,180 in chips), mshabububu (5,935,539 in chips), 247cat (5,419,650 in chips) and YugiohPro (5 378,972 in chips). And at a little less than half the chips of the big stacks Spec4u (2314043 in chips) came to table 39 as the short stack. With blinds at 65k/130k and a 13k ante here is how the final nine looked:  

Sunday Warm Up August 22.JPG
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Seat 1: BrandanZ (6199534 in chips)
Seat 2: Kocherov (3076533 in chips)
Seat 3: alimali63 (6177180 in chips)
Seat 4: Spec4u (2314043 in chips)
Seat 5: nazze84 (2540060 in chips)
Seat 6: 247cat (5419650 in chips)
Seat 7: YugiohPro (5378972 in chips)
Seat 8: I EyeDeA I (2798489 in chips)
Seat 9: mshabububu (5935539 in chips)

Getting Things Started Off Right

In just the second hand of final table play Kocherov raised to 320k in the hijack. Action folded around to 247cat in the big blind, who re-popped to 910k. Kocherov countered by moving all-in for his last 3 million and 247cat called. It was a classic flip, A♣ K♦ for Kocherov and J♣ J♦ for 247cat. The flop was interesting, falling 3♣ [10s] Q♥, which gave Kocherov two more additional outs, the remaining jacks, which would consequentially give 247cat a set. The new outs quickly disappeared with the turn, however, pairing the board with the [10d]. Needing a king or ace to survive, Kocherov couldn't get there on the river, the blank 8♠ falling on the end, sending him home in ninth ($6,347.40).    
The Slow Death

Most of the time at major final tables the blinds and stack sizes dictate fast play. Most eliminations are quick deaths, resulting in either classic coin flips or major mistakes. However, sometimes players suffer the long drawn out exit, slowly losing all their chips before they are sent home. Such was the end of nazze84, who entered the final table as one of the short stakes and just couldn't get anything going. After being bled down to around 700k in chips, nazze84 open shoved in the cut off and was called in the small blind by YugiohPro, who was wielding an over 9 million chip stack. nazze84 was in trouble, holding K♥ 9♠ versus YugiohPro's A♠ J♥. The flop was fairly neutral, 7♦ 6♦ 2♠, but the J♣ on the turn nearly locked the hand up for YugiohPro. Needing a king and a king only to live on nazze84 was put out of his misery with the 7♠ on the river. nazze84 went out in eighth, $9,960 in his pocket for his Sunday work.

Sometimes It's The Hand Before

It's easy to say with just 275k left, 75k after pushing in his blind, mshabububu was forced to call an all-in bet from YugiohPro and was eliminated when his lowly 8♣ 6♥ failed to improve against YugiohPro's A♠ K♦. But that's not the whole story. Sometime it really is the hand before the hand. In the hand before his death mshabububu open shoved all-in for about 2.8 million in first position. He was called at a small discount by Spec4u in the cut off. It was one of those dominated times for mshabububu, his 6♦ 6♥ nearly dead against the 8♥ 8♣ of Spec4u. The board ran out dry for mshabububu, [10h] J♣ 7♠ Q♠ 2♦. And just one hand later mshabububu got his 8♣ 6♥ swan song. mshabububu was eliminated in seventh, going home $17,928 richer.

Dead Eyed

Running short at about 3.3 million in chips, I EyeDeA I moved all-in in first position and was called by alimali63 in the cut off. I EyeDeA I flipped over K♥ [10c], which was crushed by  alimali63's A♥ K♠. The flop was a disaster for I EyeDeA I, falling 7♦ 6♠ A♠ and pairing alimali63's ace. The ace on the flop forced I EyeDeA I to make runner-runner something in order to survive. The J♣ gave I EyeDeA I four outs to a Broadway straight. No dice for I EyeDeA I, however, another jack fell on the river and sent him home in sixth, good for $25,895.

Five For Five

Five handed, interestingly enough, lasted just five hands. On the button Spec4u moved all-in for 2.6 million chips. The all-in was called by YugiohPro in the big blind. Spec4u was far behind, his A♥ Q♠ crushed by YugiohPro's A♣ K♥. The board was fairly bland, 5♣ 8♠ J♦ on the flop, 7♦ on the turn and, finally, the 8♥, sealing Spec4u's fate in fifth ($33,864).

No More Lives

Just nine hands after Spec4u's elimination, 247cat raised to 750k on the button. YugiohPro moved all-in in the small blind and, after action folded around back to him, 247cat called off his last 3.5 million chips. It was another classic flip, 247cat gambling with A♦ J♦ against YugiohPro's 7♦ 7♠. The race was almost ended on the flop, 3♠ 8♦ 7♥, giving YugiohPro middle set. However, the [10s] on the turn gave 247cat four outs to a straight to survive. A blank 2♠ came on the river, though, sending 247cat home in fourth ($45,816).

Even Steven

Following Spec4u's elimination in fourth the stacks were pretty even.

Seat 1: BrandanZ (10981215 in chips)
Seat 3: alimali63 (15571702 in chips)
Seat 7: YugiohPro (13287083 in chips)

The stacks got closer and closer and soon, perhaps inevitably, the deal discussions began. After some brief discussions a utopian decision of almost an even split was arrived at, $90k for both alimali63 and BrandanZ with YugiohPro getting the leftovers at $94,060.64. Of course, $10k was left on the table for the eventual winner.

The Triumvirate Broken

47 hands after Spec4u's elimination, the longest time between elimination hands thus far, the final three became the final two. With just 4 million left, BrandanZ moved all-in in the small blind only to be called by alimali63 in the big blind. BrandanZ was caught with K♥ 8♥ against alimali63's A♠ J♥. BrandanZ wasn't dead, even after a 7♥ 6♦ 3♦ flop, he could still catch a king or eight or some sort of runner-runner to catch up. Sure enough, the 6♥ gave BrandanZ a flush draw. The 4♣ fell on the river, a blank to Brandanz, and eliminated BrandanZ in third place ($90,000).

Pro's Pro

Even with his elimination of BrandanZ, alimali63 was still far behind YugiohPro--11 million in chips to about 29 million--as heads-up play began. Just 14 hands into heads-up play, YugiohPro finished the match. With blinds 150k/300k and a 30k ante, alimali63 called the big blind on the button and YugiohPro checked. After a flop of 6♦ Q♣ 8♥, YugiohPro bet 300k. alimali63 min-raised to 600k and YugiohPro called. The 3♥ came on the turn and YugiohPro checked to the bettor. alimali63 continued his aggression, betting out and YugiohPro flat called again. The J♥ fell and, after a YugiohPro check, alimali63 moved his last 5.3 million. YugiohPro called and flipped up [10h] 9♠ for queen high straight. alimali63 was second best, his 8♦ 2♦ being no match for YugiohPro's straight. alimali63 was sent home in second, good for $90k. YugiohPro takes home the extra for $104,060.64.

$750,000 Guarantee Sunday Warm-up Results (08-22-10)

*Indicates a three-way deal

1. YugiohPro (St. Louis) *$104,060.64
2. alimali63 (Istanbul) *$90,000.00
3. BrandanZ (Tempe) *$90,000.00
4. 247cat (Moscow) $45,816.00
5. Spec4u (Okttiabrskiy) $33,864.00
6. I EyeDeA I (Naperville) $25,896.00
7. mshabububu (Berlin) $17,928.00
8. nazze84 (Flen) $9,960.00
9. Kocherov (Novosibirsk) $6,374.40