1/23/11 Sunday Warm-Up: J4d3dr4g0n slays field, Lodden lands in third

sunday-warmup-thumb.jpgIt was another big Sunday at PokerStars, with the Sunday Warm-Up, a weekly $215 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney, once again drawing a large field. By the time registration closed, 4,807 had taken seats, making for a $961,400 total prize pool, more than enough to meet the tourney's $750K guarantee. The top 720 finishers would split those dollars, with $150,394.16 due the winner.

It took a little over four hours to burst that cash bubble, at which time Slawas1 led the way followed by OLD_TABLE, th9nip, jamani69, and dj_friction.

Tracking Team PokerStars

A half-dozen Team PokerStars Pros were among those making the money, four of whom would exit over the next couple of hours.

Maxim Lykov was the first of the remaining Team Pros to be eliminated. On his final hand, the Russian had reraised his short stack all in with K♠Q♥ and was up against BEGEMOT13's A♦4♦. Lykov's opponent flopped two pair, and soon Lykov was out in 644th ($317.26). Pieter de Korver of the Netherlands would follow after running pocket jacks into pek sek's pair of queens to go out in 450th ($365.33).

Dusty "Leatherass9" Schmidt of Team PokerStars Online was next to go. After losing most of his stack with pocket sevens versus lpaper's pocket aces, Schmidt was soon ousted by anthonyff in 369th ($403.78). A little later, with the blinds 3,000/6,000 Lex Veldhuis (Team PokerStars Netherlands) open-raised his stack of 115,856 from late position with Q♣Q♠, but unfortunately for him Jeebus__66 woke up in the small blind with K♦K♣. Five community cards later, Veldhuis was out in 293rd ($461.47).

Hruby and Lodden

At that point two Team PokerStars Pros remained -- Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby (Czech Republic) and Johnny Lodden (Nordics) -- both of whom remained near the top of the chip counts as the field shrunk under 200 players.

With less than 100 left, Hruby enjoyed the chip lead for a time, with Lodden continuing to hover just outside of the top 20. A short while later just 65 players remained, at which time Hruby got involved in a huge hand versus bow_1101.

With the blinds 12,500/25,000, a preflop raising war between Hruby and bow_1101 resulted in more than 1.6 million in the middle. Hruby held A♥K♦ and bow_1101 A♣K♣, but the flop came 6♣7♣3♣. Suddenly Hruby had been knocked back to the middle of the pack.

However, AABenjaminAA would recover from that setback, and along with Lodden would remain in the hunt with an average stack as the tourney moved past the eight-hour mark. Then just 18 remained, with Jan2000 out in front followed by Isaac "westmenloAA" Baron, and mrhavanna in third.

Hruby would at last succumb in 16th place ($2,836.13), his A♠K♣ failing to outrun jamani69's pocket jacks, leaving just Lodden to represent Team PokerStars.


Team PokerStars Pro Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby, 16th place

jamani69 would add to those chips he'd won from Hruby, sitting in first for a while before some unsuccessful gambles sent jamani69 back to the pack. With 10 players left, jamani69 looked doomed after shoving all in with 5♦5♥ and facing westmenloAA's K♦K♥. But a five flopped and jamani69 survived.

A few orbits later, however, those two were battling once again. After westmenloAA opened with a minimum-raise to 400,000 from the cutoff, jamani69 made it 800,000 from the button. It folded back to Baron who reshoved to 5 million, enough to cover jamani69. jamani69 instantly called with the 2,636,912 left, turning over the surprising Q♠2♦. westmenloAA had A♦Q♦, and the better hand held up.

The final table was set.


Seat 1: westmenloAA -- 9,132,534
Seat 2: Manor -- 2,382,580
Seat 3: Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden -- 5,669,386
Seat 4: magic032 -- 2,637,400
Seat 5: J4d3dr4g0n -- 3,192,486
Seat 6: Philipoune -- 9,966,144
Seat 7: Jan2000 -- 5,600,989
Seat 8: StackinCake -- 7,105,818
Seat 9: mrhavanna -- 2,382,663

That hand versus jamani69 catapulted Isaac "westmenloAA" Baron near the chip lead as the final table began, just behind Philipoune. But as the first moments of the final table would show, sitting atop the leaderboard with nine to go is no guarantee one will be there at the end as well.

From 9 to 3

On just the second hand of the final table, with the blinds still 100,000/200,000, a short-stacked Manor open-raised all in from the cutoff for 2,362,580 and got one caller in Johnny Lodden from the button. Manor held A♣9♦ and needed help versus Lodden's A♣J♣. But the board came K♠2♠7♣4♠6♣, and Manor was swiftly out in ninth.

Just two hands after that came the biggest pot of the tournament thus far, one involving the two chip leaders, Philipoune and westmenloAA. Philipoune still had a small lead over westmenloAA when the latter opened with a raise to 440,000 from middle position. It folded back to Philipoune in the small blind who reraised to 1 million. Jan2000 folded from the big blind, then westmenloAA made it 1.8 million to go. Philipoune made the call.

The flop came 5♥K♠9♠. Philipoune checked, Baron bet 1.6 million, and Philipoune check-raised all in for 7,886,144. westmenloAA made the call, turning over A♠5♠ for a bottom pair of fives and a spade flush draw. Meanwhile, Philipoune held A♣K♣ for top pair, top kicker.

The turn was the 2♣ and river the 9♥, and suddenly westmenloAA -- in second just four hands before -- was out of the Warm-Up in eighth.

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Now Philipoune had a commanding lead with more than 19 million, well ahead of second-place Lodden with almost 8 million.

Lodden would gain some ground on the next elimination hand. With the blinds 125,000/250,000, it folded around to Lodden in the small blind who raised to 5 million, enough to put magic032 in the big blind all in. magic032 didn't have to think long before committing the 2,589,890 he had left, tabling Q♣Q♦ to Lodden's A♥8♠. All was fine for magic032 through the turn -- 6♣7♣K♠9♥ -- but the 5♥ river gave Lodden a straight and eliminated magic032 in seventh.

Philipoune would push out ahead further, though, after securing the next three eliminations in rapid fashion.

Philipoune's first victim was Jan2000. Philipoune made a minimum raise from UTG to 600,000, then Jan2000, next to act, pushed all in for 3,980,989. It folded back around and Philipoune called, showing A♣K♦. Jan2000 had T♥T♦. The flop brought two pair to Philipoune, coming 5♣A♥K♣. The turn was the 4♦ and river the 6♣, and Jan2000 was gone in sixth.

Soon after, it was Lodden min-raising to 600,000 from the cutoff, then Philipoune made it 1.8 million from the small blind. StackinCake reshoved over the top from the big blind for 4,134,690, Lodden folded, and Philipoune called.

Philipoune had A♠T♥, while StackinCake held K♣K♠. The flop came 3♣3♥T♦, pairing Philipoune's ten but StackinCake was still in command. The turn was the 2♣, changing nothing. But the river brought the T♠, giving Philipoune tens full of treys and ousting StackinCake in fifth.

Just three hands later, mrhavanna opened for 900,000 from early position, and it folded to Philipoune who reraised to 4.5 million from the big blind. mrhavanna, with just 2,886,978, made the call with K♦Q♣ and was behind the red-hot Philipoune who had A♥K♥. The board ran out T♦2♠A♠7♥3♥, and Philipoune had claimed yet another victim in mrhavanna, eliminated in fourth.

Let's Make a Deal

With three left, Philipoune was still out in front with almost 23.8 million, followed by Lodden with 15.73 million and J4d3dr4g0n in third with 8.54 million.

The trio battled their way to the 10-hour break, by which time a couple of big hands had put J4d3dr4g0n in the lead with 19,245,042, Lodden next with 17,650,492, and Philipoune in third with 11,174,466. During that pause in the action, the players mutually agreed to discuss a possible deal.

The "chip chop" numbers were run (leaving $10,000 for the winner), and Lodden immediately said he was not interested -- he wanted at least $120,000, and the proposed deal only had guaranteed him $113,744. The break over, play soon resumed, but the chat continued with the other two players indicating they were willing to bargain. The tourney was paused for further discussion.

After some amiable back-and-forthing, Lodden agreed to take $119,600, J4d3dr4g0n $112,112, and Philipoune $100,000. "ok, let's get back to action! Nice doing business with you boys ;)" typed Lodden, and the cards were in the air once again as the three battled for that last stack of high society.

As some of Lodden's fellow Team PokerStars Pros -- including Jose "Nacho" Barbero and Jeop "Pappe_Ruk" van den Bijgaart -- gathered on the rail, Lodden's stack began to slip a bit and was down to just over 6.6 million when the following hand took place.

Philipoune made a min-raise to 800,000 from the small blind. Lodden called, and the flop came T♣Q♦8♦. Philipoune checked, Lodden bet 800,000, and Philipoune called. The turn was the 5♣. Again Philipoune checked, and this time Lodden bet 1.6 million. Philipoune called once more.

The river was the A♦. Philipoune led for 4 million this time, enough to put Lodden all in. He thought a few seconds, then called with his last 3,360,492, showing Q♣6♠ for queens. Philipoune had him, though, with K♠J♣ for a Broadway straight, and Lodden was out in third.


Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden, 3rd place

Heads-Up Play

J4d3dr4g0n still had the lead as heads-up play began with 28,375,042 to Philipoune's 19,694,958. The pair would battle for over half an hour -- 108 hands total -- with both players appearing poised to win on multiple occasions. Finally, almost 11 hours after the tourney had begun, the final hand was dealt.

With the blinds 400,000/800,000, J4d3dr4g0n raised from the button to 1.6 million, Philipoune reraised to 4 million, J4d3dr4g0n pushed all in, and Philipoune called with the 15,120,457 he had left. J4d3dr4g0n showed 3♥3♦, Philipoune A♠T♣, and the race was on.

The flop came 3♣9♠5♠, and suddenly it wasn't much of a race anymore as J4d3dr4g0n's set of treys all but assured him the win. The final two cards were delivered -- T♦9♦ -- and J4d3dr4g0n had prevailed.

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Congratulations to J4d3dr4g0n, this week's Sunday Warm-Up winner!

Sunday Warm-Up results for 1/23/11 (*reflects three-way deal):
1st: J4d3dr4g0n ($122,112)*
2nd: Philipoune ($100,000)*
3rd: Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden ($119,600)*
4th: mrhavanna ($54,319.10)
5th: StackinCake ($40,859.50)
6th: Jan2000 ($31,245.50)
7th: magic032 ($21,631.50)
8th: westmenloAA ($12,017.50)
9th: Manor ($7,691.20)

Did you know you can create your own tourneys -- with customized structures -- in PokerStars Home Games? Check it out.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Warm-Up