HectorPva Makes Comeback to Win 8/16/09 Sunday Million Title

Sunday Million logo.jpgIt is just a staple in the online poker industry. Almost every poker player wants to play in the Sunday Million on PokerStars. Not only is there always a $1.5 million guarantee awaiting players, but the title is one of the most recognized in online poker. Oh, and incidentally, the winner usually takes home more than $200,000 in prize money.

While it is true that not everyone can afford the $200 + $15 buy-in, there are satellites - many of them - that run up until the Sunday start time, and for a fraction of the cost, players at all bankroll levels compete on an even playing field for hundreds of thousands of dollars. They also get to sit alongside PokerStars pros, players like Greg Raymer and Daniel Negreanu that most only see on television, and match their skills to theirs. A unique opportunity for all, indeed.

This week, there were 7,863 competitors who sat down with an equal amount of chips to begin their attempts to win, in most cases, life-changing money. That number created a prize pool of $1,572,600, which went beyond the guarantee and was split up to allow 1,170 players to cash in. Hours into the action, it was kir99 that took the position of bubble player and unfortunately busted in 1171st place, but UGA7211 was the first of many to cash, taking home $314.52 for the effort.

When the final table was finally in sight, it was ChasingDevil who went out in 11th place to send the action into hand-for-hand mode. After more than ten minutes of tense play, it was short-stacked sontilou who made the all-in push preflop with A♥ 8♦ but found opponent HectorPva with A♦ Q♦ making the call. The hand played out here and left sontilou forced to accept $8,413.42 for the tenth place finish:

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With Team PokerStars Pros Tom McEvoy and Andre Akkari standing by to cheer on the final tablists, they took their seats at the last table of the night/morning as follows:

Seat 1: Slims (11,568,134 in chips)
Seat 2: HectorPva (9,884,677 in chips)
Seat 3: KJB11 (7,581,872 in chips)
Seat 4: a2z1to3 (1,848,005 in chips)
Seat 5: ParisTilt0n (3,305,070 in chips)
Seat 6: umacorso (7,000,001 in chips)
Seat 7: PedrinhoxX (11,762,579 in chips)
Seat 8: chicagoali (13,358,324 in chips)
Seat 9: mertge (12,321,338 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 08.16.09.JPG

With chicagoali in the chip lead, it only took a few hands to be chipped down a bit and see PedrinhoxX take over that lead. But then a monster hand developed that found those two battling with preflop raises that ended with chicagoali all-in with pocket aces against the A♥ K♠ of PedrinhoxX. The board brought a king on the river, but it wasn't good enough to keep chicagoali from doubling up and becoming the massive leader of the table.

A few hands later, the crippled PedrinhoxX took a shot with A♣ Q♣ preflop, and ParisTilt0n was the caller from the big blind with pocket nines. The virtual dealer gave them a flop of A♠ 2♣ 5♣, which was definitely good for the all-in player, as was the 8♦ turn. But the 9♦ came on the river to give ParisTilt0n the set and the win, eliminating PedrinhoxX in ninth place with $12,187.66 for the rough beat.

Another player losing a lot of ground since the start of the final table was umacorso, and when relegated to less than 4 million chips, umacorso pushed all-in preflop with A♠ K♦ after an initial raise by ParisTilt0n. But ParisTilt0n had no problem making the call with pocket jacks, and the race saw an interesting flop of A♥ Q♠ 9♠ hit umacorso. The 9♥ turn changed nothing, but the J♠ gave the hand back to ParisTilt0n. Again, the river card did it and eliminated umacorso, this time awarding $18,084.91 for the eighth place finish.

Within moments, mertge decided to move as well, doing it with A♦ Q♥. But HectorPva reraised all-in to isolate, which worked, with A♣ K♣. The board ran out K♠ Q♠ 2♦ 3♦ 8♣ and gave the pot to HectorPva, leaving mertge with $31,452.01 for the seventh place finish.

It was a2z1to3 who played the short stack from the start of the final table through several other eliminations, but as the threat of dropping below 1 million chips with blinds at 300,000/600,000 with a 60,000 ante, the time had come to risk it. When the small blind hit, he pushed with 4♠ 2♠, and chip leader chicagoali called with A♥ T♥. The board was an uneventful 9♠ 3♦ K♥ J♠ 8♣ to knock a2z1to3 out in sixth place with $47,178.01.

Play then sped up with two eliminations in fairly quick time. The first came when KJB11 moved preflop with K♠ J♠, which dominated caller ParisTilt0n's T♣ 9♥. But the board hit ParisTilt0n twice when it produced 2♦ T♠ Q♦ Q♥ T♥, and KJB11 was ousted in fifth place with $62,904.01.

Only a few hands later, the struggling Slims pushed with A♥ Q♦ but found himself up against the pocket aces of HectorPva. The dealer quickly put out 6♣ K♥ 9♠ J♦ 6♦ on the board to end Slims' tournament, giving him a fourth place finish and $79,259.05 to go with it.

The last three players standing decided to see the chip-chop numbers and consider a deal, and on the first try, they did all agree to the numbers. With $30,000 extra set aside for the ultimate winner, the three players chopped up the remaining prize money as follows:

Seat 2: HectorPva (26,384,599 in chips) = $165,924.51
Seat 5: ParisTilt0n (18,639,730 in chips) = $151,840.73
Seat 8: chicagoali (33,605,671 in chips) = $179,055.79

Though chicagoali lost some chips after the deal was made, the aggression soon came out in force, and ParisTilt0n was the one struggling to find the cards with which to take a stand against it. Finally, a hand developed that saw all three players take a look at the 3♠ 6♥ 4♣ flop. Though ParisTilt0n initially checked, as did chicagoali, it was HectorPva who put out the first bet. ParisTilt0n came back with a raise all-in, and chicagoali called before HectorPva folded. ParisTilt0n flipped over pocket fives for the up-and-down straight draw, but chicagoali turned over 7♦ 5♦ for the flopped straight. Deuces came on the turn and river, and ParisTilt0n was eliminated in third place with the agreed-upon amount of $151,840.73.

Heads-up play commenced with the following counts:

Seat 2: HectorPva (15,955,711 in chips)
Seat 8: chicagoali (62,674,289 in chips)

Though chicagoali had the upper hand going in, HectorPva was not giving up easily. Mostly through a slow chip-up process, HectorPva began to cut into his opponent's lead. With aggressive all-in moves at times that chicagoali simply couldn't call, HectorPva took several key pots, including one for 16 million and another for 38 million. And then an opportunity that changed the entire makeup of the heads-up match:

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That double-up for HectorPva was followed shortly thereafter by a double for chicagoali, then one for HectorPva, and another for chicagoali. The two players traded the chip lead like pro sports teams trade athletes, but the $30K on the line over and above their established payouts was worth fighting for.

Ultimately, with HectorPva holding a relatively slight lead over chicagoali, the former raised and the latter called to see a K♦ A♠ 3♦ flop. HectorPva bet that flop, and chicagoali check-called, which took them to the 5♥ turn. That prompted similar action and a 2♦ river card. chicagoali pushed all-in with 8♣ 3♥ for the bottom pair, but HectorPva called with A♦ 3♣ and the two pair. That gave chicagoali a second place finish and the $179,055.79 that went with it.

HectorPva became the latest Sunday Million champion and was awarded $195,924.51 for the accomplishment. Congratulations to all of tonight's finishers!

Sunday Million Results for 08/16/09:

1st place: HectorPva ($195,924.51)*
2nd place: chicagoali ($179,055.79)*
3rd place: ParisTilt0n ($151,840.73)*
4th place: Slims ($79,259.05)
5th place: KJB11 ($62,904.01)
6th place: a2z1to3 ($47,178.01)
7th place: mertge ($31,452.01)
8th place: umacorso ($18,084.91)
9th place: PedrinhoxX ($12,187.66)

*results of a three-way chip-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