Six-time NBA champion and known as the greatest basketball player who has ever lived, Michael Jordan celebrated his 50th birthday tonight. PlayaPlz happened to have an avatar of the Chicago Bulls star and managed to win tonight $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up. Whether or not PlayaPlz has the same crossover or jumper as the Hall-of-Famer does not matter as the champion this week is taking home $98,556.39 after a three-way deal and a lengthy heads-up match against JayP-AA.
Unlike last week when the ninth hourly break was nearly taken during the final table, 17 players would enjoy one last five minute snooze before hustling back to their keyboards for the final push towards a Sunday Warm-Up win. Second in chips going into the break was a familiar name from last month's TCOOP. Assad91 would take down TCOOP Event #43 and nearly swiped the Player of the Series award from Tjepan on the final weekend (finishing in fourth place). Tonight the Norwegian would be looking for a six-figure win to go with that TCOOP title but the cards had different ideas. As the blinds moved up to 50K/100K ante 10K Assad91 would double up psyhoagromor for a 3.2 million chip pot getting pocket tens in preflop against psyhoagromor's queens. Then two hands later, Assad91 picked the wrong time to open shove from the small blind as AAmisterKK just happened to find A♣A♥ in the big blind. Despite flopping a pair with T♣Q♥ the board closed this one out on the turn Q♣ 8♣ 2♥ A♦ 9♠ ending Assad91's night in 17th place ($2,241.00).
Definitely a slower brand of poker today than what Assad91 was used to during the TCOOP as the 65K/130K ante 13K blind level started up with 14 players still remaining. Make that 13 players after chip leader yarik 1903 decided to snap call a shove by GHDEVILS88 with pocket aces that held up for a 5.32 million chip pot. In 2011 yarik 1903 nearly claimed a WCOOP bracelet after finishing third in Event #60 for $144,960.00
The first hand of the 80K/160K ante 16K blind level had yarik 1903 collecting yet another big pot as 4.3 million chips slid over to the chip leader after Anjeyyy open shoved from the small blind with K♦J♣ and lost the race against yarik 1903's pocket nines 9♣9♠ to set up hand-for-hand play which lasted a whole two hands. Snusarn would shove for 1.91 million from the button as JayP-AA made the call from the big blind holding A♥2♠. Pocket fours 4♠4♥ looked good after the 2♦8♣J♠ flop, but not after the A♦ turn and the 6♠ river closed out the tournament for Snusarn and started up the final table below:
Seat 1: the_coahman (2536132 in chips)
Seat 2: JayP-AA (6405805 in chips)
Seat 3: PlayaPlz (3895799 in chips)
Seat 4: fish&chlps (1573848 in chips)
Seat 5: psyhoagromor (5116783 in chips)
Seat 6: nervakSVK (485156 in chips)
Seat 7: gigaplayer (1843872 in chips)
Seat 8: hestskit (1812336 in chips)
Seat 9: yarik1903 (13680269 in chips)
Despite using the smiling face of Rafa Nadal as an avatar, nervakSVK would not walk away a champion today like Nadal did today at the Brazil Open, capping huge turnaround after being injured for the past seven month and finishing second last week in Chile. With the blinds at 80K/160K ante 16K on the second hand of the final table, nervakSVK would three-bet shove for 453,156 chips after PlayaPlz's min-raise from middle position. PlayaPlz made the easy call holding 7♠A♠, flipping against nervakSVK's pocket fours 4♣4♦. A seven on the flop 9♦ 7♦ Q♠ Q♣ T♦ ended any thoughts of a short-stack run for nervakSVK finishing in ninth place ($5,976.00).
One short stack doubles, the other does not
With the blinds up to 100K/200K ante 20K a three-way all-in would break out between yarik1903, gigaplayer, and fish&chlps. Two would survive, and one picked up eighth place cash. Check out the video below for the results:
yarik1903 had a shot to eliminate both players with 5♥A♠ and fish&chlps' K♦J♦ managed to hit two pair. But, it was gigaplayer's set of tens T♠T♦ on the T♥ K♠ 9♣ 5♦ J♥ board taking down the 1.9 million chip pot and taking out fish&chlps in eighth place ($9,337.50).
yarik strikes back
After losing a few big pots, yarik1903's huge chip lead was being distributed around the table. With the blinds at 125K/250K ante 25K gigaplayer still sitting on a short stack despite the previous double up, shoved for 1.26 million as yarik1903 made the call holding pocket fours 4♣4♠ which seems to be a very popular hand tonight. No flip this time for the sailboats as gigaplayer showed treys 3♥3♠ which failed to find a third one on the 6♠ 7♦ A♠ 8♣ 9♠ board ending the night in seventh place ($16,807.50).
yarik strikes out
That didn't last long. Just five hands after bouncing gigaplayer out of the tournament, yarik1903 would be facing elimination as well. With the blinds holding at 125K/250K ante 25K and fresh off doubling up PlayaPlz, yarik1903 would min-raise as JayP-AA three-bet to 1.09 million from the big blind. Back to yarik1903 who four-bet to 4.25 million and JayP-AA ended the raises with a five-bet to 7.4 million. yarik1903 holding 3♥A♠ was nearly forced to call off the remaining 125,958 chips as JayP-AA showed the dominating A♥J♠. Neither player was helped by the 9♣ 9♦ K♣ 5♥ T♣ board as yarik1903 slumped off in sixth place ($24,277.50).
As the blinds moved up to 150K/300K ante 30K the_coahman would lead out from the cutoff for 2.1 million. PlayaPlz made it 8.88 million to go from the small blind as the psyhoagromor in the big blind wanted nothing to do with that bet. the_coahman however only held 471,528 chips left and made the call with a small suited connector 4♥3♥. PlayaPlz was pleased holding A♠9♥ and more pleased once the T♦ J♦ 9♣ 7♥ 9♦ board came down in the Canadian's favor knocking out the_coahman in fifth place ($31,747.50).
Left out of the chop talks
JayP-AA said "look numbers?" about five seconds too late for psyhoagromor. With the blinds hanging at 150K/300K ante 30K PlayaPlz would min-raise from the button as psyhoagromor shoved for 3.7 million and hestskit called all-in from the small blind for 3.4 million with A♥T♦. psyhoagromor turned up Q♥K♣ and failed to find anything matching up on the 2♣ 6♦ 9♦ 5♥ 5♦ board sending psyhoagromor home to think about the $42,952.50 payday in fourth place.
"Alrighty players... what can I do for you three?" asked tonight's MC Team Online's Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome. Apparently the answer is a long chat about who is wants to make a deal for the $265K remaining in the prize and who does not want to give up a penny. But, peer pressure and 27 minutes softened up the abstainer to hash out the deal shown below with $10,000.00 set aside for the champ tonight:
AA not needed
On the third hand back from the break JayP-AA and hestskit would knot up for a 22.9 million chip preflop pot. JayP-AA's pocket sevens 7♦7♣ would run through hestskit's A♦J♠ on the 9♣ T♠ K♣ 2♥ 5♠ board knocking hestskit's stack down to 1.31 million and blinds at 200K/400K ante 40K. hestskit would double up on the very next hand, but three hands later hestskit would be all-in again against JayP-AA this time with K♠7♠ against JayP-AA's A♦Q♥. Despite turning a flush draw T♥ 9♠ J♣ 4♠ 6♥ JayP-AA's ace played as hestskit took away $83,748.18 from the deal in third place.
Second time a charm?
PlayaPlz has been here at the final table of the Sunday Warm-Up before. Back in March 2011, PlayaPlz made a seventh place appearance earning $23,458.50 in the process during one of the largest Sunday Warm-Up. Tonight PlayaPlz would be going after the title starting with a 25 million to 12.2 million chip deficit.
PlayaPlz wins one for Jordan
It is possible that Michael Jordan's 50th birthday and PlayaPlz's avatar of His Airness brought a little luck to the tables tonight. After a 41 minute battle with JayP-AA it all came down to the 34 million chip preflop hand below:
JayP-AA's Q♠K♣ would flop a pair, but the turned ace matched up with PlayaPlz's 9♣A♥ on the T♣ K♥ 2♣ A♠ 6♠ board to win the extra $10,000.00 and this week's Sunday Warm-Up!
$500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up results: (02-17-13)
Players entered: 3,735
Places paid: 540
Prize pool: $747,000.00
First place: *$98,556.39
(* denotes part of three-way deal)
1. PlayaPlz (Canada) *$98,556.39
2. JayP-AA (United Kingdom) *$84,000.93
3. hestskit (Norway) *$83,748.18
4. psyhoagromor (Ukraine) $42,952.50
5. the_coahman (Sweden) $31,747.50
6. yarik1903 (Ukraine) $24,277.50
7. gigaplayer (Czech Republic) $16,807.50
8. fish&chlps (United Kingdom) $9,337.50
9. nervakSVK (Slovakia) $5,976.00
David Aydt is a freelance contributor