Sunday Million Results 6/1/2008

Nearly 7,000 runners took to the virtual felt this week for the PokerStars Sunday Million, building a prize pool of 1,398,600. When the final table was set, jotaele1 held a commanding chip lead, with more than 21 million chips. JHBrenes was his nearest competitor, with close to 15 million. The chip counts and seat assignments looked like this as the competitors gathered for one last push towards the $197,202.60 first place prize.

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Seat 1: Jim Bee (6,121,651 in chips)
Seat 2: anybody1108 (3,297,786 in chips)
Seat 3: tpreston (7,787,367 in chips)
Seat 4: zeistpoker11 (4,344,788 in chips)
Seat 5: JHBrenes (14,782,292 in chips)
Seat 6: OWWEX (4,501,882 in chips)
Seat 7: jotaele1 (21,709,990 in chips)
Seat 8: late_entry (1,958,732 in chips)
Seat 9: mass.mike (5,425,512 in chips)

The players jockeyed for position for more than half an hour before the first elimination, with many pots taken down by the first preflop raise. Finally, Jim Bee got all his chips in on a flop of Js-9c-6d and found a caller in jotaele1, who had by that time increased his chip lead even further. Jim Bee was in good shape after he flopped a set with pocket sixes, but jotaele1 had Ks-9h for middle pair with outs. The Qs on the turn gave jotaele1 more outs to a straight, and the Tc on the river filled the straight draw and sent Jim Bee home with $8,251.74 to soothe a bad beat.

After coming to the final table second in chips, JHBrenes lost the first big pot to chip leader jotaele1. After that, though, JHBrenes went on a tear, taking out two players in short order to move close to jotaele1’s chip stack. Zeistpoker11 was JHBrenes’ first victim after pushing all in from late position with A-T off suit, only to run into JHBrenes’ A-K. The board ran out 3s-6h-7d-4s-Qd, and JHBrenes’ big slick held up to send zeistpoker11 home in 8th place, good for a $12,587.40 payday.

Just a couple of hands later, JHBrenes claimed another victim. This time it was anybody1108 who fell to the momentum. Anybody1108 moved all in preflop with As-Kh, and JHBrenes called with pocket nines. JhBrenes’ nines held up to win the coinflip as the board came down Qs-3h-Qd-3s-4h, giving JHBrenes a bigger two pair. Anybody1108’s 7th-place finish was good for $21,658.30.

The action calmed for a few minutes before chip leader jotaele1 decided to assert authority once again. After tpreston made a standard preflop raise, jotaele1 came over the top with a big isolation raise. Everyone else got out of the way, and tpreston made the call with As-Kc. Jotaele1 needed help with Qh-8d, and got it on the flop in the form of a Ts-8c-Jc board. Jotaele1’s hand further improved when the 9c brought a straight on the turn, leaving tpreston drawing to only a queen to survive. The river brought the 8s, and tpreston was eliminated in 6th place, picking up $30,769,20 along the way.

Late_entry came into the final table as the shortest stack, but navigated the treacherous waters of the final table to make it all the way to 5th place and a $41,958.00 finish. Late_entry pushed all in preflop with Ac-3c and ran into a big cooler in the form of mass.mike with Ad-9d. Late_entry picked up a straight draw on the 4h-2h-Kh flop, but the turn and river blanked out, coming down Ts-8s. Mass.mike’s 9 kicker playes, and late entry was busted.

JHBrenes resumed strong final table play soon after play went four-handed, taking out OWWEX in 4th place. OWWEX moved all in over the top of JHBrenes’ preflop raise with As-Tc, only to find himself in rough shape against JHBrenes’ pocket queens. OWWEX picked up additional outs on the turn, when the board read 7s-4s-9s-Th, but the Kh on the river sealed OWWEX’s fate and sent him home in 4th place with $55,944.00 worth of consolation.

A chop was briefly discussed when play reached three-handed, but no deal was made, and the players decided to play it out. Mass.mike was the short stack, and got all his chips in quickly with A-9, only to find chip leader jotaele1 calling with the same hand! Nothing unexpected happened, and they chopped the pot. Mass.mike got his last chips in again soon after, this time holding Kh-5h to jotaele1’s Ac-7c. The flop was particularly bad for mass.mike, as it came down 3c-9c-Ad, giving jotaele1 top pair with the nut flush draw. The 5c on the turn left mass.mike drawing dead, with $69,930 for 3rd place.

As heads-up play began, jotaele1 held a slight chip lead over JHBrenes, with 38.7 million chips to JHBrenes’ 31.1 million. Over the first few hands of heads-up play, jotaele1 built up a commanding lead, but JHBrenes doubled through to stay alive. For the most part, both players were content to play small ball poker heads-up, with jotaele1 picking up small pot after small pot until JHBrenes finally made a stand with Kd-8h, finding himself up against joteale1’s Ac-2s. Neither player paired their cards on a board of 5h-Qc-Qs-9s-Td, and jotaele1’s Ace kicker played to take down the Sunday Million and the $197,202.60 first prize. JHBrenes earned $99,300.60 for second place.

After a well-played final table, the heads-up pairing that had seemed foretold for the whole final table came to pass, and jotaele1 took down the biggest weekly prize in poker. Congrats to all our final table participants! Here are the final table finishes and payouts -

1st place – jotaele1 - $197,202.60
2nd place – JHBrenes - $99,300.60
3rd place – mass.mike - $69,930.00
4th place – OWWEX - $55,944.00
5th place – late_entry - $41,958.00
6th place – tpreston - $30,769.20
7th place – anyody1108 - $21,678.30
8th place – zeistpoker11 - $12,587.40
9th place – Jim Bee - $8,251.74