Watching the Dutch speed skaters during the Sochi Olympics for most of the day they all had one thing in common: the ability to finish strong. As the split times would show most of the other skaters losing precious tenths of a second with each lap, the long-bladers in the orange suits would continue their fast pace on the road to the podium. Tonight’s $500,000 guarantee featured another amazing late run but on a different oval surface. pvas2’s late break would blow past the rest of the final table en route to a Sunday Major $116,369.57 win.
Not the usual night at the Sunday Warm-Up where 20 players hit the ninth hourly break. A stacked Table 11 included KaptainKush who most recently took down the Super Tuesday in December for $84K, RichieRichZH, whose win during Sunday Million’s 40 Billionth hand promotion bumped the guarantee up to a staggering $4 million, making RichieRichZH an instant millionaire while banking $1.1m during the 2010 event. Tonight RichieRichZH would go into the break with just 243,930 in chips with blinds at 40K/80K ante 8K but did manage to more than double up on the first hand back to get some breathing room.
Paul “padjes” Berende with a Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP) victory in Event #17 last year and a SCOOP champ in 2012, unfortunately would run pocket tens into the pocket aces of challenger series winner George “gkap13” Kapalas, and Berende’s exit would condense the tables from three to two.
Another Sunday Million champ, pvas2, utilizing the power of having Team SportStars Rafa Nadal as an avatar, would be looking to add another Sunday Major tonight after winning $233K in August 2010. Down to 12 players mid-way through the tenth hour of play, pvas2 held the chip lead with five million as the blinds moved up to 80K/160K ante 16K. A timely rivered set for KaptainKush would overcome a flopped two pair for pvas2 as the 4.5 million chip pot and the chip lead moved over to KaptainKush, as katiemikexxx was eliminated a minute later in 12th place ($4,447.20).
tummen6 would outkick arnenator in 11th place ($4,447.20) as hand-for-hand play arrived with blinds holding at 80K/160K ante 16K. Live by the river die by the river: KaptainKush had Kapalas all-in with jack-nine versus king-queen only to see a jack spike on the river to ship the 3.6 million chip pot as 10-handed play continued. But not for long, as on the next hand with the blinds still at 80K/160K ante 16K PhilRoyal888 would call the shortstack shove of RichieRichZH holding 9♠A♣. RichieRichZH’s shot at another Sunday Major would be dashed by 8♠A♠ as the board 5♣ Q♠ 7♣ 10♦ 9♦ could not overcome the kicker problems, starting up the final table below:
Seat 1: armenioz (2705147 in chips)
Seat 2: pvas2 (4185967 in chips)
Seat 3: tormos (5580187 in chips)
Seat 4: IsraMazeltov (7695504 in chips)
Seat 5: DidzeR (4012563 in chips)
Seat 6: PhilRoyal888 (3249667 in chips)
Seat 7: tummen6 (3869705 in chips)
Seat 8: George “gkap13” Kapalas (3648432 in chips)
Seat 9: KaptainKush (2112828 in chips)
Only a half-dozen hands would take place before the tenth hourly break as all nine players would take five minutes to rest while checking their options as the blinds moved up to 100K/200K ante 20K.
Short break for KaptainKush
First hand back from the break, and Kapalas min-raised from the cutoff as KaptainKush, holding Q♠Q♦, wasted no time in shoving for 1.67 million on the button. The blinds folded as Kapalas made the call with A♣10♠ and was rewarded with an ace on the flop K♦ A♥ 8♣ J♣ 8♦. Drawing to different outs on the turn, KaptainKush would settle for a ninth place ($5,929.60) tonight.
tormos on a tear
With the blinds moving up to 125K/250K ante 25K, tormos made all the right moves to take over the chip lead. First, tormos would press some luck after shoving all-in on the turn Q♦ 2♥ 9♠ 5♥ against the pocket aces of Kapalas, as the Greek challenge winner made the call and needed to fade tormos’ K♥J♥ straight and flush draws. 10♣ on the river gave tormos more than 10 million chips. Ten hands later tormos would open for a min-raise from the button as IsraMazeltov cheered for a win and shoved 5.5 million chips holding pocket sevens 7♦7♠. But, the chip leader was hungry and gobbled up another big pot after pocket tens 10♦10♣ cleared the 3♣ Q♥ J♦ 6♦ 4♥ board, earning IsraMazeltov $9,265.00 in eighth place.
tormos the terror
The chip leader would not relent after claiming those eight-figure pots as tormos made another min-raise and again someone tried their luck by shoving. Watch below as tormos receives a 4.5 million chip boost.
Similar to the last elimination hand, DidzeR’s pocket sixes 6♦6♥ were no match for tormos’ high pocket pair Q♠Q♦ as the 3♥ 4♥ J♠ 4♦ 7♠ board ran clean and DidzeR collected $16,677.00 in seventh place.
Kapalas gains ground
11 hands later with the blinds still at 125K/250K ante 25K Kapalas would shove from the cutoff for 2.56 million as armenioz hopped in for less, holding 1.36 million and pocket eights 8♠8♦. Kapalas’ ducks 2♦2♥ quacked loudly enough for a third one to appear 3♥ 2♣ K♦ A♥ 6♥ as armenioz was left with a bad beat worth $24,089.00 in sixth place.
Roller coaster ends for Kapalas
Doubling up PhilRoyal888, doubling up against tummen6 on the next hand, doubling up pvas2 all in three hands, Kapalas was anything but sitting back to move up the pay ladder. On the fourth hand, with the blinds moving up to 150K/300K ante 30K, tummen6 raised to 900,000 as Kapalas called all-in from the small blind for 436,711 and pvas2 called in the big blind. Both players would check the 10♥3♥6♥ flop but pvas2 liked the 5♠ turn and bet 900,000. tummen6 got the hint to fold as pvas2 showed the flopped top pair 10♣J♣. Kapalas’ A♥6♠ had plenty of outs going to the river, but missed all of them with the 8♣, finishing the tournament in fifth place ($31,501.00).
Tumbles from the tournament
Some whispers of chopping up the final four spots would shoot across the table but watching the Sochi Olympics and the mesmerizing replay of Julia Lipnitskaia’s team figure skating gold metal clincher may have had an effect on their ability to summon Team Online’s Mickey Petersen to stop the clock. Good thing for pvas2 who would go on from a shortstack to winning seven hands in a row. On the sixth hand of the streak, with the blinds up to 200K/400K ante 40K, tummen6 would shove for 2.38 million from the cutoff as pvas2, holding 9♣A♥, also shoved for 6.54 million. tummen6’s pocket fives 5♣5♥ almost got through the board, but an ace on the river 8♥ 7♣ J♦ 7♥ A♠ locked up the sixth hand in a row for pvas2 while giving $42,619.00 to tummen6 in fourth place.
Oh my, oh no
Well, the repeated scoffs by tormos to deal for some sizable cash sitting up top ended with the chip leader getting dismantled by pvas2 in two separate hands. Shortly after the second attempt to deal went nowhere, pvas2 and tormos reached the turn with the board showing Q♠ A♦ K♥ 7♦ and 3.5 million in the pot. pvas2 checked as tormos bet 1.43 million. pvas2 check-raised to 3.2 million as tormos thought and released, handing over the chip lead for the first time since near the start of the final table.
On the next hand with the blinds still at 200K/400K ante 40K pvas2 min-raised from the button, tormos called and PhilRoyal888 stayed out of the way. The A♦A♥Q♦ flop got tormos check-calling 900,000 then 3.3 million, then pvas2 put tormos all-in on the river, the one-time chip leader calling all-in for 9.7 million holding Q♣K♦. pvas2 was not bluffing, showing the flopped trips A♠3♥ and tormos limped away beaten in third place ($61,149.00).
Over before it began
Holding a 34.3 million to 2.7 million chip lead, pvas2 quickly ended this massive run with this hand below:
PhilRoyal888’s 7♣9♣ looked ready to hook up with the board, but it would be pvas2’s 5♣J♠ that locked up the $116,369.57 victory with a second jack on the turn J♥ 3♦ 4♠ J♦ A♠ to win this week’s Sunday Warm-Up title!
PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up results (02-09-14):
Players entered: 3,706
Places paid: 540
1. pvas2 (United Kingdom) $116,369.57
2. PhilRoyal888 (United Kingdom) $86,720.40
3. tormos (Ukraine) $61,149.00
4. tummen6 (Sweden) $42,619.00
5. George “gkap13” Kapalas $31,501.00
6. armenioz (Argentina) $24,089.00
7. DidzeR (Norway) $16,677.00
8. IsraMazeltov (United Kingdom) $9,265.00
9. KaptainKush (Canada) $5,929.60
David Aydt is a freelance contributor