First Place for Fraram in October 4 Sunday Million

Sunday Million logo.jpgAutumn has officially arrived, as has football season in America. The hours of daylight are in the process of changing with the seasons and the weather. But one thing that remains a constant no matter the temperature or sport being played on television is the Sunday Million. The biggest tournament in the weekly online poker repertoire offers up its $1.5 million guarantee each week, and players from around the world log on to compete for that astounding prize pool.

The October 4 edition brought a total of 6,940 players to the felt, which prompted PokerStars to kick in a bit extra to provide that promised $1.5 million in the prize pool. That guaranteed the last 990 players standing a minimum payout of $345 for their $215 buy-in but held up a $228,150 first place prize for the last player standing. In fact, the last three players at the table looked to take home six-figure cashes. Not a bad way to end a Sunday!

As the players neared that coveted final table, it was short-stacked KiloZulu who finally pushed all-in preflop with K♥ 5♥ from the big blind. Round42 called with pocket nines, and KiloZulu needed some help. The board came 3♥ 3♠ 4♥ Q♠ 2♦, and the flush and king were missing from it, leaving KiloZulu with $8,400 for tenth place on the final table bubble.

In the midst of Level 34, with blinds at 125,000/250,000 and a 30,000 ante, the starting chip counts at the final table were as follows:

Seat 1: shane261966 (2,479,845 in chips)
Seat 2: zakooza (10,900,986 in chips)
Seat 3: More4Mor (6,810,525 in chips)
Seat 4: rjmgrace (4,556,948 in chips)
Seat 5: Fraram (10,634,792 in chips)
Seat 6: Round42 (6,987,396 in chips)
Seat 7: Volanthn (7,196,822 in chips)
Seat 8: YEBOBOZ (18,003,926 in chips)
Seat 9: PizzaBoyBob (1,828,760 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 10.04.09.JPG

On the fourth hand of action, PizzaBoyBob was able to double through Round42 to stay alive in the tournament, and it didn't take long to see more players put their tournament lives on the line.

The next to do so was shane261966, who pushed with A♥ 7♠ but found himself up against the A♠ J♠ of More4Mor. The board produced Q♦ K♣ 9♦ 2♦ 5♣, and though both players had an ace high hand, More4Mor's had the jack to supplement the kickers on the board. That left shane261966 out of the tournament in ninth place with $11,625 for the effort.

Only a few hands later, two of the short stacks got involved with the chip leader to see a T♣ 7♦ Q♥ flop. All three players - YEBOBOZ, rjmgrace, and Fraram - checked. When the K♣ appeared on the turn, a bet from rjmgrace received a call from Fraram but a fold from YEBOBOZ. The 8♣ on the river prompted an all-in move from rjmgrace with pocket queens for the set, but Fraram called with A♣ 4♣ and the flush. The eighth place finisher was rjmgrace, and $18,000 was awarded for that spot.

Small ball poker then ensued and took the players into the first five-minute break. More cautious play upon players returning to action until PizzaBoyBob was ready to attempt another double-up. He succeeded through More4Mor, which put the latter into a desperate position of his own.

However, it was fellow short-stacked player Round42 who made the next all-in move, which prompted Volanthn to reraise all-in to isolate. That worked for Volanthn and his pocket eights, and Round42 showed J♦ 9♣. The board came 3♥ 7♦ 5♠ 7♥ K♦, and that eliminated Round42 in seventh place with $33,000 to show for it.

Then More4Mor and PizzaBoyBob tangled again, this time leaving the latter crippled:

RSS readers click through to see replay

PizzaBoyBob came back to double once through YEBOBOZ with A-K over pocket sixes when a king came on the flop, but it was two hands later that PizzaBoyBob tried it again. With K♥ 5♥, PizzaBoyBob pushed all-in but found himself up against the A♦ Q♦ of zakooza. The flop of 3♦ Q♠ 8♦ brought the pair for zakooza, and the 3♥ turn and 6♣ changed nothing. PizzaBoyBob was eliminated in sixth place with $48,000.

Meanwhile, YEBOBOZ had been running away with the chip lead since the start of the final table, but as Fraram slowly crept up behind, YEBOBOZ put the pressure on and took a pot from Fraram worth more than 20 million chips. YEBOBOZ then sat with more than 31 million chips. Fraram did find a spot to double back through YEBOBOZ, and though it took Fraram out of danger, it hardly dented the stack of the chip leader.

More4Mor finally made the decision to push from the small blind with A♠ 6♣, but Fraram called from the big blind with a dominating A♣ 7♦. The board brought T♦ 4♦ T♠ 4♣ 7♣, which eliminated More4Mor in fifth place with a $63,000 payout.

Only three hands later, it was Volanthn's turn to push, and it was done with A♣ 7♣. But YEBOBOZ reraised all-in to keep it simple, which worked, and he showed pocket aces. The virtual PokerStars dealer gave them a 5♥ 5♦ 5♣ 3♥ T♦ board, making a full house for YEBOBOZ. Volanthn was forced to accept fourth place and the $82,500 that went with it.

The last three players decided to stop the tournament to see some chip-chop numbers in the hopes of making a deal, but a very slow-moving conversation led to a breakdown of the discussion...or so it seemed. Just as the administrator was prepared to restart the tournament, some alternate numbers were accepted as follows, with an extra $30,000 set aside for the eventual champion:

Seat 2: zakooza (12,126,603 in chips) = $146,786.35
Seat 5: Fraram (21,937,644 in chips) = $160,113.65
Seat 8: YEBOBOZ (35,335,753 in chips) = $180,000.00

Only minutes into the action, the following hand saw Fraram double through YEBOBOZ and change the dynamic of the table:

RSS readers click through to see replay

It didn't take long for YEBOBOZ to find the opportunity to move all-in, and he did it with T♥ 8♠ from the big blind, though Fraram was able to call with J♣ 9♦ from the small blind. The board ran out K♠ J♦ 5♦ 5♠ 8♦, and former chip leader YEBOBOZ was eliminated in third place, though he received a sizable payout of $180,000 from the aforementioned deal.

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

Seat 2: zakooza (15,984,390 in chips)
Seat 5: Fraram (53,415,610 in chips)

The match took only 13 hands, and none of them found zakooza gaining any necessary ground. In the end, zakooza pushed all-in with pocket sixes, and Fraram called with J♠ 9♥. The race was on until the board came 7♠ 4♦ T♠ Q♠ 9♠, which gave Fraram the better flush and left zakooza with a second place finish and $146,786.35.

Fraram became the latest Sunday Million champion with $190,113.65 and a well-respected online tournament title to show for it.

Sunday Million Results for 10/04/09:

1st place: Fraram ($190,113.65)*
2nd place: zakooza ($146,786.35)*
3rd place: YEBOBOZ ($180,000.00)*
4th place: Volanthn ($82,500.00)
5th place: More4Mor ($63,000.00)
6th place: PizzaBoyBob ($48,000.00)
7th place: Round42 ($33,000.00)
8th place: rjmgrace ($18,000.00)
9th place: shane261966 ($11,625.00)

*numbers resulted from a three-way chop 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