This week's Sunday majors found themselves sandwiched between the online madness of last week's Spring Championship of Online Poker, and the live insanity of the World Series of Poker kicking off next week in Las Vegas. With all that going on, there was still no decline in the massive field of the PokerStars Sunday tournaments, with the prize pool in the Sunday Warm-Up settling in at a whopping $824,200! The top 630 players got a piece of the pie, but the tastiest slices were saved for champion masterpice, who came from behind heads up to claim the $91,032 first place prize, and runner up Dan "Lenny" Heimiller, who held a huge chip lead when the final deal was struck and secured a $114,235 payday to add to his massive career winnings!
The field of 4,121 took almost nine hours to get down to the final table, and when it did, the chip stacks looked like this:
ProfRoscher - $8,442,333
SaFT - $7,678,638
ilon_iuby - $7,450,511
ZMEJUKA - $4,280,756
Masterpice - $3,768,022
Knoss - $3,649,626
Tommyl_11 - $3,087,565
Lenny - $1,561,099
BBOY3110 - $1,291,450
With the blinds climbing and the antes eating into his stack, it was no surprise to see BBOY3110 move all in over the top of masterpice's preflop raise just before the first break of the final table. BBOY tabled A♣-J♥, and masterpice was the preflop favorite with Q♦-Q♠. The flop of 5♦-2♠-9♦ was no help to BBOY, and the 8♠ on the turn left him drawing to just a few aces. The river was the less-than-helpful 2♦, and BBOY3110 was done in 9th place, good for a $6,593.60 payday.
Knoss was next to fall, and it was a classic case of being just a little ahead, the falling just a little behind, and staying there the whole way. ProfRoscher moved all in preflop with A♥-J♦, and Knoss looked down at A♣-Q♣ in the small blind and made the call for all his chips. The flop came down 6♥-K♣-J♠, and the momentum shifted for the final time. The turn was the K♦, and the river was the 7♥, and Knoss just couldn't recapture the lead to stay alive. He finished in 8th place for $10,302.50.
Short stack Tommyl_11 headed to the rail on the very next hand, picking up $18,544.50 for 7th place. He moved all in over the top of ProfRoscher's raise, and then Lenny moved all in over the top of Tommy to isolate. ProfRoscher got out of the way, and Lenny's J♠-J♣ was racing against Tommy's A♠-Q♣. The flop brought the 8♥-5♠-3♠, no help for Tommy, and Lenny was firmly in the lead with two cards to come. The 8♦ on the turn gave both players a pair of eights, and the river 3♥ gave both players two pair. Lenny's jacks and eights were better than Tommy's eights and threes, and then there were six.
As the blinds crept ever higher, the short stacks continued to fall by the wayside. SaFT fought a valiant fight, but eventually succumbed to the bigger stacks around him. After Lenny open-raised from under the gun, SaFT moved all in with 6♠-6♥. Lenny called with A♦-2♦, and promptly flopped the world on a board of A♠-2♠-J♦. The K♦ on the turn added a flush draw to Lenny's riches, and the A♥ on the river gave him a full house to put the final nail in SaFT's coffin. Sixth place was good enough for $426,786.50, not bad for a Sunday's labours.
Just a few hands later, ZMEJUKA found himself racing for his tournament life after he moved all in preflop with T♣-T♠ and found one caller in ProfRoscher, with A♥-K♣. The race was over almost before it began, as the K♥ was the first card in the window on a K♥-6♣-5♦ flop. The 6♦ on the turn was no help for ZMEJUKA, and when the river brought the 7♣, he was done in 5th place for $35,028.50. A few hands later, and the players took a break to look at the chop numbers. After a few moments of discussion, the players couldn't come to an agreement, and the tournament restarted.
The very first hand back from the deal talks saw a bustout as ilona_iuby got it all in with 2♥-2♠ against ProfRoscher's A♦-K♠. The flop was safe for ilona as it came down 9♦-T♠-8♦, but the A♠ on the turn was a dagger to the online pro. The 3♣ on the river was no help, and ilona_iuby picked up $46,567.30 for his 4th-place finish. The final three players then negotiated for a few minutes before finally striking a deal that guaranteed $114,235 for chip leader Dan "Lenny" Heimiller, $88,049 for ProfRoscher and locked in $81,032 for SuperNova masterpice. That left $10,000 in the middle to play for, so the tournament restarted and the players settled in for one last run at $10,000!
Masterpice wasted no time doubling through ProfRoscher once the deal was struck, but it was Lenny who put the final nail in the good Prof's coffin. Prof moved all in preflop with A♣-2♥, and Lenny made the call with 6♣-6♥. The flop was almost everything Prof was looking for, coming down Q♣-5♣-2♣ to give him a pair and a flush draw. It wasn't enough, however, as the turn and river ran out 3♠-J♦, and Prof's pair of deuces wasn't enough to make it past Lenny's pair of sixes, and Prof had to settle with the $88,049 he picked up for 3rd place as a result of the deal.
Masterpice came from behind early in heads up play to double through Lenny, but Lenny took back most of those chips just a couple of hands later, and the seesaw battle was well and truly joined. The players traded chips back and forth for a while, but slowly masterpice began to pull away from the all-time WCOOP final table leader Lenny. Finally, after a grueling heads up battle, the last hand looked something like this -
So when it all shook out, Lenny had the most cash, but the extra $10K for taking down the heads up match went a long way to evening the score for our Sunday Warm-Up champion and SuperNova player masterpice, who locked up a $91,032 score and huge bragging rights as the Sunday Warm-Up Champion! Congrats to masterpice, Lenny and everyone who cashed in this week's Sunday Warm-Up!