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Warm-Ups and Showdowns at PokerStars

By Nathan Carroll, Rakeback.com Poker News Writer

Liv Boeree takes down the Sunday Warm-Up

Liv Boree and Eugene Katchalov

British pro and recent Team PokerStars acquisition Liv Boeree had herself an exciting and financially empowering weekend. No, she didn't win a six-figure Superbowl bet (as far as we know), but she did take down close to $150,000 in one of PokerStars' most prestigious weekly tournaments, the Sunday Warm-Up.

Liv reached the final table with a 4th place chip stack but soon found herself staring elimination in the face as her AQ went up against Bjoerni89's KK. Fortunately for Liv and her fans, the poker gods looked favorably on her and decided to send the 10 million chip pot her way. She quickly followed up with another big pot (66 vs. A4) that sent vmnielsen to the rail in 6th place.

Meanwhile, chipleader James "mig.com" Mackey was eliminating players left and right, adding to his massive stack along the way. By the time Liv kocked out Aduobe4 in 3rd place, the two pros were left heads-up for the title.

Liv started the heads-up match outchipped by roughly 3 to 2, as she held 18.6 million chips to Mackey's 28.4. Things got even worse for her as the match dragged on. At his peak, Mackey held 33M, or more than two thirds of the chips in play.

However, Liv fought like a champion and eventually found a lucky double-up with Q9 vs. KJ 40 minutes into heads-up play. With a firm lead, Liv then got her opponent all-in for his tournament life with A6 against her 77. The board ran out safely, and Liv took down the $147,780.96  first place prize.

Congrats to Liv, Mackey, and all of the other finalists!

Eugene Katchalov next in line to battle Isildur

Swedish phenom Viktor "Isildur1" Blom has already faced three opponents since throwing down the Superstar Showdown gauntlet several months ago. His record stands at 2-1, with Tony G and Daniel Cates as his victims and Isaac Haxton as the sole challenger to notch a win. Next on Isildur's list: Ukranian pro Eugene Katchalov.

Whereas Blom's previous opponents have been most well-known for their cash game accomplishments, Katchalov is a beast at the tournament tables. He's racked up over $6 million in winnings over the course of his career.

His biggest score came back in 2007, when he took down 1st place and $2.5M at the WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic, but he's also been on a hot streak during the last year; he made three final tables at the 2010 WSOP (7th, 3rd, and 6th) and took down the 2011 PCA $100K Super High Roller tournament for $1.5 million. Incredibly, he also finished 2nd in the relatively low stakes PCA high roller.

Each Showdown is comprised of 2,500 hands of big-bet poker (NLHE or PLO) played at stakes of $50/$100 on four tables simultaneously. The upcoming Showdown will take place this Sunday (February 13th) at 3PM ET. Katchalov will be playing under his PokerStars name MyRabbiFoo. Download the PokerStars software to watch the players battle it out live.

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