It’s not unusual for a heads-up match to feature the player who came to the final table with the chip lead, facing off against somebody who started off with a less impressive stack. What is unusual is for the player who started with fewer chips to be in a dominant position from the beginning of that duel until its end. That’s exactly what happened in today’s Sunday Warm-Up, where Poland’s AnyGameSir snuck up on the field at the final table and pushed that advantage to a major career milestone.
A total of 2,942 players showed up to play this week’s installment of the Sunday Warm-Up, building a total prize pool of $588,400. That was split up among the top 432 finishers, with $92,379.42 awaiting the winner. Sweden’s Sirocco was the leader with 370,147 chips when the bubble burst heading into the 3:55 p.m. ET break. The Swede wasn’t around three hours later when the field had been narrowed to just three tables, having bowed out in 88th place ($882.60). But Team Online’s Grzegorz “DaWarsaw” Mikielewicz was there, in the middle of the pack with just over 1.1 million chips and blinds and antes at 40K/80K/4K.
DaWarsaw was still around when the field had shrunk by one more table, though with a relatively short stack. Eventually he vaulted into serious contention after raising with A♥ Q♠ and calling FarmluFarm’s all-in bet with Q♦ 5♦. That 2.33M-chip pot was good for a move into third place, three big blinds behind second-place AA DOCTOR of Greece. He survived an all-in on the final table bubble, making a flush with A-K after his opponent had flopped top pair with A-Q, to break through into the last nine. It was 8:15 p.m. ET, blinds and antes were 50K/100K/10K, and these players had their eyes on the top prize:
Seat 1: vladxxxro (5,163,993 in chips)
Seat 2: Buffett1986 (2,975,233 in chips)
Seat 3: SlyderS1 (3,382,874 in chips)
Seat 4: alimounda (2,825,618 in chips)
Seat 5: AA DOCTOR (5,860,914 in chips)
Seat 6: passuare (1,319,792 in chips)
Seat 7: JIM_BALLAS (2,610,304 in chips)
Seat 8: AnyGameSir (2,659,395 in chips)
Seat 9: Team Online’s Grzegorz “DaWarsaw” Mikielewicz (2,621,877 in chips)
Leading the way was AA DOCTOR, who was making a third career final table appearance in the Sunday Warm-Up. Most of the rest of the table was clustered together within just a few big blinds of one another, including DaWarsaw. Team Online’s last representative opted to play aggressive and go for the win, but that plan backfired on Hand #12. Sitting in the big blind with 130K committed, he moved all-in for 2.6M after AnyGameSir opened the betting with a raise to 290K in the small blind. AnyGameSir called immediately with Q♦ Q♥, which was ahead of DaWarsaw’s A♥ 9♦ and stayed there when the board fell 5♥ J♠ 6♦ 10♠ 6♠. The queens held up, and DaWarsaw finished in 9th place ($4,707.20).
Eight hands later AnyGameSir picked up another big pair and found another opponent willing to go all the way before the flop. This time AnyGameSir was in the big blind with K♣ K♥ and only had to call after JIM_BALLAS jammed for 2.6M in the small blind with 6♥ 6♠. The kings were never in danger on the 7♦ 7♥ J♣ J♥ 9♠ board, giving AnyGameSir the pot and JIM_BALLAS an 8th-place finish ($7,649.20).
More big pairs would be in play seven hands later, though AnyGameSir got a break this time as Romania’s vladxxxro and Greece’s AA DOCTOR faced off. Buffett1986 opened the hand with a raise to 260K under the gun, which was called by AA DOCTOR in the cutoff. Then vladxxxro raised to 780K, driving Buffett1986 off before AA DOCTOR called to see a Q♣ J♣ 3♥ flop with 1.97M chips in the pot. vladxxxro led for 988K and then called after AA DOCTOR shoved for 4.18M, leaving only 412K behind. AA DOCTOR was covered but had flopped middle set with J♥ J♠, moving ahead of vladxxxro’s A♥ A♣. The Romanian picked up additional outs to a straight on the 10♥ turn, but the J♦ on the river made quads to give AA DOCTOR the 10.3M-chip pot.
Nearly all-in from the small blind after a bet and raise on the next hand, vladxxxro lost out with A♠ 2♣ against AnyGameSir’s Q♥ J♥ when the board fell 9♠ K♣ K♥ 2♠ Q♠. That sent the Romanian player to the rail in 7th place ($13,533.20).
Just four hands after that, AA DOCTOR went from cracking aces to having them hold up. The Greek player raised the minimum on the button with and then called when Brazil’s passuare moved all-in for 1.5M from the small blind. The Brazilian’s K♦ Q♣ didn’t improve enough on the 6♠ 4♠ 6♣ 9♣ Q♠ board, sending passuare out in 6th place ($19,417.20).
With blinds and antes up to 80K/160K/16K, there was now a big divide between the top of the leaderboard and the short stacks:
Seat 2: Buffett1986 (3,371,154 in chips)
Seat 3: SlyderS1 (1,957,874 in chips)
Seat 4: alimounda (1,945,618 in chips)
Seat 5: AA DOCTOR (11,784,620 in chips)
Seat 8: AnyGameSir (10,360,734 in chips)
Within six hands, two of the shorties collided in a clash for survival. Buffett1986 opened on the button with an all-in raise to 3.2M, holding K♣ 6♦, and Greece’s alimounda called for 1.59M in the big blind, holding A♥ 3♠. Things went south quickly for alimounda as the J♠ K♦ 6♥ flop gave Buffett1986 top and bottom pair. The 5♥ turn and 9♠ river offered no help, and alimounda’s tournament ended in 5th place ($25,301.20).
That pot gave Buffett1986 a stack worth 5M chips. Hungary’s SlyderS1, meanwhile, was hanging on with just over 10 big blinds at 1.68M. Within three hands they would be in a dead heat with one another after Buffett1986 jammed in the small blind with Q♥ 4♠, SlyderS1 called all-in with K♦ Q♠, and the board came 6♥ 10♦ 5♦ A♦ 6♦ to give SlyderS1 the nut flush.
From there the two short stacks avoided any all-in confrontations for a surprising 13 hands, despite neither player having more than 20 big blinds to work with. The question was which one would be forced into action against a big stack first – and the answer was Buffett1986. Holding A♣ 5♦, the Australian moved all-in for 2.12M on the button after AnyGameSir opened for a min-raise to 400K. AnyGameSir was the only caller with Q♣ 10♦, which missed the 6♥ 5♣ 9♣ flop but caught a pair on the 10♥ turn. Any ace or five would have given Buffett1986 a lifeline, but the 3♥ came instead and Buffett1986’s day ended in 4th place ($33,833).
AnyGameSir now had a sizable lead with 18M chips, 6.6M more than the other two players combined. Moreover, the Polish player was up against two opponents with incentive to try to outlast each other. That paved the path to taking eight of the next 13 pots without a fight, growing that stack to 19.3M with almost no risk and putting the other players against the wall.
On the next hand, SlyderS1 tried calling down bets on all streets but gave up when AnyGameSir bet again on the river with the board reading A♠ 5♦ 4♠ 10♣ 4♣. Then AnyGameSir hit the gas again and stole eight of the following 10 pots, good for a 24M-chip stack. The others languished with 4.3M and 1.06M apiece, so when AnyGameSir raised all-in on the button and SlyderS1 held J♦ 7♦, a call was in order. AnyGameSir’s A♥ 8♠ was ahead from the start and paired by the turn of the 9♠ 4♠ 4♥ 8♥ board. Any jack or ten would have kept SlyderS1 in the game, but the 2♣ came on the river instead and the Hungarian’s run came to an end in 3rd place ($48,848.96).
End of the line
AnyGameSir had a big lead and AA DOCTOR was hoping for a big comeback as heads-up play began with blinds and antes at 125K/250K/25K:
Seat 5: AA DOCTOR (4,290,500 in chips)
Seat 8: AnyGameSir (25,129,500 in chips)
The two players traded the first eight pots back and forth. Then AnyGameSir stole two in a row before AA DOCTOR found a double to 5.98M with K♥ J♦ against AnyGameSir’s Q♦ 9♣. But that was the only showdown the Greek player would win during the duel. Nine hands later, AA DOCTOR called with 9♦ 7♠ on the button and AnyGameSir checked with Q♥ 7♠, setting up a flurry of action when the flop came 2♥ 7♥ 5♥. After ending up all-in, AA DOCTOR needed a non-heart nine or running cards to a straight to stay alive. But the turn and river came 2♠–6♠, bringing the tournament to a close.
AA DOCTOR came up short of a win in this third Sunday Warm-Up final table appearance, but the Greek player’s 2nd-place finish for $68K today improved on 8th-place and 6th-place finishes the last two times – perhaps the fourth time will be the charm. Meanwhile, the $92K win was the second new career high for AnyGameSir during 2015, following up on an $81K second-place finish to Jason Koon in the Super Tuesday a month back. It was a big day for both players and they’re fully deserving of congratulations on their accomplishments.
3/29/15 Sunday Warm-Up ($215 No-Limit Hold’em) results
Prize pool: $588,400
Places paid: 432
1. AnyGameSir (Poland) $92,379.42
2. AA DOCTOR (Greece) $68,842.80
3. SlyderS1 (Hungary) $48,848.96
4. Buffett1986 (Australia) $33,833
5. alimounda (Greece) $25,301.20
6. passuare (Brazil) $19,417.20
7. vladxxxro (Romania) $13,533.20
8. JIM_BALLAS (Cyprus) $7,649.20
9. Team Online’s Grzegorz “DaWarsaw” Mikielewicz (Poland) $4,707.20
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.