febalinha finds a way, wins 6/19/11 Sunday Warm-Up

new_sunday_warmup_thumb.PNGOn a day when young Rory McIlroy was running away with the U.S. Open, 3,180 players joined another "open" event -- the Sunday Warm-Up at PokerStars -- to see who among them might ultimately triumph on the virtual green of the PokerStars poker tables. Open at least for those able to place $215 on themselves in the hopes of earning a victory like the young golfer from Northern Ireland did today.

That group together created a total prize pool of $636,000, plenty large enough to best the tourney's $500K guarantee. The top 495 finishers would make the cash, with $99,852 due the winner.

Not quite six figures, that. Still, that's an amount that would be mighty nice to pencil into one's poker scorecard.

By the three-hour mark -- when late registration had finally closed -- less than 1,350 players remained. At that point, over.be was out in front with a little over 100,000, trailed closely by PokerMendi and nasud 11.

It would take about another hour-and-a-half for the field to be trimmed to 495 and the payouts to begin. Just before the players made the cash, Javier "El_Cañonero" Dominguez of Team PokerStars Online got caught in a difficult spot to be eliminated just shy of the money.

With the blinds 1,000/2,000, Tomaz21 opened for 4,566 from the cutoff, then The__Anfied reraised to 13,222 from the button. It folded to Dominguez in the big blind who decided to put in another reraise to 26,078, thereby committing a little over half his stack. Tomaz21 folded, but The__Anfied reshoved all in, and Dominguez called. The__Anfield showed J♦J♣ while Dominguez had but Q♥T♠, and five cards later "El_Cañonero" was out in 521st.

At the moment the cash bubble burst, sn5555 had pushed way out in front with more than 500,000 chips, about 200,000 ahead of second-place crisakasa. About 90 minutes after that, just 200 players remained. By then three others had joined sn5555 in the 500,000-chip club -- call110, donkydynamit, and Tryboom.

Shortly thereafter Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden -- the only PS pro to cash in this week's Sunday Warm-Up -- was eliminated in 194th when his A♥4♦ failed to catch up to PatrickCs' A♠T♠. Lodden earned $572.40 for his finish.

Less than an hour later just 100 remained, with donkydynamit having assumed the chip lead as the only player with more than 1 million. As they crossed the seven-and-a-half-hour mark the field had been cut in half to 50, with 2fingerz 2u the new leader with more than 2.5 million, prinssluljas next with about 1.9 million, and samayab62 third with just under 1.45 million.

Nearly an hour after that they were down to 10, playing hand-for-hand on the final two tables. By then most of those earlier-mentioned leaders had been eliminated. over.be had gone out in 533rd (shy of the cash). Tryboom was eliminated in 31st and call110 in 28th, both earning $1,431. And donkydynamit went out in 26th and sn5555 in 25th, both taking away $1,621.80 for their efforts.

2fingerz 2u was still there, though, in third-place with a little over 4.28 million. Meanwhile, eBashKak9I was sitting in first with nearly 6.2 million with flashdisastr next with 4.56 million.

That's when jack310759 shoved all-in for a little over 1.1 million (about 9 big blinds) from early position with A♣9♦ and was called by eBashKak9I in the big blind with A♥T♥. The better hand held, sending jack310759 out in 10th ($3,816).

Just nine remained.


Seat 1: Der Besen -- 1,880,430
Seat 2: 2fingerz 2u -- 4,273,446
Seat 3: samb4 -- 3,736,802
Seat 4: piet33 -- 2,658,717
Seat 5: eBashKak9I -- 7,429,808
Seat 6: flashdisastr -- 4,487,460
Seat 7: PATschUEL -- 3,202,807
Seat 8: febalinha -- 2,346,254
Seat 9: playboy99999 -- 1,784,276

As you might be able to make out there in the chat box, the most enthusiastic player when the final table began was the one with the fewest chips, playboy99999. "I DID IT!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!" he typed.

playboy99999 was likely readying to add even more exclamation points about 25 minutes later when the first two final table eliminations occurred on the same hand and he'd found himself tripping up the pay ladder even further.

The blinds were 80,000/160,000 when it folded to piet33 who shoved all in for 755,287 from the cutoff. eBashKak9I folded on the button, then flashdisastr called from the small blind. PATschUEL, down to just 473,062, called as well from the big blind.

flashdisastr A♠6♣
piet33 K♥T♦

The flop came J♠A♣6♥, giving flashdisastr two pair, and after the 2♠ turn and 5♥ two players had hit the rail, piet33 in eighth and PATschUEL in ninth.

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It was about a half-hour after when playboy99999 would finally meet his end after having snuck up to seventh-place money.

With the blinds 150,000/300,000, febalinha opened for 625,000 from the cutoff, then playboy99999 reraised all in from the button for 3,519,071. The blinds got out, and febalinha made the call, showing A♥Q♠ to playboy99999's 8♦8♣. The flop and turn were okay for playboy99999, coming 6♦2♦9♣7♥ -- but the Q♦ on the river gave febalinha the better pair and six were left.

Soon Der Besen was open-shoving from the small blind for a little over 3.2 million and 2fingerz 2u called from the BB with the 2,444,992 he had left. Der Besen had A♦2♣ and 2fingerz 2u K♥T♦. The board came 9♠8♥A♥7♣K♣, giving Der Besen the better pair and sending 2fingerz 2u out in sixth.

Just three hands later, flashdisastr lost nearly his entire stack to Der Besen when the latter doubled through with K♣T♠ versus flashdisastr's A♣Q♥. In that hand a king flopped, and flashdisastr couldn't catch up. Down to just 22,073, flashdisastr was all in on the next hand with A♥T♠ versus febalinha's 3♣3♥. The board came 7♦2♦6♠J♦8♣, and flashdisastr had been eliminated in fifth.

After that flurry, samb4 held the chip lead with about 10.9 million, febalinha was next with 8.93 million, Der Besen third with 6.79 million and eBashKak9I last with 5.14 million.

Just four hands after flashdisastr had been cut down, the blinds were 200,000/400,000 when eBashKak9I opened with a minimum-raise from the button, then febalinha shoved all in from the small blind. Der Besen called with his entire stack of 6,357,472 from the big blind, and eBashKak9I stepped aside.

febalinha showed A♠T♥ and was hoping to catch versus Der Besen's 9♠9♥. Five community cards later febalinha had caught twice, the board coming A♥3♥Q♠2♠T♣, giving febalinha two pair. Der Besen was out in fourth.

On the very next hand, febalinha min-raised to 800,000 from the button and eBashKak9I called from the big blind. The flop came 5♦Q♣9♥ and eBashKak9I checked. febalinha bet 864,000, then eBashKak9I check-raised all in for 3,464,144.

febalinha called the shove, showing A♥Q♥ for top pair, top kicker. Meanwhile eBashKak9I had an open-ender with J♦T♥. The turn was the 7♣ and the river the 9♣, and eBashKak9I was out in third.

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When heads-up play began febalinha had about two-thirds of the chips in play with 21,156,276 to samb4's 10,643,724. The two immediately decided to discuss a deal, and the tourney was paused.

"Chip chop" numbers suggested febalinha take $84,975 and samb4 $79,288, with $10,000 left for which to play. Both quickly agreed, and after 11 hours of play the tourney resumed with the last two -- the Sunday Warm-Up's version of the "final pairing" -- playing out the final hands.

The two players would battle for 57 hands altogether, with samb4 gradually closing the gap over that stretch but never quite taking the lead away from febalinha. In fact, they were nearly even when the final hand took place, with febalinha having 16,480,851 and samb4 15,319,149.

The blinds were 250,000/500,000 and samb4 opened with a raise to 1 million from the small blind/button. febalinha made it 2.5 million, samb4 shoved allin, and febalinha made the call. samb4 showed 4♣4♠ and febalinha A♠K♦, and the race was on.

The flop came 8♥K♣8♠, and febalinha had found a needed pair. Meanwhile, samb4 was left searching for one of the two remaining fours. But the turn was the T♠ and river the 7♣, and febalinha's hand remained best.

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

Sunday Warm-Up results for 6/19/11 (*reflects two-way deal):

1st: febalinha ($94,975)*
2nd: samb4 ($79,288)*
3rd: eBashKak9I ($52,470)
4th: Der Besen ($37,570)
5th: flashdisastr ($27,030)
6th: 2fingerz 2u ($20,670)
7th: playboy99999 ($14,310)
8th: piet33 ($7,950)
9th: PATschUEL ($5,088)

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Warm-Up