jnic00 Becomes the Newest Sunday Million Champion

Sunday Million logo.jpgFor math-minded people, exact numbers that need no rounding up or down for simplicity's sake are beautiful things. They will be pleased to see the numbers for the January 26th Sunday Million tournament. An even number of 8,500 players entered the tournament, creating a very pretty prize pool of $1.7 million. Sometimes, it's the little things that bring joy.

For those who care little for even numbers and the like, let's get to the tournament action. It progressed as most Sunday Million events do, moving along quickly toward the money bubble, which burst at the 3 hour, 50 minute mark. Thanks to the money bubble player, DG786, who left in 1261st place to make way for RTiltskin to cash for $340.00 in the 1260th spot.

Just after the tournament moved into its ninth hour, with hand-for-hand in effect, Gibb Stutz got all-in preflop with pocket eights, and flopp_deuces mimicked with his own all-in play holding As-Kh. Marmotte21 called both with pocket queens, and the board came 3d-Jh-5s-9h-7s, which sent flopp_deuces out in 11th place, followed by Gibb Stutz in tenth. Both players missed out on the final table, which began with the following chip counts:

Seat 1: i_lv_beer (14,751,124 in chips)
Seat 2: jnic00 (13,538,955 in chips)
Seat 3: Flamarion (5,232,648 in chips)
Seat 4: Kris Merlot (14,146,860 in chips)
Seat 5: LastChance11 (3,150,250 in chips)
Seat 6: calytry (2,732,379 in chips)
Seat 7: rebel1100 (3,877,560 in chips)
Seat 8: PaperLamp (6,068,750 in chips)
Seat 9: marmotte21 (21,501,474 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 01.25.09.JPG

The first elimination of the final table came very quickly, as it might with several very short-stacked players. From the small blind, rebel1100 made an initial raise to 600,000, but PaperLamp reraised it up from the big blind. rebel1100 came over the top with an all-in move for his final 3,517,560 in chips holding Ah-Qs, and PaperLamp called with Kc-Jh. The all-in hand held up through the 2s-7s-7c flop and 9c turn, but the Js on the river gave PaperLamp the pot and sent rebel1100 out in ninth place with $11,900.00.

In keeping with a rapid pace, Flamarion and marmotte21 got involved in some preflop betting that led to a 7h-Th-2d flop. marmotte21 led out with a bet, but Flamarion raised all-in with pocket queens. marmotte21 called with 7c-6c and middle pair. The 9c on the turn was innocent enough, but the 7d on the river gave marmotte21 trips and eliminated Flamarion in eighth place, which was worth $19,550.

Not wasting any time, LastChance11 moved all-in preflop from the small blind with Td-7h, but calytry woke up with a better hand of Ac-5c and called with it from the big blind. The two waited to see the board produce 8c-3c-4h-Ad-8h, and that was all she wrote for LastChance11, who finished seventh in the tournament with $29,750.00.

It took two to tango in the next significant hand, and those two were jnic00, who raised preflop to 850,750, and PaperLamp who called. After seeing the flop of 5c-Qc-8h, PaperLamp led out with an 800,000 bet, but jnic00 raised it up. PaperLamp came back with an all-in reraise for 7,345,560 with Qs-7d in his hand, but jnic00 called with 5h-4c. The 4d on the turn gave jnic00 two pair, and the 5d on the river gave him the full house to send PaperLamp packing in sixth place with $42,500.00.

Play slowed to a cautious mode for awhile, that was until calytry pushed all-in preflop with As-9s. The call came from jnic00 and his pocket jacks. The board came in favor of jnic00 when it showed Jh-Kd-2s-6d-Th, and calytry was eliminated in fifth place, which was worth a solid payout of $59,500.00.

The next player to hit the rail came as play accelerated again, and Kris Merlot pushed his short stack, if you can call it that, of just over 9 million chips into the pot preflop. marmotte21 called and showed pocket kings, which looked a bit better than the pocket tens of Kris Merlot. The board ran out 8d-5h-Qs-Jd-2d, and marmotte21's kings held up. Kris Merlot accepted the fourth place finish and $76,500 that went with it.

Talks of a deal began with the final three players, with the two shorter stacks proposing an even split. jnic00 had the advantage of more than 10 million chips and responded that there was "NO WAY" he'd accept an even chop. The tournament host proposed some numbers, and after some negotiating like, "Dude" and "Why are you so selfish?" the following chip chop numbers were agreed upon, which included a $30,000 bonus set aside for the ultimate champion:

jnic00 (36,806,422 in chips) = $148,788.86
marmotte21 (25,926,343 in chips) = $132,696.59
i_lv_beer (22,267,235 in chips) = $127,284.55

Play resumed, and as jnic00 maintained a stable stack and the chip lead, it was i_lv_beer who went after marmotte21 with some aggression. Chipping away at marmotte21 left him hovering around the 10 million chip mark, while i_lv_beer climbed up to eventually take the lead from jnic00.

marmotte21 finally took a shot with an all-in move preflop for his last 14,271,898 chips, and it was jnic00 with the call. marmotte21 showed Qh-Td, but he was topped by the Ac-Qd of jnic00. The board bricked with 2c-9h-Jc-4h-4d, and marmotte21 was sent out in third place with the agreed-upon prize amount of $132,696.59.

Heads-up action began with the following counts:

Seat 1: i_lv_beer (38,995,013 in chips)
Seat 2: jnic00 (46,004,987 in chips)

It was a true battle, as i_lv_beer attempted a takeover. With a slight chip lead, he attempted to end it and win it by pushing all-in after a Jh-Tc-5d flop. jnic00 called all-in with Qh-Js, and i_lv_beer shoed As-Th. jnic00 continued to improve on the hand as the 8c turn and 9d river gave him the straight and the double-up, leaving i_lv_beer with less than 2.5 million chips.

i_lv_beer mounted a comeback, first by doubling through jnic00 with Kc-6s over the Th-7d of jnic00, and then again with Qh-8s with a flopped queen to the ace-high of the chip leader.

Finally, after a half hour of heads-up action, it was decided. i_lv_beer pushed all-in for 13,262,320 with Ks-3s, and jnic00 finally found a hand with which to call - Ad-6c. The board rolled out 8d-7s-2d-Td-Qs, and i_lv_beer had to settle for a second place finish and the $127,284.55 that had been agreed upon earlier.

jnic00 became the newest Sunday Million champion and was awarded $178,788.86 for the feat. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 01/25/09:

1st place: jnic00 ($178,788.86)*
2nd place: i_lv_beer ($127,284.55)*
3rd place: marmotte21 ($132,696.59)*
4th place: Kris Merlot ($76,500.00)
5th place: calytry ($59,500.00)
6th place: PaperLamp ($42,500.00)
7th place: LastChance11 ($29,750.00)
8th place: Flamarion ($19,550.00)
9th place: rebel1100 ($11,900.00)

*based on three-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