MarinaBalbes makes nearly $100K for Sunday Warm-Up victory

Sunday Warm-Up logo NEW.PNGIt was a big day of sports for the Americans and those who follow what the Americans call football. But for the rest of the world, it was poker as usual, and PokerStars was there to provide the schedule of tournaments that would satisfy everyone from the low buy-in players to the high rollers.

The first of the big Sunday majors on the agenda was the weekly Sunday Warm-Up. Though it's considered a warm-up to some of the other later events like the Sunday Million, the Warm-Up has its own prestige and huge prize pool. Let's face it; a $500K guarantee is nothing to sneeze at. And with the inaugural TCOOP series having wrapped up last week, the Warm-Up was a much-anticipated tournament on this first Sunday in February.

The final registration numbers looked like this:

Players: 3,624
Guarantee: $500,000
Actual prize pool: $724,800
Paid finishers: 540

There were few members of Team PokerStars who were able to make it past the money bubble, and Team Pro Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby was the first to do so and cash out. He finished in 494th place, and fellow Team Pro Martin Staszko followed soon after in 429th place. Still waving the PokerStars flag, though, was Team Pro Angel Guillen, pictured here.

Angel Guillen.JPG

He made it through to the seventh hour and beyond, working his way to six tables, then only five and even four. But he ended up exiting the tournament in 36th place, which was worth $1,630.80.

The rest of the players moved forward past the eight-hour mark with only four tables remaining, and only two tables remained approximately 30 minutes later. With the eventual eliminations of air-mornel in 12th place and curiplop in 11th, hand-for-hand went into effect but lasted only moments. MarinaBalbes moved with A♥K♥, and l3luco called all-in with 8♦8♣. The board came 5♥7♥6♦K♦6♥, and MarinaBalbes hit the heart flush to eliminate l3luxo in tenth place with $4,348.80.

MarinaBalbes moves forward with chip lead

The final table was set in Level 32, with blinds of 40,000/80,000 and a 8,000 ante. Players' starting stacks were as follows:

Seat 1: Salsicha (1,213,751 in chips)
Seat 2: ms.bon-bon (3,685,610 in chips)
Seat 3: jenbizzle (3,128,958 in chips)
Seat 4: Leviathan74 (1,661,903 in chips)
Seat 5: zackmorris99 (6,298,125 in chips)
Seat 6: PokerSavage1 (3,899,420 in chips)
Seat 7: Tomascibak (3,826,220 in chips)
Seat 8: MarinaBalbes (7,868,160 in chips)
Seat 9: bergeroo (4,657,853 in chips)

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Action began with an air of caution. Eventually, the shorter stacks started making moves, though, and Leviathan74 doubled through Tomascibak, and ms.bon-bon took a pot worth nearly 6 million chips from MarinaBalbes.

Jenbizzle sought a double-up and moved all-in preflop with 9♣9♦. Leviathan74 reraised all-in to isolate, which worked when original raiser Salsicha folded. Leviathan74 showed A♥K♠. The pocket pair held up to the 3♦5♠Q♥ flop, but the A♠ on the turn gave Leviathan74 the better pair. The J♠ on the river sent jenbizzle out in ninth place with $5,798.40.

Salsicha and Tomascibak both doubled through bergeroo, but the latter came back to double through zackmorris99.

It wasn't long before Salsicha moved again, though. The all-in push came with K♦J♠, and original raiser MarinaBalbes called with 7♣7♠. The board came Q♠p4c]6♥2♠A♥, and Salsicha couldn't beat the pocket pair. Eighth place money of $9,060.00 was awarded to Salsicha.

PokerSavage1 risked it all soon after with 9♠9♥, and Tomascibak reraised all-in to isolate, which was successful. Tomascibak showed 8♦8♥ and needed help, some of which came immediately on the 8♣Q♠5♣ flop. The 3♦ and Q♥ completed the board and made a full house for Tomascibak, which sent PokerSavage1 out in seventh place with $16,308.00.

Soon after, Leviathan74 moved all-in preflop from the button, and zackmorris99 called all-in from the big blind with J♠J♦. Leviathan74 showed A♠6♦ but hit top pair on the 2♣A♣7♣ flop. The 6♣ on the turn gave Leviathan74 two pair, and the K♦ on the river sealed the deal, as zackmorris99 exited in sixth place with $23,556.00.

On the very next hand, Leviathan74 doubled through MarinaBalbes in this massive hand:

RSS readers click through to see replay

MarinaBalbes doubled through bergeroo, which put the latter in a touch spot with a short stack. One double-up attempt worked through Tomascibak, but bergeroo tried it again moments later. Bergeroo moved all-in with 9♥2♣, and ms.bon-bon called with A♠2♥. The board came Q♦7♦T♦7♣Q♠, and the ace kicker played to eliminate bergeroo in fifth place with $30,804.00.

Tomascibak and MarinaBalbes engaged in a preflop raising war that led to Tomascibak moving all-in with A♠K♦, and Marina Balbes called with Q♦Q♣. The board came 2♣4♥9♦4♦6♥, and that was enough to eliminate Tomascibak in fourth place with $41,676.00.

Final three + translator = deal

The final three players decided to pause the tournament to pursue a deal. It required the assistance of a Russian translator for MarinaBalbes and ms.bon-bon, but the language barrier was surpassed when the numbers were shown. All three players agreed to set aside $10,000 for the winner and accept these numbers in the meantime:

Seat 2: ms.bon-bon (9,524,438 in chips) = $77,931.43
Seat 4: Leviathan74 (11,934,866 in chips) = $82,521.11
Seat 8: MarinaBalbes (14,780,696 in chips) = $87,939.83

It didn't take long for action to heat up, and it started with a raised and reraised pot preflop between Leviathan74 and MarinaBalbes. After the Q♣4♣8♣ flop, MarinaBalbes bet, Leviathan74 raised to 1.88 million, and MarinaBalbes called. The K♥ on the turn brought a bet from Leviathan74 and check-raise all-in from MarinaBalbes. Leviathan74 called all-in with K♠J♣ for the flush draw and top pair, but MarinaBalbes showed K♣3♣ for the flopped flush. The A♣ on the river ensured that MarinaBalbes had the higher flush, and Leviathan74 left in third place with $82,521.11.

Two hands heads-up

The final two players prepared for battle with these stacks:

Seat 2: ms.bon-bon (9,664,438 in chips)
Seat 8: MarinaBalbes (26,575,562 in chips)

And on the second hand, the two fought it out. It started with a raised preflop pot and a 5♥6♥A♥ flop. MarinaBalbes bet 600K, and ms.bon-bon raised to 1.4 million. MarinaBalbes responded by moving all-in with 5♠5♣ for the flopped set, and ms.bon-bon called all-in with A♣8♦ for top pair only. The Q♥ and 3♣ finished the board to give ms.bon-bon second place and $77,931.43.

MarinaBalbes of Russia won the tournament, along with $97,939.83 in cash. Congrats!

Sunday Warm-Up Results for 02/05/12 (reflects 3-way deal):

1st place: MarinaBalbes ($97,939.83)*
2nd place: ms.bon-bon ($77,931.43)*
3rd place: Leviathan74 ($82,521.11)*
4th place: Tomascibak ($41,676.00)
5th place: bergeroo ($30,804.00)
6th place: zackmorris99 ($23,556.00)
7th place: PokerSavage1 ($16,308.00)
8th place: Salsicha ($9,060.00)
9th place: jenbizzle ($5,798.40)

*Three players agreed to a chop prior to playing on for an additional $10K.

Information regarding weekly Warm-Up tournaments can be found on its home page.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up