Holidays Brighter for hassan77 with 12/20 Sunday Million Victory

Sunday Million logo.jpgDecember 20 was upon us. Less than two weeks away was a new year - 2010. (Grasp that if you can.) And another Sunday Million came upon the poker world with the regularity that many craved as the holiday season whipped most everyone into a frenzy. In the midst of shopping and family gatherings and travel, not to mention the onset of winter kicking some parts of the world directly in the pants, there was the Sunday Million, right on time, with its soothing $1.5 million guarantee and the promise of a warm six-figure payout to the winner.

Ahhh.

As most have come to expect, registration for the Sunday Million was above expectations, and the 8,540-player field brought the prize pool up to $1,708,000. Those funds were distributed amongst the last 1,260 players in the tournament, with payouts ranging from $307.44 for 1260th place to $251,246.80 promised to the ultimate champion.

It was just into the ninth hour of the tournament that the final two tables were set, and as has been the case for several hours, Moorman1 and BigFlopper01 held down the top two positions on the leaderboard. But throughout the course of the next hour, BigFlopper01 lost the lead and settled into the middle of the pack while Moorman1 struggled but stayed near the top. Finally, with the elimination of wardough20 in 11th place, hand-for-hand play ensued until Scary_Tiger pushed all-in with pocket nines, only to be called by traneren with pocket kings. The board produced Q♣ A♠ 3♣ 7♣ 5♦, which allowed the kings to hold and eliminate Scary_Tiger in tenth place, which was worth a payout of $9,052.40.

With that, in the midst of Level 36 and just past the ten-hour mark of the tournament, the players headed into final table action with blinds at 200,000/400,000 and a 40,000 ante. Chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1: dapalma150 (9,731,234 in chips)
Seat 2: moorzer (10,358,040 in chips)
Seat 3: munson1049 (13,851,280 in chips)
Seat 4: YaaGy (3,639,487 in chips)
Seat 5: traneren (8,882,367 in chips)
Seat 6: BigFlopper01 (5,401,002 in chips)
Seat 7: Moorman1 (17,113,695 in chips)
Seat 8: hassan77 (12,651,199 in chips)
Seat 9: indio1 (3,771,696 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 12.20.09.PNG

It took a few hands for the players to get comfortable with their new seats and tablemates, but short-stacked indio1 soon found a double-up opportunity with pocket jacks, which held up against the T-7 of Moorman1. Three hands later, YaaGy doubled through munson1049 with K-7 over 8-6. Then it was BigFlopper01 who went on a roll by doubling, courtesy of hassan77, then taking a sizable pot from moorzer to jump into the chip lead once again. Moorzer then came back to double through indio1 when pocket aces held against K-J.

YaaGy sought another double and moved all-in with A♠ Q♠ preflop. From the big blind, dapalma150 called with pocket tens, and the race was on until the board showed 2♥ 3♠ 3♣ 5♠ J♣, which brought no help for the short-stack. YaaGy was eliminated from the table in ninth place with $13,237.00.

After the first official break in the action, the most well-known player at the table decided to push it in the hopes of regaining a solid position in the game. Moorman1 pushed all-in when the action folded around to him, and his 8,121,999 went into the pot with Q♠ J♦. It was hassan77 in the big blind who made the call with A♠ 7♣, and the players watched as the virtual dealer gave them a 8♥ 8♦ 4♣ flop, a 6♠ on the turn, and the A♦ on the river to give hassan77 the two pair. Moorman1 exited the tournament in eighth place with $18,788.00 for the effort.

Only a few hands later, it was indio1 who looked down at the very short stack and pushed from early position with pocket sevens. From the small blind, traneren called with A♣ J♦. While the flop looked good for traneren when it came Q♠ T♣ 8♣, the J♠ looked even better. And the J♥ on the river made trips, which was more than enough to eliminate indio1 in seventh place with $34,160.00.

Another round led to more action, and it started with dapalma150 raising preflop and traneren reraising all-in for 7,182,719. dapalma150 called with pocket aces, and traneren showed the dominated pocket kings. The board came 5♠ 5♦ T♠ T♦ J♥, and traneren was gone in sixth place with $51,240.00 for those holiday spending bills.

As hassan77 looked to be running away with the chip lead, moorzer decided to challenge that and take some of those chips. And the perfect hand to do it came here:

RSS readers click through to see replay

On the next hand, another two players tangled. dapalma150 raised preflop, and when munson1049 reraised all-in for little less than 10 million chips, dapalma150 called and showed pocket aces, which dominated the K♦ Q♥ of munson1049. The board brought little cards with 2♥ 4♠ 3♣ 4♦ 3♥, and that was all it took to eliminate munson1049 in fifth place, which was worth a payout of $68,320.00.

No rest for the railbirds (and writer), as the very next hand led to more exciting action. After moorzer tried to limp in, BigFlopper01 raised all-in for 7,316,449 with K♥ J♦. And moorzer called quickly with pocket kings, which held up on the 6♣ J♣ 2♥ Q♠ 7♥ board. With that, BigFlopper01 was eliminated in fourth place with $85,400.00.

The three remaining players soon decided to pause the tournament to discuss a possible financial arrangement, and they were given chip-chop numbers by the tournament officials. With a rather quick acceptance of the numbers, along with the understanding that $30,000 of the prize money would be set aside for the winner, the game resumed with the following agreement in place:

Seat 1: dapalma150 (45,046,387 in chips) = $206,512.78
Seat 2: moorzer (18,775,275 in chips) = $160,782.35
Seat 8: hassan77 (21,578,338 in chips) = $165,661.67

During three-handed play, hassan77 lost ground consistently until doubling through dapalma150 with A-Q over A-4. But it was moorzer who was unable to gain any ground whatsoever.

That brought moorzer to a duel with dapalma150 that started with a Q♥ T♣ 9♠ flop. A bet from dapalma150 and check-call from moorzer brought them the 3♠ turn card, at which point moorzer pushed all-in. dapalma150 called with Q♠ J♦ and top pair. moorzer showed J♣ T♦ for middle pair, and the 3♦ on the river changed nothing. moorzer was eliminated in third place with $160,782.35.

Heads-up play then began as follows:

Seat 1: dapalma150 (45603324 in chips)
Seat 8: hassan77 (39796676 in chips)

It only took four hands for dapalma150 to decide to risk it all, and hassan77 capitalized on that opportunity to take a massive lead when the hand played out:

RSS readers click through to see replay

The action-packed match saw dapalma150 double up twice to stay alive and subsequently take the lead, but hassan77 took it back soon after with a massive pot worth close to 79 million chips. The two had no problem putting all of their chips at risk, and the all-ins were aplenty.

Finally, dapalma150 pushed all-in once again, this time with Q♦ 5♥, and hassan77 called with K♦ T♣. The flop came directly in favor of hassan77 with 8♣ 8♠ K♠, and the 7♥ turn and A♠ river ended the battle. dapalma150 was forced to accept second place and $206,512.78.

The Sunday Million title was awarded to hassan77, who was given $195,661.67 for the accomplishment.

Sunday Million Results for 12/20/09:

1st place: hassan77 ($195,661.67)*
2nd place: dapalma150 ($206,512.78)*
3rd place: moorzer ($160,782.35)*
4th place: BigFlopper01 ($85,400.00)
5th place: munson1049 ($68,320.00)
6th place: traneren ($51,240.00)
7th place: indio1 ($34,160.00)
8th place: Moorman1 ($18,788.00)
9th place: YaaGy ($13,237.00)

*Figures reflect a three-way chip-chop deal.

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