Bigoots wins big in Sunday Million with nearly $250K in holiday cash

Sunday Million logo.jpgAt the height of this holiday season, people around the world are preparing for family get-togethers, packing for travel, and shopping for gifts. Some are even working on their New Year's resolutions, as less than two weeks remain in 2010.

Poker players are among those wrapping up the year, and all of them who entered the Sunday Million on December 19 hoped to end it on the highest of notes - a win in one of the most prestigious tournaments in online poker and potentially life-changing money. To enter 2011 with a fresh six-figure payday is surely a positive start to the poker year.

The tournament began with a solid field of 8,486 players, all of whom were prepared to take a shot at the $1.5 million guarantee, but when the $215 buy-ins were tallied, the prize pool was set at $1,697,200. After several frantic hours of action, the money bubble broke, and the last 1,260 players found themselves guaranteed a minimum of $305.49 in their accounts.

Some of those who added some holiday cheer to their poker accounts included Team PokerStars Online members George "Jorg95" Lind, who finished in 1242nd place, as well as Dusty "Leatherass9" Schmidt in 690th and Jorge Arias in 550th place. Team PokerStars Pro represented well, too, with the following finishes: Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby in 799th place, Nuno Coelho in 722nd, Liv Boeree in 648th, Theo "Theo J" Jorgensen in 538th, George Dancer in 468th, Christian "el grillo" de Leon in 321st, Ruben "rubenrtv" Visser in 178th, and Celina Lin in 147th place.

Celina Lin.jpg

The remainder of the field thinned as the tournament played on, and it was just into the tenth hour of play that hand-for-hand action finally produced an elimination that sent a player home before the final table. Padjes had become the short-stacked player of the final ten, and the all-in move finally came amidst a raising war with nineallday00 in a battle of the blinds. Padjes had J♦9♠ in the small blind, but nineallday00 showed A♦Q♥ in the big blind. The board came 2♠Q♦8♦A♠5♣, and the two pair eliminated padjes in tenth place with $8,995.16.

Nineallday00 leads all nine players

It was a tough table in the making, but it was finally set in Level 36, with blinds at 200,000/400,000 and a 40,000 ante. The starting chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1: STREWO (10,076,487 in chips)
Seat 2: ardad333 (6,394,781 in chips)
Seat 3: JerryCZech (3,543,166 in chips)
Seat 4: nineallday00 (17,803,225 in chips)
Seat 5: vsempzd (13,611,846 in chips)
Seat 6: viking47 (6,346,152 in chips)
Seat 7: matate (9,834,244 in chips)
Seat 8: spencerman3 (4,183,766 in chips)
Seat 9: bigoots (13,066,333 in chips)

2010 Million final table 12.19.10.JPG

Play started with some caution on the part of most players, and the pots remained fairly small, though nineallday00 didn't hesitate to use the chip lead to take a few pots.

JerryCZech soon got involved with ardad333 and vsempzd to see a flop of T♣3♦J♣. JerryCZech made the first bet, and vsempzd check-raised while ardad333 check-folded. JerryCZech responded with an all-in call for his last 1,083,166 chips holding Q♠K♦ for the straight draw, but vsempzd showed K♠T♥ for the pair of tens. The 7♠ on the turn changed nothing, and the J♠ on the river only made two pair for vsempzd. That eliminated JerryCZech in ninth place with $13,153.30.

The next half hour saw ardad333 double through nineallday00, while spencerman3 doubled through vsempzd and then again through STREWO.

Matate then attempted the same feat, though the hand started innocently enough with matate and bigoots going to see a flop of Q♥K♥A♦. Bigoots bet 600,000, and matate called for the remainder of his stack with 5♦5♠. Bigoots showed Q♣6♣ for the pair of queens, though, and the A♣ turn and J♠ river card allowed bigoots to scoop the pot. Matate left the table with $18,669.20 for the eighth place finish.

A few hands later, it was ardad333 all-in holding A♦K♦ and bigoots there to compete with J♦J♣. The flop of K♥5♣J♥ gave bigoots the set of jacks, and the 5♠ on the turn made that hand into a full house. The 9♦ on the turn did nothing to change that, and ardad333 had to leave in seventh place, which was good for a $33,944.00 payday.

Bigoots challenges nineallday00 for top spot

It seemed that a new player had jumped into the top position on the leaderboard, and there was no stopping bigoots. Already above the 23 million-chip mark, when viking47 wanted to tangle, bigoots was ready to go along for the ride. After the T♣5♣2♦ appeared, bigoots led out with a bet, and viking47 check-raised all-in for nearly 4.2 million chips. Bigoots called with K♥T♥, and viking47 turned over A♥2♥ for bottom pair and the lead. The 5♠ on the turn didn't change anything, but the K♦ on the river gave bigoots the better two pair, eliminating vikind47 in sixth place with $50,916.00.

But nineallday00 missed the chip lead. This double-up through bigoots changed that and put nineallday00 back on top:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Three hands later, nineallday00 was looking to gather more chips, and when vsempzd made the initial raise, nineallday00 pushed all-in. Vsempzd called for his tournament life with A♣Q♥, and nineallday00 showed a dominated A♥5♠. But the board came 6♣3♣4♠7♦9♣, giving nineallday00 the seven-high straight. Vsempzd was forced to leave in fifth place with $67,888.00.

A few double-ups - STREWO through nineallday00 and spencerman3 through STREWO - allowed the shorter stacks to play awhile longer.

But spencerman3 was ready to try again. When nineallday00 opened, spencerman3 called all-in for his last 4,430,128 chips with A♣T♦, and nineallday00 showed only 4♦2♠. But the board of 5♦2♦Q♥K♦9♥ gave nineallday00 the pair of deuces, and that was all it took. Spencerman3, winner of two past WCOOP events, wasn't able to add a Sunday Million title to his resume. He settled for $84,860.00 for the fourth place finish.

STREWO was next to be at risk, putting a little over 9 million chips all-in with A♥Q♦ against the A♦T♦ of bigoots. But the flop of T♣5♣4♣ hit bigoots with the pair of tens, and the 7♣ turn and A♠ that finished the board only gave bigoots another pair. STREWO was forced out in third place with $127,290.00.

Battle of the big stacks

The two players who fought for the chip lead throughout the duration of the hour-long final table thus far were prepared to fight for the win. They quickly decided not to attempt chip-chop talks, and they got underway with the following chip counts:

Seat 4: nineallday00 (50,252,089 in chips)
Seat 9: bigoots (34,607,911 in chips)

Nineallday00 came out of the gate with strength, but bigoots pushed back. And when the time was right, this hand produced a life-saving double-up and put bigoots in the chip lead:

RSS readers click through to see replay
It didn't take long for nineallday00 to be relegated to a three-to-one chip deficit and forced to move. The time came when nineallday00 held A♦7♠, but the all-in move was met by a call and A♠9♥ from bigoots. The board came A♣6♣2♥T♣4♥, and bigoots held the better kicker to go with the aces. Nineallday00 accepted second place and the $182,449.00 that went with it.

Bigoots became the latest Sunday Million champion, which was worth a nifty title and $249,662.80 in prize money. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 12/19/10:

1st place: bigoots ($249,662.80)
2nd place: nineallday00 ($182,449.00)
3rd place: STREWO ($127,290.00)
4th place: spencerman3 ($84,860.00)
5th place: vsempzd ($67,888.00)
6th place: viking47 ($50,916.00)
7th place: ardad333 ($33,944.00)
8th place: matate ($18,669.20)
9th place: JerryCZech ($13,153.30)

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