huztlerCrew scores Super Bowl Sunday Million win

Sunday Million logo.jpgAs the Pittsburgh Steelers hit the field to take on the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, 7,513 players sat down to take their shot at a six-figure payday in the Sunday Million, creating a prize pool of $1,502,600. Two members of Team PokerStars Pro were among the 1,080 players who cashed this week's Million; Barry "barryg1" Greenstein finished in 677th position while Andre "aakkari' Akkari was the longest-lasting team pro, finishing 151st. As the field dwindled to its final few tables, one big name jumped out at everyone on the rail--online tournament legend BodogAri. No stranger to a PokerStars final table, BodogAri won the Sunday Warmup for over $80k in February 2007 and has final tabled it twice since.

After doing his best to notch a double-up, Aco80 went out as our final table bubble boy. All in pre-flop for 4.1 million, Aco80 was in excellent shape to double up with 8d-8h to niuniu09's 5h-5s, however, a five hit the flop and he was sent to the rail in 10th place, leaving us with our final nine. Here's how the chip count looked as the final table action kicked off:

Seat 1: huztlerCrew (10,496,304 in chips)
Seat 2: niuniu09 (9,734,536 in chips)
Seat 3: BodogAri (7,211,054 in chips)
Seat 4: FRfr1111 (5,607,971 in chips)
Seat 5: kiaser (5,564,280 in chips)
Seat 6: Kripp85 (9,023,664 in chips)
Seat 7: MCLegend (7,238,062 in chips)
Seat 8: youjizz (5,263,482 in chips)
Seat 9: freakypokerd (14,990,647 in chips)

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MC Legend won the first major pot of the final table when his Ac-Ah held up against BodogAri's Ks-Kc in a pre-flop all in, sending his stack past the 17 million mark and leaving BodogAri on just over 5 million. Shortly thereafter, freakypokerd became our 9th place finisher after tangling in a massive pot with FRfr1111. FRfr1111 opened with a min-raise to 600,000 freakypokerd reraised to 2.4 million and FRfr1111 called. The flop came down 9c-9d-8d. FRfr1111 checked, freakypokerd moved all in for 6.5 million and FRfr1111 called in a shot, having flopped a full house with 8s-8h. freakypokerd's Jd-Jh couldn't improve on the turn or river and he hit the rail in 9th place, collecting $10,518,20.

It was also quite an unlucky stint at the final table for kiaser, who was eliminated in 8th place after being outdrawn twice in a row. After BodogAri opened for 1.6 million, kiaser moved all in for 4.6 million and BodogAri called all in, kiaser having him slightly covered. Kiaser's 3d-3c tried to outrun BodogAri's 7h-8h, but BodogAri flopped a flush draw and filled it on the turn, crippling kiaser to less than a million in chips. Kiaser moved in with Ah-5c on the next hand and got action from FRfr1111 with Qs-Td, but it wasn't his night, as a ten hit the flop and a queen hit the turn, eliminating him in 8th place for a $19,279,20 score.

With his stack dwindling, niuniu09 decided it was time to make a stand, open-shoving for his last 1.9 million. BodogAri moved all in behind him for 3.4 million to isolate and the two were heads up to the flop, niuniu09's Js-Ts up against BodogAri's As-Kd. The Ad-8d-2d flop left things looking grim for niuniu09 and the Qd on the turn made BodogAri's flush, sealing niuniu09's 7th place elimination for $26,295,50.

BodogAri continued on his tear, taking Kripp85 out in 6th place only a few hands later. BodogAri opened for 1,130,000, Kripp85 shoved for 2.9 million from the big blind and BodogAri elected to call. This time, BodogAri had some catching up to do, his Js-7h well behind Kripp85's Ks-Qs. The flop was a safe 8c-3c-3s, but the Jc spiked on the turn, making BodogAri top pair. No help for Kripp85 on the 8h river and BodogAri made a full house, earning the 6 million million chip pot and sending Kripp85 to the rail for a $39,067,60 payday.

Attempting to make a move on the uber-aggressive BodogAri, youjizz decided to three-bet all in for 7.3 million behind BodogAri's 1.2 million opening raise with the lowly 3-4 offsuit, but unfortunately got his hand caught in the proverbial cookie jar. This time, BodogAri had a real hand, as he insta-called and revealed pocket jacks. BodogAri flopped a set and left youjizz drawing dead, his consolation prize a hefty $54,093.60 for 4th place.

FRfr1111 certainly had the most dramatic elimination hand at this final table. He reraised all in for 7 million over the top of MCLegend's 1,545,000 opening raise and earned a call, his Ad-Qc dominating MCLegend's Ac-9h... that is until the flop came down a stunning 9d-9s-9c! MCLegend dragged the 14.6 million chip pot with his quads, knocking a bewildered FRfr1111 out in 4th place. Though that's a bad beat he won't soon forget, $69,119.60 should ease the pain just a bit.

Immediately after FRfr1111's elimination, the tournament was paused so our three remaining players could look at numbers for a potential deal. After leaving $30,000 on the table to play for and some minor adjustments, the following numbers were agreed upon, based on chip count:

MC Legend (29,846,542 in chips) $127,518.22
huztlerCrew (25,415,654 in chips) $120,000.00
BodogAri (19,867,804 in chips) $116,613.76

The deal in place and cards back on the screen, Bodog Ari kept his foot on the gas, making what would prove to be his final move on the eighth hand of three-handed play. HuztlerCrew opened for 1.5 million and BodogAri three-bet to 3,567,807. Undeterred, huztlerCrew responded with a four-bet to 8.4 million and BodogAri flat-called. The flop came down 7s-5d-2d. HuztlerCrew immediately moved all in and BodogAri called, showing Ac-Jh to huztlerCrew's pocket sixes. BodogAri couldn't improve on the 7d turn or the Tc river and he made his exit in 3rd place, adding $116,613.76 to his over $1 million in career earnings on PokerStars.

With BodogAri's elimination, it was time for our final two to go mano a mano for the final $30,000. Here's how their chip counts looked at the start of heads-up play:

huztlerCrew (46,363,458 in chips)
MCLegend (28,766,542 in chips)

A peculiar hand unfolded on the second hand of heads-up play, leaving many onlookers scratching their heads. MCLegend limped in from the small blind and huztlerCrew checked his option. The flop came down 9d-6h-3c and MCLegend bet 11,520,000 into the 1,320,000 pot, leaving himself about 16 million behind. HuztlerCrew quickly moved all in for 45.3 million and MCLegend folded, leaving many to wonder if that massive overbet was actually an ill-timed typo.

Our final two would go on to see only one more flop. After trading the blinds back and forth for ten or so hands, MCLegend open-shoved for 15.9 million and huztlerCrew called. MCLegend's Ad-8c still led huztlerCrew's Kd-4h when the flop came down 9c-9s-5h, but the 4c hit the turn, shifting the lead to huztlerCrew. MCLegend needed an ace or an eight to survive, but wouldn't get the help he needed. The Js fell on the river and MCLegend was left to collect $127,518.22 for his runner-up finish.

Congratulations to Copenhagen's huztlerCrew on earning a coveted Sunday Million title and $150,000 in winnings!

Sunday Million Results for 2/1/09

1. huztlerCrew ($150,000.00)*
2. MCLegend ($127,518.22)*
3. BodogAri ($116,613.76)*
4. FRfr1111 ($69,119.60)
5. youjizz ($54,093.60)
6. Kripp85 ($39,067.60)
7. niuniu09 ($26,295.50)
8. kiaser ($17,279,80)
9. freakypokerd ($10,518,20)

*= based on a three-way deal

For more information on how to register or qualify for the Sunday Million, hit up our Sunday Million information page.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million