Stockholm's lp_Saki Saki is no Swedish fish, topping record Sunday Million field

Sunday Million logo.jpgThe fields were super-sized during World Record Week and December 28th's special edition of the Million drew a mind-boggling 16,260 players to the felt creating a prizepool of $3,252,000, easily surpassing the $2.5 million guarantee placed on the event in honor of World Record Week. As the tournament neared the end of its fourth hour, 2.475 of those players made the money, with Katja Thater winning the Team PokerStars Pro last-longer, making a deep run that ended in a 134th place finish.

Podarok ended up the final table bubble boy, busting out in 10th place when salmor turned a flush against his flopped two pair. With that, we had our final nine, their stack sizes looking like this:

Seat 1: lp_SakiSaki (31,505,955 in chips)
Seat 2: manifest23 (13,908,936 in chips)
Seat 3: kharak (14,643,069 in chips)
Seat 4: MauryFishant (2,944,989 in chips)
Seat 5: salmor (26,352,162 in chips)
Seat 6: Beufford (13,892,416 in chips)
Seat 7: La_Alvarado (12,286,663 in chips)
Seat 8: AAmerican (35,907,574 in chips)
Seat 9: k0rt (9,458,236 in chips)

sun mil 12-28 FT.jpg

Kharak was the first player to exit the final table. After AAmerican opened for 1.5 million with blinds of 250,000/500,000, khrarak moved all in for 10.8 million and salmor called from the big blind. AAmerican gave it up and kharak revealed Ah-Qc to salmor's 9d-9h. The first race of the final table went to the underpair, as the board ran out Jc-8c-4d-6d-4h, eliminating kharak in 9th place for a $22,764 payday. Next to go was La_Alvarado, who from the small blind shoved over the top of lp_SakiSaki's 1.5 million opening raise and MauryFishant's flat-call. Lp_SakiSaki folded but MauryFishant made the call. La_Alvarado was in trouble, his Ac-Td dominated by MauryFishant's As-Js. La_Alvarado couldn't catch up on the eight-high board and he hit the rail in 8th place, collecting $32,520.

Nearly 30 minutes would pass before the next elimination. With blinds up to 400,000/800,000, MauryFishant opened for a min-raise to 1.6 million. AAmerican shoved for just over 3.9 million and MauryFishant made the call, showing Qh-Jh to AAmerican's Ad-5h. A queen hit the flop, though and AAmerican could not improve, finishing in 7th place for $50,406. Four hands later, salmor would get very unlucky against lp_SakiSaki. With the board reading 7c-6s-5c-7h, salmor moved all in on the turn holding As-7d, only to run into lp_SakiSaki's flopped straight with 4s-8s. The 3d fell on the river and salmor was out in 6th, earning $73,170.

Manifest23 was the short stack as play turned five-handed, and with only seven big blinds left, he needed to make something happen quickly. He moved in on a steal from the cutoff, but Beufford looked him up, showing pocket sixes to his 3c-6c. No help on the board for manifest23 and he collected $97,560 for his 5th place finish.

With the field down to four k0rt broached the subject of a deal, but lp_SakiSaki quickly put the kibosh on it. Then, only about twenty seconds later k0rt was all in against lp_SakiSaki and in great shape, with Kc-Kd vs. lp_SakiSaki's Ad-Js. Though the flop was a seemingly safe-looking 9h-8c-6c, lp_SakiSaki turned the Qh and rivered the Tc to make a runner-runner straight and sent k0rt to the rail with a one-two punch and $130,080 in his pocket for 4th place.

Beufford was the next to bring up a chop, asking if his opponents wanted to "look at numbers". With 70 million in chips to Beufford's 54.2 million and MauryFishant's 37.3 million, lp_SakiSaki again declined, preferring to play it out for the full amount. Though MauryFishant won a few small pots early on in three-handed play, his stack began to dwindle steadily while lp_SakiSaki turned up the aggression. He may have been tightening up, he may have been utterly card-dead, but when he found 3c-3h on the button, he raised to 4.8 million, only to have lp_SakiSaki move in for his entire 101 million stack from the big blind. MauryFishant made the call, and was crushed to see lp_SakiSaki turn up Kc-Kd. The flop was Jh-7h-4s, and though MauryFishant got a ray of hope on the turn when the 5c fell and he picked up a gutshot straight draw, the 2d on the river sealed his elimination in 3rd place. He earned $162,600 for his finish--which, on a "normal" weekend, would be close to the Million's top prize.

As lp_SakiSaki and Beufford went heads-up, their chip counts looked like this:

Seat 1: lp_SakiSaki (127,356,568 in chips)
Seat 6: Beufford (35,243,432 in chips)

Lp_SakiSaki began heads-up play with a nearly 4-1 chip lead over Beufford. The two mostly traded small pots, lp_SakiSaki grinding Beufford down to a low of 21.3 million to his 141.2 million, but Beufford was able to double up to 42 million when he made two pair and lp_SakiSaki's straight draw failed to materialize. Beufford appeared to be gaining momentum and at one point narrowed the gap to a 5-3 chip deficit, but ultimately, it would not be enough to overcome lp_SakiSaki. On the final hand, lp_SakiSaki opened for 2.8 million from the button and Beufford called. Beufford led out for 4.2 million on the 8h-2d-2c flop and lp_SakiSaki came along with a call. The turn was the 4c and Beufford made a massive all-in overbet for his remaining 50.7 million in chips and lp_SakiSaki practically beat him into the pot, showing 2h-8d for a flopped full house! Beufford and his Kd-8c were drawing nearly dead--only the case 8 could end the hand in a tie. The Ts fell on the river, though and lp_SakiSaki took down the largest non-WCOOP tournament ever held on PokerStars, banking $331,378.80 for his win. Beufford earned $227,640 for his runner-up finish.

After playing for huge stakes with no chop of the prize money, here's what our nine finalists took home:

Sunday Million Results for 12/28/2008
1st place lp_SakiSaki ($331,378.80)
2nd place Beufford ($227,640)
3rd place MauryFishant ($162,600)
4th place k0rt ($130,080)
5th place manifest23 ($97,560)
6th place salmor ($73,170)
7th place AAmerican ($50,406)
8th place La_Alvarado ($32,520)
9th place kharak ($22,764)

For more information on how to register or satellite in to the Sunday Million, hit up the Sunday Million page.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million