Sunday Warm-Up: ValterBr@nco rides off with $82K victory

Covering a weekly Sunday Major such as the $425,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up has a usual flow to it. The tables will break down to two tables within 15 minutes of a certain time each week and final table will crown a new champ after ten hours. With covering the TCOOP for the past few days, the slow structure was a welcome feel for my typing fingers. ValterBr@nco held out from discussing a chop at five-handed and ended up taking down this week's Sunday Warm-Up for the entire $82,823.86.

Continue below for the whole story.

Two tables and 18 players is all that remained after 2,621 starters and eight and a half hours of play. DonkCommitted with a WCOOP final table way back in 2009 and a Sunday $215 Weekly Turbo win in September would fall a bit short in the quest to add a Sunday Warm-Up final table in 17th place ($1,965.75).

Only 14 players would make it to the ninth hourly break including Rafael "GM_VALTER" Moraes who holds a SCOOP final table, Sunday Warm-Up and Million final table, and a Super Tuesday win for $104K. Moraes would start the ninth hour second in chips behind Wh0AndBeni.

If you going to win any tournament at PokerStars, make it a Sunday Major, -COOP, a big Spin & Go, or like kofi89, a milestone tourney. Last year kofi89 outlasted 34,081 players to win the one billionth tournament played at PokerStars, and walked away $324K richer. The Sunday Warm-Up was not as inviting as kofi89 collected $3,276.25 in 12th place.

Down to hand-for-hand play with the blinds up to 50K/100K ante 10K, Timorm1 with two Sunday Warm-Up final tables including a runner-up finish for $73K back in March of 2014 would shove 1.1 million from the small blind. Danny "DannyN13" Noseworthy with a pair of WCOOP 2015 final tables would make the call holding A♠8♣. Timorm1's Q♥J♦ would not find a ten on the A♥ 2♠ K♦ 9♣ 9♥ board opening up the final table below:

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Seat 1: Danny "DannyN13" Noseworthy (2948318 in chips)
Seat 2: jutrack (2337134 in chips)
Seat 3: Wh0AndBeni (4585170 in chips)
Seat 4: ViTaMoS (1498909 in chips)
Seat 5: Rafael "GM_VALTER" Moraes (3682946 in chips)
Seat 6: Mr oO12 (1763734 in chips)
Seat 7: airlewis (5078368 in chips)
Seat 8: ValterBr@nco (2459023 in chips)
Seat 9: pm_marke (1856398 in chips)


Ten minutes into the final table with the blinds moving up to 65K/130K ante 13K, Mr oO12 got frisky in the small blind and open shoved for 1.34 million. Airlewis held comfortable chip lead (over seven million in chips) and made the call with 3♥A♠. Mr oO12's K♥9♥ did not catch up to the ace 5♠ 6♦ 4♥ 4♠ 8♥ claiming ninth place cash ($4,455.70).

ViTaMoS would give Rafael "GM_VALTER" Moraes' title run a little push. Shortly after the move to 80K/160K ante 16K ViTaMoS would open shove 935K from the small blind as Moraes made the call in the big blind holding 7♦T♦. A ten on the flop and one of the turn T♥ 5♦ A♠ T♠ 2♣ to ship the nearly two million chip pot to Moraes. ViTaMoS collected $7,600.90 in eighth place.

Easy come, easy go for Moraes as seven hands later a huge three-way pot broke out between Moraes, ValterBr@nco, and Wh0AndBeni. ValterBr@nco shoved from early position for 1.18 million as Wh0AndBeni (recently claiming the chiplead) re-shoved for 9.5 million. Sitting on pocket nines 9♣9♠ in the big blind Moraes made the call all-in for 2.9 million to see Wh0AndBeni's T♦A♣ and ValterBr@nco's aces A♠A♥. Losing the side-pot to ValterBr@nco would have been acceptable but a ten on the river 6♥ 4♣ 5♣ 7♣ T♥ shipped 3.6 million to ValterBr@nco and the rest to Wh0AndBeni as Rafael "GM_VALTER" Moraes earned $12,318.70 in seventh place.

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Rafael "GM_VALTER" Moraes


Former shortstack ValterBr@nco (who took fifth in WCOOP 2015's Event #24 earning $52K) went on the offensive three hands later. With the blinds at 80K/160K ante 16K ValterBr@nco shoved for 3.3 million from the button as pm_marke called from the small blind for a little less with pocket aces A♣A♠. The sizable gap between those aces and J♥Q♦ was closed by a rivered straight 7♦ 8♦ T♥ 3♣ 9♣ harshly ending the tournament for pm_marke in sixth place ($17,560.70).

By tenth hourly break the chips would flatten out a bit prompting jutrack to speak up about a possible deal. Jutrack called the remaining structure "pretty much bingo" but after covering three TCOOP tournaments in the past four days this is like watching a turtle run the Boston Marathon on three legs.

Everyone said they checked except ValterBr@anco who promptly doubled through Wh0AndBeni on the first hand back for a nine million chip pot to take the chiplead.

Wh0AndBeni would recover nicely after dipping to 1.4 million after that hand. Seven minutes later with the blinds up to 100K/200K ante 20K Wh0AndBeni now up to 7.1 million, would raise as jutrack shoved 2.6 million from the big blind. Wh0AndBeni made the call with queens Q♠Q♥ as jutrack's sixes 6♦6♣ needed help. Good news a six hit the flop. Bad news the flop was full of spades and with one on the river J♠ 5♠ 6♠ 3♣ 2♠ jutrack earned $22,802.70 in fifth place.

Fifteen minutes later near the end of the 125K/250K ante 25K level, ValterBr@nco and Danny "DannyN13" Noseworthy holding the two largest stacks at the table would get to the river Q♠ J♥ K♠ Q♥ 4♦ with 4.1 million already in the middle. ValterBr@nco check called the flop and turn but led for 875K on the river. Noseworthy raised to six million all-in as ValterBr@nco called with queens full Q♣K♣. Slightly better than Noseworthy's jacks full J♠J♦ as the cooler sent DannyN13 away in fourth place ($30,660.45).

Four hands later as the blinds moved up to 150K/300K ante 30K airlewis min-raise from the button as Wh0AndBeni shoved for 3.8 million. Holding big slick K♠A♥ airlewis made the call as Wh0AndBeni's A♣T♣ was dominated. No turnaround this time for Wh0AndBeni as the 5♦ 2♥ 3♣ 2♠ 8♣ board gave Wh0AndBeni $44,032.80 for third place.

Despite a plea from airlewis, ValterBr@nco would stay silent on a possible deal, starting with a 15 million to 11.1 million chiplead.

Airlewis would win the first four hands of heads-up play to take a slight lead but ValterBr@nco won a 22.9 million chip pre-flop flip on the fifth hand to take a 22.9 to 3.2 million lead.

After the pocket sevens held, ValterBr@nco would only need ten hands to claim the weekly Sunday Warm-Up title. With the blinds holding at 150K/300K ante 30K ValterBr@nco shoved as airlewis called off the remaining 1.89 million holding 5♦Q♦. Currently ahead of ValterBr@nco 4♦5♠ but a bunch of spades 4♥ 4♠ 9♠ 6♠ 7♠ spoiled the comeback party as ValterBr@nco earned $82,823.86 as this week's Sunday Warm-Up champion!

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up (01-24-16) results

Entrants: 2,621
Total Prize pool: $524,200.00
Places paid: 378

1. ValterBr@nco (Brazil) $82,823.86
2. airlewis (United Kingdom) $61,855.60
3. Wh0AndBeni (United Kingdom) $44,032.80
4. Danny "DannyN13" Noseworthy (Canada) $30,660.45
5. jutrack (Germany) $22,802.70
6. pm_marke (Czech Republic) $17,560.70
7. Rafael "GM_VALTER" Moraes (Brazil) $12,318.70
8. ViTaMoS (Ukraine) $7,600.90
9. Mr oO12 (Germany) $4,455.70


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David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Warm-Up