Sunday Million: redsfan9 pitches a nearly perfect game

Thumbnail image for sunday-million-thumb.jpgWith the Amazon room full to capacity with poker players from all over the world this Sunday, it shouldn't be all that surprising that the Sunday Million was overlaid once again this weekend. What was surprising was that for the second week in a row the Million was able to draw exactly 7,309 players, all of which put up the $215 entry fee with hopes of taking down a large chunk of the $1,500,000 prize pool. Among the hopefuls was a venerable cavalcade of PokerStars Team Pros, led by Online Team Pro Diego "vgreen22" Brunelli, who finished in an impressive 64th place ($2,145). Other PokerStars Pros who managed to cash Sunday included Lee "LeeNelsonP*" Nelson (856th for $345), Grzegorz "DaWarsaw" Mikielewicz (303rd for $615), Noah "Exclusive" Boeken (216th for $720) and Emad Tahtouh (94th for $1,470)

Kroon Conked

The bubble burst in a fairly predictable way for the Sunday Million. Dutch player Kroonkurk was among the shortest stacks from 15 down to the final table bubble. Unable to gain any real traction late in the tournament, Kroonkurk found himself in a raising war with redsfan9 preflop, eventually leading to all of Kroonkurk's chips going into the middle. Kroonkurk showed K♠ 2♠, which was behind redsfan9's [10d] [10h]. No spades on the flop, 3♥ 9♦ 2♦, meant Kroonkurk was looking for king on either the turn or river in order to stave off elimination. However, a turn 9♠ and river A♦ meant there would be no three-outer for Kroonkurk, who bowed out in tenth place with a nice consolation prize of $8,250.

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Seat 1: pollyhan (2675014 in chips)
Seat 2: redsfan9 (16991935 in chips)
Seat 3: 4ikunkoff (6234015 in chips)
Seat 4: a$$ou (17214007 in chips)
Seat 5: gorzoni (5201992 in chips)
Seat 6: DooM_DaYs (9602681 in chips)
Seat 7: kiaser (4491799 in chips)
Seat 8: tytkto (4359577 in chips)
Seat 9: 7starr (6318980 in chips)

The remaining nine players reassembled at Table 605 to battle it out for the final part of the prize pool. a$$ou entered the final table with a roughly 200k lead over the second place redsfan9, who carried 16.99 million chips into the last table. Blinds were 200k/400k with a 40k ante when play was restarted.

Ladies are No Good

The ninth hand of final table play provided the first major action of the tournament's final stage. redsfan9 raised to 800k under-the-gun. Action folded over to gorzoni in middle position, who shoved his last 5.2 million into the pot. redsfan9 snap called after action folded around back to him, producing a premium hand, J♦ J♣. However, redsfan9 was actually far behind, as gorzoni showed down two red queens. The flop was safe for gorzoni, coming down 8♦ K♣ 8♣. The 7♣ on the turn gave redsfan9's hand new life with a jack-high flush draw, however. And sure enough, the 6♣ fell on the river, flushing gorzoni's ladies and sending him home in ninth place ($11,625).

Polly Want a Safe River?

redsfan9's river elimination of gorzoni vaulted him into the chip lead, with over 24 million in chips. On the opposite side of the spectrum, pollyhan had barely managed to make the final nine and had been floating at around 3 big blinds since arriving at the last table. Finally, pollyhan found his hand, five hands after gorzoni's exit, moving all-in in early position for a little over 1 million. pollyhan found one caller, kiaser, who called from the big blind. kiaser had a pair, deuces, but it was in terrible shape against pollyhan's much bigger K♣ K♠. Looking to double up to a playable stack, pollyhan faded a deuce on the flop, J♠ 7♥ 4♦, and the turn, 6♥, but the river struck again, producing the 2♠. kiaser's river trips eliminated pollyhan in eighth place, earning the Norwegian player $18,000 for his efforts.

Argentina 1 - Russia nil

Not long after pollyhan's departure in eighth--nine hands to be exact--another short stack found his determining hand. Russian player 4ikunkoff open shoved all-in with his last 3,474,015, only to have Argentinian player DooM_DaYs push all-in over the top in the cutoff seat. The button and blinds folded, and DooM_DaYs revealed the bad news to 4ikunkoff, A♥ K♥. 4ikunkoff was in serious trouble, holding a dominated A♣ 7♠ and needed to find a seven somewhere on the board in order to survive. The flop was no help, [10s] 2♥ J♣, but another jack on the turn gave 4ikunkoff some splitting outs with a river ten or deuce. Instead a river A♠ sent 4ikunkoff packing in seventh ($32,250).

A Seven Star Exit

33 hands more would come and go before another player would fall. 7starr fought the good fight all day, being one of the shorter stacks from 15 players onward. 7starr's run would eventually come to an end, however, at the hands kaiser when, after open shoving all-in from early position with pocket threes, 7starr was unable to hold against kaiser's late position call with A♦ Q♠. An ace on the flop spelled the end for 7starr, who was unable to catch up on the turn or river. The nearly 15 million chip pot pushed kaiser's stack into a second place, with a comfortable 17.4 million, while simultaneously ending 7starr's day in sixth place ($46,500).

Brazil's (Canada's) Swan Song

As soon as the final table was formed, moderator, Brazilian PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari, wrote "go Brazil" in the chat box, in reference to the two players who were using the new World Cup avatars, representing Brazil.

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gorzoni early exit meant the honor of the Brazillian avatar--a$$ou is actually from Canada, but as one player pointed out on the final table bubble, Canada isn't in the World Cup--and Andre's hopes rested with the Montreal based a$$ou. At the beginning of final table play a$$ou looked like a pretty solid horse to back, entering with the chip lead. However, some rough pots early cut a$$ou's once proud stack in half and left him floundering near the bottom of the chip count. kiaser finally put a end the Brazilian presence at the table when he woke up with A♦ A♥ on the button, after a$$ou had already moved all-in in early position. a$$ou was, obviously, way behind, showing down 4♦ 4♥. The flop came down Q♥ J♥ 3♥, giving both players a heart flush draw, but kiaser the nut draw. The turn and river came K♠ 5♣, eliminating Brazil, Canada and, much more importantly, a$$ou in fifth place ($61,500). It was also kiaser's third knockout of the final table, propelling him past redsfan9 into the chip lead, with about 27 million in chips.

Truly Doom Days

kiaser was able to hold onto his new found chip lead for exactly one hand as DooM_DaYs and redsfan9 got tangled up in a big pot immediately following a$$ou's exit. With 300k/600k and a 60k ante, redsfan9 opened in the small blind for 1,345,444. DooM_DaYs responded by shoving his last 11 million into the pot and redsfan9 called. redsfan9 was ahead with A♠ J♥ against DooM_DaYs's Q♠ 2♠ and increased his lead after a [10c] Q♦ A♥. A jack came on the turn, limiting DooM_DaYs's options to a one of the two remaining queens for the win or a king to split. However, instead the 5♥ fell, sealing DooM_DaY's fourth place finish ($79,500) and pushing redsfan9's stack to over 36 million.

The Haves and Have Not

Entering three handed play, there was quite the discrepancy in stack sizes, between the "bigs"--redsfan9 with about 61 big blinds and kiaser with about 45 big blinds--and the not-so-big--tytkto who had about 15 big blinds. tytkto had quietly maneuvered his stack around the table to a top three finish thus far, but with blinds still at 300k/600k with a 60k ante tytkto was going to have to make a move shortly if he was going to continue to move up the later.

Here were how they stacked up as the final table entered three-handed play:

Seat 2: redsfan9 (36583465 in chips)
Seat 7: kiaser (27404571 in chips)
Seat 8: tytkto (9101964 in chips) 

Ty, Goodbye

Ten hands after DooM_DaYs's elimination tytkto picked his spot. redsfan9 opened on the button for 1.2 million. kiaser got out of the way and tytkto decided to make his stand, going all-in for 10,711,096 straight. redsfan09 made the call and showed A♣ [10c] against tytkto's Q♦ 9♦. A flop of  6♦ 2♦ 7♠ gave tytkto a queen high flush draw. However, the turn and river ran dry for tytkto, coming 3♠ 2♠, giving redsfan9 the pot with just an ace high. tytkto exited in third, adding a nice $120,000 to his bankroll in the process.  

Let's Make a Deal

kaiser and redsfan9 got heads-up play started with some cautious deal discussions. Eventually Andre Akkari was asked to pause the tournament to give way to the great poker tradition of deal bargaining. Entering the deal break redsfan9 held a comfortable 47,781,227 to 25,308,773 chip lead over kiaser. A straight chip-chop gave $184,804.12 to redsfan9 and kiaser $175,750.88, leaving $30,000 on the table for the eventual winner. redsfan9 initially said he wanted more, but after a few minutes of debate a strict chip-chop was finally agreed upon.

redsfan9: $184,804.12
kiaser: $175,750.88

Ebb and Flow and Champion

Over the course of 29 hands after the deal was made kiaser pressured redsfan9 into nearly surrendering the chip lead he had held for most of the final table. However, every time kiaser got close to overtaking redsfan9, redsfan9 would take some back. Eventually, entering the 38th hand of heads-up play, things had swung back to almost where they started in the match with, redsfan9 holding 47 million chips and kiaser wielding 25 million. With the blinds at 400k/800k and a 80k ante, redsfan9 opened on the button for 1.6 million. kiaser then re-popped the bet to almost 3.5 million and, after calling time, redsfan9 made the call. The flop came down 9♠ 7♥ 9♦. kiaser led for 3,255,555 and redsfan9 flat called. The Q♥ came on the turn and kiaser led out again, this time for nearly 9 million, leaving him with just over 10 million behind. redsfan9 decided it was now time to pounce and moved all-in. kiaser quickly called and revealed A♣ Q♣. kiaser was way ahead of redsfan9, who showed down K♣ Q♦ for a weaker pair of queens. Only a king could win the pot for redsfan9, with a nine splitting.Then, ding, the K♠ fell on the river giving redsfan9 the pot, the extra $30k and the title.

$1,500,000 Guarantee Sunday Million Results (06-13-10)
(* denotes part of two-way deal)

1. redsfan9 (Springfield) *$214,804.12

2. kiaser (Denver) *$175,750.88

3. tytkto (Kiev) $120,000

4. DooM_DaYs (Mar del Plata) $79,500.00

5. a$$ou (Montreal) $61,500.00

6. 7starr (KI) $46,500.00

7. 4ikunkoff (Russia) $32,250.00

8. pollyhan (Bodo) $18,000.00

9. gorzoni (Sao Paulo) $11,625.00