This week's $500,000 Sunday Warm-up guarantee was quiet younger brother sitting in the corner as big brother, Sunday Million, celebrated his sixth birthday party . Yes, the little sibling got a slice of cake and hit the piñata a few times but the focus was mostly on him. Well, the biggest slice of the $732,800.00 cake from the 3,664 players showing up to this party was worth $115,050.77 which is a large gift bag to walk away with. Granted big brother's presents included a seven-figure haul for the monstrous 33,732 field that outdrew every special tournament at PokerStars this month except the $11 buy-in Sunday Storm, and the not-yet-played Event #1 of the MicroMillions.
Down to under 100 players we found two Team PokerStars Pros still in the hunt this evening. Germany's George Danzer and British Pro Vicky Coren. Danzer would last to the 10K/20K ante 2K level while nursing a short stack he would open shove for 187,828 chips and got not one but two callers. From the looks of the 8♠T♠ Danzer turned over he probably did not want all the attention especially when pha7Ngoooo showed a couple of higher hearts A♥Q♥ and Schildy1984 flipped up jacks J♣J♠. The jacks were solid for the 793,188 chip pot until the third heart hit the turn 4♥ 3♣ 5♥ 3♥ Q♣ ending Danzer's night in 67th place ($1,245.76).
Coren would fare a little bit better chipping up from a similar short stack to over 400K as the blinds moved up to 12,500/25,000 ante 2,500. After looking down at a couple of face cards Q♥K♦ Coren would open shove from middle position as popichtig snap called from the small blind with aces A♥A♠. "nh" Vicky replied after getting a little excitement from the king on the flop but had to watch the 703,500 chip pot float to popichtig after missing the rest of the board T♠ K♣ 9♠ T♣ A♣. With 75,008 left over, Coren would toss those in three hands later with 9♦J♥ only to be shown the second best hand in hold em, pocket kings K♠K♣ by ramondemon77 and similar results as the other hand as the final Red Spade left the tourney in 54th place ($1,392.32).
The ninth hour break would leave 17 players left as Supernova SobraoBoY would exit after running into the aces of csufi74. SM4RTASS was trying to make a second appearance the Sunday Warm-Up after taking fifth for $27K back in October but had his aces cracked on the river by a set of queens held by ramondemon77 to take home $2,198.40 in 16th place. ramondemon77 was not done doling out the bad beat after four flushing mivhael's big slick K♦A♦ while holding T♣A♥ and watching the hearts line up on the K♥ Q♦ T♥ 3♥ 9♥ board to end mivhael's night in 13th place ($3,297.60).
Havana85 has a Super Tuesday final table worth $43K, to go with a WCOOP final table, and a runner-up finish at the 2011 SCOOP series but could not add a Sunday Warm-up final table finishing in 12th place ($4,396.80). Sc0tch&S0DA would fizzle to Våfflan87's aces in 11th place as the final table bubble finally arrived.
csufi74's exit on the bubble would follow some of the nasty bad beats seen with two tables left. With the blinds at 65K/130K ante 13K csufi74 would shove from the button for 1.3 million as niccc in the big blind held over five million in chips and a small ace 4♥A♣ to make the call. csufi74's big slick K♣A♠ would nut kicking blow on the river 9♦ 8♥ Q♥ J♥ 4♣ as nicc scooped up the 2.7 million chip pot as csufi74 took a seat on the rail in 10th place ($4,396.80) starting up the final table below:
Seat 1: jorjo2007 (2420192 in chips)
Seat 2: Våfflan87 (7736930 in chips)
Seat 3: ramondemon77 (2793876 in chips)
Seat 4: PokerNoob999 (3302767 in chips)
Seat 5: Lynette0 (1808792 in chips)
Seat 6: J0hnny_Dr@m@ (4571500 in chips)
Seat 7: niccc (6694924 in chips)
Seat 8: Bandano (4203653 in chips)
Seat 9: buckguy2200 (3107366 in chips)
That was... aggressive
Just four hands into the final table with the blinds holding at 65K/130K ante 13K a game of chicken broke out between PokerNoob999 who min-raised, and J0hnny_Dr@m@ who three-bet to 589,400 from the button. Back to PokerNoob999 who saw weakness, shove his remaining 3.3 million into the middle as J0hnny_Dr@m@ covered and called with pocket jacks J♣J♦. PokerNoob999's suited connector 6♠7♠ would appear to be in trouble until two spades hit the flop Q♠2♣4♠. However the J♣ turn and T♣ failed to lay down a third spade as J0hnny_Dr@m@ got a 6.9 million chip boost to his stack and PokerNoob999 got an expensive poker lesson in ninth place ($5,862.40). Not to say Tobias "PokerNoob999" Reinkemeier needs such tutorials especially after taking down the Sunday Million back in May for $115K and a 2009 SCOOP title after winning Event #10
King for a day
After going through the 80K/160K ante 16K level with no blood, the 100K/200K ante 20K got the players into a pushy-shovey feeling. J0hnny_Dr@m@ would lead out for a smallish raise to 414,000 but buckguy2200 came in for a shove to 2.8 million holding pocket sevens 7♣7♥. The former pokerstars Team Greece member Alexios "J0hnny_Dr@m@" Zervos would take a few seconds on his clock and made the call with K♠Q♥ and watched a majestic king hit the river A♣ T♣ 9♦ 5♥ K♥ to win the 5.9 million chip pot and end buckguy2200 night in eighth place ($9,160.00).
Two hands later niccc would meet jorjo2007 preflop for a 5.2 million chip pot and niccc's tournament life on the line. Check out the results below:
niccc's A♣T♦ failed to catch the pocket red ladies of jorjo2007 Q♥Q♦ on the J♦ 2♠ 3♦ 2♣ 8♦ board taking home $16,488.00 in seventh place cash. Another major winning Nicolas "niccc" Chouity has not only a WCOOP title to his credit but also the 2010 EPT Grand Final title
Field trimmed quickly
Another five hands later J0hnny_Dr@m@ was looking to take down ramondemon77. After Zervos min-raised, ramondemon77 would shove from the big blind for 2.8 million. Holding nearly 10 million in chips J0hnny_Dr@m@ made the call holding the lucky Q♣K♦ again. Up against pocket seven this time 7♦7♥ made short work of the pair by hitting a straight on the turn 9♦ J♦ 6♠ T♥ A♠ to sending ramondemon77 to the rail in sixth place ($23,816.00). Good grief anyone at this final table NOT have a major title under their belt? ramondemon77 has several big final tables including a Sunday Million title from October 2010 for $246K
No drama, just more chips for Johnny
Lynette0 nursed a short stack for the majority of the final table. Finally succumbed after a blind vs. blind battle with J0hnny_Dr@m@. Blinds still at 100K/200K ante 20K Lynette0 would open shove for 1.46 million holding Q♠J♥ as J0hnny_Dr@m@ called out of the big blind with a small ace A♠5♣. The small ace was large enough to make it through the small 9♠ 6♦ 3♥ 6♥ 5♠ board as Lynette0 ended the night in fifth place ($31,144.00). Surprisingly, Lynette0 does not own multiple WCOOP bracelets but plenty of cash to enter a couple WCOOP tournaments now.
Four-handed play with start with Team Online's Shane "shaniac" Schleger pulling out his trusty calculator for a potential split but the numbers did not add up for Bandano as play would continue with Zervos continuing to lead the way into the 150K/300K ante 30K blind level.
Same thing happen about 10 minutes later as the foursome tried again for a split as the stacks flattened a bit with Zervos still holding a smaller lead. After nearly ten minutes of back and forth, $2K was shipped to Bandano from the new numbers to make a deal leaving $10,000 aside for the champ:
A little more Drama
Zervos said during the chop discussions that he had a plane to catch and had just three players preventing him from doing so. Well, two players after Våfflan87 called his push from the big blind. After Våfflan87 min-raised from the small blind with pocket fours 4♠4♥, Zervos shoved with 3♦A♦ getting a call from Våfflan87. The board remained good for the sailboats until the ace on the river 6♠ T♦ 6♣ 9♥ A♥ shipped the 8.8 million chip pot to J0hnny_Dr@m@ as Våfflan87 picked up $69,417.22 in fourth place.
Getting J0hnny on a jet plane
jorjo2007 did his part during this 13.5 million chip hand:
jorjo2007 would lead out with a min-raise as the blinds moved up to 200K/400K ante 40K on the button as Bandano shoved for 6.6 million. jorjo2007 saw the stats were two for two with people holding king-queen K♥Q♥ and decided to call. A good one in this case as Bandano flipped up T♦K♣. A ten on the river would give Bandano a pair but it also gave jorjo2007 a straight on the 5♦ A♠ 7♣ J♠ T♣ board as the two-time final tablist in Event #3 and Event #5 from the 2011 SCOOP series took home third place $72,031.71
Just eight hands of heads-up play would get Alexios to his flight on time as jorjo2007 took his beginning 21.4 million to 15.2 million chip lead and ran it all the way to the Sunday Warm-up title. On the eighth hand of heads-up play and blinds at 200K/400K ante 40K jorjo2007 led out for a min-raise as Zervos called from the big blind to see a 5♣3♠K♠ flop. J0hnny_Dr@m@ kept up the aggression with a 668,600 chip bet as jorjo2007 raised to 2.4 million getting Zervos to call. 9♠ turn got Zervos to check as jorjo2007 still liked his hand and bet 2.6 million. Check raise all-in was Alexios' answer as jorjo2007's flopped two pair 3♦K♣ was good enough to make the call. Zervos had out with his pair of fives 5♦A♠ and the nut flush draw, but the black queen was the wrong suit Q♣ and jorjo2007 took down a very tough final table to earn the extra $10,000 and Sunday Warm-Up title!
$500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up results (03-11-12):
(* denotes part of four-way deal)
1. jorjo2007 (Denmark) *$83,457.78
2. Alexios "J0hnny_Dr@m@" Zervos (Greece) *$78,473.66
3. Bandano (Netherlands) *$72,031.71
4. Våfflan87 (Sweden) *$69,417.22
5. Lynette0 (Switzerland) $31,144.00
6. ramondemon77 (Romania) $23,816.00
7. Nicolas "niccc" Chouity (Lebanon) $16,488.00
8. buckguy2200 (Mexico) $9,166.00
9. Tobias "PokerNoob999" Reinkemeier $5,862.40