sola100 survives frantic final table to capture 10/3 Sunday Million

Sunday Million logo.jpgWell, hello there Sunday Million. Nice to see you again.

The record-breaking 2010 World Championship of Online Poker having concluded, the first Sunday of October saw the PokerStars Sunday Million return from its month-long hiatus. Awaiting the Million were 7,638 players ready to rejoin online poker's largest weekly tournament -- quite a welcoming party!

Together that above-average field created a total prize pool of $1,527,600. The payout schedule dictated the top 1,170 finishers would realize a profit, while a nifty $229,143.87 was due the player who ended the tournament having successfully claimed all 73,680,000 chips.

After an hour and 40 minutes of play, 5,000 players remained, with gantorius on top, followed by cchryno and Lkdancer. As they crossed the two-hour mark, another thousand had hit the rail, at which point Snzjoker had moved in front, followed by mastika and riick1990. And 20 minutes after that just 3,000 were still alive, with Anna "VietCutie" Wroblewski having assumed the chip lead, just ahead of djturbo1 and jos3333.

Three hours in they were down to 2,000, with jos3333 in the top spot followed by Chilax Chuck and Boemer17. Over the next hour the pace of eliminations began to slow a bit as the tourney crept toward the cash bubble. Of the two dozen members of Team PokerStars who entered this one, just five remained at that stage -- Angel Guillen (Team Mexico), Karlo "elmagopr" Lopez (Team Online), Greg DeBora (Team Canada), and Friends of Team PokerStars Tom McEvoy and Orel Hershiser.

Hershiser was on the extreme short stack, and finally the right-hander decided to take his chances with pocket fours. Unfortunately for him, he ran into code077's pocket rockets and soon was out shy of the money in 1,210th place.

Soon -- just past the four-hour mark -- the bubble burst, and with 1,170 players left it was pescador2409 in first followed by Pipedream17 and yungman. Wasn't too long after that that Team PokerStars lost another Friend in Tom McEvoy, knocked out in 1,049th by AK87, good for $320.79.

Play continued for the next couple of hours as the field continued to shrink. Eventually Angel Guillen would be all in before the flop with pocket jacks against "VietCutie" Wroblewski's A♠K♥. An ace flopped, Guillen couldn't catch up, and he was out in 280th place ($641.59).

A bit later Karlo "elmagopr" Lopez committed his entire stack following an 8♥J♠4♠ flop holding T♣9♦ and hoping to hit a straight versus jacksonroble's A♥A♣. The turn and river were no help to Lopez, though, and he went out in 142nd place ($992.94).

As they approached the seven-hour mark, just 100 players remained, with yungman now in front followed by GriffGolf13 and OMFGo_OSYLAR. At that point the last member of Team PokerStars, Greg DeBora, was sitting with a healthy stack in 11th place.


Team PokerStars Pro Greg DeBora

DeBora would still be there an hour later with 30 players remaining, although by then he'd slipped to below average. Then, with the blinds 50,000/100,000 and DeBora sitting with about 1.5 million, the Canadian open-shoved from middle position with pocket fives and it folded to sola100 in the big blind who called with 8♥8♣. sola100's hand held, leaving DeBora with but 132,485 chips. DeBora would double up once, but finally was knocked out by the aptly-named Urlastchance, ending in 29th place ($3,055.20).

Soon just three nine-handed tables remained, with winga699 in front with nearly 750,000, followed closely by Dsavo and Jakivi. By the nine-hour mark they were down to 18 players, with Jakivi now on top, followed by sola100 and winga699.

About 45 minutes after that they were down to 10 when a short-stacked ureeek took A♦8♦ up against darrenelias' 7♠7♦, a seven flopped, and a couple of cards later the final table was set.


Seat 1: lasklinz -- 16,364,594
Seat 2: winga699 -- 7,040,238
Seat 3: $am$pade -- 2,575,077
Seat 4: AJacejackAJ -- 11,843,061
Seat 5: Jakivi -- 6,711,673
Seat 6: Dsavo -- 4,020,249
Seat 7: sola100 -- 9,727,619
Seat 8: darrenelias -- 14,972,143
Seat 9: Urlastchance -- 3,125,346

The player $am$pade, named after the great Dashiell Hammett detective, was the first final table casualty. Or, as The Maltese Falcon protagonist might say, the first to be cut down. Or rubbed out. Or knocked off. (You get the picture.)

With the blinds way up to 150,000/300,000, it folded to chip leader lasklinz on the button who raised to 744,248. winga699 folded from the small blind, then $am$pade -- who incidentally lists his hometown as "Chandler" (another hard-boiled homage) -- reraised all in for 2,875,077. lasklinz called, showing A♦Q♦, and $am$pade found himself in a pinch with A♥8♥. The board came 5♠K♣4♠9♦4♣, and $am$pade was out in ninth, free after 10 solid hours of poker to go have himself a big sleep.

Just a few hands later AJacejackAJ was opening for 625,000 from UTG, then DSavo pushed all in from middle position for 3,360,249. darrenelias called the reraise from the cutoff, and all others, including AJacejackAJ, stepped aside. DSavo had 7♣7♦ and darrenelias 9♦9♣, and after the community cards came 2♥4♥Q♠6♦3♥, they were quickly down to seven.

Within minutes came two more eliminations. With the blinds now 200,000/400,000, darrenelias was back in action, raising to 822,500 from middle position. It folded to AJacejackAJ who called from the big blind, and the pair saw the flop come 9♠6♠6♥. AJacejackAJ checked, darrenelias continued for 1,112,500, and AJacejackAJ called. Both players then checked the 4♣ turn.

The river brought the T♦ and another check from AJacejackAJ. darrenelias fired 2,565,000, and AJacejackAJ check-raised to 9,000,000, leaving just a scant 82,274 behind. darrenelias reraised over the top, and AJacejackAJ called with what was left, showing 5♣5♦ for sixes and fives. darrenelias had guessed right, showing A♦T♣ for the better two pair, and AJacejackAJ was out in seventh.

Take a look at how this 22.5 million-chip pot went down:

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Just three hands later, darrenelias -- now up close to 30 million and well ahead of second-place lasklinz's 16.7 million -- opened with a 4x raise to 1.6 million from the small blind. Urlastchance was sitting in the BB with just 1,005,346, and called with his remaining chips. darrenelias had a monster -- Q♦Q♥ -- while Urlastchance had K♦8♥. The board came 2♣7♦6♥6♦A♠, and darrenelias had claimed a third straight victim, eliminating Urlastchance in sixth place.

Next it was lasklink's turn to win a 22 million-plus chip pot. The blinds had bumped up to 250,000/500,000, and lasklinz opened with a raise to 1.2 million from under the gun. Jakivi reraised to 2,777,777 from the button, and the blinds got out. lasklinz pushed all in, and Jakivi called with the 7,835,118 that was left. lasklinz showed A♥J♥ and Jakivi Q♦Q♥.

The flop was good for lasklink -- A♠4♠J♣ -- and Jakivi was searching for a queen or some runner-runner help. But the turn was the 3♠ and the river the 5♣, and Jakivi was gone in fifth.

Just a couple of hands later, winga699 opened with a 3x raise to 1.5 million from UTG, and lasklinz reraised to 13 million from the big blind -- enough to cover winga699, who quickly called for 10,851,238 more. winga699 had A♣Q♦ and was racing against lasklinz' 7♦7♥. No help came for winga699, as the community cards came K♠3♦7♠5♦8♣, and they were swiftly down to three.

The rapid-fire final table pace did not let up from there. Just five minutes later, the remaining three players were all nearly even in chips, with lasklinz at 27.4 million, sola100 at 25.6 million, and darrenelias at 23.3 million. Then came a hand in which darrenelias minimum-raised to 1 million from the button, lasklinz reraised to 3 million from the small blind, and sola100 folded. darrenelias promptly pushed all in, and lasklinz called.

lasklinz had A♠K♣ and was in a dominating position versus darrenelias' K♦9♦. The 5♥9♣A♥ flop paired them both, and after the 6♥ turn and 7♦ river, they were down to two.

Thanks to that hand, lasklinz enjoyed a roughly 2-to-1 chip advantage when heads-up play commenced, sitting with 51,304,596 chips to sola100's 25,075,404. However, the pair essentially traded stacks on the very first hand between them. They got it all in on the turn with the board showing 8♠7♥5♣9♣. lasklinz had K♦9♦ for a pair of nines, but sola100 had 6♦6♥ for a straight. A four came on the river, and now sola100 was in front.

And just five hands later, it was all over.

On the final hand, sola100 opened for 1.5 million from the small blind/button (a 3x raise), lasklinz shoved all in for 22,679,192, and sola100 called.

lasklinz A♠9♣
sola100 K♠4♠

The flop brought sola100 a king -- 6♠K♦T♣. The turn was the 4♥, and lasklinz was needing an ace or nine to survive. But the river was the 2♦, and the blisteringly-fast final table -- just 65 hands, taking 37 minutes -- was history.

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Congratulations to sola100 for surviving a frantic final table to take down the first Sunday Million of October!

Sunday Million Results for 10/3/10:
1st: sola100 ($229,143.87)
2nd: lasklinz ($168,036)
3rd: darrenelias ($114,570)
4th: winga699 ($76,991.04)
5th: Jakivi ($61,104)
6th: Urlastchance ($45,828)
7th: AJacejackAJ ($30,552)
8th: Dsavo ($17,567.40)
9th: $am$pade ($11,838.90)

All in all an exciting return of the Sunday Million! To learn more about how you, too, can help welcome back online poker's biggest weekly tourney, check out the Sunday Million page for information about how to join in.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Million