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Every Sunday on PokerStars is a busy one. With the line-up of Sunday majors, players need a strict schedule and several computer monitors to get in on all of the action. Today is one of those days that requires even more attention because of all of the TCOOP action, but it sure makes for quite a bit of excitement!

Speaking of the Sunday majors, the Sunday Warm-Up led things off with its usual $500K guarantee and the promise of a big field of players. It was also a nice break from the turbo action of the current series and a reminder of what makes Sundays so amazing on PokerStars.

This week, the final numbers looked like this:

Players: 3,569
Guarantee: $500,000
Actual prize pool: $713,800
Paid finishers: 540

Just before the five-hour mark of the tournament, the money bubble burst, and players still seated were guaranteed at least $299.79 for their original $215 investment. Just before that time, though, Team PokerStars Pro Martin “AABenjaminAA” Hruby was eliminated in 597th place.

As the payments started being processed, Team Pro Celina Lin was one of the first, exiting in 537th place. Jude “j.thaddeus” Ainsworth followed a bit later in 375th place, and reigning WSOP Main Event world champion Pius Heinz exited in 367th. That left Hungarian Team Pro Richard Toth holding the banner for the team.

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Mr. Toth was eventually eliminated in 141st place with $749.49.

As the tournament came close to the nine-hour mark, only two tables remained and the minimum payout was up to $2,141.40. With the final table in sight, caution was the word going from Level 32 to 33. Action slowed dramatically at that point, but that was temporary. Franxic exited in 15th place, followed by PROTENTIALmn, Diogo37, and yargen. The 11th place elimination of smellmuth brought on the hand-for-hand play.

It took a few rounds of play and some double-ups, but eventually, the final table bubble burst. Krutenkie moved all-in from early position, and respect82 reraised from the button to isolate, which worked. Krutenkie showed Aβ™  5β™₯ , and respect82 had 8♣ 8β™  . The board of Kβ™  2♦ K♣ K♦ Q♦ gave respect82 the full house and eliminated Krutenkie in tenth place with $4,282.80.

VonBaranow ventures forward with chip lead

At the very end of Level 34, with blinds at 65,000/130,000 and a 13,000 ante, the final table was set as follows:

Seat 1: neckbr4ke (3,753,200 in chips)
Seat 2: RasA86 (2,311,314 in chips)
Seat 3: fabi8913 (2,219,379 in chips)
Seat 4: vonBaranow (13,030,503 in chips)
Seat 5: sevshi (853,908 in chips)
Seat 6: 6Thor6 (1,236,032 in chips)
Seat 7: salaliitto (3,035,404 in chips)
Seat 8: t6naver (6,173,034 in chips)
Seat 9: respect82 (3,077,226 in chips)

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(Thanks to final table host, Team Online’s Adrienne “talonchick” Rowsome for the final table picture!)

It wasn’t until Level 36 that a player was at risk, and RasA86 took that opportunity to double through neckbr4ke.

Salaliitto tried the same, pushing all-in preflop, but the plan didn’t work out so well. Salaliitto moved all-in with J♦ 8♣ from the button, and respect82 called from the big blind with A♦ Jβ™₯ . The ace-high hand held up to the 2♦ K♣ 3♦ 10β™₯ 5β™₯ board, and salaliitto had to leave in ninth place with $5,710.40.

Neckbr4ke was on the shorter side of the counts and decided to move as well. The all-in was made with Aβ™₯ 2β™  from the button, but RasA86 reraised all-in from the small blind with A♣ Kβ™₯ , which worked. The board of 8♦ 4♦ 5β™₯ Jβ™  Kβ™  couldn’t save neckbr4ke, who ended the tournament in eighth place with $8,922.50.

Fabi8913 decided to push all-in preflop with A♣ Kβ™₯ , and sevshi called all-in for 851K with Aβ™  Jβ™  . The board of Qβ™₯ 10β™  Q♣ 8β™  J♣ gave fabi8913 the ace-high straight, and sevshi had to leave in seventh place with $16,060.50.

After 6Thor6 doubled through fabi8913, the latter pushed a few hands later with Kβ™  10β™₯ . VonBaranow called with Q♣ Qβ™  , and that pair improved to two pair on the 6β™₯ 5♦ 7♦ 5♣ A♦ board. Fabi8913 took home $23,198.50 for the sixth place finish.

The rise of RasA86

RasA86 then doubled through 6Thor6, who in turn doubled through vonBaranow.

Speaking of vonBaranow, the player with the substantial chip lead was getting aggressive. VonBaranow moved all-in preflop from the button, and after some thought, t6naver called all-in from the big blind with K♣ Q♣ . VonBaranow had Q♦ 10♣ , which was the worst hand on the 8β™₯ 3♦ 7♦ flop but the best hand with the 10β™  on the turn. The 6β™₯ on the river finished it and left t6naver out in fifth place with $30,336.50.

VonBaranow took a few hits when 6Thor6 and respect82 each doubled through the chip leader on consecutive hands. Then 6Thor6 doubled through respect82.

That led to respect82 pushing all-in on the very next hand with 9β™  9β™₯ , only to be called by the K♦ Kβ™₯ of RasA86. The kings held up to the 2♣ 7β™₯ Q♣ Aβ™₯ 6♦ board, and respect82 finished the tournament in fourth place with $41,043.50.

Three-handed play went without much incident until RasA86 and 6Thor6 went into battle. The 10β™  Qβ™  J♣ flop prompted both players to check, and the 4♣ on the turn brought a bet from 6Thor6 and call from RasA86. When the 5♣ appeared on the river, 6thor6 bet out again, and RasA86 responded with a raise. 6Thor6 called all-in with 9♦ 8♦ and the straight, but RasA86 showed A♣ 10♣ for the flush. 6Thor6 left in third place with $58,888.50.

Denmark vs. Brazil

The last two players were set to play some heads-up poker, with vonBaranow of Brazil holding only a slight lead over RasA86 of Denmark.

Seat 2: RasA86 (16,991,658 in chips)
Seat 4: vonBaranow (18,698,342 in chips)

RasA86 was determined to take the lead and leapt ahead with this hand in particular:

RSS readers click through to see replay

A few rounds later, vonBaranow risked a stack of little less than 14 million chips with Aβ™  7β™₯ , and RasA86 called with Q♣ Qβ™  . The flop of K♣ Qβ™₯ 6β™₯ created a set for RasA86, and that hand stayed strong as the J♣ and 3β™₯ finished the board and the tournament. SCOOP bracelet holder vonBaranow had to take second place in this one but received a nice $83,514.60 payday.

RasA86 of Denmark is this week’s Sunday Warm-Up champion. Congrats on the win and the $112,067.77 payday!

Sunday Warm-Up Results for 01/22/12:

1st place: RasA86 ($112,067.77)
2nd place: vonBaranow ($83,514.60)
3rd place: 6Thor6 ($58,888.50)
4th place: respect82 ($41,043.50)
5th place: t6naver ($30,336.50)
6th place: fabi8913 ($23,198.50)
7th place: sevshi ($16,060.50)
8th place: neckbr4ke ($8,922.50)
9th place: salaliitto ($5,710.40)

Information regarding weekly Warm-Up tournaments can be found on its home page.

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