Stolen! First Sunday Million of 2009 Taken by stoledog

Sunday Million logo.jpgWhat to do on the first weekend of 2009... Work on those New Year's resolutions by going to the gym, reading a book, or spending more time with family? Seriously, these are poker players we're talking about here, and with a $1.5 million guaranteed prize pool on PokerStars, they're certainly not going anywhere without computer access. Players came out in droves for the first Sunday Million of the new year.

A total of 8,504 registrants joined in the first Sunday of 2009, creating a massive prize pool of $1,700,800. And 1,260 of the players would get a piece of that, as was demonstrated by tobededope, the player who left in 1261st place with only a memory of the 3 hours and 50 minutes of play that led to his or her demise. RSRMCA then cashed in 1260th place for $340.16 and led the way for many to follow.

It was just before the 9-hour mark of the tournament that hand-for-hand play ensued again, this time for the right of nine players to take spots at the final table. After about 15 minutes, devolveNZ took pocket jacks into battle for his tournament life, but he was met by the pocket aces of stoledog. The board brought three sevens, giving each player a full house, with stoledog having the sevens full of aces to win it and knock devolveNZ out in 10th place with $8,504.00.

The final table then began with blinds of 150,000/300,000, a 30,000 ante, and the following chip counts:

Seat 1: The Midget (4,759,579 in chips)
Seat 2: stoledog (21,146,264 in chips)
Seat 3: bukithepro (13,340,694 in chips)
Seat 4: aceskay (7,758,953 in chips)
Seat 5: USA_20080920 (9,613,727 in chips)
Seat 6: Fold Ü Phish (2,293,680 in chips)
Seat 7: simon1471 (4,366,848 in chips)
Seat 8: jayvedo (18,089,056 in chips)
Seat 9: Prom Queens (3,671,199 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 01.04.09.JPG

Without delay, the first hand of the final table brought major action. Short-stacked Fold Ü Phish pushed all-in preflop with Ah-9d, but jayvedo called from the big blind with a dominating Ad-Th. The board came Kh-5d-7d-3s-5h, and Fold Ü Phish was forced to accept a ninth place finish and the $11,905.60 that went with it.

Not long after, aceskay did the preflop all-in play holding 9c-8c, and who was there, again, in the big blind to call but jayvedo with Ac-9d. The board brought a pair for both and a second pair for jayvedo with 6s-6h-As-Ks-Qd, and aceskay was gone in eighth place with a $19,559.20 prize.

Again, without too much time passing, another player's tournament life was on the line when short-stacked The Midget pushed all-in with 8s-8h. Though jayvedo was in the big blind again, it happened to be Prom Queens, the original preflop raiser, who called with pocket Qd-Qc. The board brought lots of clubs for Prom Queens with 2c-7c-Ac-9d-6c, and The Midget was shorted (*groan*) and eliminated in seventh place for $29,764.00.

A preflop raising war led to simon1471 being all-in preflop with Ah-4d, and bukithepro was in there with Qc-7s. The flop gave a small pair to bukithepro when it came Jd-Ts-7c, and the kings on the flop and the turn solidified the outcome, as simon1471 was sent to the virtual rail in sixth place with $42,520.00.

Things didn't stay rosy for bukithepro, however. After an initial raise from stoledog to 1,299,999, bukithepro called to see the 3c-2s-Ts come on the flop. bukithepro came out betting 2.65 million, but stoledog pushed all-in for nearly 24 million. bukithepro called all-in for 8,774,392 with Ks-Qs and the flush draw, and stoledog showed Ac-Kc. The 9d on the turn didn't make much of a difference, but the Ad on the river made sure that stoledog would take the pot. bukithepro was gone in fifth place with $59,528.00 to make him feel better.

It took a little time, but jayvedo took a bit hit when his As-Qs lost to the pocket kings of all-in Prom Queens to cripple jayvedo. jayvedo then put his 1,205,284 into the pot preflop with Ah-8s, and stoledog called with Qh-9s. It looked like jayvedo might be able to double up until the cards started unfolding. It came as Qc-Qs-4c-9c-4d, and the full house was good for stoledog. jayvedo took a fourth place elimination and the $76,536.00 that accompanied it.

When three-handed action began, the trio agreed to see some chip-chop numbers with a possible deal in mind. When the administrator first returned with the deal numbers, Prom Queens asked for some time to consider, then requested nearly $3,000 extra in prize money. Without hesitation, stoledog agreed to give it from his number, and the deal numbers were official as follows, with $30,000 more to be awarded the eventual winner:

stoledog (40,017,372 in chips) = $150,793.55
Prom Queens (35,701,174 in chips) = $150,000.00
USA_20080920 (9,321,454 in chips) = $108,182.93

With that, play resumed in the midst of Level 36. The caution level was still high amongst the three, and short-stacked USA_20080920 was not going quietly, as he doubled through stoledog with pocket aces. stoledog came back, though, and when Prom Queens decided to push all-in preflop, it was stoledog who called and had him covered. Prom Queens showed Ac-Jd, but stoledog had pocket queens. The battle began when both players received a favorable card on the flop of Qd-9d-Jh, but the Tc on the turn and 2c on the river gave it to stoledog, while Prom Queens was sent away with the agreed-upon amount of $150,000.00 even.

Heads-up action began as follows:

Seat 2: stoledog (37,737,092 in chips)
Seat 5: USA_20080920 (47,302,908 in chips)

stoledog consistently chipped up with a few sizable pots to take the lead, eventually gaining a 2:1 chip advantage over USA_20080920. That was until the latter doubled through stoledog to take it back. But over the course of the match, the chip lead would be exchanged several times. Finally, one hand decided the tournament (as it always does). stoledog made the initial raise to 2.4 million, USA_20080920 raised it up to 4 million, and stoledog called to see the flop come 6s-9d-Ah. USA_20080920 led out with a 5 million chip bet, stoledog raised to 21.6 million, and USA_20080920 shoved all-in. stoledog called with Ts-9s for middle pair, while USA_20080920 showed As-3s for top pair. The Js on the turn gave stoledog more outs, and the Th on the river gave it to him with two pair. USA_20080920 was eliminated in second place with the aforementioned deal amount of $108,182.93.

stoledog came out ahead with a first place finish in the first Sunday Million of 2009 and $180,793.55 to show for it. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 01/04/09:

1st place: KopplarJocke ($180,793.55)*
2nd place: USA_20080920 ($108,182.93)*
3rd place: Prom Queens ($150,000)*
4th place: jayvedo ($76,536.00)
5th place: bukithepro ($59,528.00)
6th place: simon1471 ($42,520.00)
7th place: The Midget ($29,764.00)
8th place: aceskay ($19,559.20)
9th place: Fold Ü Phish ($11,905.60)

*based on three-way chop numbers

For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments in 2009, visit the Sunday Million page.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Sunday Million