Sunday Warm-Up: Belgium rules the day, donalddrik claims win and $79K

As the November Nine starts play at the end of this week a familiar face will be vying for that World Series of Poker Main Event title. Pierre Neuville, former Team PokerStars Pro from Belgium, will start fourth in chips. Perhaps his run to a possible bracelet spurred Belgium's run at the Sunday Warm-Up final table. Three Belgians would made it through the field to reach the spotlights. A.Tricarico would finish in eighth place but donalddrik and Ashley Jones would battle heads-up for the title. After a quick match, donalddrik proved victorious winning $79,790.00.

From the seventh hour to the eighth hour of play !Weak4Ever! was showing at the top of the chip counts with three full tables remaining. A brutal turn of events would leave !Weak4Ever! out in 19th place. The quick action would continue as mxny (Russia), q3timmy (Sweden), and Back2rich642 (China) bounced in 16th through 18th place all earning $1,868.50 before the half-way mark of the eighth hour.

SoilyMcDiapR would lose with kings versus joaoMathias' ace-deuce, and then suffered another blowout with ace-nine versus beigale777's ace-eight. After a flopped eight, SoilyMcDiapR waddled home with $2,575.50 in 13th place.

The name joaoMathias should sound familiar if you follow the PokerStarsBlog for all its -COOP and Super Tuesday coverage. Most recently João Mathias "joaoMathias" Baumgarten made the final table of the Super Tuesday in January earning $9K in ninth place and earned $7K during SCOOP's Event #34-M finishing in fifth place. Baumgarten would start off the ninth hour of play with slightly below average chips and only 12 players away from $79,790.00.

Two eliminations in the first three hands back from the ninth hourly break set up hand-for-hand play. Baumgarten would get another shot at a Major title after Hoegh93 shoved pocket treys 3♣3♦ on the button right into beigale777's aces A♣A♠ in the big blind. After a clean K♣ 2♣ 2♠ 8♠ J♣ board, our final nine started play below:

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Seat 1: beigale777 (2634276 in chips)
Seat 2: Ashley Jones (4710408 in chips)
Seat 3: john4kos8 (6119026 in chips)
Seat 4: medmar (3318547 in chips)
Seat 5: joaoMathias (1678922 in chips)
Seat 6: bRe3za (1773422 in chips)
Seat 7: A.Tricarico (1830665 in chips)
Seat 8: donalddrik (1886580 in chips)
Seat 9: Herzblatt250 (1298154 in chips)

One of these days Baumgarten's luck in Major final tables will turn around. But, this was not that day.

With the blinds at 50K/100K ante 10K and about to move up joaoMathias would three-bet shove 1.25 million over a min-raise by Ashley Jones and call by medmar. Ashley Jones folded but medmar covered and called with A♥K♠. Baumgarten's queens Q♦Q♥ failed to make it past the flop A♦ 9♥ 5♣ K♥ 2♠ finishing without the winner's share again in ninth place ($4,292.50).

Six hands later with the blinds now up to 65K/130K ante 13K Ashley Jones was back but not folding this time, shoving pocket kings K♣K♦ over the top of an early position push by A.Tricarico. The Belgian was trying to better a seventh place finish here in 2013 but a bit behind holding A♦T♥. The lack of aces on the 4♠ 5♦ 9♠ J♠ J♦ board shipped $7,322.50 to A.Tricarico in eighth place.

15 minutes later with the blinds moving up again to 80K/160K ante 16K beigale777 laid out a min-raise as john4kos8 shoved for 4.97 million from the big blind holding big slick A♣K♦. Beigale777 eagerly called for less with queens Q♥Q♣ but once again ace-king would defeat the ladies J♥ 9♥ A♠ 2♥ 3♠ as beigale777 earned $12,372.50 in seventh place.

Despite minor pecks at discussing a deal towards the end of the ninth hour of play, nothing would materialize six-handed. And that would leave two players with a lot less money after this hand. With the blinds escalating to 100K/200K ante 20K a three-way preflop all-in broke out between bRe3za, Herzblatt250, and john4kos8 who covered all holding pocket tens T♠T♥. Neither Herzblatt250's sixes 6♦6♥ nor bRe3za's 9♣A♣ could catch the tens on the 5♠ 7♣ 3♠ Q♥ Q♣ board as bRe3za collected $17,422.50 for sixth and Herzblatt250 $22,472.50 in fifth place.

Donalddrik tried again during the five minute break to stir up dialogue but was met with a wall of silence sitting third in chips and heading into the tenth hour of play:

Seat 3: john4kos8 (9465822 in chips)
Seat 2: Ashley Jones (7821273 in chips)
Seat 8: donalddrik (4845240 in chips)
Seat 4: medmar (3117665 in chips)

Another double elimination would get us to heads-up play.

Just five minutes back from the break with the blinds holding at 100K/200K ante 20K and Ashley Jones now holding the chip lead, john4kos8 would shove 2.9 million over Ashley Jones' min-raise and medmar joined the party with a shove for 2.7 million. Starting the hand with 12.8 million, Ashley Jones made the call with kings K♠K♦ facing john4kos8's A♣6♣ and medmar's unlucky jacks J♥J♦. A flopped set of kings 3♣ A♠ K♥ 3♠ 2♦ pushed medmar out in fourth place ($29,542.50) and john4kos8 in third ($42,925.00).


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Despite starting with a 18.8 million to 6.3 chip deficit, donalddrik would even the score within eight minutes prompting Ashley Jones to cry uncle to donalddrik's request for a chop talk audience and pause play to discuss... in Belgian. This author only understood "let's play" after a few minutes from donalddrik as Ashley Jones asked for a little too much as the cards rolled out to the felt again.

After the final two swapped the chip lead a few times donalddrik would finally pull away after winning seven hand in a row. With the blinds up to 150K/300K ante 30K donalddrik held a 21.9 million to 3.3 million chip lead and min-raised from the button. Ashley Jones shoved holding T♠K♦ as donalddrik made the call with J♣9♣. Ashley's Jones' top pair came with a flush warning K♣2♣2♥. The flush missed the turn 9♥ but not the river 6♣ as donalddrik claimed this week's Sunday Warm-Up title and $79,790.00!


PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (11-01-15)

Entrants: 2,525
Places paid: 360
Prize pool: $505,000.00

1. donalddrik (Belgium) $79,790.00
2. Ashley Jones (Belgium) $59,928.35
3. john4kos8 (Cyprus) $42,925.00
4. medmar (Argentina) $29,542.50
5. Herzblatt250 (Germany) $22,472.50
6. bRe3za (Germany) $17,422.50
7. beigale777 (Japan) $12,372.50
8. A.Tricarico (Belgium) $7,322.50
9. João Mathias "joaoMathias" Baumgarten (Brazil) $4,292.50


Even if you are not from Belgium, there's still a chance to become a Sunday Major champion Click here to get an account.

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up