Victory and $132,081.79 was TheGoingRate for the 3/8/09 Edition of the Sunday Million

Sunday Million logo.jpgFor United States players, it was a day with one less hour. Daylight Savings Time is something we do to give us more daylight in the evenings; by setting the clocks back simultaneously at 2am last night, we gave ourselves a little more darkness in the morning and an extra hour of light in the evening. This will continue until we adjust back in the fall.

Since PokerStars recognized that Americans literally lost an hour of time - most likely sleep time - the tournament staff kindly pushed the starting times all of the Sunday majors forward an hour. Therefore, the trusty Sunday Million was not starting at its usual 4:30 ET, but an hour later.

Even so, that didn't stop 8,118 players from waiting around and getting in on the $200 + $15 tournament action. The number of registrants knocked the $1.5 million guarantee out of the park, as the prize pool created was $1,623,600. That pile of virtual cash was reserved for the 1,170 finalists in the event, so when Finntroll76 busted in 1171st place, that player unfortunately received nada. But bosscracker, who finished in 1170th place, was presumably fine with receiving $324.72 for that feat.

As the final table approached, play was a bit erratic. Several players would be eliminated at once, and then the action would slow to a cautious crawl. It seemed to be a struggle to get past the 12-player mark, but it finally happened after Timphan went out in 11th place, apestyles doubled up by catching a two-outer that sent the chat box into a frenzy, and several other players doubled to stay alive.

On Table 30, critically short-stacked lacman730 pushed all-in and was called by Kurschner and TheGoingRate. The two checked down the 2♣-5♦-8♥ flop and K♥ turn, but a bet from TheGoingRate after the 3♠ on the river prompted Kurschner to fold. TheGoingRate flipped up K♦-7♥ for a pair of kings, which beat lacman730's A♦-8♠ hand. lacman730 became the final table bubble player, finishing with $8,118.00 in tenth place.

However, at the same time, Table 76 was hosting its own all-in situation. 1stAir pushed all-in, and Confused1 called all-in for his last 1,278,046 from the big blind with [10D]-4♦. 1stAir showed K♥-6♣, and the board ran out 8♥-5♣-A♠-A♥-2♣. 1stAir had the best kicker to send Confused1 out in ninth place with $11,365.20 before the final tablists even had the chance to gather at one table.

The final eight players were then seated together with the following chip stacks:

Seat 1: steakstud (12,810,218 in chips)
Seat 3: kuzman89 (13,895,878 in chips)
Seat 4: apestyles (3,371,005 in chips)
Seat 5: George2Loose (9,643,436 in chips)
Seat 6: ferminaitor (6,382,976 in chips)
Seat 7: Kürschner (14,867,583 in chips)
Seat 8: 1stAir (8,676,112 in chips)
Seat 9: TheGoingRate (11,532,792 in chips)

2009 Sunday Million final table 03.08.09.JPG

The run of 1stAir wasn't going to last long, as apestyles doubled through him only a few hands into the final table. Finally, with just over 4 million chips left, 1stAir pushed all-in preflop with J♥-8♥ but found kuzman89 calling with a monster pocket pair of kings. The board came A♥-4♣-4♦-Q♠-[10D], and 1stAir was suddenly gone in eighth place with $18,671.40.

After the first break of the final table, it was George2Loose who pushed all-in preflop. Kurschner called and showed A♥-6♥, which was one better than George2Loose's A♦-5♦. The dealer gave them Q♣-8♥-J♦-3♠-2♦, and George2Loose was ousted in seventh place with $28,413.00.

One player who had battled a short stack from the final table bubble through several eliminations of other players finally moved again. ferminaitor decided to push all-in preflop and found Kurschner and TheGoingRate calling and steakstud checking the option. The A♦-K♠-[10H] flop brought checks all around, as did the 3♦ turn card. But when the A♣ hit on the river, Kurschner bet 600,000 to get TheGoingRate and steakstud to fold. Kurschner showed A♥-J♠ for trips, and ferminaitor showed A♠-4♦ for the trips with a lower kicker. Kurschner received the side and main pots, while ferminaitor took home $41,401.80 for the sixth place finish.

Within a few minutes, it was apestyles all-in from the big blind. steakstud called after having made the initial raise and showed A♠-K♦, while apestyles was at risk with pocket deuces. The board came J♣-4♣-9♥-J♦-A♦, and steakstud rivered the best hand. apestyles was eliminated in fifth place with a $57,637.80 reward for the effort.

The remaining four players began discussing a deal, and the game was paused while the tournament host gave them the chip-chop numbers. After some discussion, those numbers were accepted, with the requisite $30,000 being set aside for the eventual winner, as follows:

Seat 1: steakstud (25,342,228 in chips) = $127,661.43
Seat 3: kuzman89 (14,710,985 in chips) = $105,097.14
Seat 7: Kürschner (27,836,495 in chips) = $132,955.39
Seat 9: TheGoingRate (13,290,292 in chips) = $102,081.79

Play resumed and seemed a bit cautious at first, but then the double-ups began. TheGoingRate and steakstud both got in on the action and doubled their chip stacks. Then the eliminations came in somewhat of a flurry.

kuzman89 pushed all-in preflop with A♣-J♣, and TheGoingRate made an all-in move to isolate with his pocket sevens, which worked. The race was on, and the board cooperated with the pocket pair when it came 8♦-3♥-4♠-Q♠-6♦. That left kuzman89 with a fourth place finish and the $105,097.14 agreed to in the deal.

It was Kurschner who was next to tangle with TheGoingRate, as some preflop betting brought them to the [10H]-7♥-K♠ flop. More betting gave them the 4♥ on the turn, at which point TheGoingRate bet out, Kurschner check-raised, TheGoingRate reraised all-in, and Kurschner called for all of his chips. TheGoingRate showed 9♥-8♥ for the turned flush, while Kurschner was the underdog with K♣-[10D]. The 2♠ on the river was a blank, sending Kurschner out in third place with $132,955.39.

Heads-up action began with the following counts:

Seat 1: steakstud (16,607,744 in chips)
Seat 9: TheGoingRate (64,572,256 in chips)

It only took six hands to determine the winner. steakstud had a difficult time gaining ground in the two-handed game, and that led to the final hand. It started with the two going to see a cheap 7♦-J♥-Q♣ flop. Betting brought them to the J♦ on the turn, at which point steakstud pushed all-in for his last 12,607,744. TheGoingRate check-called with Q♦-4♥ for top two pair, and steakstud showed A♣-7♠ for a lower two pair. The 8♥ on the river changed nothing, and steakstud was finished in second place with $127,661.43.

That left TheGoingRate in the top position as the newest Sunday Million champion with a cash prize of $132,081.79 to show for it. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 03/08/09:

1st place: TheGoingRate ($132,081.79)*
2nd place: steakstud ($127,661.43)*
3rd place: Kurschner ($132,955.39)*
4th place: kuzman89 ($105,097.14)*
5th place: apestyles ($57,637.80)
6th place: ferminaitor ($41,401.80)
7th place: George2Loose ($28,413.00)
8th place: 1stAir ($18,671.40)
9th place: Confused1 ($11,365.20)

*based on four-way chop numbers

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