Sunday Million: This just in, Justin1836 scores $236K in Sunday Million win

sunday-million-thumb.jpgAs many players logged in tonight there was a message the PokerStars' brass concerning next week's Sunday Million. No, the buy-in hasn't been raised; it will still be $215 much like the 7,887 players paid tonight. Likewise the tournament will start at 3:30 Eastern Standard Time as normal. But next week PokerStars will be adding a million to the Sunday Million, bringing the guaranteed prize pool to a staggering $2.5 million! Even as the final table approached this evening there were already 106 players signed up. With the top prize tonight standing at $236,614.05 next week that should nearly double as there will be over 10,000 players expected to join in for the extra cash being put up by PokerStars.

As for tonight there was plenty of action before the final table starting with the long run of Ryan "g0lfa" D'Angelo who was looking to add a Sunday Million title to his two WCOOP victories earlier this year (read the Event #18 recap, Event #29 recap, and the winner's interview from Brad "Otis" Willis here, here, and here). D'Angelo got low on chips however after a bad beat against twopairdad, and never recovered finishing 18th tonight ($4,180.11). Following behind Ryan was the one-time far and away chip leader idoubleL who held over 16 million chips with the average at five million and second place holding only eight million. Double ups went to Justin1836, fpmj, huebiheftig, and finally tnetter in a 10 minute span and the one time chip leader was out in 17th ($4,180.11).

strip23 who recently chopped up the Sunday Warm-up for $110K, got close again tonight but lost a key coin flip with big slick versus the pocket queens of fpmj and finished in 11th place ($8,439.09). Bubble time had plenty of all-ins but couldn't find a caller until Lucelsar shoved from the button with 7♠A♥ and blinds at 150K/300K ante 30K. Justin1836 would cover the 4.4 million chip shove and call with A♦8♣. But the double paired 9♥ 2♥ 2♦ 9♣ 3♠ board had the two players chopping up the pot as the bubble lingered on nearing 30 minutes while the blinds bumped up to 200K/400K ante 40K.

Three hands after the bump in the blinds agriffrod would raise to 900K from the button with pocket jacks J♠J♥ as Mr Blankey in the big blind holding 9♠K♠ decided go for the re-steal by three-betting all-in. agriffrod covered, made the call, and was rewarded with a jack on the flop that made a boat by the river J♣ 6♥ 2♥ 7♣ 6♣ to burst the long bubble and tucked in Mr Blankey with 10th place money ($8,439.09) setting up the final table below:


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Seat 1: tnetter (13124166 in chips)
Seat 2: Lucelsar (3030095 in chips)
Seat 3: huebiheftig (7499506 in chips)
Seat 4: gibler321 (6241755 in chips)
Seat 5: Osorno01 (13777775 in chips)
Seat 6: Justin1836 (5536385 in chips)
Seat 7: popotibo (8654580 in chips)
Seat 8: agriffrod (12522107 in chips)
Seat 9: fpmj (8483631 in chips)

Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein was all set up to take on hosting duties tonight, but since Hevad Khan was already in the house the elder statesman took leave as RaiNKhaN would assist the players this evening.

With blinds starting at 200K/400K ante 40K Lucelsar would start off the fast paced final table by opening all-in for nearly three million chips from the button with A♦3♦ and gibler321 would make the call holding a slightly better 4♦A♥. The 6♣ 7♦ 9♣ 6♦ 6♥ board would not cooperate for either player as they split the pot.

Seven hands later the first massive pot of the final table took place between fpmj and huebiheftig. Watch the nearly 15 million chip pot play out below:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Massive cooler to start off the final table as huebiheftig found pocket queens Q♣Q♥ behind the opening raise of fpmj and decided to push all-in for 7.2 million. fpmj wasn't trying to steal the blinds with pocket aces A♠A♣, and the 5♠ K♥ 5♦ A♦ 9♣ board further cemented the lead after turning a boat, leaving huebiheftig drawing dead by the river and earning $12,224.85 for ninth place.

The very next hand Lucelsar would again try to pick off the blinds with a button shove but this time with worse cards holding 5♣7♣. gibler321 did not call from the small blind, but Osorno01 did call from the big blind and covered easily with 9♠J♠. The two spade flop 3♣ K♠ T♠, cut down several outs for Lucelsar. The 8♥ turn and 6♥ river hit neither player as the mighty jack-high took down the 7.3 million chip pot and sent Lucelsar home in eighth place ($18,140.10).

Four hands after that (did I mention action, action, action yet?) gibler321 and agriffrod found a way to make a 12 million chip pot preflop. gibler321 holding a pocket pair of fours 4♣4♠ were up against the big slick A♥K♦ of agriffrod. The board failed to connect with the ace-king as gibler321 doubled up to over 12 million while the VIP Supernova agriffrod slipped to 7.8 million with blinds still holding at 200K/400K ante 40K.

Two hands after that all-in we got to see a couple of second of post-flop play between fpmj and popotibo. popotibo would start the betting by raising in middle position to just over a million chips as fpmj would call from the button to see the 3♥ 8♥ 3♣ flop. popotibo checked as fpmj would immediately bet enough to put popotibo all-in. The snap call from popotibo was due to hitting top pair with 8♣9♥. Unfortunately for popotibo, the chip leading fpmj would roll over a better kicker the form of an ace A♠8♠. The rest of the board 6♦K♦ failed to bring a nine or the case trey and popotibo was eliminated in seventh place ($31,548.00).

fpmj would take even more chips off the table from gibler321 shortly after popotibo was gone, after check-raising a flop of 5♥ 3♥ 9♥ to take down a 15 million chip pot to solidify the chip lead...

... for two hands as agriffrod would double up off the chip leader holding pocket jacks J♦J♠ having them hold up against the A♣J♥ of fpmj on the 8♦ 4♠ K♥ T♠ K♠ board for a 14 million chip pot as the blinds moved up to 250K/500K ante 50K.

Finally the players came up for air and no other eliminations happened during the blind level as the chips stacked up as shown below while the blinds moved to 300K/600K ante 60K and fpmj retaining a slight lead over agriffrod and Osorno01:

Seat 1: tnetter (9,048,616 in chips)
Seat 4: gibler321 (6,762,273 in chips)
Seat 5: Osorno01 (17,667,870 in chips)
Seat 6: Justin1836 (5,846,385 in chips)
Seat 8: agriffrod (17,545,704 in chips)
Seat 9: fpmj (21,999,152 in chips)

Uncle Jessie's favorite visting friend came out firing after the break, at one point winning seven of ten pots then gibler321 took on a min-raise from Justin1836 with a push all-in. Justin1836 would call holding K♠Q♠ as gibler321 was a big favorite to win with A♦Q♦. The flop hit Justin1836's king 5♣ J♣ K♦ as gibler321 was put on the defensive. Diamond on the turn 4♦ gave gibler flush outs to go with any ace, or ten. 3♠ on the river completed the suckout as Justin1836 gained the 15 million chip pot and gibler321 was down to just four million chips. But the tables would turn three hands later as gibler took the underdog into the hand and winning. After shoving all-in with K♠6♦ gibler321 would watch Justin1836 call and roll over pocket queens. But a king on the flop would hold for gibler321 thru the K♦ T♦ 5♠ 4♣ T♥ board and gain back 8.1 million chips.

As the blinds moved up to 400K/800K ante 80K, gibler321 was firmly on the short stack holding just five million chips and in keeping up the aggressive game pushed from the button with an above average 8♠A♣. Osorno01 held pocket tens T♣T♠ in the small blind and quickly made the call while Justin1836 folded the big blind. The excitement was all let out after gibler's first two all-ins with a call as the board 6♥ 7♠ 2♠ Q♥ 3♥ failed to improve either player and gibler321 sent home from the full house in sixth place ($47,322.00), improving on the $25K recently earned from a fifth place finish in the Sunday 500.

Eight hands later, fpmj would lose a coin flip holding pocket sevens 7♠7♦ against Justin1836's 8♠A♥ for a huge 21.2 million chip pot but would avoid elimination just seven hands later against Osorno01. This time is was fpmj's turn to take down a 21 million chip pot as the firm favorite holding A♠9♣ against the 9♦K♥ of Osorno01 as fpmj's hand would hold on the 8♠ K♦ A♦ 2♣ 2♦ board.

tnetter quietly picked off blinds, not gaining much ground but not losing it either. After picking up a suited 5♠7♠ in the cutoff, tnetter tried for another blind steal, but Justin1836 was eagerly waiting in the small blind with pocket kings K♠K♦. The broadway flop of Q♣ A♣ T♥ had tnetter drawing even more slim and the 4♥ ended the short stack's night in fifth place ($63,096.00).

Seven hands later, Justin1836 would try to further the newly found chip lead against Osorno01 in a blind versus blind battle. Check out the video below for the conclusion:

RSS readers click through to see replay

The ace high of Justin1836 2♥A♥ would hold up over the J♣Q♠ of Osorno01 on the 6♥ 5♣ 7♣ 5♦ 8♥ board as another 24 million chips found their way into Justin1836's chip stack. Osorno01 would head home with a huge fourth place cash ($79,500.96).

agriffrod was firm on not cutting any deals despite the huge 500K/1MM ante 100K blinds during three handed play. fpmj would be the first to double up nailing a full house with pocket tens against agriffrod's Q♦8♣ after agriffrod's blind versus blind steal attempt. Five hands later it was agriffrod's turn to regain some chips. A♣6♣ all-in from the button for agriffrod as Justin1836 called from the big blind holding 9♠K♥. agriffrod would hit a meaningless six on the turn of the T♣ 7♠ 3♦ 6♠ Q♠ board and double up to 21.3 million.

After several hand of push and fold poker it only took two hands to determine this week's Sunday Million champion.

fpmj would push the shortest stack at the table from the button holding a suited connector 8♥7♥ and 12.4 million chips as Justin1836 would make the call with 9♥A♣ from the small blind and covered. 2♣ 6♠ T♥ on the flop added a few more straight outs for fpmj, 2♠ on the turn help neither player, and an unnecessary A♦ on the river send fpmj out in third place with a six figure score ($118,305.00).

Heads-up play was the blink and it was gone variety. Or one could describe it as a $63K bad beat story as well. Watch the video below after taking some antacids as it's a bumpy ride for our final two from flop to river:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Still queasy? This author was a bit after watching the replay of this $63K hand. If you can't watch the video, Justin1836 started the hand off with a min-raise to two million, agriffrod would three-bet to 5.05 million, as Justin1836 would four-bet all-in with A♦6♣. agriffrod would call with A♥T♥ and be all-in for the tournament as Justin1836 covered by 18 million.

The flop was a safe 3♣ 8♣ 4♦ for agriffrod to earn the 60 million chips sitting in the middle. T♣ on the turn changed Justin1836's outs from a six to any club , and as a good friend tells me, clubs always get there, and they did with the Q♣ on the river shipping the rest of the tournament chips to Justin1836 and became this week's Sunday Million champion winning $236,614.05 in the process!

A tough beat to swallow for agriffrod who got the money in good but the board didn't cooperate. The 2009 SCOOP Event #14 final tablist (read write up here) improved on the $66K earned this spring by taking $173,514.00 as tonight's runner-up.

Be sure to check in on Tuesday at PokerStars.TV to see the final table action along with commentary and hole cards to follow along with the high level play shown tonight.

$1.5 Million Guarantee Sunday Million Results (11-08-09)
1. Justin1836 (Baltimore) $236,614.05
2. agriffrod (Boss.) $173,514.00
3. fpmj (Cascais) $118,305.00
4. Osorno01 (NH-Brazil) $79,500.36
5. tnetter (Austin) $63,096.00
6. gibler321 (Jupiter) $47,322.00
7. popotibo (ARGENTAN) $31,548.00
8. Lucelsar (nancy) $18,140.10
9. huebiheftig (Hamburg) $12,224.85

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Million