Sunday Warm-Up: Vzsolt800 shocks the final table with $108K win

new_sunday_warmup_thumb.PNGAfter being in the driver's seat for a WCOOP win last month with five to go and walking away in fourth place with a lot of cash but no bracelet, Vzsolt800 would hang around in tonight's $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-up just long enough to take home a Sunday Major title after outlasting 3,449 players tonight.

Halfway through the seventh hour found two players with Red Spades next their name sharing a table with under 120 players to go. Newly minted member of Team Online Caio Pessagno was looking to add a Sunday Major to his $1.8 million in tournament earnings here at PokerStars. The other was Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko but more on him in a bit as Pessagno found a spot with the blinds at 5K/10K ante 1K to shove 214,550 chips over the top of a min-raise from HTH666. Holding pocket eights 8♦8♠ HTH666 covered and called to flip against Pessagno's suited A♣T♣. Zero spades, aces, and tens on the 4♥ 7♥ K♠ K♦ 4♠ board ended the Brazilian's evening 116th place ($896.74) as Alex's night would extend much longer.

Down to two tables play would quickly go from 18 to 16 players thanks to a three-way all-in. With the blinds at 30K/60K ante 6K Wombatox would call a short-stacked shove from D3NB0SCH073 as it folded around to former Sunday Million champ Soren Kongsgaard who would press 743,649 chips into the middle with pocket queens Q♠Q♥ from the big blind. Wombatox snap called with aces A♠A♥ and hit a flopped set which was VERY necessary with a queen coming off on the turn 9♥ A♦ T♥ Q♣ 7♣. Kongsgaard and D3NB0SCH073 both earned $2,069.40 in 17th and 18th place respectively.

At the eighth hourly break, 13 players still held chips in line for the $108,299.68 first place prize, including Alex Kravchenko sitting on a short stack of 430,948 with blinds moving up to 40K/80K ante 8K.

After u.RuGwaI showed Wombatox to the door in 13th place, Alex would try to double up his short stack. With the blinds moving up to 50K/100K ante 10K, nikov would min-raise from the cutoff as the Russian Pro would shove 386,948 holding A♥Q♠. Folded back to nikov holding 9♦K♠ and only owing 186,948 the Swede would make the math call. Immediately, Alex jumped to a big lead hitting his queen on the flop 3♣Q♣J♦. 6♥ turn was clean, but the T♣ was not, as nikov's straight draw hit and Team PokerStars Pro was given $4,138.80 in 12th place.


Alex Kravchenko 12th place

Another Russian, fuskov59, would follow Alex to the door in 11th place ($4,138.80) setting up the final table bubble. The blinds would hold steady at 50K/100K ante 10K as NANDO368 open shoved from the small blind for 1.02 million holding a decent pair of jacks J♦J♥. Also, holding good cards was Vzsolt800 with 9♦A♣ who made the call out of the big blind. The ace wasted no time hitting the middle of the flop 6♣ A♥ T♦ 5♥ 6♥ as NANDO368 at least got paid for this bubble finish, as the Portuguese rounder suffered a brutal money bubble finish in Event #53 of the 2011 WCOOP.


Seat 1: !Mp!yavv (5668421 in chips)
Seat 2: u.RuGwaI (5377646 in chips)
Seat 3: AzEsmTzar (2054266 in chips)
Seat 4: shodek (3705869 in chips)
Seat 5: Vzsolt800 (2436959 in chips)
Seat 6: LexaLucky666 (3481376 in chips)
Seat 7: thopfl (2115268 in chips)
Seat 8: nikov (2832005 in chips)
Seat 9: elmerixx (6818190 in chips)

Plenty of chips moving but no one leaving

Several all-ins would cap a tremulous 65K/130K ante 13K level but all nine players would survive. However, early on in the next 80K/160K ante 16K level we would lose two players in rapid succession. First, u.RuGwaI would apply pressure from the small blind opening for amount that covered AzEsmTzar's stack in the big blind. Holding pocket fives AzEsmTzar decided to call for 1.01 million as u.RuGwaI flipped up Q♣J♥. Everything would go u.RuGwaI's way as four broadway cards hit the K♦ T♦ 2♠ J♣ A♥ to give u.RuGwaI the straight as AzEsmTzar would be regulated to ruling the rail in ninth place ($5,518.40).

Three hands later u.RuGwaI was at it again opening for a min-raise from middle position as LexaLucky666 devilishly shoved from the small blind for 1.66 million. Having zero fear u.RuGwaI made the call with A♣Q♦ as LexaLucky666's 3♥K♣ trailed. The Belarus player's hand got much worse after an ace flopped, but found four outs with a turned wheel draw 7♠ A♠ 5♠ 2♣. The 2♠ river however closed the not-so-lucky LexaLucky666's night in eighth place ($8,622.50). A little more lucky then in the 2012 WCOOP Event #12 after coming into the second-day of the two day event second in chips, and finishing outside of the final table.

Action round

After a fairly mute opening blind level and the subsequent one, the 80K/160K ante 16K level would chop 1/3rd of our final table population. Five hands after u.RuGwaI's second elimination, !Mp!yavv and nikov would knot up for a near eight million chip pot. Check out the results in the video below:

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This hand would hold a little more drama than the preflop cards showed. Pocket queens Q♦Q♥ for !Mp!yavv and K♠Q♠ for nikov. Two spades on the flop made it interesting, but the board blanked out 3♠ 5♣ 6♠ Q♣ 9♥ handing the 7.995 million chip pot to !Mp!yavv and ending nikov's night in seventh place ($15,520.50).

Rixxing the table of two players

What started off as an innocent poaching of a very small stack ended up as the largest preflop pot of the tournament. Immediately after elmerixx faded a pair and flush draw of shodek leaving the Finn with just 293,470 chips a 17 million chip pot would change the landscape of the final table.

With the blinds at 100K/200K ante 20K u.RuGwaI would lead with a min-raise as shodek tossed in the scraps as it folded to elmerixx in the small blind who three-bet to 1.01 million. u.RuGwaI shot back a four-bet to 2.345 million and elmerixx ended the raising with a shove to 9.3 million. Holding 5.86 million behind, u.RuGwaI made the call with pocket queens Q♣Q♥. The ladies would need a lot of assistance overcoming elmerixx's kings K♥K♠ as shodek meeked showed J♥8♣. Number of the beast hit the flop, and ran clean from there 6♦ 6♠ 6♥ 2♥ T♣ to cut our final table quickly from six to four as shodek earned $22,418.50 in sixth place, and u.RuGwaI $29,316.50 for fifth place.

Thop goes the semi-bluff

Flopped draws to the nuts are ripe for shoving people off the current better hand. With the blinds at 125K/250K ante 25K !Mp!yavv would min-raise from the button as thopfl made the call in the big blind. Q♥7♠J♦ flop got a check from thopfl as !Mp!yavv followed through with another 500,000 chip bet. thopfl went for a check-raise all-in totaling 3.8 million as !Mp!yavv made the call with top pair Q♠4♦. A slight favorite over the straight draw and overcard of thopfl K♣T♣. It became a 100% favorite after the J♠ and T♦ fell on the turn and river to close out thopfl's tournament in fourth place ($39,663.50).

Saving the best for the end

For the most part, to win a poker tournament a player only needs to eliminate one player. As the blinds moved up to 150K/300K ante 30K our tournament champion would finally step into the spotlight. Check out the video below of the 19.1 million chip pot between Vzsolt800 and elmerixx (with a cameo appearance by !Mp!yavv):

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After a flop of 2♥7♥A♠ !Mp!yavv tried to steal the three-way pot by leading out for 776,100 chips after both the other players checked. A rare double-check raise ended with !Mp!yavv ducking for cover and all of elmerixx's chips in the middle holding a straight flush draw 4♥3♥. Slightly better was Vzsolt800's neatly disguised set of aces A♦A♥. Despite the multitude of outs, the turned 7♣ chopped them down to one. The river was a heart but not the five K♥ as elmerixx took home $56,908.50 in third place. Another big cash for the Finn after claiming seventh place in Event #50 of the recent WCOOP series for $38K.

The closer

Vzsolt800's elimination of elmerixx would give the Hungarian a 22.6 million to 11.8 chip lead going into heads-up play after not taking out one player the either final table. In just four minutes and two knockouts later, Vzsolt800 would wrap up the Sunday Warm-Up title. With the blinds at 150K/300K ante 30K Vzsolt800 min-raised from the button as !Mp!yavv shoved for 9.29 million holding pocket sixes 6♦6♣. Pocket eights 8♣8♥ for the title, as Vzsolt800 made the call and watch the K♦ 5♥ 9♠ 5♠ 8♦ produce a big ending to furious finish as Vzsolt800 became this week's Sunday Warm-Up champion claiming the entire $108,299.68 first place prize! Not the first time the Hungarian has made big money here at PokerStars after chopping Event # 23 in the 2012 WCOOP for $221,851.23

$500,000 guaranteed Sunday Warm-Up results (10-21-12):

Players Entered: 3,449
Places Paid: 495
Buy-In: $215.00
Prize Pool: $689,800.00
First Place: $108,299.68

1. Vzsolt800 (Hungary) $108,299.68
2. !Mp!yavv (Thailand) $80,706.60
3. elmerixx (Finland) $56,908.50
4. thopfl (Germany) $39,663.50
5. u.RuGwaI (Russia) $29,316.50
6. shodek (Finland) $22,418.50
7. nikov (Sweden) $15,520.50
8. LexaLucky666 (Belarus) $8,622.50
9. AzEsmTzar (Russia) $5,518.40

David Aydt is a freelance contributor from Minnesota

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up