Vtiger victorius, kakagun cashes huge in Sunday Warm-Up

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A slightly smaller crowd settled in for this Sunday's Warm-Up, still crushing the guarantee as 4,314 players built a ginormous $862,800 prize pool. At the end of the night it was vtiger coming from behind to take down the title and $79,664 prize as part of a four-way deal that left runner-up kakagun actually winning the most money on the night, as his dominating chip lead with four players left locked up $127,043 as a reward for his aggressive tournament.

That cracking sound you heard was kakagun cracking Jensefar's pocket kings to send Jensefar to the rail in 10th place and set himself up with a monster stack going into the final table. The disparity from the rich and the poor at the final table was pretty heavy, with kakagun and zefir_max both coming into the final nine with over $10 million in chips, while the short-stacked hummylun and Ruguebye had less than a million each.
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After logging one double-up, hummylun got it all in again against Ruguebye and mschili-26, and this time it didn't go so well. Ruguebye and mschili-26 checked down the 6♦-J♠-A♥-J♦-Q♣ board, and when the hole cards were revealed, it was Ruguebye with 5♠-5♣ sending hummylun and his pocket 3♥-3♠ to the rail in 9th place ($6,902.40).

Santicua made a bold move at the wrong moment to end his tournament in 8th place ($10,785). With A♦-9♣, santicua raised preflop and got action from Proludo, who defended his big blind. The flop came a seemingly-harmless 3♣-8♥-7♦, and Proludo checked. Santicua moved all in, and Proludo snap-called with 7♥-7♠ for a flopped set. Santicua was drawing dead on the flop, and could only watch as the turn and river came down 2♥-5♣.

Just when you think somebody's on the ropes, the tides can turn. Kakagun's unbridled aggression got him to the final table with the chip lead, but some loose calls and some tough hands put him firmly in the middle of the pack. Until he tangled again with chip leader zefir_max. Zefir_max opened for a raise from under the gun, and kakagun three-bet from the cutoff. Zefir flat-called, and the flop came down J♣-T♥-5♦. Zefir checked, kakagun bet, and zefir check-raised. Kakagun re-raised, zefir raised again, and kakagun moved all in. Zefir made the call and tabled K♥-J♥, only to see kakagun reveal K♦-K♠ for the overpair. The turn and river came down 2♠-T♦, and kakagun crippled the chip leader and took a dominating chip lead over the rest of the field. With seven players remaining, a brief discussion of a deal broke out, but kakagun's overwhelming chip lead made the numbers untenable, and play continued.

Ruguebye came into the final table as one of the shortest stacks, and he played it well, doubling up several times to stay alive and finally getting it all in with the best of it only to bust in 7th place ($19,413). Ruguebye and mschili-26 traded raises back and forth preflop before all the money finally went in, with Ruguebye at risk but holding the dominant hand. He tabled 9♦-9♥ to mschili-26's 6♣-6♠. All that went out the window when the flop came down T♦-6♦-4♦ to give mschili a set of sixes. Ruguebye wasn't dead yet, he still had two nines and nine diamonds to draw for, but the 5♠ on the turn was no help. The 7♥ on the river sealed his fate, and then there were six.

But only for a few minutes, as kakagun got back to his old habits of sending opponents to the rail. This time it was former chip leader zefir_max, who had struggled back into contention after losing that massive pot to kakagun earlier. Kakagun raised preflop with A♦-5♦, and zefir made the call with K♥-Q♥. The flop hit both players pretty hard when it came down 5♠-2♦-K♦. Zefir checked his top pair, and kakagun moved all in with middle pair and a flush draw. Zefir quickly called, and was ahead as the turn came down the 3♥. But the river was kind to kakagun, bringing the 9♦ to complete his flush and send zefir_max home in 6th place ($28,041).

Proludo became the next to exit in the flurry of eliminations, busting at the hands of kakagun in 5th place ($36,669). Kakagun open-shoved for not anywhere near the first time all night, and Proludo called with T♦-T♠. Kakagun showed A♥-T♥, and the flop came down 6♦-J♥-6♠. The 9♥ on the turn gave kakagun a flush draw, but it was the A♣ on the river that sent Proludo to the rail. The four remaining players then paused to look at numbers once again. After a brief discussion, the players agreed on the following guaranteed payouts - kakagun: $127,043.14, mschili-26: $81,745.17, vtiger: $69,664.87 and instigator 85: $67,350.13. That deal left $10,000 for the eventual winner, and the players settled in to battle it out for that last ten grand.

Instigator85 was the first to fall, busting in 4th place shortly after the deal was sealed. He moved all in over the top of kakagun's preflop raise with A♦-T♦, and kakagun quickly called with 6♦-6♠. The flop came down with no diamonds and no help for Instigator, as the K♣-4♠-6♥ board made middle set for kakagun. Instigator85 was drawing dead as the turn came down the 7♠, and the K♠ on the river improved kakagun to a full house. Instigator was certainly thrilled on the outcome of the deal, as the $67,350.13 he grabbed in the deal was almost $20K better than the original 4th place prize!

Three-handed play continued for quite some time, until finally the floodgates broke and all the chips went in the middle from all three players in this massive hand! Mschili-26 raised preflop from the button with J♣-J♠. Vtiger moved all in over the top with 7♣-7♠, and kakagun called with A♥-Q♠. Mschili moved the last few chips into the side pot, and kakagun once again called. The flop was a sick 7♦-A♣-9♥, giving vtiger a set and kakagun top pair for the side pot. The K♠ on the turn changed nothing, and the Q♦ river only cemented kakagun's hold on the side pot. Mschili-26 was left out in the cold in 3rd place, good for an $81,745.17 payday.
After that, vtiger doubled through kakagun on the very next hand to grab onto most of the chips in play, and it was just a few hands later that it was all over. With a crazy 20:1 chip disadvantage, kakagun was left shoving with any two cards, and that's what he did with 7♥-5♦. Vtiger called with K♠-9♠, and was ahead going into the Q♦-8♣-Q♥ flop. The K♥ on the turn left kakagun drawing dead, and when the A♦ hit the river, vtiger had picked up an extra $10,000 and the title of Sunday Warm-Up Champion! Kakagun was still pretty happy with his $127,043 payday for second place, since he ended up the big money winner on the night. Champion vtiger finished with a very handsome $79,664.87 for his win and the chip count chop.

Congratulations to our champion vtiger, all our final table players, and everyone who cashed in this week's Sunday Warm-Up!