Sunday Warm-Up: Riffa Kriffa rips through field for $73K victory

With the Turbo Championship of Online Poker finished and the Spring Championship of Online Poker waiting behind some blocks of ice and snow there is still the Sunday Majors to keep everyone warm. The $425K guarantee Sunday Warm-Up brought 2,322 players into the mix all hoping to taking away a Sunday Major title. After over 10 hours of play Riffa Kriffa would outlast a pair of Brazilians at the final table to take home first place and $73,375.28.

Read on below for Riffa Kriffa's run at the Sunday Warm-Up title.

A fast moving tournament for the Sunday Warm-Up as it reached the final two tables after eight hours of play.

João Mathias "joaoMathias" Baumgarten would find myself in the mix for yet another Major final table. Baumgarten was at the final table here back in November placing ninth along a long list of -COOP final tables. He will be looking to use all that late-game experience and try to turn it into $73,375.28.

Seven minutes before the end of the eighth hour of play, vicenfish, the 2014 WCOOP Event #23 champ that took away $637K, would expire in 11th place, opening up hand-for-hand play.

Angobet would start the ninth hour of play with the chip lead holding 4.87 million chips and blinds at 40K/80K ante 8K. There was no wait for the spotlights of the final table as the first hand back from the five-minute break determined the final nine players. Brazil's Carol "carolventura" Ventura would raise to 205,460 chips as APonakov shoved for 1.2 million. UncleAnte9, in the big blind, did not wish to sit this one out and re-shoved for 2.2 million holding tens T♥T♦. Ventura looked for something else to do as APonakov flipped up 9♠A♣. No saving ace on the K♦ 7♦ 5♣ 2♣ 8♦ board meant Ventura and Baumgarten were heading to the final table below:


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Seat 1: oceanemm (636904 in chips)
Seat 2: Carol "carolventura" Ventura (3054982 in chips)
Seat 3: XX MUC XX143 (2433066 in chips)
Seat 4: UncleAnte9 (3797242 in chips)
Seat 5: Angobet (4730036 in chips)
Seat 6: Knightsgeee (2284020 in chips)
Seat 7: Riffa Kriffa (1894353 in chips)
Seat 8: João Mathias "joaoMathias" Baumgarten (1626861 in chips)
Seat 9: KING BAIT (2762536 in chips)

Four hands into the final table with the blinds moving up to 50K/100K ante 10K, Angobet went searching to pad the chip lead. Angobet would min-raise from early position as XX MUC XX143 three-bet to 740,000 chips. The chip leader would make the call to see the K♦8♠K♥ flop. XX MUC XX143 wasted no time to shove 1.65 million holding pocket aces A♣A♥ but Angobet equally quick to snap-call with trip kings K♠J♦. No ace on the turn T♥ nor river Q♥ shipped XX MUC XX143 a bad beat and $3,947.40 for ninth place.

Five minutes later with the blinds holding, Riffa Kriffa would raise to 215,000 as short-stacked oceanemm went all-in for 456,904 chips. Ventura however would re-shove from the small blind for 2.91 million knocking out Riffa Kriffa from the hand. Big slick A♠K♣ for Ventura flipping against oceanemm's jacks J♠J♦ for oceanemm's tournament life. The flop and turn were clean but a dirty river 9♣ Q♦ 9♠ 6♦ K♥ sent oceanemm out to sea in eighth place ($6,733.80).

Baumgarten is not the only player here with big final table experience. KING BAIT made the final table of SCOOP 2015's Event #23-L and nearly the Sunday Million. Unfortunately, prior experience needs cards once in a while to advance as KING BAIT held on to short-stack until finally finding a spot. With the blinds moving up to 65K/130K ante 13K Knightsgeee would shove 2.1 million from the cutoff as KING BAIT called all-in for a little less than two big blinds holding 9♣K♦. Knightsgeee turned up A♥Q♣ and coasted through the Q♠ 2♦ 3♦ 2♣ 6♣ board as KING BAIT earned $11,377.80 in seventh place.

A little over 20 minutes later with the blinds moving up to 80K/160K ante 16K Uncle Ante9 would raise to 352,000 as Knightsgeee made the call from the big blind to see a 8♦ 5♦ 6♠ flop. Both players liked it enough to shove all-in with Uncle Ante9 covering. Knightsgeee had kicker problems holding T♥8♥ to Uncle Ante9's Q♠8♣ and those complications did not improve on the 8♠ turn nor 7♠ river as Knightsgeee took away $16,021.80 in sixth place. Slightly less than the $23K Knightsgeee received for a fifth place finish here two years ago.

Fireworks would go off right before the start of the tenth hour of play. Six hands after Knightsgeee fell off the horse, Carol Ventura would shove 1.3 million from the cutoff with a small ace A♠2♣. Optimal for Riffa Kriffa's 7♦A♦ as the big blind covered and made the call. No danger of a split after a seven appeared on the turn 4♥ K♥ 4♠ 7♣ 6♥ as Ventura walked away with $20,665.80 in fifth place.


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Before the break with the blinds moving up to 100K/200K ante 20K it was the other Brazilian's time to exit the stage. Baumgarten's short-stack of 1.3 million tried to snag the blinds but instead both of them called. Both Uncle Ante9 and Angobet would check the flop and turn but on the 8♥ 8♠ T♦ Q♠ A♥ river Uncle Ante9 broke the silence with a 1.1 million chip bet. Angobet folded as Uncle Ante9 showed 9♠A♦ to defeat Baumgarten's 7♠K♥ as João Mathias almost got there in fourth place ($27,167.40).

After the break the final three, Angobet, Riffa Kriffa, and Uncle Ante9 settled into a flow of passing around chips like friends watching a football game. Like all bags of Doritos, someone would eventually get the last one. With twenty minutes left in the hour the blinds moving up to 200K/400K ante 40K, and Riffa Kriffa opening up a big lead, someone finally broke the circle. The chip leader would shove 14.2 million from the button as Angobet bravely called holding 5♦A♠. Unfortunately, for Angobet Riffa Kriffa held the kicker advantage as well T♣A♦ and carried that lead through the 8♣ 6♣ 4♣ T♥ 9♣ board as Angobet earned $39,474.00 in third place.

Heads-up play was not drawn out like three-handed play as Riffa Kriffa's 17.6 million to 5.5 million chip lead was too much to bear. Four hands is all it would take as Riffa Kriffa tried to limp in and Uncle Ante9 was having none of that and shoved 4.4 million chips. Riffa Kriffa immediately called with pocket tens T♣T♥ as Uncle Ante9 went searching for an ace A♠3♥. The search for ace would need to continue in another tournament as the K♦ Q♦ 8♦ 8♣ 2♥ board shipped Riffa Kriffa the remaining tournament chips to turn into $73,375.28 in real money for this week's Sunday Warm-Up title!


PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (03-06-2016)
Entrants: 2,322
Places paid: 342
Prize pool: $464,400.00

1. Riffa Kriffa (Netherlands) $73,375.28
2. UncleAnte9 (Canada) $55,110.34
3. Angobet (Angola) $39,474.00
4. João Mathias "joaoMathias" Baumgarten (Brazil) $27,167.40
5. Carol "carolventura" Ventura (Brazil) $20,665.80
6. Knightsgeee (Australia) $16,021.80
7. KING BAIT (Canada) $11,377.80
8. oceanemm (Mongolia) $6,733.80
9. XX MUC XX143 (Germany) $3,947.40


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David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up