siola Secures Sunday Million victory on November 1

Sunday Million logo.jpgOn the first day of November, the Sunday Million awaited players with its always exciting $1.5 million guarantee... Wait. It's November? Evidently it is because the PokerStars calendar tells us so. (Generally, it's annoying when people ask where the year went, but some of us would really like to know.)

While you're researching how the year moved along so quickly, we'll give you a rundown of the November 1st Sunday Million. The crowd was a solid one, as 7,962 players came to the tables to compete in the most exciting of Sunday events, and the final registration number brought the prize pool to $1,592,400. As the day pushed on, the last 1,170 players in the tournament found themselves in that deep pool, cashing out for a minimum of $318.48.

But it was when the event reached the final two tables that the railbirds lined up to see which player would take home nearly $240K to go with the prestigious Sunday Million title. After being stuck at 16 players for quite awhile, action finally sped up and Disgracer1 exited in 12th and vias 28 in 11th just moments apart. And very soon after, a hand unfolded that involved siola and Phatigue going to see a Q♦ 8♥ 6♣ flop. Betting led to the 2♣ turn, at which point, raising and reraising led to Phatigue calling all-in for his last 999,408 with 8♣ 7♣. But the middle pair and flush draw were up against the pocket aces of siola, and the K♠ on the river allowed them to hold up. Phatigue was eliminated in tenth place with $8,519.35 and final table bubble position.

Play was then set to begin at the final table amidst Level 35 with 150,000/300,000 blinds and a 40,000 ante, and the player lineup was as follows:

Seat 1: Lounatic0815 (19,321,372 in chips)
Seat 2: RickoT (4,957,241 in chips)
Seat 3: TEACH604 (6,342,562 in chips)
Seat 4: sandman201 (3,334,102 in chips)
Seat 5: monkeyboxes (6,392,036 in chips)
Seat 6: siola (23,947,867 in chips)
Seat 7: wader (3,815,664 in chips)
Seat 8: mizarkshzark (4,221,284 in chips)
Seat 9: spitznspots (7,287,872 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 11.01.09.JPG

siola and Lounatic0815 held a commanding lead over the rest of the table, and the burden was going to be on those seven players to make some moves. However, small-ball poker was the order of the first few rounds, as flops were a rarity and everyone seemed to be waiting for just the right moment.

That moment looked right for RickoT when he looked down at A♦ J♥ preflop, but TEACH604 called easily with pocket queens from the small blind. The board was uneventful on the 7♠ 5♥ 3♣ flop and 4♠ turn, and the J♠ on the river was too little too late for RickoT, who was eliminated in ninth place with $12,341.11.

sandman201 was having a rough go of the final table, though a double-up through siola gave the player new life. But players steadily chipped away at sandman201, eventually prompting him to push all-in preflop with pocket jacks. It just so happened that spitznspots was able to call with pocket kings. The board blanked with 7♠ 4♦ 3♥ 9♠ 5♦, and sandman201 was off with $18,312.61, presumably to get some sleep.

The absolute short stack, mizarkshzark, took an opportunity to double through Lounatic0815 twice to stay alive and once more through siola, but the same couldn't be said for wader. Moving all-in with pocket kings looked like a good move, especially when spintznspots called and showed pocket queens. But the board was dramatic as it came Q♥ 9♠ 9♥ 9♦ A♦ to give both players full houses but spitznspots the better one. wader took the worst of it and left in seventh place with $31,848.01.

The tournament was then paused when the six remaining players decided to look at chip-chop numbers. But just as quickly as the proposed payouts were given, talks began to fall apart as several players felt they deserved more of the chop than others were willing to give. However, alternate amounts were thrown around (during which time many of us were still trying to grasp that November had arrived), and when all was said and done, the 30-minute break actually led to a deal. With $30,000 set aside for the eventual winner, the payout numbers were as follows:

Seat 1: Lounatic0815 (20,187,520 in chips) = $160,000.00
Seat 3: TEACH604 (10,327,303 in chips) = $96,000.00
Seat 5: monkeyboxes (3,162,036 in chips) = $60,000.00
Seat 6: siola (19,450,391 in chips) = $157,860.54
Seat 8: mizarkshzark (10,990,272 in chips) = $100,000.00
Seat 9: spitznspots (15,502,478 in chips) = $121,318.48

Four hands later, the very short-stacked monkeyboxes chose the all-in move with A♥ J♥, and spitznspots called from the big blind with K♦ Q♦. The flop of 9♠ K♠ Q♠ gave spitznspots two pair, but monkeyboxes picked up the straight draw. But the Q♥ on the turn was a full house for spitznspots, and the 6♠ on the river was the last card of the hand, knocking monkeyboxes out in sixth place with $60,000.

It took only two more hands for another player to be at risk, and it happened when TEACH604 shoved all-in for 8,277,303 in response to mizarkshzark's initial raise. The call was made by mizarkshzark holding pocket tens, and TEACH604 turned over A♦ K♦. The board produced 2♠ 3♣ Q♦ J♣ 6♥, and that was enough to send TEACH604 out of the tournament in fifth place with $96,000.

Another two hands later, Lounatic0815 found himself with just a few chips less than the leader, and with pocket eights, Lounatic0815 moved all-in. spitznspots was said leader and called with A♠ T♥, and the two watched the flop come Q♣ 2♥ 7♥, which was harmless. But the T♠ on the turn gave the advantage to spitznspots, and the 5♥ on the river sealed the deal. Lounatic0815 was eliminated in fourth place with the previously agreed-upon amount of $160,000.

It was then that siola made a run for it, and the following double-up took siola to a solid second place on the board:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Chips changed hands quickly from there, and mizarkshzark took the lead briefly after doubling through spitznspots but lost it again to nearly even up the three remaining players. But siola with the biggest stack decided to play the preflop raising game with mizarkshzark, and when siola pushed all-in, mizarkshzark called for his tournament life with pocket tens. siola showed Q♥ J♦, and the board immediately brought a hand for siola with a J♥ 7♥ 6♦ flop. The 7♦ turn and 3♦ river ended the run for mizarkshzark, who left in third place with $100,000.

Heads-up then began with siola holding more than a 2-to-1 chip advantage over spitznspots:

Seat 6: siola (55705381 in chips)
Seat 9: spitznspots (23914619 in chips)

Several chopped pots kept the action going, but it was spitznspots who played fairly patient poker and slowly chipped up into the lead. The two exchanged that lead many times over the 30-minute heads-up session, but it was a key hand near the end that gave siola the advantage. It was all done with preflop raising, and 30.2 million was in the pot when siola pushed all-in and spitznspots folded. That gave siola a significant chip lead once again.

Two hands after, spitznspots moved all-in with A♦ 3♣, but siola happened to have A♠ Q♣ and made the call. The board came 7♣ K♠ 5♠ K♥ A♣, and spitznspots was forced to accept second place and $121,318.48.

That left siola as the last player standing and the latest Sunday Million winner. For the accomplishment, $187,860.54 was awarded.

Sunday Million Results for 11/01/09:

1st place: siola ($187,860.54)*
2nd place: spitznspots ($121,318.48)*
3rd place: mizarkshzark ($100,000.00)*
4th place: Lounatic0815 ($160,000.00)*
5th place: TEACH604 ($96,000.00)*
6th place: monkeyboxes ($60,000.00)*
7th place: wader ($31,848.01)
8th place: sandman201 ($18,312.61)
9th place: RickoT ($12,341.11)

*Numbers based on a six-way chop agreement

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