Sunday Warm-Up: zen_mec topples Saul heads-up for $107K victory

Triskaidekaphobia (say it thirteen times REALLY fast, don't worry it won't bite), as you probably know is the fear of the number thirteen, as players no longer part of Tenth Annual PCA event (at press time the PCA main event final table was down to just three players click here to follow the action live) hopped on their laptops for a last chance to score while taking in the beautiful weather in the Bahamas. The Sunday Majors roll on regardless of the live action or phobias of certain prime numbers as tonight's $500,000 guaranteed Sunday Warm-Up brought in another guarantee toppling crowd of 3,437 tonight as zen_mec would outduel a former PCA Main Event final tablist to take home the full $107,922.70 first place prize.

At the start of the sixth hour, a familiar name peeked at the top of the leaderboard. Kevin "BeL0WaB0Ve" Saul has many deep finishes in the Sunday Majors as well as -COOP tournaments here at PokerStars and will be looking to add to his record today as 148 players made the turn towards the big money including Team PokerStars Pro Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby.

Hruby's stack would last through the first half the seventh hour and ran into one of those standard coinflips one must win to take home the six figure prize in this tournament. With the blinds at 10K/20K ante 2K Mankilla1 put out a threatening min-raise from early position as Hruby jumped on with a shove for 294,207 chips. Folded to skyscraper77 who overshoved many stories above Martin's bet as the rest of the table took a nap. Pocket tens T♣T♥ for the Team Pro faced off against skyscraper77's big slick K♣A♥. The ace wasted no time by showing up on the flop 9♣ Q♥ A♠ 9♦ J♥ and taking down the last Red Spade left in the tournament as Hruby collected $1,168.58 in 66th place.

At the eighth hour break skyscraper77 used Hruby's chips to climb to the top of the chip count while VIP Supernova eisenhower1 and Saul stayed close behind with only 31 players left and $107,922.70 at the final table for tonight's champion. At this rate of eliminations, it looked to be a fast march to the final table as the player squished down to three tables of nine in just five minutes after starting back up.

einsenhower1 would bow out in 16th place earning $2,062.20 but the vast amount of VIP players left in the tournament raged on. vadeinpace11, BigMeech99, and Mikaroc all had six stars next to their avatars noting them as Supernovas. And even thought we are not through mid-January yet, Fishenzon already added the seventh star showing the highest VIP ranking as a Supernova Elite. Fishenzon would trail only Red PartyHat in chips going into the ninth hour break as 12 players took a breather before coming back to blinds of 40K/80K ante 8K.

With 11 players left Saul tried to coax the table into a call after shoving a shortstack of 1.1 million with the Twitter hashtag #closinglaptop. No one helped him with a #poweritdown or #nhgg as the first 15 minutes moved the blinds up to 65K/130K ante 13K and BigMeech99 would become the first casualty. Saul's stack took a nosedive until he doubled up to 1.8 million when his pocket queens were able to fend off JABOOOOO's ace-trey as hand-for-hand play moved up.

The last hand of 65K/130K ante 13K blinds proved to be a killer for JABOOOOO as the ghost avatar shoved for 869,400 chips as vadeinpace11 also shoved from the small blind for 2.65 million holding pocket jacks J♠J♥. This author's favorite hand was in trouble as the pocket nines 9♣9♥ needed a small miracle to pull off the upset. Three clubs on the flop 7♣4♣2♣ helped give JABOOOOO some life, but the Q♦ turn and J♦ river took it away as the final table below started right away with blinds at 80K/160K ante 16K.


Seat 1: BeL0WaB0Ve (2581100 in chips)
Seat 2: l D0N'T KN0W (2682928 in chips)
Seat 3: onmybicycle (2465282 in chips)
Seat 4: Mikaroc (1090192 in chips)
Seat 5: skyscraper77 (2266894 in chips)
Seat 6: zen_mec (7611358 in chips)
Seat 7: Red Partyhat (4523973 in chips)
Seat 8: vadeinpace11 (3788202 in chips)
Seat 9: Fishenzon (7360071 in chips)

I want to ride my bicycle

onmybicycle had places to go and ninth place was not one of them. With the blinds at 80K/160K ante 16K Mikaroc would open shove UTG for 994,192 chips as it folded around to l D0N'T KN0W who reshoved from the small blind for 2.42 million as onmybicycle called the in big blind for 57K less. l D0N'T KN0W flipped up pocket eights 8♠8♥ and had Mikaroc's sixes beat 6♠6♣. But onmybicycle showed tens T♦T♣ looking to put a serious hurt on l D0N'T KN0W's stack. A clean 3♦ 5♠ 3♥ Q♥ A♥ board sent 5.87 million chips to onmybicycle as l D0N'T KN0W's stack plummeted to 57,646 chips and Mikaroc claimed ninth place money ($5,499.20). Not Mikaroc's first dance a big final table chopping up SCOOP 2012's Event #13-M for $58,132.65 this past spring.

Not one to know

l D0N'T KN0W's microstack would triple up on the next hand, and managed to grow to 531,876 chips after seven hands. But on the eighth hand the chip-and-a-chair stack would fall to nothing. With the blinds holding at 80K/160K ante 16K l D0N'T KN0W would min-raise from the small blind as onmybicycle re-min-raised from the big blind putting the small stack all-in. l D0N'T KN0W's 7♦T♦ looked ripe to double up against onmybicycle's T♠3♥ but the river card Q♥ Q♦ 4♠ 6♦ 3♣ had other ideas as l D0N'T KN0W can keep the knowledge of finishing eighth in the Sunday Warm-Up ($8,592.50).

Talonchick: "#openlaptop"

This was the Team Online member's reply as Saul tried to give another farewell speech to the table after shoving 1.1 million chips over Fishenzon's min-raise. However the Supernova Elite did not bite as Saul scooped up 992,000 chips without showdown, and an open laptop as Adrienne went back to announcing.

Peace at last

Two hands before the 10th hourly break vadeinpace11 and zen_mec would meet up preflop for a 5.6 million chip pot that would send one person home before the five minute rest period. Watch below as we name tonight's seventh place finisher:

RSS readers please click through to view video

No surprises in this hand as zen_mec's big slick K♦A♥ would take down vadeinpace11's A♣T♥ on the A♠ 6♣ 5♣ 4♦ 3♥ board as vadeinpace11 went in peace claiming $15,466.50 in seventh place.

Swims with the fishes

Obviously Fishenzon could not achieve such a lofty rank of Supernova Elite from being a fish at the tables as the VIP has a couple of deep finishes in SCOOP and WCOOP heads-up tournaments. But, those seven stars would not reach heads-up tonight as seven hands after vadeinpace11's departure, Fishenzon would be all-in preflop holding Q♦A♦ against Red PartyHat's pocket fives 5♠5♦ for a 7.8 million chip pot. Not a single diamond joined the 9♠ 3♣ T♣ K♥ 4♣ board as Fishenzon swam away with $22,340.50 in sixth place.

Building comes crumbling down

skyscraper77 used the chips of Team Pro Martin Hruby nearly to the max tonight after making the final table with a potential pay out only eight eliminations away. However, with the blinds at 100K/200K ante 20K and just two hands after Fishenzon was retired, another player received a large check. Holding 2.1 million in the hijack seat, skyscraper77 shoved holding A♥Q♥. All the way around the track was onmybicycle in the big blind with a sizable A♦T♠ willing to make the call. A clean 7♦8♠5♣ with a dirty turn T♦ would give onmybicycle the 4.4 million chip pot after a blank 2♥ river. While a building may be out of the question for the $29,214.50 fifth place cash, skyscraper77 should be able enjoy a nice car to put in a new garage.

"ooooh ... work to do"

Yes, Ms. Rowsome the final four would like some ICM, chip chop numbers, and maybe a few sparkling drinks if the last four could work together to split up the remaining money. Over 30 minutes after saying good bye to skyscraper77, the remaining players decided the blinds were getting a little too high and paused for chop talks. Saul however wanted a little more than the table was willing to give as play in the 150K/300K ante 30K blind level continued on.

Party's over

Just four hands after the chop talks broke down Red PartyHat would go from dancing on the tabletops to passed-out and half-naked on the floor. With the blinds moving up to 200K/400K ante 40K the chip leader would shove 11.5 million from the cutoff as it folded to zen_mec in the big blind who quickly called holding pocket queens Q♠Q♦. Red PartyHat did not a showdown with pocket fours 4♣4♠ and it showed as the board favored the ladies 5♠ 9♦ J♥ 7♦ K♦ for a 17.9 million chip pot. The very next hand zen_mec would push Red PartyHat all-in from the small blind as the chip leader now only held 2.3 million after paying the big blind. Holding a suited 2♥Q♥ Red PartyHat made the call and needed help against zen_mec's J♣A♦. A deuce on the flop looked to continue Red PartyHat's good time, but an ace on the river 8♠ 2♦ 9♦ 4♥ A♣ was the party pooper as Red PartyHat claimed $39,525.50 in fourth place.

In the zone

zen_mec would win seven of the next nine hands, including the hand in the moving pictures below:

RSS readers please click through to view video

Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicycle biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicycle RACE! Sorry, had a Freddie Mercury moment there. J♣Q♥ for onmybicycle would be all-in preflop against zen_mec's 9♦A♣. The pair of nines caught by zen_mec was not needed but welcomed 4♠ T♥ T♠ 9♣ 4♦ as onmybicycle rode away with $56,710.50 in third place.

Things would start off rather grim for Kevin "BeL0WaB0Ve" Saul as he would begin with a 4.58 million to 29.7 million chip disadvantage going into heads-up play against zen_mec. But, thanks to a double-up in hand number six and an 11 million chip pot 12 minutes into heads-up play and right before the 11th hourly break, Saul flipped the over 5:1 disadvange into a small chip lead of 18 million to 16.3 million as the players tried again to make a deal.

Saul would offer 85K with 10K to play for to zen_mec as a final deal but the Belgian insisted on seeing the numbers. zen_mec declined after seeing the split and the six figure score remained on the table.

Left jab, right hook, knockout

Two coolers in a row and zen_mec would land two heavy punches on Saul quickly after the second set of chop talks broke down. With the blinds at 200K/400K ante 40K the two players would trade bets until 28.7 million chips sat in the middle with Kevin covering and holding pocket nines 9♦9♣. Not-so-fast Mr. Saul said zen_mec's pocket jacks J♣J♥ as the board complied with a clean K♦ 4♠ 7♣ 4♦ Q♠ returning the huge chip lead the zen_mec started heads-up play with.


Kevin "BeL0WaB0Ve" Saul second place ($80,425.80)

Then on the next hand zen_nec would min-raise from the button as Saul shoved for 5.6 million holding A♥J♥. zen_mec couldn't find the call button quickly enough showing pocket aces A♠A♣. BeL0WaB0Ve said, "lol nh gg" about all one could do in that sequence as the board only dropped one heart 2♥ 9♠ 3♣ 3♠ Q♣ to ship this week's Sunday Warm-Up title and $107,922.70 to zen_mec!

$500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-up results (01-13-13):

Players entered: 3,437
Places paid: 495
Buy-in: $215.00
Prize pool: $687,400.00
First place: $107,922.70

1. zen_mec (Belgium) $107,922.70
2. Kevin "BeL0WaB0Ve" Saul (Costa Rica) $80,425.80
3. onmybicycle (Netherlands) $56,710.50
4. Red Partyhat (Netherlands) $39,525.50
5. skyscraper77 (Germany) $29,214.50
6. Fishenzon (Canada) $22,340.50
7. vadeinpace11 (Russia) $15,466.50
8. l D0N'T KN0W (Netherlands) $8,592.50
9. Mikaroc (Belgium) $5,499.20

David Aydt is a freelance contributor

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up