Sunday Warm-Up: Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen saves the best for last winning $89K after two-way chop
It doesn't matter if Chris Hunichen is playing live or online. If there is a table in front of him--felt or digital felt--he can find a way to win. He's barely a few weeks removed from pocketing $53,159 at the LAPT's Season 7 Panama stop. That's where he finished runner-up in the $5K High Roller.
Tonight, the man known as "Big Huni" was looking to the seal the deal tonight. After getting heads-up with Phemo, the two would make one of the quickest deals this author has seen to split the remaining prize funds evenly at $79,995.36. It left $10,000 out there for the winner. Eight minutes later Hunichen would finish it off, earning a total of $89,995.36.
Some 15 players would get to enjoy the fact that $97,403.92 was a mere table away after battling this evening for nine hours. Among those was the temporary chip leader, joaoMathias, who has hit up a couple of WCOOP final tables before but would be looking for a first Sunday Major victory.
Super Tuesday winner Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen also found himself with an above average stack valued at over five million with the blinds up to 50K/100K ante 10K. Talonaquiles made the final table of this tournament back in June of last year earning $25K in fifth place for the effort, but fell just short of a return trip in 14th place ($2,884.86).
Aleh 'cooltwister' Plauski, a Main Event final tablist during the EPT Season Nine Prague stop, would almost claim another big final table. The rally fell short when Hunichen's J♣A♣ clipped his big slick A♠K♥ all-in preflop after flopping a jack J♠ 2♦ Q♥ A♦ 9♣ to rake in the 3.5 million chip pot, sending Plauski to the rail in 12th place ($3,815.46).
JoaoMathias went from feeling ecstatic to feeling agony in a matter of three seconds. With the blinds at 65K/130K ante 13K a three-way all-in broke out between Phemo, joaoMathias, and hownorez with hownorez covering all bets. JoaoMathias' pocket kings K♦K♠ looked like a sure winner over hownorez's pocket queens Q♥Q♦ and Phemo's K♥Q♣. After the 9♦4♠4♥ flop it looked to be even more in joaoMathias' favor. However, the runner-runner J♠ T♣ straight would ship the entire 7.6 million chip pot to Phemo leaving joaoMathias to settle for $3,815.46 in 11th place.
On the next hand T 54 T 97s would miss a flush draw, and the final table, leaving in tenth place.
Seat 1: Big Huni (5,619,210 in chips)
Seat 2: bellos2828 (1,366,666 in chips)
Seat 3: hguo (1,278,527 in chips)
Seat 4: marbog12345 (2,748,235 in chips)
Seat 5: Hierlson85 (4,216,218 in chips)
Seat 6: hownorez (841,707 in chips)
Seat 7: Phemo (7,477,563 in chips)
Seat 8: CkiLePatr0n? (3,459,997 in chips)
Seat 9: Kennethmedh (4,011,877 in chips)
Hownorez would quickly recover from that nasty three-way that vaulted Phemo into the chip lead, and Phemo would spend the next hour building upon that lead. With the blinds up to 80K/160K, ante 16K, and fresh off taking a 3.4 million chip pot from hguo, Phemo three-bet shoved 11.6 million over a raise from bellos2828. Bellos2828 holding only 5,666 more chips, would make the call all-in holding 9♠K♦. The king-high was slightly better than Phemo's T♣J♦ but a jack in the door J♥ A♥ 2♠ 7♠ 7♥ changed all that, sending $4,963.20 to bellos2828 in ninth place.
Phemo would continue to tear into the final table four hands later finishing off hguo in eighth place ($7,755.00).
Hownorez maintained the comeback story on the next hand by winning a 3.6 million preflop flip against CkiLePatr0n? who took away $13,959.00 in seventh place.
Marbog12345's shortstack adventures would end with who else... Phemo as the chip leader claimed marbog12345's 738,838 chips after the shortstack's straight draw came up short against Phemo's ace-high to win $20,163.00 in sixth place. This was not marbog12345's first final table shot at a Sunday Major after winning $78K in fourth place last year in the Sunday Million.
Phemo Phemo Phemo
The wrecking ball in this final table had a cute mushroom avatar, but there's nothing soft about the way Phemo has been taking down the final table to this point. With the blinds moving up to 125K/250K, ante 25K, hownorez would put Phemo to the test after shoving 5.24 million from the small blind. Holding pocket fives 5♣5♥ in the big blind, Phemo made the call as hownorez turned over the dominated deuces 2♠2♥. The chance of a split on the river did not come on the board of 9♦ K♠ K♦ K♣ 3♥ and Phemo took away the 10.6 million chip pot, hownorez earning $26,559.32 in fifth place.
On the next hand Chris Hunichen wanted to let everyone know that Phemo was not the only player at the table. Hunichen would make a big call in the big blind turning over pocket 4♠4♣ fours against Kennethmedh's pocket treys 3♥3♠. 10.5 million chips in the middle as the bigger pocket pair would hold up again A♠ 5♦ 2♠ J♦ K♦ sending $35,673.00 to Kennethmedh in fourth place.
Big time for Big Huni
Just two hands later "Big Huni" Hunichen would be heads-up for the title. With the blinds holding at 125K/250K, ante 25K, Hierlson85 shoved a shortstack of 2.81 million from the button as Hunichen made the call in the big blind holding 3♠A♦. Hierson85's J♣T♠ would flop a pair of tens, but Hunichen found an ace on the turn T♦ 4♣ 9♠ A♠ 8♣ as Hierlson85 took away $51,493.20 in third place.
The pair would immediately go into dealing mode, dividing up $79,995.36 a piece while leaving $10,000.00 on the table for the winner.
Eight minutes is all it took as Hunichen's grasp on the chip lead grew and Phemo's monster run came to an end. With the blinds moving up to 150K/300K, ante 30K, Hunichen's lead expanded to 22.2 million over Phemo's 8.7 million.
Phemo would min-raise from the button as Hunichen three-bet to 1.78 million. Holding A♦6♣ Phemo shoved all-in as "Big Huni" made the call with pocket sevens 7♠7♦. The sevens would hold on the 5♣ 8♠ T♠ Q♦ 8♦ board shipping the extra $10K and this week's Sunday Warm-Up title to Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen!
PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (11-23-14):
Places Paid: 450
Prize Pool: $620,400.00
(* denotes part of two-way deal)
1. Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen (Costa Rica) *$89,995.36
2. Phemo (Germany) *$79,995.36
3. Hierlson85 (Germany) $51,493.20
4. Kennethmedh (Sweden) $35,673.00
5. hownorez (Czech Republic) $26,559.32
6. marbog12345 (Sweden) $20,163.00
7. CkiLePatr0n? (United Kingdom) $13,959.00
8. hguo (Germany) $7,755.00
9. bellos2828 (Greece) $4,963.20
David Aydt is a freelance contributor