Sunday Warm-Up: specht1988 steamrolls the final table en route to $103k win

new_sunday_warmup_thumb.PNGAs the poker world collectively shook off its WSOP hangover, the Sunday grind roared back into high gear, with 3,295 players coming out for this week's edition of the Sunday Warm-Up. The prize pool obliterated the $500k guarantee, topping out at $659,000 after three hours (!) of late registration. 495 players came away with a cash with first place set to earn $103,463.00. Among those flying the red spade today were Team PokerStars Pros Johnny Lodden, Marcel Luske, Jan Heitmann, Fatima Moreira De Melo, Mattias De Muelder, Christophe De Muelder, Richard Toth, Dag Palovic, Juan Maceiras, Toni Judet, Pat Pezzin, Sebastian Ruthenberg, George Danzer, Noah Boeken, and Angel Guillen. Finishing in the money were Martin Hruby (469th), Nacho Barbero (318th), Marcin Horecki (75th), and George "gkap13" Kapalas, who followed up his 17th-place finish last week with a 62nd-place finish today.

Halfrek grew short-stacked during hand-for-hand play, ultimately shoving for his last eight big blinds when the action was folded to him in the SB. Student 407 woke up to pocket eights in the big blind and made the call, Halfrek a serious underdog with only 4♥7♣. The A♠K♠6♣6♠Q♣ board sent the remainder of his stack across the table and sent the Dane home in tenth place on the final table bubble.

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Final table chip counts:

Seat 1: Student 407 (4,778,594 in chips)
Seat 2: Finspb812 (2,520,960 in chips)
Seat 3: yurasov1990 (6,530,842 in chips)
Seat 4: RuudGullit (285,938 in chips)
Seat 5: Faxe07 (4,005,848 in chips)
Seat 6: ThrowMaNickl (1,787,757 in chips)
Seat 7: KidCardiff6 (4,589,761 in chips)
Seat 8: specht1988 (5,598,148 in chips)
Seat 9: Blue Streak6 (2,852,152 in chips)

Once the bearer of a 2.1 million chip stack, RuudGullit was crippled during hand-for-hand play when his A♥Q♦ fell to Faxe07's J♠J♦ when the latter rivered a straight. Left with only a bit more than two big blinds, he shoved with K♥Q♦ from the hijack and was called by yurasov1990 in the big blind with 6♥9♦. RuudGullit rivered a pair of kings to hang on and double to 675,000, but busted two hands later. With the action folded to him in the small blind, RuudGullit shoved with 7♣9♠ only to run into Faxe07's A♥Q♦. This time the ace-queen held, and RuudGullit exited in ninth place, earning $5,272.00.

Left as the tournament short stack, ThrowMaNicki was left with little more than ten big blinds before doubling through Student 407, who opened the pot for 333,333 at 80,000/160,000 blinds. ThrowMaNicki three-bet shoved for 1.98 million and Student 407 put in another 1.65 million with A♣K♥. ThrowMaNicki's pocket queens won the coinflip, the board running out ten-high and he doubled to 4.35 million.

ThrowMaNicki added even further to his chip castle when he claimed the remainder of Faxe07's stack. Yurasov1990 led off the action with a min-raise to 400,000, Faze07 three-bet shoved for 1,876,724, and ThrowMaNicki looked down at pocket jacks. He decided to re-shove for 3,927,514, a move that chased out yurasov1990 and left him heads-up with Faze07, who revealed K♥J♥. ThrowMaNicki's jacks held, the board running out 8♥5♦4♣Q♠9♥ to send Faxe07 to the rail in eighth place.

With two tables remaining, yurasov1990 held the chip lead, but he ended up bowing out in seventh place. After opening for 400,000 from UTG+1, yurasov1990 faced an all-in reraise from specht1988. Yurasov1990 called off his last 3.5 million, racing for his tournament life with A♥Q♣ against specht1988's 8♦8♣. He could not improve and collected $14,827.50 for his finish.

On the very next deal, KidCardiff6 made his stand, Three-bet shoving for 3.08 million over ThrowMaNicki's 400,000 opening raise. Blue Streak6 re-shoved for 3.45 million from the button, ThrowMaNicki folded, and the cards went on their backs, Blue Streak6's K♦K♣ dominating KidCardiff6's 7♠7♥. Blue Streak6 nearly flopped him dead when the first three came down K♥Q♦Q♣, his kings full ending KidCardiff6's run in sixth place for $21,417.50.

ThrowMaNicki's comeback was abruptly ended when his aces were snapped off by specht1988. ThrowMaNicki opened for his typical min-raise to 400,000 holding A♣A♥ and specht1988 made the call with K♣J♠ in the small blind. Both players cagily checked the K♠Q♥9♦ flop. The turn came the 2♣ and specht1988 led out for 4,750,000, almost enough to set his opponent all-in. ThrowMaNicki shoved for 4,804,238 and specht1988 called the small balance, his top pair/gutshot combo an underdog to ThrowMaNicki's overpair. The river, however, brought a dream-killing T♥, bouncing ThrowMaNicki from the Warm-Up in fifth place while specht1988 moved up to 15.6 million, taking a dominating lead.

Specht1988 continued his rampage and gobbled up another short stack when Student 407 open-shoved for his last 1.54 million. Specht1988 called, his K♥9♥ ahead of Student 407's Q♥8♣. The king-high held on the A♦4♣2♣6♥9♦ board and Student 407 was sent home in fourth place, earning $37,892.50.

As play turned three-handed, specht1988 held 16.3 million in chips to Finsbp812's 9.66 million and Blue Streak6's 6.94 million with the blinds up to 125,000/250,000/25,000. After twenty minutes of play, the stacks had hardly moved, that is, until Blue Streak6 decided to go for broke. Following Finspb812's opening raise to 1.2 million on the button, Blue Streak6 moved all-in for 5.01 million with pocket fives from the big blind. Finspb812 made the call with A♥7♣ and flopped a seven, ending Blue Streak6's tournament in third place. $54,367.50 should ease the pain just a tad.

With more than 32 million chips in play, less than 600,000 separated Finspb812 and specht1988 as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 2: Finspb812 (16,209,674 in chips)
Seat 8: specht1988 (16,740,326 in chips)

Despite their close chip counts, it only took six minutes of play and two key hands to decide a winner. In the first, Finspb812 made a bluff attempt but specht1988 saw through his odd line and called him down with two pair on a dangerous board:

On the next hand, specht1988 opened for a min-raise to 600,000 and Finspb812 called from the big blind. Finspb812 check-called 620,000 from specht1988 on the A♥T♥2♥ flop, and both players checked the T♣ on the turn. When the Q♥ hit the river, Finspb812 led out for 2.1 million, specht1988 shoved for 21.4 million, and Finspb812 called off his remaining 6.88 million. His J♥[9s for the second-nut flush could not beat specht1988's K♥8♣ for the nut flush and he notched the final KO, locking up the win and the $103,463 first-place prize. For his runner-up finish, Finspb812 earned $77,103.00.

Sunday Warm-Up results for 7/24/11

1. specht1988 (Austria) $103,463
2. Finsbp812 (Russia) $77,103.00
3. Blue Streak6 (Canada) $54,367.50
4. Student 407 (Russia) $37,892,50
5. ThrowMaNicki (Romania) $28,007.50
6. KidCardiff6 (Spain) $21,417.50
7. yurasov1990 (Belarus) $14,827.50
8. Faxe07 (Denmark) $8,237.50
9. RuudGullit (Denmark ) $5,272.00

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up