ettiezzi edges artohme in epic heads-up, wins 12/5/10 Sunday Million

Sunday Million logo.jpgDecember already? The year is nearly spent, and still so much left to do. Never mind all the shopping. Always time for poker, though. Especially when it comes to the PokerStars Sunday Million, that weekly chance to spend a dozen hours so and walk away a couple hundred grand richer than one was the day before.

This week's tourney saw 8,514 entrants taking time out to play. That made for a total prize pool of $1,702,800, to be divided among the top 1,260 finishers, with the winner set to earn a whopping $250,486.29.

A payday like that would help out with that holiday shopping, one would imagine.

It took a little over four hours for the tournament to reach the money, at which point KipsterDK sat atop the chip counts, followed by akshN, qbgoose, AceQuad, and The BIG V.

With 1,260 players still remaining, Andre "aakkari" Akkari of Brazil led the remaining members of Team PokerStars, sitting in 28th place. A dozen other PS pros were still with chips, too, although over the next couple of hours most of those would be hitting the virtual rail. They finished as follows:

Toni Judet (Romania) -- 1,214th ($306.50)
Christian "el grillo" de León (Mexico) -- 1,168th ($323.53)
Jan Heitmann (Germany) -- 1,117th ($323.53)
Veronica "Princesa" Dabul (Argentina) -- 996th ($340.56)
Pat Pezzin (Canada) -- 863rd ($374.61)
Joe "jcada99" Cada (U.S.) -- 860th ($374.61)
Dennis Phillips (U.S.) -- 690th ($442.72)
Victor Ramdin (U.S.) -- 657th ($459.75)
Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby (Czech Republic) -- 523rd ($510.84)
Anh Van Nguyen (Canada) -- 324th ($664.09)

During that period Akkari would see his chips decrease until finally he'd run out entirely, ending in 308th place, earning $664.09 for doing so. And Gualter Salles of Team PokerStars Brazil would follow soon thereafter, finishing in 264th for $715.17.

That would leave just J.P. Kelly (U.K. & Ireland) to represent Team PokerStars as the field shrunk under 200 players, though Kelly wouldn't last much longer, either.


Team PokerStars Pro J.P. Kelly

With the blinds at 7,500/15,000, shumeilove minimum-raised to 30,000 from early position, and baitaochen called. It folded to around Kelly in the small blind who reraised all in for nearly 250,000, and only shumeilove called. Kelly showed K♣J♣ and shumeilove J♥J♦, and when the board came nine-high, Kelly was out in 194th place, receiving $851.40 for his efforts.

About an hour later the tourney reached the seven-hour mark, and with 100 players remaining the top five were leapard, artohme, Gags30, abe_AA64, and Shhh00kem. After another hour just 50 remained, at which point jobayank had moved out front, followed by kbp00, artohme still right there in third, $aymon9, and abe_AA64.

After nine hours and 15 minutes just two nine-handed tables remained, and jobayank had the lead with 11.11 million, followed by GraveDanger3 with 8.41 million and artohme with 7.64 million. Finally, just after they'd crossed the 10-hour mark, dcgelete was eliminated in 10th place (worth $9,024.84), and the final table was set.


Seat 1: artohme -- 12,699,403
Seat 2: Robi.gool -- 10,096,869
Seat 3: Maxacante -- 7,439,408
Seat 4: jobayank -- 19,291,187
Seat 5: ettiezzi -- 7,999,506
Seat 6: 7spades7 -- 3,470,930
Seat 7: GraveDanger3 -- 9,778,291
Seat 8: abe_AA64 -- 11,527,866
Seat 9: Dimancho -- 2,836,540

Blinds were at 200,000/400,000 (Level 36), when the table's short stack, Dimachno, open-shoved from the cutoff seat on just the fifth hand of the final table with A♦T♥, and artohme called the raise from the button with 9♠9♥. The flop came J♣T♣9♦, giving Dimancho a pair but artohme a set, and the 4♣ turn and 3♣ meant Dimancho had been eliminated in ninth.

About 10 minutes later the blinds were up to 250,000/500,000, and it was 7spades7 open-raising all in from the cutoff for 1,850,930. Once again only artohme called, this time from the big blind, turning over K♠Q♠ to 7spades7's K♥J♦. The community cards came 8♦2♣3♣A♦3♠, and 7spades7 was out in eighth.

Shortly thereafter, Maxacante opened with a 3x raise to 1.5 million from early position, then ettiezzi reraised to 3.75 million from the cutoff seat. Next abe_AA64 reraised again from the small blind, pushing all in for nearly 20 million. It folded back to Maxacante who called with his remaining 4.77 million, and etiezzi called as well for more than 10.5 million, creating a total pot of more than 35 million! Cards on their backs...

abe_AA64: A♥Q♣
ettiezzi: A♠A♣
Maxacante: Q♠Q♦

Kind of a perfect storm for ettiezzi, whose hand would hold up after the board came 6♥K♣5♥A♦4♦. Maxacante was knocked out in seventh as ettiezzi catapulted into the chip lead.

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A few hands later and ettiezzi had pushed out over 40 million, well ahead of artohme in second with 21.2 million. The blinds moved to 300,000/600,000, and when jobayank shoved all in from under the gun for 927,080, both artohme and Robi.gool called from the blinds. Those two then checked all three streets as the board came J♥T♥K♦5♣T♣. In the end, artohme's J♠7♥ was the best hand, and jobayank mucked before leaving the scene in sixth.

Robi.gool would soon follow in fifth in somewhat excruciating fashion. After shoving all in from UTG for 3,796,110 with A♣A♥, it folded back to artohme in the big blind who snap-called with K♣K♥. The flop came jack-high, but the turn brought the K♦, and a deuce on the river meant Robi.gool was done in fifth.

Soon artohme was opening with a raise to 1.4 million from the button, and GraveDanger3 reraised all in for 3,892,932 from the big blind. artohme called, turning over J♥9♥. GraveDanger3, meanwhile, was going to battle with 7♥7♦. The flop came T♣4♥9♠, however, giving artohme a better pair, and the T♦ turn and K♠ river sealed it, knocking GraveDanger out in fourth.

The remaining three played a few orbits, then abe_AA64 open-raised all in from the button for 9,377,960 and got a caller in artohme from the small blind. It was a couple of big hands for three-handed, as abe_AA64 held J♣J♥ while artohme had A♦K♥. The flop came A♥7♠K♣, giving artohme two pair. The turn was the 9♦, leaving abe_AA64 just two outs. But the river was the Q♠, and abe_AA64 was out in third.


With that big pot, artohme had jumped to nearly even in chips with ettiezzi, with 39,569,035 to ettiezzi's 45,570,965. Before the first hand could play out, artohme asked his opponent if he were interested in a deal, but received no response.

Then, on the very first hand of heads-up, ettiezzi claimed a nearly 40-million chip pot with aggressive betting through the turn, forcing a fold from artohme, thereby quickly seizing a 2-to-1 chip lead. ettiezzi would continue to apply pressure thereafter, and while artohme would close the gap somewhat, ettiezzi would maintain the lead over the next 25 minutes of play.

Then came another big 35-million-plus pot, this one going artohme's way after making a big call with a pocket pair of fives on the river -- with the board showing 4♥8♣7♦Q♠8♠ -- to beat ettiezzi's ace-high. artohme grabbed the chip lead with that one, and held it for the next 10 minutes or so until ettiezzi reclaimed it once again.

The pair's battle continued until the blinds reached 600,000/1,200,000. It had been just the two of them for 45 minutes, and artohme had edged back in front when ettiezzi propsed an even chop. artohme said he'd go for a "chip chop," and the tourney was paused to consider the situation further.

The numbers were run, and both agreed to the terms which guaranteed each player right around $200K, leaving $30K still left for the two to fight over.

ettiezzi moved back in front, then artohme -- down under 18 million -- shoved all in following a 4♥A♣7♥ flop and ettiezzi, after some thought called. ettiezzi had pocket queens, while artohme had but 7♦6♠. But the 5♣ turn and 3♦ river gave artohme a runner-runner straight, and the match continued.

Finally, nearly one hour after heads-up play had begun, and almost 12 hours since the first hands of the tourney had been dealt, the final hand arrived.

It was Hand No. 148 (!) of heads-up play. ettiezzi, up over 58 million, opened with a minimum-raise to 2.4 million from the small blind/button, and artohme, with 26.7 million to start the hand, made the call. The flop came 8♣8♦9♣. artohme bet 6 million, ettiezzi made it 12 million, artohme pushed all in, and ettiezzi called.

artohme showed 9♥7♦ for nines and eights, but was in sad shape versus ettiezzi's 8♥7♣ for trip eights. The turn was the K♥ and the river the 5♥, and ettiezzi had finally won.

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Sunday Million Results for 12/5/10 (*reflects two-way chop):
1. ettiezzi ($229,030.02)*
2. artohme ($204,507.27)*
3. abe_AA64 ($127,710)
4. GraveDanger3 ($85.140)
5. Robi.gool ($68,112)
6. jobayank ($51,084)
7. Maxacante ($34,056)
8. 7spades7 ($18,730.80)
9. Dimancho ($13,196.70)

Just a few more Sunday Millions left in 2010 to help you with those holiday bills. But there's still time! Check out the Sunday Million page at PokerStars for further info, and tune into the Sunday Million channel at for more highlights of online poker's largest weekly tournament.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Million