Sunday Million: ROMDOM caps off a very good day with a Million victory


Well, after more than a month of competing directly with the biggest event on the poker calender, the World Series of Poker, things have returned to normal, as the Million broke its guarantee for the first time in weeks. Yes, the day after the November Nine was set 8,027 players turned their attention from Vegas to the online tables, creating a prize pool of 1,605,400. Among the over eight thousand runners was a slew of PokerStars pros, undoubtedly looking to build on their summer successes with a nice showing in the Million. At the end of the day three PokerStars team pros managed to reach the virtual payout cage, online wizards Randy "nanonko" Lew (604th for $465.56) and Mandy "ROXY24" Thomas (360th for $610.05) as well as someone who knows quite a bit about making Main Event final tables Canadian team pro Darus Suharto (248th for $706.37). Even with the PokerStars pros on the rail, final table play was, as usual, no less skillful. First, however, we had to get there.

Can't Fold to Victory

The march down to the final nine
started off in a rather unusual way. bobbbyz2260, who was among the chip
leader from 250 players down to 50, for whatever reason sat out from
about 50 players left until his eventual exit in 20th.

sitting out.JPG
Well, it's certainly an unorthodox strategy

bobbbyz2260's sitting out, top 20 finish marked the beginning of a slow crawl to the final table, with tight play--albeit not as tight as bobbbyz2260's play--being the theme of the final two tables.

Eventually, the blinds became too much for TigerRam723, who open shoved all-in from the small blind for a little under 1.3 million. TigerRam723 was almost instantly called by bigbadbandit in the big blind, who showed A♣ 8♥. TigerRam723 was behind, revealing K♠ 9♦, and fell even further behind after a flop of Q♥ 2♣ A♦ gave bigbadbandit top pair. TigerRam723's rail desperately called for a king, jack, nine or ten to make things more interesting, but alas for his supporters another ace came on the turn, locking the pot up for bigbadbandit. The 6♥ on the river fell as mere formality and our final nine was set, TigerRam723 collecting $8,588.89 for his tenth place effort.

Click image for larger picture

Seat 1: Cherniysv (6173234 in chips)
Seat 2: gator93 (12930596 in chips)
Seat 3: Dk4884 (15427370 in chips)
Seat 4: bigbadbandit (10375940 in chips)
Seat 5: ROMDOM (13206594 in chips)
Seat 6: ROPUSZKA (3327986 in chips)
Seat 7: aiglix (6547667 in chips)
Seat 8: Dantes_11 (8117631 in chips)
Seat 9: vinifenomeno (4162982 in chips)

Dk4884 led almost the entire way from 50 players down to the final nine, sometimes holding a commanding double second place stack. However, extended bubble play had allowed bigbadbandit (1 million), gator93 (12.9 million) and ROMDOM (13.2 million) to creep up on Dk4884's leading, 15.4 million chip stack. Conversely, former tourney chip leader ROPUSZKA had some work to do, wielding a small 3.3 million chip stack. Blinds were 100k/200k with a 20k ante as players reassembled at table 149 for final nine play.

Can We Speed This Up a Bit Guys?

The slow play continued for 22 hands before the final table found its first elimination. ROPUSZKA started of the action, raising to 750k from middle position. Cherniysv, on the button, decided he wanted to play for more and shoved his shortish 4.6 million chips stack into the middle. Notable online pro and former SCOOP winner Frank "gator93" Hernandez followed suit with Cherniysv in the small blind, and moved all-in over the top for 10.6 million. Action swung back to ROPUSZKA, who folded. When the cards were finally turned up it was Cherniysv who had some work to do, his A♥ Q♣ running up against gator93's Q♠ Q♥. An aceless K♠ 6♥ 6♠ 8♥ 4♥ board spelled the end for Cherniysv, who took home $12,441.85 for his ninth place finish.

Whoa, Hold Up Now!

With a rust finally shook off, the eliminations came fast and furious. Just one hand after Cherniysv's exit, ROPUSZKA pushed his 2.4 million chip short stack in the middle from second position only to be called by Dk4884 in the small blind and ROMDOM, who had limped in under the gun. ROMDOM and Dk4884 checked down a 8♥ 4♦ 3♥ J♥ 9♣ board, ROMDOM flipping up two queens at the end, which was good enough to win the pot. ROPUSZKA exits in eighth, $18,462.10 richer.

Seven hands later and another player hits the rail. bigbadbandit begins the action with a raise to 750k from under the gun. A short stacked vinifenomeno then moves all-in over the top of bigbadbandit for a little over 2.4 million and bigbadbandit makes the call. The news is good for vinifenomeno, whose A♣ Q♠ is dominating bigbadbandit's K♦ Q♥. vinifenomeno extended his lead after a [10d] K♥ A♦ flop gave him top pair and retained his lead after the [10c] on the turn paired up the board, leaving bigbadbandit drawing dead to a king for the win and a jack to tie. BING! The K♣ falls on the river and brutally relieves vinifenomeno from the final table in seventh ($32,108).

Gator Finishes His Meal

Dk4884 was a chip leader for most of the tournament, but sometimes it just takes one hand to send you packing. Dk4884 starts things off with a raise to 900k from under the gun and is called by gator93 in the big blind. After a gator93 check a 9♣ 4♦ J♦ flop Dk4884 leads out again with a 1.3 million chip bet only to be check raised to 2.7 million by gator93. Dk4884 calls and we go to the turn. The Q♣ falls next and gator93 continues his aggression with a 4.5 million chip bet. gator93 almost immediately answers by shoving all-in for 9.7 million total. gator93 snap calls, revealing 9♦ 9♥ for middle set. Dk4884 finds himself drawing dead with his A♠ Q♠ and, after a 7♠ falls on the turn, is crippled down to just 88k. One hand later gator93 finishes the job, his K♠ J♥ holding against Dk4884's Q♥ J♠. Dk4884 goes home in sixth, good for a $48,162 payday.

Dante's Inferno

Twenty-six hands after Dk4884's elimination the Million got down to a final four. Dantes_11 moves all-in from the cutoff with just 4.4 million in chips only to be raised up to 8.4 million by a cruising gator93 on the button. Both blinds fold and we are heads-up for Dantes_11's tournament life. It's not good for Dantes_11, his K♣ [10s] is crushed by gator93's K♠ Q♠. It's even worse after a Q♣ 2♠ A♠ not only pairs gator93, but gives him the nut flush draw. Looking for a miracle, Dantes_11's prayers go unanswered after the 6♦ and [10c] come on the turn and river respectively. Dantes_11 is out in fifth, taking a $64,216 payday home in consolation.

And aiglix Makes Four

Playing witness to a number of big hands following Dantes_11's exit, a short stacked aiglix finally picks his spot. After an 825k raise by ROMDOM on the button, aiglix pushes all-in from the small blind for 9.6 million. gator93, whose 34.3 million chip stack has the table nearly covered, then moves all-in over the top and ROMDOM gets out of the way. gator93 is far ahead with [10c] [10d] versus aiglix's A♥ 5♦. Initially looking for an ace, a 3♦ 6♣ K♠ 7♠ flop and turn provides aiglix with an additional four outs, a four completing for him a straight. However, a mocking river comes one card too high, the 5♣, and gator93's stack swells to over 40 million while aiglex is sent packing in fourth ($80,912.16).

Deal Time?

With three remaining deal talks intensified, prompting tourney moderator and PokerStars pro Jose "Nacho" Barbero to pause the action. Numbers were thrown around, but just when a deal looked assured short stacked bigbadbandit pulled out of the chop stating, "You had your chance gator, I'm gonna take this one down."

Bold statements aside, here's how we looked with three left and blinds at 200k/400k with a 40k ante:

Seat 2: gator93 (44976726 in chips)
Seat 4: bigbadbandit (15635708 in chips)
Seat 5: ROMDOM (19657566 in chips) 

bigbadbandit Not Prophetic

The hand after the three person deal's failure and bigbadbandit's guarantee bigbadbandit managed to double through gator93, seemingly putting him on track to finish off his said goal. However, things fell apart for bigbadbandit from there, eventually resulting in a stand against gator93. In a battle of the blinds gator93 raises to 1.3 million from the small blind. bigbadbandit answers by moving all-in for 8.1 million and gator93 makes the call. It proves to be a good spot for bigbadbandit, who turns up A♦ J♠ versus gator93's A♥ [10h]. The flop holds bigbadbandit's lead, falling 7♦ Q♠ 5♥, but the 6♥ on the turn gives gator93 a flush draw. No flush for gator93 on the river, instead the [10s] comes pairing gator93 up and eliminating bigbadbandit in third ($120,405).

Deal Time

bigbadbandit's exit opened the chop talks back up and after first discussing a strict chip-chop the final two players decided on an even $192k for the slightly outchipped gator93 and 195,408.05 for ROMDOM.

Deal Time!

With three left, and 30k left on the table for the eventual winner, here is how the deal finally broke down:

ROMDOM: $195,408.05
gator93: $192,00.00
A Good Day for ROMDOM

ROMDOM, who gave up $2,400 to gator93 from a strict chip-chop, joked that he only agreed to gator93's deal because he'd been having a good day. Good day might be an understatement. Not only was ROMDOM poised for victory, his 48 million chip stack well ahead of gator93's 32 million one, he scored another big win earlier in the day, taking down the 75k guaranteed $11 reBuy tournament, good for over $13k.

ROMDOM's earlier success didn't mean that he was satisfied with second in the Million, however. After 40 grueling hand of heads-up play, ROMDOM had wore gator93 down to just 7.6 million chips, compared to ROMDOM's 72 million stack. It all came to an end in hand 41 of heads-up play when gator93 moved all-in on the button for his last 7.6 million, only to be called by ROMDOM. It was pretty close, with gator93's A♠ 8♠ edging out ROMDOM's K♦ [10c]. gator93 held onto his lead after a 8♦ 5♥ J♦ flop and a 3♣ turn, but hold'em can be a cruel game sometimes and gator93's hopes of a comeback were dashed after the K♠ fell on the river. Frank "gator93" Hernandez may have come up just short of adding another prestigious title to his resume, but he was able to add almost $200k to his lifetime live and online tournament winnings, pushing his career states to over $1.7 million.

ROMDOM ends up completing his very good day, taking $225,408.05 home for his second first place finish of the day.

$1,500,000 Guarantee Sunday Million Results (07-18-10)
denotes part of two-way deal)

1. ROMDOM (Dallas) * $225,408.05

2. gator93 (Madrid) *$192,000.00

3. bigbadbandit (Vernon) $120,405.00

4. aiglix (Valencia) $80,912.16

5. Dantes_11 (Sandy) $64,216.00

6. Dk4884 (New York) $48,162.00

7. vinifenomeno (Grovernador Valadores) $32,108.00

8. ROPUSZKA (Kiel) $18,462.10

9. Cherniysv (Dnepropetrovsk) $12,441.85