KopplarJocke jockeyed for position and took first in the 12/21 Sunday Million

Sunday Million logo.jpgWith two Sundays left before 2008 comes to a close, it meant only two more chances for poker players the world over to grab a Sunday Million title. What better way to celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year than with a near-$200,000 prize and a prestigious online poker title?

With that in mind, a total of 8,015 players turned out for the 12/21/08 edition of the Sunday Million. The stellar field created an even more stellar $1,603,000 prize pool and corresponding first prize of $196,367.50. An amazing turnout for the most popular weekly tournament in cyberspace!

Knowing that 1,170 players would receive a portion of that $1.6 million at stake, play went quickly through the afternoon, only taking about 3 hours and 45 minutes to hit the hand-for-hand play that precedes the money. It took a few minutes, but Frings27 from South Bavaria ended up as the bubble player in 1171st place, making room for the remaining survivors to cash. Moments later, it was Sjelle who did it first, leaving in 1170th place with $320.60.

A flurry of players followed, but the tournament didn't reach its final two tables until about five hours later. And it was nearly 45 minutes after that that hand-for-hand play began for the nine available seats at the coveted Sunday Million final table. During that time, mezyoureyez was able to double up to stay in the game, and jeff710 went to do the same with an all-in push from the big blind preflop. vuki called with Kh-Ts, but jeff710 had to feel good showing the Ad-Qs. That was, until the board came Kc-7h-8c-9h-Tc, and the two pair were good enough for vuki, sending jeff710 out in tenth place. Despite the bubble status, he was awarded a hefty $8,015.00 for the effort.

The final table was then set with the following chip counts:

Seat 1: crazylarry43 (15,059,126 in chips)
Seat 2: tAAggart (2,531,626 in chips)
Seat 3: dstrung (12,033,491 in chips)
Seat 4: KopplarJocke (4,990,670 in chips)
Seat 5: vuki (26,436,817 in chips) out of hand
Seat 6: gladik (5,689,408 in chips) out of hand
Seat 7: mezyoureyez (2,709,944 in chips) out of hand
Seat 8: DFGBOYS (4,995,812 in chips)
Seat 9: phil steve (5,703,106 in chips)

Sunday Million final table 12.21.08.JPG

The unrivaled chip leader at the start of play was vuki, with many short stacks needed to double up -- at least once or twice -- to stay in contention. mezyoureyez attempted to do just that after the initial raise from vuki. mezyoureyez pushed all-in with pocket nines, and vuki called with an inferior-looking 7s-6s. But the board came just as the chip leader hoped -- 4h-Js-Ts-3s-2c -- and there was the flush. mezyoureyez was out in ninth place with those nines, and it was good for a $11,221.00 payout.

It only took a few more minutes to see the next exiting player. tAAggart took the opportunity to raise all-in preflop for 4,403,252, and it folded around to DFGBOYS, who called from the small blind with pocket tens. But tAAggart was happy to show his pocket aces, and they anxiously awaited the board...until it came 9h-7c-Th-Js-4s. The flopped ten gave DFGBOYS the trips and the win, while tAAggart went down swinging with those aces. tAAggart was out in eighth place with the accompanying $18,434.50 prize.

gladik was another who attempted a double-up, and it worked once as he doubled through crazylarry43. But several hands later, gladik tried it again but went in slowly with a 2,000,000 raise preflop. phil steve wanted to push it, though, and raised all-in. gladik called all-in for 2,238,816 more with Ac-Qh, and phil steve showed Ad-Jd. Again, it was the flush that did it when it came Td-7d-8c-8s-8d, phil steve took the pot, sending gladik to the virtual rail in seventh place with $28,052.50.

In a conversation initiated by DFGBOYS, many of the six remaining players were willing to look at the chip count numbers with reference to a possible deal, but with no responses from dstrung or crazylarry43, no talks were to be had.

A few hands after the break prior to starting Level 37, dstrung was low on chips and ready to move. dstrung got involved with 9s-8s against the Jc-8h of phil steve, with the former having committed all of his chips. But when the board came 8c-7d-7s-4s-Ac, the two split the pot. dstrung was able to live another day...or another hand. The very next hand prompted another all-in move from dstrung, this time finding a caller in DFGBOYS. dstrung showed Js-Th, but DRGBOYS turned over Ad-9c. The board came 4s-Ks-6h-5s-4h, and the ace kicker took it. dstrung, on the other hand, took sixth place and a $40,876.50 prize.

The next elimination took some time, but it happened with DFGBOYS pushed preflop for a bit more than 4.5 million with pocket eights, only to be called by phil steve and his As-6s. Since it was flush night at the Sunday Million final table, it was logical that the board would come 4s-2c-7s-9c-3s to give phil steve the flush. DFGBOYS was eliminated in fifth place, which was worth an admirable $56,906.50.

The four players realized that the time was nearing 3:00am ET, and everyone was admittedly tired and ready to discuss numbers. Upon asking for a chip chop count, they received the following numbers:

vuki $133,610.69
phil steve $119,579.58
crazylarry43 $107,565.94
KopplarJocke $100,723.59

With the understanding that an additional $30,000 would be awarded the ultimate victor, everyone quickly agreed, and play resumed.

And the fatigue factor was obvious, as KopplarJocke pushed all-in only a few hands after the deal with A-2. But he cracked the pocket kings of phil steve when he hit the wheel on the turn. And crazylarry43 attempted an all-in with pocket tens versus the jacks of vuki, only to double when a ten came on the turn.

Finally, vuki pushed again preflop with only 3,589,208, and KopplarJocke called with Ah-6c. vuki showed Ts-9s and might have been looking for the ever-popular flush. But the Kc-8s-As-6h-Jd came just short of it and knocked vuki out in fourth place, though it was worth $133,610.69 based on the deal made previously.

The all-ins and double-ups continued three-handed...and continued...and continued until one player just couldn't repeat the process again. phil steve moved all-in for just over 12 million chips with 9c-6c and was called by KopplarJocke and his Ah-3d. The board, shockingly, delivered a four-flush for KopplarJocke with 5d-Qd-Ks-6d-Kd, and phil steve was ousted in third place for the previously-agreed upon amount of $119,579.58.

Heads-up play began with the following chip counts:

Seat 1: crazylarry43 (19,548,362 in chips)
Seat 4: KopplarJocke (60,601,638 in chips)

The two battled for some time despite the starting chip disparity. crazylarry43 took a 25K pot to nearly even the stacks, and though crazylarry43 lost ground again over time, the chip lead did change hands. Neither were willing to concede the match, though, because of the title and the additional $30K attached to the win.

On the 66th hand of heads-up action, it came down to the deciding hand. KopplarJocke began by raising it up to 4,250,000, and crazylarry43 popped it up and all-in for his final 27,208,362. KopplarJocke called with Ad-7d and was likely relieved to see that crazylarry43 had As-4h. The virtual dealer gave them Ts-8d-9c-7c-Ks, and crazylarry43 was designated as the tournament's runner-up with a $107,565.94 prize.

It was KopplarJocke who was patient enough to wait for the right moment. He captured the Sunday Million title and the $130,723.59 prize money. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 12/21/08:

1st place: KopplarJocke ($196,367.50)*
2nd place: crazylarry43 ($132,407.80)*
3rd place: phil steve ($119,579.58)*
4th place: vuki ($133,610.69)*
5th place: DFGBOYS ($56,906.50)
6th place: dstrung ($40,876.50)
7th place: gladik ($28,052.50)
8th place: tAAggart ($18,434.50)
9th place: mezyoureyez ($11,221.00)

*based on four-way chop numbers

For more information on ways to register and qualify for the last Sunday Million of 2008, visit the Sunday Million page.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Sunday Million