Sunday Warm-Up: Vlad "dariepoker" Darie notches $71K victory

While attending the recently concluded PCA is on my bucket list, this added perk to the PokerStars VIP Store tops it all. As Brad Willis mentioned a few days ago tickets to the Grand Slam tennis tournament are now available with StarsCoin. A ways off Wimbledon's Centre Court, the ending to the $425K Sunday Warm-Up proved to be similar to a five-set finale. Beginning at the top of the tenth hour of play the heads-up match between Ben "bennybunny18" Richardson and Vlad "dariepoker" Darie looked like it would quickly end in straight sets. Instead Richardson would match the pressure of Darie's towering stack, as the two made a deal 40 minutes into their battle.

But after the 11th hourly break Darie would smash Richardson's comeback attempt, taking away $71,406.54 as this week's champ. Read on below to see how Darie became king of the Sunday Warm-Up court.

After eight and half hours of play zzwwzzwwzz would stand close to top of the chip counts with two full tables of nine remaining. With a final table in this year's TCOOP and a runner-up finish in SCOOP 2015's Event #25-H, zzwwzzwwzz may finally clear the business of nailing down a Major win.

Grinder1992's demise in 13th place would leave 12 players taking the five minute break at the nine minute mark as 1_conor_b_1 assumed a sizable chip lead on the field. Holding 8.3 million chips and blinds at 40K/80K ante 8K 1_conor_b_1's stack was over double of second place's dariepoker and the best chance of taking away the $76K up top. Like zzwwzzwwzz, 1_conor_b_1's was also a SCOOP runner-up in 2015, nearly claiming the Event 18-M tournament.

Shortly after the break, back-to-back knockouts of hownorez (Czech Republic) and AlmostSure (Russia), in 11th and 12th place respectively, would bring hand-for-hand play.

Ten minutes after the hour with the blinds moving up to 50K/100K ante 10K shortstacked deagledan took a shot with king-queen K♥Q♥ trying to out-flip the pocket fives 5♥5♠ of majkl1812. Zero hearts and wrong kind of paint on the 3♣ 8♥ 6♠ 9♣ J♣ board to start up the final table below:

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Seat 1: bennybunny18 (3297489 in chips)
Seat 2: majkl1812 (1473658 in chips)
Seat 3: masterc50 (780862 in chips)
Seat 4: 1_conor_b_1 (7670635 in chips)
Seat 5: tig wired (1495423 in chips)
Seat 6: Mogelwette (1612363 in chips)
Seat 7: Goudvis_90 (1078825 in chips)
Seat 8: dariepoker (3293432 in chips)
Seat 9: zzwwzzwwzz (3467313 in chips)


It would take ten minutes but another back-to-back knockout by dariepoker would leave only seven left. First, with the blinds moving up to 65K/130K ante 13K Goudvis_90, who made a Sunday Million final table last year earning $24K in seventh, would shove 626K from the small blind as dariepoker called with 9♦A♦. Goudvis_90's 9♣8♠ nailed the flop, but dariepoker's turned flush 8♦ 6♦ 8♥ 7♦ J♣ sent Goudvis_90 away in ninth place ($4,108.90).

On the next hand 1_conor_b_1 would lead out for a small raise as tig wired shoved for 2.77 million. Dariepoker was not going anywhere and re-shoved for 4.1 million holding aces A♣A♦. Bad news for tig wired's Q♥K♦ as the long shot picked up out on the flop and more on the turn 3♠ 9♦ J♠ Q♣ 2♥, but could not complete on the river earning $7,009.30 in eighth place.

Four minutes later with the blinds holding and dariepoker assuming the top of the chip count, 1_conor_b_1 went looking to grab that lead back. Majkl1812 would shove all-in for 526,235 as 1_conor_b_1 re-shoved for 6.2 million. The shortstack had kicker problems turning up 2♣A♠ to 1_conor_b_1's A♣7♣. Those kicker problems did not go away Q♠ T♦ 3♥ 7♦ 8♠ as majkl1812 took away $11,843.30 in seventh place.

Vlad "dariepoker" Darie already has a Super Tuesday victory for $120K and a runner-up finishing at the 2015 WCOOP Event #60 earning $178K and up to this point at the final table nothing looked it would stop him from adding a Sunday Warm-Up win. With the blinds up to 80K/160K ante 16K Darie would min-raise from early position as a depleted zzwwzzwwzz shoved for 1.3 million. Vlad made the call with a mid-ace 8♦A♣ to trump the little ace A♠3♠ held by zzwwzzwwzz. The 5♦ T♠ 9♣ 7♣ 9♦ board was no help to either player as zzwwzzwwzz was out in sixth place ($16,677.30).

The leaders would take a little break as later in the same blind level bennybunny18, who earned $22K in sixth place on the last trip to this final table in 2014, would shove 3.1 million from the small blind. Masterc50 found J♠A♥ and called all-in for 1.88 million. Bennybunny18's pocket sevens 7♠7♦ would safely reach the river 6♥ T♥ 2♥ K♣ T♦ shipping $21,511.30 to masterc50 in fifth place.

A few minutes before the tenth hourly break with the blinds up to 100K/200K ante 20K Mogelwette, coming off a runner-up finish in the $109 Sunday Rebuy last month, was looking for double a shortstack off Vlad's mountain of chips. Darie however was not in a giving mood calling the shove from the big blind with A♥7♥. Mogelwette's 6♣9♣ failed to catch anything on the A♠ T♣ 4♠ 7♠ A♦ board, taking home $28,278.90 in fourth place.

The break did not slow things down as 1_conor_b_1 came out firing by shoving 1.74 million over a min-raise by bennybunny18. A♦T♦ at this point was more than enough to warrant a call but 1_conor_b_1 turned up queens Q♥Q♣ hoping for the much needed double-up. Queens were good on the flop, but not the turn 3♣ 8♥ 4♠ A♣ K♣ as 1_conor_b_1 earned $41,089.00 in third place.

After over ten hours of play it would be Ben "bennybunny18" Richardson vs. Vlad "dariepoker" Darie for this week's title. Both have experience playing high stakes in Super Tuesday but Darie is taking a sizable advantage (17 million to 7.1 million) into heads-up play.

Give credit for the grit of Richardson after falling behind 22.3 million to 1.8 million after five minutes of play, as the shortstack managed to stay alive from the that horrible start and continue play half past the hour.

That grit turned into cash for Richardson as 40 minutes into heads-up play Vlad conceded into making the deal below after Richardson nearly overtook the lead:

dariepoker: $63,406.54
bennybunny18: $62,336.17

After the deal was made Richardson would take over the lead and retain that lead going into the 11th hour of play (13.7 million to 10.4 million) and blinds at 200K/400K ante 40K.

Despite Richardson's comeback run during the first hour of heads-up play, two big hands for Vlad would make the difference.

First, with the blinds moving up to 250K/500K ante 50K and the board showing 6♦ 4♠ 3♠ 3♦ Richardson would lead out for 2.52 million as Vlad shoved for 7.3 million. Unable to answer, Ben made the fold thus conceding the 11.6 million chip pot (and chip lead) to Darie.

Six hands later Vlad would complete the button as Richardson shoved for 6.7 million holding Q♦J♣. Darie's 7♦A♦ made the call and a flopped flush 2♦ T♦ K♦ 8♦ 9♥ put this match away as Vlad "dariepoker" Darie took away $71,406.54 as this week's Sunday Warm-Up champion!


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Vlad "dariepoker" Darie


PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up Results (02-21-16)

Entrants: 2,417
Prize pool: $483,400.00
Places paid: 360

1. Vlad "dariepoker" Darie (Romania) $71,406.54*
2. Ben "bennybunny18" Richardson (Australia) $62,336.17*
3. 1_conor_b_1 (Netherlands) $41,089.00
4. Mogelwette (Germany) $28,278.90
5. masterc50 (Poland) $21,511.30
6. zzwwzzwwzz (China) $16,677.30
7. majkl1812 (Czech Republic) $11,843.30
8. tig wired (Canada) $7,009.30
9. Goudvis_90 (Netherlands) $4,108.90
* = denotes a two-way deal


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David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up