November 30th Sunday Million Taken Down by twirlpro

The last day of November in 2008… Can anyone believe it? Another year seems to have flown by, but there is always time to get in a few more Sunday Million tournaments before the big New Year’s Eve party. And for the last one in November, a total of 8,001 players logged in to take part and compete for their share of the prize pool and put a little extra holiday spending money in their virtual pockets.

The sizable field of players created a prize pool of $1,600,200, which would be divvied up among the 1,170 final players with the most - $196,024.50 - going to the ultimate winner. Someone’s family and/or friends will be getting some sweet holiday gifts this year.

Per the usual timeframe, the bubble approached as the four-hour mark neared. Hand-for-hand play began at exactly 3 hours and 47 minutes with 1,171 players remaining, and four minutes later, it was determined that kobeshomie was the bubble player who left the tournament with nothing but memories. It was Majkal who benefitted from that bubble and cashed in 1170th place for $320.04. Four others followed from hand-for-hand, and it only took two more minutes to lose an additional 70 players. Within the next hour, the field was more than cut in half, down to less than 500 players.

A number of Team PokerStars Pros came to the tables today, including Alexandre Gomes, Barry Greenstein, Noah Boeken, John Duthie, Daniel Negreanu, Isabelle Mercier, Hevad Khan, Steve Paul-Ambrose, and William Thorson, but none of them made it into the money portion of the evening. But the one who came closest was Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, who finished in 1906th place.

The tournament reached its final two tables at the 8 hour and 20 minute mark with twirlpro as the leader with more than 12 million in chips. It only took about 25 minutes to reach the final table, and it was courtesy of the final table bubble player.

It began with martyyy as the short stack at the table, who attempted a move by pushing all-in from the small blind for 1,623,726. The original raiser, PureProfitFo, called with As-Jh, and martyyy showed Ad-9h with a need to improve. That need was not met with the Kh-3d-Ah-Qd-5c board, and martyyy was out in tenth place with $8,001.00 to show for it.

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

Seat 1: twirlpro (12,725,996 in chips)
Seat 2: omba (1,880,872 in chips)
Seat 3: 1bobbyL (6,220,333 in chips)
Seat 4: Terkel1 (2,165,369 in chips)
Seat 5: svansa (19,352,418 in chips)
Seat 6: ankolo (4,635,660 in chips)
Seat 7: NewsKoooL (3,712,744 in chips)
Seat 8: PureProfitFo (11,800,471 in chips)
Seat 9: fratzl (17,516,137 in chips)

Sunday Million final table 11.30.08.JPG

Though twirlpro had taken a firm third-place spot on the leaderboard, possibilities were still there. But svansa and fratzl had a fairly firm hold on the top two places, and it would take a grand effort for some of the shorter stacks to catch up.

One of those with the least chips made a stand not long into final table action. omba pushed all-in preflop for 1,760,872 in chips, and it was NewsKoool with the reraise all-in to isolate. It worked, and NewsKoool showed Ah-Qs, while omba turned over the As-Js for the underdog hand. The board came 5s-Kh-9h-Th-5d, and it was all over for omba in ninth place, which was worth an a prize of $11,201.40.

Play slowed a bit until the next major hand went down. PureProfitFo made an initial raise to 650,000, and svansa came over the top with a reraise to 1,750,000. PureProfitFo responded with an all-in reraise holding pocket jacks, and svansa called with As-Kh. The virtual dealer turned over Kd-2c-2h-9d-9s, and the flopped king was good enough for svansa to win with top two pair. PureProfitFo left the tournament in eighth place with $18,402.30 - not a bad profit for a day’s work.

The new short stack at the table was ankolo, who pushed all-in preflop from the big blind after a raise from fratzl. fratzl called with Ks-Qs, and ankolo showed pocket jacks. Since the last all-in with jacks didn’t turn out so well, there might have been some anxiety on the part of ankolo, especially when the turn hit on the 4h-5c-Ah-Qd-9s board. The jacks, again, did not hold, and ankolo was the victim, out in seventh place with $28,003.50.

1bobbyL had been experiencing a roller coaster of a final table. When short-stacked previously, 1bobbyL doubled through fratzl. In an attempt to repeat and after an initial raise from twirlpro in the small blind, 1bobbyL reraised all-in for 8,450,666 from the big blind. twirlpro called with Ac-Qh, and 1bobbyL had to show only Th-5h. The board ran out Qc-6c-5c-7c-4d, and not only did twirlpro pair the queens, but he made a flush on the turn to solidify the win. 1bobbyL was ousted in sixth place with $40,805.10.

Terkel1 had been unable to win a substantial pot for several rounds and was relegated to short-stack position. When twirlpro made a raise in the small blind preflop, Terkel1 took a stand and reraised all-in for 6,151,476 with Ad-6d. twirlpro called and showed Kc-7s with a need to improve to knock a player out. The board gave him that improvement when it came Kd-7h-4s-2c-3c, and the two flopped pair were more than enough to beat ace high. Terkel1 was eliminated in fifth place, worth $56,807.10 for the PokerStars account.

The battle then took a turn - a long turn - as four-handed action went from level to level to level… NewsKoool doubled through fratzl twice, and fratzl then doubled through twirlpro. The all-ins were frequent, though the folds were more frequent, and play continued for some time. When svansa reached a solid second chip position, he inquired in the chat box about some possible deal-making but got no response. So, play on they did.

Finally, svansa took a chance and went into battle preflop with twirlpro with nearly ten million in the pot. After the 7d-9s-Ah flop, twirlpro came out betting 8.4 million with 8s-7s and the straight draw, and svansa called all-in for the last 7,587,889 of the stack with Ad-6c for top pair. The turn and river were Ts and 5s, running cards to give twirlpro the flush, which knocked svansa out of the tournament in fourth place with $72,809.10.

NewsKoool tried to talk numbers with fratzl and twirlpro several times, almost pleading in the chat box for some type of response. But the two were chatless, presumably wanting to leave the results up to the cards. Finally, NewsKoool had no choice but to move all-in against the two massive stacks. After twirlpro did the all-in move first from the small blind with Kc-6c, NewsKoool called it for his last 8,570,492 chips showing Ah-5h. The board was painful for the short stack as it came 8d-4c-Jd-Qc-9c. Runner, runner flush beat the ace high, and NewsKoool was gone in third place. Deal or no deal (no deal), third was worth $89,611.20.

Heads-up action finally began with the two remaining players nearing the end of Level 38, with 500,000/1,000,000 blinds and a 100,000 ante and the following chip counts:

Seat 1: twirlpro (37,782,346 in chips)
Seat 9: fratzl (42,227,654 in chips)

fratzl slowly lost the chip lead over a series of hands, and twirlpro continued to chip up, finally eclipsing the 50 million chip mark. Finally, as fratzl continued to fall, he pushed all-in preflop for 20,047,654 after a twirlpro raise. twirlpro decided to call with pocket kings, and fratzl showed Ac-Qd. The flop of 2c-Qh-Jc brought some hope for fratzl, and the 5c on the turn gave him four cards to the flush. But the Kh on the river brought a set for twirlpro, and fratzl was eliminated in second place with a $132,176.52 prize.

And twirlpro became the latest Sunday Million champion! The first prize awarded twirlpro was $196,024.50, and the tournament was in the books. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 11/30/08:

1st place: twirlpro ($196,024.50)
2nd place: fratzl ($132,176.52)
3rd place: NewsKoool ($89,611.20)
4th place: svansa ($72,809.10)
5th place: Terkel1 ($56,807.10)
6th place: 1bobbyL ($40,805.10)
7th place: ankolo ($28,003.50)
8th place: PureProfitFo ($18,402.30)
9th place: omba ($11,201.40)

For more information on ways to register and qualify for the next weekend’s festivities, visit the Sunday Million page.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Sunday Million