Sunday Warm-Up: BankOfNorway wins and withdraws $94K from the prize pool

Tonight's $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up featured someone who been there before and looked to get there again. Paul "paulgees81" Volpe has collected plenty of victories at PokerStars and nearly pulled off another Sunday Major win. Instead BankOfNorway proved to be mightier after knocking out Volpe in fourth place en route to a victory over a field of 3,003 for $94,294.85.

Paul "paulgees81" Volpe would head into the final two tables holding a shorter stack but looking to add another major victory tonight. After collecting a WCOOP bracelet a few weeks ago in Event #63 Volpe is now one TCOOP victory away from completing the PokerStars Grand Slam. But, unlike his WCOOP victory, he would not have a massive stack to work with in the late goings of this tournament.

Super Tuesday and MicroMillions champ zen_mec would pick up $1,951.95 in 18th place ten minutes before the ninth hourly break. BankOfNorway would relish the chip lead holding over five million chips with an average stack around 1.5 million and the blinds at 40K/80K ante 8K as the players enjoyed a five minute respite.

The chip leader went to work early in the ninth hour knocking out paulitschMC in 17th place while dragging in the 2.7 million chip pot as Volpe managed a little run good to stay alive. With the blinds at 40K/80K ante 8K Volpe would open raise from the small blind as Saraiva8 three-bet all-in covering the rest of Volpe's stack. Paul would make the call with 5♠8♠ as Saraiva8 showed K♣J♥. Despite flopping top pair, Saraiva8 did not survive the river 6♥ 2♥ J♠ 4♣ 7♥ as Volpe collected the 1.3 million chip pot, staying alive for the $94K sitting up top.

Halfway through the ninth hour, only 11 players remained as K0VAK eliminated Poeira4 in 12th place and looked to better a sixth place finish in the Warm-Up last year. Three hands later Volpe helped his own drive for another title after knocking out shortstacked Vitaliy275 in 11th place ($3,753.75) bringing up hand-for-hand play.

15 minutes before the tenth hourly break FaZeHigh would try to pick off the blinds with a shove for 1.95 million from the small blind holding K♥7♠. But, jusc covered and had the goods A♥T♥ to make the call. A king would flop, but the turned nut straight 2♣ K♦ J♠ Q♣ 8♠ would send FaZeHigh away in tenth place starting up the final table below:


Seat 1: sinergio (670650 in chips)
Seat 2: Giffan (2028182 in chips)
Seat 3: icenigel (1981502 in chips)
Seat 4: K0VAK (4612693 in chips)
Seat 5: giabest (1666920 in chips)
Seat 6: vonchamier87 (2189171 in chips)
Seat 7: paulgees81 (1635500 in chips)
Seat 8: jusc (6705150 in chips)
Seat 9: BankOfNorway (8540232 in chips)


The final table would start out as haves and have nots as BankOfNorway and jusc both claimed sizable stacks, K0VAC holding nearly five million, while no one else held more than 2.2 million. On the second hand back from the tenth hourly break with the blinds at 100K/200K ante 20K icenigel would open shove for 1.24 million from the button as giabest was happy to call from the big blind with pocket kings K♥K♦. icenigel's J♠8♠ would turn a flush draw but could not connect A♣ 5♠ Q♦ A♠ 9♥ taking home $4,804.80 in ninth place.

New favorite hand for Volpe?

Overcoming dominating hands is usually necessary to outlast a field of over three thousand players. Volpe managed to channel his luck at the right time at the final table while eliminating two players on back-to-back hands. With the blinds still at 100K/200K ante 20K Paul would raise to 414,555 from UTG as singergio called in middle position for almost all of the Greek's chips as the rest of the table folded. After the K♦2♥4♣ flop Volpe set sinergio all-in for the remaining 37,345 chips while flipping up a pair of fours 4♥A♦. The four was enough to overcome sinergio's queen kicker Q♠A♥ as the J♣ turn and 9♠ river failed to help, earning sinergio $7,807.80 in eighth place.

On the next hand vonchamier87 would open shove for 929,171 from the small blind as Volpe made the call from the big blind hoping to work some magic with ace-four again 4♥A♠. He would need it against vonchamier87's seven kicker A♥7♦. The four did not flop, instead it waited for the turn K♥ 8♦ Q♥ 4♠ T♦ to eliminate vonchamier87 in seventh place ($13,813.80).

Second best

As the blinds moved up to 125K/250K ante 25K, shortstacked giabest would shove 1.38 million chips from the cutoff and Giffan took a look at A♣T♠ in the big blind. Sitting on only two million chips Giffan decided to take a shot and made the call flipping against giabest's pocket eights 8♠8♥. The outcome would wait until the clichéd ace on the river 7♣ K♣ 2♦ 4♣ A♠ as giabest took away $19,819.80 in sixth place.

Blown away

Just six hands later in the same blind level Giffan, fresh off taking out giabest, would sit on the hot seat this time. jusc min-raise from the cutoff as Giffan would shove 2.12 million from the small blind holding K♥8♥. jusc with over 10 million in chips had the ability to gamble and decided to do so with K♦J♣. The jack-kicker made the difference as the all-low 5♥ 3♦ 4♠ 3♣ 7♣ board ended Giffan's night in fifth place ($25,825.80).

Cashing out

Volpe's run towards adding a Sunday Warm-Up title to his list of accomplishments here at PokerStars will need to wait at least until next week. With the blinds up to 150K/300K ante 30K BankOfNorway's once mighty stack was shot down to 4.84 million but big enough to command attention after shoving from the button with J♣A♦. Volpe holding pocket eights 8♠8♦ and covering by 117,520 chips in the big blind decided to make the call. Unfortunately it did not work out for the WCOOP, SCOOP, and Sunday Million champ as a jack flopped K♥ 5♠ J♠ 2♣ 7♦ leaving him with under a small blind. Volpe would fight back but BankOfNorway would claim his remaining chips five hands later earning Volpe $34,534.50 in fourth place.


Paul "paulgees81" Volpe - 4th place ($34,534.50)

Just the two of us

As the blinds moved up to 200K/400K ante 40K jusc would min-raise from the button as K0VAK shoved from the big blind for a little over six million chips. Holding ace-ten T♣A♣ jusc would make the call and pleased after K0VAK turned up the dominated A♠8♠. Any chance of overturning the domination dissipated after a ten hit the flop A♦ 3♦ T♠ J♦ 8♥ ending K0VAK's tournament in third place ($49,861.81).

I'll just take it all

As the final two players took to the 11th hourly break Team Online's Roy Bhasin would step in to assist with their interest in a deal. Well, the interest was heavily weighed by BankOfNorway's 19 million to 10.9 million chip lead as the chip leader demanded a sizable amount of the remaining funds not knowing that $10K needed to be set aside for the winner.

After the busted chop talks jusc would take down a 7.7 million chip pot bringing the chip counts much closer as BankOfNorway's lead was trimmed to 15.1 million to 14.8 million. Four hands later with the blinds holding at 200K/400K ante 40K BankOfNorway would retain the chip lead and min-raise from the button as jusc three-bet to 1.8 million. BankOfNorway would shove as jusc had a decision to make with Q♣A♠. The lady was strong enough to make the call but not sturdy enough to overcome BankOfNorway's big slick K♠A♣ as the nine-high 5♦ 6♠ 3♠ 9♥ 8♣ board shipped the Sunday Warm-Up title and $94,294.85 to BankOfNorway!

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (10-12-14):

Entrants: 3,003
Places paid: 432
Prize pool: $600,600.00

1. BankOfNorway (Norway) $94,294.85
2. jusc (Lithuania) $70,270.20
3. K0VAK (Bulgaria) $49,861.81
4. Paul "paulgees81" Volpe (Canada) $34,534.50
5. Giffan (Denmark) $25,825.80
6. giabest (United Kingdom) $19,819.80
7. vonchamier87 (Germany) $13,813.80
8. sinergio (Greece) $7,807.80
9. icenigel (Czech Republic) $4,804.80

David Aydt is a freelance contributor

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up