April 26 Sunday Million victory and more than $213K goes to antesvante

Sunday Million logo.jpgIt was a stellar Sunday on PokerStars. With month-end tournaments like the Turbo Takedown and the Battle of the Planets added to the already powerful lineup of tournaments, players came out in droves to take part in the plethora of events.

As usual, the Sunday Million was there as one of the highlights of the action with its signature $1.5 million guarantee. After a slight decrease in registration last week, the April 26th tournament found an upswing, as it conflicted with no major live tournaments. When it was all told, there were 7,594 players in the tournament, creating a $1,518,800 prize pool to be split according to finish for the final 1,080 survivors.

Speaking of the money, the money bubble burst several hours into play, and leonard3p3 became the bubble player by exiting in 1081st place. That left room for wrigleypug to finish in 1080th place for a cash prize of $318.94, and numerous others followed quickly.

Finally, as the tournament neared the nine-hour mark, only two tables remained, and antesvante held down the top position on the leaderboard with a 2-to-1 chip advantage over the second place spot. However, as more players departed, strip23 came from that second position to close the gap with antesvante. With 11 players left, the two were nearly even heading for the 15 million chip mark, as other players struggled to hit 10 million.

On the final table bubble, it was terrific28 whose pocket tens ran into the A-Q of raulbcn who made trip queens on the flop, and the latter doubled through terrific28. With only 63,243 chips left, terrific28 pushed all-in. The two callers were igoturchips4 and antesvante, and the checked the board of A♣ 5♥ 7♥ 7♠ J♦. igoturchips4 showed A♠ 9♥ for the main and side pots, and terrific28 was eliminated in tenth place for $8,353.41.

The final table was set as follows:

Seat 1: strip23 (14,592,445 in chips)
Seat 2: igoturchips4 (7,322,496 in chips)
Seat 3: chinchati (5,985,984 in chips)
Seat 4: maxpudim (7,237,043 in chips)
Seat 5: raulbcn (9,921,496 in chips)
Seat 6: flex212derde (6,252,513 in chips)
Seat 7: antesvante (15,820,000 in chips)
Seat 8: Schlede18xD (3,547,582 in chips)
Seat 9: alphalogos (5,260,441 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 04.26.09.JPG

Play was cautious for the first few rounds of action, but one of the short stacks finally found a hand worth playing. Schlede18xD pushed all-in with pocket queens, but strip23 just happened to wake up with pocket aces in the small blind. The call was made, and the board produced 9♣ T♥ T♣ 2♠ 6♣ to eliminate Schlede18xD in ninth place with $11,770.71.

And finally, we had action. In a hand that put igoturchips4 at risk, an unlikely double-up occurred to allow play to continue 8-handed:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Meanwhile, antesvante was losing momentum and the chip lead for the first time in many hours. strip23 climbed over and into the top spot on the leaderboard and held a commanding lead with more than 23 million chips to the 14 million of antesvante. Only one other player was even over 10 million at that point.

But antesvante wasn't having it. When chinchati pushed all-in preflop, antesvante was anxious to call with pocket fives, though chinchati turned over pocket aces. But the board came 3♠ 4♣ 6♠ 3♦ 7♣ to give antesvante the straight, sending chinchati out with $18,225.61 for seventh place.

Through pure aggression and heavy preflop action, antesvante soon climbed, and by the ten-hour break, was in top position again, though strip23 was close behind...until allowing flex212derde to double through him just after the break.

The pressure soon got to alphalogos to make moves, and the first one worked and resulted in a double-up through antesvante. A few rounds later, after an initial raise from flex212derde, alphalogos reraised it up from the small blind. flex212derde reraised, which prompted alphalogos to call all-in with pocket queens and flex212derde to show A♣ Q♣. The board was not kind to alphalogos, as it showed 3♥ A♥ K♠ 7♠ A♦. That eliminated alphalogos in seventh place with $32,654.21 for the effort.

Then it was maxpudim's turn to shine. Try as he did, he doubled through igoturchips4 and antesvante in separate hands and still sat in last place in chips. But it was the next double-up that was significant, as maxpudim's pocket aces creamed the A-5 of raulbcn, that put maxpudim in third place on the chip count list.

raulbcn was very short-stacked and pushed all-in a few hands later for 1,380,863 with J♥ 9♥. igoturchips4 called from the big blind with J♠ 6♣, and the board came 7♠ 4♠ 4♥ Q♣ 6♠. The rivered pair was good for igoturchips4, and raulbcn couldn't catch a break, only $47,082.81 for the sixth place finish.

The remaining five players decided to see some chip-chop numbers in the hopes of reaching a deal, but not everyone was pleased with the numbers. Play soon resumed, and antesvante took some hits. strip23 got into a preflop raising war with antesvante, and when the latter folded, strip23 took the 13 million chip pot. antesvante was suddenly relegated to third position in chips, until the following hand occurred:

RSS readers click through to see replay

With that, antesvante found himself in last place on the leaderboard, and though antesvante and maxpudim traded that spot back and forth, it seemed too much for antesvante to take after dominating the tournament for so long. So, antesvante pushed all-in preflop with 9♥ 8♥, and igoturchips4 called from the big blind with pocket sevens, covered by just less than 200K. The flop couldn't have been better for antesvante when it came Q♣ T♣ J♦ to give him the straight. The A♦ turn and 5♣ river sealed the deal, and igoturchips4 was ousted in fifth place with $62,270.81.

antesvante was back in the top spot. Deal talks were mentioned among the final four, and antesvante nixed the idea before action was even paused. No deal. Momentum seemed to have returned. Play on. And soon, the pots were flowing toward antesvante, and a 2-to-1 chip lead was again the status.

The short stack was flex212derde, but the all-in move came from antesvante, whose aggression was hard on the others. flex212derde called all-in with A♠ 9♣, and antesvante showed K♦ T♣. The board produced J♣ 3♥ 2♣ K♥ 2♦, and flex212derde was ousted in fourth place with $80,496.41.

Action was soon paused to discuss a three-handed chip-chop deal, which was quickly agreed upon as follows, with $30,000 left out of the pool for the eventual winner:

Seat 1: strip23 (24,275,206 in chips) = $160,644.17
Seat 4: maxpudim (13,239,240 in chips) = $142,850.31
Seat 7: antesvante (38,425,554 in chips) = $183,459.50

There was no caution left in the final three. maxpudim doubled through strip23, and strip23 doubled through antesvante.

And maxpudim tried it again, pushing all-in preflop with A♦ 5♦. But antesvante called with A♣ Q♠, and the board ran out 8♦ 4♠ 9♠ 4♣ Q♣ to eliminate maxpudim in third place with the deal-amount of $142,850.31.

Heads-up action began as follows:

Seat 1: strip23 (29,996,932 in chips)
Seat 7: antesvante (45,943,068 in chips)

During the first 15 minutes of action, antesvante chipped away at his opponent until strip23 found a spot to move with pocket fives after a flop of A♠ 9♠ J♠. antesvante called with T-8, and the K♣ and 2♥ that finished off the board allowed strip23 to double up. The gap was closing, but it was temporary as antesvante chipped up consistently again. And as before, strip23 was able to double through when his Q-7 four-flushed to beat the A-6 of antesvante. That 46.5 million chip pot put strip23 in the lead. But antesvante quickly evened the score with A-Q over the K-Q of strip23 to double up and climb back to the number one spot.

A few hands later, strip23 pushed all-in preflop with pocket sixes, and antesvante called with Q♥ J♦. The race was on, but the flop gave the advantage to antesvante when it showed 2♦ T♦ J♥. The 5♦ on the turn changed nothing, and the K♣ on the river ended the match. strip23 was forced to settle for a second place finish and $160,644.17.

Congratulations to antesvante, the April 26 Sunday Million champion! For the accomplishment and tenacity, the winner was awarded $213,459.50 and the coveted online poker tournament title.

Sunday Million Results for 04/26/09:

1st place: antesvante ($213,459.50)*
2nd place: strip23 ($160,644.17)*
3rd place: maxpudim ($142,850.31)*
4th place: flex212derde ($80,496.41)
5th place: igoturchips4 ($62,270.81)
6th place: raulbcn ($47,082.81)
7th place: alphalogos ($32,654.21)
8th place: chinchati ($18,225.61)
9th place: Schlede18xD ($11,770.71)

*reflects a three-way agreement

For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Sunday Million