Hail to LosChief for Winning the January 18th Sunday Million

Sunday Million logo.jpgThe third Sunday Million of the year took after its predecessors by breaking through the $1.5 million guarantee with a stellar turnout. While live tournament players are traversing the globe, from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure that just wrapped in the Bahamas to the next stop on the European Poker Tour in Deauville, France or the Latin American Poker Tour in Vina del Mar, Chile, online poker players around the world simply logged in to play. And because of the numbers, the first prize was impressive at just over $200,000.

Once registration closed, it was determined that 8,260 players came to the virtual felt, which created a $1,652,000 prize pool. The top 1,260 players would get a piece of it, and that time came just over the 3 hour, 45 minute mark when ReckChaise was eliminated in 1261st place. That made way for samostars to be the first to cash in this week's event, taking home $330.40 for the 1260th place finish.

Little more than five hours later, ten players were vying for their seats at the coveted Sunday Million final table. To put an end to that hand-for-hand play, Mr.Vargas_85 tangled with twopairdad, though not moving all of his chips into the pot until after the 5h-Td-8s flop. Mr.Vargas_85 looked good with pocket jacks, especially when twopairdad showed pocket nines. The 9s on the turn did it, though, by giving twopairdad the set. The 6h on the river meant that Mr.Vargas_85 was gone in tenth place with $8,260.00.

The final table was then set as follows:

Seat 1: dyeti (5,459,890 in chips)
Seat 2: play2call (7,921,473 in chips)
Seat 3: Raccabacka (4,982,369 in chips)
Seat 4: Oracle MCA (11,041,821 in chips)
Seat 5: LosChief (12,200,744 in chips)
Seat 6: Birdstone44 (8,614,498 in chips)
Seat 7: twopairdad (18,272,833 in chips)
Seat 8: AngeL_fH (9,848,917 in chips)
Seat 9: swifterjet (4,257,455 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 01.18.09.JPG

Action began with twopairdad in the lead. After having been in the top five for the majority of the last several hours, ever since there were ten tables left in the tournament, it was no surprise to see twopairdad dominating. And that would be the trend as play continued.

The players took awhile to get comfortable with each other at the final table, but finally, one of the shorter stacks made a move. After twopairdad made a typical preflop raise, Raccabacka pushed all-in with pocket threes from the big blind, only to see that twopairdad had a shot with his Ad-5s. The board brought 2d-5h-6c-8d-Jd, and the pair of fives won it, sending Raccabacka off the table in ninth place with a respectable $11,564.00 in prize money.

Next to go was not exactly one of the short stacks but got involved with the chip leader to no avail. The hand started innocently enough, with AngeL_fH and twopairdad and some raising and reraising to see the 2d-2h-5s on the flop. Several million more went into the pot before the 3h came on the turn, after which all of AngeL-fH's chips went in with Ac-As. twopairdad showed Ah-4h, and the Th on the river brought that flush for the chip leader, who took down the pot worth more than 22 million chips. AngeL_fH was ousted in eighth place, which was worth $18,998.00.

play2call needed to make a move and attempted it with pocket fours. Oracle MCA called with Ad-Jc, and the two watched the board come 5d-Qc-Td-2s-Ah, and the river again was the deciding card, as it ousted play2call from the tournament with $28,910.00 for a seventh place finish.

Another player who had become short-stacked was dyeti, and though the player hung on for awhile, once he dipped below the 2 million-chip mark, he pushed with Ks-Td. LosChief called from the small blind with pocket jacks, and the board didn't bring enough to save dyeti when it came 6h-4s-7s-Ts-7h. dyeti was eliminated in sixth place with $41,300.00.

The next player to be at risk was Oracle MCA, especially after he was crippled when swifterjet doubled through him. The next hand saw Oracle MCA push his last 365,095 into the pot with Ah-Jc, and it looked good when twopairdad showed Kd-4c. The flop wasn't too harmful for the all-in player with 9s-7d-4d, and the Ad was even better for Oracle MCA, but the 4h on the river gave twopairdad the set and bounced Oracle MCA from the tournament in fifth place, which was worth $57,820.00.

Soon after, swifterjet looked for a double-up when he put his 2.7 million chips all-in with Jh-5s, but twopairdad came up with pocket aces and the call. The board brought hope with Qh-Ks-Td, but the turn and river took it away with 8s and 4c. swifterjet was sent to the virtual rail in fourth place with $74,340.00 - not a bad parting gift.

The player who maintained the chip lead throughout most of the final table soon lost it; twopairdad was chipped away at by his opponents quite severely via some double-ups, and he soon sat with less than 10 million. When Birdstone44 pushed preflop from the small blind, twopairdad called all-in from the big blind with pocket threes, only to see that Birdstone44 had outs with Kh-Qh. The dealer gave them Jc-8s-6s-Tc-9d, and the straight beat twopairdad's pair, sending him out in third place with $91,686.00.

Heads-up play began with the following chip counts:

Seat 5: LosChief (45,895,796 in chips)
Seat 6: Birdstone44 (36,704,204 in chips)

Almost immediately, the two players noted that they wanted to look at chip-chop numbers, and the administrator gave them the amounts:

LosChief $153,134.80
Birdstone44 $151,560.40

With the understanding that an extra $30,000 would be reserved for the winner alone, the players agreed and action resumed.

LosChief used sheer aggression to chip away at Birdstone44, finally prompting the latter to push all-in for 13,084,204 with Kh-Js. LosChief called with Kc-5c and would need to improve. The board came As-9c-Ts-5s-8d, and the turn brought it for LosChief. Birdstone44 was forced to settle for second place and $151,560.40.

LosChief won the 1/18/09 edition of the Sunday Million and was awarded an impressive $183,134.80 for the effort. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 01/18/09:

1st place: LosChief ($183,134.80)*
2nd place: Birdstone44 ($151,560.40)*
3rd place: twopairdad ($91,686.00)
4th place: swifterjet ($74,340.00)
5th place: Oracle MCA ($57,820.00)
6th place: dyeti ($41,300.00)
7th place: play2call ($28,910.00)
8th place: AngeL_fH ($18,998.00)
9th place: Raccabacka ($11,564.00)

*based on two-way chop numbers

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