Drink Up! h2oace Wins More Than $240K for Sunday Million Victory

Sunday Million logo.jpgA little money here, a little there. For some players, an extra $100,000 in the prize pool isn't anything to get excited about. For most, every extra buy-in contributing to a larger prize pool matters; not only do a few extra people receive a payout in the end, but each prize level is just a little bit sweeter.

That's why it is always thrilling to see the registration number climb as the tournament begins. As the clock nears the end of the opportunity to jump in, that final number appears, and tonight it was 8,007. Any count of 8,000 players ensures the prize pool will surpass the $1.6 million mark, which is already $100,000 above the guarantee set by PokerStars. Every little contribution counts, and it all managed to set the total pool at $1,601,400, which would be shared by the final 1,170 players. Those are exciting numbers!

When it came down to the money bubble, money was the only thing on most players' minds. For their $200 + $15 buy-in, they were looking for a bit of a profit with a cash. Timo Magic wasn't able to get there, with a 1171st place finish on the bubble, but that exit made way for others like kvnok88 to make the minimum cash of $320.28, which is nothing to scoff at.

But speaking of cash, there was nearly $800,000 alone waiting for the final table nine, and there was certainly a mad scramble to get there. Play slowed quite a bit at the 18-player mark, and it did the same when the field thinned to only 12 players. Competitors were swapping chips, and the lead was alternating between several players. Ultimately, though, it came down to givi63 out in 12th and bl4cksky1 in 11th in quick succession, and soon after Doli pushed all-in with two overcards against the pocket pair of jacob126b38. The hand played out as follows:

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That gave Doli a tenth place finish, and a prize of $8,567.50 was given for the final table bubble player. With that, the final table was set as follows:

Seat 1: D.K.5 (15,938,244 in chips)
Seat 2: danger0us (3,074,102 in chips)
Seat 3: th9nip (6,526,198 in chips)
Seat 4: kurvekat (7,168,267 in chips)
Seat 5: jacob126b38 (21,138,282 in chips)
Seat 6: fetchmeabeer (6,561,322 in chips)
Seat 7: lordhuttyx (3,901,360 in chips)
Seat 8: h2oace (5,271,144 in chips)
Seat 9: FOREVER_RU (10,491,081 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 08.09.09.JPG

Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson was in the chat box with good wishes for all, and that took the players right into their first break.

Upon returning from break, it only took a few moments for one of the shorter stacks to push. It was lordhuttyx who made the all-in move preflop with A♠ J♣, but FOREVER_RU woke up with pocket queens in the big blind and called. The board ran out 9♦ 6♥ 6♦ T♦ 4♦, and lordhuttyx couldn't improve. That left him out in ninth place with $12,410.86 as consolation.

The very next hand saw h2oace make a double-up happen with A-Q versus the K-Q of chipleader jacob126b38. Most players at the table were clearly not afraid to move chips and take risks, but it took awhile for anything to happen to remove a player from the action. Meanwhile, kurvekat doubled through D.K.5, danger0us did it through h2oace, who then doubled back through danger0us, and the latter then stayed alive by doubling through FOREVER_RU. Difficult to keep up? Yes.

Finally, fetchmeabeer could hang on to a short stack no longer. Pushing all-in preflop, fetchmeabeer had two calls from kurvekat and danger0ous. They checked down the board of 6♠ Q♦ T♥ K♦ 2♥, and when kurvekat shoed 6♦ 3♦, both other players mucked, which left fetchmeabeer out in eighth place with $18,416.11.

Then th9nip and D.K.5 tangled a few times, but it was the following hand that changed the course of the latter player and put the former into a solid position:

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D.K.5 soon went all-in preflop for 5,692,298 chips with pocket tens, but FOREVER_RU called with pocket kings. No help came on the 6♥ 5♠ 8♥ 7♠ J♣ board, and D.K.5 was ousted in seventh place with $32,028.01.

FOREVER_RU took on a bit of an aggressive image at the table, and a few hands later pushed all-in preflop for nearly 18 million chips. But danger0us took the bait and called all-in with J♦ 8♦, only to find himself up against the pocket aces of FOREVER_RU. The board came 5♥ Q♥ A♠ 2♦ 7♣, and the set eliminated danger0us from the tournament in sixth place, which was worth $48,042.01.

Into the wee hours of the morning in America, another player finally took a risk with a short stack. After a preflop raise from th9nip, kurvekat pushed all-in with A♣ T♠, and though th9nip folded, h2oace called with pocket nines. The race went to the board, which produced J♦ 2♥ 4♣ J♠ 8♠, and kurvekat was eliminated in fifth place with $64,056.01.

Though FOREVER_RU was the short stack of the group, it was th9nip who seemed extremely anxious to make moves. He got involved preflop with h2oace to see a flop of 2♥ 7♥ 3♣, at which point th9nip pushed all-in for more than 17 million chips with K♥ Q♥ and the flush draw, but h2oace called with K♣ 7♠ and top pair. The 3♠ on the turn was no help, nor was the A♦ on the river, and th9nip was gone in fourth place with $80,710.57.

FOREVER_RU did push soon after with A♦ 5♦, and he was ahead of the K♣ 9♠ of h2oace, who made the call. But the board immediately brought the card for h2oace on a board of K♦ 5♥ T♣ 4♣ 2♣, and FOREVER_RU was eliminated in third place with $120,105.01.

Heads-up action then began with the following chip counts:

Seat 5: jacob126b38 (22,074,196 in chips)
Seat 8: h2oace (57,995,804 in chips)

The lead was with h2oace, and jacob126b38 seemed to struggle to find a hand with which to move. It only took 14 hands, though, before jacob126b38 found A♣ Q♠ and pushed. h2oace called with K♠ 5♠, and the flop was safe for his opponent with 7♦ 4♥ 4♣. But the K♣ came on the turn to change the dynamic of the hand, and the 9♥ on the river ended the tournament. jacob126b38 was awarded $176,154.01 for the second place finish.

The August 9 Sunday Million victory was claimed by h2oace, who took down the substantial top prize of $240,210.01 and one of the most prestigious titles in poker - Sunday Million champion. Congrats!

Sunday Million Results for 08/09/09:

1st place: h2oace ($240,210.01)
2nd place: jacob126b38 ($176,154.01)
3rd place: FOREVER_RU ($120,105.01)
4th place: th9nip ($80,710.57)
5th place: kurvekat ($64,056.01)
6th place: danger0us ($48,042.01)
7th place: D.K.5 ($32,028.01)
8th place: fetchmeabeer ($18,416.11)
9th place: lordhuttyx ($12,410.86)

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