Aqua44 Swims to Victory in August 1 Sunday Million

Sunday Million logo.jpgIt was the first Sunday in August. What better way to ring in a new month and celebrate the warm weather than by curling up with a computer for a day of online poker tournament action?

That was exactly the notion of 8,197 players who chose to take part in the weekly Sunday Million. There was the enticing guarantee of $1.5 million as a guarantee, though the registration number jolted that prize pool all the way to $1,639,400, which allowed the top 1,170 players to be paid for their efforts.

Only ten players got close to the final table and the five- and six-figure payouts available there, and one had to go before that money came into play. It happened during hand-for-hand play when phillly_aces8 decided to risk everything with T♥9♦ from the big blind, and SoonerCT22 was there with A♠5♦. The board came 6♠4♥7♥2♥2♦, and the pair of deuces played in order to eliminated philly_aces8 in tenth place, which was worth $8,770.79.

SoonerCT22 and TBONE1987 battle for lead from the start

A bit past the 9.5-hour mark of the tournament, the final table was set and ready to go. Level 35 welcomed them into action with blinds at 150,000/300,000 and a 30,000 ante, and their starting chip counts were listed as follows:

Seat 1: aaaaaaaa (5,373,078 in chips)
Seat 2: LottoMartin (10,580,048 in chips)
Seat 3: TBONE1987 (16,278,045 in chips)
Seat 4: SingleFileD (4,434,043 in chips)
Seat 5: aqua44 (7,925,923 in chips)
Seat 6: idacir_bra (6,552,512 in chips)
Seat 7: mas_da_masta (5,313,298 in chips)
Seat 8: SoonerCT22 (16,423,874 in chips)
Seat 9: Coyotee_gyn (9,089,179 in chips)

2010 Million final table 08.01.10.JPG

Action was to be had on the very first hand. TBONE1987 was itching to take over the lead and pushed all-in from the small blind with A♥2♠, and SingleFileD risked the short stack from the big blind by calling all-in with 4♦4♠. That pair held up through the Q♦7♥6♦ flop, but the A♠ hit on the turn to give TBONE1987 the pair of aces and the lead. The river brought a 3♥, which eliminated SingleFileD in ninth place with $12,705.35.

Next on the short stack list was aaaaaaaa, and the all-in move came only a few hands into the final table. After an initial raise from Coyotee_gyn, aaaaaaaa reraised all-in for 4,568,078 chips with T♣T♠. It folded back around to Coyotee_gyn, who called with A♠K♦. The race was on, but not for long, as the board brought Q♥8♥A♣2♣9♠ to give Coyotee_gyn the pair of aces. Aaaaaaaa might have been the sound of the scream heard when the flop dropped, but it was definitely the name of the eighth place finisher, who took home $18,853.10 for the effort.

The next big hand involved mas_da_masta, who started with a raise from early position, and TBONE1987, who called. After seeing a flop of 4♣T♥K♥, a bet and call led them to the 6♠ on the turn. Mas_da_masta then checked, but when TBONE1987 bet, mas_da_masta raised all-in for 4,501,974 chips. TBONE1987 called with 5♦3♦ and the straight draw, and mas_da_masta showed A♠T♦ for the flopped pair of tens. But that hand didn't hold up when the 7♦ dropped on the river to make the straight for TBONE1987, and mas_da_masta was eliminated in seventh place with $32,788.00.

LottoMartin plays the double-up lottery

The next few rounds of play got interesting. The first double-up came from idacir_bra, who stayed alive courtesy of TBONE1987. But the second came from LottoMartin, the short-stacked player who declined to look at chip-chop numbers when the conversation came up in the chat box. Steadily chipping up was LottoMartin, and a big double-up through TBONE1987 left the latter on the short stack and LottoMartin on the move.

When Coyotee_gyn decided to risk his stack of 11,310,226 from the small blind, LottoMartin was there to make the call from the big blind with A♦9♦, which dominated the K♥9♣ of Coyotee_gyn. The board blanked with J♥4♠T♣2♥5♥, and the ace-high was enough to send Coyotee_gyn packing in sixth place with $49,182.00.

LottoMartin was suddenly in the chip lead of the final five players, but it didn't last long, as TBONE1987 and aqua44 both doubled through him. It was clearly anyone's game at that point.

With LottoMartin back on the short stack, he tried again, this time with a preflop all-in raise for his 8,889,741 chips. SoonerCT22 called from the big blind with A♠T♥, and LottoMartin was caught holding 7♥5♥. After the flop of 8♦J♠8♣, LottoMartin called for a 5 in the chat box, but it didn't come as the turn was 2♣ and the river 6♦. SoonerCT22 scooped the chips, and LottoMartin departed in fifth place with $65,576.00.

Aqua44 floats to the top

Waiting for the right moments paid off for aqua44. The next elimination was one of those moments, as TBONE1987 risked the last of his chips with A♦6♦, and aqua44 was there with T♠T♦ with which to make the call. That prompted the board to come Q♣5♦8♦2♥T♥ to give aqua44 the set of tens and eliminate TBONE1987 in fourth place with $82,625.76.

Aqua44 held a solid chip lead over the other two remaining players, but SoonerCT22 found a key opportunity for a double-up through idacir_bra at just the right time:

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Things moved quickly from there. Idacir_bra was on a very short stack and finally moved all-in preflop with 5♦5♠. Aqua44 made the call with K♠J♣ and hit the flop of 4♦A♠K♦ to take the lead with the kings. The 7♣ on the turn and 8♠ on the river ended the hand and sent idacir_bra away in third place with $122,955.00.

Only a few laps to go...

The heads-up match started with the following chip counts:

Seat 5: aqua44 (51,866,530 in chips)
Seat 8: SoonerCT22 (30,103,470 in chips)

It only took six hands for SoonerCT22 to make a move, and a preflop raising war resulted in SoonerCT22 pushing all-in with A♦Q♠. The race was on when aqua44 displayed 7♦7♠, but the board of J♣2♣K♦5♥9♥ brought nothing for either player, and the sevens held up. SoonerCT22 was out in second place with $180,334.00 to show for it.

Aqua44 claimed victory in the August 1st Sunday Million, and the prestigious title came with an impressive $245,914.05 in prize money.

Sunday Million Results for 08/01/10:

1st place: aqua44 ($245,914.05)
2nd place: SoonerCT22 ($180,334.00)
3rd place: idacir_bra ($122,955.00)
4th place: TBONE1987 ($82,625.76)
5th place: LottoMartin ($65,576.00)
6th place: Coyotee_gyn ($49,182.00)
7th place: mas_da_masta ($32,788.00)
8th place: aaaaaaaa ($18,853.10)
9th place: SingleFileD ($12,705.35)

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