The Hunter Indeed; Orionrg Claims February 28 Sunday Million Victory

Sunday Million logo.jpgIt's all about perspective.

The numbers and results for the February 28 edition of the Sunday Million simply cannot be compared to those from the prior week, as it was more than just a "special edition" of the weekly event; it was part of a celebration that offered a $4 million prize pool and ended up with more than $7.2 million via the 36,169 players in the tournament. The numbers were astounding and blew all other records out of the water. Thus, with this week's Sunday Million back to its regular $1.5 million guarantee, it simply cannot be compared to last week's festivities.

However, it should be noted that most Sunday Million tournaments garner between 8,000 and 9,000 players. There is the occasional variance, but the typical prize pool is between $1.6 million and $1.8 million. And this week? The registration number landed at 10,077 and pushed the prize pool to $2,015,400. A regular ol' Sunday Million surpassing the $2 million mark just doesn't happen every week. In that light, February 28 turned out to be quite the successful day for the Sunday Million.

When we looked at it that way, we had another "event" on our hands this week, and one player had the opportunity to walk away with more than $282K. In fact, the top four finishers would take home six-figure payouts. Not too shabby.

As the hours of the tournament went by, it neared the tenth hour when hand-for-hand play began at the last two tables, and it didn't take long at all for a player to move in. SoulMaster7 had found his way to the top of the leaderboard earlier but lost momentum and decided to push all-in for his last 3,139,598 preflop with K♠6♦. From the big blind, ronaldgrauer called with A♦Q♠, and that hand only improved on the A♥2♥2♠4♣K♦ board. That left a tenth place finish for SoulMaster7, along with $10,077.00 in prize money.

Massive chip lead for dean23price from the start

At the start of the final table, players were in the midst of Level 35, with blinds at 200,000/400,000 and a 40,000 ante. Chip counts and seating assignments were as follows:

Seat 1: ronaldgrauer (7,940,482 in chips)
Seat 2: sharky2323 (4,063,332 in chips)
Seat 3: mad.afurable (16,681,472 in chips)
Seat 4: blue2two (4,687,171 in chips)
Seat 5: villepn (14,353,938 in chips)
Seat 6: dean23price (33,439,573 in chips)
Seat 7: G.C. King (7,247,086 in chips)
Seat 8: orionrg (5,329,360 in chips)
Seat 9: Relhok (7,027,586 in chips)

2010 Million final table 02.28.10.JPG

Victories for villepn

Action was fast in the first few rounds of the final table, as the shorter stacks didn't wait long to make moves, but villepn was there to shatter both hopes for double-ups.

The first move was made by blue2two, who pushed all-in from the button for 4,647,171 with Q♦J♥, but villepn just happened to be sitting in the small blind with A♦Q♣. The board ran out 3♥9♥2♦2♠A♥, and villepn's hand was the only one that improved. The ninth place finish and corresponding $13,704.72 went to blue2two.

The very next hand saw sharky2323 make the all-in move with K♠T♠, but villepn was there again, this time with a dominating K♥Q♦. The two watched the board produce Q♥5♥2♠8♦9♣, and nothing could keep sharky2323 from making an exit in eighth place with $20,154.00.

King overthrown

Over the course of the next few hands, orionrg was able to stay alive via a double-up through Relhork. But the next player that attempted the same feat, albeit through a different player, couldn't find that same success.

The hand started with a raise from mad.afurable, but G.C.King woke up with A♠J♣ in the big blind and reraised all-in for his last 5,567,086. The call was made by mad.afurable holding A♦Q♣, which only turned into trips on the Q♠Q♥9♦ flop. The 5♦ turn and K♣ river solidified the deal and left G.C.King out in seventh place with $40,308.00.

No victory for villepn

It took only one more hand to see another elimination. The rate at which the players were moving along was unfamiliar to most who rail these big Sunday tournaments. This was odd, indeed.

But it happened over the course of the hand and started with mad.afurable, villepn, and dean23price all going to see a flop of J♦3♦7♥. villepn was the player to bet first, dean23price called, and mad.afurable got out of the way. When the 6♥ came on the turn, both players checked, but it was the 4♥ on the river that prompted a bet from villepn. But dean23price shoved all-in. villepn did make the call for his tournament life with A♣A♠ but those pocket aces weren't good against the T♥9♥ of dean23price and his rivered flush. That left villepn out in sixth place with $60,462.00.

Ronaldgrauer and Relhok relegated to rail

Another two bustouts in a matter of a few minutes made it seem as if everyone had somewhere else to be. And no one clued us on as to where that party was, of course.

First up was ronaldgrauer, who got involved with orionrg and Relhok to see a flop of A♦8♥2♣. When it was checked to ronaldgrauer, he bet out, but orionrg raised it up. Relhok got out of the way before ronaldgrauer popped it all-in for his last 4,989,602. orionrg called with 2♠2♥ for the flopped set, and ronaldgrauer could only show A♣K♣ for top pair. The J♥ came on the turn and 3♠ on the river to end the hand and eliminate ronaldgrauer in fifth place with $80,616.00.

Relhok took a stand and was able to double through mad.afurable to stay alive, but as one of the shorter stacks at the table, Relhok decided to attempt it again. But it came after dean23price opened with an all-in raise. Relhok simply looked down at A♠K♠ and called for his tournament life, and dean23price showed K♣J♦. But in line with the way dean23price had been running, the board cooperated and came A♣9♣T♣2♥2♣ for the club flush to eliminate Relhok in fourth place with $100,770.00.

No deal

The last three players in the tournament paused the action to take a look at chip-chop numbers, but it soon became clear that dean23price, who was the dominant chip leader at the time, had no interest in settling for less than first place money. With no agreement possible, action resumed.

Soon after, orionrg doubled through dean23price to stay alive, which proved to come in handy for surviving another pay jump.

Eventually, it was mad.afurable who pushed all-in preflop with A♣9♠ against the A♠2♥ of dean23price. But as seen earlier, the odds when dean23price was involved made little matter. The board came 2♦A♥8♠3♠7♠, and that flopped two pair for dean23price knocked mad.afurable out of the tournament in third place with $145,108.80.

Anything can change during heads-up

The last match started with the following chip counts:

Seat 6: dean23price (78,618,837 in chips)
Seat 8: orionrg (22,151,163 in chips)

But all changed on the very first hand of the match, when orionrg was able to double through with A-Q over A-7 to nearly even the chip stacks.

RSS readers click through to see replay

Soon after, with dean23price no longer in such a dominating position, the two players agreed to look at chop numbers again. This time, they were able to come to a quick agreement, which gave each of them the following payouts with the understanding that $30,000 would be added to the winner's money.

Seat 6: dean23price (57,817,674 in chips) = $232,302.46
Seat 8: orionrg (42,952,326 in chips) = $225,429.56

The hunted becomes the hunter

Once the deal was made and $30,000 hung in the balance, the tables turned. The control that was exhibited by dean23price throughout the majority of final table play was lost, and orionrg took over as the primary aggressor. Pot after pot went to orionrg when it mattered, and the chip counts began to reflect the domination. Ultimately, going into the last hand, orionrg had a three-to-one chip lead over dean23price.

The first raise came from orionrg, but dean23price reraised. That prompted orionrg to move all-in, and dean23price called for his last 19,020,324 and tournament life. The cards were shown:

orionrg: 7♠7♣
dean23price: 9♦9♠

An hour ago, it would have been assumed that dean23price's hand would hold up, but that run-good seemed to have run out. And that was evident by the 6♣J♣7♥ flop that gave orionrg the set. AK♥ hit on the turn, which nothing, and the same was the case for the 8♠ on the river. That left dean23price out of the tournament in second place, and the prize to go with it came to $232,302.46.

The newest champion of the Sunday Million was orionrg, who took home $255,429.56 for the accomplishment of not only surviving against the odds but hunting and slaying the player who looked like a lock to win it.

Sunday Million Results for 02/28/10:

1st place: orionrg ($255,429.56)*
2nd place: dean23price ($232,302.46)*
3rd place: mad.afurable ($145,108.80)
4th place: Relhok ($100,770.00)
5th place: ronaldgrauer ($80,616.00)
6th place: villepn ($60,462.00)
7th place: G.C.King ($40,308.00)
8th place: sharky2323 ($20,154.00)
9th place: blue2two ($13,704.72)

*results of a two-way chop agreement

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

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Sunday Million