Troopaloop10 scoops Sunday Million title and $243,543.53

Sunday Million logo.jpgWaiting can be difficult. Children anxiously await the holidays and the gifts that may come their way. Poker players look to politicians for...well...something positive. And Sunday Million players look to the flop, turn, and river for the cards that will propel them to online poker stardom.

The December 12th edition of the Sunday Million brought players together with the promise of the weekly $1.5 million guarantee, and when registration stopped at 8,278 competitors, the prize pool soared to $1,655,600. While some players made their moves quickly and left the game, others practiced patience and moved forward, with each hour bringing them closer to life-changing money and one of the most coveted titles in poker.

Money awaited the top 1,260 players in the tournament, and there were noticeably few PokerStars-sponsored players in that group, likely because many were in route to Prague for the European Poker Tour, or enjoying final tables in places like Sydney, Australia, or Las Vegas, Nevada. Three of them did make it into the money, though. Team PokerStars Pros Barry "barryg1" Greenstein finished in 1066th place and Christophe "chrisdm" de Meulder took 578th place, while Team Online's Mandy "ROXY24" Thomas ended her run in 507th place.

As the ninth hour of the tournament progressed, the final table neared. It didn't take long during hand-for-hand play for BadgerPro to shove all-in for 6.3 million chips with 2♣2♥, and Sirocko made the call from the button with A♣Q♦. The board of 9♠6♠9♦6♦T♥ offered two pair, and Sirocko's ace kicker made the best hand, eliminating BadgerPro in tenth place with $8,774.68 to show for it.

Troopaloop10 swoops into final table with massive lead

In relatively quick fashion, the final table was underway at the very end of Level 34, with blinds still at 125,000/250,000 and a 25,000 ante. The players' chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1: ricestud (3,991,346 in chips)
Seat 2: MILIANOS68 (5,982,369 in chips)
Seat 3: rrobert333 (1,241,751 in chips)
Seat 4: waynecoal (4,857,699 in chips)
Seat 5: Berkyy (2,853,411 in chips)
Seat 6: mapletrees22 (7,225,625 in chips)
Seat 7: Troopaloop10 (35,468,231 in chips)
Seat 8: Sirocko (14,852,997 in chips)
Seat 9: Morfi4 (6,306,571 in chips)

2010 Million final table 12.12.10.JPG

The very first hand of the action found MILIANOS68 doubling through Morfi4, and the latter was left with little more than 300K chips. Morfi4 then moved all-in on the very next hand holding 4♠3♠, but rrobert333 moved all-in over the top. Troopaloop10 called everyone from the big blind with 6♦6♣, and rrobert333 showed A♠K♥. The board of J♦9♣4♦2♥K♣ allowed rrobert333 to double up with his pair of kings, but it was Morfi4 who departed in ninth place with $12,830.90.

Moments later, rrobert333 was ready for more action and pushed all-in with T♠T♥ from the small blind. Original raiser Sirocko made the call with A♥Q♣, and the flop of J♠A♦7♣ put Sirocko in front. An A♣ came on the turn for trips, and the 9♠ on the river ended the tournament for rrobert333, who took home $18,211.60 for the eighth place finish.

In short order, short-stacked Berkyy made the next move, all-in for 3,633,411 with A♦Q♣, and Troopaloop10 called from the small blind with Q♥J♥. The board came 9♣2♥K♥7♥3♥, and those hearts made a flush for Troopaloop10, eliminating Berkyy in seventh place with $33,112.00.

Much faster than a writer could find the words, another player was all-in. It was ricestud risking tournament life with A♦8♥, and original raiser Sirocko called with J♦7♦. The virtual dealer gave them a 5♥3♣7♠9♥J♥ on the board, and the two pair was more than enough to ship the chips to Sirocko. Ricestud boiled over and left in sixth place with $49,668.00.

Still swirling from the rush of bustouts, another was in order. Mapletrees22 made the all-in move for nearly 5.5 million chips holding A♠9♥, and Sirocko called from the big blind with A♥K♣. The board was void of any excitement as it came 2♦Q♣8♠7♦5♠, and Sirocko's better hand stood up. Mapletrees22 wilted in fifth place, which was worth $66,224.00.

Hold up, wait a minute...

Before things slowed down, MILIANOS68 scored a massive double-up through Troopaloop10, and the pot worth more than 23.5 million chips put MILIANOS68 in a strong second place on the leaderboard.

RSS readers click through to see replay

In the relative calm that took over for a short while, waynecoal was able to make a few moves and double several times through Troopaloop10 to stay in the game. Small pots dominated much of the remainder of the level, though.

Finally, another big pot developed. It started with a raise from MILIANOS68 and call from Troopaloop10, but Sirocko busted a move and pushed all-in for 13,460,437 chips. MILIANOS68 got out of the way, but Troopaloop10 was up for the challenge and called with 6♦6♣. Sirocko turned over a dominated 4♣4♥. The board brought nothing of significance when it showed 9♦5♥Q♣7♠A♦, and Sirocko was eliminated in fourth place with $82,780.00.

Perpetually short-stacked waynecoal finally decided to make another move, and he did it with A♣7♠ and his last 5,861,596 chips. Both other players called to see the 6♦9♠5♦ flop, at which point a bet of 5 million from Troopaloop10 prompted a fold from MILIANOS68. Troopaloop10 showed K♥9♥ for the pair of nines, though waynecoal had hopes of a straight. But neither the 3♣ on the turn nor the T♥ on the river made it happen, so waynecoal exited in third place with $124,170.00 for the effort.

A short distance to a tough final battle

The final table was reduced from nine to two players in 40 minutes, which is typically unheard of for a tournament like the Sunday Million. Play was fierce and fast, and Troopaloop10 maintained the lead throughout it all. But that was in no way an indicator that the heads-up battle would be easy or quick.

Their starting stacks were as follows:

Seat 2: MILIANOS68 (15,357,880 in chips)
Seat 7: Troopaloop10 (67,422,120 in chips)

Shortly into the match, MILIANOS68 scored a double-up that brought the chip counts closer to even:

RSS readers click through to see replay

But Troopaloop10 ground away at his opponent and eventually forced MILIANOS68 to have to double-up again, which he did when K-J hit the flop to beat pocket fives. Again, though, Troopaloop10 chipped away at his sparring partner.

Finally, with MILIANOS68 holding less than 14 million chips, another all-in move was made, this time with T♠9♥. Troopaloop10 made the call with A♠T♣, and the board came 4♥2♠7♦T♥3♣. Troopaloop10 had the best kicker to go with the pair of tens, and MILIANOS68 was forced to accept the second place finish and $177,977.00 that went with it.

Troopaloop10 won the tournament in a little less than one hour of final table play, maintaining the chip lead from start to finish. For the accomplishment, the prize amount was $243,543.53 to go with the Sunday Million title. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 12/12/10:

1st place: Troopaloop10 ($243,543.53)
2nd place: MILIANOS68 ($177,977.00)
3rd place: waynecoal ($124,170.00)
4th place: Sirocko ($82,780.00)
5th place: mapletrees22 ($66,224.00)
6th place: ricestud ($49,668.00)
7th place: Berkyy ($33,112.00)
8th place: rrobert333 ($18,211.60)
9th place: Morfi4 ($12,830.90)

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