Tony6733 Tops Tough Sunday Million Field to Take $267,640.62 for Top Honors

Sunday Million logo.jpgThe last weekend of each month brings a great deal of excitement to the PokerStars tables. Not only is there a Battle of the Planets $50,000 freeroll tournament for the top sit-n-go players of the month, but anyone who has accumulated 3,000 Frequent Player Points (or satellited into the event for a fraction of that amount) is welcome to join in the $1 million Turbo Takedown freeroll. Players walked away from these events with free money, a few even took home five-figure winnings, and one player won an attractive Audi TT.

Yes, even cars are given away on PokerStars. Nothing is too extravagant for loyal players.

And then there was the Sunday Million, one of the tournaments that comes along each and every Sunday and offers a whopping $1.5 million guarantee. That brings the players out by the thousands, and this week was no different, as there were 9,371 players in virtual attendance, which pushed the prize pool to $1,874,200. And out of that number, the last 1,350 players standing were paid and the top three players were guaranteed six-figure financial awards.

As the action brought the field from its sizable starting point to only two tables, players were anxious to work their way through to the Sunday Million final table for the world to see. And it came to be rather quickly at the hands of tony6733. After eliminating SCARFACE_AK5 in 11th place, the very next hand saw more action as I as qui pic pushed all-in with A♦8♦. Tony6733 was there with A♠J♦ and hit the flop hard on the 6♣J♠A♥K♦3♠ board. I as qui pic was out in tenth place with $9,745.84 to show for it.

Top spot for Tony6733 going to the final table

Before the ten-hour mark even hit and in the midst of Level 35, with blinds at 150,000/300,000 and a 30,000-chip ante, the final table was set with chip counts and seating assignments as follows:

Seat 1: Peetoon (5,511,321 in chips)
Seat 2: goldfing (8,992,128 in chips)
Seat 3: He1en ke11er (4,179,431 in chips)
Seat 4: kvnok88 (17,764,191 in chips)
Seat 5: VTA09 (9,873,209 in chips)
Seat 6: tinyeyez (4,421,555 in chips)
Seat 7: Galgeberg (7,758,630 in chips)
Seat 8: cwp394 (9,963,871 in chips)
Seat 9: tony6733 (25,245,664 in chips)

2010 Million final table 03.28.10.JPG

Only ten hands into the action, a battle of the blinds ensued when cwp394 raised from the small blind and tony6733 called from the big blind to see a J♦7♦5♦ flop. A bet from cwp394 brought a raise from tony6733, and cwp394 pushed all-in with J♥T♣ for the pair of jacks. But tony6733 called with K♠J♣ for the same pair but a better kicker. The turn brought the A♣ and the river the 9♠, and that was all we wrote for Matthew "cwp394" Ross, who is no stranger to final tables or victories (a WCOOP victory in 2008 was one of those), took home $13,119.40 for tonight's ninth place finish.

The only player within striking distance - if 10 million chips behind qualifies for that - of the chip leader was kvnok88, but when He1en ke11er doubled through kvnok88, it left the latter in second place on the leaderboard but more than 20 million chips behind tony6733.

Blindly pursuing the leader

One of the original short stacks at the table, tinyeyez, climbed a bit from that starting position, but finally decided it would be all or nothing. After coming in for a raise, He1en ke11er reraised all-in, and tinyeyez called for 5,324,330 chips holding pocket nines. But He1en ke11er showed A♠Q♠ and immediately took the lead in the hand on the J♦Q♦5♣ flop. The T♠ turn changed nothing, and the 3♦ ended the hand and sent tinyeyez out in eighth place with $20,616.20.

Next to put tournament life at risk was Peetoon, who had been short on chips for awhile. Afterlooking down at A♠8♥, Peetoon pushed all-in for 2,161,321, and He1en ke11er called with K♣8♣. The 4♦K♥Q♥ flop gave the advantage to He1en ke11er, and the 3♠ turn and 9♥ river allowed that pair of kings to stand. Peetoon was eliminated in seventh place with $37,484.00.

Not only had He1en ke11er taken a solid hold on second place, but there was a force to be reckoned with at the table in addition to tony6733.

Then other players stepped into the mix. It was kvnok88 who looked to take a stand from the small blind and moved all-in with A♥J♠, but VTA09 called all-in from the big blind and was at risk with pocket deuces. The board produced 9♥4♠4♣Q♣9♣, and kvnok88 had the higher kicker and won the pot, leaving VTA09 out in sixth place with $56,226.00.

Several hands later, short-stacked goldfing pushed all-in with K♠7♣, and Galgeberg called from the big blind with a dominating K♣J♦. The board brought flush possibilities for goldfing with the flop but blanked as it completed with 3♠A♣2♣6♦2♦. With that, goldfing was gone in fifth place with $74,968.00.

Let's (not) make a deal!

Going into four-handed action and a break, the remaining players decided to pause the tournament beyond the break to look at some chip-chop numbers. But tony6733's lead garnered a good deal of the money to be divvied up, and though there was some room to move with the players, the group wasn't willing to move enough to make the deal happen. After nearly 30 minutes of discussions, kvnok88 finally admitted, "this will never work," and they gave up.

A few hands after the restart, it was kvnok88 who made a move that may or may not have been tilt-induced, but it paid off with a double-up through Galgeberg as seen here:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Play then slowed a bit, but it was finally Galgeberg who decided to make that move, going into it with A♦5♦ from the small blind. The caller from the big blind was tony6733 holding pocket nines. The flop improved that hand when it came 9♣2♠T♠, and though the 3♣ on the turn changed nothing, the 2♥ on the river gave tony6733 the full house. Galgeberg had to leave in fourth place with $93,710.00.

The very next hand found action between the two shorter stacks. He1en ke11er pushed all-in for 15,300,338 from the small blind, and kvnok88 called from the big blind, only having He1en ke11er covered by a small margin. The advantage went to kvnok88 with the pocket fours, but He1en ke11er had outs with A♥3♥. The board came 8♠J♥5♣5♥Q♥, and He1en ke11er doubled up, leaving kvnok88 with only slightly more than 800K. All of those chips went in on the next hand preflop, and the other two players came along and checked down the board of 8♥J♦6♣K♥2♦. When tony6733 showed J♥3♠ for the pair of jacks, the other two hands were mucked, and kvnok88 was gone in third place with $139,534.19.

Eyeing the finish line

Heads-up play then began as follows:

Seat 3: He1en ke11er (29960676 in chips)
Seat 9: tony6733 (63749324 in chips)

The two players almost immediately agreed to take a look at new chip-chop numbers, but it was again - but more quickly this time - decided one player wasn't happy with the breakdown. Thus, they played on.

The battle consisted of mostly small pots that didn't go far, but with the following hand, tony6733 put his opponent in a position to move sooner than anticipated:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Some patience allowed He1en ke11er to wait for the right spot, but with only slightly more than 10 million chips, it seemed that T♠8♦ was it, though that hand was up against the pocket threes of tony6733. But the board of A♥J♥5♦8♣6♥ gave He1en ke11er the pair of eights and the double-up.

It took only one more hand for He1en ke11er to make another attempt, that time with A♠3♠. But tony6733 called with a dominating A♥T♣, and the board produced J♥5♦8♣K♣Q♠ to turn that already-winning hand into a straight. He1en ke11er finished the tournament in second place, which was worth a payout of $196,791.00.

Tony6733 took an initial chip lead at the final table and plowed through some tough opponents to end it on top, which resulted in a Sunday Million title and massive $267,640.62 payout for the accomplishment.

Sunday Million Results for 03/28/10:

1st place: tony6733 ($267,640.62)
2nd place: He1en ke11er ($196,791.00)
3rd place: kvnok88 ($139,534.19)
4th place: Galgeberg ($93,710.00)
5th place: goldfing ($74,968.00)
6th place: VTA09 ($56.226.00)
7th place: Peetoon ($37,484.00)
8th place: tinyeyez ($20,616.20)
9th place: cwp394 ($13,119.40)

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