7de9 wins races, gets aces, takes 1/2/11 Sunday Warm-Up

sunday-warmup-thumb.jpgThe gifts have all been opened. Some probably returned already. Parties ringing in 2011 have all ended. For most of us, anyway. It's a new year. Time to get back to the Sunday grind at PokerStars!

A whopping 5,046 players were ready to get back to work in this week's Sunday Warm-Up -- the biggest field since 5,341 played the Warm-Up on February 22, 2010. With a $200+$15 buy-in, that huge field pushed the prize pool over $1 million -- well past the tourney's $750 guarantee. The top 720 finishers would split the $1,009,200, with $157,871.46 due the winner.

At the four-hour mark the cash bubble burst, and with 720 players remaining the top five were wasylekk, superbopeo, szabikabika, chilenocl, and piper_kl88. Matthias "mattidm" de Meulder of Team PokerStars Belgium had just missed the money, finishing 723rd and leaving just two members of Team PokerStars with chips, Dusty "Leatherass9" Schmidt of PokerStars Team Online and Vadim Markushevski of Team Russia.

Neither would last much longer, however. First, Schmidt lost most of his stack in a preflop all-in confrontation versus fatjim. Leatherass9 had A♣K♠ versus fatjim's [10c][10s], and while two aces flopped for Schmidt, the turn was a ten, giving fatjim a full house and one card later the big pot.

Soon down to just over four big blinds, Leatherass9 shoved with A♠3♥ and was called in two spots -- ALATALA16 (whom Schmidt had covered) with A♦9♠ and vakAAttack (who had the other two covered) with 3♣3♠. Certainly not the hands Schmidt wanted to see there. vakAAttack's pocket treys held, and Schmidt was out in 537th place ($363.31)

Just a few minutes later, Markushevski was down to just over five big blinds and open-shoved with A♦7♦, getting one caller in Saygoodby40 who held 4♠4♦. The flop didn't pair Markushevski, and when the 4♥ appeared on the turn the Russian was drawing dead. He finished in 508th place (also $363.31).


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Team PokerStars Pro Vadim Markushevski


As the tourney crossed the five-hour mark, 300 players remained, with chilenocl having moved out in front, followed by Cougars4444 and DazzleO. A half-hour later they were down to 200, with AnaAnaMarieee23, ohne22, and bgyula at the top of the counts. And about an hour after that just 100 still had chips, at which point 7de9 had taken the top spot, followed by fsufrank and AlusivPnBny.

After eight hours of play, just 27 players were left, gathered around the final three tables. mahowny777 had pushed into the lead with more than 5.38 million, followed by Puropoker123 with just over 4.5 million, and 7de9 with about 3.95 million. It took about 20 minutes to get down to 18, with pablotenisis then on top with 5.72 million, mahowny777 still right there in second with a tad over 5 million, and pawnUz in third with 4.73 million.

Soon pawnUz took the chip lead, furthering the advantage as the field dwindled. Finally, at the eight-hour-and-45-minute mark came two eliminations in rapid succession -- hauptschule in 11th and quantum73 in 10th (both earning $6,004.74) -- and the final table was set:


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Seat 1: niewie -- 4,679,515
Seat 2: wegi1980 -- 3,575,744
Seat 3: mahowny777 -- 4,655,164
Seat 4: pawnUz -- 15,191,422
Seat 5: 7de9 -- 4,915,422
Seat 6: PJ4412 -- 2,084,536
Seat 7: superbopeo -- 6,971,816
Seat 8: Anita seku -- 3,789,567
Seat 9: Puropoker123 -- 4,596,814

On just the fourth hand of the final table, with the blinds 80,000/160,000, the short stack PJ4412 open-pushed all in for 2,036,536 from middle position, and it folded to wegi1980 in the big blind who made the call. PJ4412 showed K♣J♠ and was behind wegi1980's A♥K♦. The community cards came T♠6♥9♦2♥K♥, and PJ4412 was quickly out in ninth place.

There was more action just two hands later. The table had folded to mahowny777 in the small blind who raised to 412,000, then chip leader pawnUz reraised all in from the big blind. mahowny777 made the call with the 3,507,164 chips he had left, tabling A♥8♥ and needing to hold against pawnUz's A♠3♠. But the flop came 6♠9♠3♣, pairing pawnUz's trey. The turn was the J♦ and the river the Q♥, and mahowny777 hit the rail in eighth.

About 20 minutes later came the next elimination. With the blinds having moved up to 100,000/200,000, pawnUz got things started with a raise to 410,000 from early position. 7de9, sitting to pawnUz's left, called the raise, and it folded to niewie in the big blind who repopped it all in for 2,295,030 total. pawnUz stepped aside, but 7de9 immediately called.

niewie showed A♥Q♣, while 7de9 had A♠K♠. The flop came an intriguing 3♠7♠Q♥, pairing niewie but giving 7de9 a flush draw. The turn was the J♥, adding a few straight outs for 7de9. Then came the river -- the 5♠ -- completing the flush and sending niewie out in seventh.


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Down to six-handed, it was one orbit later when superbopeo raised all in for 2,167,376 from the cutoff and got a caller in Anita seku from the button. superbopeo showed A♣9♦ and was racing against Anita seku's 6♣6♦. The board came 3♣4♣7♦T♠K♥, and Anita seku's sixes remained best, knocking superbopeo out in sixth.

The remaining five battled for 10 more minutes, with pawnUz continuing to enjoy a big chip advantage with over 21 million, still well ahead of nearest competitors 7de9 and Anita seku, both of whom sat with about 9.5 million.

Then, with the blinds 125,000/250,000, wegi1980 limped in from UTG+1 and it folded to Anita seku who checked from the big blind. The flop came K♥3♣T♣. Anita seku checked, wegi1980 bet 450,000, and Anita seku promptly check-raised to 1.25 million. wegi1980 thought a beat, then pushed all in for 4,643,765 total and Anita seku snap-called.

Both had top pair, but Anita seku's sneakily-played A♠K♠ had the advantage over wegi1980's K♦Q♥. The turn was the 8♣ and the river the 5♣, and wegi1980 was eliminated in fifth.

Soon Anita seku would claim a few more pots, including one significant one from pawnUz, and with four players left there was a virtual three-way tie for the lead, with pawnUz, 7de9, and Anita seku all hovering around the 15.5 million-chip mark, with Puropoker123 trailing with a little over 4.6 million.

As the tourney crossed nine-and-a-half hours, Puropoker123 picked up a hand on the button worth raising all in with for 4,133,068, and 7de9 called from the big blind. Puropoker123 had A♦3♣ and was hoping to fade 7de9's Q♥J♥. The flop was bad for Puropoker123, though, coming T♦J♣9♣ and giving 7de9 a pair plus an open-ended straight draw. The K♦ on the turn then completed the straight for 7de9, leaving Puropoker123 hoping for a saving queen. The river was the A♥, however, and Puropoker123 was out in fourth.

The three remaining players then agreed to have tournament paused so as to discuss a possible deal. At that point, 7de9 had assumed the lead with 22,971,960, Anita seku was next with 15,777,708, and pawnUz third with 11,710,332. After a bit of discussion, the trio soon agreed to a "chip chop," leaving $10,000 for the eventual winner, and play resumed.

It would take just three hands for the next elimination. After 7de9 posted the 150,000 small blind and Anita seku 300,000 for the big, pawnUz raised from the button to 660,000. 7de9 then reraised to 1.2 million. Anita seku folded, and pawnUz shoved all in for 12,070,332 total. 7de9 called, showing A♥8♥. pawnUz tabled 3♠3♦, a hand that remained ahead through the turn as the board came 2♠5♣Q♠9♥. But the A♦ on the river gave 7de9 the hand and sent pawnUz out in third.

Heads-up play began with 7de9 enjoying a large lead with 36,272,292 to Anita seku's 14,187,708. That lead would remain about the same over the next half-dozen hands, then -- nine hours and 45 minutes after the tourney had begun -- the final hand of the Sunday Warm-Up was dealt.

7de9 made a minimum-raise to 600,000 from the small blind/button. Then Anita seku reraised to 1.8 million. 7de9 responded by making it 3.3 million to go, and Anita seku shoved all in for 16,017,708 total. 7de9 quickly called.

Anita seku had picked up a nice hand for heads-up -- 9♥9♦. But 7de9 had picked up the nicest hand, regardless of the circumstances -- A♥A♣.

The community cards came T♥5♦5♥4♠6♣, and those pocket rockets had carried 7de9 into first place.


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Congratulations to 7de9, the first Sunday Warm-Up winner of 2011!

Sunday Warm-Up results for 1/2/11 (*reflects three-way deal):
1st: 7de9 ($138,294.81)*
2nd: Anita seku ($114,190.71)*
3rd: pawnUz ($106,216.74)*
4th: Puropoker123 ($57,019.80)
5th: wegi1980 ($42,891)
6th: superbopeo ($32,799)
7th: niewie ($22,707)
8th: mahowny777 ($12,615)
9th: PJ4412 ($8,073.60)

Looks like another action-packed year has already begun at PokerStars. For a detailed look at all of the excitement from last year, be sure to check out the "2010 PokerStars Year in Review."

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Warm-Up