The Sunday Warm-Up has always been kind of a prequel, a lead-in to online poker's blockbuster tourney, the Sunday Million. With this week's "double vision" promotion, however, we had a sequel to the prequel, a.k.a. the "Sunday Warm-Up II: Electric Boogaloo."
And as it turned out, the sequel might well have stolen a bit of the thunder from today's first Warm-Up. As that familiar name up there on the marquee suggests, this was a sequel with a little extra PokerStars-starpower.
Sporting a $500K guarantee just like its precursor, Part II managed to draw a field almost as large as the 4,176 who registered for the earlier event (won by Illini213), with 3,773 choosing to complete in the $215 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament.
That meant a guarantee-smashing total prize pool of $754,600. The top 540 finishers would divide up the loot, with $118,473.37 going to player managing to claim all the chips and the starring role among the Warm-Up sequel's cast.
By the time they were closing in on the four-hour mark, just 1,000 remained, led by COCRAN7777, jays94, and Team PokerStars Pro Chris "chrisdm" de Meulder of Team PokerStars Belgium in third. About an hour later the money bubble had burst, with the top of the counts then populated by zekesito90, Nwerrj, OverTheTop43, Christopher "NigDawG" Brammer, and ImElated79.
By then de Meulder had slipped back to the middle of the pack, one of six representatives of Team PokerStars still in the hunt. Two would soon fall -- Javier "El_Cañonero" Dominguez (517th) of Team Online and Arnaud "frenchkiss" Mattern (507th) of Team PokerStars France -- both of whom earned $316.93 for their finishes. And Pierre "Zoutechamp" Neuville of Team PokerStars Belgium followed not too long after in 370th, good for $362.20.
It was about the six-hour mark when Maxim Lykov (Team PokerStars Russia) was ousted in 173rd ($641.41) when his K♣J♥ couldn't catch up to akia86's A♦8♠, leaving just Andre "aakkari" Akkari of Team PokerStars Brazil and de Meulder to represent the home squad.
Both would last a while longer, then de Meulder got his chips all in with J♥J♠ against Carsandi's T♣T♦. The board ran out 8♠K♦K♣6♥... T♥, that river ten stealing away the pot and sending de Meulder out in 148th ($754.60).
As the tourney played on and the field continued to shrink, ghth became the first player to 1 million chips, crossing that milestone just after the six-and-a-half-hour mark. Meanwhile Akkari began pushing up the counts, with a big hand versus FreeLancerZZ a key one along the way for the Brazilian. Take a look at how Akkari's pocket rockets managed to hold up in a most vamoooooooosual way:
Soon they reached the seven-hour mark, and with 75 players left Akkari moved into the top five for a stretch before slipping back while jknack10, amon shraga, and NigDawG pushed out in front. It would take another couple of hours for the field to be trimmed to just 18, with one-time leader ghth among those hitting the rail, finishing 39th for $1,546.93.
With just two tables left Akkari was still there, sitting in sixth place with just over 2.5 million chips.
dimka1089 led the final 18 with about 6.67 million, tonkaaaa was next with almost 3.47 million, and KingOfFilth third with almost exactly 3.4 million.
It would take about 45 minutes for the next eight players to fall, over which stretch tonkaaaa would push out to a big chip lead as the only player over 10 million. PAROOVKA (18th), cafecompany (17th), and Christopher "NigDawG" Brammer (16th) were the first of the group to go, each seeing $2,263.80 deposited in their PokerStars accounts. AlexaUKR (15th), Carsandi (14th), and jknack10 (13th) were out, each taking away $3,395.70. And Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (12th) and GuLuAr (11th) followed them to the rail, each earning $4,527.60.
Hand-for-hand play ensued on the two remaining tables, with the blinds increasing to 80,000/160,000. Suddenly eliminations occurred simultaneously on both tables to create an eight-handed final table.
On one table vovan123456 open-shoved from the button for a little over 1.27 million, then dimka1089 reraised all in over the top from the small blind, forcing out eddymaksoud from the big blind. vovan123456 showed K♣Q♥ and dimka1089 A♥Q♦, and when the board rolled out nine-high vovan123456 was out in 10th ($4,527.60).
Meanwhile it was instigator85 pushing all in for a little more than 1.86 million from the button on the other table and getting a caller in Andre Akkari from the big blind. instigator85 had A♦7♠ and Akkari A♥J♦, and when the five community cards came 3♥5♣9♥Q♣6♦, instigator85 had finished ninth for $6,036.80.
After nine hours and 50 minutes of poker, the final table -- with one seat empty -- was set.
Seat 1: empty
Seat 2: eddymaksoud -- 2,697,623
Seat 3: dimka1089 -- 6,115,989
Seat 4: stofzuiger73 -- 1,186,126
Seat 5: Team PokerStars pro Andre "aakkari" Akkari -- 5,292,488
Seat 6: Finik73 -- 2,012,272
Seat 7: tonkaaaa -- 13,339,705
Seat 8: cyberkanguru -- 4,215,223
Seat 9: KingOfFilth -- 2,870,574
The final eight would play a little over an orbit before a hand arose in which stofzuiger73 opened for a 3x raise to 480,000 from the cutoff, then it folded to chip leader tonkaaaa in the big blind who shoved all in over the top. stofzuiger73 made the call, showing A♠T♥ and needing help versus tonkaaaa's A♦Q♣. But the board came 6♦2♠8♣5♣9♣, and tonkaaaa's hand remained best, sending stofzuiger73 out in eighth.
Just a couple of hands later dimka1089 opened for 320,000 from early position, then Finik73 pushed all in from the cutoff for 1,340,272. It folded back to dimka1089 who called, tabling A♦J♠ to Finik73's 2♥2♣. The flop came T♥5♣A♠, pairing dimka1089 once, then the J♣ added a second pair. The river was the 4♦, and Finik73 had been eliminated in seventh.
The next knockout came just a couple of minutes after that when KingOfFilth open-shoved for more than 2.2 million from the small blind and eddymaksoud called with the 1,705,623 he had left from the BB. KingOfFilth had Q♠7♥ and eddymaksoud K♠J♣, then the board ran out A♦4♦7♠4♠5♠ to give KingOfFilth the only pair and send eddymaksoud away in sixth.
The remaining players played a few more hands before all agreeing to pause the tournament to talk about a possible deal. At that point, tonkaaaa was the big leader with more than 18.1 million, Akkari second with just over 5.46 million, dimka1089 third with about 5.32 million, cyberkanguru fourth with just under 4.99 million, and KingOfFilth last with about 3.84 million.
"Chip chop" numbers were produced, and while the discussion was good-natured -- including a tongue-in-cheek suggestion from fifth-place KingOfFilth for "an even chop" -- no agreement could be reached and so play continued.
A little while later the blinds had moved up to 100,000/200,000 (Level 36) when KingOfFilth opened with a raise to 400,000 from UTG. dimka1089 responded by reraising all in from one seat over for 975,592. Then Akkari reshoved as well for more than 4.87 million, forcing out the blinds. The trio's hands were revealed:
Akkari had picked up the hand resembling his initials, and appeared primed for a double-knockout until the flop came 5♥4♥6♦ to award a set to dimka1089. The turn was the J♠ and river the 4♠, and dimka1089 survived with the main pot of over 3.32 million while Akkari won the side pot. Meanwhile the KingOfFilth was dead (long live the KingOfFilth), eliminated in fifth.
Just three hands later dimka1089 was going all in with those winnings from the button, a raise to 3,346,776, and tonkaaaa called from the big blind. dimka1089 had A♣Q♥ and tonkaaaa A♥K♠, and after the five community cards came 4♣A♠5♦9♦6♥ they were down to three.
The final three players decided to talk about a possible deal again, and when the tourney was paused tonkaaaa was way out in front with 23,136,861, cyberkanguru next with 10,733,638, and Akkari third with 3,859,501. The "chip chop" numbers were again presented -- $106,561.35 for tonkaaaa, $82,809.31 for cyberkanguru, and $69,645.41 for Akkari, with $10,000 left for which to play.
Akkari said he wanted $80,000, and while tonkaaaa was willing to give up some cyberkanguru was not, and so they played on through the 10-and-a-half-hour break.
Soon after they started back, Akkari scored a big double-up through cyberkanguru when the latter open-shoved from the small blind with Q♦T♣ and Akkari called with 3♥3♠. The flop came T♦6♣J♣ to pair cyberkanguru, but the turn was the 3♦ to give Akkari a set and make the river no matter.
Suddenly Akkari had moved into second with more than 11.2 million, with cyberkanguru back down to a little over 7.91 million. Meanwhile, tonkaaaa was still the leader with almost 18.6 million.
Akkari would win a succession of hands after that to push over 15 million and challenge tonkaaaa for the lead while cyberkanguru fell back to about 6.65 million. Then, with the blinds 125,000/250,000, tonkaaaa opened for 554,444 from the small blind, and when cyberkanguru pushed all in from the BB tonkaaaa quickly called.
The flop came A♥5♣Q♠ -- two pair for tonkaaaa but a chance at Broadway for cyberkanguru. The turn was the 2♠ and the river the A♠, however, and cyberkanguru was out in third.
Heads-up play began with tonkaaaa in front with 22,358,998 to Akkari's 15,371,002, but after a few hands Akkari had pulled virtually even. At that point, tonkaaaa brought up the idea of a deal one last time.
tonkaaaa: even chop anbd play for 10k ?
aakkari: lets play tonka, lets finish it
tonkaaaa: alrighty glgl
And so the final pair continued. After several minutes a key hand took place in which tonkaaaa limped from the button (blinds 150,000/300,000), Akkari checked, and the pair saw the flop come 9♣J♣5♠. Akkari checked, tonkaaaa bet 300,000, Akkari made it 815,000, and tonkaaaa called. The turn was the A♦ and this time Akkari led for 1.525 million and tonkaaaa called.
The river was the 6♦, and when Akkari bet 4 million, tonkaaaa responded with a huge raise to 17.34 million -- more than Akkari's remaining stack. Akkari thought a long while before folding, afterwards saying in the chatbox he'd let go of J-9 for two pair.
Akkari would bounce back a little later, doubling with A♣9♦ against tonkaaaa's A♦6♣ to push up over 14 million to tonkaaaa's 23.5 million. The Brazilian would continue to chip up, again closing the gap to pull even with his opponent.
tonkaaaa would rebuild his lead, then came a hand in which Akkari got all of his chips in on a Q♠2♠T♥ flop holding K♣K♥ against tonkaaaa's open-ender with J♠9♣. Akkari's kings held, giving him the advantage. Take a look:
Akkari would continue to build on his lead, pushing over 32.6 million to tonkaaaa's 5.1 million. Then, with the blinds 200,000/400,000, tonkaaaa pushed all in from the button with K♠5♣ and Akkari called with A♦6♦.
The board came 4♥J♠4♦T♠7♥, and after just over 11 hours Akkari had the last of tonkaaaa's chips and the victory.
Congratulations to Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari for besting a field of 3,773 to claim today's Sunday Warm-Up II and over $118K! While it was no Godfather Part II, it sure was a heckuva sequel!
Sunday Warm-Up II results for 2/12/12:
1st: Team PokerStars Pro Andre "aakkari" Akkari ($118,473.37)
2nd: tonkaaaa ($88,288.20)
3rd: cyberkanguru ($62,254.50)
4th: dimka1089 ($43,389.50)
5th: KingOfFilth ($32,070.50)
6th: eddymaksoud ($24,524.50)
7th: Finik73 ($16,978.50)
8th: stofzuiger73 ($9,432.50)
9th: instigator85 ($6,036.80)
A nice boost for Akkari as he prepares for the LAPT and BAPT grand finals. Read how tonight's Sunday Warm-Up II winner is getting ready for Brazil's Carnival!