Sunday Million: A Little Redemption For puffinmypurp

sunday-million-thumb.jpgOnce again, action in the live world may have effected by action in the online one; meaning that the Sunday Million had a slightly overlaid $1.5 million dollar prize pool after attracting 6,375 runners. Nevertheless, some of the most popular PokerStars Team pros ponied up the $215 entry fee to do battle on the virtual felt. Although a few got close only Team Germany pro Florian Langmann (570th for $465) managed to parlay his skillful play into a cash. In spite of the general lack of Team PokerStars pros, plenty of highly skilled players were still very much alive as the final table bubble played out.

"More Chips Always Win"

It turned out to be an exciting final two tables, as final nine bubble play was marked by shown big bluffs and even bigger draw outs. After yet another big suck out--jacks out drawing kings--got us closer to a final table one railbird typed "More Chips Always Win." These words turned out to be prophetic.

With ten left and the blinds at 80k/160k with a 16k ante, praces raised to 320k from under the gun. Action was then folded around to puffinmypurp in the big blind who raised it to 4.4 million, effectively putting praces all-in. After pondering for a bit praces made the call and showed A♥ Q♥. It was a race, as puffinmypurp flipped over J♥ J♣. The flop was great for praces, 6♦ K♦ Q♣, giving him a pair of queens and the lead. However, as the oracle railbird said, 'More Chips Always Win." And so after a blank 5♣ fell on the turn the J♠ came on the river, sealing praces's fate in tenth ($8,400) and setting the final table.


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Seat 1: puffinmypurp (10712713 in chips)
Seat 2: GripDsNutz (8353439 in chips)
Seat 3: SLIMOO1 (4807522 in chips)
Seat 4: rotiv azar (3708774 in chips)
Seat 5: mariocolci (3037032 in chips)
Seat 6: BigFlopper01 (13760995 in chips)
Seat 7: rcrane082985 (5189290 in chips)
Seat 8: acetoace (6554769 in chips)
Seat 9: drew5927 (7625466 in chips)

BigFlopper01 was in control with 13.7 million in chips when final table play was finally reached, holding more than a 3 million chip advantage over his nearest competitor. BigFlopper01 would need every one of those 13.7 million chips at the final table however, for well known online phenoms Tyler "puffinmypurp" Reiman (10.7 million in chips) and Nicholas "GripDsNutz" Grippo (8.3 million in chips) were sporting healthy stacks. On the opposite end of the spectrum rotiv azar (3.7 million in chips) and mariocolci (3 million in chips) were on the short stacks and looking for some early help as final table began. Blinds were 80k/160k with a 16k ante as play recommenced on table 23.

A Big Flop

After entering the final table with a sizable chip lead, BigFlopper01 managed to pad his stack with another 3 million chips with some aggressive play in the early goings. However, a misstep in hand nine with a weaker kicked trip fours knocked BigFlopper01 back down to the rest of the pack with 8.1 million. 41 grueling hands later and the former chip leader's once impressive stack had bled down to 5.4 million. Needing to make something happen and blinds at 150k/300k with a 30k ante, BigFlopper01 raised to 600k in early position. Play folded around to SLIMOO1 in the big blind, who moved all-in for 7.4 million. BigFlopper01 called off his last bit of chips and flipped over A♣ Q♣, which was slightly behind SLIMOO1's [10h] [10c]. It proved to be a short race as the flop came 8♣ [10d] 6♠, giving SLIMOO1 a set of tens and a dominating lead. The 3♥ on the turn and a mocking A♦ on the river meant the end for BigFlopper01, who can console his early exit with $11,625 in prize money.

In Need of a Few More Aces

It would take another 28 long hands before the final eight would become the last seven. Play folded around to rcrane082985 in the small blind, who was enjoying a very healthy 16 million chip stack. rcrane082985 raised to 4.8 million, more than enough to cover big blind acetoace's tiny two million chip stack. acetoace made the call and was in big trouble with his K♦ [10h] dominated against rcrane082985's K♥ J♣. The flop provided both players with gut shot straight draws, falling 9♣ 5♥ Q♥, and although the [10s] on the turn gave acetoace a pair of tens it filled up rcrane082985's king high straight. Needing a jack to chop, acetoace whiffed on the river, 5♣, sending him home in eighth with $18,000 in prize money.

Super Mario

After it seemed like the final table was destined to be a marathon, the Million was able to get down from seven to six in just four hands. mariocolci got things started off right with a 800k raise under the gun. Action was folded around to rotiv azar in the big blind, who made the call. The flop came 8♣ 3♦ Q♣ and rotiv azar lead out with another 800k bet. mariocolci answers with a re-raise all-in for 5.4 million. rotiv azar, who is covered, made the call and showing down K♠ Q♠ for top pair, second best kicker. rotiv azar's hand is strong but proves to be second best against mariocolci's A♦ Q♦. The 9♠ on the turn and 8♥ on the river provides no reprieve and rotiv azar goes home in seventh, collecting $33,000 for his efforts.

Not the NutZ

Well known online pro--and fellow Chicagolander--Nicholas "GripDsNutz" Grippo found himself in a bit of trouble just four hands after rotiv azar's exit in seventh. Nursing a short stack and facing a cutoff raise to 800k by rcrane082985, GripDsNutz moves all-in from the big blind for 5.9 million. rcrane082985 instantly calls and flips over A♣ K♦. In spite of rcrane082985's big slick, GripDsNutz isn't too far behind, turning over the drawing hand J♣ 9♣. The flop, K♣ 5♦ 7♣, provided some drama giving rcrane082985 top pair but GripDsNutZ a flush draw. The J♥ on the turn gave GripDsNutz more outs to two pair or trips, but a blank 4♦ falls on the river, eliminating GripDsNutz in sixth ($48,000) and pushing Grippo's career live and online tournament winnings to over $1.2 million.

Drew Puffed Away

Just under 20 hands after GripDsNutz's exit in sixth, two shorts stacks collide to help us get down to four. The action starts off on the button with rcrane082985, who raises to 800k. drew5927, in the small blind, re-raises all-in for 6.9 million and big blind puffinmypurp, surprisingly, makes the call, and is all-in for 6.6 million. rcrane082985 gets out of the way and we have a race, puffinmypurp's A♥ Q♦ versus drew5927's 6♠ 6♥. The flop comes down good for puffinmypurp, A♦ J♠ 5♥, giving him the lead with a pair of aces. Needing a six to eliminate puffinmypurp, drew5927 comes up dry on the turn, 3♦, and then again on the river, 4♣, crippling drew5927 down to under 300k. Sometimes more chips doesn't win, after all. A few hands later drew5927 exits in fifth ($63,000), his Q♣ [10d] failing to improve against rcrane082985's J♠ J♣.   

The Reign of Cane?

With four left rcane082985 was clearly in the driver's seat, wielding an impressive 25.4 million chip stack, good for almost 40 percent of the chips in play. In a place where deal making discussions often break out, the final four kept playing and started short stack watching.

With blinds at 200k/400k with a 40k ante, here's how the final four looked:

Seat 1: puffinmypurp (13951432 in chips)
Seat 3: SLIMOO1 (17559151 in chips)
Seat 5: mariocolci (6797566 in chips)
Seat 7: rcrane082985 (25441851 in chips)

The Short Reign of Cane Ends

Just two hands after getting down to four rcrane082985 stumbled, doubling up mariocolci to over 13 million. Five hands later, rcrane082985 relinquishes the chip lead  to SLIMOO1...and six hands later rcrane082985 meets his maker. Action starts with SLIMOO1 on the button, who makes it $1.5 million. mariocolci gets out of the way in the small blind, but rcrane082985 moves in for a massive 17.4 million total from the big blind. SLIMOO1, after thinking for a long while, makes the call having rcrane082985 covered by just 1 million chips. The hands: rcrane082985's 5♣ 5♦ versus SLIMOO1's A♠ [10c]. It's a race, albeit a big one, for a massive 35 million chip pot. The flop is golden for SLIMOO1, coming Q♠ [10d] J♦. Trailing SLIMOO1's pair of tens and gut shot straight draw, rcrane082985 needed a third five on either the turn or river to stave off elimination. No luck on the turn, 2♣, or the river, 8♠, and rcrane082985 exits in fourth, good for an $82,500 payday.


SLIMOO1 now rolling, it took the massive chip leader just six more hands to claim his next victim. With just over 44 million in chips and the blinds at 250k/500k, SLIMOO1 raises on the button to 2 million, with mariocolci then moving all-in for 3.6 million. SLIMOO1 made the call and revealed a lowly K♥ 3♣. mariocolci was ahead with [10s] [10h], but had a tough sweat after the flop came down all clubs, 9♣ Q♣ A♣, giving SLIMOO1 a flush draw. The K♠ on the turn was the dagger, giving SLIMOO1 the lead. Needing a non-club jack or ten on the river, mariocolci comes up short, 6♦, and leaves in third place, collecting $120,000 for his work. mariocolci's exit puts the Million into its final stage, heads-up, with SLIMOO1 holding a massive chip lead over puffinmypurp, 48.4 million to 15.3 million.

Second Best No More

Tyler "puffinmypurp" Reiman is probably best known for his runner-up finish in the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, good for a $1.75 million dollar payday. In spite of the big win, nobody wants to be best remembered for being second best and with just two left in the Million, puffinmypurp had his sights set firmly on redemption. It was going to take mammoth comeback, however, before puffinmypurp could even begin to start thinking victory--his 15.3 million stack being a mere fraction of SLIMOO1's 48.4 million chip Bastille. This is poker, however, and anything can happen.

 Cue the Rocky Music?

After 38 hands of winding poker action, in which more than once SLIMOO1 held over 50 million in chips, the match was much closer, with puffinmypurp's 39.9 million stack leading SLIMOO1's 23.7 million one. Action begins with SLIMOO1 raising to 2.5 million on the button only to have puffinmypurp three-bet to 9.5 million. Undeterred by puffinmypurp's aggressive move, SLIMOO1 re-raises all-in. puffinmypurp snap calls, revealing A♠ Q♠. It proves to be a good call as SLIMOO1 flips over a bluff, K♣ 3♦. Chances of a SLIMOO1 suck out were severely hit when the flop, [10s] 9♦ 8♠, brought puffinmypurp the nut flush draw. The 4♣ on the turn and 9♣ on the river spelled the end for SLIMOO1, who collects $168,750 for his second place finish.

It's redemption for puffinmypurp, who takes down that desired major victory and earns $228,150 in the effort.

$1,500,000 Guarantee Sunday Million Results (07-11-10)

1. puffinmypurp (Morton) $228,150.00

2. SLIMOO1 (Lethbridge) $168,750.00

3. mariocolci (Consanta) $120,000.00

4. rcrane082985 (Howell) $82,500.000

5. drew5927 (Portland) $63,000.00

6. GripDsNutz (Arlington Heights) $48,000.00

7. rotiv azar (Nazare) $33,000.00

8. acetoace (Gothenburg) $18,000.00

9. BigFlopper01 (Vancouver) $11,625.00