It appears the memo was received. The one regarding new, earlier start times for the Sunday tourneys, that is.
This week's Warm-Up kicked off a couple of hours earlier (at 11:00 ET), but the promise of a double-sized guarantee appears to have ensured the message got through loud and clear. Once late registration ended, a huge field of 5,456 had entered, the largest for the Warm-Up since that record-setting group of 6,154 showed up for the weekly $215 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament on 3/6/11.
That big turnout created a total prize pool of $1,091,200, thereby exceeding the extra big $1 million guarantee for this week's Warm-Up. The top 810 finishers would split the dough, with a hefty $170,666.38 scheduled to go to the winner.
5,456 to 810
At the moment registration closed -- three hours in -- just 2,334 remained with chips, with artempavlik having the most of them with 107,633. Just two others had crested the 100K mark, Blodpudding (106,559) and sebstop (106,383).
It would take almost two hours more for the cash bubble to burst, just moments before the five-hour break. With 810 left, kinsky0 had pushed out in front with more than 328,000, Mr_Dahl was next with just over 264,000, and elxola third with almost 253,000.
810 to 100
Over the next two hours and 15 minutes the field would be trimmed to 100. Among those hitting the rail during that stretch were Grzegorz "DaWarsaw" Mikielewicz of Team PokerStars Online (444th, $392.83) and Jan Heitmann of Team PokerStars Germany (405th, $414.65).
Meanwhile, GetItQuietly had pushed to the top of the counts with a little over 1.58 million, followed most closely by Alpha007 with about 1.54 million and Schildy1984 with just under 1.49 million. Among those last 100 were two more members of Team PokerStars, Toni Judet (Romania) with a below average stack and Javier "El_Cañonero" Dominguez (Team Online) hovering just inside the top 10.
100 to 9
About a half-hour later Judet shoved his 11-BB stack in over a minimum-raise by Kiirovits and his opponent called, showing A♥9♣ to Judet's A♣K♥. The flop brought a nine, pairing Kiirovits, and Judet couldn't catch up, hitting the rail in 68th ($1,636.80).
About 40 minutes after that, Dominguez had become severely short-stacked, down to less than three big blinds. He'd call the last of his stack following a preflop raise by Alpha007, with ministerborg calling as well from the big blind. Dominguez's two opponents then checked down to the river, and when ministerborg showed his ace-high the other two mucked. Dominguez received $1,964.16 for his 44th-place finish.
Play continued, and by the nine-hour mark just 27 were left. By then volldemar88 had moved out to a big advantage with exactly 7.59 million, over twice as much as second-place Ruben "rubenrtv" Visser (formerly of Team PokerStars) who had a little over 3.45 million. Respect4life was third with almost 3.19 million.
Over the next hour-and-a-half the field was reduced to just 11, the last part of that sequence involving a rapid tumble for chip leader volldemar88. Visser had fallen back himself a bit before winning a huge hand against volldemar88 in which Visser's pocket queens held up against volldemar88's A♣K♦. After losing that almost 8-million-chip pot, volldemar88 was down around 3.5 million, then would lose more than half of that after losing another big preflop all-in with A♦9♥ versus DoubleM610's pocket eights.
A few hands later Blimschen took the last of volldemar88's stack, sending him out shy of the final table in 11th place ($6,492.64). With 10 left, hand-for-hand play commenced with kojocki the leader with more than 10.1 million, followed closely by Respect4Life with just under 9.8 million. Soon eamsie knocked out a short-stacked 01SAI in 10th (also $6,492.64), and they were down to nine.
Seat 1: eamsie -- 3,997,005
Seat 2: rubenrtv -- 8,923,356
Seat 3: Schildy1984 -- 3,442,405
Seat 4: ministerborg -- 6,311,494
Seat 5: DoubleM610 -- 3,354,320
Seat 6: kojocki -- 11,547,770
Seat 7: Respect4life -- 8,984,116
Seat 8: zero All-in -- 5,502,936
Seat 9: Blimschen -- 2,496,598
From 9 to 2
The blinds were 150,000/300,000 and just over an orbit had been played at the final table when Schildy1984 open-raised all in for 2,380,911 from middle position and got one caller in zero All-in from the big blind. Schildy1984 showed Q♠J♥ and need help to beat zero All-in's 4♦4♠. But the board came A♠A♣9♣2♣T♦, and Schildy1984 was out in ninth.
About 15 minutes later the blinds had moved to 200,000/400,000 when DoubleM610 open-shoved all in from UTG for 704,320. It folded to eamsie on the button who reraised all in over the top, pushing out the blinds. DoubleM610 showed A♠T♣, but was in bad shape versus eamsie's A♣K♣. The community cards came 4♥9♥2♦A♥J♣, and DoubleM610 was out in eighth.
The remaining seven made it to the 11-hour break and Level 40 (blinds 250,000/500,000). Then shortly thereafter it folded around to ministerborg who open-raised all in from the small blind for 5,952,988 and kojocki called from the BB. ministerborg had Q♥9♠, but had run into kojocki's A♠K♦.
The flop made things worse for ministerborg, coming A♣6♦8♥. The 9♥ on the turn paired ministerborg's nine, offering some hope, but the A♥ fell on the river, sending ministerborg out in seventh.
On the very next hand, Blimschen open-raised all in from under the gun for 1,086,392, and Ruben "rubenrtv" Visser, sitting a couple of seats over, reraised all in over the top. The others folded, Blimschen showed K♦8♣, and Visser tabled A♥K♠. Big Slick proved best again after the community cards came T♦4♣3♥Q♥5♣, sending Blimschen out in sixth.
Just four hands after that, it folded around to kojocki who limped in from the small blind, then Respect4life pushed all in from the BB for 4,929,116. kojocki snap-called, showing A♠K♥ to Respect4life's A♥J♣. As it had in the last three elimination hands, ace-king won yet another one with the board this time running out 7♠5♥8♦Q♥T♠, eliminating Respect4life in fifth.
About five minutes later rubenrtv was essentially crippled in a hand in which zero All-in doubled with pocket nines against Visser's A♦9♦. Then on the next hand, zero All-in made a minimum-raise to 1 million from the button, and eamsie called from the small blind. Visser then reraised all in for 1,265,901 from the big blind, and both opponents called.
eamsie and zero All-in checked down all three streets as the cards came K♦9♦6♦8♣A♥. eamsie showed K♥T♣ for kings, and the other two mucked, with Visser going out in fourth.
With three left kojocki had the big lead with 34,043,755, with the other two far back, eamsie with 10,404,452 and zero All-in with 10,111,793. Some talk of a deal arose, but kojocki said he wasn't interested and play continued.
About a dozen hands later, the three were nearly even, with eamsie having clawed into the chip lead thanks to a hand in which eamsie used A♥3♣ to double through kojocki's pocket jacks.
On the very next hand, with the blinds up to 300,000/600,000, zero All-in opened with a raise to 1.32 million from the button. eamsie folded from the small blind, but kojocki reraised all in from the BB. zero All-in called, showing A♠Q♦. Meanwhile kojocki had picked up J♣J♥ -- pocket jacks for a second straight hand. The flop came J♠5♥3♥, giving kojocki a set. The 4♥ on the turn gave zero All-in outs to a wheel, but the Q♠ fell on the river, sending zero All-in out in third.
Heads-up play began with kojocki again out in front with 35,711,096 to eamsie's 18,848,904. But the pair essentially traded stacks on the very first hand of heads-up play. In the hand, kojocki flopped bottom pair and eamsie second pair. eamsie's hand remained best by the river, by which point all of eamsie's chips got into the middle. Take a look:
The pair battled on a little longer, then both agreed to talk about a possible deal. The tourney was paused, with eamsie sitting on 34,297,808 and kojocki 20,262,192. The "chip chop" numbers were proposed, awarding eamsie $141,923.64 and kojocki $135,867.54, leaving $20,000 for which to play. Both agreed, and the cards were soon back in the air.
After a few hands kojocki had been whittled down to just over 12 million to eamsie's 42 million-plus when kojocki shoved from the button with T♥5♦ and eamsie instantly called with A♠8♣. But the flop came T♠5♥K♥, giving kojocki two pair! And two cards later he'd doubled up.
On the very next hand, kojocki doubled up again to take the lead, this time having the better starter with A♦K♦ versus eamsie's A♣9♦. Two kings on the board meant kojocki's hand was best, and now he had over 48 million while eamsie was down to just over 6.1 million. eamsie managed to survive by doubling up a couple of times after that, but soon the end came.
The blinds were a monstrous 400,000/800,000 when eamsie limped in from the small blind/button. kojocki then raised to 24.8 million, and eamsie called with the 16,104,928 he had left. eamsie had a couple of face cards -- K♦J♥ -- but would need to catch versus kojocki's A♠7♦.
But the board came T♠6♠2♠8♣Q♥, and kojocki's ace-high was best.
Congratulations to kojocki for winning this week's Sunday Warm-Up, and to eamsie as well for making it to the final two and a chop!
Sunday Warm-Up Results for 6/5/11 (*reflects two-way deal):
1st: kojocki ($155,867.54)*
2nd: eamsie ($141,923,64)*
3rd: zero All-in ($89,860.32)
4th: rubenrtv ($61,652)
5th: Respect4life ($46,376)
6th: Blimschen ($35,464)
7th: ministerborg ($24,552)
8th: DoubleM610 ($13,640)
9th: Schildy1984 ($8,729.60)
Still need help figuring out when those Sunday tourneys are scheduled? Click here for an overview of the new scheduled times.