master zulle mastered SCTrojans for the 4/19/09 Sunday Million victory

Sunday Million logo.jpgAfter a two-week pause in Sunday Million action for the 2009 SCOOP series, the popular Sunday tournament was back with its signature $1.5 million guarantee and the best poker action on the internet.

Coming back on a Sunday filled with significant live tournaments at various locations around the globe presented a challenge, though. With players competing in Las Vegas at the WPT World Championship and in Italy at the European Poker Tour stop in San Remo, some of the players who would normally play in the $200 + $15 Sunday Million were otherwise occupied. Nevertheless, a total of 7,021 players came to the felt to take care of online poker business, and that was cause for PokerStars to step in with their $1.5 million guarantee, which became the prize pool. With a nearly $100,000 overlay for the players, the Sunday event was on.

As play moved through the afternoon hours, it was around the four-hour mark that the money bubble burst, which sent markaustin1 out in 1081st place on that bubble and allowed ChekRazeMudr to cash out for $300 in 1080th place. The remaining players then proceeded to head toward the final table.

With the nine-hour mark in sight, play seemed to slow at 13 players but eventually pushed forward to hand-for-hand play with 10 left. And just after a scheduled five-minute break, lyss143 decided to make the move against MissStax, which resulted in lyss143 accepting a tenth place finish and the $7,500 that went with it. The hand played out like this:

RSS readers click through to see replay

With that, the final table was set, with seating arrangements and chip counts as follows:

Seat 1: anybody1108 (1,637,455 in chips)
Seat 2: MissStax (9,542,951 in chips)
Seat 3: master zulle (12,293,597 in chips)
Seat 4: Der Patient (4,276,770 in chips)
Seat 5: Uninc157 (5,071,042 in chips)
Seat 6: SCTrojans (14,260,000 in chips)
Seat 7: Germaniac2 (10,814,756 in chips)
Seat 8: gp333 (9,270,515 in chips)
Seat 9: monk-dogg (3,042,914 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 04.19.09.JPG

Play seemed to start rather cautiously as the players got used to each other, but all eyes were on some of the big stacks. SCTrojans led the pack with more than 14 million chips, but master zulle followed close behind and several others were on their heels.

But it only took a few hands for the aggression level to begin, and Uninc157 decided to make a move to accumulate chips right away. Uninc157 was successful by doubling through gp333.

Subsequently, it was gp333 who decided to make the next move. After making an initial raise and having SCTrojans come back with a reraise from the small blind, gp333 responded by moving all-in for 3,679,473 with pocket tens. SCTrojans called with A♣ K♥, and it was off to the races until the first card hit. The entire board read A♦ Q♥ 8♠ K♠ 2♦, and gp333 was out in ninth place with $17,250.

More double-ups and big pots were in order. anybody1108 doubled through Uninc157, and master zulle collected a 3.3 million chip pot from Germaniac2.

SCTrojans took the reigns again. The initial raise by SCTrojans was met with an all-in move by monk-dogg. SCTrojans called with A♥ Q♠, and monk-dogg showed A♣ T♠ and would need help. The board brought 2♥ 8♣ 8♠ J♥ 3♠, which meant no help, only an eighth place finish for monk-dogg, which was worth $17,250.

That put SCTrojans past the 22 million mark, with the nearest competitor being master zulle with a bit more than 15 million.

With anybody1108 getting short again, the all-in push came preflop only a few hands later, and master zulle was in the small blind and ready to call with pocket aces. anybody1108 showed 8♦ 6♦. The board couldn't have been worse for the all-in player, as it brought a flop of 2♠ A♥ 5♦ to give master zulle the set, and the A♠ on the turn transformed it into quads. The irrelevant 7♣ river ended the horror for anybody1108, who finished in seventh place with $26,250.

In non-elimination news, Der Patient doubled through Uninc157 to stay alive. And eventually, the two chip leaders tangled. SCTrojans and master zulle became involved in a 9 million-chip pot that was awarded to SCTrojans with two pair after master zulle could only show ace-high on a 9-K-7-2-J board. With that, SCTrojans approached the 30 million-chip mark, and master zulle took a massive hit, left with 14 million - still second place on the board.

MissStax wasn't the shortest stack at the table, but after going to see a J♣ 3♠ J♠ flop with master zulle, MissStax decided to push all-in for 2,901,091 chips with pocket sixes. master zulle called with K♠ Q♠. The 9[d] on the turn helped no one, but the K♦ on the river gave master zulle the better two pair, sending MissStax out in sixth place with $39,000.

Germaniac2 doubled several times of late and finally sat solidly in third place on the leaderboard. Meanwhile, SCTrojans was losing the massive chip lead, having been chipped down to near 20 million, while master zulle chipped up to over 22 million. It looked to be a fight to the finish for those two leaders.

After quite a bit of cautious play and only one player - Germaniac2 - interested in deal talks, Der Patient finally decided to change the tone. Moving all-in and taking the pot looked to become a habit until Uninc157 finally called. Der Patient showed A♦ 5♦, and Uninc157 had pocket sixes. The cards were dealt 2♦ 8♦ Q♠ 6♣ 5♠, and the flush never panned out, unlike the set for Uninc157. Der Patient was given a prescription for fifth place with a dollar amount of $54,000.

Then a monster hand went down. It began with Uninc157 making an initial raise and master zulle calling to hit the 7♠ T♣ 4♣ flop. That brought a bet from Uninc157 and check-call from master zulle. The 6♣ on the turn brought another bet from Uninc157, but this time master zulle check-raised. Uninc157 responded with an all-in move holding 3♠ 5♠ for the turned straight, but master zulle showed K♣ 8♣ for the turned flush. A Q♥ on the river changed nothing and sent the nearly 32 million-chip pot to master zulle and pushed Uninc157 out in fourth place with $69,000.

The pot was so significant and gave master zulle such a significant lead, the hand is here for the replay:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Germaniac2 finally made a move as the severely short stacked player at the table, pushing preflop with 6♠ 5♠. SCTrojans reraised to isolate, which worked, then showed A♥ T♦. The board ran out J♣ 8♦ J♥ T♣ 8♠, and Germaniac2 was shown the door in third place with $84,000.

Seat 3: master zulle (38,280,240 in chips)
Seat 6: SCTrojans (31,929,760 in chips)

Going into the action, SCTrojans put on the pressure and chipped his way into the lead. But it didn't last long, as the two aggressive players tangled in a pot that started with a 2♥ T♠ 8♣ flop. Betting took them to the 6♥ turn, at which point master zulle put his tournament life on the line with K♠ T♥ and top pair. SCTrojans was there with the K♣ 8♠ and a middle pair, and the 3♣ river changed nothing. The 60,660,480 pot was shipped to master zulle, and SCTrojans was facing about a 6-to-1 chip deficit.

Finally, a few hands later, SCTrojans was ready to make a move. The two players first went to see a cheap flop of T♦ A♥ 5♥. Betting led to the 3♣ on the turn, and more betting and raising brought the 9♦ river. master zulle bet all-in, and SCTrojans wrote in the chat box:

SCTrojans: you really got T9?
SCTrojans: pretty sure thats the only possible hand
SCTrojans: you jam all aces pre
SCTrojans: all draws missed
SCTrojans: w/e
SCTrojans: if u have t9 u win

With that one-way dialogue, SCTrojans called all-in and showed pocket jacks, but master zulle turned over 9♣ 5♣ for the rivered two pair. SCTrojans was eliminated in second place with $124,950.

It goes without saying that master zulle mastered the tournament. After coming back from some mid-final table troubles to defeat the aggressive and experienced SCTrojans, master zulle won the Sunday Million tournament and received $184,500 for it. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 04/19/09:

1st place: master zulle ($184,500.00)
2nd place: SCTrojans ($124,950.00)
3rd place: Germaniac2 ($84,000.00)
4th place: Uninc157 ($69,000.00)
5th place: Der Patient ($54,000.00)
6th place: MixxStax ($39,000.00)
7th place: anybody1108 ($26,250.00)
8th place: monk-dogg ($17,250.00)
9th place: gp333 ($10,500.00)

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