Sunday Warm-Up: School is in session as hauptschule wins after four-way chop

As the PokerStars Christmas Festival rolls on, players are trying to get that one last big score before year end. Ten tables worth of players in the Sunday Warm-Up "mini" tournament got an extra present under their trees in the form of Sunday Warm-Up tickets worth a potential $79K (much like signing up for the low buy-in SCOOP tourney and getting a free ticket for the medium buy-in). Running by-side-by with the $425,000 guarantee, the mini tournament attracted 11,374 and was still running after a four-way deal gave danish7 the largest part of the chop ($64,016.40). But, hauptschule would teach the final four a lesson, winning $50,906.17 and title of Sunday Warm-Up champion.

It would take eight hours and fifteen minutes for the 2,518 starting population to shed 2,500 and reach the penultimate table. Kalashn1kovv (Slovenia) and ciaca21 (Romania) did not stay around long, collecting $1,863.32 respectively in 17th and 18th place before one turn of the blinds. Kalashn1kovv had a pair of big final tables this year including taking the chip lead into WCOOP 2015's Event #15 but missing out on the bracelet as the runner-up earning $40K.

The next 15 minutes seemed like a blink-and-you-would-miss-it moment as only 12 players remained after sammmme393's (Norway) pocket sevens ran into the pocket tens of lena2604 to earn $2,568.36 in 13th place.

Meanwhile on the adjacent table, current chipleader danish7 would pad the lead after value betting a turned nut straight for max value and eliminating jurzak in 12th place ($3,273.40). Danish7 will be looking to surpass a runner-up finish at the TCOOP 2014 Main Event collecting $245K in the process.

After arvydas (Lithuania) left in 11th place ($3,273.40) hand-for-hand usually meant one more player would leave before announcing the final nine. Make that the final eight, as both tables would have all-ins. First, lena2604 would get moved to the left of danish7 going all-in with pocket fives 5♣5♥ and getting a call by Raistj holding 7♣A♥ in the big blind. A seven on the flop Q♣ 9♣ 7♦ Q♥ 4♣ would sink lena2604 in tenth place due to having less chips than the other all-in at Table 169.

No spotlights for JulioSchmutz either as pocket nines 9♠9♦ failed to outrun the big slick of Nemekiss A♠K♠ on the 5♠ 8♠ Q♣ K♦ 7♥ board. The lost flip meant JulioSchmutz earned $4,280.60 in ninth place, and this final table would start with only eight.


Seat 1: b.j.1898 (1801527 in chips)
Seat 2: Racus (528794 in chips)
Seat 3: Nelis020 (3046567 in chips)
Seat 4: danish7 (6974275 in chips)
Seat 5: hauptschule (1941109 in chips)
Seat 6: timba27 (979710 in chips)
Seat 8: Raistj (4896151 in chips)
Seat 9: Nemekiss (5011867 in chips)

While the final table would start with eight, it would take two hands to make it seven. With the blinds at 40K/80K ante 8K Racus' stack of 432,794 needed to make a move and did after open shoving from the small blind with A♥8♣. Nelis020 had enough to gamble with making the call Q♦5♦ and watching a flush materialize on the river A♦ 6♠ 9♠ 6♦ 4♦ thus sending $7,302.20 to Racus in eighth place.

Twenty minutes later timba27 was trying construct a larger castle of chips after starting the final table last in the chip count. With the blinds moving up to 50K/100K ante 10K timba27 would shove just under a million over a raise by danish7. Nemekiss however stepped in from the big blind and three bet to 1.66 million. Danish7 got out of the way as timba27 showed A♣T♦. A little luck was needed facing Nemekiss' kings K♦K♣ but only a ten would appear on the 8♦ Q♣ 6♣ T♣ Q♦ board. Timba27 earned seventh place and $12,338.20.

A half hour later as the blinds hiked upwards to 80K/160K ante 16K, Raistj was fresh off losing an all-in trying to eliminate b.j.1898 but ended up holding just 231K in chips. Those scraps sat in the middle as the two big stacks, danish7 and Nemekiss, decided to gang up on the shortstack. After they both checked the flop a second nine on the turn 6♦ 9♦ J♥ 9♠ woke up danish7. A min-bet was enough to excuse Nemekiss as danish7 turned up the trip nines Q♦9♣. Raistj's 3♥K♠ was drawing dead and getting ready to collect $17,374.20 in sixth place.


Shortly after the tenth hourly break a big hand between Nelis020 and b.j.1898 would leave four players left and a call for the PokerStars admins to jump in for chop talks. Nelis020 shoved for three million holding pocket eights 8♣8♥ as b.j.1898 called for 2.2 million with big slick A♥K♦. An eight on the flop and paired board by the turn 2♥ 8♠ 3♥ 3♦ J♣ would leave b.j.1898 out of the chop discussion in fifth place ($22,410.20).

Last time b.j.1898 was at the Sunday Warm-Up final table?

Last year with danish7.

Small world.

As b.j.1898 took ninth then and danish7 claimed $70K in third place.

Nemekiss spoke up as the negotiator as danish7's stack nearly equaled the combined stack of the remaining three. Danish7 held the power of the big stack and the other know it as the negotiations stretched for bit as the other three players scrambled to meet the chip leader's demand for a little extra.

danish7: $64,016.40
Nelis020: $50,000.00
Nemekiss: $46,675.33
hauptschule: $42,906.17

The players would battle on for the remaining $8K and maybe redemption for danish7 after coming so close to a Sunday Warm-Up title last year.

After the happiness of the successful chop discussions it was back to business.

Hauptschule managed to double up off Nemekiss leaving the later with just 1.5 million chips and blinds at 100K/200K ante 20K. Anxious to get those lost funds back, Nemekiss would shove over a raise by danish7. The chip leader still wielding a massive stack made the call with 9♠8♠. Nemekiss' 5♥A♠ would get knocked off by a flopped nine Q♣ 9♣ 4♣ T♠ 7♠ taking away the chopped $46,675.33 in fourth place.

As it happened the last time danish7 was in this position, things just did not go right for the chip leader after knocking out Nemekiss. Both Nelis020 and hauptschule would take chunks of chips away from danish7's stack until the three were nearly even. Then shortly after the blinds moved up to 125K/250K ante 25K, danish7 and Nelis020 would have a 15.1 million chip showdown. All-in preflop danish7 revealed J♣A♣ staring up at Nelis020's queens Q♥Q♠. A jack on the river 6♦ 9♥ T♣ 5♠ J♥ was not enough, as danish7 once again settled for third place ($64,016.40).

Danish7 and b.j.1898 were not the only ones seeking the elusive Sunday Warm-Up title. Nelis020 was here last year as well taking seventh place and $15K. This time Nelis020 would take a 16 million to 9.1 million chip lead into heads-up play.

After the five minute break with Nelis020 adding a bit to the lead, we would quickly have a new Sunday Warm-Up champion.

But it's not who you think.

Three hands after the five minute interlude, hauptschule would shove on the river with the board showing 4♥ 2♣ 8♠ 2♦ 9♣. Having rivered top pair T♠9♠ Nelis020 made the call but hauptschule turned over pocket kings K♦K♠ to claim the 16.5 million chip pot and the lead.

Eight hands later with hauptschule up 16.2 million to 8.9 million both got their chips in the middle with an ace. Nelis020's 3♠A♠ looked dead in the water after a queen flopped Q♥J♦9♠ for hauptschule's Q♣A♣. A spade on the turn J♠ would provide a sweat. But, the 5♥ river shipped the $8K for a total of $50,906.17 to this week's Sunday Warm-Up champion hauptschule!

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (12-20-15)

Entrants: 2,518
Prize pool: $503,600.00
Places paid: 360

1. hauptschule (Germany) *$50,906.17
2. Nelis020 (Netherlands) *$50,000.00
3. danish7 (India) *$64,016.40
4. Nemekiss (Vietnam) *$46,675.33
5. b.j.1898 (Switzerland) $22,410.20
6. Raistj (Israel) $17,374.20
7. timba27 (United Kingdom) $12,338.20
8. Racus (Netherlands) $7,302.20
9. JulioSchmutz (Switzerland) $4,280.60
* = denotes a four-way deal

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David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up