The PokerStars Sunday Warm-Uptakes place every weekend and features a half-million dollar guaranteed prize pool. Last weekend, on March 18th, a parade of 3,280 players showed up, boosting the purse to $656,000, and when all was said and done, Tudor Purice, better known as fbg1919 here on PocketFives, took second place for $76,000. This Romanian poker player lapped $500,000 in tracked cashes in the process.
PocketFives: Thanks for talking with us. Can you walk us through the Sunday Warm-Up?
Tudor Purice: I was in Madrid and the internet ran very well on Saturday, but was downright shitty on Sunday. I was a bit tired after a day of walking through Madrid and shopping, so I decided to cut my registrations after the Big $109. I basically six-tabled all the way until I was left with just the Warm-Up and Big $22.
I cashed in the Big $22, while I was swinging like a monkey in the Warm-Up from 80 big blinds to 20 and back because of several coolers and bad beats. I had a big stack with 300 players left and held onto that until I terribly misplayed queens versus a random nit. I ran into aces for 80% of my chips with 40 players left and had to work a stack of 20 big blinds again.
I got lucky to double up versus J.D. jdpc27 Wheeler (pictured) two hands later with queens against jacks then ran well and played well until the last two tables, where I probably played my best.
PocketFives: Last November, you finished second in the PokerStars Sunday 500. How did the runner-up finish in the Sunday Warm-Up compare to that?
Tudor Purice: It was a lot more exciting in terms of ICM and much less difficult in terms of the competition. In the Sunday 500, I had a pretty big stack going into the last two tables and it was merely a game of sticking to it and applying maximum pressure.
The final table of the Sunday 500 took about three hours and was one of the toughest I have ever played since everyone decided to play their best. There was one soft spot that busted in ninth, so the rest was kind of tough. I got lucky in some spots, played well, end of story. I lost a standard flip heads-up.
The Warm-Up was a lot different. Every single decision was affected by ICM primarily, then position, then dynamic, then player, and then my cards. I’m pretty sure this not news to any good MTT regular who has final tabled the Warm-Up or Sunday Million at least once, but it may be to your Average Joe playing MTTs.
Tudor Purice: Poker in Romania is growing fast. I came back from the U.S. in 2006 and was introduced to playing No Limit Hold’em live one year prior. When I came back, I started playing online in late 2006. Back then, everybody was aware of poker in the form of 2-5 Draw, which was the most common form of poker here. I was organizing most of the games in my hometown and could write down a short list of the “regulars.” Now, there are young kids who I don’t even know their handle on PokerStars grinding hard and making a serious paydays in sit and gos, cash games, and tournaments.
PocketFives: Who or what was your biggest influence coming up in poker?
Tudor Purice: My best friend in poker and someone I always supported, argued, and battled with at the tables was Agentu. We kind of grew up together in poker skill, but then fell apart in results because I made several bad financial decisions. As for my MTT game, I give the credit to myself mainly for all of those sleepless nights railing the MTT “legends” and reading for hours on end on TwoPlusTwo, PocketFives, and other places.
PocketFives: Do you have any goals related to the PocketFives Rankings?
Tudor Purice: I never really cared for the Rankings, as I wasn’t in a position, volume or skill-wise, to even dream of the top 100. But, now that I think I’ve found a steady rhythm, there might be some Rankings-related goals for me, maybe top 10 this year? I have definitely been hunting for a Triple Crown; that is probably my first goal on PocketFives.
Visit PokerStarsto sign up for this week’s Sunday Warm-Up.