StefanProdan scores in first Sunday Million in March

Sunday Million logo.jpgThe first day of March brought its first Sunday Million and a total of 8,664 players to the online poker tables on PokerStars. It was set to be another stellar payday for a portion of those players, as the $1.5 million guarantee was smashed to smithereens in lieu of a $1,732,800 prize pool.

As the field thinned toward the money bubble, it was during the hand-for-hand play that the "boom" was heard when MR.REDZ became the 1261st place finisher, sadly leaving after hours of play with nothing but memories. But that left room for antidotum to cash for $346.56 in 1260th place and quite a few others to move up the money ladder.

Finally, the nine-hour mark came and went with 17 players, and the table then seemed stuck with 16 left. But eventually, after more then thirty minutes, the group forged ahead to the final table bubble, where PhenomPoker made another in a series of preflop all-in raises. This time, wywrotX decided to reraise all-in to isolate, which worked. PhenomPoker showed A♥-J♠, but wywrotX turned over the pocket kings, and though a king came on the flop of 8♣-K♠-Q♥, it also gave PhenomPoker the straight draw. But the Q♦ on the turn and 2♣ on the river pushed PhenomPoker out in tenth place with $8,664.00.

The final table was then set as follows, with Bob Vitis maintaining a chip lead that had been his for hours:

2009 Sunday Million final table 03.01.09.JPG

Seat 1: IRENE666 (7,673,697 in chips)
Seat 2: Vincent Eley (3,081,820 in chips)
Seat 3: StefanProdan (9,465,052 in chips)
Seat 4: jbrown04 (10,857,952 in chips)
Seat 5: Princess480 (9,237,726 in chips)
Seat 6: wywrotX (15,860,950 in chips)
Seat 7: G6Dragon (5,704,071 in chips)
Seat 8: Bob Vitis (17,009,023 in chips)
Seat 9: WlkRambo (7,749,709 in chips)

Play sped up as the final table got under way, Vincent Eley as the clear short stack, he pushed all-in with his last 2,321,820 from the button and found a caller in jbrown04 from the big blind. Vincent Eley showed A♦-4♦, but jbrown04 had the better A♣-8♥ hand. The board brought no four and not enough diamonds with Q♣-5♦-[10C]-2♥-A♠, and that eliminated Vincent Eley in ninth place with a $12,129.60 for making the final nine.

Within moments, G6Dragon found an opportunity to move with his relatively short stack. It was after IRENE666 made the initial raise that G6Dragon came over the top from the big blind with the all-in move holding A♦-[10D]. But IRENE666 called with A♣-Q♥, and when the board produced 9♣-4♠-7♣-2♥-J♠, that left G6Dragon out in eighth place with $19,927.20.

It looked for a bit like IRENE666 would be the next to go, after seeing her chip stack reduced to just over one million when jbrown04 doubled through IRENE666. But the at-risk one doubled through Bob Vitis and then through jbrown04 to sit with over seven million and let go of the panic.

Meanwhile, it was Princess480 in danger, after having lost some chips when WlkRambo doubled through. Princess480 finally pushed preflop for 1,676,034 chips holding J♥-[10S], and StefanProdan called from the big blind with K♣-[10D]. The virtual dealer gave nothing to Princess480 except [10C]-2♥-A♠-5♣-7♦, which made for a seventh place finish and $30,324.00 prize.

Suggestions of deal talks quickly fell through when several players weren't interested. After play resumed after the regularly scheduled break, IRENE666 lost a little ground and sought another double-up, making that all-in move preflop with K♦-Q♠. But it was nemesis jbrown04 who called with pocket fours, and it was off to the races. IRENE666 saw a bit of hope on the 8♠-J♣-7♦ flop and a straight draw with the A♦ on the turn, but the 3♥ gave the pot to jbrown04. IRENE666 was ousted in sixth place with $43,320.00 for the effort.

Caution became the word of the game at that point, with no desperate stacks, no deals in the making, and everyone eyeing the first place prize of $209,842.08. It was too significant to ignore, and play slowed tremendously.

Finally, after StefanProdan came in for a preflop raise, WlkRambo reraised all-in with pocket sixes, but StefanProdan called quickly with pocket jacks. The board came an uneventful 2♠-[10C]-4♣-8♣-3♠, sending WlkRambo out in fifth place with $60,648.00.

Discussions resumed with four left, which led to a pause in the action to get chip-chop numbers and consider a deal. But alas, the two shorter stacked players were not happy with the proposed deal amounts, and another ten minutes or so of talks resulted in a minor adjustment, hesitation, and eventually a deal. The chip counts and deal amounts were as follows, with $30,000 extra set aside for the winner.

Seat 3: StefanProdan (28,510,154 in chips) = $138,296.06
Seat 4: jbrown04 (37,166,120 in chips) = $152,046.89
Seat 6: wywrotX (8,252,933 in chips) = $100,000.00
Seat 8: Bob Vitis (12,710,793 in chips) = $104,868.73

With that, action resumed, and it took only minutes for wywrotX to push all-in with Q♦-2♦. jbrown04 was there with A♣-Q♥ and the call, which led to both players seeing the 6♠-4♠-7♣-J♦-[10C] come on the board. Nothing hit either player, and wrwrotX and his worse hand were out of the tournament in fourth place, which was worth a deal-made amount of $100,000.00.

The next short stack was up in the very next hand. After jbrown04 began the action with an all-in move, Bob Vitis called all-in with K♦-Q♦, but jbrown04 showed A♣-8♣. The flop produced a pair for Bob Vitis but flush draw for jbrown04 with 7♣-Q♣-3♦, and the [10C] on the turn made that flush. The 2♥ on the river was irrelevant and officially eliminated Bob Vitis in third place with $104,868.73.

Heads-up began promptly with the following counts:

Seat 3: StefanProdan (30,390,154 in chips)
Seat 4: jbrown04 (56,249,846 in chips)

StefanProdan made some headway with one significant double-up through his opponent on a 6♥-4♦-2♠-8♣-9♥ board. StefanProdan pushed all-in on the river with 9-8 and the two pair, and jbrown04 called with only a pair of eights, allowing StefanProdan to take the pot worth nearly 60 million chips, which also gave him the chip lead. He built on that and continued to put jbrown04 to the test.

More than eleven hours from the start of the tournament, the final hand came down. jbrown04 actually started it with a raise to 2.35 million chips, which prompted StefanProdan to reraise all-in. jbrown04 called all-in for his last 12,599,692 chips with K♣-J♠, and StefanProdan needed some improvement on his 9♦-8♦. It didn't come on the 6♣-2♥-4♥ flop, nor on the 4♠ turn, but the 9♥ on the river was the card to end it all. jbrown04 was eliminated in second place, which was good for the agreed-upon amount of $152,046.89.

StefanProdan became the latest Sunday Million champion, along with which he was awarded a total of $168,296.06 in prize money. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 03/01/09:

1st place: cmyworth ($168,296.06)
2nd place: jbrown04 ($152,046.89)
3rd place: Bob Vitis ($104,868.73)
4th place: wywrotX ($100,000.00)
5th place: WlkRambo ($60,648.00)
6th place: IRENE666 ($43,320.00)
7th place: Princess480 ($30,324.00)
8th place: G6Dragon ($19,927.20)
9th place: Vincent Eley ($12,129.60)

For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in Sunday Million