Mr Brizza Formally Takes March 21 Sunday Million and $243,843.30 for the Win

Sunday Million logo.jpgSpring was in the air. Since daylight savings time kicked in for United States residents, the temperatures seem a bit warmer, the sun a little brighter, and even inclement weather somewhat more tolerable. And with the positivity accompanying the ever-approaching new season, there was no better time to take a chance at some potentially life-changing money in the PokerStars Sunday Million.

The promise of a $1.5 million guarantee brought 9,235 players to the tables for the regular Sunday event. And when the $200 + $15 buy-ins were tallied, the prize pool ran up to $1,847,000 and was set to be divided amongst the last 1,350 players standing, according to their respective finishes.

As the action neared the ten-hour mark, players were quickly making their way to the final table. And hand-for-hand play lasted only moments before the_duces moved all-in with 5♥5♣ with a relatively short stack of chips. The call was made by allaces43 holding Q♥J♥, and the board brought 7♥4♦2♥T♥A♥. Both players made flushes but allaces43 had it with queen-high. That left the_duces out in tenth place with $9,604.40 for the bubble spot.

Mikey0690 liked the chip lead

At the very beginning of Level 36, with blinds at 200,000/400,000 and a 40,000 ante, play immediately got underway at the final table with the following players and chip counts:

Seat 1: Mikey0690 (24,463,796 in chips)
Seat 2: jackmeplz69 (8,164,381 in chips)
Seat 3: renassence (4,343,258 in chips)
Seat 4: allaces43 (18,013,064 in chips)
Seat 5: Mr Brizza (17,440,754 in chips)
Seat 6: Taska85 (5,716,120 in chips)
Seat 7: newwavepoker (5,336,977 in chips)
Seat 8: boccakill (3,582,172 in chips)
Seat 9: elcoysa (5,289,478 in chips)

2010 Million final table 03.21.10.JPG

While Mikey0690 kept a solid hold on the lead, allaces43 lost the grasp on second place, as renassence and boccakill both doubled through allaces43 before the first break. But a key hand reversed that fortune and put allaces43 back into a solid second place.

It happened when jackmeplz69 pushed all-in preflop from the big blind for 5,374,381 chips. Original raiser allaces43 made the call with pocket kings, while elcoysa got out of the way and jackmeplz69 showed a pair of jacks. The flop of K♦6♥6♠ gave allaces43 the full house, and the 5♣ turn and 3♣ river cards ended the hand, leaving jackmeplz69 with a ninth place finish and $12,939.00 in cash.

Allaces43 rocketed to chip lead

After the first couple beats, allaces43 began to soar. With some chips came more aggression, and first place on the leaderboard was where that player was headed, especiallly after taking down a 16-million-plus pot from Mikey0690.

Meanwhile, there was business to be taken care of. Taksa85 had less than 3 million chips to work with and pushed all-in preflop with K♥2♥, but elcoysa reraised from the small blind with A♦J♠, which successfully prompted Mikey0690 to fold from the big blind. The two in the hand watched the board blank completely with 6♥4♠8♣T♦9♦, and Taska85 was ousted from the tournament in eighth place, which was worth a payout of $20,317.00.

Then it was allaces43 back in action again. After an initial raise from newwavepoker, allaces43 reraised it up, and newwavepoker called all-in with pocket queens. But allaces43 turned over A♦9♦ and had some outs, one of which came on the J♦A♥7♥ flop. The 7♣ gave both players two pair but allaces43 the better two, and the 5♥ helped led newwavepoker out the door with $36,940.00 for the seventh place finish.

The demise of Mikey0690

Though Mikey0690 had been losing ground during the previous few rounds, it was this key hand that put renassence in second place on the leaderboard while relegating Mikey0690 to the unfamiliar position of short-stacked player.

RSS readers click through to see replay

And to make it worse for Mikey0690, allaces43 continued to rise. When boccakill pushed all-in with the short stack holding A♠7♥, allaces43 called with K♠6♠ and immediately improved that hand on the 2♣2♠K♦ flop. The 9♥ turn and Q♣ river cards ended the hand and boccakill's tournament. A cash prize of $55,410.00 was awarded to boccakill for the sixth place finish.

Mr Brizza then took a turn in the spotlight by doubling through elcoysa, which relegated the latter to a stack of little more than 500K. On the very next hand, elcoysa was all-in by simply calling the big blind, and Mikey0690 and renassence went along for the ride. They checked the 8♣A♠4♥ flop, though when a 2♦ came on the turn, a bet from renassence prompted Mikey0690 to get out of the way. It was then that renassence showed 5♦3♥ for the turned straight, and elcoysa showed K♦J♥ for king-high. The J♣ on the river was too little too late for elcoysa, who finished the tournament in fifth place with $73,880.00.

Soon after, it was Mikey0690's time. The all-in move was made with K♦5♥, and renassence had no problem calling with pocket aces. The board produced J♥Q♣J♣4♠2♠, and Mikey0690 was gone in fourth place with $92,350.00.

Three-handed play got complicated

It really did. It started with allaces43 taking a 20.5 million-chip pot from renassence, but the latter coming back shortly thereafter to take a 21.5 million-chip pot from allaces43.

Mr Brizza doubled through renassence to stay alive. In fact, over the course of three-handed action, Mr Brizza also doubled through allaces43 twice. To be honest, the double-ups were aplenty and allowed chips to change hands more times than most railbirds could track with much accuracy.

But finally, it was renassence who looked down at little more than 15 million chips, which was the short stack, and pushed with 9♠5♠ from the small blind. But allaces43 called from the big blind with Q♠J♣, and the flop hit both players when it came J♥7♠5♣. renassence still needed help for his small pair of fives, but it didn't come on the A♥ turn or 4♣ river. That left renassence with a third place finish and $137,509.15.

Heads-up resolved quickly

It started with both players nearly even in chips and a desire to split the prize money down the middle. During the first hand, both players asked for a pause in the action, at which point they decided to each guarantee a $213,843.30 payout. The agreement took place quickly and easily, and they resumed play with an additional $30,000 on the table for the ultimate winner. The starting chip counts for heads-up play were as follows:

Seat 4: allaces43 (45,766,821 in chips)
Seat 5: Mr Brizza (46,583,179 in chips)

Then Mr Brizza took control and chipped up significantly, especially with the collection of a 32.2 million-chip pot. But allaces43 came back to double through with K-J over J-3 on a J-5-9-8-9 board. However, Mr Brizza took a chance on the very next hand, and it played out as follows:

RSS readers click through to see replay

That double-up for Mr Brizza left allaces43 with less than 8 million chips, all of which went in on the next hand with A♠J♠. Mr Brizza made the call with Q♣T♣ but caught top pair on the 2♥Q♥2♦ flop. The 8♦ was a blank, and the J♣ on the river gave allaces43 the jacks but it didn't match up to the queens and deuces of Mr Brizza. That left allaces43 with $213,843.30 for the second place finish.

Mr Brizza won the March 21st Sunday Million and $243,843.30 for the great online poker accomplishment of becoming the proud owner of a Sunday Million title.

Sunday Million Results for 03/21/10:

1st place: Mr Brizza ($243,843.30)*
2nd place: allaces43 ($213,843.30)*
3rd place: renassence ($137,509.15)
4th place: Mikey0690 ($92,350.00)
5th place: elcoysa ($73,880.00)
6th place: boccakill ($55,410.00)
7th place: newwavepoker ($36,940.00)
8th place: Taska85 ($20,317.00)
9th place: jackmeplz69 ($12,929.00)

*based on a two-way financial agreement

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