Sunday Warm-Up: MikiOpasniy outlasts FinancialPOK for the title and $115K
"Any way that suited the other man would suit him - any way just so's he got a bet, he was satisfied". A quote from tavern regular Simon Wheeler talking about the gambling man Jim Smiley in the Mark Twain short story "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". Mr. Smiley's jumping frog did not win despite all of the preparations put into his champion (the other side of the bet pumped the frog full of lead pellets). Tonight at PokerStars there were 3,670 gamblers looking for a bet not with leaping amphibians but rather with deck of virtual cards, and we gave it to them in the $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up. Many prepared for tonight's tournament with coaching, poker books, and maybe just good old-fashioned liquid courage. Regardless of their pre-game workout, all eyed the $115,238.00 first place prize.
540 players would gain at least a little money for their efforts tonight taking a slice of the $734,000.00 prize pool. Team PokerStars was shaking off their paradise fun and making a run at the big cash tonight. Spanish pro Ana Marquez //www.pokerstars.com/team-pokerstars/ana-marquez/ would lock up $315.62 in 460th place making her one of two Team Pros to finish in the money.
A ways up the payscale was Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby holding on to a short stack for a while during hour seven and with 121,105 chips and blinds at 7.5K/15K ante 1.5K it was double up or go home time. Pocket sevens 7♦7♠ looked good enough from UTG to shove with, as the deceptive "iwonthurtyou" re-shoved for more holding big slick A♠K♦. A king on the door K♣ 4♥ 2♥ 4♣ 3♣ would end the pro from the Czech Republic's night in 87th place ($1,101.00).
Through nine and half hours of play eleven players remained. The blinds sitting at 65K/130K ante 13K, a short-stacked 1BLACKCAT1 was looking to use one of his nine lives for much needed double up holding just 426,817 chips after shoving all-in from the cutoff with J♦T♥. DelarPNZ to the immediate left was not giving up his deuces 2♠2♣. The 4♥A♥K♠ flop offered four more outs, but the 9♦ turn and 6♣ gave only 11th place cash ($4,404.00).
Dick Fosbury, an American Olympic high jumper, and inventor of the Fosbury Flop used by nearly all high jump specialists likely was not the player bursting the bubble but that probably matters very little to nixx23 whose last 392,240 chips went in preflop against Dick_Fosbury and MikiOpasniy who both called. Both Miki and Dick would check the flop and turn, but on the river 5♦ A♣ T♥ J♥ 5♣ with 1.7 million chip already in the middle Dick_Fosbury tried a 520,000 value bet that MikiOpasniy wanted nothing to do with as Dick_Fosbury flipped up the flopped set and rivered boat T♣T♠ to knockout nixx23's deuces 2♥2♦ in tenth place ($4,404.00).
Seat 1: KVB59 (1323381 in chips)
Seat 2: FinancialPOK (6354276 in chips)
Seat 3: Dick_Fosbury (7472084 in chips)
Seat 4: PatrickCs (3728490 in chips)
Seat 5: MikiOpasniy (8557962 in chips)
Seat 6: ZISIMO7 (1969916 in chips)
Seat 7: LiroLa (2997536 in chips)
Seat 8: PIUlimeira (1239958 in chips)
Seat 9: DelarPNZ (3056397 in chips)
Miki, Miki, you so fine
Despite the high blinds, no one was eliminated at the final table during the opening 65K/130K ante 13K blind level. But, MikiOpasniy was looking to extend the final table chip lead calling ZISIMO7's 1.04 million three-bet shove in a blind versus blind battle. Big slick A♥K♦ for the chip leader as ZISIMO7 needed help with 5♠A♣. The flop T♠ 2♠ J♠ gave ZISIMO7 flush outs, the 3♥ added straight outs but the T♦ river knocked him out, in ninth place ($5,872.00). And MikiOpasniy's stack became the first to breach eight figures at 11.4 million.
By the tenth hourly break we still had eight players remaining it was sure to be a sprint for the title as MikiOpasniy held on to the chip lead with 11.8 million, followed by FinancialPOK with eight million, then the divide widened to DelarPNZ in third holding 4.5 million chips and blinds at 100K/200K ante 20K.
The bully takes the lunch money
Eight minutes after the break, FinancialPOK would open shove from the button covering both of the blinds. PatrickCs holding 1.6 million woke up with A♦T♦ and made the call. FinancialPOK had a suited connector 8♠7♠ that would connect with the 3♠ 5♦ J♠ 8♣ 3♦ board sending PatrickCs home with $9,175.00 in eighth place.
Dick_Fosbury lept back into the action by doubling up off FinancialPOK, then with the blinds still at 100K/200K ante 20K he would knock out a limping KVB59. Holding only 230,440 chips after doubling up LiroLa, KVB59 was at the mercy of the board holding a not-so-shabby J♠T♠ as Dick_Fosbury's min-raise got the rest of the table to fold. Neither player would hit the 5♣ K♠ 2♣ 4♦ K♥ board, but Dick_Fosbury's A♠J♥ better kicker sent KVB59 off in seventh place ($16,525.00).
Adding to the income statement
FinancialPOK was not satisfied with just knocking out PatrickCs and a dozen hands later was looking for more. Blinds moving up to 125K/250K ante 25K, PIUlimeira tried to squeeze in a button shove with T♣Q♠ with just over a million chips. However, FinancialPOK took a look at her profit for the evening of over 10 million in tournament chips making the call with just 3♥2♣. "Just" was still in trouble after the T♥2♠4♠ flop and 6♠ turn. But, "just" became "trips" on the rivered deuce 2♦ taking down the small 2.3 million chip pot and ending PIUlimeira's night in sixth place ($23,855.00).
Don't mess with the Miki
Exhibit A shown below:
Dick_Fosbury was not able to hold on to chips tonight, slipping to 3.9 million before getting into this preflop war with MikiOpasniy. Dick_Fosbury's K♥J♥ needing to jump over the pocket pair of nines 9♥9♦ held by MikiOpasniy. One more bar to clear for Dick_Fosbury and he couldn't do it as the board Q♥ 8♦ 4♣ Q♣ 2♠ was set too high and Dick_Fosbury ran away with $31,195.00 in fifth place.
Doing better than OK
FinanacialPOK kept chipping up, hoping to keep pace with chip leader MikiOpasniy. Winning big pots is one way to do that. With the blinds still at 125K/250K ante 25K, FinancialPOK would call the min-raise from DelarPNZ both checking out the coordinated 9♥8♦T♦ flop. 500K bet from DelarPNZ was called. Turned 3♠ and DelarPNZ led out for a million which was called again. 5♠ on the river and DelarPNZ tried shoving for 2.05 million and was insta-called by the flopped straight 7♠J♣ of FinancialPOK as DelarPNZ could only shake his head holding top pair J♥T♣. $42,205.00 will cure a lot of blues in fourth place for DelarPNZ.
Race for the finish
Just five hands later as the final table seemed to bunch all of its action into this blind level, MikiOpasniy and LiroLa would create this 7.8 million chip pot preflop below:
A flopped queen Q♦ T♠ 7♦ for LiroLa's Q♥K♦ was sorely needed to get back into this tournament. 3♣ turn was also in LiroLa's favor, however the K♥ was not, giving MikiOpasniy a broadway straight holding A♠J♠ ending LiroLa's night in third place ($60,555.00).
Twenty to remember
There would be twenty hands of heads-up play between MikiOpasniy and FinancialPOK. MikiOpasniy would win 17 of them. Starting off with a 23.5 million to 13.1 million chip lead, MikiOpasniy would dominate heads-up play. Going into the final hand of the tournament holding a 31.6 million to five million chip lead, FinancialPOK would get it in good preflop with his A♣T♦ dominating MikiOpasniy's 9♥A♦. However, the board 5♣ 5♥ 9♦ 6♥ 3♠ thought differently, as Women's Sunday regular final tablist FinancialPOK took home $85,878.00 and MikiOpasniy became the Sunday Warm-Up champion with two pair and a winner's check worth $115,238.00!
We'll see you back here in a few weeks as the Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP) kicks off this week!
$500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up results (01-15-12):
1. MikiOpasniy (Russia) $115,238.00
2. FinancialPOK (Spain) $85,878.00
3. LiroLa (Brazil) $60,555.00
4. DelarPNZ (Russia) $42,205.00
5. Dick_Fosbury (Canada) $31,195.00
6. PIUlimeira (Brazil) $23,855.00
7. KVB59 (Russia) $16,515.00
8. PatrickCs (Romania) $9,175.00
9. ZISIMO7 (Greece) $5,872.00