ran77 Ran Good and Ran Away With the 12/6 Sunday Million Title

Sunday Million logo.jpgThe first Sunday in December finds many people arranging holiday plans to visit family and friends, decorating and shopping, and making lists to check twice. Others are battling harsh winter weather or searching for cheap airfare to warmer end-of-year vacation locales. But poker players are steadfast in their Sunday responsibilities. If they're not wrapping up trips to the European Poker Tour stop in Prague or the Asia Pacific Poker Tour season finale in Sydney, they are sitting somewhere in the world in front of a computer screen and taking their shots at the Sunday majors.

Poker players do have their priorities.

In the December 6th edition of the Sunday Million, registration stopped at 8,626 players, which pushed the prize pool well past the $1.5 million guarantee...all the way to $1,725,200. After many hours of play, there would be 1,260 players solidly in the money, but all of them were undoubtedly aiming for a seat at the final table.

With the eventual elimination of yo1383 in 11th place, the two tables were hand-for-hand, and it was shack232 who chose to make a move preflop with A♥ 9♥. But SeraphimV called with the dominating A♦ J♣, and the board came 7♥ A♠ T♣ 4♥ 3♠ to send shack232 packing in tenth place, for which $9,143.56 was awarded.

And without delay, Level 36 took the players into final table action with blinds at 200,000/400,000 and a 40,000 ante. Chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1: Fymez (4,079,238 in chips)
Seat 2: Team Angle (10,733,884 in chips)
Seat 3: PearlJammer (11,164,384 in chips)
Seat 4: aaronmermel (7,895,632 in chips)
Seat 5: paushtero (9,323,380 in chips)
Seat 6: Cynicism328 (11,280,170 in chips)
Seat 7: ran77 (4,866,362 in chips)
Seat 8: umbrillo (2,488,362 in chips)
Seat 9: SeraphimV (24,428,588 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 12.06.09.PNG

The players were welcomed to their final table by Team PokerStars Pro Steve Paul-Ambrose, and they were subsequently wished luck by a certain observer who recently won something in the area of $8.5 million dollars. (You must know this one...) Yes, Joe "jcada99" Cada was taking a break from his duties/celebrations as 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event champion to watch some of the Sunday Million action. He certainly knows how it feels to win a tournament:

Joe Cada.jpg

It didn't take long to see action, as the very first hand found short-stacked umbrillo ready to move all-in. SeraphimV reraised, and original raiser Cynicism328 folded. That left umbrillo holding pocket eights but SeraphimV dominating with pocket kings. The board brought nothing when it came 5♠ Q♦ 7♠ T♥ 5♥, and umbrillo was the first to go from the table, taking $13,370.30 for the ninth place finish.

As play continued, a mini-battle ensued between aaronmermel and SeraphimV. It began when aaronmermel doubled through the chip leader, and it continued when SeraphimV took a significant pot worth more than 8.4 million chips from aaronmermel.

Meanwhile, Fymez was looking for a spot and decided on it after an initial raise by paushtero. Fymez reraised all-in for his last 2,429,238 chips with pocket fives, but PearlJammer just happened to wake up with pocket aces in the big blind. Needless to say, he called. The board brought nothing but 2♠ 3♥ 8♠ 9♠ T♣, and Fymez was shown the virtual exit, where he was given $18,977.20 for the eighth place finish.

After the players enjoyed their first five-minute break of the final table, they returned ready for action. The first hand back saw aaronmermel raise from the small blind but paushtero reraise all-in from the big blind. The call was made by aaronmermel with pocket sixes, and paushtero showed A♠ 9♥. The race was on, but the dealer gave them 8♠ 5♦ 3♦ 8♦ Q♥, which allowed the pocket pair to hold up. That left paushtero out in seventh place with $34,504.00.

Only two hands later, it was Cynicism328 who was the shortest stack at the table, and when he raised, ran77 came over the top all-in. Cynicism328 called all-in for his tournament life holding A♣ 8♣, but ran77 showed a dominating A♥ K♥. The flop came down in favor of Cynicism328 with 8♠ A♠ T♣, and that two pair held up when the J♥ hit on the turn. But the T♥ on the river gave them both aces and tens, and ran77 had the better kicker. Cynicism328 was ousted in sixth place with $51,756.00 for the finish.

Next on the short stack was long-time online pro Jon "PearlJammer" Turner, and he decided to make the all-in move with A♥ J♦. Team Angle called with pocket eights, and the board produced 2♣ 6♠ 2♥ 7♥ 9♦, which gave no help to Turner. PearlJammer was eliminated in fifth place with $69,000 to show for it.

With four players remaining, ran77 was the lowest on the leaderboard, but the following double-up through aaronmermel allowed him to soar to the position of chip leader:

RSS readers click through to see replay

It didn't take long for aaronmermel to call all-in for his last 1,858,497 from the big blind per the initial raise from Team Angle, who showed J♣ T♦. aaronmermel could only show T♥ 4♥, and the board brought nothing in the way of hope when it came down 2♠ 7♠ 9♥ 7♦ 9♠. The lower kicker to the two pair on the board gave aaronmermel a fourth place finish and $86,260.00 for it.

The last three players requested that the tournament be paused in order to take a look at the chip-chop numbers, but once they were given, it was clear that no agreement would be made at that time. Action resumed almost immediately.

Again, it was ran77 who took control with one hand. Team Angle, who had climbed ever so slightly into the chip lead, got involved with ran77 to see a flop of 4♥ Q♣ 5♣. It was ran77 who led out, Team Angle who raised, and ran77 who came over the top all-in. Team Angle called and had him covered by slightly less than 2 million chips, and he showed A♠ 5♠ to the A♣ K♣ of ran77. And ran77 ran good with a board of 4♥ Q♣ 5♣ 4♣ 6♦ and the turned flush. The hand left Team Angle crippled.

Team Angle doubled through SeraphimV to stay alive once, but the two tangled again soon after. SeraphimV challenged with a preflop raise, and Team Angle called all-in for 3,140,288 holding Q♣ 7♣. SeraphimV showed A♣ 3♠, and that hand held up on the 9♣ T♣ 4♠ 9♦ T♠ board. Team Angle was eliminated in third place with $129,390.00.

Heads-up play then began with the following chip counts:

Seat 7: ran77 (60141128 in chips)
Seat 9: SeraphimV (26118872 in chips)

The possibility of deal talks was quickly squashed, and both players seemed happy to play it out.

As action continued, it was ran77 who seemed to be the aggressor, and by taking a 21.6 million-chip pot from SeraphimV, he was starting to run away with the lead and leave SeraphimV without many options. The two eventually got it in for a deciding hand, but when both turned up A-2, they split the pot and started again.

SeraphimV did double once through his opponent, when his Q-9 outflopped the K-T of ran77. The very next hand was a split pot, and the aggression of both players started to heat up the table. And one more double-up, shown here, put SeraphimV in striking distance of the chip leader:

>RSS readers click through to see replay

As SeraphimV came closer to evening the stacks, the two players decided to take a look at the updated chip-chop numbers. When they did, they agreed to take the deal immediately, which consisted of the numbers that follow and allow them to play on for the title and $30,000 more in prize money.

Seat 7: ran77 (45,460,732 in chips) = $208,685.72
Seat 9: SeraphimV (40,799,268 in chips) = $200,554.88

Only a few more hands decided the match. The hand started with a raise from ran77, reraise from SeraphimV, over-the-top all-in reraise from ran77, and all-in call from SeraphimV. The A♠ 9♠ was shown by ran77 as compared to the pocket threes of SeraphimV, and the board came 7♣ 5♠ 7♠ 9♦ K♣. That gave ran77 the pairs of nines and sevens, eliminating SeraphimV in second place, which was worth $200,554.88.

And ran77 became the newest PokerStars Sunday Million champion, capturing the title and $238,685.72 for the accomplishment!

Sunday Million Results for 12/06/09:

1st place: ran77 ($238,685.72)*
2nd place: SeraphimV ($200,554.88)*
3rd place: Team Angle ($129,390.00)
4th place: aaronmermel ($86,260.00)
5th place: PearlJammer ($69,000.00)
6th place: Cynicism328 ($51,756.00)
7th place: paushtero ($34,504.00)
8th place: Fymez ($18,977.20)
9th place: umbrillo ($13,370.30)

*Figures reflect a two-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