RICOFELIZ happy with $252K for Sunday Million victory

Sunday Million logo.jpgIt was a full moon. Scientifically, it happens every 29 to 30 days and simply means that the moon is on the exact opposite side of the Earth from the sun. Mythically, it is a night associated with strange phenomena...and perhaps insanity.

And somehow, that brought us to the Sunday Million. Draw your own conclusions, but to us, this seemed like a typically fantastic night for the biggest weekly poker tournament on the internet. There were 8,575 players who agreed and signed up for the $200 + $15 buy-in tournament, which took the prize pool well past the $1.5 million guarantee to where it landed at $1,715,000.

Players pressed on through the first few hours, and the money bubble burst with 1,260 of the competitors making it into the money, where they were guaranteed a minimum of $308.70 for their efforts. Of the many who cashed in the tournament, the members of the Team PokerStars Pro roster were Lee "LeeNelsonP*" Nelson in 947th place, Greg "FossilMan" Raymer in 897th, Toni Judet of Romania in 458th, Maxim Lykov of Russia in 315th, Joep "Pappe_Ruk" Van den Bijgaart of Holland in 191st, and Henrique "Henrique.P" Pinho of Portugal in 50th.

As the tournament rounded the 9.5-hour mark, the final table neared as 13 players fought for the seats. Just missing out on that opportunity was well-known poker pro Matt "All_in_at420" Stout, who exited in 14th place. With play slowing as the bubble approached, it wasn't until the tenth hour that hand-for-hand action took them into a hand where short-stacked MESOH finally made a push with K♥2♠, but onealtiseven was able to call from the small blind with A♣6♠. The board blanked with 4♠9♥8♦3♥T♦, and MESOH walked away with $9,089.50 for tenth place.

Alex987 ahead at start of final table

Toward the end of Level 36, with blinds at 200,000/400,000 and a 40,000 ante, the final table players were ready to go as follows:

Seat 1: StrungOut1 (3,598,858 in chips)
Seat 2: onealtiseven (13,843,614 in chips)
Seat 3: costel725 (2,408,658 in chips)
Seat 4: DuggerGerngy (7,740,260 in chips)
Seat 5: omalos (11,494,583 in chips)
Seat 6: alex987 (18,082,585 in chips)
Seat 7: RICOFELIZ (14,101,613 in chips)
Seat 8: j_t_s80 (9,318,115 in chips)
Seat 9: musicom (5,161,714 in chips)

2010 Million final table 11.21.10.JPG

It wasn't tough to find action hands as soon as the table began. StrungOut1 quickly doubled through onealtiseven, but the latter took a pot worth nearly 10 million chips from omalos to climb into second place on the leaderboard. DuggerGerngy then doubled through StrungOut1, who doubled through omalos from a very short stack to stay alive.

Costel725 tripled up to stay in the game but felt the need to move again shortly thereafter. With a hand like Q♦Q♠ in the big blind, the decision was easy, and musicom was the caller holding A♥4♦. The flop of 6♠7♣4♣ gave musicom a small pair, and the 8♦ on the turn kept costel725 ahead, but the A♣ dropped hard on the river. That eliminated costel725 in ninth place with $13,291.25.

StrungOut1 was at it again with a double-up through omalos, and the latter was relegated to a short stack. And after musicom took a sizeable pot from StrungOut1, another double-up was in order, that time through DuggerGerngy. But StrungOut1 wanted more. When j_t_s80 raised the very next hand, StrungOut1 entered a raising war from the small blind, and it resulted with StrungOut1 all-in with A♥T♣ against the 9♠9♣ of j_t_s80. The board produced nothing but 4♥K♦3♠2♠8♣, leaving the nines intact and eliminating StrungOut1 in eighth place with $18,865.00.

The very next hand saw more action, as omalos pushed all-in for the meager stack of 260,961 holding K♠2♣, and original raiser alex987 called with 6♠6♥. The dealer gave them 8♦A♣T♥4♦J♣, and that was all it took to send omalos packing in seventh place with $34,300.00 in prize money.

All action, no deal

Several players desired a pause in the action to discuss a possible deal during six-handed play, but at least one of the players objected and wanted to play awhile longer. It was then that a big hand put RICOFELIZ in a much better position with this flush-over-flush hand:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Play slowed noticeably for a short time, but eventually it was onealtiseven who made the push from the button with 6♠6♥. Alex987 called from the big blind with J♣T♣, and the flop of 2♦T♠2♠ gave him the pair of tens to go with the deuces on the board. The turn was the 3♠, and the river of 7♦ ended the hand. Onealtiseven was ousted in sixth place with $51,450.00.

Two hands later, a massive hand developed. It started with Alex987 raising and RICOFELIZ calling from the small blind to see a flop of 2♥7♥K♦. A raising war ensued that prompted RICOFELIZ to move all-in and alex987 to call for his last 5,751,689 chips. Alex987 showed A♦K♠ and the pair of kings for his tournament life, and RICOFELIZ turned over K♣Q♦ for the same pair with a lower kicker. The T♠ on the turn changed nothing, but the Q♣ on the river gave RICOFELIZ two pair. Alex987 was gone in fifth place with $68,600.00.

The final four paused the tournament to see some chip-chop numbers, but once they were given, DuggerGerngy was unwilling to accept the allocated dollar amount. With no resolution in sight, play resumed. After DuggerGerngy doubled through RICOFELIZ, the players again paused to look at the new numbers, and that time there were two players displeased by the amounts. Again, no deal. Again, they played on.

Ultimately, it was DuggerGerngy who moved all-in and was called by RICOFELIZ. The T♦8♦ of DuggerGerngy was in trouble against the K♠K♥ of RICOFELIZ, and the board of J♣4♦3♠5♠K♦ did nothing but give RICOFELIZ the set of kings. DuggerGerngy departed in fourth place with $85,750.00.

The final three players paused the tournament to get some fresh numbers, but again they were not able to come to an agreement. (Full moon?) The game was set back into motion.

Moments later, j_t_s80 risked it all with A♥Q♦, and RICOFELIZ made the call with K♣Q♣. It looked like a double-up through the chip leader, especially as the flop only brought 8♦T♠T♦. But the K♠ dropped on the turn to give RICOFELIZ the advantage, and the 7♦ on the river allowed it to stay that way. J_t_s80 was out of the tournament in third place with $128,625.00.

Heads-up straight up

With two players remaining, the starting chip counts for that heads-up match were as follows:

Seat 7: RICOFELIZ (74280970 in chips)
Seat 9: musicom (11469030 in chips)

The duo quickly paused the tournament to see chip-chop numbers, but once again, there was to be no agreement. A short discussion led them to resume play with no deal.

The entire match only took 12 hands. RICOFELIZ used his large chip advantage and forced musicom to finally go for the double-up. With T♠9♣, musicom committed the rest of his chips, but RICOFELIZ had A♠7♠. The flop of 6♦A♦2♦ only improved RICOFELIZ to a pair of aces, and the K♣ turn and 8♠ river finished it with that pair ahead. Musicom settled for second place and the $184,362.50 that went with it.

RICOFELIZ held steady, overcame some bumps along the final table road, and finished on top, taking home $252,276.50 for the Sunday Million victory.

Sunday Million Results for 11/21/10:

1st place: RICOFELIZ ($252,276.50)
2nd place: musicom ($184,362.50)
3rd place: j_t_s80 ($128,625.00)
4th place: DuggerGerngy ($85,750.00)
5th place: alex987 ($68,600.00)
6th place: onealtiseven ($51,450.00)
7th place: omalos ($34,300.00)
8th place: StrungOut1 ($18,865.00)
9th place: costel725 ($13,291.25)

For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.

And here is the video highlight show...

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Sunday Million