Sunday Warm-Up: 1banditpanda steals this week's title claiming $73K

The big buzz around these parts was Team PokerStars Pro, well-known writer, and European Poker Tour (EPT) champ Victoria Coren-Mitchell taking down today's EPT Sanremo Main Event for €476,100 thus becoming the first two-time EPT champ during the tour's 10th season earlier today. Usually Vicky's wit can be found at tonight's $500,000 Sunday Warm-Up, but we will excuse her absence as she had bigger things on her mind tonight in Italy. The $96,525.12 up top was on the minds of the 3,074 runners this evening as 1banditpanda came from the shortstack after a three-way deal to become tonight's champion earning $73,926.97.

It looked to be quick road to the final table only eight hours into the tournament. However, the final 19 players did not want to claim the $1,629.22 doled out to 19th place. After nearly a half hour of play and the blinds rising to 30K/60K ante 6K in the process ChiphunterTH from Germany, who earned $10K during the 2011 WCOOP Event #3, after taking the overnight chip lead and placing 11th the next day, would claim those 19th place funds and break the three tables down to two.

Seth "setherson2" Davies would get the boot in 16th place ($1,936.62) on the last hand before the ninth hourly break as the blinds moved up to 40K/80K ante 8K and an average chip stack of two million or more held by just five of the remaining players. birddy420 was trying to make the 4/20 Sunday Warm-Up final table but once again denied at the final two tables like back in August.

Hand-for-hand play would start up only 15 minutes after the break after sheffwed2012's demise in 11th place as veyrassois went from shortstack with 18 left to final table chip leader. With the blinds at 50K/100K ante 10K Senterpied would try to three-bet to some free chips from the big blind after pushing for 701,015 chips. However, chrismarlon had enough coin to gamble with T♥Q♣ in making the call. Senterpied's 4♣A♥ would grab two pair but the ace-high was not enough as chrismarlon's queen connected for a boat on the 4♠ Q♦ 8♦ Q♥ 8♥ board to start up the final table below:


Seat 1: veyrassois (6252360 in chips)
Seat 2: AceHighTwice (2076815 in chips)
Seat 3: TGSM89 (3426235 in chips)
Seat 4: SwalzB (1775571 in chips)
Seat 5: n3xD (1981710 in chips)
Seat 6: globallud (4782617 in chips)
Seat 7: Indianeren05 (3565030 in chips)
Seat 8: chrismarlon (5042804 in chips)
Seat 9: 1banditpanda (1836858 in chips)

Not willing to leave

After over 30 minutes of play and several all-ins later, the final table would have its first departure by way of minor percentages. With the blinds up to 80K/160K ante 16K SwalzB would open shove a small stack of 1.73 million from the button holding A♠J♦. The push was a financially sound investment as globallud made the call from the big blind with the dominated A♥8♦. The 4♠ T♦ Q♦ 7♣ 8♠ river card did not comply with the preflop advantage shipping the 3.6 million chip pot to globallud and $4,918.40 to SwalzB in ninth place.

Domination is overrated tonight

Having a better kicker and all-in for your tournament life is usually time for a sigh of relief and perhaps a second chance at final table glory. Tonight, that has not been the case as the blinds moved up to 100K/200K ante 20K and TGSM89 would open shove from the small blind for 2.67 million holding 5♥A♥. n3xD was up to the task from the big blind making the call all-in for less with 8♥A♠. No river card surprise this time as the turned nut flush 7♣ K♥ 9♥ 3♥ Q♠ would put n3xD out in eighth place ($7,685.00).

Getting the card to work

As the blinds moved up to 125K/250K ante 25K the rumbles of chopping up the final table wages came through a little late for Indianeren05. Holding a middle ace 7♠A♦ Indianeren05 would shove from the small blind for 2.12 million as chrismarlon in the big blind thought the pocket aces A♥A♣ would go to waste after watching the table fold around. Instead chrismarlon called and watched a clean 9♠ 3♥ Q♣ 5♦ 6♦ board send 4.4 million over while Indianeren05 collected $13,833.00 in seventh place.

More than ace high

AceHighTwice would try to improve on a stack of 2.38 million when the blinds moved up to 150K/300K ante 30K. However, veyrassois was eager to claim those chips as seen below:

RSS readers please click through to view video

The ace on the door A♥ 8♠ K♦ 4♥ T♠ would match veyrassois' A♣Q♣ as AceHighTwice's run on 4/20 went up in smoke when J♣T♣ failed to hit the straight draw ending the night in sixth place ($19,981.00).

Chopped out

Everyone ticked the "let's make a deal" button but not every enjoyed the words typed out in the chat box as no five-handed would be made after several minutes of negotiations. Just seven hands later with the blind remaining level, globallud would open shove for 2.43 million from the cutoff as chrismarlon covering on the button made the call with pocket queens Q♣Q♦. The ladies would safely swing by the pocket sevens 7♠7♣ on the A♠ 2♥ 2♦ 8♦ 8♣ board earning globallud $26,319.58 in fifth place.

Another 15 minutes, another player lost

Again each player tried to divvy up the substantial funds remaining in the prize pool over a 15 minute discussion, but unfortunately for our fourth place finisher there would be no extra cash. In what became the longest blind level of the tournament, 150K/300K ante 30K, chrismarlon would min-raise from the button as veyrassois went into attack mode and shoved for 13.6 million holding pocket jacks J♠J♦. chrismarlon was not letting go of Q♥A♦ four-handed and made the call all-in. Despite a queen in the door, the jack on the end of the flop Q♣ 3♦ J♣ K♣ 2♠ would end chrismarlon's tournament in fourth place ($35,351.00).

Third time is a charm

15 minutes was not enough, but 22 minutes was. Our final three finally got the numbers they wanted and left $10,000 on the table for this week's champ:

veyrassois (Switzerland) $74,678.02
TGSM89 (United Kingdom) $70,880.13
1banditpanda (Romania) $63,926.97

Another win for the underdog

Tonight's storyline seems to revolve around some nasty river beats and this one came at the wrong time for TGSM89. With the blinds moving up to 200K/400K ante 40K veyrassois would raise to 1.52 million from the button as TGSM89 shoved 9.95 million from the small blind as 1banditpanda folded the big blind. Holding pocket eights 8♥8♦ and covering veyrassois made the call going up stream against TGSM89's nines 9♦9♠. Swimming against the current quickly enough to spike an eight on the river 2♣ A♠ 4♥ 7♠ 8♠ veyrassois would enjoy a 22.1 million to 8.5 million chip advantage heads-up for the title after knocking out TGSM89 in third place ($70,880.13).

Not so fast

The next hand 1banditpanda would double up to 17.1 million taking the chip lead and eliminating any momentum that veyrassois had. Six minutes later with the blinds still at 200K/400K ante 40K 1banditpanda would close down this tournament in the hand below:

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Shoving from the button with a 27 million to 3.7 million chip advantage, 1banditpanda's 9♣7♣ would square off against veyrassois' T♦A♥ and the aggression was rewarded with two pair on the flop T♥ 7♦ 9♥ J♠ 3♦ as 1banditpanda took home the extra $10,000.00 as this week's Sunday Warm-Up champion!

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (04-20-14):

Players entered: 3,074
Places paid: 450
Prize Pool: $614,800.00

(* denotes part of three-way deal)

1. 1banditpanda (Romania) *$73,926.97
2. veyrassois (Switzerland) *$74,678.02
3. TGSM89 (United Kingdom) *$70,880.13
4. chrismarlon (Germany) $35,351.00
5. globallud (Russia) $26,319.58
6. AceHighTwice (Norway) $19,981.00
7. Indianeren05 (Norway) $13,833.00
8. n3xD (Canada) $7,685.00
9. SwalzB (Germany) $4,918.40

David Aydt is a freelance contributor

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up