TheMatadorCC fights to the finish for Sunday Warm-Up victory

Sunday Warm-Up logo NEW.PNGSundays are big days, full of a wide range of buy-ins and guarantees in the largest online poker tournaments in the world. For example, this Sunday Warm-Up offers a massive $500K weekly guarantee for a $215 buy-in, though satellites offer players chances to qualify for much cheaper seats.

With that said, however, there are a lot of players who simply can't afford to take their chances on the Warm-Up, especially without winning a seat through a satellite. And it's for those players - all of the PokerStars players, really - that the MicroMillions returns to the virtual tables. Starting on Thursday, July 12, MicroMillions II will offer 100 tournaments through July 22, all of which boast of low buy-ins starting at $.11. The prize pools involve potentially bankroll-changing money, so win a MicroMillions and try your hand at the Sunday Warm-Up next time!

Speaking of our Warm-Up, today's numbers were:

Players: 2,645
Guarantee: $500,000
Actual prize pool: $529,000
Paid finishers: 378

Action moved right through the first few hours and saw the unfortunate demise of 1hairdresser on the money bubble. Pooyan was the first player to then cash for $317.40 in 378th place, and play continued with hundreds of players headed to the virtual cashier's cage.

Of the Team PokerStars Pros who competed today, only one remained as the payouts began, and he continued to play strong as the field was reduced to six and then five tables. Team Pro Bryan Huang was still in action and continued to stay near the top of the leaderboard as the final table approached.

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Ultimately, after xxMatSon exited in 11th place and hand-for-hand play began, gipsy74 moved all-in with Q♦Q♣, only to find that foxhu had K♠K♣ and called the all-in. But the board came 4♣Q♥3♦6♠7♣ to give gipsy74 a set of queens, and foxhu had to leave in tenth place with $3,306.25.

TheMatadorCC takes chip lead by the horns

The final table stacks were as follows when action began:

Seat 1: Marshall252 (933,601 in chips)
Seat 2: Harada110 (2,199,856 in chips)
Seat 3: gipsy74 (6,067,824 in chips)
Seat 4: Filurn (1,194,896 in chips)
Seat 5: BryanHuang (1,000,416 in chips)
Seat 6: Ilha13 (2,174,082 in chips)
Seat 7: niewie (3,727,479 in chips)
Seat 8: He3HaiKa (2,202,530 in chips)
Seat 9: TheMatadorCC (6,949,316 in chips)

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It only took a few hands before Bryan Huang made his move. He moved all-in from early position with A♦T♥. But Harada110 looked down at A♥A♣ in the small blind and quickly made the call. The board of 9♥4♣Q♠K♣7♠ changed nothing, and with a "GG" in the chat box, Team Pro Bryan Huang departed in ninth place with his $4,496.50 prize.

Pocket aces again

Shortly after, Filurn pushed all-in with A♠K♣, and Ilha13 called 994,896 more. But He3HaiKa reraised all-in from the button to nearly 2 million, and Ilha13 got out of the way. He3HaiKa showed A♣A♥, which held up to the J♥4♥3♦7♣8♠ board. Filurn left in eighth place with $7,670.50.

Another casualty of aces

Marshall252 was the next player to make the push. All 573,601 chips went in with J♦J♥, but niewie reraised to nearly 1 million from the small blind to isolate, which worked. Niewie then showed A♠A♦, and nothing about the 7♣K♥6♥3♦2♦ board changed anything. Marshall252 had to go in seventh place with $12,431.50.

Aces crushed

Ilha13 got involved in a raising war preflop. Ilha13 made the first raise, and niewie reraised. He3HaiKa came over the top all-in for more than 3.7 million, and Ilha13 called all-in. Niewie folded, and Ilha13 showed A♣A♥. He3HaiKa turned over J♦J♠, but this time, the flop came 6♣4♦J♣ to make a set of jacks. The 2♦ and 7♣ completed the board and downed those aces, leaving Ilha13 out in sixth place with $17,721.50.

Time for kings to hold up

Harada110 was working a short stack when a double-up through niewie allowed play to continue five-handed. But Harada110 moved all-in again a few hands later, this time with Q♠J♥. Original UTG raiser TheMatadorCC called with K♠K♥, and the board brought 8♠9♠8♥4♠3♠ for the spade flush. Both players had the space, but the king was higher and that eliminated Harada110 in fifth place with $23,011.50.

Remember when aces held up?

Gipsy74 was in trouble and got involved in preflop raising battle with TheMatadorCC. It led to gipsy74 reraising all-in with K♣J♣, and TheMatadorCC called with A♣A♦. The board came 9♠K♠6♥T♣6♦ allowed the aces to pair with the sixes for the best two, and gipsy74 had to go in fourth place with $30,941.21.

Three agree

The final three players paused the tournament to discuss a deal. With chop-chop numbers provided, the three worked to find a version of them that appealed to everyone. Finally, with $10,000 set aside for the eventual winner, the payouts were agreed on as follows:

Seat 7: niewie (3,948,063 in chips) = $53,000.00
Seat 8: He3HaiKa (5,999,263 in chips) = $56,500.00
Seat 9: TheMatadorCC (16,502,674 in chips) = $70,940.00

Only a few rounds after play resumed, niewie made a raise with A♦4♦ from the big blind. Original raiser and small blind TheMatadorCC reraised all-in with A♣J♥, and niewie called all-in. The board came Q♣8♠9♦2♥T♠ to give TheMatadorCC the straight, which was more than enough to eliminate niewie in third place with $53,000.00.

Heads-up fight to the finish

The final two players started their duel with these counts:

Seat 8: He3HaiKa (4,998,263 in chips)
Seat 9: TheMatadorCC (21,451,737 in chips)

On the very first hand, He3HaiKa found an important double-up opportunity:

RSS readers click through to see replay

A few hands later, the two got involved in a big hand. The raised flop came 9♠8♠Q♥, and the MatadorCC bet, He3HaiKa check-raised, and TheMatadorCC called. The 5♦ on the turn prompted an opening bet from He3HaiKa, and TheMatadorCC responded by raising all-in. He3HaiKa called all-in with Q♠8♥ for flopped two pair, but TheMatadorCC showed Q♦9♣ for flopped top two pair. The J♦ on the river changed nothing, and He3HaiKa had to leave in second place with $56,500.00.

TheMatadorCC bulldozed the final table and collected $80,940.00 for the victory. Congrats!

Sunday Warm-Up Results for 07/08/12 (reflects 3-way deal):

1st place: TheMatadorCC (Mexico) - $80,940.00*
2nd place: He3HaiKa (Russia) - $56,500.00*
3rd place: niewie (Netherlands) - $53,000.00*
4th place: gipsy74 (Russia) - $30,941.21
5th place: Harada110 (Germany) - $23,011.50
6th place: Ilha13 (Portugal) - $17,721.50
7th place: Marshall252 (Belgium) - $12,431.50
8th place: Filurn (Denmark) - $7,670.50
9th place: Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang (Singapore) - $4,496.50

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

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

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up