Sunday Warm-Up: Päffchen punches out final table winning $94K, De Meulder third

Pardon the shorter field of 3,010 for this week's $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up as poker players may be a tad tired after two weeks of constant high, medium, and low stakes tournaments during another successful run for the SCOOP series. Or that little poker party currently being held in Las Vegas called the World Series of Poker Could have something to do with it as well. One Team PokerStars pro, Matthias De Meulder, took advantage of the less crowded field and nearly took home the top prize of $94,514.00. But, the Belgian pro could not take down Germany's Päffchen who knocked out the Team Pro in third ($49,978.04) while taking home that big cash.

Looking for a date with the final table, Team PokerStars Pro Matthias "mattidm" De Meulder would head into the final two tables with a two million chip stack, slightly above average. The stack was partially acquired after some run-good kept alive in the tournament. First, it was his fours versus lasagnaaammm's aces all-in preflop and notching a four on the flop for a 1.8 million chip pot. Then, a dozen hands later getting pocket queens all-in preflop versus former Sunday Warm-Up champ zen_mec's kings and another set for the Belgian would knockout zen_mec in 21st place and get de Meulder to the penultimate table a few minutes later.

The field would quickly shrink to 14 players after NCSU2012 (Costa Rica), Elay99 (Sweden), mic.bie8945 (Poland), and bingogobernd (Germany) took a seat on the rail in 15th -18th place. RotoBronco would assist shortstacked 19VICTOR89 to the sidelines after 19VICTOR89 shoved 475,694 chips from the button with the blinds at 40K/80K ante 8K and RotoBronco called out of the small blind with 7♠A♠. 19VICTOR89's J♥Q♠ found a jack on the flop, but RotoBronco bucked an ace on the turn 4♠ 3♣ J♦ A♣ 5♠ to give 19VICTOR89 $2,859.50 in 14th place.

Meanwhile on the opposite table Mr. Red Spade was cleaning up. Same 40K/80K ante 8K blinds as the board showed A♥ K♦ J♦ 7♠ 8♠ with 1.9 million chips already in the pot Matthias shoved for 3.01 million as mumu12345 made the call for less holding Q♠A♦. The Belgian pro did it again by flipping up the flopped two pair J♥K♣ earning the 4.15 million pot and knocking out mumu12345 in 12th place ($3,762.50).

The tournament would head to the ninth hour with hand-for-hand play after NessV busted in 11th place ($3,762.50). With 10 players left Niqo4 was on the low end of chips, but after getting doubled up by the Team Pro, Niqo4 steadily chipped up to 2.8 million. Then with the blinds moving up to 50K/100K ante 10K Niqo4 would min-raise from the cutoff as Leanod shoved from the small blind for 1.21 million holding big slick K♠A♦. With pocket jacks J♠J♥ Niqo4 made the call and watched the 2.58 million pot slide to the jack after the T♥ 6♣ 7♥ 3♠ 4♦ board came clean starting up the final table below:


Seat 1: bakajagub (3820261 in chips)
Seat 2: Niqo4 (4216794 in chips)
Seat 3: lynskey99 (1841647 in chips)
Seat 4: Päffchen (3783107 in chips)
Seat 5: Team PokerStars Pro Matthias "mattidm" De Meulder (3919546 in chips)
Seat 6: ApesAreFun (739424 in chips)
Seat 7: BrightStripe (3901802 in chips)
Seat 8: RotoBronco (3267764 in chips)
Seat 9: lasagnaaammm (4609655 in chips)

Unlucky Seven

Just seven hands into the final table we would have the final major pot leaving one player limping and the other one with the chip lead. With the blinds moving up to 65K/130K ante 13K lasagnaaammm made a min-raise from the button as both bakajagub and Niq04 called called out of the blind to see a diamond studded 3♦6♦4♦ flop. bakajagub woke up and led out for 260,000 as Niqo4 called and lasagnaaammm raised to 692,410. bakajagub shoved for 3.78 million as lasagnaaammm holding top two 4♠6♠. Normally an awesome flop, but tonight it was a cooler as bakajagub held the flopped flush 9♦T♦ as the 9♠ turn and K♥ river sent lasagnaaammm down to 22,394 chips which were collected by Päffchen on the next hand ending the night in ninth place ($4,816.00).

Not quite as good as the last visit lasagnaaammm collected $27K last month while placing fifth in this tournament.

Jacks denied

Pocket jacks got Niqo4 into the final table, and pocket jacks would escort Niqo4 off the final table. With the blinds holding at 65K/130K ante 13K Niqo4 would raise to 390,000 from UTG as it folded to RotoBronco in the small blind who three-bet to 1.35 million as bakajagub called in the big blind and Niqo4 called all-in for less. After the 3♠9♥Q♠ flop bakajagub bet 2.47 million which got RotoBronco to abandon chips as bakajagub showed Q♦A♥. Niqo4's jacks J♠J♥ would not find any love on the 5♦ turn nor 8♠ river to bust in eighth place ($7,826.00).

Unable to open the door

Just eight hands later with the blinds moving up to 80K/160K ante 16K all hands folded to the blinds where bakajagub applied the pressure from the small blind by shoving 6.65 million with T♣J♥. Holding 7♠A♦ and only 858,611 chips, lynskey99 made the call. While the flop showed an unnecessary pair 7♦6♣8♦ the turn showed an unkind jack J♣ for lynskey99. Blank on the 3♥ river and the tournament was down to six players after lynskey99 earned $13,846.00 in seventh place.

baka gets bigger

13 minutes into the 80K/160K ante 16K level bakajagub now second in chips behind RotoBronco would watch carefully from the big blind as ApesAreFun shoved from the cutoff for 2.05 million holding 9♥A♦. bakajagub looked down at J♥A♠ and decided to make the call. A fortunate nine on the turn K♥ T♠ 4♠ 9♠ had the 4.2 million chip pot heading ApesAreFun's way. But, a fourth spade on the river 3♠ would ship the pot to bakajagub and leave ApesAreFun with $19,866.00 in sixth place.

Stripe dimmed

Both BrightStripe and Matthias held shields on their avatars proclaiming to have earned over one million VPPs lifetime. Of course, George "jorj95" Lind did that last month inside of one calendar month making the achievement a little less glossy. Just four hands after ApesAreFun's departure the two aforementioned players met preflop for a rather large 8.59 million chip pot. Watch below to see who would take over the chip lead:

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Dominated from the start holding K♥Q♥ to the Team Pro's Q♦A♦, BrightStripe would not find a king on the 7♣ T♦ 3♦ 4♣ Q♠ board to earn $25,886.00 in fifth place. Chalk up another fifth place finish in a big tournament for BrightStripe who earned $20,298.46 in the recent SCOOP Event #10-M.

Matthias mashes

Four handed play would last through one level, but when the blinds moved up to 125K/250K ante 25K the quartet would be trimmed to a trio. RotoBronco got knocked off the horse holding just 1.88 million chips and using them in the cutoff to shove with pocket fives 5♦5♥. Folded around to the Belgian pro holding pocket nines 9♦9♥ making the quick call. Lack of excitement on the 7♣ J♥ 4♥ K♠ A♥ board send RotoBronco to the rail in fourth place ($34,615.00).

Team PokerStars Pro Matthias De Meulder finished in third place

As the blinds moved up to 150K/300K ante 30K and De Meulder now the low player in the chip total with 7.4 million would three-bet from the button over the min-raise from Päffchen holding A♣9♠. Unfortunately for the Team Pro Päffchen had A♥J♠ and quickly made the call. No nines on the 2♣ K♥ J♥ 3♦ K♣ board and Matthias De Meulder finished in third place ($49,978.04).


Matthias De Meulder - Third place ($49,978.04)

Nearly even then Päffchen takes it down

The final two would start off nearly even in chips as Päffchen enjoyed a small lead of 15.9 million to 14.1 million going into heads-up play and after twenty minutes of battle with bakajagub, the German would increase that lead 25.7 million to 4.39 million going into the final hand below:

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bakajagub backed against the chip wall of Päffchen shoved over the top of a min-raise from the button with 6♠A♦. Holding pocket sevens 7♠7♥ Päffchen called and was rewarded with a safe 2♥ 4♠ 2♦ 6♣ J♥ board to claim the Sunday Warm-Up title and $94,514.00!

PokerStars $500,000 Guarantee Sunday Warm-Up (06-02-13)

Players: 3,010
Prizepool: $602,000.00
Places Paid: 432

1. Päffchen (Germany) $94,514.00
2. bakajagub (Hungary) $70,434.00
3. Team PokerStars Pro Matthias "mattidm" De Meulder (Belgium) $49,978.04
4. RotoBronco (Canada) $34,615.00
5. BrightStripe (Austria) $25,886.00
6. ApesAreFun (Norway) $19,866.00
7. lynskey99 (Australia) $13,486.00
8. Niqo4 (Denmark) $7,826.00
9. lasagnaaammm (Malta) $4,816.00

David Aydt is a freelance contributor

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up