Sunday Warm-Up: RichieA7s outduels Nick "FU_15" Maimone for win after three-way chop

Despite the successful start of the Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP), the usual Sunday Majors roared on tonight. The Sunday Million drew nearly 7,500 players while tonight's $500,000 Sunday Warm-Up welcomed 3,552 runners to its tables. The higher stakes players perhaps needed a break from the two and five minute blind levels and settle in for a longer night of entertainment that may end with a six-figure prize after 11 hours. Nick "FU_15" Maimone looked ripe for a Sunday Major title tonight after getting the largest share of the three-way chop ($95,529.95). But it was WCOOP champ RichieA7s taking down the Sunday Warm-Up this week for $86,263.68.

After nine hours of play (which would have fit the entirety of TCOOP Event #15 four and half times) there were 15 players standing tall still looking for the $110,905.97 sitting up top. Among those left was high stakes and Super Tuesday regular Nick "FU_15" Maimone who caught his last big final table during the Super Tuesday in November. At the top of the chip count going into the break was another Super Tuesday regular. elmelogno4 was at the final table of the Super Tuesday just two weeks ago claiming $41K for a fourth place finish sitting nicely on top tonight with 6.6 million chips and the blinds at 40K/80K ante 8K.

Does everyone left play the Super Tuesday? Despite being knocked out in 12th place, mendezoo claimed a six-figure Super Tuesday win back in October 2012. Tonight however the 12th place finish ($4,238.40) would help pay for the next $1,050 buy-in Super Tuesday and maybe a few TCOOP tourneys this week.

After sumimasen (no known Super Tuesday final tables) left in 11th place ($4,238.40) a lengthy hand-for-hand play period broke out. With the blinds up to 65K/130K ante 13K skyboy69 would shove 1.61 million from the button as danish7 made the call holding pocket eights 8♦8♠ in the big blind. Two spades hit skyboy69's 5♠K♠ and a flopped set gave a sweat for both players but the turned ten T♠ 3♠ 8♥ T♣ 5♣ would close out the tournament for skyboy69 and open up the final table below:


Seat 1: elmelogno4 (7696744 in chips)
Seat 2: cold_smile (5456860 in chips)
Seat 3: Nick "FU_15" Maimone (2279912 in chips)
Seat 4: danish7 (4366454 in chips)
Seat 5: TranquilMind (2566744 in chips)
Seat 6: RichieA7s (6864153 in chips)
Seat 7: vlaviusz (3339113 in chips)
Seat 8: b.j.1898 (1188940 in chips)
Seat 9: mentor1904 (1561080 in chips)

elmelogno gets going

Despite losing the chip lead to RichieA7s, elmelogno4 would find a firm footing later in the 80K/160K ante 16K blind level to recoup some of those lost chips. Shortstacked b.j.1898 would open shove from middle position for 1.47 million as elmelogno4 called from the cutoff holding J♠A♦. b.j.1898's pocket fours 4♦4♥ did not look too hot after the flop, and by the turn 9♦ Q♦ T♥ K♠ J♦ the fours were sunk as b.j.1898 collected $5,651.20 in ninth place.

Put to rest

As the blinds moved up to 100K/200K ante 20K Nick "FU_15" Maimone would lay out a min-raise from the button as TranquilMind (yet another Super Tuesday regular, nearly hitting a final table in May) calmly shoved for 2.36 million from the big blind. Back to Maimone making the call with big slick K♣A♥. The dominated K♠Q♠ held by TranquilMind almost found some reprieve with the turned flush draw and straight draw, but a blank on the river 5♠ 9♣ 5♣ J♠ 7♣ sent TranquilMind to the rail in eight place ($8,830.00)

An icy exit

With the blinds holding at 100K/200K ante 20K vlaviusz would open shove for 1.89 million chips as it folded to cold_smile who shoved from the button for 2.76 million with big slick A♠K♣. vlaviusz holding a dominated A♣T♦ would miss the 9♣ 3♣ Q♥ J♥ A♥ board giving cold_smile the 4.2 million chip pot. For ten hours of work, vlaviusz earned $15,894.00 in seventh place.

Need a new mentor

Eight hands later as the blinds moved up to 125K/250K ante 25K mentor1904, who nursed a shortstack from the start, would be all-in from the big blind after calling the min-raise from elmelogno4. elmelogno4's smallish ace 6♥A♦ was enough as mentor1904's 3♠5♥ would turn an open-ended straight draw K♣ 4♥ 9♠ 6♠ T♦ that missed on the river to earn $22,958.00 in sixth place.

Playing for the win

elmelogno4 and Maimone had been aggressive throughout the final table and in this hand shown below one of them would be collecting a sizable 8.5 million pot, while the other got fifth place cash:

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elmelogno4's J♥K♦ could not find any traction against Nick's A♥Q♣ on the seven heavy 7♠ 7♦ 7♣ 2♥ 8♥ board earning $30,022.00 in fifth place.

The players would pause for a chop discussion but Maimone was not the only one with large success in major tournaments at PokerStars as RichieA7s earned a WCOOP bracelet (Event #55) in September. After a few words across the chatbox, play continued on with blinds at 125K/250K ante 25K.

Bully gets got

After the ten minute chat about chops went sour, four handed play would roll on for more than 20 minutes as Maimone disassembled cold_smile's stack. Holding the chip lead during the previous chop talks, cold_smile tried three times unsuccessfully to bully Nick in the blinds. First, Maimone doubled up with king-nine versus cold_smile's king-five, then four hands later with the blinds up to 200K/400K ante 40K cold_smile would open shove from the small blind again, this time with K♠9♥ as Nick made the call again holding pocket sevens 7♠7♣. A seven on the flop 4♠ A♦ 7♦ J♥ 6♣ would send 13.9 million chips to Maimone and drop cold_smile to 8.1 million.

Another four hands later and same action on the table, this time cold_smile showed pocket tens T♦T♥ and Maimone holding pocket queens Q♣Q♠. A clean K♠ 9♥ 3♦ J♣ K♦ board cleaned out cold_smile in fourth place ($40,618.00).

The second string of chop talks went much better, likely due to Maimone's sizable chip lead holding 22 million to RichieA7s' 7.6 million and danish7's five million. Regardless, the players got the funds they wanted leaving $10K on the table for tonight's champ:

FU_15: $95,529.95
RichieA7s: $76,263.68
danish7: $70,039.14

Danish gets eaten

Six hands after the deal, danish7 would push the shortest stack of 4.5 million from the button holding 2♣A♥. Folded over to Maimone in the big blind also holding an ace 7♣A♣ and plenty of chips to make the call. A seven plus two clubs on the flop 7♥ T♣ 5♣ Q♦ 4♠ all but closed the hand out as the turned queen made it official. danish7's chop deal earned $12K more than third place money ($70,039.14).

Can the WCOOP champ add a Sunday Major?

Despite Maimone starting with 27.3 million to 7.9 million chip lead going into the heads-up play, the answer is... yes.

RichieA7s would earn the first double up after five hands after both players shoved preflop with aces. Maimone's 5♠A♥ could not catch up to RichieA7s 7♠A♣ on the 7♣ 2♠ 6♥ 4♦ 6♣ board as the 13 million chip pot slid to the WCOOP champ. Maimone would grind RichieA7s down to seven million again and again RichieA7s found another double up.

Then five hands later with the blinds still at 200K/400K ante 20K the big flip happened. After a min-raise from Nick, three-bet to 2.1 million by RichieA7s, Maimone would shove from the button holding pocket fours 4♠4♥ and RichieA7s made the call with big slick K♥A♥. Three broadway cards later 6♠ 8♦ J♣ T♠ Q♥ RichieA7s would take down the 29.6 million chip pot.

On the next hand Maimone tried shoving again, this time with K♥6♥ but RichieA7s was waiting with pocket tens T♦T♠ and quickly made the call. Despite a few extra outs on the flop 5♣ 4♣ 8♠ 2♠ Q♠ RichieA7s would earn this week's Sunday Warm-Up title and $86,263.68!

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (01-26-14):

Players entered: 3,532
Places paid: 540
Prizepool: $706,400.00

(* denotes part of three-way deal)

1. RichieA7s (Lithuania) *$86,263.68
2. Nick "FU_15" Maimone (Honduras) *$95,529.95
3. danish7 (India) *$70,039.14
4. cold_smile (Germany) $40,618.00
5. elmelogno4 (Uruguay) $30,022.00
6. mentor1904 (Austria) $22,958.00
7. vlaviusz (Romania) $15,894.00
8. TranquilMind (Poland) $8,830.00
9. b.j.1898 (Switzerland) $5,651.20

David Aydt is a freelance contributor

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up