It's December, meaning for much of the world temperatures are getting colder. Meanwhile at PokerStars the Sunday Warm-Up continues to sizzle, providing huge fields and big prize pools to greet players like a nice, inviting fire on a cold winter's day.
There were 3,553 players all gathered around together to start this week's $215 buy-in Sunday Warm-Up, with all of those entries stacking up to build a roaring $710,400 prize pool -- well over the event's $500K guarantee. And after a little over ten-and-a-half hours of play it was salfshb of the United Kingdom left sitting with all of the chips and a $111,533.97 first prize.
When the cash bubble burst on Sunday afternoon and just 540 players remained, there were several Team PokerStars Pros among them -- George Danzer, Liv Boeree, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Maxim Lykov, and Toni Judet. Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen of Team Online was still in the mix as well, helping to pepper the leaderboard further with numerous red spades.
Boeree would hit the rail soon thereafter in 478th, earning a $305.47 return on her buy-in. Danzer followed suit by exiting in 448th and de Melo went out moments later in 440th, both earning $312.57 for their finishes. But the others battled onward, with Lykov lasting all of the way to a 155th-place finish ($674.88) while both Petersen and Judet continued to work their contending stacks.
Petersen finally fell in 76th ($1,136.64), and after about nine hours of play Judet became the last Team Pro to go, just missing the final table by making it to 13th place ($3,196.80)
Following Judet to the rail were jjjooo111 (12th), locomi (11th), and dirty.brasil (10th), each of whom earned $4,262.40 for their finishes, and with those knockouts the final table was underway.
Seat 1: salfshb (United Kingdom) -- 2,219,468
Seat 2: jdimindtrix (Romania) -- 1,781,155
Seat 3: DuduPoker-Br (Brazil) -- 2,059,312
Seat 4: jurarta_PL (Poland) -- 8,733,129
Seat 5: PPP-30NA (Iran) -- 5,028,574
Seat 6: Stjerneskud (Denmark) -- 2,725,127
Seat 7: gmcrafter (Chile) -- 6,676,758
Seat 8: zamyak (Australia) -- 1,988,662
Seat 9: Butros (United Kingdom) -- 4,307,815
jurata_PL of Poland began the final table as chip leader while salfshb would begin the final table as one of short stacks. But salfshb would reraise-shove over a gmcrafter open on the very first hand of the final table to force a fold and start gathering chips, a kind of harbinger of things to come for the British player.
PPP-30NA pushed out in 9th
All nine players made it to the nine-and-a-half-hour break, and shortly afterwards the blinds were 100,000/200,000 when PPP-30NA open-raised all in for 1,522,811 from middle position, then watched gmcrafter reraise to 2,845,622 from a couple of seats over.
It folded back to salfshb in the small blind who paused a beat, then reraised all in for 3,999,468. jdimindtrix folded the big blind, and when gmcrafter called the reraise the trio's cards were revealed.
The flop came 2♦K♠T♠ to put salfshb in front with a pair of kings. The Q♦ turn then gave gmcrafter a lesser pair. The river was the 5♥, meaning salfshb's pair was best and PPP-30NA had been eliminated in ninth.
DuduPoker-Br done in 8th
salfshb was just getting started, as it turned out, and soon thereafter came a 2x opening raise to 400,000 from salfshb from the cutoff seat. DuduPoker-Br reraised to 925,888 from the small blind, and when it folded back to salfshb there came a pause then a reraise-push all in which DuduPoker-Br called with the 2,976,736 left behind.
salfshb had J♣J♦ and DuduPoker-Br A♠Q♥, and after the community cards came K♦K♥T♦K♣9♣ DuduPoker-Br was out in eighth. Meanwhile, salfshub had suddenly become an overwhelming chip leader with more than 14 million, well ahead of jurarta-PL's closest-challenging stack of almost 8.1 million.
gmcrafter crashes in 7th
gmcrafter would be the next to fall in seventh place following a confrontation with zamyak. In that hand, the blinds had increased to 125,000/250,000 when gmcrafter opened with a button raise that zamyak called from the small blind.
The flop came 7♦K♦7♠, and when zamyak checked gmcrafter pushed all in for 664,290 and zamyak quickly called. gmcrafter had A♦9♣ and still needed help versus zamyak's J♦J♥, but the turn was the 5♣ and river the Q♣, and gmcrafter hit the rail in seventh.
Double-KO stops jdimindrix in 6th, Stjerneskud in 5th
Next came a big double-knockout to reduce the field to four players. In that one a short-stacked jdimindtrix open-pushed all in from under the gun, Stjerneskud reraise-shoved from the cutoff seat, then Butros reraised over the top of both from the small blind, forcing a fold from the leader salfshb in the big blind.
As it happened, all three players had picked up pocket pairs, with jdimindtrix showing 7♥7♣, Stjerneskud 9♦9♣, and Butros Q♠Q♦. Five cards later -- J♠2♣6♠A♥6♣ -- Butros still had the best hand, meaning jdimindtrix was out in sixth while Stjerneskud's run had ended in fifth.
jurata_PL felted in 4th
Butros would handle the next elimination as well, once more thanks to having been dealt a big pocket pair.
With the blinds still 125,000/250,000, Butros put in a raise to 500,000 from the cutoff/UTG, then jurata_PL reraised all in from the small blind for 5,623,155 total. zamyak stepped aside, and Butros immediately called, turning over K♣K♦ to jurata_PL's A♦J♣.
The board came 8♦3♠J♠8♠Q♥, giving Butros the almost 11.6 million-plus chip pot and sending jurata_PL out in fourth.
zamyak's aces cracked, out in 3rd
With three left salfshb was still the leader with just under 16.5 million, while Butros had a healthy stack of about 14.5 million. Meanwhile, zamyak would begin the three-handed battle with the short stack, relatively speaking, of just over 4.5 million.
The pair would chip away at zamyak, whittling their opponent down to less than 2 million. zamyak would manage to double through each of them, however, to remain alive. First zamyak used A♥K♦ to double up through the J♣8♠ of salfshb. Then a little later zamyak would double a short stack again with A♣3♠ versus Butros's K♦Q♣.
But zamyak was still well behind the other two, and with the blinds up to 150,000/300,000 was once more sitting with just over 10 big blinds (3,202,456) when salfshb open-pushed all in from the small blind.
zamyak was more than happy to call that raise, having picked up A♠A♦. Meanwhile salfshb had K♠4♠, and it appeared zamyak was on the verge of doubling up again, this time to a relatively comfortable stack.
But alas for zamyak, the flop came Q♠7♠7♥ to give salfshb a spade flush draw, then the T♠ fell on the turn to complete the draw. zamyak still had outs, but the river was the K♦ and they were down to two.
salfshb flops trips to bounce Butros
salfshb started heads-up play with a commanding stack of 29,269,620, almost five times the 6,250,380 that Butros had.
The pair played five small-pot hands, then on the sixth hand between them salfshb opened from the button for 2x to 600,000, Butros called from the small blind, and the pair saw a flop come 8♦6♠6♥.
Butros checked, salfshb fired a continuation bet of 420,420, and when Butros called the pot was 2,100,840.
The turn then brought the 9♠ and another check from Butros. This time salfshb fired a bet of 969,696, and Butros responded fairly quickly with an all-in push for 5,199,960. salfshb took some time to respond, dipping into the time bank for about 20 seconds before finally making the call.
Butros showed T♠9♦ for nines and sixes plus a gutshot draw, while salfshb had K♥6♣ for trip sixes. The river brought the 5♣, and salfshb had won.
Congratulations to safshb of the U.K. for coming back from short-stacked status to start the final table to grab a handsome six-figure first prize!
12/2/12 Sunday Warm-Up final table results:
1st: salfshb (United Kingdom) -- $111,533.97
2nd: Butros (United Kingdom) -- $83,116.80
3rd: zamyak (Australia) -- $58,608.00
4th: jurarta_PL (Poland) -- $40,848.00
5th: Stjerneskud (Denmark) -- $30,192.00
6th: jdimindtrix (Romania) -- $23,088.00
7th: gmcrafter (Chile) -- $15,984.00
8th: DuduPoker-Br (Brazil) -- $8,880.00
9th: PPP-30NA (Iran) -- $5,683.20
Prize pool: $710,400.00
Places paid: 540
Speaking of finding a warm spot during the winter months, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is coming soon. Have you heard that the first-ever Open-Face Chinese Poker event is on the PCA schedule this year. Read all about it here.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.