Sunday Warm-Up: jonyctt takes the top spot, wins $114k

new_sunday_warmup_thumb.PNGThe Sunday Warm-Up is no jog around the block. It may have originally earned it's moniker due to its pre-Sunday Million start time, but has grown into one of poker's most hotly contested weekly online majors. Almost every weekend someone walks away from this slugfest with a six-figure payday they couldn't have possibly imagined only hours before. Tonight it was jonyctt's turn to grab the brass ring. Although the Spaniard has won more than half a dozen tournaments on PokerStars, he notched his first Sunday Major win tonight, earning more than $114,000 in a career-high score.

3,647 players cast their lot in today's Sunday Warm-Up creating a $729,400 prize pool. 540 places were paid, with first place set to earn $114,516.97. Team PokerStars Pros Victor Ramdin, Ana Marquez, Liv Boeree, George Danzer, Alex Kravchenko, and Vicky Coren were among the 19 Red Spades in the mix, although their colleagues George "gkap13" Kapalas (539th) and Johnny Lodden (290th) were the only two to finish in the money.

Short stack ministerborg fell victim to bad timing with ten players remaining. Holding 1.2 million in chips with the blinds up to 65,000/130,000, ministerborg shoved from the cutoff with 5♥8♣, no doubt hoping to pick up the pot uncontested. Unfortunately for him, he ran headlong into inigovasko, who snap-called with A♣A♠ in the big blind. Ministerborg was drawing dead by the turn and departed in tenth place, setting the final table.


Final table chip counts:

Seat 1: Bonds252525 (5,302,494 in chips)
Seat 2: PRlNCESPEACH (4,712,875 in chips)
Seat 3: nr one (1,766,590 in chips)
Seat 4: iñigovasko (4,115,869 in chips)
Seat 5: pp2wins (2,706,243 in chips)
Seat 6: 5AULIU5 (3,115,566 in chips)
Seat 7: chrisf44 (6,576,978 in chips)
Seat 8: jonyctt (5,738,433 in chips)
Seat 9: Rainsson (2,434,952 in chips) nr one blinded down to about 900,000 before three-bet shoving with T♦T♥ from the big blind behind jonyctt's opening min-raise. Jonyctt called with Q♥J♣ and flopped a jack, leaving nr one drawing only to the two remaining tens. The Norwegian couldn't find one and exited in ninth place, earning $5,835.20 for his troubles. His departure left Rainsson and pp2wins as the short stacks.

Pp2wins, however, scored a crucial double-up when his pocket nines held up against inigovasko's A♥J♥. He moved toward the middle of the pack with 3.85 million, but Rainsson wasn't so fortunate. With the action folded to him in the small blind, Rainsson shoved for 1.3 million with J♥8♥ only to find Bonds252525 lying in wait with K♥K♣ in the big blind. Rainsson did not improve and was eliminated in eighth place, earning $9,117.50.

Inigovasko had an average stack when he picked up J♠7♠ in the big blind and witnessed an unusual play. Chip leader chrisf44 open-limped for 160,000 from middle position and the action folded to PRINCESPEACH, who completed the small blind. Inigovasko decided to go for the squeeze and shoved for 4.27 million, just short of 27 big blinds. Chrisf44 came right back and made it 8.48 million to go, successfully pushing out PRINCESPEACH. Chrisf44 revealed A♥K♦ and saw it hold up on the 9♣8♠4♥9♠Q♦ board, despite a little scare on the turn when inigovasko picked up a flush draw to go with his gutshot. For his seventh-place finish, inigovasko collected $16,411.50 while chrisf44 widened his chip lead. With 13.7 million, chrisf44 now held over 5.5 million more than second-in-chips jonyctt.

Four hands later, 5AULIU5 moved in for his last 1.6 million with J♠T♠ in the cutoff. Chrisf44 called on the button with A♠7♠ and scored another KO when the board ran out A♦Q♦8♣Q♠4♣. 5AULIU5 took home $23,705.50 for sixth place while chrisf44 vaulted over the 15 million-chip mark.

Less than an orbit after that hand, the action folded to PRINCESPEACH, who made a button raise holding A♦T♥. Pp2wins shoved for about 3.1 million from the small blind and PRINCESPEACH made the call, dismayed to see pp2wins' A♥K♥. The dominating hand held up and pp2wins doubled to 6.5 million.

Crippled to only 496,000 with the blinds up to 100,000/200,000, PRINCESPEACH went from circling the drain to serious contender in only a couple of orbits. He moved his last 2.5 big blinds in with T♦8♦ against pocket nines and flopped a flush. Two hands later he three-bet shoved for 1.2 million with T♣T♦ and doubled again thanks to jonyctt's loose call with Q♥8♥. Then, with his stack up to 3.2 million, he scored a knockout of his own, his A♣K♥ turning an ace against Bonds252525's Q♣Q♠. Bonds252525 exited in fifth place, earning just short of $31,000 while PRINCESPEACH moved up to 5.88 million.

Four-handed play dragged on for the better part of two levels. Thus far, chrisf44's chip lead had remained intact, but this late in the game, one coinflip can change everything. Holding pocket threes, pp2wins open-shoved from the button for 5.22 million. Chrisf44 looked down at A♣Q♣ in the small blind and reshoved for 10.2 million. Jonyctt gave up his big blind, his opponents off to the races in a 10.8 million pot. This time, the coin fell on the side of the small pair, the board running out J♥5♦4♥7♥J♣. Pp2wins doubled while chrisf44 saw his stack nearly halved. Chrisf44 never recovered from this setback and went out a short time later in fourth place after his Q♣T♥ fell to jonyctt's pocket jacks.

PRINCESPEACH's remarkable comeback came to an end a few minutes later at the hands of pp2wins. In a battle of the blinds, PRINCESPEACH shoved from the small blind with A♦7♥, only to run into pp2wins' A♠K♥ in the big. PRINCESPEACH couldn't pull out another miracle and ended his run in third place, earning $60,175.50.

Heads-up chip counts:

Seat 5: pp2wins (10,461,458 in chips)
Seat 8: jonyctt (26,008,542 in chips)

Both pp2wins and jonyctt took a small-pot approach to heads-up play... at least at first. Pp2wins ground his stack up to 15.1 million before a preflop raising war broke out. Holding pocket eights, jonyctt opened for a min-raise to 800,000. Pp2wins three-bet to 2.4 million with A♦8♥ and jonyctt decided to pull the trigger, four-bet shoving for 21.3 million. Pp2wins called off his last 12.6 million, but could not catch jonyctt, who rivered eights full of nines to lock up the win:

Congratulations to jonyctt on his first Sunday Warm-Up title and a $114,516.97 win. For his runner-up finish, pp2wins took home $85,339.80.

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results for 2-19-12:

1. jonyctt (Spain) $114,516.97
2. pp2wins (Norway) $85,339.80
3. PRINCESPEACH (Canada) $60,175.50
4. chrisf44 (Canada) $41,940.50
5. Bonds252525 (Canada) $30,999.50
6. 5AULIU5 (Lithuania) $23,705.50
7. inigovasko (Spain) $16,411.50
8. Rainsson (Latvia) $9,117.50
9. nr one (Norway) $5,835.20

Does the Warm-Up sound like your cup of tea? Check out the Sunday Warm-Up page for more information on how you can win your seat.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up