Sam I Am The Winner: SAM66 Wins the Sunday Million 07-20-08

$209,571 and don’t forget the sixty cents. Thanks to another packed house of 8589 runners for the PokerStars Sunday Million, that is how much will be transferred immediately if not sooner to the victor tonight (unless there’s a deal of course). If there is a let down of poker activity after the grueling month and a half at the World Series of Poker it is not showing at this tournament. 1233 players received a spot of cash for their play this evening, and two players will go home with six figures, here’s how the final shaped up after ZUREHABAZU’s KQo could not out race Shantaram’s pocket nines:


Seat 1: moorten (14903308 in chips)
Seat 2: pepperdiablo (4224128 in chips)
Seat 3: my_emolument (5392975 in chips) out of hand (moved from another table into small blind)
Seat 4: Cjh1224 (1129360 in chips)
Seat 5: Axinar (4769157 in chips)
Seat 6: Shantaram (11552878 in chips)
Seat 7: rubenrtv (12192690 in chips)
Seat 8: SAM66 (23492228 in chips)
Seat 9: MrMuck1976 (8233276 in chips)

SAM66 drops into the final table with the big stack which was accumulated by frequent raises on the second to last table, using his huge chip pile to bludgeon the smaller stacks. Cjh1224 took some grief from the rail for his patience, but the small stack was rewarded with a final table placing, along with a minimum of $5,000 extra. He will need some additional luck and timely cards to advance into the big dollars tonight especially with blinds at $250,000/$500,000 antes $50,000.

At the start of the final table SAM66 has the table shaking their collective heads while amassing an even greater lead and not turning over those two cards he is dealt. At 30 million in chips with approximately 52 million for the remaining eight players, there seems to be no building of clay chips (or pixels in this case) strong enough to defend against SAM66’s chip tank coming thru.

Cjh1224 was the small stack coming into the final nine and unfortunately for Cjh1224, the small stack went out first and not advancing up the pay scale. Rubentv found himself in good position to call with AKo and Cjh1224 having to push with any two cards. With J7o those cards were live for a few moments prior to the flop but an Ace on the door quickly dashed any worst to first dreams for Cjh1224 and with $13,398.84 in his pocket he leaves us in ninth place.

Trapping someone in any game with a set against top pair has players screaming for a call, even more so with thousands on the line. Axinar was looking at a board of Kh 9c 3h with two beautiful nines in his hand making a set and to his right Shantaram complied to stealthy trap with a push for his remaining 5.7 million chips with KcQs. Needing runner-runner for a straight or a higher boat, the Js on the turn gave Shantaram outs when there was none before, and the Tc on the river slid nearly 17 million chips into Shantaram’s stack leaving Axinar with a few antes worth to his name. Right move, tough result for Axinar as he’ll be consoled with $19,754.70 for his eighth place finish.

Crippled by the SAM66 express tollway with a broadway straight on the river after heavy betting on the flop and turn, moorten’s once sizable stack was diminished to 1.5 big blinds. After a minimal double up, moorten found KcQd and when left with enough to fill an orbit, one could do worse with two picture cards. But, Shantaram was more then happy to assist with moorten’s exit while holding pocket rockets. Nothing significant trickling down the flop, turn, river and moorten was $30,061.50 richer while heading out in seventh place.

My_emolument played a fairly quiet final table, having to face the frequent raises of SAM66 and rubenrtv. Needing cards to turn the tide never came as my_emolument snagged a few small double ups with his short stack but eventually had to face the music with any two cards that will be hidden until the replays are shown tomorrow. Rubenrtv’s Js9h finding a pair of nines on the board of 9d Tc 3d 6h Kh with SAM66 checking it down as well, was good enough to hand my_emolument $42,945.00 and sixth place.

The spicy pepperdiablo never caught true fire with the final five but managed to get his final three million in chips towards the middle with the best of it. Calling SAM66’s 23,675th button raise with Ad3d, pepperdiablo found himself ahead of SAM66’s KdQd. A flush would lock things up, as the cards peeled off towards the river pepperdiablo was safe until the King gave SAM66 ownership of the chips in the middle and the hot one left us with $60,123.00 in fifth place.

With the chips getting smaller and smaller with the rising blinds any pair takes on a newer meaning. Sixes were Rubenrtv’s choice of weapon against the mighty chip wall of SAM66, but instead of slaying the dragon, the brave knight was holding nothing more then a nerf sword when SAM66’s pocket Aces found another Ace on the flop of Ad 3s 8d. A six hit the river but did not change anything; rubenrtv took $77,301.00 back to Amsterdam to spend however he pleases.

SAM66 turned the chip vacuum dial from 9 to 59 as he sucked up chips so quickly I couldn’t even keep up with the bust outs. In the biggest pot of the tournament up to this point MrMuck1976 was facing a decision for his remaining 18 million chips on a Qd 5h 2h board while holding middle pair with Ad 5c. The aggressiveness of the chip leader surely was on his mind, but once again SAM66 held the goods as MrMuck1976 made the call and SAM66 calmly flipped over KhQh for top pair decent kicker and a flush draw to boot which cut into MrMuck1976’s potential outs. The flush did not materialize, but neither did trips or two pair for MrMuck as his yellow button “Muck” showed poker’s white flag of surrender but a tidy sum of $95,337.90 for third place made the eleven hours of poker worth the time spent.

For the first time while covering these tournaments, I saw no deal was ever whispered as SAM66 entered heads-up play versus Shantaram with a 5:1 chip lead. Shantaram battled mightily against the very aggressive SAM66, and while all-in and holding identical A2s hands and a flop showing a four-flush for Shantaram, there was a little light that the tide would turn. No flush came for Shantaram, nor did a badly needed double up through out the heads-up duel with SAM66.

Ts9c was Shantaram’s final stand as SAM66’s Ad6h made a race of things while SAM66 increased his lead to nearly 7:1 at this point. 5h 3d 3s helped no one, 6d on the turn might as well been a blank, and with a Jh on the river, Shantaram helped himself to a six-figure score with $141,718.50 for second place. SAM66 played his chip lead to the max and was rewarded the right to call himself this week’s Sunday Million champion!

Here’s the payouts for the final table, congratulations to all who cashed in this massive field:

PokerStars Sunday Million Final Table Result:

1. SAM66 $209,571.60
2. Shantaram $141,718.50
3. MrMuck1976 $95,337.90
4. rubenrtv $77,301.00
5. pepperdiablo $60,123.00
6. my_emolument $42,945.00
7. moorten $30,061.50
8. Axinar $19,754.70
9. Cjh1224 $13,398.84

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Million